General McClellan was relieved. Of course these figures show the whole number of animals for shish forage had to be provided. I am aware that during October and November my returns showed a much larger number of horses on hand than were reported fit for active service by the corps commanders. Forage was necessarily provided for all, while many of the cavalry and artillery horses present were unfit for a march. Subsequently our trains were increased to near 3,000 wagons and 6,000 animals of all kinds, after the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps had joined. We could then have ten days' supply.
Near the last of October preparations were made to cross the Potomac at Berlin, a few miles below Harper's Ferry. Supplies of subsistence, forage, ordnance, and hospital stores were loaded in our wagons to meet our wants until we hould reach the Manassas Gap Railroad at Salem and Rectortown, to which points stores were sent direct from Washington and Alexandria. Our trains at this time could not carry supplies of provisions and short forage for the army, with the necessary ordnance, hospital stores, camp equipage, &c., for more than six or eight days. A wagon drawn by six mules over good roads can haul 1,200 short rations of provisions (bread, sugar, coffee, salt, and soap) and six days' rations of grain for mules. Over hilly or muddy roads the weight would be correspondingly reduced. It can thus be easily seen how far from our depots an army can be supplied by wagons. When the supplies in trains become exhausted, an army must be at or near another source of supply, as a matter of course.
The march from the Potomac at Berlin to Warrenton, where General McClellan left the army, was a magnificent spectacle of celerity and skill. It was in camp near Rectortown, on the 7th November, 1862, that the general was relieved. At this time the department was well organized. The officers had become well instructed, experienced, zealous, and practical. But for their untiring energy and implicit obedience to orders, such an army on the march, with constantly changing depots, could never have been furnished with necessary allowances.
The great success attending our marches is due in part to the intelligence, fidelity, and perseverance of the officers of the Quartermaster's Department, to whom I owe much and to whom my gratitude is due. I am bound, also, to bear testimony to the promptness of the Quartermaster-General and all his depot officers, all of whom have invariably desired to assist me all in their power, I must also call the attention of General McClellan to the merits of those officers in my department who have served at our great depots. It was on these officers we mainly relied for our supplies. Lieutenant Colonel Fred. Myers, aide-de-camp and quartermaster, joined me in the march into Maryland, and has had particular charge of transportation. His services have been laborious and valuable. It was Colonel Myers who took charge of and successfully brought in the trains after Pope's defeat. I was then at Alexandria and knew the fact, though General Pope did not refer to his name at all in his report, and his services recently have not been rewarded. I feel greatly indebted to Colonel Sawtelle, to whom I have already referred. My thanks are also due to Captains Rankin, Wagner, Peirce, Pitkin, and Bliss.
I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Chief Quartermaster, Army of the Potomac.
General R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff, Major-General McClellan, New York City.