War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0099 Chapter XXXI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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Annual report of Brigadier General Rufus Ingalls, chief quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1863.



Camp near Culpeper, Va., September 28, 1863.

GENERAL: In compliance with your General Orders, Numbers 13, of last July, the 22d, I have the honor to submit the following report on the operations of the quartermaster's department of the Army of the Potomac during the fiscal year ending on the 30th June, 1863:

On the first day of the fiscal year I established the great depot on James River, at Harrison'a Landing, at and around which point General McClellan concentrated his army after the eventful seven days' battles about Richmond. On the 28th of June preceding I had broken up the depot at White House, on the Pamunkey, in execution of orders received from the general commanding and General Van Vliet, then chief quartermaster of the army, and had successfully removed all the transports containing the public supplies - more than five hundred vessels of all descriptions - from the York to James River. I arrived at Haxall's, above City Point, on the left bank of the James, near noon of the 30th of June, and reported in person to General McClellan when he came to the river some two or three hours later in the day, and while the first great fight at Malvern Hill was raging.

The army was destitute of supplies; my arrival was exceedingly fortunate and opportune. Temporary barge wharves were at once constructed at Harrison's Landing, the transports were brought alongside, and the subsistence, ordnance, hospital, and quartermaster's departments were prepared for the issue of necessary supplies on the arrival of the troops. We found in the vicinity a few old wharves, which contributed greatly to the accommodation of the commissary, ordnance, and hospital departments, but generally we had to rely upon our own resources in the construction of landings or wharves at our various depots.

At the commencement of the movement to the Peninsula I was placed in charge of the assembling of transports, fitting them for the voyages, and embarking the troops. I took post at Alexandria, by order of the War Department, so soon as the blockade of the Potomac was raised, and remained there from the 18th of March until the 3rd of April, 1862, up to which time I had personally superintended the embarkation of more than 70,000 men of the Army of the Potomac.

It was my duty, while on the Peninsula, to establish the depots of supply for the army, and to see that all proper stores were provided and issued. This duty was excessively laborious responsible, especially at Cheeseman's Creek, Yorktown, and White House, during the night as well as day. There were few officers of experience in the quartermaster's department at that time with the army, either in the regular or volunteer service. the magnitude of our operations far exceeded what any quartermaster had ever before witnessed, or, indeed, read of. The sites of the depots at Cheeseman's Creek and White House were selected by me, and the landings constructed under my immediate superintendence, and sometimes with the assistance of my own hands. I was up to that date almost alone, so far as good officers were concerned. Proper measures had been taken by General Van Vliet to have an abundance of forage, clothing, &c., afloat, and in readiness to be issued at the depots. The subsistence department, also,