Our wagon trains had been much increased. About the 1th of November they numbered 3,911 wagons, 8,693 horses, 12,483 mules, 907 ambulances, 7,139 artillery horses, and 9,582 cavalry. We had sufficient to haul seven days' supplies for the army, besides its baggage, camp equipage, &s. The army crossed the Potomac over pontoon bridges at Berlin the last of October. I crossed on the 1st of November, and reached Salem, on the Manassas Gap Railroad, on the 3rd following. Supplies had already been ordered by this road direct from Washington and Alexandria.
On the 9th of November General Burnside assumed command of the army, and soon after he moved it to Falmouth, in front of Fredericksburg. On the 13th I left the army at Warrenton, with orders to proceed to Washington and Alexandria, thence to Aqua and Fredericksburg Railroad. On the 16th, in company with Generals Woodbury and Haupt, I went to Aqua and Belle Plain on a reconnaissance. We found the old wharf and entire depot at Aqua a mass of ruins, and the interior of the country still in the hands of the enemy. It was decided to create temporary landings at both Aqua and Belle Plain, to land supplies and haul them to the army on its arrival with wagons, while
permanent arrangements on a proper scale could be made.
This plan was most successfully executed. I returned to Belle Plain about the 19th, and joined headquarters at Falmouth. The depot at Aqua was made as spacious and commodious as any one we have ever had. Large wharves were constructed and storehouses erected to accommodate all departments. I placed Captain T. E. Hall, assistant quartermaster, in charge, with several officers to assist him. Captain Hall was finally succeeded by Lieutenant Cols. A. Thompson and Painter, assistant quartermaster. Frequent inspections were made by myself and Colonels Sawtelle, Myers, and Painter. General Haupt placed Mr. W. W. Wright at the place as railroad agent. He was an exceedingly energetic, gentlemanly, and business-like officer. Stations were established at convenient points along the road for the delivery of supplies-the principal one having been at Falmouth, under Captain L. H. Peirce, assistant quartermaster, now assistant chief quartermaster of this army. His report will show you the immensity of his business during the past year. I regard him as one of the best quartermasters in the service. The land transportation of the army was reorganized while at Falmouth, and to-day corresponds precisely with the standard prescribed in Orders, Numbers 83.* (A copy is herewith, marked A.)
The rule will be found useful if applied to our other armies. There would be, besides, the advantage or uniformity. Our supply trains are calculated for seven days' subsistence, three of salt meat, six of short forage, and 100 rounds of small arm ammunition to be hauled in wagons. By our system, knowing the number of men, we can at once determine the exact number of wagons.
The battle of Fredericksburg was fought on the 13th of December, 1862. General Hooker assumed command of the army January 26, 1863.
To show what was our custom on the eve of battles with regard to our trains, I take the liberty to inclose a copy of my report of our arrangements during the Chancellorsville campaign, herewith, marked B. This report and its accompanying papers, now in your office, will give you full and valuable information.
The battle of Chancellorsville and second battle of Fredericksburg were fought from the 2nd to the 4th of May, 1863. In a forward movement
*Of August 21, 1863, Army of the Potomac.