which was done after considerable delay. We found wagons loaded with the effects of citizens, with whole families of negroes, and, in many cases, two four-horse wagons, fastened together a load in one and but two or three horses attached to them, and other irregularities, which proved the utter incapacity or carelessness of the quartermasters, whose duty it was to look after these things. After the train had been started, long intervals were allowed to occur, through the carelessness or stupidity of drivers and the absence of wagon-masters, or other persons, whose duty it is to regulate trains. Such was the condition of these trains, and so completely had they blockaded the road, that if any pursuit had been made by the enemy, our artillery, as well as the entire train, must have fallen into their hands.
I cannot in too strong terms express my indignation that officers who have been in the employ of the Government as long as most of these quartermasters have, should have so neglected their duties, or be so ignorant of those duties as not to know how to perform them better. I passed along full 4 miles of these trains, and could find no one in charge. I found teamsters near the head of the trains, quietly engaged in feeding themselves and horses, their wagons standing in the middle of the narrow road, so as to prevent others passing them. Also, I found cases where ammunition had been thrown out along the road, to lighten loads, while wagons were hauled empty, or loaded with the property of citizens. I found many wagons loaded with things of lift or no value, while I know of large quantities of valuable stores being destroyed at Charleston. I have no hesitation in stating, and consider it my duty to state, that it is my belief that a large amount of the loss incurred at Charleston, and from Charleston to the Ohio River, is charge-able to the utter neglect or incapacity of the quartermasters, whose duty is should have been to attend to the care of it.
After passing about 4 miles of the train, and learning that no enemy had appeared in our front, I took position to cover the train as it passed, Colonel Elliott still keeping on to the front with seven companies of the Forty-seventh Regiment, with orders to give his attention to keeping the train in order, and guarding it from any interruption from a body of cavalry, said to be hovering on our right toward Spencer. As the train filed by my position, I could neither see nor hear of but two quartermasters. Some three or four wagons-masters appeared along the line, in charge of special trains. First Lieutenant J. S. Rogers, acting quartermaster Forty-fourth Regiment, remained with his regimental train, and it reached the Ohio River in good order, with everything with which it started from Tomkins' farm. All the wagons were well, and even heavily, loaded. First Lieutenant J. R. Craig, acting brigade quartermaster of the Second Brigade, also remained with the train, and all of his wagons got through with their loads. I ordered him to give his attention to the general interest, which he did with indefatigable and intelligent zeal.
After we left Charleston the only firing that occurred was a false alarm of the pickets on the night of the 14th, and the wounding of two of the pickets of the Forty-seventh Regiment at Ripley, by bushwhackers, on the night of the 15th. We arrived at Ravenswood, on the Ohio River, at 10 a.m. on the 16th, crossed the river, and marched 7 miles down that night, having shipped the artillery and the Fourth Virginia Regiment on steam boats and barges.
On the 17th we continued our march to Syracuse, on the Ohio River, and there embarked on steamboats and barges, and reached Point Pleasant