Issue of horses from this department, since you assumed command of troops defending Washington, has been made, with exception of one thousand issued to General Banks' cavalry, solely on orders purporting to be yours, signed by your staff officers as by your order. Had you so ordered, not less than 10,000 so distributed to troops under your command would have been sent to Harper's Ferry or Frederick.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. C. MEIGS,
QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington City, October 22, 1862-11 a. m.
Colonel R. INGALLS,
Chief Quartermaster, Army of the Potomac, Headquarters of General McClellan:
COLONEL: General Fitz John Porter called here yesterday, and stated that his troops were in want of clothing and shelter-tents. General McClellan reports that his troops suffer for want of clothing, and specifies that one of his corps commanders reports a deficiency of five thousand pairs of shoes on his requisitions. The corps is not named. All requisitions from General McClellan's headquarters for clothing have been promptly met, and the supplies have been sent forward. They must be within the lines and camps of the army, and the difficulty must arise from a failure to distribute them. There are many cars reported as standing for days on the track at Monocacy and Hagerstown, in some of which this clothing and these shoes may be found.
I have directed a special wagon-train to be dispatched to-day from this depot, consigned to you at headquarters, with 10,000 pairs of shoes. These should be reported to General McClellan, and, on arrival, distributed to those camps and corps in want. The wagons can be retained and added to your supply trains. General McClellan reports to General Halleck that the Army of the Potomac had received to the 18th instant, since the opening of the campaign, only 1,964 horses, and finds a discrepancy between this number and that reported by the Quartermaster-General as issued to the whole army about the Potomac under his command, including that in front of Washington and that on the Upper Potomac, about his headquarters. Upon being shown General McClellan's order to you to issue no horses except by his order, I directed the depot quartermaster here to issue horses only on an order from General McClellan, and this rule has been followed, excepting a special issue of 1,000 horses, ordered by myself to General Banks' cavalry, to enable it to picket and patrol the front of Washington at the time of Stuart's raid. But, excluding these, over 10,000 horses have been issued to troops on orders purporting to be General McClellan's. Had these orders so directed, the whole could and would have been sent to Frederick or Harper's Ferry. Consult the general, and have such orders given that his wishes will not again be thwarted by orders issued in his own name. Advise the Department of any difficulty or delay in supply, and whatever is possible will be done to remove it.
General McClellan blames the Quartermaster's Department for want of proper action in forwarding supplies. Leave no ground for such accusations to be justly made. General Haupt has been instructed to take possession of the Cumberland Valley Railroad, and use it as a military
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