commanders report that they are ready and want no more supplies. It has been my pride to know the fact that no army was ever more perfectly supplied than this has been, as a general rule. General McClellan makes no complaint of his quartermaster's department. He is satisfied that I have performed my whole duty, and in all cases promptly executed his instructions.
There have been delays in the arrival of clothing and horses, which have annoyed him. There delays are not all chargeable to our department. I have frequently reported to the general that, so far as clothing is concerned, you have always met all my requisitions with great promptness. I certainly shall strive hard to leave no ground for just accusations to be made against our department. I have not the remotest idea that any one of the general's staff has ever given an order for horses without the proper authority; still, until I can obtain a report in detail from Captain Sawtelle, who has been acting for me in Washington, I cannot reply properly and fully as to the supply of horses. The number stated in General McClellan's letter agreed with my records here, but it is manifest that more have been issued in Washington.
I will keep you fully advised of my transactions, and have to request that I may not be drawn into any controversy.
I am, very respectfully, general, your most obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel, Aide-de-Camp, Chief Quartermaster, Army of Potomac.
[Memorandum indorsed by General Meigs.]
Acknowledge, and say that the report is very satisfactory; that General McClellan has himself, by dispatch to the Quartermaster-General, acknowledged the promptness of the department. In regard to the issue of horses, the Quartermaster-General is assured that, excepting 1,000 to General Banks, they have been issued only on orders signed as by order of General McClellan, and by staff officers authorized thus to sign for him. The total issues have been made known to the general, and he will probably be able to prevent any diversion by such orders in future. In regard to one expression in this letter, desiring not to be drawn into any controversy, the Quartermaster's Department would regard it as a great misfortune, if not a great crime, to have any controversy grow up between it and its officers and the general commanding armies, It is its duty to assist them, by every means under its control, in making and keeping their commands efficient. The Quartermaster-General desires to accomplish this, and will not allow any controversy to arise. All the late correspondence on this subject has been with the intention and desire to get the facts necessary for efficient support and assistance of the general commanding, and to remove any defects or difficulties in the way of prompt and sufficient supply of all that his army needs, and, though one of General McClellan's letters bore rather hardly upon this Department, his telegram of later date relieved it from all accusation. A report from this office, called for by order of the Secretary of War, has found its way into the newspapers, much to the regret of the Quartermaster-General, and, it is confidently believed by him, through the instrumentality of no person connected with his Department. It is a simple statement of facts, however, and publication can, he believes, do no harm, though he would have preferred not to see it in print. The public mind was exercised on the subject of supplies to the army by exaggerated statements of destitution and of delay for want of such supplies, and the publication of this report may have a beneficial effect in allaying this excitement.