sistence, ammunition, and medical stores in our wagon trains, which were carefully packed and well guarded at selected points. These trains were not to cross the river with the army, but were to be held in readiness to move at the proper moment.
In all our campaigns our trains, though large, have never impeded the progress of the army to my knowledge; nor need they, if proper disposition be timely made in orders by the general in command, and the quartermasters perform their duties.
In all the principal battle of this army our trains have been well guarded at a distance from the field, and no disasters have ever happened to them. Situated as you were at Fredericksburg, the trains, in case of success, would have constituted your only magazines of supply for several days. The land transportation was considerably reorganized while you were in command, but the amounts allowed for baggage and supplied have been gradually and constantly reduced to the present time.
The allowances to-day are prescribed in General Orders, No. 100*, copy herewith, marked A. The rule established in this order will be found useful if applied to our other armies. There would be, besides, the advantage of uniform system.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Chief Quartermaster, Army of the Potomac.
Major General AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, U. S. Army,
Washington, D. C.
On the 12th of November, 1862, Colonel Spaulding was encamped with his detachment at Berlin, in charge of a pontoon bridge over the Potomac at the that place, one over the Potomac and one over the Shenandoah at Harper's Ferry, 56 boats in the canal ready for use, a land train of 20 boats and material mounted on wheels, and a large amount of land transportation. Many of the horses in his trains were in very bad condition, principally from disease of the hoof, nearly 100 having been condemned by the inspector, but they were not yet turned in. On the afternoon of that day he received an order from Captain J. C. Duane, chief engineer Army of the Potomac, dated November 6, in substance as follows:
The commanding general directs that you will take such steps as you deem advisable t accomplish the following objects:
Detail a competent officer and one company from your command to take charge of the pontoon bridges at Harper's Ferry.
Send such additional boats and material to Harper's Ferry as may be necessary to secure the maintenance of these bridges and provide for contingencies.
Send the balance of your bridge material to Washington.
Proceed to Washington with the balance of your command and make up a pontoon train on wheels as speedily as possible, with the necessary transportation, and be prepared to march with the train at a moment's notice.
Have the bridge at Berlin dismantled and sent to Washington as soon as practicable.
The above order was received at 2 o'clock on the afternoon of the 12th, six days after it was written, it having passed by Rectortown and Washington.
At 6 p.m. his condemned horses had been turned in to the quarter
*Of November 5, 1863.
See Series I, Vol. XXIX.