War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0397 Chapter XXXVII. THE CHANCELLORSVILLE CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

to them, and marched, leaving them upon the ground. The brigade commissaries remained behind, gathered up the stores, and reloaded them in the supply wagons.

That evening, while coming from the river, and on the following morning, while following the march of the troops, in very many places I found where knapsacks had been emptied of their contents, and in many places the knapsacks themselves were slung into the bushes.

On the morning of May 1, I left Boscobed with the herd at daylight, and followed the troops to the United States Ford, the road traveled by the troops on the preceding night being very plainly defined by the thousands of overcoats and blankets abandoned on the march. The day was exceedingly sultry, the roads impeded by trains, and our progress consequently slow. One ox died from beat. At dark we were 1 mile from the point I desired to reach, Mr. White's house, about three quarters of a mile this side of the ford, and I was obliged to halt. Made my dispositions for the night, established my guard, and myself came on to Mr. White's house, and dispatched a communication to yourself, informing you of my location.

On the morning of May 2, at 1.30 o'clock, received an order from your adjutant-general, desiring me to report immediately in person to yourself. I immediately started, reaching the front at about 2.30 a.m., and reported. As soon as it was fully light I visited the several divisions, found that two of them would run out of meat on that day, and reporting the fact to yourself, at Chancellorsville, recommended that beef-cattle be brought over and fresh beef issued to the troops.

You immediately made application to General Hooker, commanding the army, and he granted permission to bring over the pontoon bridges the number of cattle desired. Not being able to find the division commissaries, I took one brigade commissary from each division and re-crossed to this side of the river, and started 82 head of beef-cattle, two days' supply for two divisions and one for the other, in charge of the three brigade commissaries above mentioned. They immediately proceeded to the front with the cattle. Those for the Second Division were taken to the immediate rear of the division and slaughtered, but before the beef could be issue the troops were ordered to advance, and upon their return they were in too haste to stop for the beef, and a large portion of it, except that which had been stolen by the Eleventh Corps, fell into the hands of the enemy. Of the 18 head of beef taken to the Third Division, 12 were returned to me and 6 were slaughtered and issued. Those intended for the First Division were taken charge of by the several brigade commissaries, and, while advancing down to the division on the Plank road to the right of Chancellorsville-Captain J. E. Sweet, assistant commissary of subsistence, of the First Brigade, being in advance with 14 head for his brigade, and Captain [George W.] Cooney, commissary of subsistence of the Second Brigade, with those for his brigade, about 20 rods in the rear-the road between them was suddenly filled with rebel troops, and they were obliged to make their retreat to the rear, which they both did, saving all their cattle. Leaving their cattle, with those intended for the Third Brigade, in charge of a guard, they reported to me.

Upon the following morning these cattle were all missing, and it was the second day before they were found, which they were found, which they ultimately were, and all saved but one.

After issuing the beef-cattle, finding there was time in the afternoon, I returned to Captain [William R.] Murphy, commissary of subsistence, in charge of the general herd, and drew 52 head, all he had, procured