War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0488 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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first New York Volunteer; Captain Horace Walker, Fifth Wisconsin Volunteers; First Lieutenant Joseph G. Roberts, Sixth Maine Volunteers.

By command of Major-General Hooker:

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

In pursuance of Special Orders, Numbers 65, from headquarters Army of the Potomac, the board therein detailed assembled, and proceeded to make the experiment required and arrived at the conclusion herein-after stated.

In order to ascertain the amount of weight usually carried by soldiers in this army, average knapsacks were weighed, with the contents therein and blanket rolled on top, and the men weight was found to be 15 1/2 pounds.

We then took out the contents of the knapsack,and packed inside ten days' rations of hard bread, to wit:

Pounds.

100 biscuits and ten days' sugar and coffee, and it then

weighed, with blanket...................................... 17

Without blanket............................................ 11 3/4

With a change of clothing-shirt, drawers, and socks........ 18 1/2

With coffee, sugar, and desiccated vegetables............. 20 1/2

Three days' rations of biscuit, bacon, and small-stores were

put into a haversacks, and it weighed...................... 5 3/4

The average weight of blanket.............................. 5 1/4

The average weight of overcoat............................. 5 1/4

The average weight of half shelter-tent.................... 1 3/4

The average weight of change of clothing................... 2

It was found what knapsacks would easily contain one hundred crackers, and that it was better to place at least as much as one shirt in the part of the knapsacks next to the soldier's back, in order that the biscuit might not chafe the skin, and that so long as a knapsack is carried neither the weight of the extra clothing nor the space occupied by it was sufficient to justify dispensing with the same; in fact, it can be carried better than not.

It is also to be observed that ten biscuits, although called a day's ration are not sufficient upon the march, whenn no other articles, such as beans, rice, and desiccated vegetables are issued.

The board further placed five days' rations of bacon in a haversack, with ten days' coffee and sugar, and that amount was tried upon a soldier and worn without difficulty. But it should be here stated that the haversacks is found, when loaded to its capacity, to fatigue,the men in moderate or cold weather more than a knapsack with 15 pounds inside.

The board, after numerous experiments, and from their previous experience with troops in the field, agreed upon the following conclusion: As a maximum the men, by dispensing with extra clothing, except one extra shirt, drawers, and socks, can carry in their knapsacks one hundred biscuits and eight days' small-stores and, in the haversacks two days' cooked rations, which, with eight days' fresh beef upon the hoof, will make ten days' full rations Two days' only are put in the haversack for the reason that the weight is more easily carried upon the back.

The board also thought that if two pack-mules with pack-saddles were furnished to each regiment, a sufficient number of camp-kettles might be carried, with rations of rice, beans, and desiccated vegetables sufficient to cook the fresh beef properly, and furnish the necessary