War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0546 Chapter XXXVII. N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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Very many abandoned their knapsacks on going into action. The impulse with the soldiers to throw off all impediments, under such circumstances, in almost irresistible. With proper discipline, soldiers can be made to take care of their knapsacks and all other property put on their persons. On the late campaign a blanket should have been taken, but no overcoat. Both weigh a man down too heavily, and are not necessary in moderate weather. When men become heated or fatigued, they will throw away such articles as are not imperatively needed. On short campaigns, or marches of four or five days without wagons, I would not take a knapsack at all, but would put the rations in the haversacks, and other things in the blanket, well folded, and thrown over the right shoulder, and looped under the left arm. But if knapsacks containing rations, &c., are worn by troops, they should be made to fight with them on; or, if that be deemed unadvisable, great care should away properly in the rear. On the late campaign, the army abandoned in battle about 25 per cent. of the whole number. With due precaution, these might, of course, have been saved. Along the roads and at camp-grounds I saw many parts of blankets, overcoats, &c., discarded. The accompanying reports will show quite clearly how much clothing was used up and abandoned in the campaign.

The army was perfectly equipped at the commencement in every particular, so far as concerned our department. The issues made immediately after were to supply deficiencies, which arose in the interim. On future marches this army will correct the errors referred to.

Question. 12. "Have the men shown ability to carry those supplies without injury to health?"

Answer. The troops exhibited adequate strength to carry all the articles composing their outfit.

Marches were never made with more cheerfulness, vigor, and regularity. The army could have marched the eight days without embarrassment, so far as supplies were concerned. While at Chancellorsville, no difficulty was experienced by our department in bringing forward all that was required. At no time did I feel that there could be any failure to supply the army on either side of the Rappahannock.

Question 13. "What are the daily marches? A map or itinerary of each brigade's or division's march would be of value."

Answer. A sketch is inclosed, marked M, * showing the theater of the operations. the system of transportation adopted with this army works admirably, and experience and observation have suggested no further change. I am satisfied with it, and I believe this army is. The number of ambulances is now reduced to two to each regiment.

The pack-mule system cannot be relied on for long marches with heavy columns. I shall have few hereafter, and intend to make them auxiliary simply to wagons, for short distances over rough country, where there are few and bad roads.

The new standard of means of transportation for the cavalry is as follows:

Four wagons to each 1,000 men for small-arm ammunition.

One wagon for hospital supplies for each regiment.

One wagon for regimental headquarters.

One wagon and two pack-mules for each company.

I do not consider that this scale can be amended. I desire to state that all the animals belonging to our department are now in splendid.


*Was not inclosed.