War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0550 Chapter XXXVII. N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

Search Civil War Official Records

moved to the vicinity of Franklin's crossing, under the direction of the then chief quartermaster of this corps, Lieutenant Colonel W. E. Morford. The total train of the corps was composed as follows:


Supply train............................................... 119

Ammunition train, heavy and light.......................... 121

Baggage train.............................................. 282


Total...................................................... 522

This train reached its destination by 12 m. on Wednesday, the 29th ultimo; was then placed in park, and remained there until Thursday afternoon following. At that time this army corps was ordered to move rapidly to the right, to unite with and support the Second, Fifth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Corps, then at or near United Stated Ford, and the trains were ordered to follow as rapidly as possible. We broke park about 5 p. m., and when we reached these headquarters received orders to park the baggage and supply trains, and push forward at all hazards the ammunition trains. The general baggage and supply trains of the corps never left this vicinity afterward, though a part of the supply trains were detached and sent to the front, as occasion required. The roads were very heavy in the vicinity of the river, and events proved that great wisdom was manifested in leaving the trains so far in the rear.

The trains, with full teams, were loaded with an average weight of from 2,000 to 2,500 pounds, respectively, as follows: Ammunition train, with ammunition, light and heavy, and eight days' rations of grain; supply train, with subsistence stores and eight days' rations of grain; supply trains, with private baggage, general camp and garrison equipage, and eight days' rations of grain.

In all, our trains carried: Forage, heavy, eight days' rations; subsistence, five days' rations; ammunition, 40 rounds per man.

In accordance with orders from headquarters Army of the Potomac, the troops carried 40 rounds of ammunition in their boxes and 20 about their persons. In addition to this, they carried an eight days' supply of marching rations, three of cooked in their haversacks, and five of hard bread, coffee, and sugar in their knapsacks-fresh beef being supplied on the hoof as its was required. Of clothing, they carried but little, as the principal amount they had was stored at Potomac Creek, in accordance with orders prior to the movement. They were limited to one great-coat, one extra shirt, one extra pari of drawers, and one extra pair of stockings, and few carried more than this, though some regiments in part retained their blankets. Therefore the average weight carried by the men, independent of their arms and accouterments, I judge to be about 30 pounds.

Very little clothing was thrown away, in consequence of its having been mainly stored as above. Of knapsacks we lost about one-thirtieth, unsung and piled up by order of immediate commanders, as the troops were about moving into battle, and then left behind and abandoned when compelled to retire before the enemy. As near as I can discover, I judge we lost of knapsacks 700.

In the matter of carrying knapsacks on such marches, my opinion is that it depends entirely upon the nature of the movement. If the march is to be short and rapid or severe, then knapsacks are purely impedimenta. But in such a movement as I understood the recent one was intended to be, they were really essential. So far as my observation extends, the chief fault lies in immediate commanders ordering