HDQRS. SIXTH CORPS, CHIEF QUARTERMASTER'S OFFICE, May 23, 1863.
Brigadier General R. INGALLS,
Chief Quartermaster Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: In compliance with your circular of the 22nd, directing a report of the movements of the quartermaster's department of this corps in the recent operations, and calling for information on various subjects, I have the honor to make the following report:
The movements of the is corps were somewhat peculiar and not well adapted to test the operations of some of the methods of equipment and supply adopted. The actual marching during the ten days' operations was only about 15 miles, and during the advance of the corps it was engaged in almost incessant conflict. These peculiarities, however, furnished evidence which could not be obtained under ordinary circumstances relative to the plan of carrying rations in knapsacks and ammunition on pack-mules. To these matters I will allude below.
The corps left its camps in the vicinity of White Oak Church on the 28th of April, and marched about 5 miles to the bluffs bordering on the Rappahannock. I selected a field about a mile in the rear of the buffs for the parking of the trains, and the entire trains of the First and Second Division and the Light Brigadewere parked there on the following morning. The train of the Third Division remained in its previous situation, about a mile to the rear.
The First Division crossed the river the same night, and laid on the opposite bank during April 29 and 30, and May 1 and 2, being reenforced on the 1st by the Light Brigade. The entire corps did not cross till May 2.
On the 1st, I concentrated the whole train in the field mentioned above. During this time wagons were sent to the front as supplies were needed, carrying chiefly forage and articles needed by the staffs of the various brigades and divisions. No wagons remained across the river or upon the front. The officers on the opposite shore were not supplied with camp equipage.
On the night of May 2, the corps, having crossed, marched to Fredericksburg (about 3 miles), and captured the enemy's fortifications.
On the 3rd, it proceeded about 4 miles on the Chancellorsville Plank road, meeting constant opposition, and late in the afternoon having a severe engagement. I had, during the day, moved the trains of the corps to the fields adjoining the Lacy house, opposite Fredericksburg. The pack-mules, with ammunition, forage, and officers' baggage, had accompanied the troops. But few wagons accompanied the column, only a portion of those belonging to the batteries and the various general headquarters. Supplies of ammunition and forage were sent to the front in wagons on the night of the 3rd, returning early on the 4th. The enemy having sent a force in the rear to the heights of Fredericksburg, captured 6 teams and a number of pack-mules as they were returning to the river. The wagons containing hospital supplies were left at the hospitals, in charge of the medical department.
On the afternoon of the 4th, the corps had another severe engagement, and during the night recrossed the river at Banks' Ford, a point distant by the road on this side of the river about 6 miles from the park of the train.
Ammunition and supply wagons were now sent up in considerable numbers. A large proportion of the rations carried by the men had been