War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 0842 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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letter of General Meigs*,, and have the honor of submitting the following statement:

The Eleventh Corps (as by transportation report of June 1, forwarded to you, will appear) had on hand-

Horses. Mules.

June 1 1, 763 1, 765

Received by transfers and new regiments

451 630

_______ _______

2, 214 2, 395

Transferred and left with regiments 539 428

_______ ________

1, 675 1, 967

Killed in battle and abandoned, as by statement in detail, annexed. 207 52

_______ ________

1, 468 1, 915

On hand, as by report August 1 1, 515 2, 033

Excess(taken up on the march) 47 118

Which excess I may be permitted to remark is more in accordance with charges of a different character heretofore made against the Eleventh Corps, which was alleged to be quite incapable of abandoning any portable property convenient to their line of march.

The trains of the Eleventh Corps have invariably and promptly been at the time when and palace where ordered, and neither troops nor animals nave wanted or been short of rations at any time. This could hardly have been the case if we had abandoned, as charged, (1, 100), about one-third of our animals.

It is improbable that any one public animal has been improperly abandoned by or from the trains of the Eleventh Corps. While on the march, I have always caused extra animal to be led, generally in the rear of the trains, under charge of a reliable wagon-master, who was directed to take out any exhausted animal from any team and substitute a fresh one, or a whole team, when necessary. The men who follow with the extra animals are also instructed to take up every United States horse or mule that is useful, or likely to become so with care.

The rapid and fatiguing marches required have thus been made promptly, and I have found it necessary to abandon in the trains: From exhaustion, 22 animals, from lameness, 19: from glanders and distemper, 3; in al, only 44 abandoned in the trains. It will be observed, however, that 55 horses were abandoned from exhaustion. Of these, 45,, were artillery horses. Artillery horses are not under control of the quartermaster's department after being transferred to the batteries. But it is well known that artillery is the most destructive branch of service upon horses, and although not exactly pertinent to this report, I will venture the suggestion that the cause is mostly in the very faulty and unnecessarily bad method of hitching the horses to the load. The weight of the guns of caissons is not sufficient to account for the bad condition of the animals. I believe four horses properly hitched will do the work now expected of six, and keep in good order, if hitched so as properly and fairly to divide the labor and equalize the draft upon the shoulders of the animals. In fact, I have reason to know from actual experiment that the hitching and harnessing of artillery horses has much if not most to do with the rapid deterioration of the animals.

General Meigs complains also that a large number of horses and mules branded U. S. are found in possession of "sutlers and others, "


* See p. 230.