who claim to have purchased them. This is an old and well-known trick of "sutlers and others"who not only counterfeit certificates of sale, but also brand good U. S. horses with C, and blister off the Government mark when possible. Quartermasters cannot be justly held responsible in such cases further then to seize any horse which has ever been a Government horse, and hold it until undoubted evidence of property shall be furnished. It is always safe to reverse the rule of common law, and adjudge a sutler guilty until he prove his innocence.
I believe that "great vigilance and severity" have not been wanting in the quartermaster's department of the Eleventh Corps, and, indeed, throughout the entire Army of the Potomac, to"protect the public interests during such rapid movements" and at all other times since I have had the honor to be connected therewith.
WM. G. Le Duc, Lieutenant-colonel, and chief quartermaster
WAR DEPARTMENT, QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., december 6, 1878.
Captain R. N. SCOTT, Third Artillery, in charge Publication Office, War Record, 1861-'65, Washington, C. C.:
Captain: Referring to your request of May 27, 1878, for copies of correspondence in June, 1863, between this office and Col Rufus Ingalls, Assistant Quartermaster-general, chief quartermaster Department of the Potomac, concerning loss of horses in that army, yo are hereby informed that, after careful and repeated search in this office, the papers requested have not been found.
An abstract of the papers which accompanied the report of this office to the Honorable Secretary of War, dated August 3, 1863, upon this case, is furnished herewith.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. C. Meigs,
Quartermaster-general, Bvt. Major-general, U. S. Army.
AUGUST 3, 1863.
Abstract of papers* relating to horses lost or abandoned on the march of the Army of the Potomac.
1. Letter from Brigadier General R. Ingalls, chief quartermaster, July 20,, 1863, transmitting letters from Colonel Sawtelle and Captain L. H. Peirce, whose explanations he thinks satisfactory. Was himself a witness of the stampede (referred to by a telegram to the Secretary of War), on the march of the army from Falmouth to Dumfries. It was something which, under the circumstances, could not be avoided.
2. Letter from Lieutenant Colonel C. G. Sawtelle, dated 29th June, 1863, to General Ingalls. Details the preparations he made at Aquia Creed for the transportation of army stores and sick and wounded soldiers
*See Meigs to Ingalls, June 20, p. 230; Ingalls to Meigs, June 23, p. 275, Ingalls to Meigs, August 28, p. 841.