Report of Captain William H. Harris, U. S. Ordnance Department, Senior Ordnance Officer.
Cincinnati, January 1, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report in relation to the ordnance department during the campaign of the Army of the Ohio in East Tennessee:
At the time the movement was commenced, about 15th of August, the army was by no means as well supplied with ordnance stores as it should have been; cavalry was armed as mounted infantry, and in the same regiment was frequently to be found several different calibers of arms. This is to be attributed to the fact that commanding officers of regiments, having been in the service but a short time, had neglected to conform strictly to the regulations in respect to having their commands mustered in and properly armed and equipped for service. The cavalry force, too, had been for a long time constantly engaged in a most active pursuit of the rebel General Morgan, and but little time was permitted them to prepare for a new campaign.
The march into Tennessee, constantly increasing the distance from the depot of supplies, rendered it necessary that much ammunition should be taken with the army by wagon train, and this supply was the large on account of the variety of calibers and kinds of arms in use.
A train of 200 wagons, carrying ammunition of fourteen different varieties for small-arms and nine for artillery, moved with the army, and arrived successfully at Knoxville about 10th of September. This train also carried 5,000 stand of arms, with accouterments, to be issued to loyal citizens of Tennessee, who were employed in different capacities in the vicinity of their homes. The depot at Cincinnati, from which these supplies were taken, was immediately refilled upon requisition being made to General Ripley, Chief of Ordnance, at Washington.
The success which attended our movements made the expenditure of ordnance stores very slight. The arms and accouterments, which were taken into East Tennessee, were, by the orders of the general commanding, issued to East Tennesseeans, whose loyalty to the United States Government led them almost unanimously to arm themselves in protecting their homes against rebel incursions and our trains of supplies against attack.
At Knoxville an ordnance depot was established for the issue of ammunition and upon the arrival of trains of supplies they were at once unloaded or issued to the different division ordnance officers for immediate use.
The Knoxville Arsenal, established by the rebels, and commanded by the rebel Major Reynolds, of the rebel ordnance department, consisted of a fine brick building, with storehouse, blacksmith's and carriage-maker's shops detached.
The engine and stores had been removed, but about 2,000 pikes or spears and 2,500 pounds of crude niter were abandoned by them.
This was placed in charge of the ordnance department, as well as the fine machine-shops and foundry of Messrs. Shepard, Maxwell & Hoyt, car manufacturers and machinists.