War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0683 Chapter LI. NORTH Georgia AND NORTH ALABAMA.

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On the morning of the 22nd those detachments of the train which had a permanent organization and officers in charge (numbering over 500 wagons) were sent out in various directions with full details of men for guarding and loading, furnished by Colonel Dustin, and the trains returned during the same afternoon and evening generally well filled with corn. On the same afternoon, by order of Colonel Dustin, the train started on its return home and marched about three miles, when it was halted and parked and the organization perfected as far as possible by assigning officers to take charge of the consolidated miscellaneous wagons. On the morning of the 23rd all the empty wagons (amounting to over 300) were sent out under the charge of officers designated, and during the afternoon they returned, nearly all the wagons being well filled with corn. This completed our work, and the expedition again started on the return to Atlanta, marching as far Decatur, where it arrived and encamped quite late in the evening. On the morning of the 24th the expedition marched to Atlanta, and the various trains returned to their respective camps. I have the pleasure of reporting that all the quartermasters and officers in charge of the trains and assigned to such duty by me(as far my observation extended) conducted the business assigned to them in an energetic and efficient manner, and appeared to fully and kindly appreciate the somewhat embarrassing circumstances under which I was placed in being unexpectedly called to take charge of the unwieldy and extrous train. I desire particularly obligations to Lieutenant Pond, of the Department of the Cumberland, and Lieutenant Tabor, of the THIRD DIVISION, for valuable assistance. I regret to be called upon to notice one case of inefficiency on the part of the wagon- master in charge of Captain Hade's wagons. A portion of the teams in his charge were so late in reaching the corn-fields to which they were directed that the wagons could not be filled in time to reach camp before the train was ordered to move on its return home.

An actual and careful count of the wagons, ambulances, and other vehicles, made by my order between Decatur and Atlanta, on the return of the trains, shows the following result:

Army wagons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 825

Ambulances. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Other vehicles (one-horse wagons, carriages, &c.) . . . . . . . . . 48

Ox teams. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 928

Nearly all the army wagons and ambulances were well filled with corn, averaging to the wagons about 15 bushels (shelled) to the load and about 5 bushels to each ambulance-607,380 pounds of corn.

Of course it will be apparent to the comprehension of every person that such an immense train, with a large portion of it extremely disorganized, formed a most unwieldy machine to manage, and no one can be more conscious than myself that many glaring imperfections could be pointed out. I respectfully recommend that hereafter no trains of such size be permitted to start on foraging expeditions.

I desire to express my grateful feelings for the kindness and attention of Colonel Dustin, commanding the expedition. His assistance enabled me partially at least to organize the chaotic mass of animals, wagons, and men attached to the train. His prompt and energetic action in the furnished of details to guard and load the wagons enabled the officers to fill their trains with dispatch, and his conduct was that of a careful,