Lawrence I was directed to select these animals from among the best in the train. This took the animals from six wagons, and the best that I had. The morning of the 7th I was ordered to follow the train of the Twenty-fourth Corps, and to take my wagons all along i possible. Several horses and mules were sent to me to enable me to get therm along, but they were nearly all broken-down animals and had never been worked together. A guard was left with them and under the general direction of the acting assistant quartermaster First Brigade. The next day on our arrival at Farmville I was ordered by Lieutenant-Colonel Lawrence, acting chief quartermaster, to send all the unserviceable wagons to Burkeville with the animals. The number of the wagons sent was sixteen. These, in addition to the six left at Burkeville, making twenty-two, were to remain at Burkeville to recruit their strength. Three of these I was obliged to leave in camp in the neighborhood of Burkeville, under the charge of Lieutenant Brown, Twenty-fourth Army Corps, who had been ordered there for the purpose of taking charge of unserviceable wagons. The march from Appomattox Court-House to Petersburg was arduous in the extreme, a great deal of rain falling during the time occupied in making it, this making the roads muddy and heavy. Fortunately the wagons were loaded light, and by order of the brevet brigadier-general the loads were equalized throughout the train.
The First Brigade was furnished with five additional wagons, the Second Brigade with six, and the Third Brigade with four. The unserviceable train from Burkeville was left under the charge of Lieutenant M. S. Towne, regimental quartermaster, Forty-fifth U. S. Colored Troops, with directions to march by easy stages to Petersburg. He reported to me within forty-eight hours after the arrival of the main train. The teams of the division were not out of forage during the entire march, and only for a few days were the rations reduced below the authorized allowance. A forage train was placed at the head of the train daily and foraging parties sent in advance to scour the country in search of grain, which was generally found. The wagon train of this division was not in a condition to participate in such marches as were called upon to make.
On the 27th of March, when I took charge of the division, there wee in the supply train fifty-three teams and in the ammunition train twenty teams. Of these seventy-three teams not more than forty could be called serviceable. It became evident during the early part of the march that there had been a lack of energy in those who had previously had charge of the train. Wagon-masters and teamsters had been accustomed to do as they chose, and during the whole march I was obliged to personally superintend the hitching of teams.
I have now ten wagons, for which I have no serviceable animals. Requisition has, however, been made for them, and it is to be hoped that they will soon be obtained. With those and the means of transportation which I have estimated to be drawn in May,the train will be put in the best possible condition.
The total loss of mules during the march was 79; the total loss of horses was 31.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. V. PURINGTON,
Lieutenant and Regiment Q. M. Seventh U. S. Colored Troops,
and Acting Assistant Quartermaster.
Captain I. H. EVANS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
78 R R-VOL XLVI, PT I