War of the Rebellion: Serial 104 Page 0185 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

the quartermaster's department for the month of March: (1) Early in the month I called for a report of the surplus ambulances, wagons, harness, &c., in the department, in order to know what was available elsewhere and to order all unserviceable back here for repairs. I inclose you a copy of my consolidated report for the department, the original of which went forward to Brigadier General Robert Allen, chief quartermaster, at Louisville, by his request, for transmittal to Washington March 21. (2) About the same time I ordered my inspecting officer, Captain M. D. Wicksham, assistant quartermaster, into East Tennessee to inspect and report upon the condition of quartermasters' affairs in that region, just previously added to this department. His report was received some days ago, and the condition of affairs there seems in the main satisfactory, though calling for correction in some minor points, which have already been attended to. A copy of his report will be sent to the Quartermaster General within a day or two-as soon as the same can be prepared. (3) During this month General Orders, No . 10, from your headquarters, current series, opening U. S. military railroads and transports to private freight and travel to such limited extent as the public service would justify, has gone into full operation. I deem the order a wise one, and as the fruits of it have to report the earnings of the roads fore the current month at $46,067.28, which I consider as so much clear gain to the Government. The earnings of the transports on the Cumberland River for the same time foot up about $3,407.89. I inclose copy of report of earnings of roads for the month of March, as also for month of February, though the order was not then fully in force. (4) The great flood here occurred early in the month, and though it seriously affected our railroads, it did not materially interfere with the necessary workings of the department. All the roads were more or less damaged, but the quartermaster's department suffered no material loss anywhere, except at Eastport, where the loss of public property is reported at between 20,000 and 30,000 sacks of grain and a few old wagons, ambulances, tents, &c. Lieutenant Colonel A. J. Mackay, chief quartermaster of the army there in charge, reports that the loss was unavoidable, but a board of survey has been convened to adjudicate upon the facts. His report, as also a special report of my own in the case, were forwarded to the Quartermaster-General some days since. No loss worthy of mention occurred either here or at Chattanooga or Knoxville. (5) Our supplies for the month have mostly been ample, though for a few days we were short of shelter-tents, to meet the unexpected demands of the twenty-two new regiments recently ordered to this department. Since then, however, a full supply of tentage has come forward, and we are now getting in a large stock of everything to meet the demands of the summer. My clothing, camp and garrison equipage officer, Captain Cox, is now at Cincinnati with heavy estimates on hand to hurry forward the bulk of what we shall need for the summer, before navigation closes, and I apprehend that we shall soon have abundance off all essential articles. Full supplies of clothing, &c., and current quartermaster's stores are already in store at Chattanooga and Knoxville, as also of forage-50,000 sacks at the former place and 35,000 at the letter-and with the railroads in good operation we shall be able to cram both depots at any time. I need scarcely add that all supplies here, so far as quartermaster's department is concerned, are on a large scale, and I shall take care that they are kept up to a magnitude sufficient to meet all the wants of the coming campaign. Our supply of forage is especially good, though much that was received late in February and early in March was of a very inferior character. It consisted largely of damage corn, shelled and sacked before it was