performed their very arduous and responsible duties with great credit to themselves and advantage to the service. The chief quartermaster at the principal depot always kept direct charge of the water transportation in James River. The other branches of the department, however, such as employes, forage, clothing, and railroad transportation, were in charge of subordinate quartermasters, selected for peculiar fitness, subject to the supervision of the chief depot quartermaster, who was required to report to me in writing every day, such as arrivals and clearances of shipping, receipts and issues of clothing, forage, &c. The chief quartermaster of each army was required to render, on or before the 25th of every month, a detailed, consolidated estimate, revised and approved by the army commander, of the supplies required for issue to the army the month following. Upon this data I prepared and submitted my estimate for the combined forces on or before the 1st of each month. This method had very many good results. It compelled all interested to ascertain the real wants of the troops, and to secure their regular and prompt supply. No quartermaster's stores were permitted to be sent to the armies, except over my signature. The funds were generally deposited to the credit of Bvt. Lieutenant Colonel William T. Howell, on duty in my office as disbursing officer, on my requisition, and distributed by him to division and brigade quartermasters on their estimates, duly approved by the various commanders and countersigned by me. My printed orders and circulars in the hands of my subordinates prescribed the manner in which they should perform their duties on all points where the regulations and general orders were silent. An extensive repair depot was established nead placed in charge of Bvt. Lieutenant Colonel E. J. Strang, who received all serviceable animals and means of transportation from the Washington depot and made the issues to the armies, and who received from the armies unserviceable stock, wagons, ambulances, &c. and shipped back all that could not be repaired in his shops. He employed a force of about 1,800 carpenters, wheelwrights, blacksmiths, suddlers, corral hands, teamsters, laborers, and guards.
During the year ending June 30, 1865, he had repaired 3,653 army wagons and 2,414 ambulances. He had shod 19,618 horses and 31,628 mules. He received 27,116 serviceable horses and 10,893 mules, 436 wagons, and 36 ambulances. He received from the troops 16,344 unserviceable horses, 9,684 mules, 1,392 wagons, and 400 ambulances. He received also by the surrender of Lee's army 400 horses, 1,300 mules, 101 wagons, and 99 ambulances. He issued to the troops 31,386 horses, 18,891 mules, 1,536 wagons, and 370 ambulances. He sent back for recuperation and repair 13,575 horses, 4,313 mules, 743 wagons, and 36 ambulances, besides a great amount of harness and other property. I mention these items simply to convey an idea of the duties to be performed at depots. This was only one branch. As soon as we occupied City Point, General McCallum, the able officer in charge of U. S. military railroads, had a strong construction corps on the spot prepared to rebuild the railroad up to our lines near Petersburg, and afterward as fast as the army gained ground to the southeast a temporary extension was laid close to our forces, until finally it extended to Hatcher's Run, a distance of about nineteen miles. Along this road were stations, as described in my last report on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, where sidings and platforms were made for the prompt distribution of supplies to the different commands. This road saved much wear and tear of the wagon trains and enabled the lieutenant-general to concentrate troops rapidly at any desirable point. After the surrender of