June 30, 1863: As in introduction to this repot it may not be improper to revert to the last week of April, 1861, and briefly to allude to the events which have since transpired in connection with the history of this depot. Upon arriving in Washington I found the city garrisoned by a few detachments of the Regular Army hastily summonned for its, defense, provided with none of the appliances necessary for their comfort or subsistence except those which every soldier in the field is furnished. No organization of a depot of supplies had been instituted, and not a wagon, an animal, or an article of camp or garrison equipage was on hand for use or issue. The three-months' volunteers called from the daily avocation of civil life, totally ignorant of the detail of military affairs, were arriving in large numbers, and to the duty of providing for them was supperaded that of general instructor upon almost every conceivable subject connected with their new position. Many, and indeed most of them, expected to be provided with all the comfort to which they had been accustomed, and a refusal to comply with their often unreasonable requests involved long explanations of law and regulations, which were rarely satisfactory to the disspointed applicant. Having the assistance of but two commissioned officer -Capts (then lieutenants) E. E. Camp and A. W. Putnam-from the want of material with which to work and from the impossibility of procuring competent clerical force, the labor of the first two months I was stationed here for exceeded that of any subsequent period of equal duration, although the actual results were comparatively small.
On the 6th of July, 1861, Captain Edward L. Hartz, assistant quartermaster, U. S. Army, reported for duty under my direction, and about the same time Lieutenant Edward Ross, Seventh U. S. Infantry was assigned to this post as an acting assistant quartermaster and Captain George Gibson, Jr., as military store-keeper. With these four gentlemen as my assistants I commenced the organization of this depot upon as large a scale as the exigencies of the service then seemed to require, and succeeded in fitting out the army which, under command of General McDowell, fought the first battle of Bull Run. The disastrous result of this battle and the consequent necessity of refitting that army, as well as supplying the additional forces which were assembling at this point, again tasked to their utmost the energy, zeal, and capacity of every officer here and involved a large increase of the clerical and other force. Up to the 21st of July, 1861, no thought had been entertained of establishing the main depot of the army at Washington. Looking upon the capture of Richmond as a consequence of the advance of our army, and anticipating the placing of the depot of supplies at that point to sustain it in its operations farther south, no effort was made, with a view to a permanent establishment, to systematize operations here. All the store-houses, stables, and other buildings which has been erected were of the cheapest and most temporary character, suited only for a short summer campaign, but it having become evident that the war to be of a longer duration than had been anticipated arrangements were made for the permanent accomodation and protection of the public animals and stores. The building know as the "Corporan Art Builing" was taken for the use of the clothing department, large store-houses were erected, commodious stores built, and the organization of the depot perfected, although even at this time had it been supposed that it would have attained its present magnitude, or that necessity for it would have so long existed, the buildings erected would have been of a more substantial character and more appropriate sites would have been selected. In fact, I am now of the opinion that it would have been better originally to have selected without the limits of the city some locality easily