dispatch was attained in unloadig the cars to enable the railroad company to accomplish the extraordinary and entirely unforcessen amount of business thus suddenl forced upon it. To facilitate the prompt loading and unloading of cars, and to prevent conflict between the agents of the railroad and the various civil employes of this department, I relievd Captain Allen from duty with Captain Camp placed him in charge of all the details connected with that branch of the depot, with that branch of the depot, with full authority to give such orders as in his judgment would best insure the attainment of the object in view. When General McClellan advanced to Manassas with his army the movement was so suddenly made as to involve the necessity of the abandonment of almost all the sores which had accumulated in the camps during the previous winter, as well as the tents of the whole command, in some instances whole regiments leaving without even the officers taking any steps for the preservation of their personal effects. To collect preserve this property was a task of the greatest magnitude, and for ever a mouth several hundred wagons were constantly employed in hauling it to the city, independently of those working at Alexandria under the direction of Captain Ferguson. Captain W. A. Hawley, assistant quartermaster, U. S. Volunteers, having reported to me for duty, I on the 14th of March, 1862, placed him in charge of the abondoned camps of Smith's division. Lieutenant Ross was placed in charge of the camps of the Pennsylvania Reserve Division, and to Captain Allen was intrusted the duty of collecting the abondoned property from the camps north of the Potomac. The property thus collected was turned over to Captain Hartz, under whose supervision it was assorted and disposed of, either by transfer to its appropriate department or by storage in the warehouse his control. Having collected and turned in the property of the Pennsylvania Reserve Division, Lieutenant Ross was sent to Mattawoman Creek with nd a sufficient force to gather and transport to this city the abondoned property of Hooker's division.
The transfer of the Army of the Potomac to the Peninsula again changed the nature of operations at this point. The blockade having been raised, railroad transportation became a matter of secondary consideration, and the river was filled with every variety of transport, from the ocean steamer Constitution, with a carrying capacity for 50,000 men, to the smallest tide-water barge. The great body of the troops were embarked at Alexandria, while the supplies were principally drawn from this point. From Sixth Street Wharft alone were sent 1,000 army wagons, with drivers and teams completed, while every available point in the city was taken to facitilitate the loading of stores. I had relieved Captain Allen from his duties in connection with the railroad, and given him the general charge of the shipments from this city, and under his immediate supervision everything was conducted with the greatest possible dispatch, and fortunately without a single accident. On the 31st day of March a branch of the depot of army clothing and equipage was established at Alexandria, and Captain Hawley placed in charge. General McDowell having occupied Fredericksburg, on the 20th day of April I directed Lieutenant Ross to proceed to Aqua Creek, Va., for the purpose of establishing and superintending a depot of supplies at that point. Under his supervision warehouse were erected and arrangements commenced for the receipt, handling and protection of stores; and the U. S. Military Railroad Department having constructed wharves, relaid the track, and rebuilt the bridges on the road from Aquia Creek to Fredericksburg, no difficulty was experienced in