War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0333 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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has subdivided the rations as above indicated each mess cooks the rations allotted in such manner as is thought best, and this embraces many methods. There are but four Farmer's boilers in use in the entire camp so far as I could learn by personal inspection, and no proper shelter is constructed for the use of these. There is much complaint among the men about a want of cooking utensils and such common furniture as a tin plate, cup, knife and fork, and this complaint is well founded in very instances. As well illustrating this I refer you to paper* marked D (4) inclosed and the accompanying letter*. This is a list of the camp and garrison equipage and cooking utensils now in possession of the Fourth Battalion. I desire to call your attention to the manner in which these articles are absorbed by some of the companies while others have none at all of particular articles. The Fourth Battalion it will be observed numbers nearly 3,000 men, divided into thirty-three companies and but one officer with them all. One reason of the unequal distribution of the articles referred to is that on the departure of troops the articles of camp furniture left behind in their tents are immediately seized upon by the companies remaining instead of being turned in to the quartermaster's department and reissued proportionally to the wants of the troops remaining. The quartermaster has not assistance enough, nor are there permanently stationed officers enough in camp to attend to this matter. And it would appear that the paroled officers leaving with the troops under the present arrangements do not interest themselves sufficiently to see that it is done. As a consequence of this neglect the quartermaster at the camp has informed me that on the departure of any considerable number of troops he goes to the tents vacated by them with a wagon and picks up whatever he can. Generally this is such property as has not been appropriated by the soldiers remaining. The paper* marked D (4) will show some facts relating to this matter. It will be seen that much of this irregularity and present neglect of the paroled officers and non-commissioned officers placed temporarily in charge of the troops would be avoided by having at least one commissioned officer to each 500 men and one non-commissioned officer to each company of 100 men permanently stationed at the camp, not only to attend to the wants of the men and to see that the furniture is properly provided, distributed and cared for but to attend to the records of the various battalions, which have been greatly neglected from a want of proper officers. I desire to call your attention to the inner page of the paper* marked D (4). These are several requisitions for camp and garrison equipage and clothing which have been recently submitted but the articles never have been issued. The men have been and are greatly complaining for want of these articles and the officer (Captain Miller) has informed me that his requisitions are not honored and that he cannot get the articles. The quartermaster at the camp (Captain Kiersted) informs me that the requisitions were returned to Captain Miller to be put in proper from and that Captain Miller did not do this and that consequently the articles were not issued. In the meantime the soldiers are without these necessaries, many of them, while others have an abundance as will be seen from the list* D (4). There seems to exist considerable unpleasant feeling in the matter and I do not think that in all the necessary care is taken by the officers at the headquarters of the camp to avoid this and to consult only the true interests of the service. The commanding officer, Colonel Sangster, does everything in his power but he lacks experience, and as he is not properly assisted there is but little method in the labor compared to what there should be.

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* Not found.

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