occasion heretofore to ask that receive promotion as a testimony that his service have been recognized and appreciated by his country as they are by the chief of this department.
Although in the acting operations of the past four years, and especially during the unprecedented movements of the last year, very heavy demands have been made upon this branch of the department, is has been to place the material needed at the right places and at the right moment.
During the last year large armies have changed their bases. The army of General Sherman from the Tennessee and Ohio to the Atlantic Coast at Savannah; then again to the harbor of Beaufort, N. C, several hundred miles distant. Yet at eacases this army, from 70,000,000 strong, found the supplies for a complete new outfit ready for issue. Most of the clothing and equipage for this purpose was sent from New York. Details of the operation are found elsewhere in this report.
So armies of 15,000 to 25,000 men have been during the past year suddenly moved from the Tennessee to the Atlantic; from the Tennessee to the Gulf Coast; from the James to the Rio Grande; but from none of these new fields and bases of operation, in the midst of these sudden and gigantic movements, has the complaint been made of suffering for want of any of the supplies which it is the duty of this department to provide or to transport.
Colonel George D. Wise, in charge of the Third Division of this office reports that during the first month of the fiscal year the office work of the division-that of ocean and lake transportation-was embarrassed by the absence of most of the clerks and officers, who were called to active service in the field during the demonstration and attack on the capital by the rebel under Early and Breckinridge. During this time, however, the necessary steamer transportation was assembled at City Point and moved to Washington and Baltimore the Sixth Army Corps in time to meet the advancing enemy at the battles of the Monocacy and the attack on Washington. The Nineteenth Army Corps was also brought from the Chesapeake, where it was arriving by sea from new Orleans, and reached Washington in time to take part in the operations for its defense and in the pursuit of the baffled enemy.
During the month of July, also, the army of Major-General Canby was moved by sea from New Orleans to Mobile Bay, co-operating with the navy in the reduction of the fortification at its entrance.
From August to December no great movements or troops by sea were made, but a large fleet was constantly employed in supplying the armies before Richmond and the troops at the various stations along the coast from the Chesapeake to New Orleans.
In the inclement month of December the approach of General Sherman's army to the coast required a large fleet to be employed in readiness to supply and refit that army after its long march from Atlanta. Transports were dispatched to Pensacola with supplies to await the arrival of the troops, should unexpected opposition compel General Sherman to change his course to the south.
The grater part of the stores intended for his use, however, were sent direct to Port Royal Harbor,there to await his arrival at some point on the coast of the Carolinas of Georgia.
15 R R-SERIES III, VOL V