War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0229 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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The chartered fleet consisted of -steamers, 177; tugs, 69; sail vessels 74; barges, 100; tonnage, 138,440 tons.

Total number of vessels, 590; tonnage, 193,936 tons; daily cost, $82,400.

During the fiscal year the average size of the transport fleet was

Number Tons.

Steamers............................... 352 171,081

Steam-tugs............................. 111 13,262

Sail-vessels........................... 89 17,738

Barges................................. 168 22,903

Total.................................. 719 224,984

Its average daily cost was $92,414.

The report of Colonel Wise, who is in charge of this branch of the Quartermaster-General's Office, contains some important observations upon the construction and management of steam ocean transports.

At the beginning of the war the department was imposed upon. Officers and agents had little experience, and inferior vessels were sometimes chartered, and excessive prices were paid for steamers chartered from the regular trade, not them entirely and hopelessly broken up by the war.

Stringent measures of reform were adopted; a scale of prices for the different classes of vessels was fixed by the order of the Quartermaster of vessels was brought to this office. All charters contained provisions to enable the United to purchase the vessels at a reasonable price, provided that should prove advantageous, and system,order, and regularity were introduced into the service.

This branch of the service, on the reorganization of this office under the law of the 4th of July, 1864, was assigned to the Third Division of the office, under the direction of Colonel G. D. Wise. The safety efficiency, dispatch, and punctuality with which its affairs have been conducted do him high honor.

At one time 40,000 men have been afloat. The fleet has averaged 719 vessels of all classes, with a burden of 225,000 tons. But three vessels have been lost during the year, through the greatest and most important movements were made during the inclement months of the winter-from January to May.

Very full tables which accompany this report give details in reference to the transport fleet and the operations of the department upon the ocean and upon the waters of the coast.

RAIL AND RIVER TRANSPORTATION.

The service of transportation upon the Western rivers has been under the direction of the Fourth Division of this office.

Colonel L. B. Persons, who had been placed in charge of the Western river transportation in 1863 just before the preparations for the campaign of Atlanta commenced, was upon the organization of the division of rail and river transportation in this office called to its head. He has conducted the service with great efficiency and economy. Of some of the more important movements his reported gives