Numbers 86.* HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, Washington, D. C., September 28, 1865.
Bvt. Major General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit my annual report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1865, called for in your General Orders, Numbers 39, of July 1, of the present year.
By reference to my report of last year, rendered on the 28th of August, 1864, and which you did me the honor to publish with your own, together with my report for the previous fiscal year, and the Chancellorsville campaign, it will be observed that on the 1st of july, 1864, I was on duty at City Point, Va., at the headquarters of the lieutenant-general commanding the Armies of the United States, as chief quartermaster Armies operating against Richmond. These armies were composed of the Army of the Potomac and Army of the James, and our lines extended from the north side of the James River, near Richmond, to the southeast of Petersburg, a distance of over twenty-five miles, along the whole length of which was almost constant skirmishing night and day. Several attempts had been made before the 1st of July to carry the enemy's works, and to find and turn his flanks, sometimes bringing on severe conflicts, but without material success on our side. I refer to the attacks of the 16th, 17th, 18th of June, and to Generals Wilson's and Kautz's expedition to Reams" Station, June 22 to 28, more particularly. It became manifest that the defense of Richmond and Petersburg would be as prorated and stubborn as the resources and ability of the rebel commander could render it. I proceeded, therefore, under the written orders of the lieutenant-general to create suitable depots for receiving, storing, and issuing necessary supplies for the armies. The principal depot was established at City Point, on the James, at the mouth of the Appomattox, and was mad eon the most convenient, commodious, economical, and perfect ever provided for the supply of armies. I have already rendered you a special report, on the 24th of June last, of this depot, showing amount of wharfage, store-houses, railroad shops, tracks, &c., with a recommendation how to dispose of the same. A secondary depot was dept up at Bermuda Hundred, and a still lesser one at Deep Bottom, more especially for the Army of the James. There was an average of some 40 steam-boats of all sorts, including tugs, 75 sail vessels, and 100 barges daily in the James River engaged in the transportation of supplies and playing between that river and the Northern ports. With such facilities an army of 500,00 men could have been fully supplied within any reasonable distance of our base. I do not know the whole number of vessels employed in our supply. A daily line of boats was established between City Point and Washington for mail and passenger service. Besides this, out transport fleet was constantly engaged in bringing cavalry and artillery horses, mules, clothing, ammunition, subsistence, &c., and in carrying back to Washington broken-down animals and other unserviceable property. The depot was placed under the charge of Colonel P. P. Pitkin, who held the position of chief quartermaster of the depot until November 7, 1864, when he resigned to accept the position of quartermaster-general of the State of Vermont, and was succeeded
*Portions of this report having been inadvertently omitted from Series I, Vol. LI, Part I, p. 251, the whole document is here printed.