The first grain received was at Kings" Bridge, on the Ogeechee River. It arrived there and was issued on the 18th of December, so the animals of the army subsisted on the country twenty-nine days (we started with four days" grain), which makes at least 11,145,792 pounds of grain and 15,177,344 pounds of fodder and hay taken from the country and consumed by the army on the march. This is a low estimate of the forage taken from the country, as beef-cattle were fed on the whole route as much as they would eat, and the number of horses, mules, and beef-cattle varied from day to day, all increasing in numbers. I inclose you a statement of beef-cattle captured, &c., marked B.
After General Hood cut the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad the animals of the army suffered for want of forage, and a large number of them became very much reduced in flesh and were quite weak when the army commenced its march from Atlanta. This accounts for the large number of animals that gave out and were shot on the road. The character of the mules captured was superior, a small sized or inferior one being seldom met with.
On the arrival of the army in front of Savannah the condition of its animals was far better than it was at the commencement of its march. Those animals that had strength sufficient at the start improved daily, and those that failed and gave out were replaced by a better class of mules than we found in the trains at starting.
There is no way of arriving at he quantity of subsistence taken from the country, but the whole army fared sumptuously and the animals were never better fed. During the whole march and until we took a position before Savannah both men and animals had all they could desire in the way of food.
The army marched by corps and on roads as near parallel to each other as could be found. Each corps had its pontoon train and each division its pioneer force, and with these organizations streams were crossed, roads repaired, and sometimes made, without retarding the movements of the troops.
The management of trains differed somewhat in each corps, but I think the best arrangement was where the train of the corps followed immediately after its troops, with a strong rear guard, in the following order:
First. Corps headquarters baggage wagons.
Second. Division headquarters baggage wagons.
Third. Brigade headquarters baggage wagons.
Fourth. Regimental headquarters baggage wagons.
Fifth. Empty wagons, to be loaded with forage and other supplies taken from the country, with the proper details for loading them.
Sixth. Ammunition train.
Seventh. Ambulance train.
Eighth. General supply train.
As the empty wagons reached farm-houses and other points where supplies could be obtained a sufficient number were turned out of the road to take all at the designated point, and so on through the day until the empty wagons were loaded, making it a rule to take the first supplies come, to and to leave none on the road until all the wagons were loaded. The empty wagons could be loaded by the time the rear of the general supply train came up to them, and they would fall into their proper places in the rear of their division trains, if in time, or in the rear of the general supply tain, without retarding the march. This arrangement worked well, and is probably as good as