would have been immense. The grain in best condition was removed to Chickasaw first; the worst was left to be handled last, and was lost.
After the river had risen to such a height as to submerge the grain all attempts to remove it were abandoned. Even if we had not done so, and had succeeded in getting all or part of it away, it would have been useless for any purpose whatever.
A large portion of the corn received before my arrival and during my stay at Easport was more or less damaged ere it left the depots on the Ohio River. I am of the opinion that it had been gathered and sacked before maturity. The sacking, too, had been improperly done.
The following statement of property lost to the Government by this unparalleled overflow may be relied on as nearly correct:
Twenty thousand sacks of grain, 12 unserviceable wagons, 10 unserviceable and serviceable ambulances, 75 worn-out wagon beds, a few old tents previously occupied by hired men of the Quartermaster's Department. Its estimated money value is $100,000.
One hundred and forty-eighth of the wagons that had been ten feet under water were recovered during my stay at the landing and shipped to Nashville. Many of the wagons and ambulances reported above as lost lodged in trees and driftwood, and could not at the time be got at. I have no doubt, however, but that subsequently upon the subsiding of the waters many of them were recovered.
At one time, about the 28th of February, the waters reached the unprecedented height of thirty (I think) feet above low-water mark.
On the 17th of March I applied to Brevet Major-General Wilson, commanding the troops, for the convention of a board of survey to determine the exact amount of public property lost and damaged by the freshest and to fix the responsibility. Up to the time of my departure the board had not convened.
Although all the officers serving under me exerted themselves manfully to save the public property, one of them, Lieutenant Delos Allen, One hundred and nineteenth Illinois Volunteers and acting assistant quartermaster, is deserving of special notice. This young officer displayed the most untiring zeal and industry in this respect. He not only exposed himself day and night to the heavy rains that continued for days, deluging the surrounding country, but oftentimes waded up to his middle in the water, compelling his men at the same time to follow him.
Feeling that my services as chief quartermaster of the army were no longer needed at Eastport, I left that place on the 19th following, and proceeded to report to the major-general commanding at Nashville, arriving there on the 22nd.
On the 2nd of April, by verbal order of the major-general, I went to Knoxville, Tenn., and while there performed my duties as chief quartermaster of the army then in active service in that section of East Tennessee, and also assumed charge of the depot at Knoxville and the more advanced one of Greeneville. Nothing worthy of note occurred while on this duty, further than I made it my special duty to see to the well-providing of the army with all its necessary wants.
Active operations ending in this quarter, I returned to Nashville on the 30th of the same month. The Fourth Army Corps, which had been lying in the vicinity of Nashville for some time, now refitted and paid off, was ordered to Johnsonville, Tenn., to embark for New
28 R R-SERIES III, VOL V