on the 31st. On the following day I reported to General Augur and was assigned as chief quartermaster Department of Washington, in which capacity I was acting at the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1865.
Upon assuming the duties of my position the subject of greatest importance to be considered at the time, and demanding immediate attention, was that of providing the supply of wood for the inclement season then commenced. The available quantity on hand was inadequate for the wants, and the arrangements already made in part contemplated the supply by river; but knowing the uncertainty attending water transportation during the winter, and realizing the absolute necessity of obtaining a regular supply through a reliable channel, I at once took steps to provide for the same by cutting along the railroads in Virginia. The cutting was confined as far as possible to the lands of disloyal persons, but landmarks being almost entirely obliterated in that part of Virginia, in some instances wood was taken from the lands of loyal people. An account was kept at this office (as nearly accurate as possible without survey of land) of all wood taken, so as to facilitate a settlement when ownership and loyalty should be established.
The work of cutting being rapidly and steadily pushed forward, insured an abundant stock for issue. From 350 to 400 cords were daily brought by railroad to Alexandria, Va., and this city, thereby affording an ample allowance for the troops and hospitals in both cities, as well as for the garrisons in the forts comprised in the Second, Third, s division, south of the Potomac. The supply for the garrisons of the forts in Hardin's division, north of the Potomac, the commands at Great Falls, Poolesville, Chapel Point, and other detached posts, and also for prison camp and general hospital at Point Lookout, was provided by purchase in the vicinities at reasonable prices.
Under instructions from your office I furnished up to the close of the fiscal year to Captain J. G. C. Lee, assistant quartermaster at Alexandria, Va., 15,616 cords; to Captain J. M. Moore, assistant quartermaster, 4,005 cords; and also sold to Captain J. M. Brown, by order of the Secretary of War, 923 cords for issue to destitute colored people in this city.
During the month of January the Twenty-third Army Corps arrived at this point and remained about four weeks. Quarters were provided for as many of the men as possible at the new Freedmen's Hospital at the barracks at Camp Relief and Camp Stoneman, and elsewhere, but the bulk of the command was encamped on the grounds near Camp Stoneman, the tents for the purpose being drawn by me from the depot and returned when the troops moved.
This corps during its stay, the First Corps (General Hancock's), while in this vicinity, the Army of the Potomac, and the army of General Sherman, when concentrated here, were all amply provided with wood by me, and together consumed about 10,000 cords.
It is estimated that a larger quantity of wood was on hand in my possession at the close of the fiscal year than will be required in this department for a number of months, the same having been provided mostly by the operations of the last winter and early spring, with a view to the quantities needed in coming winter, based on the requirements of the past; but the work of transporting to Alexandria and this city was in rapid progress, the wood being properly piled and protected at these points, and ready for any purpose designated.