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manding : 15th New York volunteers, 1 The result of their labors has been the Col, McLeod Murphy; 50th New York preparation of an excellent series of maps, volunteers, Col. C. B. Stewart. Battalion, which will be invaluable to any army trathree companies United States engineers, versing the same ground. Capt. J. O. Duane commanding ; compa-l During the campaign it was impossible nies respectively commanded by First to draw a distinct line of demarcation beLieuts. O. B. Reese, C. E. Cross, and 0. E. tween the duties of the two corps of enBabcock, United States engineers. The gineers so that the labors of reconnoissances chief engineer was ably assisted in his du- of roads, of lines of intrenchments, of fields ties by Lieut.-Col B. S. Alexander, and for battle, and of the position of the enemy, First Lieuts. C. R. Comstock, M. D. Mc- as well as the construction of siege and Alester, and Merrill, United States en-defensive works, were habitually performed gineers. Capt. C. S. Stewart and Second by details from either corps, as the conLieut. F. U. Farquhar, United States en- / venience of the service demanded. gineers, joined after the army arrived at I desire to express my high appreciation Fort Monroe.
of the skill, gallantry, and devotion disThe necessary bridge equipage for the played by the officers of both corps of operations of a large army had been col-engineers, under the most trying circumlected, consisting of bateaux with the stances. anchors and flooring material, (French) During the Maryland campaign I united model,) trestles, and engineers' tools, with the two corps under Capt. J. C. Duane, the necessary wagons for their transpor- United States engineers, and found great tation.
advantages from the arrangement. The small number of officers of this corps available rendered it impracticable
MEDICAL DEPARTMENT. to detail engineers permanentiy at the For the operations of the medical deheadquarters of corps and divisions. The partment I refer to the reports, transmitted companies of regular engineers never had herewith, of Surg. Charles S. Tripler and their proper number of officers, and it was Surg. Jonathan Letterman, who, in turn, necessary, as a rule, to follow the principle
performed the duties of medical director of detailing engineer officers temporarily
of the army of the Potomac, the former whenever their services were required.
from August 12, 1861, until July 1, 1862,
and the latter after that date. The diffiTOPOGRAPHICAL ENGINEERS.
culties to be overcome in organizing and To the corps of topographical engineers making effective the medical department was intrusted the collection of topographi- were very great, arising principally from cal information and the preparation of the inexperience of the regimental medical campaign maps. Until a short time pre- officers, many of whom were physicians vious to the departure of the army for taken suddenly from civil life, who, accordFort Monroe, Lieut.-Col. John W. Macomb ing to Surg. Tripler, “had to be instructed was in charge of this department, and pre- in their duties from the very alphabet," pared a large amount of valuable material. and from the ignorance of the line officers He was succeeded by Brig.-Gen. A. A. as to their relations with the medical offiHumphreys, who retained the position cers, which gave rise to confusion and throughout the Peninsula campaign. These conflict of authority. Boards of examinaofficers were assisted by Lieuts. H. L. Ab- tion were instituted, by which many ignobott, 0. G. Wagner, N. Bowen, John M. rant officers were removed; and by the Wilson, and James H. Wilson, topogra- successive exertions of Surgs. Tripler and phical engineers. This number, being the Letterman, the medical corps was brought greatest available, was so small that much to a very high degree of efficiency. With of the duty of the department devolved regard to the sanitary condition of the arupon parties furnished by Prof. Bache, my while on the Potomac, Dr. Tripler says Superintendent of the Coast Survey, and that the records show a constantly inother gentlemen from civil life.
creasing immunity from disease. “In OcOwing to the entire absence of reliable tober and November, 1861, with an army topographical maps, the labors of this averaging 130,000 men, we had 7,932 cases corps were difficult and arduous in the ex- of fever of all sorts; of these, about 1,000 treme. Notwithstanding the energy and were reported as cases of typhoid fever. ability displayed by Gen. Humphreys, I know that errors of diagnosis were freLieut.-Col. Macomb, and their subordi- quently committed, and therefore this mast nates, who frequently obtained the neces- be considered as the limit of typhoid cases. sary information under fire, the movements if any army in the world can show such a of the army were sometimes unavoidably record as this, I do not know when or delayed by the difficulty of obtaining where it was assembled.” From September, knowledge of the country in advance. (1861, to February, 1862, while the army was increasing, the number of sick de- / necessary to leave at Fort Monroe, to be creased from 7 per cent. to 6.18 per cent. | forwarded afterwards, nearly all the bag. Of these, the men sick in the regimental gage and transportation, including medical and general hospitals were less than one- stores and ambulances, all the vessels being half; the remainder were slight cases, required to transport the troops themselves under treatment in quarters. “During and their ammunition; and when the army this time, so far as rumor was concerned, of the Potomac returned to Washington the army was being decimated by disease after Gen. Pope's campaign, and the medievery month.” Of the sanitary condition cal department came once more under of the army during the Peninsula cam-Surg. Letterman's control, he found it in paign, up to its arrival at Harrison's a deplorable condition. The officers were landing, Dr. Tripler says: “During this worn out by the labors they had performed. campaign the army was favored with ex- and the few supplies that had been brought cellent health. No epidemic disease ap- from the Peninsula had been exhausted or peared. Those scourges of modern armies abandoned, so that the work of reorgani.
dysentery, typhus, cholera-were almost zation and resupplying had to be again unknown. We had some typhoid fever performed, and this while the army was and more malarial fevers, but even these moving rapidly, and almost in the face of never prevailed to such an extent as to the enemy. That it was successfully accreate any alarm. The sick reports were complished is shown by the care and attensometimes larger than we cared to have tion which the wounded received after the them; but the great majority of the cases battles of South Mountain and Antietam. reported were such as did not threaten life | Among the improvements introduced or permanent disability. I regret that U into his department by Surgeon Letterman, have not before me the retained copies of the principal are the organization of ac the monthly reports, so that I might give ambulance corps, the system of field hos. accurate statistics. I have endeavored to pitals, and the method of supplying by recover them, but have been unsuccessful. brigades, all of which were instituted durMy recollection is, that the whole sick re-ing the Maryland campaign, and have port never exceeded 8 per cent. of the force, sirce proved very efficient. and this including all sorts of cases, the trivial as well as the severe. The army
everyone QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT. of the Potomac must be conceded to have On assuming command of the troops been the most healthy in the service of the in and around Washington, I appointed United States."
| Capt. S. Van Vliet, assistant quartermasHis remarks at the conclusion of his re- ter, afterwards brigadier general,) chief port upon our system of medical adminis- quartermaster to my command, and gave tration, and his suggestions for its improve him the necessary instructions for organment, are especially worthy of attention. izing his department, and collecting the
The service, labors, and privations of supplies requisite for the large army then the troops during the seven days' battles called for. had, of course, a great effect upon the ! The disaster at Manassas had but re health of the army, after it reached Har-cently occurred, and the army was quite rison's landing, increasing the number of destitute of quartermaster's stores. Gen. sick to about 20 per cent. of the whole | Van Vliet. with great energy and zeal, force.
set himself about the task of furnishing The nature of the military operations the supplies immediately necessary, and had also unavoidably placed the medical, preparing to obtain the still larger amounts department in a very unsatisfactory con. which would be required by the new troops, dition. Supplies had been almost entirely which were moving in large numbers toexhausted or necessarily abandoned ; hos-wards the capital. The principal depot pital tents abandoned or destroyed, and for supplies in the city of Washington the medical officers deficient in numbers was under charge of Col. D. H. Rucker, and broken down by fatigue.
assistant quartermaster, who ably perAll the remarkable energy and ability formed his duties. Lieut. Col. R. Ingalls, of Surg. Letterman were required to re-assistant quartermaster, was placed in store the efficiency of his department; but charge of the department on the south hefore we left Harrison's landing he had side of the Potomac. I directed a large succeeded in fitting it out thoroughly with depot for transportation to be established the supplies it required, and the health of at Perryville, on the left of the Susquethe army was vastly improved by the hanna, a point equally accessible by rail savitary measures which were enforced at and water. Capt. C. G. Sawtelle, assishis suggestion.
tant quartermaster, was detailed to organ. The great haste with which the army ize the camp, and performed his duties to was removed from the Peninsula made it my entire satisfaction. Capt. J. J. Daua,
assistant quartermaster, had immediate panying documents, give in detail the charge of the transportation in and about history of the department from its organi. Washington, as well as of the large num-/ zation until I was relieved from the coni. ber of horses purchased for the use of the mand of the army of the Potomac. artillery and cavalry. The principal difficulties which Gen. Van Vliet had to en
SUBSISTENCE DEPARTMENT. counter arose from the inexperience of the On the 1st of August, 1861, Col. H. F. majority of the officers of his department Clark, commissary of subsistance, joined in the new regiments and brigades. my staff, and at once entered upon his
The necessity of attending personally to duties as chief commissary of the army of minor details rendered his duties arduous the Potomac. In order to realize the and harassing in the extreme. All obsta- responsibilities pertaining to this office, as cles, however, were surmounted by the well as to form a proper estimate of the untiring industry of the chief quartermas- vast amount of labor which must neces. ter and his immediate subordinates, and sarily devolve upon its occupant, it is only when the army was prepared to inove the necessary to consider the unprepared stato organization of the department was found of the country to engage in a war of such to be admirable.
magnitude as the present, and the lack of When it was determined to move the practical knowledge, on the part of the army to the Peninsula, the duties of pro- officers, with reference to supplying and viding water transportation were devolved subsisting a large, and at that time, unorby the Secretary of War upon his assist- ganized army. Yet, notwithstanding the ant, the Hon. John Tucker. The vessels existence of these great obstacles, the were ordered to Alexandria, and Lieut. manner in which the duties of the comCol. Ingalls was placed in immediate missary department were discharged was charge of the embarkation of the troops, such as to merit and call forth the comtransportation, and material of every de- mendation of the entire army. scription. Operations of this nature, on During the stay of the army of the Poso extensive à scale, had no parallel in tomac in the vicinity of Washington, prior / the history of our country.
to the Peninsula campaign, its subsistence The arrangements of Lieut. Col. Ingalls 'was drawn chiefly from the depots which were perfected with remarkable skill and had been established by the commissary energy, and the army and its material department at Washington, Alexandria, were embarked and transported to Fort- Forts Corcoran and Runyon. In the imress Monroe in a very short space of time, portant task of desiguating and establishand entirely without loss.
ing depots of supplies, Col. Clarke was During the operations on the Peninsula, ' ably seconded by his assistants, Col. Amog until the arrival of troops at Harrison's Beckwith, commissary of subsistence, U. S. Landing, Gen. Van Vliet retained the po- A.; Lieut. Col. George Bell, commissary of sition of chief quartermaster, and main- subsistence, U. S. A.; Lieut. Col. A. P. tained the thorough organization and Porter, commissary of subsistence, U. S. efficiency of his department. The princi- A.; Capt. Thomas Wilson, commissary of pal depots of supplies were under the subsistence, U. S. A.; Capt. Brownell immediate charge of Lieut. Cols. Ingalls Granger, commissary of subsistence, U. S. and Sawtelle.
| volunteers; Capt. W. H. Bell, commissary On the 10th of July, 1862, Gen. Van of subsistence, U. S. A.; Capt. J. H. Vliet having requested to be relieved from Woodward, commissary of subsistence. U. duty with the army of the Potomac, I ap- ! S. volunteers; and Capt. W. R. Murphy, pointed Lieut. Col. Ingalls chief quarter- commissary of subsistence, U. S. volunmaster, and he continued to discharge the teers. duties of that office during the remainder For a full knowledge of the highly credof the Peninsula and the Maryland cam- | itable manner in which each and all of the paigns in a manner which fully sustained above-mentioned officers discharged their the high reputation he had previously duties, I invite attention to the detailed acquired.
report of Col. Clarke. The remarks and l'he immediate amount of labor ac- suggestions contained in his report are complished, often under the most difficult worthy of attention, as affording valuable circumstances, the admirable system under rules for the future guidance of the subwhich the duties of the department were sistence department in supplying armies performed, and the entire success which in the field. The success of the subsistattended the efforts to supply so large anence department of the army of the Potoarmy, reflect the highest credit upon the mac was in a great measure attributable officers upon whom these onerous duties to the fact that the subsistence departdevolved. The reports of Gen. Van Vliet ment at Washington made ample proviand Lieut. Col. Ingalls, with the accom-) sion for sending supplies to 'he Peninsula,
and that it always exercised the most in- | quired. Untiring watchfulness was there. telligent foresight. It moreover gave its fore incumbent upon the officers in charge advice and countenance to the officers to prevent confusion and improper distri. charged with its duties and reputation in bution of cartridges. Col. Kingsbury disthe field, and those officers, I am happy to charged the duties of his office with great say, worked with it, and together, in per- efficiency until the day of July, 1862. fect harmony for the public good. During when his health required that he should the entire period that I was in command be relieved. First Lient. Thomas G. Bay. of the army of the Potomac there was no lor, ordnance corps, succeeded him, and instance within my knowledge where the performed bis duty during the remainder troops were without their rations from of the Peninsula and Maryland campaigns any fault of the officers of this depart with marked ability and success. ment.
The want of reports from Col. Kings
| bury and Lieut. Baylor renders it impossi. ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT.
ble for me to enter at all into the details This very important branch of the ser- of the organization of the department. vice was placed under the charge of Capt. 0. P. Kingsbury, ordnance corps, colonel PROVOST MARSHAL'S DEPARTMENT. and aid-de-camp. Great difficulty existed Immediately after I was placed in comin the proper organization of the depart-mand of the * Division of the Potomac," ment for the want of a sufficient pumber | I appointed Col. Andrew Porter, 16th regi. of suitable officers to perform the duties ment infantry, provost marshal of Washiat the various head-quarters and depots of ington. All the available regular infantry, supply. But far greater obstacles had to a battery and a squadron of cavalry were be surmounted, from the fact that the placed under his command, and by his eusupply of small arms was totally inade- ergetic action he soon corrected the seriquate to the demands of a large army, and ous evils which existed, and restored order a vast proportion of those furnished were in the city. of such inferior quality as to be unsatis When the army was about to take the factory to the troops, and condemned by field, Gen. Porter was appointed Provost their officers. The supply of artillery was | Marshal General of the army of the Potomore abundant, but of great variety. muc, and held that most important posiRified ordnance was just coming into use, tion until the end of the Peninsula camfor the first time in this country, and the paign, when sickness, contracted in the description of gun and kind of projectile untiring discharge of his duties, compelled which would prove most effective, and him to ask to be relieved from the position Bhould, therefore, be adopted, was a mere he had so ably and energetically filled. matter of theory. To obviate these diffi- The Provost Marshal General's depart culties, large quantities of small arms of ment had the charge of a class of duties foreign manufacture were contracted for; which had not before, in our service, been private enterprise in the construction of defined and grouped under the managearms and ammunition was encouraged; ment of a special department. The followand by the time the army was ordered to ing subjects indicate the sphere of this move to the Peninsula the ainount of ord. department: suppression of maurading nance and ordnance stores was ample. and depredations, and of all brawls and Much also had been done to bring the disturbances, preservation of good order, quality, both of arms and ammunition, up and suppression of disturbances beyond to the proper standard. Boards of officers the limits of the camps. were in session continually during the Prevention of straggling on the march. autumn and winter of 1861, to test the Suppression of gambling houses, drinkrelative merits of new arms and projectiles. ing houses, or bar-rooms, and brothels.
The reports of these boards, confirmed Regulation of hotels, taverns, markets, by subsequent experience in the field, have and places of public amusement. done much to establish the respective Searches, seizures, and arrests. Execuclaims of different inventors and manufac- tion of sentences of general courts-martial, turers. During the campaigns of the Pen- involving innprisonment or capital punishinsula and Maryland the officers connected ment. Enforcement of orders prohibiting with the department were zealous and en-| the sale of intoxicating liquors, whether ergetic, and kept the troops well supplied, by tradesmen or sutlers, and of orders renotwithstanding the perplexing and ar- specting passes. duous nature of their duties. One great Deserters from the enemy. scource of perplexity was the fact that it Prisoners of war taken from the enemy. had been necessary to isssue arms of all Countersigning safeguards. varieties and calibres. giving an equal | Passes to citizens within the lines, and diversity in the kinds of ammunition re-l for purposes of trade.
Complaints of citizens as to the conduct | use of the flags by day and torches by of the soldiers.
night. Gen. Porter was assisted by the follow. The chief signal officer was indefatigable ing named officers.
in his exertions to render his corps effec. Maj. W. H. Wood, 17th United States tive, and it soon became available for serinfantry; Capt. James McMillom, acting vice in every division of the army. In assistant adjutant-general, 17th United addition to the flags and torches, Maj. States infantry ; Capt. W. T. Gentry, 17th Myer introduced a portable insulated United States infantry; Capt. J. W. For-telegraph wire, which could be readily laid surth, 18th United States infantry; Lieut. from point to point, and which could be J. W. Jones, 12th United States infantry; used under the same general system. In Lieut. C. F. Trowbridge, 16th United States front of Washington, and on ihe Lower infantry; and Lieut. C. D. Mehaffey, Ist | Potomac, at any point within our lines not United States infantry.
reached by the military telegraph, the The provost guard was composed of the great usefulness of this system of signals 2d United States cavalry, Maj. Pleasonton, was inade manifest. But it was not until and a battalion of the 8th and 17th Uni- after the arrival of the army upon the ted States infantry, Maj. Willard. After | Peninsula, and during the siege and batGen. Porter was relieved, Maj. Wood wastles of that and the Maryland campaigns in charge of this deparment until after the that the great benefits to be derived from batile of Antietam, when Brig. Gen. Pat it on the field and under fire were fully rick was appointed Provost Marshal Gene- / appreciated. ral.
There was scarcely any action or skirCOMMANDANT OF GENERAL HEADQUARTERS.
mish in which the signal corps did not When the army took the field, for the
render important services. Often under
heavy fire of artillery, and not unfrequently purpose of securing order and regularity in the camp of headquarters, and facilita
while exposed to musketry, the officers ting its movements, the office of command
| and men of this corps gave information of ant of general headquarters was created,
the movements of the enemy, and transand assigned to Maj. G. 0. Haller, 7th
bmitted directions for the evolutions of our United States infantry. Six companies
own troops. of infantry were placed under his orders
The report of the chief signal officer,
with accompanying documents, will give for guard and police duty. Among the orders appended to this report is the one
the details of the services of this corps, defining his duties, which were always
| and call attention to those members of it satisfactorily performed,
who were particularly distinguished. JUDGE ADVOCATE.
TELEGRAPHIC. From August, 1861, the position of The telegraphic operations of the army judge advocate was held by Col. Thomas of the Potomac were superintended by T. Gantt, aide-de-camp, until compelled by i Maj. Thomas J. Eckert, and under the imill health to retire, at' Harrison's landing mediate direction of Mr. - Caldwell, in August, 1862. His reviews of the de who was, with a corps of operators, cisions of courts-martial during this period
attached to my headquarters during the were of great utility in correcting the entire campaigns upon the Peninsula and practice in military courts, diffusing true
in Maryland. notions of discipline and subordination,
The services of this corps were arduous and setting before the army a high stand- / and efficient. Under the admirable arard of soldierly honor. Upon the retire
rangements of Maj. Eckert they were con ment of Col. Gantt, the duties of judge stantly provided with all the material for advocate were ably performed by Col. constructing new lines, which were rapidly Thomas M. Key, aide-de-camp.
established whenever the army changed
position ; and it was not unfrequently the SIGNAL CORPS.
case that the operatives worked under the The method of conveying intelligence fire from the enemy's guns ; yet they inand orders, invented and introduced into variably performed all the duties required the service by Maj. Albert J. Myer, signal of them with great alacrity and cheerfulofficer United Staies army, was first prac-ness, and it was seldom that I was without tically tested in large operations during the means of direct telegraphic communithe orgunization of the army of the Poto- cation with the War Department and with mac.
the corps commanders. Under the direction of Maj. Ayer a From the organization of the army of signal corps was formed by detailing off the Potomac up to Nov. 1, 1862, including cers and men from the different regiments the Peninsula and Maryland campaigns, of volunteers and instructing them in the upwards of twelve hundred (1,209) miles