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Comte de Paris, History of the Civil War in America. Vol. 1. (ed. Henry Coppee , LL.D.), Book III:—the first conflict. (search)
substituted for boats, but were rejected by the army of the Potomac, as they were too easily torn. The materials most generally in use were either simple wooden barges that could easily be repaired or tubular pontons of sheet iron, which had the advantage of being much lighter. It will be enough to mention the regulation ration of the American soldier to convey an idea of the importance of the subsistence department, whose duty it was to provide food for the armies, which on the 1st of December, 1861, numbered six hundred thousand men. To the commissary of subsistence there were no dead-heads (non-valeurs). All those who were prevented by special assignment from appearing on the field of battle, and whom the general must deduct from his fighting force, seated themselves in the evening with the rest around the mess-table, which the commissary had to supply. One pound of biscuit or twenty-two ounces of bread or flour, one pound and a quarter of fresh or salt beef or three-quarters