That supplies sent from Washington
in season were not seasonably received by General McClellan
is further shown by the letter of General Meigs
before referred to, which is one of the documents in the ease on the side of the Administration.
At the commencement of this letter he says that “all the articles of clothing called for by requisition from General McClellan
's Headquarters were not only ordered, but had been shipped, on the 14th of October,” --a date, it will be observed, eight days later than the day on which the army had been ordered to cross the Potomac
; but in subsequent portions of the letter statements and admissions are made which show that further delays may have taken place in the transportation, and that indeed they did. Some of these are transcribed without further comment:--
This department cannot control the trains upon railroads of which the War Department has not taken the management into its own hands.
The railroad companies complain that cars are not unloaded at their destinations, and that their sidings are occupied with cars which are needed for forwarding supplies.
I presume that the missing articles are in some of these cars, or that they have been unloaded and have not yet reached the particular corps or detachment for which they are intended.
The fact is that no railroad can provide facilities for unloading cars and transacting the business attending the supply of an army of the size of General McClellan's in a short time or in a contracted space.
Sidings, switches, depots, and turn-outs do not exist, and cannot be laid down at once, for such a traffic.