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An enormous quantity of military property had been accumulated at Manassas Junction, besides that of the Confederate Government in the hands of its officers of the quartermaster's and subsistence departments. There were large stores of provisions and clothing belonging to States, and under the charge of State agents; there was also such a quantity of baggage as no such army had ever before collected together. As the different regiments had been brought from their homes to Manassas Junction by railroad, the amount of their baggage had not been limited, consequently a trunk had come with each volunteer.

The arrangements of the commissary department, made without reference to probable military operations, or the views of the commander of the army, added still more to the great quantity of public property depending on the troops for protection. Major R. G. Cole, 1 chief commissary of the army, had

1 In a letter to me on this subject, dated February 7, 1871, Colonel R. G. Cole states:

By your direction I requested the commissary-general to increase the supply of provisions to an amount sufficient for fifteen days rations for the army. In a short time I discovered that the accumulation was too large, and reported the fact to you, and by your direction I telegraphed, on the 4th of January, 1862, to the Commissary-General, that you desired all stores sent from Richmond stopped at Culpepper Court-House. At this place I had, by your orders, established a reserve depot. Supplies continued to come from Richmond, Lynchburg, Staunton, and Fredericksburg. I requested the commissary-general by telegraph, on the 16th of January, to have the shipments to Manassas stopped. On the 29th I repeated the request, indicating that the amount at Manassas was nearly double that required. .. .

The gross weight of supplies at Manassas was three million two hundred and forty thousand three hundred and fifty-four pounds. In addition, there was, in the packing-establishment at Thoroughfare, the rise of two million, mostly of salt meat; the gross weight of provision necessary for the army was one million five hundred and thirty-seven thousand two hundred and fifty-four pounds. The gross weight of supplies abandoned was one million four hundred and thirty-four thousand three hundred and sixteen pounds. Of these stores, fifty thousand seven hundred and fifteen pounds of vinegar, two hundred and forty-six thousand three hundred and seventy-one of hard bread, and one hundred and forty-six thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight of flour, were damaged by exposure to the weather, owing to want of shelter, and totally unfit for issue.

By this statement of the best authority, not much more than a sixth of the food recklessly brought from the interior to the frontier was lost, exclusive of that spoiled. In spite of the accumulation at Manassas, every thing would have been saved but for the establishment of the meat-packery of the Confederate armies on that frontier; as if our troops were maintained to protect this establishment, not to meet the movements of the enemy.

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