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[227] a general rule, have been better supplied, than our armies operating in the West. The latter have operated at much greater distances from the sources of supply, and have had far less facilities for transportation. In fine, I believe that no armies in the world while en campagne, have been more promptly or better supplied than ours.

3. Soon after the battle of Antietam, General McClellan was urged to give me information of his intended movements, in order that, if he moved between the enemy and Washington reenforcements could be sent from this place. On the first of October, finding that he purposed to operate from Harper's Ferry, I urged him to cross the river at once and give battle to the enemy, pointing out to him the disadvantages of delaying till the autumn rains had swollen the Potomac and impaired the roads. On the sixth of October he was peremptorily ordered: “To cross the Potomac and give battle to the enemy or drive him south. Your army must move now, while the roads are good.” It will be observed that three weeks have elapsed since this order was given.

4. In my opinion, there has been no such want of supplies in the army under General McClellan as to prevent his compliance with orders to advance against the enemy. Had he moved to the south side of the Potomac, he could have received his supplies at most as readily as by remaining inactive on the north side.

5. On the seventh of October, in a telegram in regard to his intended movements, General McClellan stated that it would require at least three (days to supply the First, Fifth, and Sixth Corps; that they needed shoes and other indispensable articles of clothing, as well as sheltertents. No complaint was made that any requisitions had not been filled, and it was inferred from his language that he was only waiting for the distribution of his supplies. On the eleventh, he telegraphed that a portion of his supplies sent by rail had been delayed.

As already stated, agents were immediately sent from here to investigate this complaint, and they reported that every thing had gone forward. On the same date, the eleventh, he spoke of many of his horses being broken down by fatigue. On the twelfth, he complained that the rate of supply was only one hundred and fifty horses per week for the entire army there and in front of Washington. I immediately directed the Quartermaster-General to inquire into this matter, and to report why a larger supply was not furnished. Gen. Meigs reported on the fourteenth, that the average issue of horses to Gen. McClellan's army in the field and in front of Washington for the previous six weeks had been one thousand four hundred and fifty per week, or eight thousand seven hundred and fifty-four in all; in addition, that large numbers of mules had been supplied, and that the number of animals with General McClellan's army on the Upper Potomac was over thirty thousand. He also reported that he was then sending to that army all the horses he could procure.

On the eighteenth, Gen. McClellan stated: “In regard to Gen. Meigs's report that he had filled every requisition for shoes and clothing, General Meigs may have ordered these articles to be forwarded, but they have not reached our depots, and unless greater effort to insure prompt transmission is made by the department of which Gen. Meigs is the head, they might as well remain in New-York or Philadelphia, so far as this army is concerned.” I immediately called Gen. Meigs's attention to this apparent neglect of his department. On the twenty-fifth, he reported as the result of his investigation, that forty-eight thousand pairs of boots and shoes had been received by the Quartermaster of Gen. McClellan's army at Harper's Ferry, Frederick, and Hagerstown; that twenty thousand pairs were at Harper's Ferry depot on the twenty-first; that ten thousand more were on their way, and fifteen thousand more ordered.

Col. Ingals, Aid-de-Camp and Chief Quartermaster to Gen. McClellan, telegraphed on the twenty-fifth: “The suffering for want of clothing is exaggerated, I think, and certainly might have been avoided by timely requisitions of regimental and brigade commanders.” On the twenty-fourth, he telegraphed to the Quartermaster-General that: “The clothing was not detained in cars at the depots. Such complaints are groundless. The fact is, the clothing arrives and is issued, but more is still wanted. I have ordered more than would seem necessary from any data furnished me, and I beg to remind you that you have always very promptly met all my requisitions. As far as clothing is concerned, our department is not at fault. It provides as soon as due notice is given. I foresee no time when an army of over one hundred thousand men will not call for clothing and other articles.”

In regard to Gen. McClellan's means of promptly communicating the wants of his army to me, or to the proper bureaus of the War Department, I report that, in addition to the ordinary mails, he has been in hourly communication with Washington by telegraph. It is due to Gen. Meigs that I should submit herewith a copy of a telegram received by him from Gen. McClellan.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief official copy.--J. C. Kelton, Assistant Adjutant-General.

United States military telegraph.
Received October 22, 1862, 9.40 P. M., from McClellan's Headquarters:

To Brigadier-General Meigs:

Your despatch of this date is received. I have never intended in any letter or despatch to make any accusation against yourself or your department, for not furnishing or forwarding clothing as rapidly as it was possible for you to do. I do believe that every thing has been done that could be done in this respect, both by yourself and department. The idea that I have tried to convey was, that certain portions of the command were


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