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[328] equipment of the cavalry forces of the army, and with the providing of mounts and remounts. The inspection of horses for the latter purpose was ordered to be made by experienced cavalry officers, while the purchasing was under the direction of officers of the Quartermaster's Department of the army.

Under the general charge of the Cavalry Bureau, six principal depots were established at Giesboro, District of Columbia; St. Louis, Missouri; Greenville, Louisiana; Nashville, Tennessee; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware, for the reception, organization, and discipline of cavalry recruits, and for the collection, care, and training of horses.

The principal depot was at Giesboro, District of Columbia, on the north bank of the Potomac, below Washington, and consisted of a site of about six hundred and twenty-five acres for which the Government paid a rental of six thousand dollars per annum. Stables, stock-yards, forage-houses, storehouses, mess-houses, quarters, a grist-mill, a chapel, and wharves, were soon constructed, and within three months after taking possession (August 12, 1863) provision had been made for fifteen thousand animals; and within three months more, arrangement had been made for the care of thirty thousand animals, although twenty-one thousand was the largest number on hand at any one time. The wharves afforded facilities for three steamers of the largest class to load simultaneously; the hospitals had accommodation for two thousand six hundred and fifty horses; five thousand men were employed during the construction period, afterward reduced to fifteen hundred; while thirty-two stables, besides hospitals and other buildings, gave shelter to six thousand horses. Most of the stock was kept in open sheds or in corrals, these stock-yards alone covering forty-five acres, each yard being furnished with hay-racks and water-troughs, and having free access to the river. The estimated cost of the Giesboro Depot was $1,225,000.

The remount depot at St. Louis covered about four hundred acres, and had a force of nearly eleven hundred employees — blacksmiths,

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August 12th, 1863 AD (1)
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