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Government hay-wharf at Alexandria, Virginia: sentry guarding feed for Federal horses, 1864. The army which McClellan took to the Peninsula had to be created from the very foundation. The regular army was too small to furnish more than a portion of the general officers and a very small portion of the staff, so that the staff departments and staff officers had to be fashioned out of perfectly raw material. Artillery, small-arms, and ammunition were to be manufactured, or purchased from abroad; wagons, ambulances, bridge-trains, Camp equipage, hospital stores, and all the vast impedimenta and material indispensable for an army in the field were to be manufactured. The tardiness with which cavalry remounts were forwarded to the regiments was a frequent subject of complaint. General McClellan complained that many of the horses furnished were “totally unfitted for the service and should never have been received.” General Pope had in fact reported that “our cavalry numbered on paper about four thousand men, but their horses were completely broken down, and there were not five hundred men, all told, capable of doing such service as should be expected of cavalry.” The demand for horses was so great that in many cases they were sent on active service before recovering sufficiently from the fatigue incident to a long railway journey. One case was reported of horses left on the cars fifty hours without food or water, and then being taken out, issued, and used for immediate service. Aside, too, from the ordinary diseases to which horses are subject, the Virginia soil seemed to be particularly productive of diseases of the feet. That known as “scratches” disabled thousands of horses during the Peninsula campaign and the march of Pope.

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Alexandria (Virginia, United States) (1)

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Pope (2)
George B. McClellan (2)
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1864 AD (1)
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