Consumption of small-arm cartridges.It appears that the Richmond laboratory made 72,000,000 cartridges in three and a-half years, say one thousand working days. As this laboratory made nearly as much as all the others combined, we may safely place the entire production at 150,000,000, or 150,000 per day. As our reserves remained nearly the same, being but slightly increased toward the latter part of the war, there must have been only a little less than this consumption in the field, say half a cartridge per man per day for the average force of 300,000 men, to cover all the accidents and expenditures of service in the field. An average, then,  of half a cartridge per day per man would be a safe assumption for protracted warfare. In examining the returns of ordnance officers after heavy actions, I found that the reduction of ammunition amounted to from about nineteen to twenty-six rounds per man. At Gettysburg the reports of a few days before the battle and a short time after showed a difference of twenty-five or twenty-six rounds on the average. This was the heaviest consumption to which my attention was called. When our troops first took the field commanders were very nervous because they had only fifty to seventy rounds per man instead of the two hundred rounds prescribed by the ordnance manual. Later we raised it to about eighty or ninety rounds. The results of battles show that with proper dispositions for transfer from one corps to another there need be no scarcity with sixty rounds on hand, or even fifty. Our soldiers were, however, in the habit of supplying themselves with ammunition by throwing away their empty cartridge-boxes and taking any well-supplied one that they might espy with the proper cartridges. What splendid fellows they were, taking even better care of their powder and lead than of themselves or of their rations. They were in downright earnest.
Consumption and supply of lead.Allowing for waste, 1500,000,000 of cartridges would require 10,000,000 pounds of lead for these alone, to say nothing of other needs. Where did all this lead come from? I make the following rough calculation:
|From trans-Mississippi mines (early in the war)||400,000|
|From the mines in Virginia (60,000 lbs. per month)||2,160,000|
|On hand at arsenals, &c.||140,000|
|Imported (not over)||2,000,000|
|Picked up through the country and on battle-fields||5,300,000|