This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 effects of hard work, had rendered forty-five hundred of them unfit for use, and the addition of twenty-five hundred was far from meeting the exigences of an army about to take the field. The responsibility for this scarcity, fatal at such a juncture, partly rested upon the soldiers, who did not bestow sufficient care upon their horses, and partly upon the system of military administration. The demands for remounts and the forwarding of the animals were delayed by incessant wranglings, and the quartermaster of the army was only once authorized to make a direct purchase of twelve hundred horses, without procuring them from the depots at Washington. It thus happened that the army, a victim to the despotism of administrative formalities, was in want of saddle-horses and draft animals in a country which possessed both in great abundance, and in which the enemy, by a raid of only two days, had picked up as many as he wanted. In order to show how large was the number of animals required by this army as soon as it commenced marching, it will be enough to say that in order to feed for the period of ten days the one hundred and twenty-two thousand mouths for whom rations had to be provided, it required wagons drawn by ten thousand nine hundred and eighty draft animals; the artillery horses numbered six thousand eight hundred and thirty-six, and those belonging to the cavalry five thousand and forty-six, making in all a total of twenty-two thousand eight hundred and sixty-two animals. But in order to feed these twenty-two thousand eight hundred and sixty-two animals during the same period of ten days, it was necessary to provide a certain quantity of forage, which required seventeen thousand eight hundred and thirty-two extra draft animals to wagon it; and as the latter ate a portion of the forage they transported, the available rations were reduced by nearly one-half, so that the forty thousand six hundred and ninety-five horses or mules belonging to the army had only, in reality, provisions for six days. The same difficulties retarded the supplies of every kind asked by McClellan. For some days despatches were constantly passing between his headquarters and those of Halleck, asserting, on the one side, that so many thousand overcoats and pairs of shoes had been forwarded, and on the other that such articles had not been received. Finally, about the 25th of October, large
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.