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[320] officer of a company was responsible. At the end of a soldier's term of service, they were to be turned in or properly accounted for.

Army cattle.

An army officer who was reputed to have been of high and hasty temper, who certainly seemed to have been capable of rash and inconsiderate remarks, was once overheard to say of soldiers that they were nothing but cattle, and deserved to be treated only as such. In the short sketch here submitted on the subject of Army Cattle, I do not include the variety above referred to, but rather the quadrupedal kind that furnished food for them.

In the sketch on Army Rations I named fresh beef as one of the articles furnished, but I gave no particulars as to just how the army was supplied with it. This I will now endeavor to do.

When there came an active demand for fresh and salt meat to feed the soldiers and sailors, at once the price advanced, and Northern farmers turned their attention more extensively to grazing. Of course, the great mass of the cattle were raised in the West, but yet even rugged New England contributed no inconsiderable quantity to swell the total. These were sent by hundreds and thousands on rail and shipboard to the various armies. On their arrival, they were put in a corral. Here they were subject, like all supplies, to the disposition of the commissary-general of the army, who, through his subordinates, supplied them to the various organizations upon the presentation of a requisition, signed by the commanding officer of a regiment or other body of troops, certifying to the number of rations of meat required.

When the army was investing Petersburg and Richmond, the cattle were in corral near City Point. On the 16th of September, 1864, the Rebels having learned through their scouts that this corral was but slightly guarded, and that by

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September 16th, 1864 AD (1)
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