In Roman history we frequently find the baggage-trains of the army alluded to as the impedimenta
. The materiel
, then, or impedimenta
, of our armies has, very naturally, been ignored by the historian; for the personnel
, the actors, are of so much more
consequence, they have absorbed the interest of both writers and readers.
I say the persons are of much more consequence, but I must not be understood as belittling the importance of the trains.
An army without its varied supplies, which the trains care for and provide, would soon be neither useful nor ornamental.
In fact, an army is like a piece of machinery, each part of which is indispensable to every other part.
I presume every one of mature years has an idea of what army wagons look like.
They were heavy, lumbering
A mule driver.|
affairs at best, built for hard service, all, apparently, after the same pattern, each one having its tool-box in front, its feed trough behind, which, in camp, was placed lengthwise of the pole; its spare pole suspended at the side; its wooden bucket for water, and iron “slush-bucket” for grease, hanging from the hind axle; and its canvas cover, which when closely drawn in front and rear, as it always was on the march, made quite a satisfactory “close carriage.”
As a pleasure carriage, however, they were not considered a success.
When the Third Corps was wintering at Brandy Station
in 1863-4 the concert troupe, which my company boasted was engaged to give a week of evening