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[355] to me as I write — each day big with importance, as our letters, yet preserved to us, so faithfully record.

Not many months elapsed before it became apparent that the necessities of stern warfare would not permit and should not have so many of the equipments of civil life, when the shelter tent, already described, took the place of the larger varieties; when camp-fires superseded the stoves, and many other comfortable but unnecessary furnishings disappeared from the baggage. Not how little but how much could be dispensed with then became the question of the hour. The trains must be reduced in size, and they must be moved in a manner not to hamper the troops, if possible; but the war was more than half finished before they were brought into a satisfactory system of operation.

The greater number of the three-years regiments that arrived in Washington in 1861 brought no transportation of any kind. After McClellan assumed command, a depot of transportation was established at Perryville on the Susquehanna; by this is meant a station where wagons and ambulances were kept, and from which they were supplied.

From there Captain Sawtell, now colonel and brevet brigadier general U. S. A., fitted out regiments as rapidly as he could, giving each six wagons instead of twenty-five, one of which was for medical supplies. Some regiments, however, by influence or favor at court, got more than that. A few wagons were supplied from the quartermaster's depot at Washington. A quartermaster is an officer whose duty it is to provide quarters, provisions, clothing, fuel, storage, and transportation for an army. The chief officer in the quartermaster's department is known as the quartermastergeneral. There was a chief quartermaster of the army, and a chief quartermaster to each corps and division; then, there were brigade and regimental quartermasters, and finally the quartermaster-sergeants, all attending in their appropriate spheres to the special duties of this department.

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