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“ There will be no general train of supplies, but each corps will have its ammunition train and provision train distributed habitually as follows: Behind each regiment should follow one wagon and one ambulance; behind each brigade should follow a due proportion of ammunition-wagons, provision-wagons and ambulances. In case of danger each corps commander should change this order of march, by having his advance and rear brigades unencumbered by wheels. The separate columns will start habitually at 7 A. M., and make about fifteen miles per day, unless otherwise fixed in orders.”

I presume the allowance remained about the same for the Wilderness Campaign as that given in Orders No. 83. General Hancock says that he started into the Wilderness with 27,000 men. Now, using this fact in connection with the general order, a little rough reckoning will give an approximate idea of the size of the train of this corps. Without going into details, I may say that the total train of the Second Corps, not including the ambulances, could not have been far from 800 wagons, of which about 600 carried the various supplies, and the remainder the baggage — the camp equipage of the corps.

When the army was in settled camp, the supply trains went into park by themselves, but the baggage-wagons were retained with their corps, division, brigade, or regimental headquarters. When a march was ordered, however, these wagons waited only long enough to receive their freight of camp equipage, when away they went in charge of their respective quartermasters to join the corps supply train.

I have alluded to the strength of a single corps train. But the Second Corps comprised only about one-fifth of the Union army in the Wilderness, from which a little arithmetic will enable one to get a tolerably definite idea of the impedimenta of this one army, even after a great reduction in the original amount had been made. There were probably over 4000 wagons following the Army of the Potomac into the Wilderness. An idea of the ground such a train would cover may be obtained by knowing that a six-mule

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Winfield S. Hancock (1)
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