previous next
[364] team took up on the road, say, forty feet, but of course they did not travel at close intervals. The nature of the country determined, in some degree, their distance apart. In going up or down hill a liberal allowance was made for balky or headstrong mules. Colonel Wilson, the chief commissary of the army, in an interesting article to the United Service magazine (1880), has stated that could the train which was requisite to accompany the army on the Wilderness Campaign have been extended in a straight line it would have spanned the distance between Washington and Richmond, being about one hundred and thirty miles. I presume this estimate includes the ambulance-train also. On the basis of three to a regiment, there must have been as many as one hundred and fifty to a corps. These, on ordinary marches, followed immediately in the rear of their respective divisions.

When General Sherman started for the sea, his army of sixty thousand men was accompanied by about twenty-five hundred wagons and six hundred ambulances. These were divided nearly equally between his four corps, each corps commander managing his own train. In this campaign the transportation had the roads, while the infantry plodded along by the roadside.

The supply trains, it will now be understood, were the travelling depot or reservoir from which the army replenished its needs. When these wagons were emptied, they were at once sent back to the base of supplies, to be reloaded with precisely the same kind of material as before; and empty wagons had always to leave the road clear for loaded ones. Unless under a pressure of circumstances, all issues except of ammunition were made at night. By this plan the animals of the supply consumed their forage at the base of supplies, and thus saved hauling it.

It was a welcome sight to the soldiers when rations drew low, or were exhausted, to see these wagons drive up to the lines. They were not impedimenta to the army just then.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Washington (United States) (1)
Richmond (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Henry Wilson (1)
William T. Sherman (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1880 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: