the rear, impatiently urged on the drivers, who, in turn, with lusty lungs uttered vigorous oaths at the mules, punctuated by blows or cracks of the black snake that equalled in volume the intonations of a rifle; and these jumped into their harnesses and took the wagons along over stumps and through gullies with as great alacrity as if the chief strain and responsibility of the campaign centred in themselves.
An additional feature of animation was presented by the columns of infantry from the other corps, which alternated in the landscape with the lines of wagons, winding along into camp tired and footsore, but without apparent concern.
I do not now remember any other time in my experience when so large a portion of the materiel
of the army could have been covered by a single glance as I saw in the gathering twilight of that October afternoon.
The system of designating the troops by corps badges was extended to the transportation, and every wagon was marked on the side of the canvas covering with the corps badge, perhaps eighteen inches in diameter, and of the appropriate color to designate the division to which it belonged.
In addition to this, the number of its division, brigade, and the nature of its contents, whether rations, forage, clothing, or ammunition,--and, if the latter, the kind, whether artillery or musket, and the calibre,--were plainly stencilled in large letters on the cover.
All this and much more went to indicate as perfect organization in the trains as in the army itself, and to these men, who were usually farthest from the fray, for whom few words of appreciation have been uttered by distinguished writers on the war, I gladly put on record my humble opinion that the country is as much indebted as for the work of the soldiers in line.
They acted well their part, and all honor to them for it.
A regular army officer, who had a large experience in charge of trains, has suggested that a bugler for each brigade or division train would have been a valuable auxiliary