Today in History:

8 Series I Volume XIX-I Serial 27 - Antietam Part I

Page 8 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

knowledge, made upon the Secretary of War, and none upon the General-in-Chief.

2d. On several occasions General McClellan has telegraphed to me that his army was deficient in certain supplies. All these telegrams were immediately referred to the heads of bureaus,with to report. It was ascertained that in every instance the requisitions had been immediately filled except one, where the Quartermaster-General had been obliged to send from Philadelphia certain articles of clothing, tents, &c., not having a full supply here.

There has not been, so far as I could ascertain, any neglect or delay in any Department or bureau in issuing all supplies asked for by General McClellan or by the officers of his staff. Delays have occasionally occurred in forwarding supplies by rail on account of the crowded condition of the depots or of a want of cars, but, whenever notified of this, agents have been sent out to remove the difficulty. Under the excellent superintendence of General Haupt, I think these delays have been less frequent and of shorter duration than is usual with freight trains. Any army of the size of that under General McClellan will frequently be for some days without the supplies asked for, on account of neglect in making timely requisitions and unavoidable delays in forwarding them to the different brigades and regiments. From all the information I can obtain, I am of opinion that the requisitions from that army have been filled more promptly, and that the men, as a general rule, have been better supplied than our armies operating in the West. The latter have operated at much greater distances from the sources of supply, and have had far less facilities for transportation. In fine, I believe that no ;armies in the world while in campaign have been more promptly or better supplied than ours.

3d. Soon after the battle of Antietam, General McClellan was urged to give me information of his intended movements, in order that if he moved between the enemy and Washington, re-enforcements could be sent from this place. On the st of October,* finding that he purposed to operate from Harper's Ferry, I urged him to cross the river at once and give battle to the enemy, pointing out to him the disadvantages of delaying till the autumn rains had swollen the potomac and impaired the roads. On the 6th October* he was peremptorily ordered to cross the Potomac and give battle to the enemy, or drive him south. "Your army must move now, while the roads are good." It will be observed that three weeks have elapsed since this order was given.

4th. In my opinion there has been no such want of supplies in the army under General McClellan as to prevent his compliance with the orders to advance against the enemy. Had he moved to the south side of the Potomac, he could have received his supplies almost as readily as by remaining inactive on the north side.

5th. On the 7th October, in a telegram in regard to his intended movements, General McClellan stated that it would require at least three days to supply the First, Fifth, and Sixth Corps; that they needed shoes and other indispensable articles of clothing, as well as shelter-tents. No complaint was made that any requisitions had not been filled, and it was inferred from his language that he was only waiting for the distribution of his supplies.

On the 11th he telegraphed that a portion of his supplies sent by rail had been delayed. As already stated, agents were immediately sent from here to investigate this complaint, and they reported that everything

*See Addenda to this report, p. 10.

Page 8 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.