Today in History:

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


well remain in New York or Philadelphia, so far as this army is concerned. I am officially informed by one corps commander that there is a deficiency of 5,000 pairs of shoes in the amount he called for, and other commanders are continually making similar complaints. The soldiers of this army have for some time past been suffering for clothing, and I am constrained to believe it in a great degree owing to the want of proper action on the part of the Quartermaster's Department.

General Meigs states further that the Army of the Potomac has, since the battles in front of Washington, received 9,254 horses, to replace losses; and, in this connection, inquires most seriously if there is an instance on record of such drain and destruction of horses.

When I marched this army for Washington, on the 8th day of September it was greatly deficient in cavalry horses, the hard service to which they had been subjected in front of Washington having rendered about half of them unserviceable. Nearly all the horses that this army has received since them have been to replace those that were broken down at that time, but there has not been anything like the number named by the Quartermaster-General. The following statement furnished at my order by Lieutenant-Colonel Myers, assistant chief quartermaster, gives the actual number of horses received by this army since September 8, 1862:

Horses from Harrisburg:

By Captain J. C. Crane, assistant quartermaster, Frederick.......732

By Captain Weeks, assistant quartermaster, Hagerstown..........134

Horses from Washington:

By Captain Pitkin, assistant quartermaster, Harper's Ferry..... 201

By Captain Bliss, assistant quartermaster, Harper's Ferry...... 498

By Captain J. B. Howard, assistant quartermaster, headquarters... 399

----Total received................................................1,964

Number stated by Quartermaster-General........................9,254



From this statement it will be seen that the total number of horses received by this army since the commencement of the present campaign is only 1,964-7,290 less than the number given by the Quartermaster-General. Of those delivered very many were totally unfitted for the service, and should never have been received. General Pleas on ton, [who] commands a cavalry division, says, in a report made yesterday:

The horses now purchased for cavalry service are much inferior to those first obtained, and are not suitable for the hard service of cavalry horses.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, U. S. Army.


Washington City, October 21, 1862.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to return the letter of General McClellan of the 18th instant, upon the supply of clothing and of horses to the army under his command.

General McClellan is constrained to believe that suffering for want of clothing among the soldiers of his command for some time past is in a great degree owing to the want of proper action on the part of the