Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/147

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.

Beminiscences of Field Ordnance Service. 141

the winter, and they were ready for action when the campaign opened. A train of wagons was organized to carry the reserve ammunition for the artillery, and this was placed in charge of the artillery ord- nance officer of the co^s, and, besides this, there was a reserve train for the army under the direct orders of the chief ordnance officer of the army.

There had been with the Second corps no field repair shop, or other means of repairing slight damages to arms. Soon after taking charge, I obtained through Colonel Baldwin, from the field park of the army, four or five gunsmiths and a good harness maker, with a small equipment, including a large tent, and attached this to our corps reserve ordnance train. These men were worthy and excel- lent mechanics, and they did a great deal of useful work. Several thousand stand of arms in the course of the campaign were rendered serviceable, which, otherwise, would have had to go to Richmond, and a good deal of artillery harness was repaired. When Milroy ran away from Winchester, in 1863, he left over twenty pieces of artillery, all of them spiked. Our workmen rendered them all fit for service within a day. My principal workmen were Mr. Gwalt- mey. of Norfolk, Mr. Custard, of Maryland, and Mr. McNulty, of Highland county, Virginia. This repair-shop, as well as the special ordnance reports, I placed under charge of Lieutenant I. T. Walke, of Norfolk, who subsequently fell, October 9, 1864, while gallantly fighting with General Fitz. Lee, whose ordnance officer he then was. My principal assistant, who took charge of all the other ordnance property and kept the accounts, was Lieutenant William M. Archer, of Richmond, one of the most faithful and efficient oflicers of the department, and indeed of the army.

I recall an instance of the difficulty of obtaining even small sup- plies. During the winter General Jackson requested me to have the knapsacks of the men marked in white paint. In the active cam- paign of the preceding summer his men had been compelled to store their knapsacks, I think at Harrisonburg, and it was some months before they saw them again. As they had not been marked in any way, great confusion and loss resulted in re-issuing them. He desired to provide against the recurrence of this. I found it so difficult to get stencil plates for numbers and letters that I went to Richmond myself and had them made, obtained the paint, and then found that only a few brushes could be gotten. With this very limited equip ment, men were put to work to mark the knapsacks. In Early's division, where Major G. W. Christy pushed the work without inter-