Reports of Maj. John A. Harman, C. S. Army, Chief Quartermaster, of property captured and destroyed.
MOSS NECK, VA., March 10, 1863.
It is impossible for me to make an accurate estimate of the property captured, owing to the fact that I was only there apart of one day and night, when I was ordered to Winchester, and left Capt. S. M. Somers, assistant quartermaster, in charge of the public property captured at Front Royal. There was a very large and varied amount of supplies found there, consisting of harness, carpenter's tools, clothing, horseshoes and nails, blacksmith's tools, forges, axes, sutler's and commissary stores, &c., upon which it is impossible to place a reliable estimate of value.
A very considerable amount of these stores passed at once into our possession, being taken in charge and use by the different quartermasters as they passed through with their trains. Many valuable wagons were thus exchanged, our worn-out and injured ones being left in their stead. The same was done as to harness.
The subsequent capture of Captain Somers prevented any detailed report being made of the property received and turned in to him.
Upon my arrival in Winchester I at once set about making the most ample preparations for removing this property to the rear, and had detailed from each brigade a large number of wagons for that purpose. In addition I ordered up all the available transportation from Staunton, and it had arrived within less than a day's travel of Front Royal when that place was recaptured by a portion of General Shields' army. The trains from the brigades had partially arrived there, and a portion had been loaded and sent off, while a part turned back to Winchester. This train was placed by me in charge of Capt. J. L. Cole, assistant quartermaster, Thirty-seventh Virginia Regiment (since resigned), with instructions to take immediate charge of the shipment to the rear. He proceeded in part to the performance of his duty but was interrupted by the entry of the enemy into Front Royal. He narrowly escaped capture, having remained behind our troops (on his own motion) for the purpose of firing the depot and an adjoining building, full of stores, both of which were burned to the ground. His estimate of the stores thus consumed is, I am informed, $300,000, in which I concur, from my own recollection of the contents of the buildings. Having accomplished this, Captain Cole followed our retreating forces.
With the preparations made as above, had our forces held possession of Front Royal forty-eight hours longer, all the captured property would have been secured and taken to the rear.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
General THOMAS J. JACKSON.
Col. C. J. FAULKNER,
List of articles captured and turned in to the chief quartermaster of the Valley District during the second and third quarters 1862, viz:
The above are the articles captured in the quartermaster's department and turned in to me. Besides these, much property was captured and reported direct to the Quartermaster-General by various quartermasters of the command without being reported to me.
Source: O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 15 [S# 15]