Second Only to Grant: Quartermaster General Montogomery C. Meigs

David W. Miller

  • Second Only to Grant: Quartermaster General Montogomery C. Meigs

As quartermaster general, Montgomery C. Meigs fought on all fronts of the Civil War. His was the planning and direction that kept both eastern and western theater Union generals well supplied with all the clothing, equipment and accouterments, tents, and horses they needed. His responsibilities also included wagon, rail, and water transportation. A pivotal leader in the industrialization of the United States, his purchases increased industrialization, and his reorganizations improved military transportation and the structure of his quartermaster department staff.

Meigs used his skills continually. During the Gettysburg campaign, as Meade's Army of the Potomac moved rapidly north, Meigs, and Herman Haupt, his chief of the U.S. Military Railroad, kept Meade's supply line shifting along with his army. In the West, Meigs personally was involved with the "cracker line" that kept Chattanooga's defenders supplied. Meigs' supply bases at Fredericksburg and Belle Plain kept Grant moving against Lee. His resupply of Sherman at Savannah in 1865 was a triumph of logistics that hurt Confederate morale when the Southerners saw the new uniforms and equipment of the Yankees.

But Meigs accomplished even more. An architect, engineer, regent of the Smithsonian Institution, and member of the National Academy of Science, his contributions to the work of government at Washington kept him involved with the new dome and wings of the United States Capitol, the Pension Building, and many other structures still in use today.

"...so far as I am capable of judging, I do not know one who combines the qualities of masculine intellect, learning and experience of the right sort, and physical power of labor and endurance, so well as he."

Abraham Lincoln, June 5, 1861

"...Perhaps in the military history of the world there was never so large an amount of money disbursed upon the order of a single man.... The aggregate sum could not have been less during the war than fifteen hundred millions of dollars, accurately vouched and accounted for to the last cent."

Senator James G. Blaine, 1886

Book
Author David W. Miller
Pages 372
Images 77
Maps 8
Bibliography Yes
Index Yes
  • $40.00

Tags: 9781572492127, David W. Miller