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  • 9. Quartermaster

    “The line of supply may be said to be as vital to the existence of an army as the heart to the life of a human being” This quote from a military commander emphasizes the critical role that the quartermaster and subsistence departments played in the army’s well being and survival. In this building are housed the barrels and boxes that contained these important supplies. One side is set up as the quartermaster’s office and storeroom. As the name implies, the quartermaster was in charge of providing the army with quarters or buildings in which to live. In the quartermaster storeroom are nails, paint, and other materials used in the construction and maintenance of the buildings, supplies that ultimately provided comfort to the soldiers. The commissary or subsistence officer ran the other side of the building. He used it to store food rations and other supplies vital to the soldiers’ survival. Dry goods such as flour and bacon were stored in barrels and boxes, while goods that needed a cooler environment, candles and soap, for example, were stored in the downstairs basement. Strict accountability governed the management of these supplies. Supplies were regularly inventoried. Paperwork accompanied the issuance of these supplies. Even items that were spoiled could not just be thrown out; a board of survey had to declare them unfit for consumption and order their disposal.