When the Civil War began, Meigs was initially appointed to a field command, for which he was not suited. In May 1861, he accepted a more appropriate commission as quartermaster general, a post he held until 1882. Meigs was responsible for supplying the Union army's entire war effort—a gargantuan task to which he successfully applied his considerable organizational talent. Not one to hold the reins of authority too tightly, Meigs divided his department into nine semiautonomous divisions in order to achieve both efficiency and cost‐effectiveness. In conjunction with Herman Haupt, head of the U.S. Military Railroad, Meigs saw to it that Union soldiers were never far from a supply depot and always well provisioned. His marshaling of the North's vast economic potential toward a single end was a major reason for Union victory. Meigs's example of wartime bureaucratic efficiency helped govern the economic expansion that followed, which was to turn the United States into a global industrial giant.
[See also Civil War: Military and Diplomatic Course.]
Russell F. Weigley , Quartermaster General of the Union Army: A Biography of M. C. Meigs, 1959.
T. R. Brereton
"Meigs, Montgomery." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/meigs-montgomery
"Meigs, Montgomery." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved October 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/meigs-montgomery
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