• Civil War Archive: Lt. George Nichols Fails to Submit Quartermaster Reports; Pay Suspended

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    LT. GEORGE NICHOLS enlisted in the 47th Indiana Infantry as First Lieutenant on September 25, 1861, and was assigned as quartermaster on December 13, 1861.  He participated in the Yazoo Pass Expedition and the Siege of Vicksburg.

    Nichols had difficulty following orders to get appropriate reporting regarding the submitting of receipts, signed reports in a timely manner as evidenced by the archive of ten documents, including one unrelated to Nichols, regarding orders to Nichols to submit accurate and timely reports or lose pay. Several include remarks scolding Nichols for failing to comply and one states that his pay will be suspended until he does.

    Quarterly Return of Quartermaster Stores, 17” x 21”, received, issued remaining on hand at Helena, Ark, in the quarter ending September 30, 1862. Items included corn, oats, hay, pens, paper, horse wagons, horse shoes, horses, mules, coffins, blacksmith tools, barrels of salt.  Fold tears and soiling on verso.

    One page, ALS, LT. George Sheeks writes from the Quartermaster’s Office, 12th District, Division 13th, Vicksburg, Mississippi, July 27th, 1863, firmly directing Nichols to “send to this office as soon as possible a descriptive list of each Quartermaster assigned to duty in your brigade including yourself…”

    List of names of six Quartermasters, Rank, Date of Commission, quality of service, apparently completed by Nichols, is included.

    Quartermaster General’s Office part-printed letter, 8” x 10”, noting that Nichols’ property account for January 1864 has been received and “when examined will be sent to the Third Auditor of the Treasury for settlement…The papers noted as wanting must be furnished before an examination of your accounts can be made.

    “Abstract ‘M’ and vouchers…’’

    Treasury Department Auditor letter, March 29th, 1864, notified Nichols that his report is deficient and the audit has been suspended.  A second accompanying document – Statement of Differences arising on Official Examination – is included. The document lists eight missing abstracts. A number of the violations involve Nichols’ failure to sign receipts.

    Ordinance Office, War Department, Property Returns Division, April 6, 1864, part-printed warns Nichols of his deficiencies in filing reports. “Unless the Returns are promptly transmitted or some satisfactory explanation offered for this delinquency, you will be reported to the Adjutant General of the Army, by this Office, for a stoppage of all pay until the above regulations are fully complied with…”

    Ordinance Office, War Department, Property Returns Division, September 16, 1864, part-printed, states “The Quarterly Return of Ordnance Stores for which you are accountable pertaining to the 47th Indiana Vols for the Tenth quarter, 1861, has not been received…although you were notified to this effect…You have this day been reported to the Adjutant General of the Army as a delinquent for this quarter…with the recommendation that measures may be taken to stop your pay until the required returns have been rendered…”

    One page, ALS, from W.B. Ballard to Nichols, St. Charles, Ark., Oct. 15, 1864, in part, “…Capt. C.Z. Rager wants to know if you can furnish him invoices of those Bell Tents transferred to him at Helena, Ark in the month of February 1863…It would be a great accommodation.  We are all well and in good spirits. Just got the news that Morton is elected by twenty thousand majority…”

    Treasury Department, Third Auditor’s Office, Oct. 13, 1865, ALS, in part, “Your property returns for the period from the second quarter 1862 to January 1864…have been examined in this office & suspended in part: as shown by the enclosed sheet of remarks to which your early attention is requested…” (sheet listing deficiencies not present)

    Unrelated Special Orders Headquarters, Wisconsin Vols,  May 22, 1865,  instructing 2nd Lt. William Trousdale to turn over to Lt. H.H. Russell all Ornance and Ordnance Stores Camp and Garrison Equipage pertaining to Co. F…”

    Some soiling, folds and a few fold tears, mostly in the Quarterly Return. Overall in excellent condition.

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