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U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps

The U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps (Quartermaster Department) is one of the three logistics branches of the U.S. Army. It is the oldest of the supply agencies of the army, tracing its origin to June 16, 1775, when the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution providing for "one quarter master general for the grand army, and a deputy, under him, for the separate army." During the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, Congress in 1802 reduced the size of the army and disbanded the Quartermaster Department, the secretary of war assuming the duties of the quartermaster general, and a system of civilian military agents replacing the department. With war against Great Britain on the horizon, Congress in March 1812 re-established the Quartermaster Corps, eliminating the costly and inefficient military agent system. The duties of the Quartermaster Corps were to procure, purchase, and transport military stores, camp equipage, and other articles required of troops in the field. From 1812 to the end of the Civil War, the Quartermaster Corps supplied the means necessary for the army to complete its mission.

Erna Risch, Quartermaster Support of the Army: A History of the Corps 1775-1939(Washington, DC: Quartermaster Historian's Office, Office of the Quartermaster General, 1962), 1, 116-17, 130, 135-36; Maurice Matloff, gen ed., American Military History (Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Military History, United States Army, 1969), 124; Continental Congress, Journal 1775, 2nd cong., 94; "An Act Fixing the Military Peace Establishment of the United States," 16 March 1802, Statutes at Large of the United States 2 (1845):132-37; "An Act to Establish a Quartermaster's Department, and for Other Purposes," 28 March 1812, Statutes at Large of the United States 2 (1845):696-99.