April 3, 2011

From a Supplyline: 4

Filed under: supplyline — Tags: , — admin @ 6:12 pm

Today I have a little time on my hands. I’ve been enjoying some solitude in the forest adjacent to our castella. From here I can still hear the sounds of our legionaries and cavalry as they come and go from the fort. It’s not true solitude but such as it is, I find it most welcome.
I am sitting on my mess blanket enjoying a jug of wine and find myself wondering about the evolution of Roman supply lines over the decades.
It seems to me that our supply lines started because of the army, we exist because the legions exist. As the army grew and our empire expanded, supply lines grew to support our soldiers and citizens in the provinces.
I find it interesting that now some of the army exist because of us, the supplylines.
I estimate that at least half of the soldiers in our castella are there to work in and protect my supply line. The auxiliary and cavalry travel with each supply convoy as equipment, food and other supplies are moved through.
On return journeys I have the convoys transport our wounded soldiers back for medical treatment or take others home on leave. The convoy also carries military equipment going back to our larger castra murata (walled forts) where they will be repaired by one of our skilled craftsmen.
If we have found rich pasture and foraging the return convoys will carry these provisions back to where they are needed. Along the way the soldiers will fill empty amphorae with water for use back at the castra murata.
I hope you can see that our supply line is very efficient. Whenever I can, I make sure our carts, mules and oxen are carrying loads on each journey they make.
I love my job, planning and organising our supply columns and serving in our army.
I must say, this solitude and wine have been good too, but now I must re-direct my thoughts and make my way back to the castella. I still have some arrangements to make for the supply convoy leaving tomorrow morning, not least because I must go with it and meet up with my general at his camp.