Hoisted from comments: Monte Davis writes:
Grasping Reality with Both Hands: Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal: John Keegan notes somewhere that in the War of Independence, when the colonists desperately needed the captured cannon from Ticonderoga and Crown Point, it took three months to get them the ~200 miles to the siege positions around Boston. Land transport was HARD before rails, all-weather roads, and fossil-fueled engines...
Of course, back in 1776 nobody would have moved cannon from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston by land in peacetime: you would have used water as much as possible. Only the fact that it was wartime and the British fleet dominated the seas made them drag the cannon across the hills and mountains of New England.
UPDATE: Monte Davis adds:
Taking your point: Keegan again, in the The Price of Admiralty, does a neat figure-of-merit comparison of the cost "per weight of shot," logistics and all, for Wellington's cannon at Waterloo vs. Nelson's at Trafalgar. The bang/buck was far, far better for the navy (think "no horses, no fodder, no fodder for the horses carrying the fodder for the other horses, etc."). It goes far to explain how a small island nation could exert imperial hegemony at the end of such long levers.