irresistible force upon their invaders. It is easy to show all that an enterprise full of glory is also most conductive to our prosperity, and that a few hours of danger would gain a lifetime of security. If the movement required the complete suspension of all details, it would seem as if the occasion would more than justify it. But it need not be so. It would not be so. A portion of the detailed force, the least useful in the field, might be left. And who would weight the consequence of a partial suspension of the operations of these details with the advantage which would result from placing them in the field and welding them together in one compact mass, giving life and hope to the army of General Hood, sustaining the cause of the Confederacy with this gallant, if sorely prossed, army, and with it a general who will full unless he can retrieve his losses, which the popular judgement will ever confound with his faults.
I will not venture to press the matter further than to say that for its successful achievement it requires one whose skill and ability are acknowledged, and that the extent of the draft upon the detail should be left to the sound discretion of the officers to whose hands the movement is committed.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
A. G. MAGRATH.
BUREAU OF SUBSISTENCE,
Richmond, September 15, 1864.
Colonel L. B. NORTHROP,
COLONEL: I beg leave to call you attention to the fact that we are without fifteen days' supply of meat in this city for the subsistence of General Lee's army and other troops, employes, &c., department upon us; nor have we an accumulation in any of the States upon which to draw in the future. The collection of meat from all sources during the past thirty days would not subsist the Army of Northern Virginia for one week, the operations of the department having been seriously interfered with from the want of adequate means with which to purchase, liquidate accrued indebtedness, and thus restore public confidence, so seriously impaired in many sections of the Confederacy from our past inability to comply with obligations and from the financial policy heretofore pursued.
The impressment act has signally failed in affording the relief that was anticipated, simply because payment is required to be made when the law is enforced, a clause which practically nullifies it, since our restricted means will not enable us to offer currency, and the mass of the people refuse to accept the 6 per cent. certificates and not-taxable bonds, although our officers have been instructed to make every effort to induce their acceptance, believing it obligatory upon us to aid the Treasury in every practicable way. In all the State impressments are evaded by every means which ingenuity can suggest, and in some openly resisted. In North Carolina our receipts are insignificant, and in Georgia and Alabama we are unable to purchase corn for want of money, which necessitates the consumption of our limited stock of flour, so desirable to preserve for active campaigning. In Virginia the meat supply has been exhausted, but it is believed that considerable cattle and bacon are yet to be had in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, provided the necessary funds are at our command.