illustrates strongly the drawbacks resulting from an attempt to relieve the necessities of one branch of the service by diverting irregularly material due to another. If barter must continue, cant it be restricted, and as far as possible articles like tobacco used in lie of what goes to make up essential military supplies? The department has struggled on successfully in the past notwithstanding this serious difficulty, but some relief is needed for the future.
In the same way hides of beeves slaughtered by commissaries are made way with, though due to this department under general orders, and absolutely essential to the continued supply of shoes to the Army. The practice of purchasing beeves with the obligation to return the hides to the seller should be discontinued.
Third. Some protection similar to that given to the factory operatives by Special Orders, No. 310, paragraph XXXII, should be extended to the detailed men oll employed in the established workshops of the department, so as to guard against unnecessary interruptions and consequent loss of supplies.
With some relief in these particulars to develop home resources, and such aid as may be looked for from abroad though contracts encouraging individual enterprise can be provided, at least for the present year.
These remarks apply equally to camp equiPAGEand miscellaneous stores.
WM. B. B. CROSS,
[Inclosure No. 3]
CONFEDERATE STATES QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT OFFICER SUPERINTENDENT RAILROAD TRANSPORTATION,
Richmond, February 10, 1865.
GENERAL: In making the report your ordered upon the condition and wants in regard to transportation by railroad, it may not be improper to call your attention to the cause of the difficulties which have always attended it with increasing force as this city is approached.
In North Carolina and Virginia, where transportation bears the most heavily because of its increasing volume as you approach Richmond, the roads are the least able to bear it. They were constructed and equipped to transport that great stream of travel between the North and South, and with no expectation of a heavy freighting business, prepared themselves with such machinery as was adopted to carrying a light train very rapidly. So long as the Army could draw supplies
from any quarter, and the lines running south as far as wilmington and Charlotte were called on only to transport men, the work was performed promptly and well; but when supplies failed in Virginia and North Carolina, and Georgia and South Carolina had to furnish them, an immense business was at once created upon those lines, which they were unprepared to meet; their engines were light and few in number, and their cars the same. Had the gauge of the tracks south suited, machinery might have been drawn from there; but this not being so, we have had to struggle against a heavy business