branch of the department arise from scarcity of wool, the frequent stopping of the work by ordering away the operatives, and the want of funds.
Third. A communication from Lieutenant-Colonel Sims as to the condition of railroad transportation, the wants of the railroads, &c. The chief difficulties encountered there arise from defective machinery and the impossibility of supplying new, the want of legislation giving the Government proper control over railroads and their employes and the want of funds to pay the roads so as to keep them is as good condition as the blockade and the limited resources of the country will permit.
Several special communications on this subject have been addressed by this Bureau to Honorable Secretary of War. At present this department has no control over railroads except so much as has been yielded by contract or courtesy.
The supply of grain and long forage in the country is believed to be quite enough to supply the public animals, but no distinct opinion can be hazarded as to the ability of this Bureau to supply it to the armies during the coming campaign, as so much will depend on the relative positions of the different armies and the preservation or destruction of our lines of transportation.
To sum up, I venture to state that this Bureau can conduct its operations with success enough to sustain our armies if labor is allowed to the various workshops on which it depends, without interruption; if the privilege of detailing contractors under certain circumstances be continued, and the necessary funds are promptly furnished. Without these this department is powerless and the want of them is fast paralyzing its efforts.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. L. LAWTON,
[Inclosure No. 1.]
OFFICE INSPECTOR-GENERAL FIELD TRANSPORTATION,
Richmond, February 1, 1865.
SIR: The urgent request of General Lee, made to me in person, and that of this chief quartermaster, to be prepared to equip his artillery and transportation with animals, added to the calls made upon me for the same supplies for armies south, induces me to address you this communication, in which I desire to recapitulate what I have before at different times, in writing and verbally, had the honor to submit to you on the subject of the number of animals needed to equip our armies for the spring campaign, and the source from which such supplies are to be obtained. As the officer charged with he providing of horses and mules for the armies of the Confederate States, I feel it to be due to myself for the record to show that I have taken all necessary steps to a proper discharge of my duty to ascertain the resources of the country and to suggest plans by which deficiencies may be supplies, and that should the demand made on me not be met, and any damage result from such failure, I may be exculpated from blame by reference to my official communications. The inability of the Confederate States east of the Mississippi to sustain the draft which would be made for horses and mules for the coming campaign, was discussed and announced by me in May last when