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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 4, vol 3, Part 1 (Blockade Runners)


Richmond, Va., February 18, 1865.


SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the following resolution of the Senate adopted on the 24th ultimo:

Resolved, That the President of the Confederate States of America be respectfully requested to furnish the Senate-

First. With information as to the number of white men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, and of the number of negroes who, in addition to their own officers, may be required for the necessary employments and the proper discharge of the functions of the Department of Medicine, of the Commissary-General, of the Quartermaster-General, of the Engineers, of the Ordnance, and of the Niter and Mining Bureau.

Second. A like estimates as to the Post-Office and Navy Departments.

Third. A like estimate in regard to the railroad transportation of the country, including not only the working, but the equipment, repairs, and construction, in his consideration, of the number required for such transportation.

Fourth. To specify the railroads, if there be any such, whose repairs and construction, in his opinion, will be necessary for military purposes and ought to be effected in whole or in party by appropriations from the Confederate Treasury.

In response to the foregoing resolution I submit the inclosed communications from the respective bureaus of this Department to whose operations the inquiries relate.

From these it will appear that the six supply department mentioned in the first clause of the resolution require for their operations-

Whites Negroes

Niter and Mining Bureau 5,347 7,881

Engineer Bureau 1,297 21,125

Ordnance Department 3,691 2,245

Medical Department (able bodied, 257; 2,252 2,000

disabled, 1,995)

Commissary (incomplete) 736 1,047

Quartermaster, exclusive of railroads 2,299 3,451

Total 15,622 37,749

The estimate of the Commissary-General does not embrace the States of Georgia and Florida, for the reasons stated by him.

In response to the third clause of the resolution the Quartermaster-General finds himself unable, for the reasons assigned by him, and by Lieutenant-Colonel Sims, in charge of railroad transportation, to state the number of men required. These numbers vary so greatly with the varying conditions of the country, the positions of the armies, and the consequent changing demands upon different railroads, that even an approximation in numbers is difficult.

In response to the fourth clause, the Chief of Engineers and the Quartermaster-General concur in indicating the following as the most important railroads, the repairs or construction of which are necessary for military purpose, viz:

First, the connection of Columbia, S. C., with Augusta, Ga. ; second, the connection of Albany, Ga., with Thomasville, Ga. ; third, the connection of Union Springs, Ala., with Montgomery, Ala. ; fourth, the connection of Montgomery, Ala., with Selma, Ala. ; to which the Chief of Engineers adds: Fifth, the completion of the railroad bridge over the Tombigbee River at Demopolis, Ala.

I concur in the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers, that instead of making separate appropriations for the conscription of particular works, and for repairs, that a general appropriation be

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 4, vol 3, Part 1 (Blockade Runners)
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