DALTON, January 9, 1864.
Major Cummings, who is charged with procuring subsistence for this army, writes from Atlanta that the difficulty in supplying us comes from the employment of a large number of cars in transporting Government cotton to Wilmington. Rolling-stock and road necessary for transportating our supplies are thus and to such extent as to make it difficult to furnish daily rations. I beg you to consider this.
J. E. JOHNSTON.
The President refers this telegram to the Quartermaster-General for his attention and remarks.
Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
[Indorsement on above and of telegram from Johnston to the President January 12, 1864, VOL. XXXII, Part II, p. 549.]
QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Richmond, January 16, 1864.
Respectfully returned to the President.
It is true that railroad transportation is deficient on all the great lines which connect our armies with their sources of supply, but it is believed that this is a difficulty incident to our present condition. It is also true that some portion of this transportation is absorbed in forwarding cotton to Wilmington for shipment abroad; but without return cargoes, in the shape of blankets, woolen cloths, shoes, &c., it is scarcely possible to keep our armies in the field. Amid these conflicting claism upon a limited amount of transportation, it is respectfully submitted that ht emeans at hand are used to the best advantage, preference being always given to subsistence and forage in cases of necessity. The railway directly in General Johnston's rear is indeed very much pressed, and, I regret to add, not in very good condition. As it belongs exclusively to the State of Georgia and is controlled by the Executive of that State, this bureau has not been able to exercise that control over it that is readily yielded by other roads. Governor Brown has been earnestly appealed to by this bureau quite recently, and it is hoped that General Johnston will also represent to him the important relation which the road sustains to the army now protecting the State of Georgia.
A. R. LAWTON,
Near Dalton, January 9, 1864.
GENERAL: I wrote to General Cleburne asking him for a copy of the article he read at our meeting on the night of the 2d.* I informed him
*See p. 586.
38 R R-VOL LII, PT II