souri, the blame does not rest here; all requisitions have been promptly met here, and the officers have been instructed to spare no effort and means of their department is aiding to the extent of their power General Lyon's movements.
I gave to General Fremont, in addition to Major McKinstry, Captain T-, who I fear from what I have since been told is not as prudent as zealous. I take it for granted that General Fremont leaves estimates of pieces of supplies to his quartermaster, and when I find, as Quartermaster-general, that the pierces are probably too high, it is my duty to the Government and to General Fremont, as well as to this Department, to say so. At the same time, I understand that there may be reasons of time, of quality, which induce a general to order a purchase at a higher rate, and while I communicate to the quartermasters information as to the ruling prices of horses-the market rates-I called upon the Treasury to send all the money he asked for.
Tell General Fremont that no man more than myself desires to sustain him; no one is more ready to take a responsibility to assist him, and that he has, in my opinion already the power which you say ought to be conferred upon him by the President. Whatever a general commanding orders, the subordinates of his staff are by regulations compelled to do, if possible.
If General Fremont orders Captain Turney to pay $1,000 for an ax, Captain Turnley will be supported by this Department in obeying. The propriety of such a payment, however, will be between General Fremont and the Government.
The general is charged with saving the country. The country will be very careful to approve his measures, and will judge his mistakes, if any, very tenderly if successful. Success crowns the work, and let him spare no responsibility, no effort, to secure it, and above all let him not take in ill part what is done with a sincere desire to assist him, and let him not estrange friends by too hastily finding fault with their counsels.
All the requisitions for money for Missouri have been promptly passed through this office; the delay, if any has occurred, is at the Treasury Department, which has allowed the Department to fall in debt in Cincinnati and Philadelphia, each about a million of dollars, for clothing and camp equipage.
There are wagons making in Cincinnati, which Captain Dickerson will send to Saint Louis if wanter; those made at Milwaukee I ordered to Saint Louis long ago. A number of wagons were ordered to be made in Saint Louis, and authority give to Major McKinstry to provide all that might be required for moving the armies of that department.
In regard to advertising and delay, the law of 1861 and the regulations expressly provided that in case of public exigency supplies are to be bought in open market, as between individuals. Exercise this power. Moreover, advertisement or publish notice does not require postponing opening of binds for a month, or a week, or two days.
If forage, wagons, horses are wanted, the law, the necessity are fully met by putting a notice in the paper and purchasing as fast as offers come in-the next day or the same day; take the then lowest bid or the then most advantageous offer. The day after you will have a still better offer; take that for a portion of your supplies, and so on until you have all you need. By this system I have brought down the prices of horses from $128 to $120, of wagons from $108, since I came here, and have got abundant supplies.
These explanations will, I hope, remove many difficulties from the