abundant for an army ration. General Beauregard's reasons for not complying are:
1st. "Because many things allowed cannot be procured at Corinth." I reply that the food ration of his own arrangement is largely more than is allowed by the regulations, though his allowance of bacon is 10 ounces.
2nd. That "salt provisions at times are so bad as not to be fit to eat, and fresh beef can only be had now once a week, then of poor quality, and in consequence scurvy exists to a great extent."
If much of the salt meat on hand is bad, as is alleged- the quantity is alarmingly small-and scurvy exists, these are all potent reasons for saving the meat, diminishing the salt diet, and substituting more bread in the absence of vegetables. These reasons are fatal to what they are intended to support.
There is but one specific for scurvy, that is potash or its neutral salts. The lemon and potato owe their specific qualities solely to this alkali.
The regulations are those of 1857, and were established for our army. The food ration therein is 12 pounds of sugar and 10 of rice to the 100 rations. General Beauregard has increased the one 256 per cent. and the other 50 per cent. Neither lard nor molasses are parts of the regular ration. They have been used by this department as a substitute for meat. Large quantities of the former were bought last summer, and arrangements for an unlimited supply of the latter had been fixed before the fall of New Orleans. General Beauregard allows a gill a day of the latter and 8 ounces of the former, whenever it can be procured, every five days.
On the 17th April that army had also 1,300,000 half rations of coffee. In fact, it is now being fed on a ration larger than is allowed by the Regulations, and far better than the Army of the East, which without a murmur acquiesces in the obvious necessity of curtailing the meat.
At General Beauregard's representations, and contrary to the decision of the previous Secretary, you allowed coffee to be purchased for his army irrespective of limited price, while the rest of our forces are without it. I add that the whole army enjoyed this luxury long after the bulk of our people, and there is still a reserve for the sick.
General Beauregard has reiterated his apprehensions of starvation, while he gives actually more than the regulation ration or than is necessary.
The statement that through "want of foresight in the Commissary-General fresh beef can only be had once a week" is hereby contradicted, and the Secretary of War is respectfully requested to require that General Beauregard shall furnish the specific facts on which he makes that positive declaration.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. B. NORTHROP,
Commissary-General of Subsistence.