War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0627 Chapter XXIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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Near Tupelo, Miss., June 28, 1862.


Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: I have the honor to transmit to you (herewith inclosed) the consolidated statement* of ordnance and ordnance stores at Confederate States Arsenal at Columbus and at ordnance depots at Tupelo, Verona, and Okolona, Miss.

The arsenal at Columbus being in its infancy the work necessary for public service is not at present prosecuted with the result adequate to emergency. At armory shop is employed 32 gunsmiths, 16 shockers, and 8 machinists for boring barrels and making and repairing tools; with this force, 50 arms a day can be repaired fit for service. At saddlery, 40 saddlers and harness-makers are employed; they are occupied in repairing artillery harness and in making new. At laboratory, 70 hands are employed; with this force can be manufactured about 20,000 cartridges for small-arms and 500 rounds of ammunition, fixed, in one day. The machinery for making percussion-caps was at the time of my inspection in bad order, undergoing repairs, and in a short time the making of caps will be satisfactory, if only a supply of nitric acid can be procured. I was informed that the operatives employed are quieting work for reason on enormous prices charged for their boarding. I represented the case to General Adams, but he gave me no encouragement to remedy the evil, only to replace them by details from the army. If the views of the commanding general are favorable I should respectfully request that as many as can be found in the army-such as blacksmiths, turners, saddlers, and carpenters-be detailed from the army and ordered for duty at arsenal.


RICHMOND, VA., June 29, 1862.

General BRAGG,

Tupelo, Miss.:

Your department is extended so as to embrace that part of Louisiana east of the Mississippi, the entire States of Mississippi and Alabama, and the portion of Georgia and Florida west of the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers.+ You can take charge of the Selma and Meridian connection, but the only funds appropriated to the work are the $400,000 authorized by Congress to be loaned to the Alabama and Mississippi Railroad Company. They can disburse it under your directions. After two days' fighting McClellan is in a critical position. Large re-enforcements are expected from the West. Strike the moment an opportunity offers.


Secretary of War.


Tupelo, Miss., June 29, 1862.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: Several embarrassing questions meet me at the outset in assuming the command which has so unexpectedly devolved upon me.


*Not found.

+See Special Orders, Number 146, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, June 25, 1862, p.624, and General Orders, Number 50, July 18, 1862, p.649.