gunsmiths' and machine shops, foundries, &c., are being put up at Marshall and Tyler, Tex., and also at this point. A laboratory, in charge of a skillful chemist, is in course of construction. These works are under competent officers, who are pressing them forward rapidly, and I have no doubt of my ability to supply all wants of ordnance stores in a short time, provided money by promptly furnished me when called for.
The armies in the field are pretty well supplied with small-arm and artillery ammunition. The removal of the works from Camden, Arkadelphia, and Little Rock, and putting up the necessary buildings and foundries, has caused me to be very backward in my ability to meet the calls made upon me for ordnance supplies; but in a few months I hope to be able not only to meet all such calls, but to have a large surplus of manufactured stores on hand for any emergency that may arise.
A more complete and correct report, if needed, can be made as soon as my officers return, and sent you at any point you may desire.*
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. G. RHEETT,
Major and Chief of Ordnance and Artillery, Trans-Miss. Dept.
OFFICE OF CHIEF OF ORDNANCE AND ARTILLERY,
Shreveport, La., October 22, 1863.
Major J. P. JOHNSON,
Assistant Adjutant and Inspector-General:
MAJOR: I respectfully report for your information as follows:
Establishments for ordnance work were in full operation at Little Rock, Arkadelphia, and Camden, and a shop for repair of arms at Fort Smith; but, by reason of movements recently ordered, and the approach of the Federal forces, all these workshops and establishments have been removed to places of safety; the machinery, tools, stores, and men from Little Rock Arsenal to Tyler, Tex.; the machinery, tools, stores, and men from Arkadelphia to Marshall, Tex.; and the machinery, tools, stores, and men from Camde to Shreveport, La.
I am establishing at Tyler a laboratory for fabricating battery and small-arms ammunition, carpenters' and blacksmiths' shop, and shop for repairs of arms. I am also in treaty for the purchase of a manufactory of small-arms located at that point, and which is now carrying out a contract with the State of Texas for making guns.
At Marshall, Tex., I am having buildings erected for manufacture of small-arms, smiths', and carpenters' shop, powder-mill and magazine, and am concentrating at that point large supplies of heavy material, such as saltpeter, sulphur, lead, and iron, and I intend it to be a depot for supplies arriving from Mexico.
At Shreveport, La., are established, and now in operation, a foundry, harness, carpenter, and smiths' shops, and laboratory for fabricating battery and small-arms ammunition. The foundry is now doing good work, and is turning out 9 and 11 inch shot and shell, 30-pounder Parrott shot and shell, Brooke shot for 32-pounder gun (rifled), 3-inch rifle shell and shot, 3.8-inch rifle shell and shot, 2.25-inch rifle shell and shot, 6 and 12 pounder projectiles, Navy fuses, heavy castings for powder-mill, &c.
The laboratory turns out from 7,000 to 10,000 rounds per day; other shops doing equally well, notwithstanding an unusual amount of sick-
*See also Rhett's report of October 22, 1863, sub-inclosure.