plies as far as may be practicable from the established depots of stores, and will make purchases thereof in the military department within which the army operates only when circumstances render that course absolutely necessary. He will then, whether acting in person or through subordinates, confer, if possible, with the principal purchasing officer of the district within which he may be, and use every precaution to avoid competition.
6th. Forage and fuel purchased in the vicinity of an army are excepted from the above restriction. These can be best provided, on the spot to the extent that the country affords them, and by the field quartermasters, and the chief quartermaster will be careful to see that the same are procured and paid for in accordance with the instructions issued by the War Department. Forage should always be drawn, when circumstances permit, from regions in advance of our armies, and those most exposed to the enemy. Field quartermasters may also purchase, under the direction of the commanding officer, supplies of any character issued by this department from a region of country occupied temporarily by the forces of the Confederate States, and where no system of purchase is in operation.
7th. When especial agents shall be sent out by the Quartermaster-General to obtain supplies, they will be instructed to report to the principal officer of any district into which they may go, and confer with him, to avoid competition.
8th. All officers of this department will endeavor to avoid competing in prices with commissaries in the purchase of corn, or with ordnance officers in the purchase of hides, leather, harness, &c. They will report also to this office all cases of unnecessary competition brought about by the action of any officer or agent of either of the bureaus referred to.
9th. No officer of this department will send an agent to a foreign country, nor will they visit or send to a seaport town of this Confederacy to buy supplies imported from abroad. The latter purchases will be made always by the post quartermasters, on instructions received from this office or from the principal purchasing officer of the district. When such supplies are removed for speculation after being rejected by the post quartermaster on account of price, they will not be purchased elsewhere.
10th. No purchasing officer will ever go into another district to buy supplies, but will procure the same, when it may be necessary, through the local officers therein.
11th. Any officer of this department who holds an executory contract for army supplies in another purchasing district than that in which he is stationed, shall transfer the same, upon the receipt of this circular, to the principal purchasing officer of the district where such contract is to be executed. Field quartermaster, regardless of their location, will make a similar transfer of all contracts except such as come within section 6 of these instructions.
12th. The foregoing rules will not be taken to interfere with the operations of Major F. W. Dillard, as heretofore charged with the receipt of hides from the Commissary Department, and the manufacture of shoes therefrom. He will continue to have the exclusive control thereof in the States of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, and all quartermasters within those States will dispose of hides received from commissaries as he may direct; nor will they interfere with those of Major Charles S. Carrington, who will act independently, as heretofore, in providing forage for the armies of Virginia and North Carolina.