difficulties under which it labors are considered. Most of the brigades had good pole stables, and the condition of the animals seemed largely influenced by the care taken in building these. The horses and mules are suffering from the want of long forage, which cannot be obtained. I amy here state that the artillery horses are also in bad condition for want of long forage. The cavalry horses are to be doing better, but did not come under my own eye.
The report of Major M. B. McMicken, acting chief quartermaster of the army, is filed herewith marked Exhibit D. He states the total number of wagons to be 2,276. He estimates that the forage east of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad will be exhausted by April 12, and west of that road by May 23. General Polk thinks it will last until July. General Hardee's corps is now being supplied from North Alabama. The report states that the army is fully supplied with clothing, and has 6,000 suits in depot,but that shoes are wanted, and requisitions have been made for 10,000 pairs, which will last through April. Major Stevenson in his letter to me filed herewith states that 4,000 pairs are in depot. Attention is called to his two letters filed herewith, marked Exhibit E.
Major Cunningham clothing quartermaster at Atlanta, informs me that he is employing about 40 shoemakers, and makes 150 pairs of shoes a day, and that with 60 additional shoemakers he could make 500 pairs daily. I examined his establishment. The leather is rolled by machinery, and the sides split likewise, which effects a great saving. The soles are cut out by a machine, and all the sewing done by sewing-machines. The shoes present a neat appearance, and can be sold for $450 per pair. Government have been sent into Kentucky with General Pegram to buy leather. I respectfully refer to the letters of Major Stevenson and to the communication of Major Cunningham, filed herewith, marked Exhibit F, for details of the productions and capabilities of the agencies at work in this portion of the Confederacy. The remark was made to me in the army by observant persons that the clothing was of better material this year than in the winter of 1861-'62. The men were tolerably well shod.
The question of subsistence has engaged Your Excellency's earnest attention. It is the vital one with this army. I had full and free conversations with Generals Johnston, Bragg, Polk, and Hardee on this subject, and am free to say the prospect is very far from satisfactory. I omit the complaints of mismanagement and want of forethought and scope laid at this door or that, and will rapidly sum up the various plans, schemes, or suggestions made, some or all of which might be attempted, with modifications.
Before doing so, however, your attention is called to the report of Major Isaac Scherck, acting chief of subsistence, dated March 23, 1863, filed herewith, marked Exhibit G, and the table of rations accompanying it. By these the President will perceive that the army is living from hand to mouth, and drawing largely on the reserves. The ration of the men is corn bread and one-half pound of bacon. They get very little beef, but I heard of no grumbling about the rations. General Polk, thought we could, by enterprise in foraging and by a systematic scheduling of the resources of the country, subsist our army on its present line three months or more. No one else thought it possible for so long a time. The supplies are drawn principally from the counties of Giles, Maury, and Williamson, and he thought by pushing our trains up toward Fort Henry a good deal might be got out. One obstacles is the inability to use Confederate money to advantage. It is recommended to allow