corn, beeves, and bacon or salted pork that can be had, and forward as rapidly as possible for army at Vicksburg. Purchase from planters at the lowest prices you can, and impress all in hands of speculators at same rate.
About the same time Major-General Taylor, commanding WEST Louisiana, was respectfully urged to have all the beeves, bacon, and salted pork possible forwarded, and it gives me much pleasure to add that I am greatly indebted to his active exertions, as well as to Lieutenant-Colonel Broadwell, for large supplies of corn and meat.
On March 23, the following letter was received from Lieutenant-Colonel Broadwell:
ALEXANDRIA, La., March 17, 1863.
GENERAL: Four steamboats arrived here to-day from Shreveport and Jefferson, loaded chiefly with corn. One of them had 300,000 pounds of bacon; three others (the Charm, Texas and Frolic) are reported coming down with loads. Five others (the Falls City, Louisville, Starlight, General Hodges, and Nina Sims) are below here, with full cargoes designed for Port Hudson, but the Federal gunboats are reported blockading this river. Great God, how unfortunate! We must try to get cattle to Bowman's Landing, 15 miles back of Waterproof, and, if possible, swim them at the latter point; but the cattle here are thin, and may be unfit for beef when they arrive on the other side. In fact, it is doubtful whether many of them ever get through the swamps and bayous through which they are required to pass on this side. As the water declines, I think it likely that cattle in large quantities can be crossed over by swimming, but at present the prospect of your getting supplies from this side is gloomy enough. With the hope, general, that the suspension of steamboat navigation will embarrass you less than is now apprehended,
Very respectfully, &c.,
W. A. BROADWELL.
On the day of its receipt, the above letter was referred to Major Theodore Johnston, chief of subsistence, for his information, and was returned with the following indorsement:
OFFICE CHIEF OF SUBSISTENCE, DEPARTMENT OF MISS. AND E. La.,
Jackson, March 24, 1863.
Respectfully returned. The following boats have arrived out of Red River and have discharged their cargoes at Port Hudson: Frolic, corn to assistant quartermaster; Louis d'Or, corn to assistant quartermaster; Trent, corn to acting commissary of subsistence; Drover, corn to acting commissary of subsistence; Red Chief, corn to acting commissary of subsistence; Starlight, corn to acting commissary of subsistence; Indian Numbers 2, corn to acting commissary of subsistence; T. D. Hine, bacon, hogs, and beef, to acting commissary of subsistence. The steamer General Hodges, spoken of, discharged her cargo at Alexasville had 20,000 bushels of corn. The Falls City turned over all her cargo, except 350 barrels of molasses, to steamer T. D. Hine. Lieutenant [George] Cammack left Alexandria on 18th instant, one day later than the communication from Colonel Broadwell.
Major and Chief of Subsistence.
Evidence of a similar character, all showing the constant and earnest efforts made by myself and my officers to secure an ample store of subsistence for Vicksburg and Port Hudson, could be adduced to an indefinite extent, but to give the whole would swell this report to a huge volume. I content myself, therefore, with throwing a number of letters, orders, telegrams, &c., on this subject into an appendix. In the month of March, I was in the receipt of a number of letters from respectable citizens, containing suggestions that were frequently valuable, but unfortunately they were such as should have been made months before, and some of them at a time when I was not in the department. But these suggestions, whether timely and valuable in themselves or not, were rendered worthless to me by reason of the then active military operations on the Yazoo River and its tributaries, which were constantly diverting all of my boats from the important duty of transporting subsistence to the indispensable service of transporting troops and munitions of war.