War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0305 Chapter XXXVI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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JACKSON, March 25, 1863.

Brigadier General John S. BOWEN Grand Gulf:

Use your judgment in collecting the corn whenever you deem it safe and can get a boat.

J. C. PEMBERTON,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

JACKSON, March 27, 1863.

Major THEO. Johnston, Chief of Subsistence:

I am directed by the lieutenant-general commanding to say, in reply to your communication of the 25 the instant, that you are authorized to exchange salt for bacon at the rates you propose.

I am, major, &c.,

H. C. TUPPER,

Aide-de-Camp.

OFFICE POST COMMISSARY,

Port Hudson, La., March 29, 1863.

Major T. F. WILSON,

Assistant Adjutant-GENERAL:

MAJOR: The letters of Major Theodore Johnston and Lieutenant George Cammack, of the 21st instant, which have been referred to me for explanation, are remarkable official papers. They are composed almost entirely of statements made by persons unknown to me, and, for aught I know, quite irresponsible. Certainly their accounts are in the main without foundation, and evidently engendered by ILL-feeling or a wanton spirit of fault-finding. It is harassing to have labors usually extending far into the night protracted still farther by the necessity of answering charges so vague, groundless, and captious. At the time to which Mr. Conrad refers, I had no corn

here at all, and was drawing upon the quartermaster's department for my daily supply. Of the five boats said by Lieutenant Cammack to have arrived during his stay, three-the Trent, Red Chief, and Starlight-were consigned to me. The others came to the quartermaster, as he mighty have learned had he inquired at official sources as eagerly as he seems to have done of idlers and casual passers-by. The large quantity of corn which he saw upon the levee was a small part of the cargoes discharged at the time of the bombardment, which was being shucked and hauled away as fast as the meager transportation and the difficulty of access to the landing permitted. The same was the case with the salt. The best vindication of this department, and the proof of the justness of the reasons assigned, lie in the celerity with which the whole landing has been cleared since the requisite transportation has been obtained.

The statement regarding soldiers throwing corn at each other and stealing would be puerile were it not for the exaggeration, which is clearly malicious. The young gentleman who makes it must have seen but little service, and knew still less of working fatigue details, or he would not have hazarded his reputation upon so frail a venture. As to the unloading the Starlight and steamboats generally, the small landing was crowded, as may be seen from the statement of the lieutenant that there were five boats here at the time, and it is quite reasonable that the labor should be directed to one at a time, to give space and to save

20 R R - VOL XXIV, PT. I