War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0652 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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me by Major George L. Gillespie, and, although I do not think it calls for any reply from me, at your request I make the following answer thereto:

I am, as you know, commissary of subsistence of Major-General Smith's DIVISION, and my duties are to see that the troops of that DIVISION are fully and properly supplied with provisions, which duties keep me at this post, except when other orders compel me to go elsewhere in order to secure this object. Up to the 10th day of February, at which time Major Gillespie was announced as such, I was chief of subsistence of this district, and I made every effort in my power to secure supplies for the troops here, and prevent the unfortunate and deplorable condition of the commissariat which now exists. I can show that I not only made every effort to do this, but would have succeeded to a very great extent had it not been for orders issued which not only interfered with arrangements then in progress of fulfillment, but also arrested, in toto, some of the contracts and purchases then in contemplation. I do not feel in the least responsible for the present state of affairs. Had I been supplied with the necessary funds, as called for by my estimates, I would have done much more, and would have been able to avert the existing scarcity of provisions here if not for the existence of the orders alluded to above. Since Major Johnston was announced commissary of subsistence of the Department of Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana, on the 16th of December, 1862, I have received from him $130,000 in money, less $17,000 paid back for his purchases, and $5,000 in Confederate States bonds. Since that time Lieutenant Colonel W. A. Broadwell has furnished me and others here $318,000, for procuring supplies for his department. I have always been, and still am, ready to do all in my power to aid in getting supplies here, and will send agents or go myself to procure them as long as I have funds to use. I had nothing to do with the shipments of sugar alluded to, and did not know that they were gone until notified that they were stopped at Mobile. I have not learned that navigation is open from Red River, and do not think supplies can be sent here now, by steamboat, with than at any time during the past thirty days.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major and Commissary of Subsistence.

CHATTANOOGA, March 3, 1863.

General S. COOPER, Richmond:

General Pemberton telegraphs to-day:

Scouts report 15,000 troops at Corinth; supposed to be a flank movement against Bragg.

Might not the exchanged Arkansas prisoners be sent to General Bragg?

J. E. Johnston.

JACKSON, March 4, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. Johnston, Chattanooga:

Enemy has cut his way through obstructions in Yazoo Pass. Coldwater is also obstructed. Gunboat has been a few miles into Coldwater. Our defenses command mouth of Tallahatchee and Yalabusha. I do not think he can effect anything very serious.