would be embraced in this direct. He informs me, by letter received this from morning, that you had declined relieving him. Thinking that perhaps you had done so under a misapprehension of the reasons of his application, or the character of the new system, I beg leave to submit the foregoing statement, and to ask a review of your decision. I feel confident of the success of the plan, and you may rest assured that the surplus productions of this State will be collected more thoroughly and rapidly and be placed at points more readily available for the uses of the service than could be done under any other arrangement. I am very anxious to have the assistance of Major Guy assary, because he is competent and willing to serve, and if it be allowable to press the consideration of an official application as a personal favor, I beg you to let that influence have a place in your decision.
General Bragg has given me the other officers that I asked for as district commissaries, and I hope you will let me have Major Guy, both on his account and my own.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN J. WALKER,
Major and Chief Commissary State of Alabama.
WAR DEPARTMENT, SUBSISTENCE BUREAU, Richmond, April 15, 1863.
Major J. J. WALKER,
Chief Commissary State of Alabama, Mobile, Ala.:
SIR: It is determined to establish, as soon as possible, a thorough system in the collection of supplies, that can be inaugurated at an early day, by which all competition between the commissaries and agents of this bureau and the army commissaries and all other Government agents, will be entirely prevented. This system, briefly shadowed forth, is as follows: A chief purchasing commissary of this bureau will be selected for each State in the Confederacy, who will divide his State into district (say some four or five, with a chief purchasing commissary or agent selected for each district, whose duties shall correspond in this district with the duties of the chief commissary in the State, these district to be sub-divided, and sub-commissaries or agents selected for each sub-DIVISION), who will control and direct all purchases and business done by these district commissaries or agents, and, through them, their sub-agents. The chief district commissaries or agents will be nominated by the chief State commissary to this bureau for appointment, and their sub-agents or commissaries shall be nominated by the chief district commissaries or agents to the chief State commissary for appointment, upon the approval of this bureau. This latter clause, however, will apply literally only to the new commissaries or agents which it may be found necessary, in the working of this system, to appoint, because, as far as possible, commissaries and agents already in service must be continued. The commissaries and agents must be competent persons in every respect, thoroughly active and energetic, and sufficiently numerous to obtain every pound of surplus supplies in the State. But it must not be forgotten that the fewest number capable of accomplishing the desires object is greatly preferable for many reasons. In all new appointments, commissions will not be issued, but the appointment will be that of agents.
You have been selected as the chief commissary for the State of Alabama, and will proceed at once to inaugurate the above system gradually,