War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0688 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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as a substitute for bacon. This condition requires an instant remedy. Mr. Hoteel suggests one, viz, to reduce the passenger trains one-half.

Major W. H. Smith, from Raleigh, reports the depots blocked up at three different points, and the railroad men prefer private freight, which they say pays the best. This army is living from hand to mouth as to meat and bread, due to a want of means to get both meat and wheat brought to market. Railroads worn out, horses killed up, are obstacles beyond the reach of the Commissary-General of Subsistence.


Commissary-General of Subsistence.

Dr. Cartwright, in a lengthy report on the reduction of the meat ration (which was referred to this Bureau by the President), urges that it be done on sanitary grounds. The appearance of the men of General Lee's army and their health confirm the opinion of Dr. Cartwright as to diminishing the ration, and it is recommended that the bacon and pork ration be accordingly reduced to one-fourth of a pound throughout the army, a measure quite appropriate to the present condition of the country. It is greatly to be feared that it will not be long before there will be found in insufficiency of bread. This matter has already been pressed so often upon the consideration of the Secretary of War, as it has been to General Lee, that another reference to it may seem importunate. But, even at the risk of being so considered, it is a duty to make another appeal, that the remedy against the threatened evil may be applied at once. So much time has been permitted to elapse, that it is questionable whether the remedy can now be applied in time.

Early in last January, having made many ineffectual attempts to arouse the solicitude of those in whose power the application of the remedy alone resided, I sent an officer of this Bureau to See General Lee personally on the subject, and obtained a letter from the Secretary of War, in addition to one which I wrote General Lee on the subject. But General Lee declined seeing this gentleman. Then the matter was easy of solution; it may be now, if immediately at least two hundred wagons are placed at the disposal of this Bureau, with adequate military protection, to operate in the counties of Rappahannock, Madison, Culpeper, Fauqueir, and Loudoun. If this is not done, and that immediately, I can see nothing but want of bread for our army. Every day, nay, every hour, that this is delayed lessens materially the bare present possibility of succeeding in obtaining a sufficient supply even of bread.

The presentation of this question in the form here presented has been deemed to be a duty. Timely notice was given by this Bureau, and earnest appeals made for the means to provide a sufficiency, but in vain. More energetic action must be applied now than was necessary when this matter was first pressed by this Bureau.

I beg that, when want in this regard comes, it will be remembered that this Bureau has pressed this matter with all the zeal which it was possible to exert.



Commissary-General of Subsistence.


Dublin, March 27, 1863.

Brigadier General J. D. IMBODEN,

Commanding, &c., Staunton, Va.:

GENERAL: I returned last night from a visit to a part of my troops at Princeton, in Mercer County, and received to-day your letter of the 24th instant.