War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0736 N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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transportation, and to-morrow there will be a meeting of the presidents of the most important railroads, whom I have summoned to confer with me on the best means of improving and increasing the means of railroad transportation. From all that I can learn, I incline to think the difficulty in the past has been as much attributable to want of arrangement and efficiency in the commissariat's agents as in the deficiency of the railroad transportation.

I have made arrangements from which I have reason to expect the arrival here daily for some weeks to come of 100,000 pounds of bacon, and at that rate supplies must soon so accumulate as to allow the return to the full ration, and at the same time prepare a reserve store, in case of any accident or extraordinary demand. This supply, however, will be drawn from the reserve stores of the commissariat at Atlanta, Ga. In addition, considerable amounts may be expected from the operations of Generals Longstreet and Hill, and from the action of the people in response to the President's proclamation. We have, as I have heretofore mentioned to you, contracts for large supplies from external sources, which should begin to be delivered by May 1. These, in their nature, must be precarious, and I do not, consequently, count too strongly upon them. Altogether, I trust the pinch of the struggle for supplies of your army has been passed, and that our gallant soldiers may soon be freed from the necessity of the privations they have so nobly endured. My own attention is being given to the subject, and no effort certainly will be spared to effect a result so justly due them.

With high esteem, very respectfully, yours,

J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, April 19, 1863.

Major General J. E. B. STUART,

Commanding Cavalry, Culpeper Court-House:

GENERAL: I am directed by the general commanding to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 17th April, and to say in reply that so long as you occupy your present detached position you are authorized to send officers and men on duty to Richmond, upon your own order, in cases of an urgent character, and when the interests of the service require immediate action and will not admit of the delay necessary in order to refer the matter to these headquarters. The provost-marshals on the line of the Virginia Central and Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroads have been instructed accordingly. The general, relying upon your good judgment and discretion, is confident that a careful use will be made of the authority thus granted you.

I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. H. TAYLOR,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, April 19, 1863.

Major General J. E. B. STUART,

Commanding Cavalry:

GENERAL: Your letter of 12 m., April 18, was received last night. I have been able as yet to learn nothing which goes to show the real intention of the enemy. As before stated, I do not think that Hooker