and inclosing extract of letter from Colonel S. B. Holabird, chief quartermaster, Department of the Gulf, and Captain W. B. Armstrong, acting quartermaster, in relation to the stopping of coal, forage, &c., in this district, which was in transitu from the Upper Mississippi to that department. In reply and explanation of the course pursued here, I inclose the following papers, viz:
1. Report from Captain W. C. Hurlbut, depot quartermaster.
2. Report from G. L. Fort, master transportation.
3. Copy of letter to Captain A. R. Eddy, Memphis.
4. Copy of letter from Captain A. R. Eddy, Memphis.
5. Copy of letter to Major [E. D.] Osband, Skipwith's Landing.
From these reports you will see that no efforts have been spared to procure necessary supplies for my command, and that the only seizures made have been 7,218 sacks of grain and 8,660 bushels of coal; that the amounts of forage due on the estimates for October, November, and December are 16,405,024 pounds of grain and 32,013,291 pounds of hay; in other words, we have only received about one-half the grain called for, and one-fifteenth part of the hay, and that during the months of October and November we received only about one-fifth of the grain, and one-eleventh part of the hay estimated for.
The grain was stopped by my order, but not until every effort had been made to procure forage from the country, and then only after repeated reports from my chief of cavalry and artillery that their horses were starving, and the former declared his inability to go on scouts and expeditions owing to the reduced state of his animals, and that it would take thirty days to bring them back to anything like an effective condition, with rest and plenty of forage.
There is corn in this country, but at the time the seizure was made it was impracticable to get it out, owing to the low stage of water in the Yazoo, Mississippi, and their tributaries.
No officer in the Department of the Gulf reported, or even intimated, that their animals were suffering for want of forage. They had two routes open to them to receive supplies, and I did not imagine for a moment that they were in as straightened circumstances as we were here.
Before the receipt by the letter from the General-in-Chief, the steamer Northerner came up for forage, the officer in charge of her stating that the animals in the Department of the Gulf were badly off for want of it.
We had only a few day's supply on hand, but I directed the quartermaster to load the steamboat Pringle, which had just arrived with part of a cargo for this place, and send her to Mew Orleans, which was done, and she carried down 5,111 sacks.
Troops were put on board the Northerner, and she was sent up the river in the neighborhood of Greenville and Bolivar, the officer in command, Brigadier-General Leggett, being instructed to disperse the enemy, who were making demonstrations on the river in that vicinity, and, if possible, load the steamer with corn. The corn could not be obtained, and immediately on the return of the expedition, 2,107 sacks of grain were put on board, and she was sent down, thus balancing the grain account.
The last 2,107 sacks were sent after the receipt of the communications from Washington. The 8,660 bushels of coal were stopped, but it was distinctly stated that there was plenty of coal in New Orleans, and that the authorities were selling to private steamers, whereas we had none for our machine and repair shops. Furthermore, the agent