War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0912 Chapter XLI. OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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[Third indorsement.]

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF SUBSISTENCE,

January 23, 1864.

As the orders referred to were issued by generals in the field, it is not practicable for this byreau to report the motives which actually prompted them respectively. I learned from General Sam. Jones that he had issued his orders. I wrote to General Imboden in consequence of an application from his commissary on the commissary at Lynchburg for flour, which was referred to this bureau. My suggestion was, that under the necessities of his command he had better impress for supply. He had either anticipated the letter by his order, or preferred to have recourse to another procedure.

I inclose a copy of my letter to General Jones, of November 11, and of General Imboden's published orders of November 28. I refer to my report of November 15 for my views of the necessities of the situation. I fully concur in the action of both, so far as my judgment extends.

L. B. NORTHROP,

Commissary-General of Subsistence.

[Fourth indorsement.]

FEBRUARY 4, 1864.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War in answer to the within resolution.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

SUBSISTENCE DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, November 11, 1863.

Major General SAMUEL JONES,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: A telegram from Major Galt, of the 9th instant, states that Major King, chief commissary of your command, has called on him for flour. The chief commissary of that district has been addressed on the subject.

I now write to say that it is quite impossible for purchases to be made by officers of this bureau, and that impressments by them are comstantly met by declarations of having no surplus over that needed for the consumption of their families, or for companies, railrods, corporations, &c. In fact, the people are individually and collectively arrayed against the army, the former being considered by the War Department as at liberty to collect and hold a year's supply, or up to the next crop. They have no restriction in prices, and are anxious to convert their money into substantials, while we are limited to schedule prices.

Yours is now precisely the case provided for, when the exigencies of troops in the field require impressments under orders of the general commanding. Against this class there are no exemptions in the law. I recommend, therefore, as you are straitened, that you direct Major King to gather subsistence under the first class of imoressments, which override all other demands.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. B. NORTHROP,

Commissary-General of Subsistence.