pease, 3,000,000 rations; sugar, 150,000 pounds; vinegar, 1,200,000 rations; soap, 3,000,000 rations; salt, 4,500,000 rations; molasses, 300,000 rations.
In relation to rice, pease, soap, salt, and vinegar, there is no probable difficulty in the way of continued future supply, large stores still remaining in the rear.
For breadstuffs, also, I have no fear. By Major Cummings and Major Wilson, in the article of flour, and by Captain Allen, of Columbus, Ga, in that of meal, this army can be supplied weekly with sufficient for consumption, without lessening materially the supply above mentioned.
In the articles of bacon and beef, the prospects for a supply beyond October 1 are not merely uncertain, but gloomy indeed. I have only fifteen days' supply on hand after September 1. Major Wilson can only give this army semi-monthly 100,000 pounds of fresh beef and 20,000 pounds of bacon, being but about five days' supply in the month. Major Cummings reports, August 21, but 800,000 pounds of bacon on hand, the Army of Virginia to be supplied out of that, and his inability to feed this army longer than September 20 in meats. Since Major Cummings' letter was written he has sent to this army and that of East Tennessee 150,000 pounds of bacon.
I inclose extracts from letters of both these officers of recent, date, mentioning these painful particulars.
The local resources of this country, except as embraced in the field of Major Wilson's operations, and in North Alabama, where my agents are yet doing good service, are entirely insufficient to supply our hospital posts, the officers of some of which are calling on me weekly and oftener for cattle to be sent them from the rear to feed their sick. From North Alabama I cannot expect to receive within thirty days more than 600 or 700 head-less than three days' supply. Major sykes, from Somerville, Ala., it is true, reports the probability of yet procuring in North Alabama, in exchange for salt, 50,000 pounds of bacon; but that will be subject to Major Walker's order, as he alone can furnish the salt, and will probably reserve the bacon for the army in Mobile. Even if procured, when it reaches a post it will not feed the army two days. Any local purchases and exchanges that can be made by our detached troops will only compensate for wastage and loss in consequence of badly cured meat.
These estimates are irrespective of any probable increase of the strength of this army. They are also based on the ration of onethird pound of bacon, an amount which I am satisfied cannot further be reduced without great dissatisfaction in the army, a dissatisfaction already mentioned by distinguished general as existing, and to dissipate which will require such an address and explanation to the troops as will expose to the enemy the weakness of our resources and the probable consequences.
Upon the whole, general, I can see no reasonable expectation to feed the army with meats beyond the last of September, and that only with the most rigid care and economy, except by immediate resort to the cattle of Florida and Southwest Georgia, as suggested by Major Cummings, and by a general impressment of all stock, except those reserved for breeding, that our cavalry can drive in.
This last course, I understood from you this morning, would be ordered, and may be of material use in extending the period of supply. The extent of a just reliance upon it remains to be seen. I can give no estimate even of what it might effect.