I regret I can give no more gratifying account of the supply of the army, and the probable resources of the country.
Respectfully referring to the inclose extracts, I am, general, your obedient servant,
GILES M. HILLYER,
Major and Chief of Subsistence.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE,
Chattanooga, August 26, 1863.
This paper touching a matter of such vital importance is submitted for the information of the War Department. The morale of this army is being seriously injured by this cause principally, and desertions, some to the enemy, are not uncommon.
ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
September 2, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Commissary-General for report.
By command Secretary of War:
H. L. CLAY,
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF SUBSISTENCE,
September 4, 1863.
Respectfully returned to Secretary of War.
Major Hillyer's statement of the condition, present and prospective, of the means for subsisting General Bragg's army, and the indorsement of the latter, are submitted for the information of the War Department.
Extracts from letters of Majors Cummings and Wilson are sent as sustaining the positions. Many months ago communications from the commanding officers of that army and from the chief commissary were forwarded to the War Department containing similar information, with views of the unpromising prospect then existing in the country, which the Secretary of War it was very erroneously supposed had not been kept informed of. From the inception of hostilities the War Department has been fully and continually informed of the existing condition and future prospects of obtaining subsistence.
The great dependence of the cotton States on the north and on the States of Kentucky and Tennessee, even for the articles of breadstuff and meat, including corn, has been urged; and from the beginning, so long as it was possible, supplies, to a large extent, have been obtained therefrom, gradually lessening as the enemy have advanced and occupied our territory.
The records of this Department exhibit this: On the 27th of April, 1862, a circular letter was issued to the chief commissary of each army, a copy of which is hereby appended, showing the views of the Commissary-General.