[Inclosure Numbers 4.]
RICHMOND April 27, 1862.
SIR: In this letter I wish to call your attention to three things and to their bearings upon your duties:
First. The lines of railroad transportation, always insufficient for the purposes of the Government, are comparatively worn out, and the most important have been broken by the enemy.
Second. Appropriations of money made by Congress for the army have extended only from session to session.
Third. Whilst the number of troops on the field has increased and will be still further increased, certain districts of large supply, as in Tennessee and several portions of Virginia and North Carolina, are wholly or to a very considerable extent in possession of the enemy. Various reasons besides the above-mentioned mode of furnishing money have hitherto forbidden large contracts in advance as the rule of this Department, and have made it necessary to supply by far the largest part of subsistence by current purchases. And now the partial, if not entire, exclusion of Texas from furnishing supplies on this side of the Mississippi River will require each section to be the principal reliance for subsisting the troops within its own limits. In this aspect of affairs proceed at once to make yourself fully acquainted with the resources of your district, with a view to support troops now and with reference to future crops, and especially ascertain the prospect of obtaining corn-meal in adequate, prompt, and continuous supply as soon as it may be needed, and the number and capacity of the ills for grinding it.
In consequence of existing and probable scarcity of meat, arrangement had been made to distribute molasses as a substitute for part of the rations of meat throughout the army. The loss of New Orleans, likely to be followed by that of the few points on the Mississippi River from which sugar and molasses can be carried to the interior, renders it necessary that you endeavor to limit the consumption of meat. Henceforth the rations will be a pound of beef or a half pound of bacon or pork, and the ration of flour or meal will not exceed a pound and a half of either.
Report the result of your investigation to this office as soon as possible.
L. B. NORTHROP.
G. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS HILL'S CORPS,
Chickamauga Bridge, August 25, 1863-5.30 a. m.
Major-General STEWART, Commanding Division:
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding has been summoned to General Bragg's headquarters this morning. As General Cleburne is at Blythe's Ferry I am instructed to say that you will assume the direction of affairs in this quarter should anything of importance occur during the corps commander's absence.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,