MERIDIAN, November 11, 1863.
Honorable J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have just had the honor to receive your letter of October 31.
I most respectfully disclaim any intentional expression of annoyance at the new system, the objects of which are explained and the advantages set forth in your letter; nor have I ventured to criticise it. On the contrary, I have, as well as I know how, aided the officers intrusted with its administration with all my power. The tone of your letter, however, encourages me to express an opinion that the system is not working well in Alabama. At least I judge so from the fact that the chief purchasing commissary of that State has more than once asked assistance from this department and the chief quartermaster of the Department of the Gulf is applying for forage, although 20,000 bushels of corn, collected under my orders, have been sent to Mobile.
I need not tell you that the rich State of Alabama could supply five times such a force as that which we have in the Department of the Gulf.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
November 19, 1863.
Quartermaster-General and Commissary-General, for notice and report or inquiry.
J. A. S.,
Secretary of War.
QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL'S OFFICE, November 21, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Major Alex. McVoy, chief quartermaster, &c., Mobile, Ala., with instructions to return this letter with a report in regard to the deficiency of forage at that point, and the character of the arrangements made to supply it.
A. R. LAWTON,
QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL'S OFFICE, December 9, 1863.
The inclosed letter of Major Le Baron, quartermaster at Mobile, in reply to the reference of General Johnston's letter to the Secretary to him, is respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War for his information.
A. R. LAWTON,
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL, March 14, 1864.
General Johnston evidently does not understand the new system.
A report has been already made to the President on a telegram of General Johnston's of February 1, and to the War Department.