Transportation of supplies.
Notice of any cavalry advances, that I may detail officers and provide funds to accompany them and procure supplies.
Respectfully your obedient servant,
W. H. DAMERON,
Major and Chief Commissary of Subsistence, Mississippi.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., SUBSISTENCE BUREAU,
Richmond, April 15, 1863.
SIR: It is determined to establish, as soon as possible a thorough system in the collection of supplies that can be inaugurated at an early day, by which all competition between the commissaries and agents of this bureau and the army commissaries, and all other Government agents, will be entirely prevented . This system, briefly shadowed forth, is as follows:
A chief purchasing commissary of this Bureau will be selected for each State in the Confederacy (who will divide his State into districts, say some four of five, with a chief purchasing commissary or agent selected for each district, whose duties shall correspond in his district with the duties of the chief commissary in the State, these districts to be subdivided and sub-commissaries or agents selected for each subdivision), who will and direct all purchases and business done by these district commissaries or agents, and through them their sub-agents.
The chief district commissaries or agents will be nominated by the chief State commissary to this Bureau for appointment, and their sub-agents or commissary shall be nominated by the chief district commissaries or agents to the chief State commissary for appointment, upon the approval of this Bureau. This latter clause, however, will apply literally only to the new commissaries or agents which it may be found necessary, in the working of this system to appoint because as far as possible commissaries and agents already in service must be continued.
The commissaries and agents must be competent persons in every respect, thoroughly active and energetic, and sufficiently numerous to obtain every pound of surplus supplies in the State. But it must not be forgotten that the fewest, number capable of accomplishing the desired object is greatly preferable for many reasons.
In all new appointments, commissions will not be issued, but the appointment will be that of agents.
You have been selected as the chief commissary for the State of -, and will proceed at once to inaugurate the above system gradually, but with as much energy and dispatch as is at all compatible with its harmonious accomplishment.
You will at once forward a copy of this circular to all to the commissaries and agents of this Bureau in your State, and obtain from them immediately all the information necessary to enable you properly to divide your State into districts, and make your nominations for chief district commissaries and agents, and report the same to this Bureau as soon as practicable.
You will also require from the said commissaries and agents of this Bureau in your State (a list of which commissaries, with their respective posts, is herein inclosed; the address of the agents you can obtain from these commissaries) full reports of their present