and contemplated operations, the prices they are paying, quantity and description of the supplies being obtained, and the promise for the future. As soon as you can get this system inaugurated you will require from each chief district commissary or agent (who will require the same from their sub-commissaries and agents) a report of supplies on hand every ten days, with probable future accumulations and issues. These reports, received (and they must be required by you promptly, beginning on the last day of the earliest calendar month at which circumstances will permit you to require them) you will consolidated and send to Major S. B. French, commissary of subsistence, Richmond, Va., with the utmost dispatch.
You will also report the places in your State deemed by you most suitable for main depots, or, rather, reservoirs to and from which supplies may be best collected and distributed. It may be well, also to have auxiliary depots to these reservoirs, both in the collection and distribution. These selection must be made with due regard both to safety of position and convenience in relation to transportation.
It must ever be remembered that transportation should be husbanded in every manner possible, and therefore, that under no circumstances which care, prudence, and foresight can provide against, must supplies be twice transported over the same road, nor any article of subsistence transported in opposing directions.
When this system is thoroughly organized and worked there will be no portion of the Confederacy which is not thoroughly drained, and,therefore, wherever our armies move all the supplies of our country will be tributary to their, use and them application will be made to prevent army commissaries from competing with this Bureau's commissaries or agents, and the chief commissary of each army directed to supply his wants by application to such chief State commissary of this Bureau as may be indicated by the Commissary-General giving notice of requirements ahead of his actual wants and the points at which his supplies will be needed. And whenever the commissaries in one State or district need supplies which cannot be obtained in their State or district they will draw them from the most convenient commissaries or agents from points in other State or districts. It may very frequently occur that some articles of subsistence ought not to be purchased in some State or distichs because of very height prices; whenever this occurs the same will prevail.
It is impossible to give in a circular all the detailed directions which might be desired; much must, of necessity, be left to your discretion and judgment. But enough has been said to let you understand the system that is to be inaugurated, and great reliance is placed upon your judgment and energy in establishing it at an early day.
L. B. NORTHROP,
Commissary-General of Subsistence, C. A. S.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
BUREAU OF SUBSISTENCE,
Richmond, July 30, 1863 .
Major W. H. DAMERON,
Acting Assistant Commissary -General of Mississippi:
SIR: In pursuance of authority conferred on my be the honorable Secretary of War, you are hereby empowered to impress subsistence