With this view the plan now in operation was devised. Under it the officers of the Commissary and Quartermaster's Bureaus, acting independently, are required to collect and accumulate stores of supplies from all portions of the Confederacy, and to hold them in convenient depots within the various departments, subject to equitable distribution, and prepared to meet requisition from the armies in the field. My conviction of the necessity of this system is strong, and carried out efficiently and equitably it ought to secure more general satisfaction than has heretofore been attained. There may be irregularities or imperfection in the working which it is desirable should be disclosed and corrected, but the system is right in itself, and may, I feel assured, be made to work well. The officers of the Commissary and Quartermaster's Bureaus are intended to be directly responsible to the respective heads, but at the same time they are always to be subject to the inspection of the commander of the department, and to any call for information or returns, and may be required, as they ought to do, to give information of the depots and accumulations, so that proper provision may, in case of necessity, be made for the defense or removal of supplies.
Most of the difficulties, I think, which are suggested by you must have resulted from some omissions or irregularities in the conduct of the officers. They certainly should have made reports, and may be called on for such to you, whenever you deem it important, for their points of depot and the amount of accumulated supplies, and I should be pleased at all times to receive from you any suggestions as to the difficulties existing under the present arrangements and the best mode of remedying them. I trust, however, that reflection will induce you to concur in the superiority of the general plan, and that you will address your attention to making it as regular and efficient in its execution as possible.
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Mobile, Ala., March 15, 1864.
Colonel T. M. JACK,
COLONEL: One the - instant I sent Colonel Maury with 200 cavalry of his regiment a battalion of sharpshooters, and a section of horse artillery, by rail as far as Shubuta, to move at once into Jones County and break up the organized deserters who were threatening to interfere with the repairs of the Mibile and Ohio Railroad. He appears to have discharged the duty assigned him with his accustomed vigor and success. i have received no detailed report from him yet, but have learned from him that he has long ago broken them up and driven them out of Jones County; caused them to cease their depredations and break up their organizations in the neighboring counties of Covington and Perry.
In several instances he inflicted summary punishment upon those capture. I have ordered him to withdraw his forces, and have taken measures to cause the deserters to come in and report to their regiments. Among others I permitted the Rev. Mr. Collins, a man of intelligence and high respectability, to go into Jones County and