War of the Rebellion: Serial 059 Page 0716 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLIV.

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when there is well-grounded probability of not getting sufficient to last until more can be obtained.

Third. He must see that provision returns are made out on principles of proper adjustment, so that troops going off or coming in may not cause more or less rations to be issued than are appropriate to the whole number of men to consume them.

Fourth. He must, in harmony with the purchasing commissaries of this Bureau, obtain from the commanding general such information as may enable these officers to prepare for any movement for getting or securing supplies.

Fifth. He must have funds to place in the hands of brigade commissaries when detached, and give them instructions to buy in conformity with the rates of purchases in the different districts, under circumstances when they can buy, and the State (commissary purchasing) agents are not operating so as not to dissatisfy the people by unequal rates. He must familiarize himself with the laws of impressment and be ready to impress under instructions of the general commanding. When the commanding general sends out foraging parties in an enemy's country the general will of course give special rules of action dependent on the policy of his Government, as instructed by the War Department. Such duties make this officer the representative of this Department with the army and the general commanding, and he is guided by the rules approved by the Secretary of War, and is by no means on the staff of the general, and if he discharges these duties, he ought to be acceptable to him, and loyalty to the general is no part of his qualifications.

Very respectfully, & c.,


Lieutenant-Colonel and Commissary of Subsistence.

[First indorsement.]


March 21, 1864.

The inclosed copy of extract of letter is respectfully furnished Major W. E. Moore, chief commissary of subsistence, Army of Tennessee, which will show him that the chief commissary of subsistence of an army and the other unattached commissaries serving with the army are component parts (together with the State purchasing commissaries) of the general system of the commissariat, and harmonious action is the natural result of these rules and principles.

By order of the Commissary-General of Subsistence:


Lieutenant-Colonel and Commissary of Subsistence.

[Second indorsement.]


April 13, 1864.

Respectfully returned to Secretary of War.

This paper, sent to Major Moore and other chief commissaries, was an extract from a letter to General Cooper. The last sentence, to which General Johnston refers, was perfectly appropriate to the circumstances under which it was written; is expressive of one of the general principles of the theory on which the disbursing bureaus are organized, and was appropriate to the consideration of the position of the chief of subsistence of an army, under the only system adequate to the collection of the scanty resources of the country, for distribution