On my arrival here I found that no one in this army knew what transportation was on hand, nor what was needed for a campaign. I had therefore to go to work and inspect and ferret out everything in order to arrive at some calculation as to the deficiency. I have been here now ten days, and be hard labor night and day am prepared to show General Johnston what he has, what he requires, and what we may possibly be able to do for him.
Owing to either inefficiency, improper appropriation, or some other cause, I fear nothing is to be obtained from Paxton's district for this army. I strongly suspect he has not used proper exertion in procuring animals. Smith, on the contrary, has done wonders, and has his department in first-rate order. I shall be compelled to send officers into Paxton's district, and for that purpose obtained to-day a detail from this army of 7 first-class officers; if we had the funds they could start to-morrow, and, funds or not, they must go as soon as Smith can furnish them instructions. I propose with them to cover all the ground in Alabama and Georgia and get everything not needed for the plow. If Johnston wants help I can send one or two of these officers to him. We must get some aid from North Carolina for this army, if it is the policy of the Government for it to move. Instead of taking horses I am now counting those as plow teams and taking good mules instead, as we are much better off on the horses question than we are on the mule. Paxton says, in a telegram received to-night, that he has had to impress in Mississippi for Gorgas' infernal ordnance train for the trans-Mississippi, for Lee's artillery (hence another nuisance) in Western Mississippi, and in Alabama for Polk's artillery, and mules for his transportation, besides horses in part of Buford's brigade, now in Western Tennessee.
Unless General Bragg will issue the order recommended by me fixing the allowance of transportation, we cannot stand it, and the system of allowing chief quartermaster to issue, sell, and trade, and otherwise assign or dispose of animals, unless checked, will destroy the Government.
Of the 400 or 500 fine horses impressed by Smith and sent here, I find 100 at least used by officers, wagon-masters, clerk, &c. The truth is, unless all such property is put under the control of our own offices, in or out of the armies, the public service must suffer.
I shall leave here in a few days and will meet Paxton at Montgomery, and may have to go to Mississippi to adjust General Polk's transportation, but before going there some order making the allowance uniform ought to be published. If it is done telegraph me. If I find General Polk in excess I shall insist on taking some from him, as we must do with Generals Bauregard, Whiting, Pickett, and others-that is, if the Government intends keeping this and General Lee's army efficient. I am now taking everything from post, substituting broken-down stock instead, but of course meet with violent opposition from all quarters. You must do the same thing in Virginia if you find it necessary to equip General Lee.
Whilst we are laboring to equip the two large armies, we can afford to neglect the smaller ones, or, in other words, tell them to wait. The neglect of Colonel McMicken to turn over to Smith the broken-down stock of this army has resulted in the death and loss of nearly 2,500 animals since January last. This accident is bad.
I find General Johnston most reasonable and entirely willing to yield everything I ask or even suggest. I shall be able to get him to make large deductions form his present allowance, but in order to