SHREVEPORT, LA., February 24, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel A. H. COLE,
Inspector-General Field Transportation, Richmond:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that I crossed the Mississippi River with the public funds under my charge on the night of January 20, 1864, and reached Shreveport January 27. In Special Orders, Numbers 42. dated Shreveport, February 20, 1864, by command of Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith, I am ordered to relieve Major J. Horace Lacy as chief inspector of field transportation in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Upon entering on duty I find Major Lacy had initiated the organization of the bureau for the inspection of field transportation so far as to ask for an assign to duty the following-named officers, and they are now on duty in their several districts: Major Ed. A. Burke, quartermaster, chief inspector field transportation, district of Texas; Major C. M. Bradford, quartermaster, inspector field transportation, ordered to report to Major Burke; Major George Tucker, quartermaster, temporarily assigned, inspector field transportation, District of Louisiana; Major A. S. Morgan, quartermaster, inspector field transportation, District of Arkansas; Major F. Ducayet, quartermaster, now in Mexico, under special orders, to be assigned upon his return inspector field transportation, District of Louisiana.
In continuing the organization of the bureau I propose at once to inspect the amount, condition, and manner distributed of all means of transportation in the Fourth District, and be prepared at all times to report the same. I propose at once to recruit all animals unfit for service at such places where depots of forage have been established under the tithe act inaccessible for convenient transportation for the use of the army. I propose as soon as possible to increase the arrangements already made to fabricate the means of transportation, locating the necessary shops mostly in the State of Texas. Large amounts of money will be required for the purchase of animals and of the materials necessary to fabricate the means of transportation. Therefore for a rapid and successful organization of the bureau I forward to you my requisition for $5,000,000.
The manner herein proposed of organizing and working the bureau is approved of by Lieutenant General E, Kirby Smith, commanding and Lieutenant-Colonel O'Bannon, chief quartermaster, Trans-Mississippi Department.
The immediate want of iron is so pressing that the commanding general has given me orders to make certain arrangements by which a limiters supply will be obtained until the chief of the iron bureau can furnish what will be required. I have written to the controlling quartermasters of the several districts for information of the number and location of the depots of forage established under the tithe act. Major S. D. Oliver, controlling quartermaster of the State of Louisiana, has kindly furnished me the required information concerning his district, and I have ordered several hundred animals unfit for service to be driven to the depots to be recruited. As soon as the reports from the chief inspectors of district of the quantity and condition of the transportation now in service, the number of employes employed, and the capacity to fabricate means of transportation, are received, I will consolidate and forward them to you. I refer you to the inclosed reports* of Major