War of the Rebellion: Serial 065 Page 0554 S.C.,FLA., AND ON THE GA.,COAST. Chapter XLVII.

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OFFICE CHIEF COMMISSARY, Charleston, January 29, 1864.

Colonel L. B. NORTHROP,

Commissary-General of Subsistence, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to forward for your information a copy of a correspondence in reference to a call of the medical department to be supplied with 5 barrels of whisky. It does not appear what reason Surgeon Lining had for complaint, not that the censure of the commanding general has been justly pronounced against this department as being the cause of unnecessary reference to department headquarters upon a small point, producing delay and an accumulation of work at those headquarters.

It will be seen that your instructions communicated in your telegram of 27th instant cannot be obeyed. I do not understand that any peremptory order of my immediate commanding officer can be disregarded if it is possible to comply.

Asking for an early reply to my letter of 28th instant, I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major and Commissary of Subsistence.

P. S.-The letters of Captain Witherspoon are not yet returned to me, but they do not show any further knowledge of the matter than that he admits a conversation with Surgeon Chisholm, in which he told him he had some whisky on hand. I will forward these letters when I get them, in order that his explanations may be set forth.


Major and Commissary of Subsistence.




Complaints against Major Guerin, dated the 8th and 12th ultimo, from General Beauregard, were sent to the War Department because there was a deficiency of parts of the ration. One of the allegations was a deficiency of whisky, which is not a part of the ration. The Army of Tennessee has, since its withdrawal from the State, been supplied from General Beauregard's department, the troops of which had to endure their part of general privation. The former need whisky more than the latter. The State of South Carolina will not permit distillation except for the medical department, which can by or impress as well as the commissariat.

The commanding general directed Major Guerin to decline furnishing the medical department.

In September, 1863, some whisky belonging to the Honorable Mr. Gilmer and to a Mr. Benbow was impressed; this department was sustained by the Secretary of War, and should have been settled for in accordance with the laws of impressment and the orders of the War Department promulgating those laws. General Beauregard, however, ordered that the unconsumed portion of this whisky should be restored and that used, as well as the wastage from evaporation and other causes, should be returned in kind.

Orders were given by this Bureau to suspend action pending the settlement of the question by the War Department. General Beauregard