OFFICE CHIEF COMMISSARY, Charleston, January 28, 1864.
Respectfully returned to the commanding general.
It does not appear from the letters, herewith submitted that any requisition was made upon him for whisky.
No reference has been made to me by Surgeon Lining or any other officer of the medical department in this matter. Had there been such I would have explained the situation of this department in regard to this article. My agents can scarcely get it at all. The medical department has authority to distill. I have been refused permission.
The requisition cannot be filled for the want of the quantity; moreover, the commanding general has instructed me to "decline to furnish the medical department with whisky the medical purveyor must furnish it."
Please return Captain Witherspoon's letters.
H. C. GUERIN,
Major and Commissary of Subsistence.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH CAROLINA, &C., January 29, 1864.
I am instructed to return these papers to you, to call your attention to the order of the commanding general appended to the requisition,and to inquire whether your indorsement of the 28th instant is to be considered as a refusal to supply or to attempt to supply the whisky ordered.
Respectfully returned to Major Guerin, chief of subsistence State of South Carolina.
By command of General Beauregard:
JNO. M. OTEY,
OFFICE CHIEF COMMISSARY, Charleston, January 29, 1864.
The order will of course be obeyed as soon as possible. I wished the commanding general to be informed why the requisition remained unfilled, and of the instructions of the commanding general in regard to supplying the medical department.
On being made aware of these instructions and of the scarcity of the article in this department (which is not allowed to manufacture is as the medical department is, and is at this time without any resources whatever excepting to go into the market and pay from $55 to $75 per gallon), the commanding general intimates in unmistakable terms that his order is to be obeyed notwithstanding these considerations. I have to request instructions as to two points: First, whether I shall order 5 barrels of whiskey to be purchased for the medical department on the best terms possible, or have the same impressed; and second, whether it shall be transferred to the purveyor regardless of the requisitions of commander, which are waiting to be filled.
H. C. GUERIN,
Commissary of Subsistence.