powere reposed in commanding generals of impressing without limit will have to be resorted to by you. A call by you on the people would be more influential in inducing acquiescence, perhaps voluntary contributions, than from any other source. Field transportation is also very necessary.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
January 11, 1865. (Received 8 o'clock.)
Honorable J. A. SEDDON:
There is nothing within reach of this army to be impressed; the country is swept clear. Our only reliance is upon the railroads. We have but two days' supplies.
R. E. LEE.
BUREAU OF SUBSISTENCE,
Richmond, January 11, 1865.
Honorable J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: The crisis in the provisioning of General Lee's army and those around Richmond has been on us for some weeks. Supposing that the connections with Southwest Georgia be restored in two months, we must cast about for sources of supply during that period. A good deal of meat and corn can be got from Southwest Virginia, besides the Carolinas. Three things are necessary-funds, wagon transportation, and co-operation of the people. It is known to you that the funds required to meet Major Tannahill's engagements for the contract on the Nottoway are not supplied, a matter too important to fail in. Mr. Trenhold, I am informed, has no authority to issue much more. Unless authority by Congress to go on emitting notes is given at once,money will not be forthcoming, I fear, and the people will credit no more. I proposed some time ago that the Secretary of the Treasury issue directions and notifications that all accounts be accepted in payment of taxes. The people will then see that the Government intends to settle honestly the existing indebtedness. Field transportation is essential to haul in corn from outside the main lines of railroad in Southwest Virginia. This can be got by rigidly inspecting the transportation at posts and in the field, allowing not more than is needed actually. General Breckinridge, at the suggestion of Captain Shelby, instituted such examination, with good result. I recommend that you address General Lee on the subject. Without such course there is no good reason to expect that his army can be fed. Sixty teams are wanted in Southwest Virginia, and it is vital to General Lee and Richmond that more troops be sent there to hold that country till we drain it. Without the supplies there, I consider it impossible to keep General Lee's army in the field.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully,
L. B. NORTHROP,
Commissary-General of Subsistence.
It is estimated that over 100,000 bushels of corn can be got in Southwest Virginia.