if you can spare that number. Please inform me what number you can at the utmost send, and how soon they will be sent.
JOS. McC. BELL,
(In absence of General Pope.)
OFFICE CHIEF QUARTERMASTER, DEPT. OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, June 3, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel J. SCHUYLER CROSBY,
Aide-de-Camp and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:
COLONEL: In reply to the order of the major-general commanding, I have the honor to report the staff department over which I preside to be in a sound, healthy, efficient, and creditable condition, well supplied with all appliances for military use which fall to its business to furnish. The water avenues are clear, with floating transportation to meet current wants. Railways in excellent order, so far as road beds, bridges, embankments, rails, ties, station-houses, water-tanks, barracks for guards, offices, &c. ; rolling-stock mostly new, constructed in the department, including locomotives. All the posts have sufficient land transportation, in fine order, with ambulances also in good order. Barracks, hospitals, stables, store-houses-the U. S. barracks have been thoroughly repaired and converted into an excellent general hospital; the marine hospital was finished and converted into a general hospital for sick and wounded soldiers; the Sedgwick hospital has been constructed and finished with gas, water, and most recent improvements. Thus expensive private buildings have been vacated, and public ones alone are now in use for hospitals. Extensive pest hospitals for citizens and contrabands have been erected and a fine contraband hospital is in use. Cotton presses have been converted into barracks for troops and prisoners; into stables for cavalry; extensive stables have been erected. Clothing, camp and garrison equipage-the supply is sufficient and well cared for. The department is very well supplied with horses and mules, with abundant forage and straw. Stationery supplies of general quartermaster's stores for issue and expenditure are limited, since for some time none of our requisitions have been filled, our wants not appearing to be understood. The department is in funds, and has paid all its indebtedness besides furnishing large sums to the Freedmen's Bureau for various purposes, including schools. Lumber a supply of from 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 feet on hand. New barracks for four regiments have been constructed at Brazos Island, Tex. ; new wharf at that place. We have five steamers ready and suitable for the Rio Grande, of which four were constructed here. Of fuel we have a prodigious amount of hard and soft coal accumulated, and sufficient wood now seasoned and in secure yards for one year. It is believed that all public funds now in hands of assistant quartermasters will be faithfully accounted for, and the investigations without number have shown that the officers of this branch of the staff in integrity will compare favorably with any in this country or any other. This department had made steady progress in meeting the wants and necessities of the troops in spite of enormous difficulties, until the contrast of what it is with what it was found to be at first, may be pointed out with just pride to any one acquainted with the facts.
S. B. HOLABIRD,
Colonel and Chief Quartermaster.