and in some respects they were; but you consider that the U. S. military railroads-a vast machine of itself-draw largely from us and that they absorb and enormous amount of all kinds of material. Then we supply the engineer, ordnance, and subsistence departments, to say nothing of the medical, with its numerous hospitals. I have protested against furnishing tools and material for the engineers in constructing block-houses, themselves an enormous item, dotting the entire lines of U. S. military railroads, but unavailingly, and I have contented myself with charging the expense tot he Engineer Department. In a word, I have found that owing to the enormous operations of the department and railroads and the increasing and heavy demands from other staff departments, such as subsistence, medical, ordnance, and engineer, that I have never been able to come up to the demands upon me, imperative demands, too, that cannot be evaded or neglected. This much by way of explanation, as I am aware that I have been importunate at times.
Second. Forage: We want 150,000 sacks of grain per month and as much hay as you can send. The grain sent us this season is very poor, especially the corn, and the hay arrives covered with paulins or very poorly housed with boards. It is the simplest thing in the world to house hay in barges, and if this were done at the several points where it is shipped the cost would be saved over and over again. All the quartermaster has to do is to dispense with paulins and have carpenters make proper housing of timber which can be used again. Much of the difficulty and destruction of hay in barges takes place at Smithland and elsewhere before reaching Nashville, and perhaps the quartermaster at Smithland pays no attention to the security and preservation of the public property temporarily there. If so, he should be forced to do his duty or be removed. We are so dependent on the efficiency of those who are not fit to be intrusted with separate control that I have ceased to have any compunctions in handling such characters without gloves. I think the quartermasters both at Smithland and Paducah want overhauling.
Third. Horses and mules: We shall need 1,500 artillery horses and 4,000 mules to equip the army for the spring campaign. This is to include and supersede all previous estimates. Both kinds of stock are practically exhausted in this State, and we must look to the North for a future supply. I will send you in a day or two a requisition, and hope you be able to supply me.
Fourth. The depot at Eastport: I communicate with the depot by telegraph to Johnsonville, and thence by our gun-boat and dispatch boat Newsboy, which I placed there for this purpose. Lieutenant Colonel A. J. Mackay, chief quartermaster Army of the Cumberland, telegraphs me that the depot there and surrounding country to the hills are ten feet under water at present, and some 10,000 to 15,000 sacks of grain have been lost; nothing else. I have telegraphed Colonel Mackay to give me timely notice of his want of grain and coal-two essential items. The great freshest in the Cumberland here still continues. The river is still rising and is over the levee, and flooding Edgefiled to the hills opposite the river. We have lost nothing, although the steam-boats have their stage-planks into the lower stories of the warehouses on the levee. I fear the flood is not over, and that there will be a still higher rise.
Fifth. Johnsonville: My orders to the quartermaster at Johnsonville, after a personal inspection, was to erect no buildings except a storehouse and office, and to make no accumulation of supplies there. From its position in a basin, with hills upon hills behind, Johnsonville is difficult