the Gulf) to Colonel S. B. Holabird, chief quartermaster Department of the Gulf. This letter was called forth in part (and the first part of it was written to Colonel Holabird before the receipt of the letter of General Hurlbut) by the following, which is an extract from a semi-official letter from Colonel Holabird to myself, dated March 18:
Permit me to suggest separate money estimates for the "outside" department Mobile Bay, and the month's advance estimates for material required by present orders. It will fix responsibility in such matters upon a secure basis. How can this depot anticipate the wants of your army if the army itself cannot do it?
I trust my instructions to Colonel Holabird will meet with the approval of the major-general commanding. I would mention that for a month prior to my leaving New Orleans the chief quartermaster Department of the Gulf sent many of his estimates for supplies to the Quartermaster-General through my office, giving as a reason therefor that he believed an approval by myself would facilitate the sending of the supplies.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. G. SAWTELLE,
Lieutenant Colonel and Chief Quartermaster, Mil. Div. of West Miss.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, March 18, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
I beg leave very respectfully to call the attention of the major-general commanding to the condition of supplies for the army in the field, so far as derived from the depots here. It will be seen that the small-arms have already given out under the unusual calls. Very heavy demands may be expected at any time upon the quartermaster's department. Colonel Holabird, as chief quartermaster Department of the Gulf, estimates in advance only for the presumed wants of the department itself. I assume, of course, that Colonel Sawtelle has made the necessary estimates for the probable wants of the force in the field, and ordered such supplies to such points or depots as his judgment has already selected. Without some such action the depots here will not be able to meet the requisitions likely to come. Unless this has been done already, I respectfully suggest that full estimate for quartermaster's supplies and ordnance stores be made at once and an officer sent to expedite their transmission. Claims are being daily presented in relation to transport steamers taken and in service. I would respectfully recommend that they be appraised, valued, and taken up regularly, which the claimants inform me has not been done. These suggestions may not be necessary and are perhaps superfluous, but I have seen much evil and delay be relying, without sufficient data, upon an unprepared depot for supplies; and, even at the risk of being considered as officiously intermeddling, I take the liberty of presenting these suggestions. It is very certain that the depots of this department are not prepared for the probable drafts upon them and that estimates for the troops in the field have not gone forward from these headquarters.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT,