can drive us, evwn they disposed to try it, which I think will hardly be the case. I find a great division of sentiment amongst the people in this quarter of the country; the Union feeling greatly strenghtened from the belief that this quarter of the State had been finally abandoned to the enmy. It will require the presence of a strong force in the country to disabuse the public mind upon that point, which is absolutely necessary for complete success here. As we advance into the disaffected country it becomes more difficult to rocure supplies with regularity and in sufficient quantities. To this end it becomes indispensable that we should have a brigade commissary in the field with us. I have recommended and urged very strongly upon the Secretary of War the appointment of a man for the place who is every way entirely competent. He is a captain of cavalry, John C. McDonals, bred a merchant and is possessedof excellent capacity and business habits, enjoys and deserves a spotless reputation, and is withal a man of fortune. I know him well and amquite sure of his entire fitness for the place. Captain Barton was assigned to duty with me at Wytheville and proved most efficient, but he tells me he is troubled with rheumatism and cannot take the field. Besides, I doubt whether he could arrange the business in this sparsely inhabited country. Captain Barton could be most advantageously employed at Bristol in purchasing supplies of bacon and flour, &c., through East Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia and shipping the supplies in every direction to the army. The point is a good one, and he is admirably fitted for it. Give me McDonald for brigade commissary and I think I can manage the business part of the army here both with satisfaction and some degree of economy. This is all the more important because supplies are hard, and the machinery to procure should be as complete as it can be made.
I am, very truly, your frienD.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, August 29, 1861.
Colonel A. C. MYERS,
SIR: Your letter of August 23, inclosing report of Mr. Thomas R. Sharp, agent, &c., for the Quartermaster's Department, and submitting recommendations based theron, is received, and a letter relating to the same general subject has been received from Mr. W. L. Clark, president of the Winchester and Potomac Railroad Company. In compliance with your suggestion you are directed to order the transportation of the railroad iron, telegraph wire, materials, &c., referred to, to Winchester immediately for safe-keeping. So much of the railroad iron, &c., thus secured as may be immediately necessary to relay the tracks of the Winchester and Potomac Railroad may be dispoed of to this company for that purpose, to be paid for in the manner proposed by Mr. Clark, provided it be satisfactorily stipulated that [there shall be] no delay in the transportation of troops, munitions, &c., in consequence therof, and that the works shall be completed within a specified time, the contracts thus entered into to be subject to the approval of this Department. The Department is not willing, with only the information at present in its possession, to enter upon the construction of the proposed military road from Winchester to the Manassas Gap Railroad; would be glad, however, to receive further information on the subject.