connection, I again address you. It seems evident that every effort should be made to accumulate subsistence in Richmond at this time, in view of future probabilities. My application to you (when you were first placed at Richmond and anterior to your assuming direct command of the army) for information respecting our then prospects so as to guide my action and the conclusion then arrived at may perhaps be remembered. The elaborate works of defense which you have caused to be thrown up around the city and the constant attempt of the enemy on our lines of railway indicate that supplies should be accumulated here to the utmost possible extent, and at once. Such has been my constant effort since the battle of Fredericksburg, on 11th and 13th of December last, notwithstanding which a sufficiency even for current use could not be collected. Near half a milion of pounds of bacon killed here alone enabled us to get along, and the most persistent and varied exertions to gather a large surplus of flour and wheat failed in consequence of the imposibility of procuring transportation, first of wagons to haul to depots, then many obstacles arose on the railroads. The wagons obtainable from the Quartermaster's Department were in no sort of proportion to the necessity, and efforts to buy or hire by this bureau failed. This subject was brought to your attention. It is imperative that the utmost efforts of all can directly or by their representation promote transportation to Richmond should be exercised. As the defence of the city is in your charge, and it appears to be considered by you at present as an important base of your supplies, I adress you. I have long to draw corn from Georgia hither as breadstuff, and much spoils on the road from delay. I now propose to bring all the wheat that can be had from the south to the extent of transportation without waiting for what may come in from the districts usually tributary to Richmond.
It should be arranged with the railroads that, if at any time the ordinary freightfficient for prompt transportaion of all Government freight, the passenger trains be stopped and all details made so as, at a word, to converge everything on this one object. I write to you as the readies way of having the conclusion reached as to what is appropriate or necessary, for no one can be more interested than yourself. When troops begin to move, we may become intextricably involved. I learn that you are reducing your transportation, and therefore request that you would direct your quartermaster to distribute your surplus wagons as nearly as possible to fulfill the following indication. Of course you can judge whether protection is necessary for risking large addtions to the present trains in the localities where these last have been operating. Thomas R. Foster, commissary agent, can use to avantage, in addition to his present train, seventy-five wagons in the collection of wheat, &c., in the counties of Orange, Culpeper, Madison, Greene, Albemarle, &c. William J. Nelson, commissary agent at Stanton, can use with advantage, in collecting supplies in the Valley of Virginia, 100 wagons in addition to his present train. Capts. Thomas Robinson and A. E. Wilson, and S. S. Gresham, commisary agent, can use with advantage in addition to their present train of 30 wagons, 150 wagons in the collection of stores in the valley of the Rappahannock, counties of Caroline, Essex, King William, Middlesx, King and Queen, &c., where large quantities of grain of the old crop remain. Major R. Tannahill, chief commissary of subsistence, First District (composed of all the counties south of James River and east of the Blue Ridge), can employ to great advantage, in adition to his present train, seventy-five wagons in the collection of grain,