Louis to Memphis, a distance of 450 miles; the cost of moving an army of 20,000 men, with its officers and baggage, the same distance, being not exceeding $25,000, while the transportation of stores and animals was performed at like reduced rates, and it will also be seen that even toward the close of the war, when gold was from 200 to 280, the cost of moving troops was on an average but about one-third of one cent per man per mile, the cost of moving a soldier from Saint Louis to New Orleans, a distance of 1,250 miles, at the present time being but $3.625, and that of an army of 20,000 men, with its officers and baggage, not exceeding $85,000. to one familiar with the large expense of transportation upon Southern rivers and the danger constantly incurred in their navigation from rebel batteries and guerrillas, I think these rates will be regarded as much lower than the service could ever have been performed by the Government and that there can be no doubt, as a general rule, that it is the policy of the Government to secure its transportation by contract with private parties rather than by attempting to perform it by its own boats and employes. When boats have been required for post service for a long peri\od of tiem, I have, as a general rule, purchased them, and where large expeditions were to be organized for brief service I have seized or chartered them, as the case might require, it being impossible to make contracts, owing to the indefiniteness of the service. The extent and expense of the transportation of the Mississippi and its tributaries has been greater, I apprehend, than is generally supposed, engaging as it has a large portin of the 350 steamers and hundreds of barges navigating those rivers; and though, for reasons already given, I cannot now furnish the exact fugures, yet some idea of its magnitude may be seen from the following statement of the amount of transportation furnished at Saint Louis, Mo., during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1863, as per report of Captain Charles Parsons, in charge of transportation at that post:
Railroad. River. Total.
Subsistence, 153,102,100 337,912,363 a491,014,463
Troops.. 193,023 135,909 328,932
Horses and 47,963 34,718 82,681
Cattle.. Do.. 2,196 23,353 25,540
Wagons and 1,873 2,475 4,348
Cannon and 196 78 274
Locomotives 178 ... 178
Bricks.. Do.. 8,000 ... 8,000
Lumber.. 2,134,619 ... 2,314,619
Shingles.. M.. 461 ... 461
a Equal to 245,507 tons and 463 pounds.
This, it must be borne in mind, however, is but the report of a single though the most important shipping point in the Mississippi Valley. For a correct estimate we must add to this the transportation of each quartermaster at Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Louisville, Cairo, Memphis, New Orleans, and the many other points on the upper and lower rivers, and still further must be added all the transportation on boats owned by or under charter to the Government, and at times numbering more than 100. Again, its importance may be seen by considering that the large armies of Generals Grant, Sehrman, Rosecrans, banks, and Steele, on the lower rivers, and of Sully and Sibley, on the Upper Missouri and Mississippi, have been almost exclusively dependent upon our river transports for their re-enforcements and immense supplies. On the 2d