know and communicate the fact that the plan is being carried out at the same time. Be assured, sir, that I will inform every department int the seceded States of the plan and the time, that the movement may thus be general and simultaneous.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
AUGUSTUS S. MONTGOMERY.
NOTE.-This letter may be sent to other departments farther south after having gone the rounds of yours, which will show to all that the plan is being generally adopted.
DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF SUBSISTENCE, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., July 23, 1863.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:
GENERAL: As preliminary to the present letter, I inclose for your perusal a copy* of one written to Colonel Cole, when the ration of salt meat was, at your repeated instance, reduced to one-half pound, the Secretary of War having refused to fix decidedly on the quarter pound, as I urged. My last conversation with you respecting subsistence stores terminated by your stating substantially that the respensibility in that direction did not rest on you. There is, in my judgment, no isolating of respensigility in any of the machinery of war as a means of defense where loss of parts of territory within which supplies alone can be got dominishes changes of supply and increases difficulties. While I do not feel troubled by any responsibility except that in foro conscientia, I cannot satisfy myself therein without the above statement, and letting a man, whose views were so influential in preventing what I believed necessary, understand my present views of the situation of his army in respect to the changes of continued subsistence on the scale now existing. General Bragg's army since leaving Kentucky has draw its supplies chiefly from the reserves of Atlanta. These drafts have been of such magnitude that there is of bacon but a small amount left, about 1,800,000 pounds; there is but about 500,000 pounds here. It is quite certain that want awaits both armies, even on the supposition that our efforts to import form England are far more successful than heretofore. Not one of the contract to import form the North has been fruitful. A short time ago, failing to obtain from the Secretary of War authority to reduce the ration to one-quarter pound, I got his agreement to place the ration at one-third of a pound when not in actual movemetn, allowing one-half pound when at hard labor or on the march. I shall urge him now to make a further reduction of the one-third to one-fourth and the one-half to one-third. I write to inform you of the actual circumstances and those impending, and propose for your consideration the propriety of keeping your army on the most rigid construction of this rule.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. B. NORTHROP,
Commissary-General of Subsistence.
* Not found.