of the Confederacy to this point. For a long time past the commissariet of Virginia has been in a most precarious condition, at times without a day's ration on hand, while supplies may be said to being one particular abundant in portions of the Confederacy, and some railroad depots south are filled with stores awaiting transportation. While General Lee's army has been for a long time on very short meat rations there are now 1,000,000 pounds of meat en route to this point. It cannot be said that there is such an actual deficiency in rolling-stock as to couse this difficulty, when the whole capacity of the railroads has never been put in use, for passenger trains still run. The records of this office will furnish abundant evidence that this evil is oflong standing and has been repeatedly brought to the notice of the honorable Secretary of War. In the fall of 1862 an effort was made to have the passenger trains stopped and all the rolling-stock used for carrying stores; again in the summer of 1863 the effort was made and General Lee requested to use his influence to effect this arrangement. I inclose for your better information a copy of this letter. I add, what will be found riterated again and again in my indorsements upon papers relating to this matter of transportation, that the remedy of the existing evils is of incalculable importance to the Confederacy, and that continuing they may result in the loss of Richmond and the pillaging of our own country by a soldiery disorganized and demoralized by hunger.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. B. NORTHROP,
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
H. L. CLAY,
Respectfully submitted to the President at the particular request of Colonel Northrop.
Adjutant and Inspector-General.
APRIL 18, 1864.
General Bragg for attention and report. The matter is that of which we have repeatedly conversed.
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES CONFEDERATE STATES,
Richmond, April 20, 1864.
Respectfully returned to His Excellency the President.
There can be no doubt as to the vital importance of the question here presented, and it is equally certain no adequate remedy is yet applied. The recent increase of consumption by the re-enforcements of General Lee fully equals any increase of supplies. It is certain the Piedmont Railroad will not be finished before 1st of June, and I do not feel confident of its completion by that time, unless labor andmaterial are impressed, as suggested in a report yesterday submitted to the honorable Secretary of War. These difficulties may be expected to be increased soon by the necessary transportation of troops this way.