War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0676 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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both to the States and the United States, the loss of which may ultimately fall upon the General Government. To avoid this competition you are respectfully requested to withdraw all agents for the purchase of arms, in order that the Government of the United States may make all such purchases with the greatest possible economy and remove the present inducement for speculators to withhold arms from the service. The arms will be distributed to the troops of the several States as soon as received.

SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War.

(Same to each Governor of loyal States.)

SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 314. Washington, November 26, 1861.

1. A board of officers is hereby instituted to regulate and fix the number and caliber of the cannonn to be mounted in casemate and barbette at each of the permanent fortifications in the United States; and also the number and description of guns to compose field batteries. The board will consist of Bvt. Brigadier General Joseph G. Totten, Corps of Engineers; Brigadier General James W. Ripley, Ordnance Department; Brigadier Gens. William F. Barry and John G. Barnard, U. S. Volunteers; Colonel Henry J. Hunt, U. S. Army; Captain Thomas J. Rodman, Ordnance Department. The board will meet at such time and place in this city as may be designated by the senior officer, and the junior member will record the proceedings.

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By command of Major-General McClellan:

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF SUBSISTENCE,

Washington, November 26, 1861.

Honorable SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to submit a report of the operations of this department during the past year.

In so doing I shall briefly state that the early portion of the year was marked by no material changes in the operations of the department from those of previous years; and the first action of the department to which I would ask your attention was caused by the isolation of Washington in April, rendering immediate action in relation to the supply of fresh beef at this place necessary. Invitations for bids were requested verbelly, for which there were two responses; but when called upon to enter into a contract the lowest bidder withdrew. A contract was then made with A. H. Sibley, Thomas Dyer, George W. Lawman, and H. Tyler for from 2,000 to 10,000 head of cattle, to be delivered at Washington or at some point in Pennsylvania at 5 3/4 cents per pound gross for those delivered in Pennsylvania, and 8 cents per pound gross for those delivered in this city.

Under this contract 500 head were ordered to be delivered in this city and 1,500 at Harrisburg. A few more than 500 were received in this city, under your instructions, the excess being in transitu to this