defense of their country in the present crisis are unaccustomed to exercise sagacity in providing for the future those articles which hitherto have been abundant in the market.
A. C. MYERS,
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, SUBSISTENCE DEPT., Montgomery, May 13, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War:
SIR: In reply to your request that I should assist in framing an estimate for the Medical Department of the Army, I submit the following considerations to aid in approximating: A knowledge of the play of chemical action and of the medical proprieties by which drugs may be prepared, compounded, and usefully administered will be of little avail in this inquiry; nor will the commercial value of the materia medica avail now, when commerce is stopped between us and the chief sources of supply - Europe and our enemies - and every article within our reach must have necessarily enhanced largely. On the other hand, it is to be borne in mind that our men are young and robust; that the probable seat of war is a healthful region; that but few chronic cases, which are the consumers of medicine, are to be looked for, and a whole class of medicine may be excluded; that all have homes and such cases should be promptly discharged; that the diseases of young, hearty men under exposure are almost always inflammatory and terminate in speedy death or rapid recovery; finally, the estimates for forts which the supply bills are founded involve obstetrical instruments and medicines for the diseases of women and children, likewise to be excluded here. It may be assumed that $5 per head, in addition to the rations already estimated for, will include all expenses for medicines, hospital stores, dressing, instruments, and other articles. Now, for 100,000 men, at $5 per head, $500,000; one-sixth off for ten months leaves $416,000. Then deduct 25 per cent., as perhaps not more than 75,000 will be the average force during that time, $312,000.
I am, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
L. B. NORTHROP,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Acting Commissary-General.
MONTGOMERY, May 13, 1861.
Governor J. E. BROWN,
If you will let me know what your contract with Tredegar Works is it is more than probable I will take it.
L. P. WALKER.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Milledgeville, Ga., May 13, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War, Montgomery, Ala.:
SIR: In reply to your note of the 7th instant, in which you say "I wish to know if Your Excellency will feel authorized to transfer to