of the whole system in its present entirety, as being the course most likely to produce a result satisfactory to the Government, inasmuch as it is expected that in a comparatively short time the whole will be successfully at work producing the minie musket.
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,
JAS. H. BURTON,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Virginia Ordnance, in Charge.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, July 31, 1861.
Hon. HOWELL COBB,
President of the Confederate States Congress:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a communication from the Secretary of the Confederate Congress, dated July 29, inclosing the following resolutions, adopted by the Congress on the 27th instant:
Resolved, That the Secretary of War be requested to inform Congress whether his Department has made contracts for the manufacture of powder of the different grades and varieties required in the military service of the Confederate States; whether the persons with whom such contracts have been made have yet fulfilled execution of their contracts, and whether they possess the requisite material for the energetic and prompt execution thereof.
Resolved, That the Secretary of War be requested to furnish for the use of this Congress a complete list of all appointments made in the permanent Army of the Confederate States, with the rank and date in the permanent Army of the Confederate States, with the rank and date of appointment, the State of the appointee, and when the appointee is a resigned officer of the U. S. Army showing his rank in that Army at the time of his resignation, the date of his commission or appointment, and the State from which appointed.
In reply to the first of these resolutions I have the honor to state that this Department has made contracts for the manufacture of powder of the different grades and varieties required in the military service of the Confederate States in quantities believed to be sufficient for the probable exigencies of the service; that of the varieties required for small-arms, muskets, or rifles, large quantities are already on hand, not less than 20,000 or cartridges in quantity being now in our possession-more than sufficient, according to the ordinary estimate, to supply an army of 400,000 men for twelve months, besides a sufficiency of cannon-powder for present use; that large contracts for the manufacture of all the necessary varieties of powder have been made, both in this country and in Europe; that in no case have deliveries yet been made, but that the contracts are now in course of execution, and the parties contracting are believed in all cases to be competent for the faithful execution of the contracts and to possess the requisite material for the energetic and prompt fulfillment of the same. Preparations for the manufacture of powder within the limits of the Confederate States are progressing on a large scale. The Government is in possession of large quantities of sulphur and saltpeter, and it is hoped that it will not be long before the Confederate States will be independent of foreign supplies in this important munitions of war. The arrangements made in Europe for the purchase of powder are believed to be complete and satisfactory. A large quantity has been already purchased, which will be ready for early shipment, and arrangements have been made for its importation which it is confidently hoped will elude the utmost vigilance of the blockade.