CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, ORDNANCE OFFICE, WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., August 12, 1861.
Answer to interrogations under resolution of Congress of July 27. First interrogatory. What quantity of muskets and rifles has the Government on hand besides those which have already been distributed to the Army?
Answer. All of our serviceable muskets and rifles are in the hands of troops in the field, at posts, or in camp. The Government has on hand 3,500 muskets, chiefly flint locks, and all of which should be passed through the workshop.
Second interrogatory. What quantity is there on hand of powder, of lead, of sulphur, of saltpeter? What measures have been adopted, and at what time or times, to procure an additional supply of either of the above articles? Has any, and what, quantity of either of the above articles been yet imported by the Government from abroad?
Answer. Powder. --The cannon-powder on hand is chiefly at the several forts on the sea-coast, a quantity sufficient for the present wants of the sea-boards defenses. About 200,000 pounds of musket and rifle powder are on hand.
Lead. -An order has been given to and accepted by the agent of the Wytheville Lead Mines in this State, Messrs. Crenshaw & Co., to deliver (and they are delivering) two tons of lead and 1,200 pounds of buckshot per day for 150 consecutive days, beginning about the 1st of July.
Sulphur. --Three hundred tons are at the disposal of the Government, equal to the production of 3,000 tons of powder.
Saltpeter. -Two hundred and forty tons of saltpeter are in possession of the State of Georgia, and ready to be turned over to the Confederate States. A part of it has already been turned over; the whole purchased.
What measures have been taken to procure powder, lead, sulphur, saltpeter?
Powder. --Orders have been given to Messrs. Bowen &c. Co., near Pendleton, S. C., to furnish all their mill makes, and saltpeter has been supplies to them, been given sulphur enough for four to six tons of powder. The like order has been given to J. M. Ostendorff, Walhalla, S. C., and saltpeter and sulphur ordered to his mills. These two mills will make about 300 pounds a day together. General Davis, near Lewisburg, Va., has lately been supplied with a small quantity of sulphur, and he is now making powder for our troops, as he states. Two mills near Nashville, Tenn., m are preparing to make powder. Of these S. D. Morgan, esq., of Nashville, under date of August 3, says: "One of our mills has, as I have just learned, commenced operations on an extended scale, and another still more extensive will be ready to operate next month, as the proprietor assures me. " An order has been given to C. D. Yale, of the State, for 250 tons of powder, to be furnished at 40 cents per pound. Orders have also been sent abroad to purchase 2,500,000 pounds, and to a party to purchase 650,000 pounds in Mexico. (Refer to extract of Major Rains' letter, appended.)
Lead. -An order has been given to a party to deliver 500 tons of lead at Columbia, Tex., at 7 cents per pound, and to another to deliver a like amount in San Antonio, at 6 cents. What abilities these parties have to execute these orders remains to be seen. Besides the Wytheville mine, in this State, the Confederate Government has directed the working of a mine in North Carolina. In reference to this Governor Warren Winslow writes, August 8: "I have written to Pasco, an experienced miner, to come down and get ready to open the Silver Hill Mine, in Davidson County. * * * It will not require much means. The furnace will cost only $500, I think, and labor is now so cheap that a small addition will be all that is required. " These two mines will, it is believed, supply all our wants. The following letter is from Prof. E. Emmons, State geologist of North Carolina, under date of July 24: "I made, some time since, a through examination of the lead mine in Caldwell County, fourteen miles north of Morganton. It will not, therefore, be necessary for me to visit and examine the mine at present. For the information of the Department I have addressed a letter to Calvin J. Cowles, of Wilkesborough, who owns, or did own, a lease on the property, to open and work this mine at once, if possible. Lead can be taken out at once, or from the present shaft and tunnel, and I have given him assurance that I will put him or a company in a way for easy reduction of the ore, and also repeated to