Extract from a letter of Major George W. Rains, under date of July 25, 1861:
Major J. GORGAS:
In relation to the Government factory I have to state that the drawings of the machinery are now being made at Nashville, and on my return the work will at once be commenced. I have visited the iron-works and machine-shops at Nashville, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Augusta, and on my return will do so at Rome. I found that I could procure some of the lighter work at Nashville, and at Chattanooga a portion of the heavy castings can be made; but as they will have to complete first the work of the Manchester Powder Mills, it will be some twenty-five or forty days before being able to commence the Government work. At Augusta some of the lighter work can also be constructed, and perhaps also at Rome. At Atlanta a portion of he heavy castings can be made, having about the same capacity as at Chattanooga for such work. Thus these tow are the only ones which have the necessary tolls to do large work. Having to wait for the latter iron-works to complete their present job, it will take over four months to get the rolling cylinders for the mills made at these places for making two tons of powder per day; hence I shall be completed to get the Tredegar Works to assist in their manufacture, as it will take not less than forty rolling cylinders (or twenty mills) to manufacture five tons of powder each twenty-four hours, and this is the desired capacity for the factory, if I understand you correctly. Of course the making of powder would commence as soon as one set of machinery could be completed without waiting for the rest, but all the apparatus necessary for the whole, such as making charcoal, refining niter, refining sulphur, breaking cake, pressing, granulating, dusting, pulverizing, glazing, &c., with drying-houses for wood and powder, as also all the buildings to contain the same, and magazines would have to be constructed before the manufacture could commence. Thus, with all the facilities which can be had, even with the aid of the Tredegar Works, and working night and day, it will take at least three months before any of the machinery can be put into operation. I was fortunate enough to find two good steam engines, 80-horse power each, with boilers and fixtures complete at Atlanta (second had), which can be had for the motive power should water-power not be procured. This will supply force sufficient force sufficient to make two and a half tons of powder each twenty-four hours, as it will require over 300-horse power for the factory complete. In four months, if fortunate, I may be able to make two and a half tons of powder per day, and this, joined to the amount fabricated by the private mills above referred to, will give a probable supply of three and a half to four tons per twenty-four hours at that time.
I have no less than six times to-day seen Major Gorgas and been to his office importuning for his signature to this paper, so that it might be sent to Congress. At 8 o'clock at night it comes not signed.
JOHN TYLER, Jr.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, August 12, 1861.
G. B. LAMAR, Esq.,
SIR: The Acting Quartermaster-General, to whom had been referred your letter of August 9, dated at Richmond, has reported that in his opinion importations for the supply of our Army would be immediately necessary, embracing not less than 1,000,000 pairs of shoes, 800,000 yards gray woolen cloth, 500,000 stout flannel shirts, and 500,000 pairs of Irish woolen socks. Will you inform this Department upon what terms you would accept agency for the purchase of the above-named supplies and such others might be necessary, and also in what time deliveries might be expected, according to the plan you propose? You are requested to add any other suggestion or information