War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0872 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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and no essential supplies have ever failed to be ready for transportation when and where required, timely notice having been given to this department. It is known to the War Department that from the time I came to Richmond I urged the opinion that the railroads would be found unequal to the demands that soon would be made on them and that subsist sometimes fail to reach their destination. This terminated my duty, but not my apprehensions. Frequently I have had occasion to make such representations. To illustrate it, sugar is now needed in the camps, and there are invoices here of thirteen different shipments from New Orleans of near 1,400 hogs-heads on the way, starting from November 27 onward, and stores have been on the road from Nashville from one to three months. On the 12th fifty barrels of pork arrived that were shipped on the 22d of August, 1861. In this communication I referred previously to papers sent to me in the month of August, with directions to make remarks thereon. I advert again to them.

One of those papers contrasted the prices of flour at Manassas with that sent from Richmond, leading to the inference that purchasers here could be so foolish or so criminal as to pay 75 per cent. more for equal grades. The facts are, that the flour sent from here was worth from $1. 50 to $ 2 more than similar grades of country flour. This difference is fixed by market prices. Second. That flour, though sent in the month of July to Manassas, and according to department rule invoiced at actual cost, had been bought in the month of May, long before I came to Richmond and without the possibility of my knowing anything of it. The resolution of Congress covers all provisions that have been purchased. A large class of accounts have been contracted by officers conducting troops from places of rendezvous and enrollment. Third. Other commands for which preparations of cold provisions had been made have, by delay on the roads, been provided on those occasions by special purchases absolutely necessary, generally economical. None otherwise have been observed. Another class of accounts have been tavern bills, which have in almost every instance been rejected, and none paid but extreme cases of a very special nature, from which no precedent could be deduced. It may safely be affirmed that troops thus rapidly assembled from remote points could not have cost less for subsistence en route.

Referring to the papers accompanying.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Commissary-General of Subsistence.



Richmond, January -, 1862.

Colonel L. B. NORTHROP,

Commissary-General of Subsistence:

SIR: By your instructions I proceed to submit the following report on the purchases and contracts made by this department:


The supply of salted meats was that which the department felt most solicitous to secure. Provisions of that kind have been heretofore mainly sent to the South from States now foreign to us, or the seat of active hostilities. Reliance on that was out of the question after