month for the time of service, being a much less sum than could have been made by the same parties operating on private account.
If frauds have been committed under this system they have not been heard of except in rumors, which, upon investigation, have either failed or declined to assume a proper accusatory form, or in the hints and insinuations of scandal or slander. The whole course of the department in obtaining its supply of hogs has been guided by the policy disclosed in the above. To complete the supply of salted meat, beef has also been engaged, to be packed at different places, stated in the accompanying paper, marked B, at prices adapted to the various localities. The establishments at which this work is done are all under the charge of agents (or, in cases where the amount packed was deemed too small to justify the appointment of an agent, it is intrusted to the parties themselves) who are under bonds to furnish a merchantable article. Further contracts will be made, or existing contracts extended, so as to insure enough beef to subsist the troops until the returning summer shall again afford an abundance of fresh beef. The different agents and contractors have been instructed to put as much of this beef as was practicable into barrels or tierces, but it has been impossible to put it all into such packages. Cooperage is scarce and high, and enough coopers cannot be had at any price to make the requisite number of barrels. To meet this difficulty the packers who are convenient to the distributed for speedy consumption. The plan has now been tried sufficiently to prove its efficacy, and if timely transportation can be had there is no doubt of its success. The barreled beef will be kept for later consumption and moved as fast as prepared, and when transportation can be had, either direct to its destination or to secure depots for future costribution. The bacon will be reserved, as far as can be, for summer and fall supply. The price paid for this beef has varied, according to locality and the condition of the animal, from 3 1/4 to 4 1/2 cents gross per pound, averaging less than 4 cents, and will go higher as the season advances. The contractors and agents have been instructed in their purchases to consult economy up to the limit of fair market rates, and never to exceed them. The compensation has been the fifth quarter, as it is called, which was the usual butchers' profit from time immemorial. In the case of R. A. Porter, of Louisiana, it is different, because he had to erect, upon short notice, an immense establishment, and had to furnish his own salt and cooperage, and his hides, requiring a large amount of salt to preserve them, would yet bring less than those nearer to the manufactures. His compensation, therefore, has been apparently increased by 1 1/2 cents per hundredweight gross. Still the beef cured by him will not amount to 10 cents per pound laid down at Memphis, a far less sum than it can be had for in the general market. The department has establishments of its own of this kind at Richmond and Thoroughfare, erected for the same reasons and conducted on the same principles as for hogs at the same places.
Whenever it has been practicable the commanders of the different forces have not been interfered with in obtaining fresh beef in their several bounds. As a general rule, local officers can make such purchases as well as this department, and with more satisfaction to the