War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0970 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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projectiles could, it is believed, be carried to the requisite extent in our own foundries, at a cost which must be measured by the number of guns actively employed. For further details I refer to the accompanying reports of the Secretaries of War and Navy. * The amount of money which will be required will depend upon the extent to which the articles needed may be obtained, and as I cannot hope to get more than a small part of that which a reply to the resolution required me to enumerate, I have not attempted to convert the articles into their probable money value. Estimates have been prepared and will be laid before the Congress showing the appropriations which it is deemed proper to ask, in view of the public wants and the possibility to supply them, as well as of the condition of the finances of the Confederacy States.




Richmond, March 4, 1862.


SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt from you of a resolution passed by Congress requesting the President to communicate at the earliest practicable moment "what additional means in money, men, arms, and munitions of war are in his judgment necessary, or may be within the present year, for the public service, including operations on land and water. " I am not at all sure that I understand the meaning of this inquiry. In order to conduct the war with the vigor and success required for the attainment of an early peace, or even for the prompt expulsion of the enemy from our soil, it would be both necessary and desirable to have in the field an additional army of 350,000. This would involve the necessity for at least 500,000 additional stand of small-arms, over 1,000 pieces of field artillery, with a due quantity of projectiles, 2,000 tons of powder, and an appropriation of at least $200,000,000 in addition to the regular estimates. As all this is evidently beyond our reach, I suppose the inquiry must be directed to the ascertainment of what practicable assistance Congress can render the Executive int he conduct of the war. If I am right in this conclusion, then I respectfully answer that the great deficiency under which we suffer is the want of small-arms and powder. If by any means which Congress in its wisdom can devise the Department could procure 200,000 muskets or rifles, 20,000 pistols, 500 Blakely guns, and 1,000 tons of powder, I am convinced a brilliant and successful campaign would crown our arms. The existing legislation would suffice as regards men. The amount of money would depend on the additional number of arms obtained. In a word, what we need is the "material" of war. My report just submitted shows what has been done by the Department in order to secure arms and munitions. If there be other means of procuring them, or other sources of supply that have escaped the Department, all additions that Congress can make to the number of our small-arms, field pieces, and ammunition would be, in the language of the inquiry, "necessary for the public service in military operations on land. "

Your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.


*Report of the Secretary of the Navy not found with War Department records.