War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0031 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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very unreliable source of supply and to pay enormous profits to the importers. Major Ferguson, of this department, who has been employed in providing materials for the clothing department at Richmond, is fully competent to purchase goods abroad, as in addition to his knowledge of quality and prices he has the mercantile ability and integrity to disburse advantageously the large sums which would be intrusted to such agent as may be sent to Europe. The necessity of almost immediate arrangements for these supplies leads me to ask your early consideration on this subject.


Assistant Quartermaster-General.


Raleigh, [July 31,] 1862. (Received August 2.)


Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I am under the necessity of asking your attention again to the subject of partisan rangers. The means of avoiding the conscript law and the idea of being in a mounted company, independent and on detached service, render that service popular and desirable, while there is but little prospect of their being of much service, unless a few with well-chosen officers and in peculiar localities. They being mostly mounted, an almost exhausted country will be drained of its subsistence for their support, and every company will have a separate and independent quartermaster's and commissary department. But difficulties occur to me in administering our State laws to clothe and equip North Carolina troops. I fear if they are entitled to the same clothing and equipments with our other State troops already in service that it will absorb the provisions made for our regular troops. Inform me, if you can, what companies have been reported to you as accepted, or who have come within your regulations, and what regulations you have adopted, or who have come within your regulations, and what regulations you have adopted, which may serve as a guide to me in recognizing a lawfully raised and accepted company. The second section of the partisan-ranger act stipulates that they shall receive the same "pay, rations, and quarters as other soldiers. " Do "rations" refer to anything but subsistence, and do "quarters" mean anything more than tents? Or, in other words, is clothing or equipments included under any words of that section? These inquiries are necessary to guide my course, and I hope you will excuse this intrusion on your valuable time. There are so many companies forming claiming to be partisan rangers, and the authority to raise and accept them is so broad that I cannot recognize them for the payment of State bounty till I know they are properly organized and accepted by the Confederate Government. If such regulations have not been made the number now offering would suggest the propriety of establishing regulations for their organization and government. But I still further suggest the propriety of converting them into infantry, for in our country cavalry have only proved available as couriers or pickets.

Some of these views have been presented to you in a former letter, and the principal object of this communication is to know what companies I am to provide for in bounty, clothing, and equipments.

Very respectfully,