market than came last year. The drain of Virginia has been less complete than it would have been but for the fact that supplies of cattle are being obtained from the Northern Neck and from the opposite shore, then being driven in to escape appropriation by the enemy. But this number is small. The forces south of Richmond to Mobile have been supplied from the low counties of North Carolina and Georgia and Florida. Efforts are now being made to draw all the supplies from North Carolina in anticipation of its occupation by the enemy, but transportation cannot be had. The business of selling and transmitting supplies of the character alluded to, especially through new channels, in new to the people, and they are not expected in any case to furnish a large proportion. Of the supplies of stock in Georgia and Florida I cannot speak accurately, having been taken sick about the time operations were inaugurated, and having had no time since to ascertain what has been done or can be done. But the country through which the cattle must be driven is not a good one to subsist them in the winter, and the whole line is subject to be broken by the enemy at any point, and cannot be relied on as a source of supply. If cattle can be crossed over the Mississippi from Texas and Louisiana, as they have been heretofore, large numbers of them, it is thought, can be wintered in the corn and pea fields of Northern Mississippi; but the high price of corn evidences a scarcity that will forbid their being driven very far, if it is desired to consume them, and they will not in any event be relied on for the consumption of any part of the army in Virginia.
Whether there will be adequate supplies for the Army of Northwestern Virginia depends very much on the size of that army. The fear of invasion and the waste of the army, never to be sufficiently blamed, have driven out many stock from that section, as is evidenced by the fact that I have seen some cattle from there in this meen months to two years old, a thing never heard of before. Agents are busily at work draining the southwest, but, as I have just learned (since I began to write this letter)m, General Echols has fallen back to Dublin, and I presume he will appropriate a considerable part of the scant supply of beef destined for General Lee. Major J. F. Cummings is operating with numerous agents in Tennessee, and thinks if he can be supplied with money promptly he can obtain six months' supply there of beef, pork, and bacon. Whether he means for the whole Army or for those under General Bragg's command does not appear, and as he is too much engaged to make a detailed report, I cannot expect to hear for some time. But I presume he means only for that army. But in any event, judging by the past and present experience of the Treasury Department, he will be partially balked by a failure to obtain money promptly, even if we can hold that country long enough to withdraw all its supplies. As to hogs, all are being bought there that can be bought, but the number it is thought will be less than was obtained last year, and there is not an absolute certainty that enough salt can be had to pack all that can be obtained. If it can, the experience of last year warns us that it is unfit for packing to the best advantage, much loss having resulted from using it in its raw state then, and it is in no better condition now. The pork in private hands will not be saved, either, as well or as abundantly, both from the bad quality of the salt and from its great scarcity. If to this estimate of short supply be added the waste committed by the soldiers, and permitted in some corps and perpetrated in others by the generals in command, I think it would be imprudent to estimate