War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0384 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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In Vienna awaiting payment.

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
pounds &nbsp&nbsp s &nbsp&nbsp d

30,000 rifles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115,500 &nbsp&nbsp 0 &nbsp&nbsp 0

30,000 scabbards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,250 &nbsp&nbsp 0 &nbsp&nbsp 0

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Total expended and under order. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117,750 &nbsp 0 &nbsp&nbsp 0

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Shipped up to date. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 818,869 &nbsp 18&nbsp 3

Ready for shipment in London, to be shipped by

December 15. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249,853 &nbsp&nbsp 1 &nbsp&nbsp 0

In Vienna waiting payment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117,750 &nbsp&nbsp 0 &nbsp&nbsp 0

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1,186,472 19 3

Received by Fraser, Trenholm & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .613,589 &nbsp&nbsp 0 &nbsp&nbsp 0

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Total required. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 572,883 &nbsp 19 &nbsp 3

[Indorsement.]

FEBRUARY 3, 1863.

Respectfully referred to the Secretary of War for information as to purchases made by Major Huse.

J. GORGAS,

Colonel, Chief of Ordnance.

BUREAU OF SUBSISTENCE,

Richmond, February 4, 1863.

Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: A practice has prevailed for some time of sending special messengers with supplies sent from the south this way. This practice has been adopted in the hope that it would tend to obviate much of the delay continually consequent in transportation, and also prevent the very heavy loss of supplies on the different railroads in their transit.

From full information and reflection I have concluded that this practice accomplishes no good whatever, and at the same time entails a very heavy and unnecessary expense on the Government, and therefore I shall give orders that in the future it be discontinued.

The only effectual system to improve the evils above mentioned, which are daily becoming greater, is to require the quartermasters stationed at the various points where different railroads unite, and bulk has to be broken and changed, to superintend such transshipment and change, and to keep an accurate account of the quantity and condition of the supplies delivered by one road and reshipped on the other, noting any deficiency between amount of supplies delivered and the bill [of] lading and waybill sent with them, and immediately informing the quartermaster who settles the charges of transportation of any deficiency which may have occurred, and the railroad on which the loss or damage was incurred and also the commissary for whom the supplies are destined.

This will enable the Government to fix the railroad upon which the responsibility for such loss or damage properly belongs, and to recover from such railroad the payment of all loss and damage which they may have occasioned, which cannot be done now.

The existence and enforcement of this responsibility will beget and insure carefulness and diligence on the part of all railroad agents.

This plan does not propose to do anything more than require the quartermasters to discharge the duties enjoined on them by the Army Regulations.