From the time that supplies belonging to the Subsistence or any other bureau are required to be transported from one point to another, they from that moment, by the Regulations, and must of necessity, become solely under the control of the Quartermaster's Department (which is alone charged with transportation), and so remain until they arrive at their point of destination, and are delivered to the commissaryr to whom they were consigned. No other system will answer, and it is of vital importance that the enforcement of these duties should commence at once.
In giving the orders directing the discontinuance of special messengers I shall further direct that the commissary making the shipment shall immediately notify all the superintendents of railroads over which the supplies are to pass that such supplies have been shipped, and asking them to expedite the transportation of the supplies over their respective roads.
This plan seems to be only a half measure, but Colonel Wadley requests me to do so, and I shall omit upon no occasion to do and to order to be done anything that I can to assist him in the discharge of his duties.
In conclusion I beg to urge upon your consideration the system first herein proposed as absolutely essential.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. B. NORTHROP,
Commissary-General C. S. Army.
Referred by Secretary of War to Quartermaster-General.
February 11, 1863.
Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.
Plans are now being matured which it is believed will secure the discovery of all losses on railroads, and ascertain the company with is responsible. It cannot go into operation immediately. In the meantime Colonel Northrop's suggestions may be advantageously adopted, and [an] order to that effect will be issued.
I concur in his further suggestions that the system of sending with freight special messengers should be abandoned.
A. C. MYERS,
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, Va., February 4, 1863.
His Excellency Z. B. VANCE:
SIR: Some six or eight weeks since I invited your attention to the importance of the railroad connection to be made by the Confederate Government, under act of Congress, between Danville, Va., and Greensborough, N. C., and invoked your aid to command the slave labor requisite for its early completion. You then declined any interposition in this respect, under the conviction that with adequate energy on the part of the contractors a sufficient number of slaves might readily be obtained at not unreasonable rates. Will you excuse
25 R R-SERIES IV, VOL II