"An act to provide further means for the support of the Government," approved twelfth April, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, and the Secretary of the Treasury shall also be authorized to issue like bonds to any person who shall have actually paid money into the hands of an agent of the Treasury for the purchase of eight per cent. bonds of the one hundred million loan, prior to the twentieth February, eighteen hundred and sixty-three.
Approved April 27, 1863.
CHARLESTON, S. C., April 28, 1863.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: In my letter of 20th instant, which I had the honor to hand you, I requested certain information in regard to the conduct of the business with which I am charged here, which was partially given me by you verbally. I now beg leave to submit the following upon the same subject, having since my arrival obtained some information of importance upon the matter referred to which I did not have when last I had this honor.
In response to my first inquiry in my letter of the 20th I understood you to instruct me that all the goods imported for the Government under the arrangement with Messers. Collie & Co. and Crenshaw & Co., pertaining to the subsistence Bureau, should be delivered on arrival to the post commissary here, quartermaster's stores to the post quartermaster, & c. Upon this point upon reflection I would venture to make the following suggestions: Much more care attends invariably the custody of goods belonging to individuals than to the Government, and much better success seems to attend individual enterprises than when such enterprises are conducted in the name of the Government. If possible, therefore, to prevent it, it should not generally be known that the Government is directly engaged as an importer. This we cannot hope to conceal if so many are informed of it. Would it not be well, should you agree with me in thinking this desirable, to select some one officer here, or let General Beauregard select one of his staff officers, to whom the matter shall be confided, and he make the arrangements with the commissary, quartermaster, & c., to receive the articles which I would deliver as directed by him? This officer could also decide what portion, if any, of the goods imported on individual account the Government desires. Thus the appearance of affairs would be that individuals were engaged in an extensive importing business, large quantities of whose articles ould take for its use, as it frequently has done here before, as I am informed.
In regard to my second inquiry, viz, from whom will the cargoes of cotton be obtained and what notice will be necessary to have the cotton ready for the vessels, I beg leave to say that I am satisfied that it will be necessary to have a small stock of cotton kept here and a smaller one at Wilmington to insure dispatch to the steamers and the proper conduct of the business. This matter from the information (thoroughly reliable) which I obtained here in relation to transportation I deem of the utmost importance. Vessels of every sort, and at all times even the most favorable to be well managed, must be as far as possible kept going continually. This is peculiarly true now, in consideration of the very high prices that are paid for the steamers and