|Office Chief Quartermaster
|Feb. 5, 1863
|Lieut. Col. J. R. Waddy
|Asst. Adjt. Gen.
| Having almost exhausted this department
in the way of cooking utensils, and wishing to increase the making
of tents, I dispatched Major Whitfield to Mobile, and Columbus,
Ga., to contract for a large supply of both. At the same time he was
charged to examine into and, if possible, correct the evils
complained of in regard to the Mobile & Ohio Railroad.
| In regard to the more important subject
of corn and fodder, I have the honor to state that I am informed by
the reports of Capt. D. H. Thomas, Maj. J. W. Patton, and Captain
[Samuel] O'Neill, that there is now in store in Vicksburg
belonging to this department 30,000 bushels of corn, one-half of
which is in sacks. I have, through my agents on the Yazoo
River, already purchased 100,000 bushels of corn, an amount of which
fully sufficient for the wants of Vicksburg
is to be delivered at Snyder's Bluff. Under instructions, a wagon
train of 100 teams is to be constantly engaged in transporting corn
to Vicksburg, and, so far as my department is concerned, Captain O'Neill, in
charge of forage at Vicksburg, is instructed to supply the animals entirely from the Bluff, and
not encroach on that in store. The reports of Major Bennett and
Captain Raphael, at Port Hudson, advise me there are 30,000 bushels
now stored at that point. At this place and Forest, before transferring any corn to the subsistence department, we had
25,000 bushels in sacks. I am informed by the report of Capt. F.
Ingate, quartermaster at Okolona, that he has already shipped to Meridian
about 20,000 bushels, and that he has engaged on the Mobile &
Ohio Railroad 68,000 bushels. Capt. W. B. Lucas, at Macon, reports 5,000. I have given instructions to quartermasters and
agents to purchase all that can be procured, and I have good reason
to believe that our supply will be abundant. I have directed Mr.
[J.] McFarland, my agent on the Yazoo, to use every boat on that
river to facilitate the purchase and transportation of corn, and I
know that, with the assistance I have sent him as well as that he
will employ, that he will employ all means to accomplish the prompt
collection of all the corn to be procured on that river and its
tributaries. I should also state that we have made large engagements
of fodder. As soon as the press for removal of the troops is over,
we will furnish it as required. I know of no way to supply Port
Hudson during the blockade of the river than by sending forward corn
for this place. If you direct, will commence this transportation.
| I will renew my efforts to procure
forage, and allow no chance to pass to procure everything required
in my department.
|I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient
|Major and Chief Quartermaster
|Dept. of Miss. and East. La.