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Lucius Northrop

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by Elennsar, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

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    Northrop was the Confederate commissary general of subsistence.

    Northrop has a fairly established reptutation as an incompetent.

    So the question is to what extent his ineptitude is responsible, as opposed to actual (and unovercomable) failings of the railroads and the rest of the system.
     

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  3. captainrlm

    captainrlm Cadet

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    Obviously, the odds were long and the job very difficult, but the same could be said of the Naval Department, yet Mallery seems to have at least a respectable reputation for the way he tried to overcome the obstacles, so perhaps Northrop could have done more (though I'll admit I can't offer any specific suggestions.)
     
  4. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
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    Dear Elennsar;

    This is what I have on General Northrop:
    Name NORTHROP, Lucius Bellinger
    Born September 8 1811, Charleston SC
    Died February 9 1894, Pikesville MD
    Pre-War Profession West Point 1831, Seminole War, practiced medicine while serving in the army, resigned January 1861.
    War Service 1861 Col. and commissary general, November 1864 Brig. Gen. (not submitted to the Senate), relieved February 1865.
    Post War Career Farmer.
    Notes A favorite of President Davis, widely disliked, but did a good job under difficult circumstances.
    Further reading
    Moore, Jerrold Confederate Commissary General - Lucius Northrop and the Subsistence Bureau of the Southern Army Shippensburg PA, White Mane Publications 1996

    --------------------------------------------------------
    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 1 [S# 1] CHAPTER I.
    CORRESPONDENCE AND ORDERS RELATING SPECIALLY TO THE OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR FROM OCTOBER 31, 1860, TO APRIL 14, 1861.
    CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE. ETC.,(*)--#2
    HDQRS. PROVISIONAL ARMY CONFEDERATE STATES,
    Charleston, S. C., March 15, 1861.
    L. P. WALKER Secretary of War, Montgomery, Ala.:
    SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the three telegrams of the 13th and 14th instants.(*) I telegraphed an answer to-day.
    Major Whiting has this day reported for duty. Captain Northrop informed me a few days ago that he had informed you he could not at present accept the commission offered him. I would at present have no need of him. I have ordered the Drummond-light operator to be here forthwith, for his services will be required as soon as the apparatus arrives. After instructing two or three persons here he might be sent to New Orleans.
    [excerpt]
    I remain, sir, very respectfully, your very obedient servant,
    G. T. BEAUREGARD,
    Brigadier-General, Commanding.
    -----
    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME IV [S# 4] CHAPTER XIII.
    Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating Specially To Operations In Southeastern Virginia And North Carolina From August 1, 1861, To January 11, 1862.
    CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#1
    HEADQUARTERS,
    Yorktown, Va., August 24, 1861.
    Col. L. B. NORTHROP,
    Commissary-General, C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:
    COLONEL: As I find it difficult to procure the amount of provisions necessary to enable me to keep the field, I have thought it best to communicate my purposes to you directly, in order that I may be furnished with a sufficient supply without delay. I desire to move the greater part of the troops from Williamsburg and Yorktown ****her to the front and to within 10 miles of the enemy, and to maintain my position there; but I have not the necessary means to transport the baggage, rations, and forage of the troops all at the same time; indeed, not more than one-third of these means. I must, therefore, establish depots of provisions ahead before I move, say 10 days' supply of rations at Warwick Court. House and at Harrod's Mill, each place about 9 miles from here and 20 miles from Williamsburg. I wish to do this without loss of time. I hope to be able to get 6,000 men in the field.
    This would be 60,000 rations. If, therefore, you can send at once 100,000 rations here and 50,000 at the same time to Williamsburg, and follow it up with 60,000 every 5 days, 10,000 of which should be sent to Williamsburg and 50,000 to this place, I could keep my position in front. Please let me know as soon as you receive this if it can be done.
    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
    J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
    Brigadier-General, Commanding Department.
    ---------------------
    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 5 [S# 5]
    Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating Specially To Operations In Maryland, Northern Virginia, And West Virginia From August 1, 1861, To March 17, 1862.
    CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#2
    RICHMOND, September 7, 1861.
    Colonel NORTHROP, Commissary-General Subsistence :
    SIR: In a communication received to-day there appears the following suggestive paragraph in reference to the subsistence of the army at Manassas and on the Potomac:
    It is said to be impossible to provide rations ahead for the troops. So it may be if everything comes from Richmond; but if purchases are made in the valley of Virginia, such as flour, corn, oats, bacon, and beef, it is certainly practicable to accumulate any quantity, as two railroads would be in requisition instead of one. Besides, flour can be bought in the valley of Virginia, at the end of Manassas Railroad, one dollar per barrel cheaper than in Richmond, while the cost of transportation would be only one-half that from Richmond.
    This communication comes from a source entitling it to consideration.
    Respectfully,
    L. P. WALKER,
    Secretary of War.
    -----
    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 5 [S# 5]
    Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating Specially To Operations In Maryland, Northern Virginia, And West Virginia From August 1, 1861, To March 17, 1862.
    CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#2
    RICHMOND, September 9, 1861.
    Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:
    SIR: Your letter of the 7th instant has been received, furnishing me with the following extract:
    It is said to be impossible to provide rations ahead for the troops. So it may be if everything comes from Richmond, but if purchases are made in the valley of Virginia, such as flour, corn, oats, bacon, and beef, it is certainly practicable to accumulate any quantity, as two railroads would be in requisition instead of one. Besides, flour can be bought in the valley of Virginia, at the end of the Manassas Railroad, one dollar per barrel cheaper than in Richmond, while the cost of transportation would be only one-half that from Richmond.
    Some weeks ago the President sent to this Department, for me to read and remark on, several reports relating to the subsistence of the Army of the Potomac. The above extract expresses the substance of a part of those reports, and implies similar censure, while it may be only an outside attempt to make me abandon the principles I have fixed upon to supply the army. It evinces the readiness of the writer to criticise the operations of this department without being acquainted with the facts or the plans on which they are based. My replies to the President were placed by him in your hands. They cover all that may be inferred from this paper and explode it. I therefore shall not reply further than to request you to reperuse those papers. I have studied the flour question, and resisted much outside pressure after I arrived here, determining not to buy until the market opened, and then to fix prices on the new crop, as I was the only purchaser in the field. By firmness I held out to the last barrel, and have made ruling contracts in Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Lynchburg.
    I will be glad if your correspondent will come forward and accept this proposition, viz: If flour of the same actual (but not inspected) quality can be bought at the end of the Manassas Gap Railroad at $4.25 per barrel, and laid down at Manassas at that price for thirty-three cents freight, which is the substance of the proposition stated in the figures to which my contract in Richmond will bring it, I will take it with pleasure, contracting with the party to furnish the whole Army of the Potomac. No such offer has been made to me from any source. Furthermore, I will contract to receive all the bacon he can deliver to Major Blair for two cents more than that I lately furnished the Army of the Potomac from this city.
    I add.that Major Blair, who has authority to purchase flour to any extent on the principles of this department, which are admitted by the entire community and the millers to be correct (while objecting to the rule), is now offering to the people of the valley forty-two cents more per barrel than your reliable correspondent says they are willing to take.
    I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
    L. B. NORTHROP,
    Commissary. General of Subsistence.
    -----
    SUBSISTENCE DEPARTMENT,
    Richmond, September 18, 1861.
    Hon. J.P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War:
    SIR: I received a dispatch from Major Blair, desiring that 1,000 barrels of flour should be sent him from Richmond because of non-arrival of 2,000 barrels ordered from Lynchburg and Fredericksburg. This must be due to some difficulties on the roads, as ample provision has been made at both places. The agent of the Central Railroad writes that it is impossible to transport the flour, and therefore I inclose a copy of the agent's letter, stating the reason.
    I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
    L. B. NORTHROP,
    Commissary-General Subsistence.

    RICHMOND, September 18, 1861.
    J. H. CLAIBOURNE, Esq.:
    DEAR SIR: The Confederate States have all of our cars at Manassas and Millborough. We cannot get them back. We have only two cars now in Richmond. Our depot is blocked up. If you send the flour today we shall be compelled to put it out of doors, and the Confederate States must take the risk.
    Respectfully,
    S. HUNTER.
    -----
    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 5 [S# 5]
    Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating Specially To Operations In Maryland, Northern Virginia, And West Virginia From August 1, 1861, To March 17, 1862.
    CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#3
    CAMP PICKENS, October 15, 1861.
    Col. L. B. NORTHROP,
    Commissary General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:
    COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 12th instant, inclosing complaints of deficiency of supplies from brigade commissary, First Brigade, First Corps, the commissary to Hampton's Legion, and the commissary Ninth S.C. Regiment (one inclosure), and directing me to report "whether or not these regiments were furnished with their due proportion of those articles of the ration of which there was not a full supply." I have to reply that they have been since August 28, 1861, the earliest day after I came upon duty (August 23, 1861) at which I could so systematize the affairs of the subsistence department here as to inaugurate such a system. I am not aware of any failure to receive such proportion by any part of the troops since that time.
    Respectfully, your obedient servant,
    W. B. BLAIR,
    Major, and Commissary of Subsistence.
    --
    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 9 [S# 9]
    CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA FROM FEBRUARY 1 TO SEPTEMBER 18, 1862.
    CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.
    HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF TEXAS,
    Houston, Tex., February 5, 1862.
    Hon. J.P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
    SIR: I have the honor to transmit copy of instructions issued to the different commissaries of this department by the chief commissary of subsistence, by direction of the Commissary-General at Richmond.
    I am inclined to believe that a strict compliance with these instructions will much trammel the operations of the Subsistence Department.
    his military department is a large one and the posts far apart. The headquarters of the chief commissary are at San Antonio, and the general commanding, considering himself in the field, is obliged to establish his headquarters where he thinks his presence most needed, and at this time within striking distance of the seaboard, exposed at any moment to the attacks of the enemy. This necessarily must frequently, if not always, place the general commanding and chief of subsistence at different and distant stations.
    The instructions require that receipts and certificates given by sub-commissaries be approved by the commanding general, and then to be presented to the chief commissary of the department for examination and payment. This is very inconvenient. For instance, troops on the Rio Grande or at the distant frontier posts may run short of provisions. In this event the difficulty of purchasing supplies upon certificates, which, to be paid, would oblige the holders to first find the general commanding to get his approval, and then to repair to San Antonio to have these accounts examined and paid or refused payment, as the case may be, is very apparent.
    The sub-commissaries report to me that it will be impossible to obtain supplies under these difficulties, as parties selling would be unwilling to be put to the expense, trouble, and traveling involved in getting paid by the Government.
    Besides, it imposes more or less commissary duties upon the general commanding in a department, where the duties are already very onerous on account of its vast geographical extent, the number of its posts, and one where, owing to many causes, the general commanding is obliged to almost create resources and means of defense.
    Again, it subjects receipts and certificates approved by the general commanding to the examination and approval of an inferior officer, the chief commissary of the department.
    I would, in conclusion, respectfully remark that these instructions shift responsibility from the chief commissary and his assistants, disbursing officers, to the general commanding, who in most cases will be unable, especially at distant posts, to judge of the nature and necessity of supplies purchased by the different commissaries.
    Respectfully calling the early attention of the Secretary of War to the subject of this communication, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, his obedient servant,
    P.O. HEBERT,
    Brigadier-General, P. A., Comdg. Dept. of Texas.
    continued
     
  5. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    16,455
    Location:
    Virginia
    [Inclosure.]
    OFFICE OF THE ACTG. ASST. COM. OF SUB.,
    Galveston, Tex., February 1, 1862.
    General P.O. HEBERT, Comdg. Dept. of Texas, Houston, Tar.:
    GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose a certified copy of an order this day received from Maj. S. Maclin, chief commissary Department of Texas.
    As I interpret the order, I have no authority to purchase supplies for the troops on this island without your approval of every purchase being indorsed thereon.
    You are fully aware of the difficulty in procuring supplies for the troops. Would respectfully submit that, if this order is strictly complied with, it will be impossible to subsist the troops, from the fact that parties having subsistence stores for sale will be unwilling to visit you for the approval of their certified accounts, and then go to San Antonio to receive the money from the chief of subsistence.
    I will be pleased to receive instructions from you at your earliest convenience.
    I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
    DAN. C. RICHARDSON,
    Captain, and A. A. C. S., C. S. P. Army.
    [Sub-inclosure.]
    PRINCIPAL COMMISSARY OFFICE,
    San Antonio, Tex., January 24, 1862.
    SIR: In furnishing provisions to officers and others you will be governed by the following instructions, received from the Commissary-General.
    Respectfully, your obedient servant.
    SACKFIELD MACLIN,
    Major, C. S. Army, Chief Corn. Sub., Dept. of Texas.
    -----
    RICHMOND, VA., December 5, 1861.
    Maj. S. MACLIN,
    Chief Commissary of Subsistence, Dept. of Texas, San Antonio:
    SIR: The Commissary-General directs me to say to you that you will please instruct the commissaries in your department that when it becomes necessary to purchase supplies in the vicinity of their station the approval of the general commanding the Department of Texas must be expressed upon the receipts or certificates given to the persons from whom the stores are obtained, and that all such accounts must be presented to you for examination and payment. That no account for subsistence furnished picket guards or other detachments will be allowed unless on the order of the general commanding, setting forth the circumstances rendering the purchase necessary, and these accounts must be submitted to you for examination and payment.
    You will also cause instructions to be given to the commissaries of your department who receive "due-bills" from officers to whom provisions are sold to take up the amount of these bills (remaining unpaid) when their accounts current are rendered on that account, and forward the bills to this office as vouchers, with "abstract of sales."
    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
    T. WILLIAMS,
    Major and Commissary Subsistence, C. S. Army.
    [Indorsement.]
    OFFICE OF COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF SUBSISTENCE,
    Richmond, March 6, 1862.
    Respectfully returned to the Adjutant and Inspector General.
    The circular within referred to was modified by substituting "officers commanding separate commands" for the words "general commanding," the object being to check, as far as practicable, unnecessary and extravagant purchases, and to prevent certificates from being given for provisions furnished to parties who were otherwise provided for or might have been, and who are not authorized to buy stores or create claims against the Department. The regulations of the C. S. Army fix the responsibility upon the commanding officer of a department, requiring him to enforce a rigid economy in the public expenses, and to promptly correct all irregularities and extravagancies which he may discover. This circular does not add to the responsibilities of commanding officers, nor does the circular require accounts approved by the commanding officer to be afterward approved by the chief commissary of subsistence or "an inferior officer," but simply their "examination," a clerical one, and that the party holding the account is the one to be paid, and finally the payment.
    The circular does not apply to commissaries who are furnished with funds and are authorized to buy stores.
    L. B. NORTHROP,
    Commissary-General of Subsistence.
    -----
    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME X/2 [S# 11]
    CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY, TENNESSEE, NORTH MISSISSIPPI, NORTH ALABAMA, AND SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA FROM MARCH 4 TO JUNE 10, 1862.--#5
    HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
    Corinth, Miss., April 16, 1862.
    General S. COOPER,
    Adjutant and Inspector General:
    GENERAL: I fear that Colonel Northrop, Chief of the Subsistence Department, is disposed or determined to ignore the presence with these headquarters of Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, of his department, the officer next in rank in it to himself, and one of the largest experience in our service, sent here, as you are aware, on my application, because of that experience. Circumstances convince me that I am not mistaken, and that unless Colonel Northrop is led to change his course the service and the country will suffer. His attempts to communicate directly with subordinates of Colonel Lee and not to communicate at all with Colonel Lee are palpably disrespectful to the authority that sent the colonel to my staff as well as to me, and I trust Colonel Northrop will be brought to understand this before he can do any material mischief.
    I trust the Department will understand that I have only noticed this matter because I feared injury to great public interests might result if I were silent; and I beg to add that my attention to this matter has not been attracted by any complaint from Colonel Lee.
    Respectfully, your obedient servant,
    G. T. BEAUREGARD,
    General, Commanding.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
     
  6. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,455
    Location:
    Virginia
    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME X/2 [S# 11]
    CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY, TENNESSEE, NORTH MISSISSIPPI, NORTH ALABAMA, AND SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA FROM MARCH 4 TO JUNE 10, 1862.--#8
    HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
    Corinth, May 1, 1862.
    General S. COOPER, Adjt. and Insp. Gen., Richmond:
    GENERAL: I have the honor to submit herewith a general order, which I have published in connection with and regulating the subsistence of this army, the operation of which, I am assured, will be in the interest of all concerned, and which I trust will receive the sanction of the War Department.
    Just, however, as this order was ready for publication Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, chief of subsistence, received the following telegram from Colonel Northrop, dated April 29, 1862:
    By order of the Secretary of War, the ration is reduced to half pound of bacon or pork and one pound of beef, and not exceeding one and a half pounds of flour or corn meal.
    In the name of my men I must respectfully but urgently protest against such a reduction of the substantial part of the ration.
    In the orders I have the honor to submit the greatest reduction has been made that the meat ration will bear, and, as will be perceived, this retrenchment is partially made up to the soldiers by an increase of the rice ration. But for the disaster at New Orleans I should have felt it my duty to add likewise to the sugar ration as affording a cheap and healthy nutritious addition to the diet of the soldiers in this climate.
    I shall carry out the orders inclosed until otherwise instructed by the War Department.
    Respectfully, your obedient servant,
    G. T. BEAUREGARD,
    General, Commanding.
    [Inclosures.]
    General ORDERS No. 30.
    HDQRS. ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
    Corinth, April 30, 1862.
    From this date until otherwise ordered by the War Department the component parts of rations issued to this army will be as follows:
    Pork or bacon to the ration, 10 ounces; salt or fresh beef to the ration, 1 pound; flour or corn meal to the ration, 20 ounces; or hard bread to the ration, 1 pound; beans or peas to 100 rations, 8 quarts; rice to 100 rations, 15 pounds; coffee to 100 rations, 3 pounds; rye to 100 rations, 3 pounds; sugar to 100 rations, 15 pounds; molasses to 100 rations, 6 quarts; vinegar to 100 rations, 4 quarts; soap to 100 rations, 4 pounds; sperm candles to 100 rations, 1 pound; or star candles to 100 rations, 13 pounds; or tallow candles to 100 rations, 1½ pounds.
    When practicable, an extra issue of lard once in five days, 8 ounces; pork and bacon two days in seven; fresh and salt beef five days in seven.
    By command of General Beauregard:
    THOMAS JORDAN,
    Assistant Adjutant-General.
    -----
    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME X/2 [S# 11]
    CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY, TENNESSEE, NORTH MISSISSIPPI, NORTH ALABAMA, AND SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA FROM MARCH 4 TO JUNE 10, 1862.--#11
    SUBSISTENCE DEPARTMENT,
    Richmond, May 31, 1862.
    Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
    Secretary of War:
    SIR: The telegram of General Beauregard of the 27th instant,(*) referred by you to me, has been considered, and I beg leave to submit the following remarks in reply thereto:
    Your order of April 29, suspended by General Beauregard, increased the flour, if needed, and reduced the meat ration by one-fourth of a pound each. That is sufficient for robust men at hard labor, and is abundant for an army ration. General Beauregard's reasons for not complying are:
    1st. "Because many things allowed cannot be procured at Corinth." I reply that the food ration of his own arrangement is largely more than is allowed by the regulations, though his allowance of bacon is 10 ounces.
    2d. That "salt provisions at times are so bad as not to be fit to eat, and fresh beef call only be had now once a week, then of poor quality, and in consequence scurvy exists to a great extent."
    If much of the salt meat on hand is bad, as is alleged--the quantity is alarmingly small--and scurvy exists, these are all potent reasons for saving the meat, diminishing the salt diet, and substituting more bread in the absence of vegetables. These reasons are fatal to what they are intended to support.
    There is but one specific for scurvy, that is potash or its neutral salts. The lemon and potato owe their specific qualities solely to this alkali.
    The regulations are those of 1857, and were established for our army. The food ration therein is 12 pounds of sugar and 10 of rice to the 100 rations. General Beauregard has increased the one 25 per cent. and the other 50 per cent. Neither lard nor molasses are parts of the regular ration. They have been used by this department as a substitute for meat. Large quantities of the former were bought last summer, and arrangements for an unlimited supply of the latter had been fixed before the fall of New Orleans. General Beauregard allows a gill a day of the latter and 8 ounces of the former, whenever it can be procured, every five days.
    On the 17th April that army had also 1,300,000 half rations of coffee. In fact, it is now being fed on a ration larger than is allowed by the Regulations, and far better than the Army of the East, which without a murmur acquiesces in the obvious necessity of curtailing the meat.
    At General Beauregard's representations, and contrary to the decision of the previous Secretary, you allowed coffee to be purchased for his army irrespective of limited price, while the rest of our forces are without it. I add that the whole army enjoyed this luxury long after the bulk of our people, and there is still a reserve for the sick.
    General Beauregard has reiterated his apprehensions of starvation, while he gives actually more than the regulation ration or than is necessary.
    The statement that through "want of foresight in the Commissary-General fresh beef can only be had once a week" is hereby contra-dieted, and the Secretary of War is respectfully requested to require that General Beauregard shall furnish the specific facts on which he makes that positive declaration.
    I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
    L. B. NORTHROP,
    Commissary-General of Subsistence.
    --
    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 14 [S# 14]
    CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VIRGINIA, FROM MARCH 17 TO SEPTEMBER 2, 1862.
    CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#6
    RICHMOND, VA., May 13, 1862--9 p.m.
    General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:
    DEAR GENERAL: I have been in conference several hours with the President, General Lee, and Colonel Northrop, and although I have not succeeded in procuring much information, yet I conclude to send you a courier and give such information as they furnished.
    There is ten days' rations now in Richmond for about 70,000 men. He proposes to send off at once to Burkeville Junction, Southside and Danville roads, and Ashland, on Fredericksburg road, a part of this supply. He has at Lynchburg 5,000,000 of rations that can be placed at any point on either side of James River south and west of Richmond as fast as cars can take it. He expects to get 10,000 head of cattle from the valley division within our reach very soon. In fine, he says that there is no trouble about feeding your army for ninety days, if you will indicate where your line will be south and west of Richmond in case we should be forced to give up the city.
    Colonel Northrop don't know anything about the supply about Staunton. Ewell and Jackson are supplied from the country about them. In addition to your army, he says 20,000 rations are issued here. The army south of James River does not draw from here, and will not at present, provided they saved the supply at Norfolk.
    Colonel Northrop insists, if you can reoccupy Northern Virginia and the Potomac about Loudoun, that 100,000 men can be supplied from that country. This I doubt.
    I am to talk with the flour and bacon merchants to-night, and will be able to give you better data to-morrow. I will follow the thing up, although I find Colonel Northrop very much disinclined to give information; he seems to consider it his patent article.
    The gunboats (five) were at City Point at 11 a.m. to-day, making soundings and surveying.
    In haste, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
    A. H COLE.
    P. S.--The sick and stragglers, without passes and with their arms, come in large numbers daily to the city by the railroad trains. No guard at either end and no officer on the trains. Trains make three trips each way daily.
    They insist on your saying where you propose taking up your line in case Richmond falls. If you choose to tell them send me a courier early in the morning, with such information as you think proper.
    Yours,
    A. H. COLE.
    -----
    And, it doesn't improve as the years tick off.

    I think the CSA Government set up Northrop up to fail, based on what the official records seem to reflect.

    Respectfully submitted for consideration,
    M. E. Wolf
     

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