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[67] the most convenient and healthy position for his camp that could be found. He selected one a mile from Centreville, on the road to Fairfax Court-House, on which he established his camp on the 1st or 2d of August. The cavalry was in advance of Fairfax Court-House, supported by Elzey's brigade. The positions described above, except Jackson's, were occupied by the troops on the 23d or 24th of July.

Although we were near the rich Piedmont region, and on a railroad leading from the Valley of the Shenandoah, complaints of scarcity, even absolute want of food, were not unfrequent. Until the 10th of August we never had a supply for more than two days, sometimes none. The chief commissary of the army, Lieutenant-Colonel R. B. Lee, an officer of capacity and experience, and a tried soldier, was not permitted by the chief of his department to purchase the more important articles of food for the troops-products of the country-but was required to apply for them to a commissary in Richmond; so the flour sent to us in one week had, in most cases, passed by our depot on its way to Richmond the previous one. The effects of this system were delay and irregularity in receiving this important article, and an addition of at least twenty-five per cent. to its price. Efforts were made by General Beauregard and myself, by correspondence with the Government, to bring about a change of system for the sake of economy, regularity of supply, and the military object of anticipating the Federal army in the consumption of the beef and flour of the rich and exposed counties of Loudon, Jefferson, and Frederick.

These efforts had no effect, unless they caused

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