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I think it proper to again repeat what I have before asked to have done, in order to secure the needed supplies:

First. With respect to the operations in Mexico and Texas, I estimated that the sum of £ 350,000 in sterling or gold turned over to me, say at the rate of £ 100,000 per quarter, would enabled me to obtain about (15,000) fifteen thousand animals at the rate of about $60 per head.

I was informed by you that this amount would be furnished by the Treasury. I received letters of credit for £ 50,000, and sent it to Texas by Major W. S. Harris, and further amounts are now required. An officer to control and manage the business is wanted, one possessing the qualifications which I had the honor to state I deemed requisite. No one has been yet assigned to the duty. Nothing can be done until such officer arrives in Texas.

Second. The purchase of horses and mules to be delivered in Mississippi from the enemy's lines to be successful, must be conducted on this simple plan: The officer who receives the horses must have in his hands the cotton to make instant payment. It must be at suitable points for being carried off easily. He must not be trammelled by officers of other branches of the service, and so situated as to be able to fulfill his engagements promptly and surely. If he is to get his cotton paid through treasury agents (and not allowed to purchase it himself), and be governed by them as to the price he is to pay for horses, I fear he will fail to carry out the object.

Third. To obtain horses in Virginia, gold or Federal money is essential. They can be purchased for gold at rates below those prevailing before the war. This is not the case with other articles of military supply in the Confederate States obtained from abroad by the Government. I am induced to believe that two thousand horses can be had in a short space of time along the lines of Virginia and North Carolina from the enemy's lines, if money can be supplied, and at prices, perhaps, not greater than we expect to pay in Mexico.

I beg leave respectfully to request that I may be officialy informed as soon as practicable of the decision in reference to the beforementioned subjects, in order that I may be enabled to give General Lee an exact statement, showing to what extent he can rely on this office for the animals deemed necessary to place his army on a footing for active service in the spring.

I have not been able so far to reply fully to General Lee's inquiries, for the reasons herein stated, as remaining open for determination.

I have the honor to be, sir,

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

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