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[101] companies the desired improvement in the condition of their rolling stock. These efforts were made; but at that late period of exhaustion the situation had passed all human power to amend.

The Commissary-General next submitted the question of military protection of stores in transit; but the Commanding General in reply dwelt upon the increasing military pressure upon his lines and his own diminishing forces. No better protection was to be looked for in the coming than in the last campaign.

From the date of this interview until the evacuation of Richmond, the Bureau effort continued to be directed to depot accumulations, and with the general result already referred to, and of which the annexed statements of the Assistant Commissary-General and of Majors Claiborne, Noland and Dudley, Confederate States Army, present details.

Upon the earliest information of the approaching evacuation, instructions were asked from the War Department and the General Commanding for the final disposition of the subsistence reserve in Richmond, then reported by Major Claiborne, Post Commissary, to exceed in quantity 350,000 rations. The reply — Send up the Danville railroad if Richmond is not safe — was received from the army headquarters April 2d, 1865, and too late for action, as all railroad transportation had then been taken up, by superior orders, for the archives, bullion and other Government service then deemed of prior importance. All that remained to be done was to fill every accessible army wagon; and this was done, and the trains were hurried southward. The residue of the subsistence reserve was then distributed among the citizens of Richmond, partly in a regular manner under the direction of the Post Commissary, and thereafter, what was left, after the evacuation had progressed too far for an orderly distribution, was appropriated by the crowd.

It may be added that on March 31st, or possibly the morning of April 1st, a telegram was received at the Bureau in Richmond from the chief commissary officer of the Army of Northern Virginia requesting bread stuffs to be sent to Petersburg. Shipment was commenced at once, and was pressed to the extreme limit of transportation permitted by the movement of General Longstreet's corps (then progressing) southward. No calls by letter or requisition from the General Commanding, or from any other source, official or unofficial, had been received, either by the Commissary-General or the Assistant Commissary-General; nor (as will be seen by the appended letter of the Secretary of War) was any communication

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