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[571] G. Williams, assistant commissary general, wrote to General St. John, and from his letter I make the following extract:
On the morning of April 2, 1865, the chief commissary of General Lee's army was asked by telegram what should be done with the stores in Richmond. No reply was received until night; he then suggested that, if Richmond was not safe, they might be sent up on the Richmond and Danville Railroad. As the evacuation of Richmond was then actively progressing it was impracticable to move those supplies. . . . In reply to your question with regard to the establishment of a depot of supplies at Amelia Court-House, I have to say that I had no information of any such requisition or demand upon the bureau.

Major J. H. Claiborne, assistant commissary general, in a letter to Geenral J. M. St. John, from Richmond, June 3, 1873, wrote:

No order was received by me, and (with full opportunities of information if it had been given) I had no knowledge of any plan to send supplies to Amelia Court-House. Under such circumstances, with transportation afforded, there could readily have been sent about three hundred thousand rations, with due regard to the demand upon this post.

During the retreat, supplies were found at Pamphlin's Depot, Farmville, Danville, Salisbury, and Charlotte. Major B. P. Noland, chief commissary for Virginia, wrote to General St. John, April 16, 1874. After saying that he had read with care the report of General St. John, and expressing the opinion that it was entirely correct, of which no one in the Confederacy had better opportunities to judge, he writes:

I think the plan adopted by your predecessor, Colonel Northrop (which was continued by you), for obtaining for the use of the army the products of the country, was as perfect and worked as effectively as any that could have been devised. ... I left Richmond at one o'clock of the night Richmond was evacuated, with orders from you to make Lynchburg my headquarters, and be ready to forward supplies from that point to the army. I never heard of any order for the accumulation of supplies at Amelia Springs.

Lewis E. Harvie, a distinguished citizen of Virginia who at the close of the war was president of the Richmond and Danville and Piedmont Railroads, wrote to General St. John on January 1, 1876. From his letter I made the following extracts, referring to the condition of affairs in 1865. He writes:

The difficulties of obtaining supplies were very great, particularly when the roads under my charge were cut, and transportation suspended on them, which was the case on one or two occasions for several weeks. Engines and cars, and machinery generally, on these roads were insufficient and inadequate from wear and tear to accomplish the amount of transportation required for the Government. . . . The Richmond and Danville and Piedmont Railroads were kept open, and about that time we added largely to its rolling-stock by procuring engines and cars from the different roads on the route of the Virginia and

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