BUREAU OF ORDNANCE
BUREAU OF ORDNANCE,
Richmond, February 9, 1865.
Hon. J. C. BRECKINRIDGE,
Secretary of War:
SIR: In reply to your circular of 7th of February, received yesterday, I have the honor to inclose copies of "annual report" marked No. 1,(*) "special report" of December 31, 1864, No. 2,(+) and "report of operations--whites and slaves needed," No. 3.(++) No. 2 contains all the information as to the "ability" and "means and resources" of the Bureau. As to "impediments," I know of none which I cannot overcome, except the persistent and continuous interference with our workmen on account of military operations. If this source of disorganization and weakness be not finally disposed of there is no possibility of sustaining the operations of the Bureau.
The "special report" of December 31, No. 2, shows that 800 men must be added to our force of mechanics at the armories, and report No. 3 shows that about 3,691 men liable to military duty, and about 2,245 slaves, are required for the whole operations of the Bureau. These are minimum figures. If these men and slaves can be permanently attached to this Bureau, and an adequate force be attached in the same manner to the Niter and Mining Bureau, I will answer for the supply of ordnance and ordnance stores to the Army. It will, however, be necessary that the Commissary and Quartermaster's Departments co-operate in so far as the feeding and clothing of this force is concerned. This is rendered necessary because these departments enjoy almost a monopoly of the resources for food and clothing in the country.
There is wanted, therefore, for home productions, first, a force of workmen adequate to the production of a minimum supply of ordnance and ordnance stores for the Army. This force is shown in paper No. 3. Second. That this force should be permanently attached to the Bureau and in no way liable to be interfered with by any one. Third. That a minimum supply of food and clothing should be furnished by the Subsistence and Quartermaster's Departments.
The "impediments" to the importation of such supplies as must still come from abroad must be overcome as they arise by individual energy and resource.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Ordnance.
P. S.--The "impediment" arising from want of money is so overshadowing that I have presumed that to be removed to begin with.
SOURCE: United States War Department. THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.
[Civil War - CSA Letters]