Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,

January 22, 1863

Hon. James A. Seddon,

Secretary of War:

The commissary of this army, in compliance with instructions of the Commissary-General at Richmond, has reduced the salt-meat ration, and ordered the sugar to be substituted. I learn this more: There is no sugar here for the purpose, and the salt meat is very low; in consequence, the men are on short rations at a very bad time. Can it be remedied?

R E Lee




To Commissary-General, for prompt remedy.

J. A. S.

Secretary of War


Office of the Commissary-General, January 24, 1863


Contents noted. Much more than this; deficiency of transportation has been expected for over a twelve-month [period]. Attempts made to anticipate want, and for the last four months strenuous efforts have been made to convince the Government of the impending necessity, by invincible demonstration and applications to be permitted to apply an efficient remedy, by obtaining a large supply of bacon, when this was practicable, but without success.

L. B. Northrop



Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 21, pp. 1110-1111

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 March 12