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timely onducting to be accoerations 10 to
men around him, have better or more faithfully performed their duty; and if any thing has been wanting which they could have supplied, it has been because the proper orders were not given or timely requisitions made.
In conducting a war, it is the duty of the government to designate the object to be accomplished; it is then the duty of the general who conducts the operations to call for the means required to accomplish that object. If he fail to do so, he is himself responsible for all the consequences of his omission. General Taylor complains of want of water and land transportation, camp equipage, and shoes for his cavalry horses. As to water transportation, I find that he called for a single light draught steamer early in May. Lieutenant Colonel Hunt could not at once obtain a suitable boat, but he executed the order as soon as it was possible. Late in May, or early in June, General Taylor considering four boats necessary, appointed his own agents to obtain them. I was at the time taking measures, under the orders of General Scott, to obtain suitable boats for the navigation of the Rio Grande; but, having no reliable information in relation to the navigation of that river, and believing General Taylor's agents possessed of the requisite knowledge, I preferred that they should execute his orders; and I limited my action in the matter to doubling the number called for by General Taylor, and authorising a further increase, if considered necessary, by his brother and one of his agents. The number required by the general was, I believe, nearly quadrupled, ultimately, by the officers of the department. As to the complaint of the general, that the steamers from Pittsburg were then (September 1st) just arriving, it is proper to state that these were the very boats procured by one of his own agents. When at Pittsburg, I inquired into the delay of those boats; and it is but justice to Captain Sanders, General Taylor's agent, to say, that no effort was spared to get them into service as early as possible.
As to the complaint in regard to the want of lanu transportation, it is proper to remark, that there was no information at Washington, so far as I was informed, to enable me or the War Depart. ment to determine whether wagons could be used in Mexico. General Taylor, though he had both mounted troops and topographical engineers, had not supplied the want of that information; besides, he had not, as far as I know, or believe, intimated to any department his intentions, or wishes, in regard to the means of transportatior to be used. It was known that he had a wagon train amply sufficient for double the force he commanded before the arrival of the volunteers. Added to that, he had General Arista's means of transportation; and he was in a country abounding in mules-the means of transportation best adapted to the country, and the only means used by the enemy. A general is expected to avail himself of the resources of the country in which he operates. If General Taylor failed to do so, and was without the necessary transportation, he alone is responsible. Those ineans were limited only by his own will. He had officers of the quartermaster's department able to have executed his orders, and willing to carry out his views; his authority alone was wanting.
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As to camp equipage, you are aware that the appropriation which I asked for last year was stricken out, and that not a cent was appropriated, which could be legally applied to that object, before the 9th and 13th of May. When the appropriations were made, the officers of the department were compelled to obtain materials wheresoever they could get them, and such as they could get. Cotton cloth was necessarily substituted for linen in the fabrication of tents. I have no doubt a great deal of the material was of the quality represented by General Taylor; but that was, under the circumstances, unavoidable. The officers obtained the best they could get, and deserve credit for their exertions, in place of the censures they have received.
I am somewhat at a loss to imagine why the deficiency of shoes for the dragoon horses was made a subject of complaint against the quartermaster's department. A blacksmith is allowed, by law, to every troop of dragoons. It is the duty of every commander of a troop to have his shoeing tools complete, and to have, at all times, the necessary shoe and nail iron; and it is the duty of the regimental commander to see that timely requisitions be made. Now, if those officers failed to have what was necessary to the ef. ficiency of their commands, let General Taylor hold them accountable. The quartermaster's department is not responsible for their neglects.
As I came through the western country to this city, I was informed that a report was circulating that General Taylor would have taken forward to Monterey a much larger force of volunteers, but for the neglect of the quartermaster's department to furnish the means of transportation. In reply to that report, I respectfully ask your attention to the letter of General Taylor of the 20 of July, to the adjutant general. There he tells you, through that officer, ihat he proposes to operate from Camargo to Monterey; he tells you that he will operate with a column of about 6,000 men; that he must rely on the country for meat, and depot at Camargo for bread; and adds, as the reason for not taking a greater force, that a column exceeding six thousand men cannot be supplied on that route with bread alone.
I feel, sir, that every officer of the department has performed his duty faithfully, if not ably, and that the charges of General Taylor are both unjust and unmerited. As regards myself, I feel that I have performed my whole duty, both to the country and to the army; and, if the slightest doubt remain on that subject, I owe it to myself to demand an immediate and thorough investigation of my conduct, and that of the department, from the commencement of operations on the Texan frontier, as well previous to, as during the war. I am, sir, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
TH. S. JESUP, Major General, Quarlermaster General. The Hon. Wm. L. MARCY,
· Secretary of War, Washington city.
Washington, October 1, 1846. Sir: I have the honor to enclose, herewith, for your information, a copy of an application of the quartermaster general for orders to proceed to New Orleans to direct, in person, the operations of his department in the southwest, and a copy of the communication which has this day been addressed to him, complying with his request upon that subject. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
'W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War. Major General Z. TAYLOR,
U. S. A., Camargo, Mexico.
of the that are with
QUARTERMASTER GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington city, September 26, 1846. Sır: A careful review of the difficulties attending the operations of the branch of the public service confided to my administration has convinced me that an officer of rank, willing to assume all necessary responsibility, and with full authority to do so, should be near the scene of the more important operations of the army.
I propose, should it meet your approbation and that of the President, to procecd to New Orleans, and take upon myself the general direction of the affairs of the department there and on the frontier, in order that every exigency may be met and provided for without the delay and inconvenience that result from waiting instructions from Washington. .
The only possible objection that could be urged against the proposed measure in my case, it seems to me, is the question of rankmy brevet of major general making me the senior of every officer now serving in Mexico; but that I waive. I do not desire military command; and without a different commission from ihat which I hold, I would not accept it. I propose to go in my capacity as an officer of the staff, ready to obey the orders of General Taylor, General Butler, General Patterson, General Wool, or any other officer whom the government or the accidents of service may place in command of the army, or of any separate division of it. My only object is to benefit the country, by securing the utmost efficiency to the measures of my own department, and by that means giving effect to the whole service.
I propose to visit the depots near the army, for the purpose of inspection, and such other posts and places as the proper discharge of my duties may render necessary.
With great consideration and respect, I have the honor to be, sir, ycur obedient servant,
TH. S. JESUP,
Quartermaster General. The Hon. Wm. L. Marcy,
Secretary of War, Washington city.
WAR DEPARTMENT, October 1, 1846. Sir: I have received your letter of the 26th uiliino, in which you propose to proceed to New Orleans and take upon yourself the general direction of th: affairs of the quartermaster's departinent there, and on the frontiers of Mexico, “in order that every exigency may be met and provided for, without the delay and inconvience that result froin waiting instructions from Washington."
Though I do not conceive that you could take any command in the line without an order of assignment thereto by the President, yet your waiver of any claim to do so, and your proposition to go in your capacity as an officer of the staff-quartermaster generalready to obey the orders of General Taylor, General Butler, General Patterson, General Wool, or any other officer whom the government or the accidents of service may place in command of the army, or any separate division of it, with the express understanding that you repair to New Orleans and the seat of war only for the purpose of directing and superyising the duties of the quartermaster's department, and causing them to be executed in a more prompt and efficient. manner than you could do while stationed here, will remove all questions that might otherwise arise in relation to command in the line.
Your proposition is therefore approved, and you will accordingly proceed to its execution, without delay, other than what may be necessary for preliminary arrangements.
Besides giving a general, and, as far as practicable, a personal superintendence to the current business of your department in that direction, so as to impart to that business the utmost energy and efficiency, you will inquire into and report upon the previous arrangements and expenditures of your subordinates, many of wbich have been complained of in certain quarters as inefficient, dilatory, and extravagant. Past errors in arrangements or expenditures, if any, should be ascertained, reported, and, as far as practicable, corrected; and all future disbursements will be kept within the limits of the regulations of the army, and the exigencies of the servicetaking care that the latter shall not suffer from the want of any reasonable or proper means which it is within the compass, of the quartermaster's department to supply.
You will cause full information, from time to time, to be sent to this department of the transactions in regard to your branch of the public service. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War. Brevet Major General Thomas S. JESUP,
Qurtermaster General U. S. Army.
HEAD-QUARTERS, Q. M. GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT,
New Orleans, November 7, 1846. Sir: One of the steamers which the President and yourself de sired me to purchase (the Natchez) was lost on the coast of Cuba in the gale of the 11th of October; and I think it extremely doubtful whether the other (the Alabama) can be purchased at a fair price. The owners, I learn, are holding her up for a charter with the government; and as there is no other boat on the gulf at all to be compared to her, they expect to make their own terms. She cannot be purchased, I am told, for less than $90,000, if for that. That sum is too much for her; and if a boat could be obtained at the north equal to her, I would not think of purchasing her at all. The “Southener,” now running between New York and Charleston, is a new boat-is better than the Alabama, and is equal, in proportion to her tonnage, to the Cunard steamers. I was informed today that she could be purchased for about $100,000. She would not, unless from accident, require repairs for three years. The Alabama is an old boat, and is much dearer at $90,000, or even $80,000, tban the other at $100,000. I have written to New York, and have bad a letter written to Charleston, to ascertain the lowest sum for which she can be purchased. If operations commence south before we purchase, the Alabama will have to be chartered.
Had we foreseen the nature of the navigation of the Mexican coasts and harbors, and of the Rio del Norte, and built suitable steamboats several months ago, a million of dollars might have been saved by this time. We have now a sufficient number of boats that do very well for the river, but suitable lighters cannot be purchased, and must be built; and if we cannot obtain either the Southerner or the Alabama, a similar boat should be built for the
The distance we have to pass over is so vast, and the navigation so difficult, that the amount of transportation 'required is enormous. The distance from the Mississippi to the Rio del Norte is greater than from the latter to the Pacific ocean, or from the former to the Atlantic.
I am waiting here the return of Mr. McLane from the head-quar'ters of General Taylor. On the information which I may receive from him will depend, in some degree, the measures I shall consider it my duty to adopt; but you and the President may rest assured that everything wbich energy and perseverance can accomplish shall be done, to enable your generals to effect the objects you have in view.
With high cousideration, I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
TH. S. JESUP,
Quartermaster General. Hon. W. L. Marcy,
Secretary of War, Washington city. P. S.-I offered yesterday $65,000 for the Alabama, and I have this moment heard from the owners; they have fallen in their price from $90,000 to $85,000.