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QUARTERMASTER GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington city, September 12, 1845. Sir: The steamer - Kite,” built and owned by the topographical department, and now lying at Louisville, Kentucky, has been purchased by the quartermaster's department for service in Texas. Herewith you will receive an order on Lieutenant Colonel Long, of the topographical department, now at Louisville, for her delivery to you or to your order, with her tackle, appurtenances, &c., as she now lies, and for which he will require receipts.
The services of Captain W. C. Tenipleton, an experienced and highly recommended steamboat master, &c., has been secured to the department by his hire at the rate and on the conditions indicated by the copy of an agreement made with him, herewith handed to you. He has been desired to accompany you hence to Louisville, where you can place him in charge of the “ Kite,” with such orders and instructions relative to her being put in immediate order for service and subsequent movements as you may think it expedient to give him. As it may be important that an officer of the department should be charged with the disbursements incidental to the fitting out of the “Kite, you are authorized to order Captain Irwin, whom you will find at Cincinnati, to accompany you to Louisville for that purpose. A remittance will be made to him to meet the contemplated expenditures. Give him any instructions upon the subject which you may think proper. It may possibly be advisable for him to purchase coal for the “Kite." The remittance intended will be made with reference to such purchases. With the enclosures above mentioned you will find rough memoranda of the expenses of fitting out the Kite, furnished by Captain Templeton, which may be of some service to you or Captain Irwin.
Assistant Quartermaster General. To Colonel T. CROSS,
Assistant Quartermaster General, Washington city.
SEPTEMBER 13, 1845. COLONEL: I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 2d instant, with Captain Crosman's letter to you dated “ Head-quarters, Army of Occupation, August 20th, 1845," enclosed, and have to say in reply that the measures which you have taken to meet the wants and wishes of that officer of the department, as reported, are fully approved; and you are requested to consider any requisition coming from him as having the sanction of General Taylor's authority, and as a full warrant for any expenditure which a compliance with them may necessarily involve.
Colonel Cross left this city this morning for the head-quarters of the “army of occupation,”. (via New Orleans,) where he will assumé the immediate direction of the affairs of the department in Texas and its immediate vicinity. Quartermaster Major C. Thomas
will follow him in a few days to the same theatre of operations.
Assistant Quartermaster General. Lieut. Colonel T. F. Hunt,
Deputy Quartermaster General, New Orleans.
SEPTEMBER 18, 1845. Major: Major Thomas was instructed, on the 10th instant, to contract for the construction of
85 4-horse wagons and harness complete. Presuming that Major Thomas will have left Philadelphia before this, I am induced to request you to reduce the number to 50, provided it can be done with the consent of the contractors who may have the work in hand.
Assistant Quartermaster General. Major D. D. TOMPKINS,
Assistant Quartermaster, Philadelphia.
NOVEMBER 27, 1345. MAJOR: The recent contracts for wagons made by your immediate predecessor, Major Thomas, gave to the department the privilege of reducing the number contracted for from 85 to 60, which the department availed itself of by requiring only the latter number. Recent letters from Colonel Cross, charged with the operations of the department in Texas, express regret that the number provided for by the contract should have been diminished, and the belief that the whole will be required. Unwilling to withhold any supply deemed by Colonel Cross necessary, I have to request that you will immediately order, from the late wagon contractor in Philadelphia, thirty wagons complete, at the price stipulated in the contract referred to. Should he decline furnishing them, you will procure them elsewhere in your market, taking care that they be of unexceptionable materials and workmanship. When
When finished, please ship them to Lieutenant Colonel Hunt, at New Orleans, with the request that they be forwarded thence to Colonel Cross at Corpus Christi. You will please procure and forward with the wagons thirty sets of 4-borse harness complete.
Assistant Quartermaster General. Major D. D. TOMPKINS,
Assistant Quartermaster U. S. A., Philadelphia.
DECEMBER 1, 1845. COLONEL: In consequence of the remarks contained in the last paragraph of your letter of the 3d ultimo, I have (some days since) ordered the immediate construction at Philadelphia of not only the number of wagons which you were informed by Major Thomas had been deducted from the number contracted for by him, (25,) but of five in addition, (in all 30,) which will be shipped for New Orleans, with the necessary harness, in the course of a few days—twenty, probably, in all this week—with orders that they be forwarded to Corpus Christi immediately. Should you deem this number insufficient to meet your wants, I will thank you for early advices of the fact, that a farther supply may be constructed.
Assistant Quartermaster General. Colonel TRUEMAN Cross,
Assistant Quartermaster General, Texas.
DECEMBER 5, 1845. COLONEL: An order has been issued from the head-quarters of the army breaking up the post of Fort Jesup, and directing the disposition of the public property by the several departments to which it belongs. 34 oxen, 17 mules, 2 horses, and 7 four-horse and 2 twohorse wagons, have been ordered to Austin, Texas, subject to your future order. ' Lieutenant Colonel Hunt bas been instructed to apprize you of the time and manner in which they are to be sent.
Assistant Quartermaster General. To Colonel T. CROSS, Assistant Quartermaster General,
Head-quarters, Army of Occupation, Teras.
DECEMBER 9, 1845. COLONEL: In reply to your letter of the 13th ultimo, advising that "strong representations have been made by the general commanding in Texas, to the government, of the necessity of a despatch boat to keep up a regular communication with New Orleans," and urging on your part, upon this department, "the immediate establishment of such a communication as necessary to insure the maintenance of the army,” I have to observe that, without reference to General Taylor's representations and recommendations, which I am am sure are judicious, and will consequently be approved at general head-quarters, I do not hesitate to subscribe entirely to the views upon the subject expressed in your letter; and if the authority which has already been given to you to take the general supervision, direction, and control of the affairs of the quartermaster's department in Texas, be 'not, as it was intended it should be, sufficiently comprehensive to warrant you in the adoption of the suggested measure, you are now fully authorized and empowered to adopt and carry out in this, as in all other cases which may arise within the sphere of your control, such measures as you may deem efficient and proper.
Lieutenant Colonel Hunt is, or was intended to be, placed under your orders, so far as his co-operation in matters connected with operations in Texas is concerned, and will unquestionably execute promptly any instructions which you may think proper to give him for the furtherance of your measures. It is not seen that any further facilities for the accomplishment of your wishes, in reference to the subject under consideration, can be afforded on the part of this office. All the authority which the department possesses is delegated to you, its representative in Texas, with entire confidence that it will be judiciously exercised. You are upon the spot, and consequently must be better informed as to what may be expedient and necessary than the temporary tenant of this office.
HENRY STANTON, Assistant Quartermaster General.
To Colonel T. CROSS,
Assistant Quartermaster General.
DECEMBER 18, 1845. Colonel: Since I returned to duty in this office, I have read your letter of the 13th ultimo, with the reply of Colonel Stanton. I have now the satisfaction to inform you that the Navy Department will return the “Harney” to us in perfect repair, to be used as a despatch boat between the army in Texas and the posts on the gulf and Mississippi. She will be under your control and that of General Taylor.
Whatsoever General Taylor may consider necessary to the efficiency of the corps under his command, you are authorized to furnish or to do; and you will consider yourself clothed, within your sphere of action, with the whole authority which the department possesses here. The cheapest service is that which is most efficient; and, so far as we are concerned, every thing must be efficient.
TH. S. JESUP,
Quartermaster General. To Colonel T. CROSS, Assistant Quartermaster General,
Corpus Christi, Texas.
DECEMBER 27, 1845. Sır: The Secretary of the Navy having directed the transfer of the steamer Harney, now at -New Orleans, to the War Department, to be used as a despatch boat between that post and Texas, you will receive her and place her in all respects in the best condition for the service required of her. A sufficient number of the officers and crew now attached to the steamer will be ordered to remain on board, this being considered the best as well as the most economical arrangement for the public service.
TH. S. JESUP,
Quartermaster General. To Lieut. Colonel T. F. Hunt, Deputy Quartermaster General,
New Orleans, Louisiana,
JANUARY 15, 1846. Sır: The steamer Colonel Harney, with the officers, crew, and stores, as you will perceive by the enclosed copy of instructions from the Secretary of the Navy to Lieutenant C. Whittle, has been transferred to the War Department, and is to be employed in such manner and on such service as you, under the instructions of General Taylor, may direct. The whole expense of running the boat, except the pay, &c., of the commissioned officers, must be provided for and paid by the department. Lieutenant Whittle will be directed to report to you so soon as the Harney is repaired.
If the proper vessels can be obtained, I wish you to cause the Laguna Santander to be critically examined by an officer or officers of the department, with a view of ascertaining by what description of boats it can be navigated. I understand boats drawing from 2) to 3 feet water can readily pass through it. If my information be correct, I should think we might make that channel available by using light draught steamers as tow-boats, with flat bottomed scows or keel-boats as transports.
TH. S. JESUP,
Quartermaster General. Colonel T. Cross, Assistant Quartermaster General,
Corpus Christi, Texas.