Sub. Dept. Richmond
Decem 13, 1864
I addressed a letter to your chief Commy. on 10th inst.
I now beg to call your attention to the fact, that the alternatives presented in our conversation in this office last summer, are now before us.
Maj. French has returned from N. C. The hope of a supply of meat in the immediate future has failed, because we cannot obtain the sterling to meet the terms which had been arranged to bring it in.
In respect to Brent, No. Ca. S. W. Va. & E. Tenn. are the proximate sources of supply. The opposition to impressments has reached a point in the two Carolinas, which renders it insurmountable, in the absence of law penalties, and force to sustain them and cannot be depended on, as has now been fully feared. 1000.000 bushels corn, & about 5000 Bhls. Flour can be gotten from E. Tenn. if we can get waggons, but the number avaialable is utterly disproportionate to the work. The draught animals have been taken by both armies, and cannot be got there. The Govt. of N.C. has been making large purchases of wheat & corn at greatly advanced prices over scheduled rates, and the people require market rates, and impressments cannot be enforced.
I see no alternative, but to yield to the terms they exact, and thus, for the time, abandon the policy of the Govt. in the interest of the currency.
Whatever measures should be decided on, must be instantly pressed. Delay may be fatal.
Therefore I beg you will visit Richmond, & lend your influence in obtaining instant action, promotion, in every way, of the measures, which on consideration may be determined on
Yr Obt. Svt
L. B. Northrop
Source: Frank G. Ruffin Papers, Mss1 R8386a, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 May 6