PICTURE OF DESPERATE CSA TREASURY DURING SIEGE OF PETERSBURG (CIVIL WAR.) JEFFERSON DAVIS. Two Autograph Endorsements, each Signed, "J.D.," as President, both on a letter. The letter, from Major Inspector-General Field Transportation A.H. Cole, to General Alexander Lawton, reporting the number of horses and mules available for use by Lee's army at Richmond and Petersburg, Early's army in the Shenandoah Valley, Echols's army in Southwestern VA, and elsewhere, and requesting $3 million to meet the immediate demand for animals. The endorsements: "Ref'd to the Sect'y of the Treasury for remarks. 17 Feb '65" and "Sect'y of War, the remarks of the Sect'y of the Treasury seem to me to be conclusive. 4 March '65." Additionally with autograph endorsements signed by Secretary of the Treasury George Trenholm (over 70 lines): ". . . The means at the command of the Treasury were exhausted at the end of December. . . ."; and Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge: "War Dept. Feb 15 1865. Respectfully submitted to the President for his consideration . . . . This Dept is suffering greatly for want of means, and the requisitions on the Treasury have not been met." 3 1/2 pages, 4to, pale blue ruled paper, written on a folded sheet; docketing and endorsements written vertically on second and fourth pages, few short closed separations at scattered folds repaired with tissue, remnants of prior mounting along vertical fold on terminal page, faint scattered soiling and foxing. Np, 17 February; 4 March 1865
Major Cole's letter: 14 February 1865: ". . . [M]y only hope is from the plan and through our efforts in the Trans-Mississippi. The condition of our military affairs in South Carolina and Georgia has added new responsibilities and embarrassments to my department: 2,650 animals are called for there immediately. I have but faint hope of being able to procure anything approaching that number within these States by purchase or impressment . . . . I ask for authority to make temporary impressments of animals . . . . I must be furnished with $3,000,000 in Treasury notes at once . . . ."
WITH--Varina Howell Davis. Signature on a slip of paper. 2x5 inches; mounted to a larger sheet. Np, nd.