A Guide to the Commissary Department Records, 1861-1862 Commissary Department Records, 1861-1862 36795 and 39224

A Guide to the Commissary Department Records, 1861-1862

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 36795 and 39224


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Library of Virginia

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© 2002 By the Library of Virginia.

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Craig Moore

Repository
Library of Virginia
Accession number
36795 and 39224
Title
Commissary Department Records, 1861-1862
Physical Characteristics
8.87 cubic feet.
Physical Location
State Records Collection, Dept. of Military Affairs (Record Group 46)
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Virginia Commissary Department, Records, 1861-1862. Accessions 36795 and 39224, State Records Collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

No acquisition information available.


Biographical/Historical Information

An ordinance to provide for the organization of Staff Departments for the Military Forces of the State was passed by the Virginia Convention on April 21, 1861 and amended and re-enacted on April 24, 1861. This ordinance organized the Adjutant General's Department, Quartermaster's Department, Subsistence Department, Medical Department, Pay Department, and Engineer Corps. The Subsistence Department was to consist of a commissary general with the rank of colonel, an assistant commissary general with the rank of lieutenant colonel, two commissaries of the rank of major, and four assistant commissaries with the rank of captain. On April 21, the Advisory Council ordered that the governor immediately organize the subsistence and quarter-master's departments, placing at the head of each, temporarily, one person with the rank of major, with authority to employ the necessary clerks and assistants. The Board recommended James R. Crenshaw for this task. The Subsistence Department was replaced by the Commissary Department which was established by an ordinance of the Virginia Convention on April 27, 1861. This ordinance bonded the commissary general, assistant commissary general, commissaries, and assistant commissaries with the state of Virginia. It also stipulated their duties in purchasing and issuing rations to the army of the state of Virginia as the governor may direct. The supplies for the army were to be purchased by contract, to be made by the commissary general, on public notice, and to be delivered on inspection in bulk.

On 20 May 1861 Governor Letcher nominated William B. Blair as Commissary General of Subsistence, with the rank of Colonel and Major James R. Crenshaw as Assistant Commissary General with the rank of Lieutenant- Colonel. Blair resigned his office on 12 August 1861 for a position in the Confederate States of America as major and chief commissary for the Department of the Trans-Mississippi. Blair was replaced by Charles H. Bosher on 21 August 1861.

Another ordinance was passed by the Convention on April 30, 1861, creating a board of commissioners consisting of George W. Munford, J.R. Tucker, and J. M. Bennett, to better regulate the accounts of the Army and Navy and for the audit and settlement of accounts and claims. Edward H. Fitzhugh served as Examining Clerk of the accounts. This Auditing Board continued to pay some officers and settle claims after Governor Letcher issued a proclamation on June 6, 1861, stating that "all Quarter Master, commissary, and medical stores belonging to the State and in charge of said officers be turned over for the use of the Confederate States upon proper receipts for the articles turned over, to be forwarded to the accounting officer for settlement."

Scope and Content Information

These records relate to expenses incurred by the Commissary Department between 1861 and 1862. The records are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the Commissary Officer who submitted these accounts to the Auditing Board for examination and approval. Oversized items and volumes are arranged to the end of the collection. Included are accounts current, property returns, provision returns, abstracts of provisions, abstracts of contingencies, vouchers, and other sundry items. Accounts current usually provide a total amount of the expenditures, contingencies, and the balance due the state. Abstracts of provisions or issues list the date, number of return, number of men, number of women, number of days drawn for, date commencing, date ending, and number of rations of pork, beef, bacon, etc. These amounts are then totaled and certified by the Commissary Officer. Provision returns are similar to the abstracts, but include a column "from whom received." Property returns contain items distinct from provisions such as candlesticks, paper, tools, etc. Vouchers indicate a specific item or items purchased by a Commissary Officer. The voucher includes the name of the company or individual selling the items, the date of purchase, the quantity and cost, and a total amount. Each voucher is certified by the Commissary Officer. The vouchers are usually numbered and are listed by that number on the returns of property/provisions or abstracts of property/provisions.

In addition to the accounts of Commissary Officers, there is a group of records related to the Hermitage Fair Grounds Instructional Camp in May 1861. Included are numerous provision returns from militia companies for supplies during their training. The provision returns provide the name of the captain commanding the unit, number of men, number of days, number of rations, and number of specific types of rations. Each provision return is signed by the captain and Col. W. Gilham, Commanding Post.

In addition to the accounts, there are letters received which are arranged separately from the accounts. Letters received are filed in alphabetical order by correspondent with larger files organized individually. These letters were received by Col. William B. Blair, Commissary General, or Major James R. Crenshaw, Assistant Commissary General, at the Commissary Dept. in Richmond. The correspondence was primarily sent by other Commissary Officers, Confederate Commissary & Quartermaster Officers, and Provisional Army of Virginia Officers. The letters mostly relate to purchasing supplies, enclosing bills or special orders, transmitting accounts current & abstracts, acknowledging receipts, requesting appointments, etc. In addition to the Commissary Officers, some common correspondents include: J. Bell Bigger, Clerk of the Board of Commissioners; R.S. Garnett, Adjutant General; P.F. Howard, Secretary of the Advisory Council; George W. Munford, Secretary of the Commonwealth; and L.R. Smoot, Quartermaster General. Also included are a few copies of letters from James R. Crenshaw to Governor Letcher regarding the Commissary Department.

There are 8 volumes arranged to the rear of the collection including an Account Book (1 May-15 August 1861), a Letter Book (29 April-24 November 1861), Cash Account and Ledgers A and B (May-July 1861), Records of Supplies Furnished (19 April-27 May 1861 & 4 June-20 Dec. 1861, a Provisions Account (May-June 1861), and a Return of Provisions and Property (April-September 1861).

The Account Book contains a chronological list of accounts from May 1 to August 15, 1861. The accounts between May 1 and May 22 are listed by voucher number. Many of the accounts listed between July and August appear to be accounts current entries from Commissary Officers.

Cash Account and Ledger A is indexed in the front of the volume and contains a cash account both "To Cash" and "By Bill" of various suppliers contracted by the state of Virginia between May and July 1861. Cash Account and Ledger B contains specific entries for suppliers that list the goods supplied, cost of goods, name of person certifying purchase, name of endorsees, date referred to auditing board, and date paid by auditing board.

The Letter Book contains outgoing correspondence from the Commissary Generals between 29 April and 24 November 1861 (Maj. James R. Crenshaw - 29 April-22 May 1861; Col. W.B. Blair - 22 May-15 August 1861; & Charles H. Bosher - 16 August-24 November 1861). This correspondence is primarily response letters to the letters received mentioned above. The correspondents and content of these letters are of a similar nature to the letters received as well. The volume is indexed by correspondent in the front.

The Provisions Account provides a detailed account of provisions received and used at various camps and other localities between May and June 1861. Contains the name of the commissary or assistant commissary making the account, date, folio or page number of cash accounts (from Cash Account and Ledger B), name of recipient, and quantity of each provision.

The Record of Supplies Furnished is an alphabetical listing of suppliers between April 29 & May 27 and June 4 and December 20, 1861. Each entry contains a number, date, name of supplier, recipient of the supplies (e.g. Richmond Defenses, Battery No. 3 Richmond), and specific supplies furnished including quantity.

The Return of Provisions and Property is indexed on the back cover and contains a total itemized listing of provisions and other supplies from various localities throughout Virginia from April to September 1861. The returns provide the date, total received to be accounted for, total issued, balance on hand, and balance on hand to be accounted for. All totals for provisions are given in barrels, pounds, or ounces.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by the name of the Commissary Officer who submitted the accounts.

Contents List

Ballard, Thomas E.,
  • Box 1
    Folder 1
    Money account, 1861
  • Box 1
    Folder 2
    Property account, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
Blair, William B.,
  • Box 1
    Folder 3
    Accounts - 2nd Quarter, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 1
    Folder 4
    Accounts - 3rd Quarter, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 1
    Folder 5
    Receipts - Nashville and Chatanooga Railroad Company, 1861
Bosher, Charles H.,
  • Box 1
    Folder 6
    Accounts, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 1
    Folder 7
    Property account, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
Carter, W.F.,
  • Box 1
    Folder 8
    Property account, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
Claiborne, John H.,
  • Box 1
    Folder 9
    Accounts, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
Claiborne, H.A.,
  • Box 1
    Folder 10
    Money account, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
Covert, John,
  • Box 1
    Folder 11
    Accounts, 1862 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 1
    Folder 12
    Accounts - Contingencies, 1862 (See also Oversize Box 7)
Crenshaw, James R.,
  • Box 1
    Folder 13
    Accounts - Provision returns, Nos. 1-100, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
  • Box 1
    Folder 14
    Accounts - Provision returns, Nos. 101-164, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
  • Box 1
    Folder 15
    Accounts - Receipts of Assistant Commissaries, 1861
  • Box 1
    Folder 16
    Returns and Vouchers, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
  • Box 1
    Folder 17
    Returns and Vouchers - Abstract No. 1, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
  • Box 1
    Folder 18
    Returns and Vouchers - Abstract No. 2, 1861
  • Box 1
    Folder 19
    Returns and Vouchers - Abstract No. 3, 1861
  • Box 1
    Folder 20
    Returns and Vouchers - Abstract Nos. 4 and 5, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
  • Box 1
    Folder 21
    Returns and Vouchers - Receipts, 1861
  • Box 1
    Folder 22
    Returns and Vouchers - Vouchers Nos. 1-19, and 83, 1861
Deane, F. Browne,
  • Box 1
    Folder 23
    Money Account, 1861
  • Box 1
    Folder 24
    Property Account, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
Dunbar, William G.,
  • Box 1
    Folder 25
    Accounts, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
Fowle, William H.,
  • Box 2
    Folder 1
    Money and Property Account - Abstracts, Reports and Miscellaneous, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
  • Box 2
    Folder 2
    Vouchers, 1861
French, S. Bassett,
  • Box 2
    Folder 3
    Property Returns - Abstracts, Vouchers, etc., 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
  • Box 2
    Folder 4
    Vouchers for Provisions Received, 1861
Hawks, W.J.,
  • Box 2
    Folder 5
    Accounts, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
Henderson, F.W.,
  • Box 2
    Folder 6
    Returns and Vouchers - Account Current, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
  • Box 2
    Folder 7
    Returns and Vouchers - Provision Returns, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
Hermitage Camp,
  • Box 2
    Folder 8
    Provision Returns - Nos. 1-100, 1861
  • Box 2
    Folder 9
    Provision Returns - Nos. 101-199, 1861
  • Box 2
    Folder 10
    Provision Returns - Unnumbered, 1861
Hood, William,
  • Box 2
    Folder 11
    Money and Property Accounts, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 2
    Folder 12
    Money and Property Accounts - Abstracts and Vouchers, 1861
  • Box 2
    Folder 13
    Money and Property Accounts - Vouchers Nos. 1-11, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 8)
  • Box 2
    Folder 14
    Money and Property Accounts - Vouchers Nos. 1-32, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 2
    Folder 15
    Money and Property Accounts - Vouchers Nos. 1-96, 1861
Hope, John H.,
  • Box 2
    Folder 15
    Accounts, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
Kearsley, George W.T.,
  • Box 3
    Folder 1
    Accounts, 1861-1862 (See also Oversize Box 9)
  • Box 3
    Folder 2
    Accounts - Armory Hands, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 3
    Folder 3
    Accounts - Dept. and Commanding Officer Orders, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 3
    Folder 4
    Accounts - Officers (B-G), 1861
  • Box 3
    Folder 5
    Accounts - Officers (H-N), 1861
  • Box 3
    Folder 6
    Accounts - Officers (P-Y), 1861
  • Box 3
    Folder 7
    Accounts - Officers - General Hospital at Harper's Ferry, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 3
    Folder 8
    Requisistions - Regimental Surgeons and Hospitals at Harper's Ferry, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 3
    Folder 9
    Returns and Vouchers, 1861
  • Box 3
    Folder 4
    Vouchers Nos. 1-79, 1861
Leigh, Egbert G.,
  • Box 3
    Folder 11
    Returns and Vouchers, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
Letters Received,
  • Box 4
    Folder 1
    Alderson - Crenshaw, 1861
  • Box 4
    Folder 2
    Deane - Downing, 1861
  • Box 4
    Folder 3
    Fitzhugh - Pretlow, 1861
  • Box 4
    Folder 4
    Read - Younger, 1861
  • Box 4
    Folder 5
    Bosher, Charles H., 1861
  • Box 4
    Folder 6
    Dunbar, William G., 1861
  • Box 4
    Folder 7
    Fowle, William H., 1861
  • Box 4
    Folder 8
    French, S. Bassett, 1861
  • Box 4
    Folder 9
    Henderson, F.W., 1861
  • Box 4
    Folder 10
    Kearsley, George W.T., 1861
  • Box 4
    Folder 11
    McKinney, Charles S., 1861
  • Box 4
    Folder 12
    Smith, William H., 1861
McKinney, Charles S.,
  • Box 4
    Folder 13
    Returns and Vouchers, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 9)
Meachem, Samuel,
  • Box 4
    Folder 14
    Accounts, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 9)
Miles, John A.,
  • Box 4
    Folder 15
    Accounts - Abstracts and Vouchers, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 9)
  • Box 4
    Folder 16
    Accounts - Returns, 1861-1862 (See also Oversize Box 9)
Miscellaneous,
  • Box 5
    Folder 1
    Miscellaneous records, 1861
Orders,
  • Box 5
    Folder 2
    Orders - General, 1861
  • Box 5
    Folder 3
    Orders - Special, 1861
Orr, John M.,
  • Box 5
    Folder 4
    Accounts, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 9)
Read, James B.,
  • Box 5
    Folder 5
    Property Returns, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
Rowe, E.H.,
  • Box 5
    Folder 6
    Returns and Vouchers, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
Ruffin, Frank G.,
  • Box 5
    Folder 7
    Money and Property Accounts, 1861 May-June (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 5
    Folder 8
    Money and Property Accounts - Vouchers 1-79, 1861 May-June (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 5
    Folder 9
    Money and Property Accounts - Vouchers 1-20, 1861 July-August
  • Box 5
    Folder 10
    Money and Property Accounts - Vouchers 1-9, 1861 July-August (See also Oversize Box 7)
Settle, F.,
  • Box 5
    Folder 11
    Property Returns, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
Smith, A. Meade,
  • Box 5
    Folder 12
    Property Account, 1861
  • Box 5
    Folder 13
    Returns and Vouchers, 1861
Smith, William H.,
  • Box 5
    Folder 14
    Money Account, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 5
    Folder 15
    Money Account - Vouchers for Disbursements on Account of Contingencies - Nos. 1-42, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 5
    Folder 16
    Money Account - Vouchers for Purchases Made - Nos. 1-127, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 5
    Folder 17
    Money Account - Vouchers on Unpaid Sales to Officers, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 5
    Folder 18
    Property Account, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 9)
  • Box 5
    Folder 19
    Returns and Vouchers, 1861
Telegrams,
  • Box 5
    Folder 20
    Telegrams, 1861
Thomas, William H.,
  • Box 5
    Folder 21
    Returns and Vouchers, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 9)
Wertenbaker, Thomas J.,
  • Box 5
    Folder 22
    Property Account, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
Wilson, William F.,
  • Box 6
    Folder 1
    Property Accounts, 1861
  • Box 6
    Folder 2
    Property Accounts - Abstract A - Vouchers 1-40, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 6
    Folder 3
    Property Accounts - Abstract A - Vouchers 101-224, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 6
    Folder 4
    Property Accounts - Abstract B - Vouchers 1-93, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 6
    Folder 5
    Property Accounts - Abstract C - Vouchers 1-83, 1861 (See also Oversize Box 7)
  • Box 6
    Folder 6
    Property Accounts - Return of Provisions and Vouchers, 1861
Oversize Records,
  • Box 7
    Folder 1
    Blair, William B. - Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 2
    Bosher, Charles H. - Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 3
    Carter, W.F. - Property Account (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 4
    Covert, John - Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 5
    Hawks, W.J. - Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 6
    Hood, William - Money and Property Accounts - Vouchers 1-32 (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 7
    Hope, John H. - Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 8
    Kearsley, George W.T. - Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 9
    Leigh, E.G. - Returns and Vouchers (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 10
    Read, James B. - Property Records (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 11
    Rowe, E.H. - Returns and Vouchers (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 12
    Ruffin, Frank G. - Money and Property Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 13
    Settle, F. - Property Returns (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 14
    Smith, William H. - Money Account (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 15
    Wertenbaker, Thomas J. - Property Account (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 7
    Folder 16
    Wilson, W.F. - Property Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 8
    Folder 1
    Ballard, Thomas E. - Property Account (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 8
    Folder 2
    Bosher, Charles H. - Property Account (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 8
    Folder 3
    Claiborne, H.A. - Money Account (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 8
    Folder 4
    Claiborne, John H. - Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 8
    Folder 5
    Crenshaw, James R. - Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 8
    Folder 6
    Deane, F. Browne - Property Account (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 8
    Folder 7
    Dunbar, William H. - Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 8
    Folder 8
    Fowle, William H. - Money and Property Account (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 8
    Folder 9
    French, S. Bassett - Property Returns (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 8
    Folder 10
    Henderson, F.W. - Returns and Vouchers (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 8
    Folder 11
    Hood, William - Money and Property Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 9
    Folder 1
    Kearsley, George W.T. - Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 9
    Folder 2
    McKinney, Charles - Returns and Vouchers (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 9
    Folder 3
    Meachem, Samuel - Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 9
    Folder 4
    Miles, John A. - Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 9
    Folder 5
    Orr, John M. - Accounts (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 9
    Folder 6
    Smith, A. Meade - Property Account (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 9
    Folder 7
    Smith, William H. - Property Account (Oversize), 1861
  • Box 9
    Folder 8
    Thomas, William H. - Returns and Vouchers (Oversize), 1861
Volumes,
  • Box 10
    Folder 1
    Account Book, 1861 May 1-August 15
  • Box 10
    Folder 2
    Letter Book, 1861 April 19-November 24
  • Box 11
    Folder 1
    Cash Account and Ledger A, 1861 May-July
  • Box 12
    Folder 1
    Cash Account and Ledger B, 1861 May-July
  • Box 13
    Folder 1
    Provision Account, 1861 May-June
  • Box 13
    Folder 2
    Record of Supplies Furnished, 1861 April 29-May 27
  • Box 13
    Folder 3
    Record of Supplies Furnished, 1861 June 4-December 20
  • Box 14
    Folder 1
    Return of Provisions and Property, 1861 April-September