The Treasury wants the rice captured in Savannah. They cannot have it because I will need it to feed my troops. Hitchcock drafted my response:
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Savannah, January 18, 1865.
Honorable Simeon DRAPER, Special Agent of the Treasury Department, Savannah, Ga.:
SIR: I am directed by Major-General Sherman to acknowledge your letter of the 17th instant, inclosing a communication from the mayor or the city with reference to the rice captured in this city. General Sherman desires me to say that the subject of your letter will be at once referred to General Beckwith, his Chief commissary, who has charge of this whole matter. He thinks it probable, however, that it will be found necessary to retain all the rice in the hands of the Army, in order to supply the wants of the soldiers and other persons dependent on us for subsistence, and therefore he prefers that no part of it should be taken possession of by the Treasury Department.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. HITCHCOCK, Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.