Historic Resource Study
Fort Union, N.M., June 14, 1868
Acting Assistant Adjutant General
Headquarters District of New Mexico
I have the honor to report an Inspection made by me, on the 30th ult. of the Subsistence Depot, Fort Union, & the Post Dept. connected with it, under charge of 2nd Lieut. Francis B. Jones, 37th Inf., A.C.S. [Acting Commissary of Subsistence]. In the Depot is the office, of two rooms, and the Storerooms, two large warehouses, each of two rooms, having a cellar under one. In the Post are an issue room & two Storerooms.
It might be sufficient to state that everything in the Dept. was found in admirable order, reflecting great credit upon Lieut. Jones, who seems to be perfect in all the details of his business; and whose fitness for it is unmistakable.
The books and papers of the office were examined & seemed to be principally as follows:
A book of Lists of Stores received by trains.
2nd Book of Stores transferred from Depot to Post of Fort Union.
3rd Book of Invoices of Stores from the States, alphabetically arranged.
4th Book of Bills of Lading of trains: amounts checked off on arrival.
5th Book of daily cash Sales at Post of Fort Union, and of expenditures. Amounts of sales are large; the officers of the Post paying at the end of the month.
6th Book of Copies of Vouchers not paid for, mostly for beef.
7th Book of Citizen employees (12 at time of inspection)
8th Book of Letters Received, Kept upon a neat and good plan under Heads of Post s& Heads of Depts., with blank leaves for each; and a column devoted to endorsements & action taken, in red ink. The letters received were neatly filed away in wrappers, properly labelled &c.
9th Private Cash Book. Cash now on hand was $16.08, which was counted, all moneies are sent to the Chief Comissary at Santa Fe. . . .
10th The Commissary Book of the Post, and Book of of Commissary Property both correct.
11th Letter Book, of press-copies, by which it appeared that all required Returns, Reports &c. had been forwarded, and that the April papers had been delayed by the non-receipt of funds. Weekly Statements are made of monies on hand. . . .
. . . Two clerks, a watchman, and nine laborers are employed; all citizens. The office, with desks safe &c. was in neat & good order. Inventories & Certificates are made quarterly. Lists of reports and papers are kept on file, but not hung up. Files of orders are on hand, generally complete. The rear office is used as a private room by the clerks.
Can fruits received from the States are found almost invariable to have been opened on the road by the freighters, who find this a cheap means of supply even at the advanced rates charged against them. Nothing will stop this practice of breaking bulk but making it too expensive for them.
The arrangements of stores & property in the warehouses was strikingly neat & orderly, and the rooms clean. The construction of the buildings, their dryness & good ventilation are presumed to be well known. Each article was piled by itself, and in casks, sacks, boxes, or barrels arranged with geometrical exactness, rending the count an easy task. Upon each pillar was placed a tablet, containing a statement of the stores just in front of it; and throughout were placed buckets of water and axes for the emergency of a fire. A small room boarded off in one warehouse contained stationery of all kinds, & tools, measures and other articles of Commissary property.
The bacon, vinegar, syrup & molasses were in the cellar; large, cool & dry. The arrangement of the bacon is peculiar & excellent. Racks are constructed of scantling, three or four tiers high and numbered in rows; and upon these the sacks are placed, causing no other pressure but that of leaning against each other. Next to the hanging up of each separate piece of bacon upon a hook, this is doubtless the best system, and the saving by it ought to be considerable. At all other Posts, and particularly in the Fort Craig Storehouses the piling of the sacks upon each other to a considerable height causes the pressure of the lower layers to dryness, and a stream of grease to run down the floor. Sometimes layers of plank could be placed between the strata, adding so much to the general weight.
There was here 120,000 lbs. of new fresh bacon from the States and 60,000 lbs. of the old or Fort Craig bacon. Much of the latter was condemned; more in proportion than at any other Post, but the inferior quality of the article, and the universal complaints & reports of it were thought to render this action advisable.
. . . There can be no doubt that Lieut. Jones has all the property for which he is responsible.
Statement of Subsistence Stores at Fort Union Depot & Post, on hand, May 30, 1888
|Article||Quantity at Depot||Quantity at Post|
|Bacon||120,000 lbs||56,673 lbs.|
|Ham||5,126 lbs||1,700 lbs.|
|Flour||216,600 lbs||15,000 lbs.|
|Hard Bread||55,019 lbs||890 lbs.|
|Beans||19,900 lbs||600 lbs.|
|Rice||38,285 lbs||95 lbs.|
|Hominy||13,026 lbs||160 lbs.|
|Coffee||82,700 lbs||2,100 lbs.|
|Tea||2,255 lbs||100 lbs.|
|Sugar, Brown||130,236 lbs||1,300 lbs.|
|Candles||16,483 lbs||216 lbs.|
|Soap, Common||15,650 lbs||550 lbs.|
|Soap, Bar||108 doz||0|
|Soap, Officers||174 lbs||264-1/4 lbs.|
|Pepper||2,950 lbs||50 lbs.|
|Syrup||496 gals||13 gals.|
|Molasses||561 gals||19 gals.|
|Dessicated Mixed Vegetables||47,180 lbs||1,220 lbs.|
|Dessicated Potatoes||1,800 lbs||600 lbs.|
|Tobacco||21,378 lbs||3,582 lbs.|
|Dried Beef||2,920 lbs||Some|
|Lard||3,979 lbs||231 lbs.|
|Pickles||62.5 gals||45 gals.|
|Cod Fish||0||2,200 lbs.|
|Dried Apples||0||150 lbs. & 9 barrels|
|Dried Peaches||0||100 lbs & 2 barrels|
|Green Corn||6,320 cans||64 cans|
|Green Peas||2,600 cans||5 cans|
|Tomatoes||6,504 cans||14 cans|
|Oysters||1,656 cans||11 cans|
|Peaches||2,136 cans||17 cans|
|Jellies||860 cans||65 cans|
|Jams||840 cans||65 cans|
|Vinegar||4,000 gals||3 gals & some in casks|
At the end of May but four trains had arrived with Sub. Stores from Fort Harker, one of them on the day of Inspection. The loads were largely of bacon; some being put up in various experimental ways.
Santa Fe Trail Research Site
"E-Mail & Home Page"
Larry & Carolyn
St. John, Ks.