The contract for freighting supplies on the New Mexico Route in 1860-61 provided for loading and starting at the usual time, in May or June. Russell, Majors & Waddell, as usual, bought wagons, oxen, and equipment with drafts due in 60, 90 or 120 days, expecting to pay them out of earnings. Week after week passed without being notified of goods ready to go. For some reason the quartermaster’s department was exceedingly slow in making consignments to the military posts of the southwest.
Meanwhile idle bullwhackers, stock tenders and other employees had to be paid. Drafts which should have been taken up went to protest. The bulk of supplies were ordered out in August and September, almost six months after some of the obligations were incurred.