should be surrounded by every safeguard of equity consistent with its exercise. The sanction and regulation of the power by law is earnestly commended to the early consideration of Congress. By controlling the transportation on the railroads on some judicious general system and the due regulation and exercise of the power of impressment, the evils referred to may in measure be remedied and the supplies absolutely essential may be commanded. But it is not to be disguised that a more complete remedy is desirable and that it only can be found in the regulation of the currency, the cessation of inflation, and the consequent reduction of prices to a more stable standing. This more appropriately pertains to the province of the Treasury Department, by the able head of which it will doubtless be fully presented. As, however, the War Department is the great consumer and most prejudiced by this evil, it may be pardonable to say that there is but one radical remedy. That is easy and simple. It is by legislation to limit the negotiability of the Treasury notes, so that there never shall be outstanding at any one time more than the maximum required for the circulation of the Confederacy. The estimates of the several bureaus of this Department for the period ending June 30, 1863; are herewith submitted. * They will be found to be large, but not larger, it is believed, than the exigencies of the service require. An interesting report from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs is herewith submitted. + During the last summer there were among the tribes in the Indian country some agitations and disturbances which threatened internal conflicts and a possible outbreak upon the contiguous State. They have, however, been happily appeased, and there is every reason now to expect tranquility among themselves and their amity and alliance with the Confederate States.
From the preceding imperfect review may be found, assurance of the increasing power, means, and resources of tor the successful prosecution of the war. We have room, too, for granulation at the firmness, unity, and self-devotion of our people and the skill and valor of our generals and soldiers, and much cause of devout gratitude to the God of battles for the signal triumphs vouchsafed over the hosts of our malignant foes. Nor can I conclude without commemorating another glorious victory that has just crowned the triumphs of the year and given added cause of thankfulness and rejoicing. General Lee and his noble command have, at Fredericksburg, hurled back in dismay, with frightful slaughter, the grand army of invasion, engaged for the fourth time in the vain task of conquering our Capital. They had sacked and desolated the town-one of the most reputable of the State-with rapacity and brutality that would have disgraced savages, and it was made the appropriate scene of their retribution, for its streets were piled with their dead and wounded. From the face of the avengers they slunk away amid storm and darkness, leaving to our gallant army the assurance of acknowledged superiority and affording to all a bright augury of their future total expulsion from our soil. Such happy result will likewise be advanced by the renewed gallant repulse of the enemy's combined attack by land and water on Vicskburg and by the decided victory of General Bragg, and his brave command, which, on the 31st ultimo, crowned the triumphs of the year. Scarcely less hopeful assurance is afforded by the indecisive and bloody struggle of the 21st instant, which, while resulting in the temporary retirement of General Bragg's
* Details omitted in view of summary, next post.
+ See January 12, p. 352.