in the navy $2,000, with an extra $20 per annum. His duties are as acting paymaster and my secretary on board the flag-ship, besides a general superintendent over all matters relation to a perfect system of the details of a accountability as adopted in the gunboats, similar as in the Navy, with that difference only the funds are supplied from the Army. I have dispensed with the service of a secretary at $1,000 per annum, to which I am entitled by the Regulations of the Navy. Thus you see that Mr. H. is a necessary to me, and I fear, with all my pressure of troubles, it would break the "camel's back" if he could not be retained in his present position.
I respectfully call your attention to the following passage of your letter, relating to having somebody on board in charge of public property, &c.: "On transports this is usually the master of the vessels; on Western boats, the clerk, who acts as agent" and in reply to this passage would state that transport vessels are not men-of-war, neither are Western boats. But our twelve gunboats are in all essentials regular men-of-war, commanded by regular navy officers, who are exempted by the Regulations of the Navy from any disbursing accountability, and who most necessarily employed all their time on board in the proper training of the undisciplined material of crew to insure success in our undertaking.
It would in my opinion embarrass this service very much by making them responsible for issue to the crew, and when you take into consideration that, unlike the Army, our men are paid partly in "clothing" and "small stores," and that a paymaster's duty on board of a man-of-war comprise in its details the duties of a paymaster, quartermaster, and commissary of subsistence of the Army, you will see with how much more economy our Navy is managed than the Army.
In the emergencies of our service it is often the custom of the flag-officer to appoint proper disbursing officers, if needed, taking into consideration the bonds given by such persons and their personal standing.
I do not see how the several accounts of the acting paymasters could be settled in Mr. Wise's office without making personally responsible for the acts of persons appointed by me under the authority vested in me, and I cannot assist him in this duty.
The only duty I wish Mr. Wiuse to perform is to disburse the money, under my approval, to these several captains' clerks, or acting paymasters, who will pay the officers and men their wages due them, under the approval of their respective commanders; to make all purchases for the squadron, &c.
The several acting paymasters might make out quarterly rolls of "money," "clothing," and "small stores" furnished the officers and crew, with their commander's approval, and forward them to Captain Wise or to any accounting officer you my direct, but a conclusive settlement of their accounts cannot be effected with them, as their statements would necessarily show a balance in their hands of clothing and small stores for which they are accountable.
I trust that the views herein presented, showing our peculiar circumstances, will be satisfactory, and earnestly hope that no change will be required, as my present duties are even harder than I have health to perform satisfactorily to myself.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. H. FOOTE,