exists for payment. This has been a great source of complaint with our people, and the evil, I think, ought to be remedied as promptly as possible. Many persons have parted with their last corn, fodder, beef, &c., to the Government, for which they have received nothing.
Recommend to Congress to pass a law authorizing the President to appoint persons (say inspectors) to visit that department and look into and investigate the management of the quartermaster and commissary departments there fully and fairly, and report the results of their examination to the President or to Congress. Great frauds and immense waste have been committed there in both these departments, and the people desire that close and searching investigation be had in their control and management.
I think it would be well, too, to extend the time further, by another act, to reorganize certain regiments in the service in that department which should have been reorganized under an act passed at the last session of Congress, which gave only ninety days, however, for it to be done. I fear there has been much discontent excited on this account with those regiments.
These recommendations to the Congress, in addition to those very valuable ones made by you in your last message touching that department, I feel satisfied would be of most advantage to our cause in that section.
Notwithstanding our people have suffered much, that the enemy is now kind and conciliatory to them, and seeks by blandishments to bring them back, and that some prominent ones (though few) have proved false to us, yet I assert they are still true, and will be so. There is no question connected with this great struggle I would not readily and willingly leave to their free judgment. They are for a bold, manly, and daring prosecution of the war to Southern freedom and independence.
With the proper encouragement, legislative and executive, to show them they are not forgotten, and, if possible, to make them more identified with the struggle, these people will remain true to our colors as long as there is one of them left, or there is a foot of soil upon which to stand on that side of the Mississippi River.
Hoping the above suggestions will be weighed and considered by you as time allows, I am, with great respect, your friend and obedient servant,
A. H. GARLAND.
[P. S.]-I would state, Mr. President, that I make the above suggestions with no view of interfering with your rights or duties, but simply to lay before you what I deem important to those people, as we can only legislate and act wisely by having all the facts before us. This, I am certain, you desire. I hope you will not for one moment consider that I am undertaking to advise you as to your duties.
Referred to the Secretary of War for attention, especially to the statements in relation to failure to pay for supplies and maladministration of quartermaster and subsistence departments.
The inspections suggested are authorized by existing law, and if they have not been efficiently made, should be ordered and reliable officers charged with the duty. I have already written to General Smith in relation to the matter referred to, but it might be well to communicate to him the points presented within, and at your convenience to confer with the writer.
J. D. [JEFFERSON DAVIS.]