reach of the grain region of Texas, has become one of great difficulty. A plan to supply them with provisions was adopted by General Maxey soon after he assumed command of the district which has been found to work well in the main, but is open to one very serious objection. In order to secure regularity in obtaining the necessary supplies, their proper distribution, and to prevent frauds upon the government, he has appointed a number of officers to supervise and attend to the matter, to wit, a superintendent of issues, an inspector of camps, an issuing agent, &c., but there is no law authorizing such appointments. It was necessary that some such system as the foregoing should have been adopted, however, and perhaps the difficulty just suggested could have been avoided had he made regular bonded agents of the commissary department, the superintendent of issues, inspector of camps, &c. The supplies, too, being drawn from the commissariat it is appropriate that they be managed by officers of the commissary department. I desire and respectfully ask advice upon this point.
An act was passed by Congress at its last session and approved May 24, 1864, providing for an exchange with the loyal Indians by the Secretary of the Treasury of not more than $150,000 of the Treasury notes held by them on the 1st day of July, 1864, in notes of the new issue authorized by the act of February 17, 1864, without deduction. This law was enacted after my departure from Richmond for the Indian country. As it was known by Congress at the time of its introduction that I was thinking about making that visit, the law empowered the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to supervise said exchange and see that no frauds were committed. I received, too, yesterday an official copy of this act referred to me by yourself on the 3rd of june, several days after my departure with an indorsement made by the President May 31, 1864, calling attention to the liability of the execution of this act being attended by fraud, and advising care and caution. I did not reach the Indian country for several days subsequent to the said 1st of July, and I learned that the Indians had, on or about that day, turned over to certain depositaries of the Treasury in the Trans-Mississippi Department the Treasury notes held by them and taken certificates therefor. They thus have been furnished with the strongest and most convincing evidence, to wit, certificates of depositaries of the several amounts in their possession at the time specified in the law, and having no knowledge of the passage of the same at the time, they had no motive for, and consequently could not have perpetrated, frauds in making a deposit of the notes. The exchange referred to was not made with the Indians during my stay in the West, the agent of the Treasury for the Trans-Mississippi Department not having received the necessary instructions on the subject from the Secretary of the Treasury, owing, I presume, to the pressure of business on the Treasury Department, and the late changes therein. I wrote you a letter in regard to this fact on the 1st instant with the view of having it brought to the early attention of the Secretary of the Treasury, as prompt action on the subject is necessary in order to prevent dissatisfaction among the Indians. There is no Superintendent of Indian Affairs. The want of such an officer has given me much trouble and inconvenience, and been the cause of some complications in the administration of the affairs of this office.
The President long ago, upon a suggestion similar to the above, instructed me to look for and recommend a suitable man for the position. The office is one of considerable importance and great care should be taken in the selection of the persons to fill it. I have hitherto been