$40,000,000 of certified accounts, some of these nearly of two years' standing. Until funds are provided for the payment of these claims, public confidence in the ability or disposition of the Government to pay its debts will be destroyed. Another evil resulting from the want of sufficient funds is being felt more and more every day. It is the demoralizing effect upon the soldiers, resulting from their not being paid. Many of the troops in this department have not been paid for eighteen months, and all of them have heavy arrears of pay due them. In this connection I have the honor to call your attention to the accompanying copy of a letter from Lieutenant-General Buckner, commanding District of West Louisiana, showing the evil effects upon the discipline of his command, resulting from the failure of the Government to furnish funds to pay its soldiers. I have on more than one occasion called the attention of the agent, for this department of the Treasury to these subjects. I have also addressed the Secretary of the Treasury to the same effect. Full estimates have been sent forward repeatedly. In September, 1864, the actual indebtedness of the department was $40,000,000 and it is doubtless nearly double that amount now. In that month (September) there had been received of the new issue just $8,000,000. The disproportion between the amount of indebtedness and funds furnished to meet it is now much greater than it was then. I trust the attention of the Secretary of the Treasury will be again directed to this subject as it is one of the greatest importance to this department.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
HDQRS. TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT. Numbers 99.
Shreveport, La., December 28,. 1864.
I. Soldiers who were between the ages of forty-five and fifty at the passage of the act of 17th February, 1864, and enlisted for a given period, are entitled to their discharge from field service at the expiration of their present terms of enlistment, but will be still liable to enrollment in the reserve corps. Soldiers who were over forty-five years of age at the passage of the above-named,act, and had voluntarily enlisted for the war, are not entitled to change their service from the field to the reserve corps.
II. All medical examining boards in the Trans-Mississippi Department will report on the 1st day of January, 1865, and every three months thereafter, to the Chief of the Medical Bureau, and to the Medical Director, Trans-Mississippi Department, the names of the members thereof, and the orders under which they were constituted. On the formation of any new board the fact will at once be reported.
III. The daily extra compensation allowed clerks serving in the different departments, in addition to their extra pay of one dollar per day, will not exceed two dollars.
IV. Paragraph VIII, General Orders, Numbers 42, current series, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, does not entitle to a discharge men who were under forty-five years of age at the passage of the act of 17th February, 1864, nor does it embrace members of the reserve corps, or entitle them to a discharge on arriving at the age of fifty years.
By command of General E. Kirby Smith:
S. S. ANDERSON.