sity to check it becomes stronger than the stimulus to the atrocity. The worst feature of the condition here is the deficiency of breadstuffs, which is due to the failure of the War Department to enforce firmly a suggestion often made by me for two years past to stop all travel and private freight and continue that expedient until our supplies were forwarded. This was promised by the Secretary in January, 1864, but not tried until March, when it was eminently successful. Had this been fully carried out, an accumulation of corn in Georgia ready for shipment could have been stored here. Repeatedly has this been urged in vain, until now the connection being broken by Sherman places that supply beyond our reach. From the beginning of the war this bureau has had a policy in reference to the main principles necessary to effect the objects for which it was created:
First. It has limited the number of officers to its actual needs. As an officer of the Provisional Army holds his appointment only while his services are needed, this bureau has claimed that when an officer proved to be unsuitable he should be declared "relieved from all duty," and thereby out of commission. In this way only can so vast and complex a machinery by managed with the same economy and advantage as the business of a private individual. When excess of officers has occurred, it has been occasioned by appointments made independently of it and by assignments made without its knowledge.
Second. As this war would be necessarily conducted on and along railroad lines, these should be harmonized and kept up to their highest point of efficiency and capacity of repairs in road-bed and rolling-stock. I therefore proposed a plan and expedients for obtaining this end. This subject requires instant attention.
Third. I have always had (and urged) general principles respecting the rapid conversion of funds into commodities, to the full extent of appropriation, the faster the better, and that funds should be furnished, if possible, irrespective of their apportionment in the ration of time.
Fourth. A policy in respect to gathering stores from beyond our lines and from exposed outlying districts.
Fifth. I have always maintained trading cotton with the enemy, or through the enemy's ports, and the necessity of promptly meeting our engagements in cotton, with the liberty to make such contracts as the bureau should think expedient, all based on the supposition of being furnished with ample funds to procure the cotton needed.
time and repeated Congressional investigations (on several subjects) have in every case vindicated the policy of this bureau. I therefore claim to be competent to speak with information well based, and to affirm that, unless suitable men, unembarrassed by fears of removal (except for inefficiency), ample funds, and (for the present) coin in sufficient quantity to keep the Army of Virginia in beeves (which, being at present driven from beyond our lines, can be obtained by coin alone), are furnished, and the means of transportation from the south increased, this bureau cannot perform its functions. And this brings me finally to the inquiry you make-as to the ability of a chief of this bureau to effect the purposes for which it was created. I observe, then, that, in my judgment, it cannot be done, except under an administration of the other branches of service (whose operations underlie those of this bureau) different from the past. The Treasury must supply funds as needed; transportation must be found, both wagon and rail. Over neighed of these subjects can this bureau exercise any control, except by application to the Treasury for the one and to the Quartermaster's Department for the other. This latter has its own supplies of forage to