statesmanship or of patriotism to close our eyes upon them. The most important of these is the state of the finances. This Department is in debt from $400,000,000 to $500,000,000. The service of all its bureaus is paralyzed by the want of money and credit. The estimates for this year amount of $1,048,858,275. This only includes an estimate of six months for the Commissary Department, and excludes an estimate of six months for the Commissary Department, and excludes @135,000 for the niter and mining service. These being included, the estimate would be $1,338,858,275. The currency is, at the Treasury valuation, 60 to 1, as compared with coin, and when the small stock of coin in the Treasury is expended, and the sales of which now control the market, no one can foretell the extent of the depreciation that will ensue. It is needless to comment on the facts. Second only to the question of finance, and perhaps of equla importance, is the condition of the armies as to men. In April, 1862, the revolutionary measure of conscription was resorted to. The men between eighteen and thirty-five were than placed in service. The eventful campaign of 1862 compelled the addition of the class between thirty-five and forty to the call of April. The campaign that terminated in July, 1863, with the loss of Vicksburg and the disaster at Gettysburg, made a cal for the men between forty and forty-five necessary. In February, 1864, the conscript act was made more stringent, and the population between seventeen and fifty were made subject to call. At the same time the currency was reduced one-third, and heavy taxes were laid. On October, 1864, all details were revoked. The casualties of the war cannot be accurately ascertained. But enough is know to shwo that no large addition can be made from the conscript population. General Preston reports that there are over 100,000 deserters scattered over the Confederacy; that so common is the crime, it has in popular estimation lost the stigma which justly pertains to it, and thereofre the criminals are everywhere shielded by their families and by the syampthies of many communicaties. The States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and perhaps others, have passed laws to withdraw from service men liable to it under existing laws, and these laws have the support of local authorities. I think that the number of deserters is perhaps overstated. But the evil is one of enormous magnitude, and the means of the Department to apply a corrective have diminished in proportion to its increase.
I do not regard the slave population as a source from which an addition to the army can be successfully derived. If the use of slaves had been resorted to in the beginning of the war for service in the engineer troops, and as teamsters and laborers, it might have been judicious. Their employment since 1862 has been difficult, and latterly almost impracticable. The attempt to collect 20,000 has been obstructed and nearly abortive. The enemy have raised almost as many from the fugitives occasioned by the draft as ourselves from its execution. General Holmes reports 1,500 fugitives in one week in North Carolina. Colonel Blount reported a desertion of 1,210 last summer in Mobile, and Governor Clark, of Mississippi, entreats the suspension of the call for them in that State. As a practical measure, I cannot see how a slave force can be collected, armed, and equipped at the present time. In immediate connection with this subject is that of subsistence for the army. This has been attended with difficulty since the commencement of the war, in consequence of the wantntrol over the transportation and difficulty of funds. There were abundant supplies in the country at that time, and the transportation was fully adequate, but these were not under control. The Treasury has never answered the full demands of the Commissary Department with promptitude.