the military department of the Government cannot be reduced without detriment to the public service. "I have the honor to report that the number of engineer officers in service is barely sufficient to perform the various duties connected with that branch of the service. that in most instances it falls, of necessity, to the lot of the officers in charge of fortifications to have three or four of them at a time under their supervision; and, finally, that the demand of engineer officers for the Military Academy is with difficulty supplied.
Under these circumstances I can see no way by which the expenses of the Corps of Engineers could be reduced without actual and serious detriment to the service.
In regard tot he appropriations usually disbursed by the corps, viz, those for fortifications, it will be seen by comparison of the estimates presented by this office for several years past with the appropriations made by Congress that while the former exhibit the wants of this branch of service reduced to the lowest point that economy and a regard to reasonable progress will justify, the latter have been far below this limit, and therefore that any further reduction could hardly be expected if due regard is had to the defense of the naval and commercial positions of our sea-board frontiers.
With the highest respect, your most obedient servant,
R. E. DE RUSSY,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Engineers, Commanding.
PAYMASTER-GENERAL'S OFFICE, December 17, 1860.
Honorable J. B. FLOYD,
Secretary of War:
SIR: In reply to the letter of the chairman of the Military Committee of the Senate, I have the honor to report that in my opinion no reduction an be made in the Pay Department without serious injury to the service.
The disbursements of this department average $5,000,000 per annum, and in the present widely dispersed condition of the troops it requires the most untiring efforts of all its officers to make the payments according to law.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. LARNED,
BUREAU OF TOPOGRAPHICAL ENGINEERS, Washington, December 20, 1860.
Honorable JOHN B. FLOYD,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the reference to this Bureau of the resolution of the Senate, as communicated by the chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs of the Senate of the 13th instant, inquiring "whether the expenses in the military department of the Government cannot be reduced without detriment to the public service, &c., and in obedience to your direction to report thereupon, I have to state that the estimates for objects under the control of this Bureau
2 R R-SERIES III, VOL I