have been reduced to the least amounts consistent with the interest of the public service.
Respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
J. J. ALBERT,
Colonel, Topographical Engineers.
QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, December 18, 1860.
Honorable JOHN B. FLOYD,
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have had the honor to receive from your office a copy of the letter of the chairman of the Military Committee of the Senate to you, inquiring, "whether the expenses in the military department of the Government cannot be reduced without detriment to the public service."
As our troops are now stationed and employed, the estimate for the next fiscal year made in this office includes, I think, nothing which can be dispensed with or reduced.
The only way in which the expenditures of the Quartermaster' Department can be judiciously reduced, that occurs to me, is to diminish the number of military posts; and, wherever it is practicable, to establish them near the frontiers or on navigable waters, and to make from those points expeditions into the Indian countries as often as it may be expedient to do so.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
ORDNANCE OFFICE, Washington, December 19, 1860.
Honorable JOHN B. FLOYD,
Secretary of War:
SIR: In answer to the letter referred to this office from the Senate Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia, asking for views and opinions on a reduction of the expenses in the military department without detriment to the public service, I have the honor to report:
So far as the particular branch of the military service instructed tot he Ordnance Department is concerned, I have no doubt that a change in the present organization of its personnel, and in the character and use of its arsenals, can be made which will attain the object of the committee's inquiry. There is a bill before the Senate, reported form its Military Committee, for the better organization of the general staff and the Engineer and Ordnance departments, which, if enacted, will, in my opinion, reduce expenses in the personnel of those branches, not only without detriment, but with advantage to the public service. That bill embodies provisions for the better organization of what is commonly called the staff and staff corps of the Army, which have heretofore been recommended by the War Department for legislative action, and have met the approval of the Military Committee after full consideration and investigation.
The operations of the Ordnance Department are, in my opinion, now too much scattered; that is to say, we have too many arsenals used as places of construction. This has resulted, in a measure at least, from