War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0020 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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H.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, December 26, 1860.

Honorable JOHN B. FLOYD,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have, pursuant to your directions, the honor to make the following report in answer to the Senate's resolution of the 11th instant, inquiring into the practicability of reducing the present expenditures of the Army, &c.:

The amount of money disbursed annually under the direction and control of this office scarcely exceeds, on an average, $60,000, and is almost exclusively for the recruiting service. Any very great retrenchment, therefore, on so small an amount, is manifestly impracticable. Yet there is one item of expenditure involved in it that might be suppressed without the slightest "detriment to the public service." Reference is had to the bounty provided by section 29 of the act approved July 5, 1838-an act which, as amende by section 8, act of July 7, 1838, authorizes the payment of three months' extra pay to every soldier who re- enlist under certain conditions there named. Not only is this bounty useless, it is injurious. Useless, because an infinitely better bounty for re-enlistment is provided in section 2 of the act of August 4, 1854; the inducements held out by which for re- enlisting are, moreover, abundantly sufficient. Injurious, because many a man now re-enlists with the single motive of pocketing this bounty, nd then immediately deserts.

As directly connected with this-though the disbursement is one made by the Pay Department-I would also call the attention of the Department to section 3 of an act "to encourage enlistments," &c., approved June 17, 1850, and would recommend its repeal, being satisfied that whatever effect the bounty there provided may have had in encouraging enlistments at the time of its passage-that is to say, when the excitements ate the time of its passage-that is to say, when the excitement occasioned by the California gold discoveries was at its greatest height-it has no longer the same effect now; for I think it may be safely affirmed that of the very few who enlist for their first term of service on our remote frontiers there is not one who enlist for their first term of service on our remote frontiers there is not one who would not have enlisted without this inducement, and that, as an inducement to re-enlist, it is an unnecessary addendum to the act of August 4, 1854,

Finally, as our recruits are nearly all made in the Atlantic cities, and must thence be transported at a heavy cost to where their services are needed-in the Indian countries west of the Mississippi River-it follows that for every deserter whom it has to replace the Government is subjected to a certain amount of clear loss, and hence that everything that may end to suppress desertion will also tend to reduce the expenditures of the Army.

With a view to this I would, in the first place, recommend that the amount retained from the soldier's monthly pay be, instead of $1, as fixed by section of the of July 5, 1838, or $3, should this seem best to Congress.

And as not tending in the least to prevent desertion but, on the contrary, to prevent many a deserter from returning to his colors, I could at the same time urge that the punishment of flogging for desertion be done away with, and that in lieu of it, if possible, every deserter from the Army be forever disfranchised, wherever Congress has the power of doing so-that is to day, in all the Territories belonging to the United