which the estimates were founded and by extraordinary expenditures connected with the employment and discharge of the three-months' contingent. An item of very heavy expense is the large mounted force which has been organized, equipped, and made available since the called session of Congress, and which was not computed for in the estimate. While an increase of cavalry was undoubtedly necessary, it has reached a numerical strength more than adequate to the wants of the service. As it can only be maintained at a great cost, measures will be taken for its gradual reduction. In organizing our great Army I was effectively aided by the loyal Governors of the different States, and I cheerfully acknowledge the prompt patriotism with which they responded to the call of this Department.
Congress durint its extra session authorized the Army to be increased by the acceptance of a volunteer force of 500,000 men, and made an appropriation of $ 500,000,000 for its support. A call for the troops was immediately made, but so numerous were the offers that it was found difficult to discriminate in the choice where the patriotism of the people demanded that there should be no restriction upon enlistments. Every portion of the loyal States desired to swell the Army, and every community was anxious that it should be represented in a cause that appealed to the noblest impulses of our people.
So thoroughly roused was the national heart that I have no doubt this force would have been swollen to a million had not the Department felt compelled to restrict it in the absence of authority from the representatives of the people to increase the limited number. It will be for Congress to decide whether it shall be confined to the strength already fixed by law. In the latter case, with the object of reducing the volunteer force to 500,000, I propose, with the consent of Congress, to consolidate such of the regiments as may from time to time fall below the regulation standard. The adoption of this measure will decrease the number of officers, and proportionably diminish the expenses of the Army. It is said of Napoleon, by Jomini, that in the campaign at general on the 1st of April had a regular army of 200,000 men. On the 1st of June he had increased this force to 414,000. "The like proportion," adds Jomini, "had he thought proper to inaugurate a vast system of defense, would have raised it to 700,000 by the 1st of September." At the commencement of this rebellion, inaugurated by the attack upon Fort Sumter, the entire military force at the disposal of this Government was 16,006 regulars, principally employed in the West to hold in check marauding Indians. In April 75,000 volunteers were called upon to enlist for three-months' service, and responded with such alacrity that 77,875 were immediately obtained.* Under the authority of the act of Congress of July 22, 1861, the States were asked to furnish 500,000 volunteers, to serve for three years, or during the war, and by the act approved the 29th of the same month the addition of 25,000 men to the Regular Army of the United States was authorized. The result is that we have now an army of 600,000 men. If we add this to the number of the discharged three-months' volunteers, the aggregate force furnished to the Government since April last exceeds 700,000 men. We have here an evidence of the wonderful strength of our institutions. Without conscription, levies, drafts, or other extraordinary expedients, we have raised a greater force than that which, gathered by Napoleon with the aid of all these appliances, was considered an evidence of his wonderful genius and energy, and of the military spirit of
* According to the final adjustment of credits the number was 91,816.