entered this branch of the service. While it is admitted that soldiers in the Regular Army, under the control of officers of military education and experience, are generally better cared for than those in the volunteer service, it is certain that the popular preference is largely given to the latter. Young men prefer to enter a corps officered by their friends and acquaintances, and besides the bounty granted to volunteers in most of the States, inducements are often directly by those whose commissions depend upon their success in obtaining recharts. In addition, the volunteer is allowed to draw his full pay of $13 per month, while by law $2 per month are deducted from the pay of the regular, to be returned to him at the end of his term of service. In my judgment this law should be repealed, and the regular soldier to receive his full pay when due. He should also receive either a reasonable bounty upon enlisting or an advance of $20 of the $100 which a law of the last session of Congress grants to regulars and volunteers on the expiration of their periods of service. This would doubtless stimulate enlistments, as it would enable the soldier to make same provision for those dependent upon him for support until the receives his pay.
By the act approved August 5, 1861, the President is authorized to appoint as many aides to major-generals of the Regular Army acting in the field as he may deem proper. The number of aides in my opinion should be limited, and no more should be allowed to each major-general than can be advantageously employed upon his own proper staff. Much expense would thus be saved, and the Executive and this department would be relieved of applications very embarrassing from their nature and extent.
The fifth section of the act approved September 28, 1850, makes the discharge of minors obligatory upon this Department upon proof that their enlistment was without the consent of their parents or guardians. In view of the injurious operation of this law, and of the facilities which it opens to frauds, I respectfully urge its early repeal. Applications for discharges of minors can then be determined either by this department, in accordance with such regulations as experience may have shown to be necessary, or by the civil tribunals of the country.
The employment of regimental bands should be limited, the proportion of musicians now allowed by law being too great, and their usefulness not at all commensurate with their heavy expense.
Corporations, like individuals, are liable to be governed by selfish motives in the absence of competition. An instance of this kind occurred in the management of the railroads between Baltimore and New York. The sum of $6 was charged upon that route for the transportation of each soldier from New York to Baltimore. As this rate seemed extravagant to the Department, when considered in connection with the great increase of trade upon these roads made necessary by the wants of the Government, inquiry was made concerning the expediency of using the roads from New York to Baltimore via Harrisburg. The result was an arrangement by which troops were brought by the last-named route at $4 each, and as a consequence this rate was at once necessarily adopted by al the railroads in the loyal States, making a saving to the Government of 33 1/3 per cent. in all its transportation of soldiers, and at the same time giving to the railroads, through increased business, a liberal compensation.
The railroad connection between Washington and Baltimore has been lately much improved by additional sidings and by extensions in this city. In order, however, that abundant supplies may always be at the city. In order, however, that abundant supplies may always be at the
45 R R-SERIES III, VOL I