War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0749 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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the object view, the present laws covering all the cases which might arise in the premises.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War.

[Inclosure.]

SURGEON-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

December 13, 1861.

Honorable SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: In reference to the project of a bill for the relief of disabled soldiers returning home which was submitted by you for report, I would remark that by existing laws soldiers discharged are entitled to a commutation for transportation and subsistence to the place of their enlistment, which is paid them by the paymaster. The Quartermaster's Department might be required to furnish transportation in kind to these who are disabled if compelled to travel, but they are not required to leave a hospital till able to travel. I cannot perceive an absolute necessity for any other provision. There is a hospital in Philadelphia engaged by me for soldiers taken sick or disabled while passing through, and I believe the same provision is made in New York City.

Respectfully submitted.

C. A. FINLEY,

Surgeon-General.

SAIN LOUIS, December 17, 1861.

Honorable SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: We have nearly concluded the examination of claims connected with railroad transportation. The testimony from the claimants concurs in acknowledging that the rates for freight, as established by a circular from your Department, are materially higher than their ordinary "through freight," and that the fare at 2 cents per mile for transportating large bodies of men is very profitable. There is great competition amongst railroads terminating here for the transportation of troops; and, if bids had been invited, it is evident that a large amount of money in this service could have been saved. The questions that materially present themselves to the commission are simply these: Are we to regard the circular as a contract, or are we to consider it as merely fixing the maximum rates? Second. Are we justified in regarding the service as having been performed without contract, and therefore subject to such deduction as the evidence of the claimants themselves would indicate? You may estimate the importance of these queries, when it has been shown in evidence that the one case a difference of about $20,000 was proved against the United Sates in a claim of $51,000, and in another, for transportation of horses "per car," as stipulated in the circular, the excess amounted to 80 per cent. over the amount charged to ordinary customers of the road. Your immediate instructions, in rely, will greatly facilitate our labors, in which we are trying to realize the object of our appointment.

Very respectfully,

DAVID DAVIS.

J. HOLT.

HUGH CAMPBELL.