These estimates were made up from the best data in possession of this office, and upon a basis of an army of 661,000 men.
I have lately made an attempt to estiepartment. By the reports called for by telegraph I find evidence that it already exceeds this estimate of deficiencies.
We have no experience of the cost and contingencies of carrying on war on a great scale, and it is beyond any human foresight to estimate it with accuracy. The Army is said to far exceed in number that intended to be raised. It was raised irregularly upon the spur of extreme danger. It was impossible for the officers of this department, few in number and overburdened with duties, to provide all the supplies needed as rapidly as the Army grew. The State authorities, the efforts of patriotic committees and citizens, all were by the force of circumstances called into play, and the result has been an army of great size, well equipped in a marvelously short time, but at great cost.
The bills of the States, of committees of citizens for supplies procured by their exertions, the accounts of numerous quartermasters appointed from civil life without experience or knowledge, all come to this department for settlement, and the cost of the equipment thus got together is much beyond that of the equipment of the Regular Army, which was manufactured at a single establishment by experienced workmen under the superintendence of officers grown old in the service.
No expedition of any magnitude to operate by sea can be fitted out except at a cost of millions. The whole Army has been moved over the railroads of the country, large parts of it sent on long voyages by sea, and the precedents of the service fail when used in estimating for this new state of things.
There is in the depots at New York, Philadelphia, and in some of the Western depots a very large stock of clothing and materials for clothing. Large quantities of tents and camp equipage are also on hand. The means for paying for them are exhausted. Of the principal materials for clothing, or clothing made up, and of camp and garrison equipage, I presume that about six months' supply is now on hand.
A very large stock of wagons and harrchased, and great numbers of horses, a number of which have been furnished for purposes of transportation. The destruction of these, however, is very great, and I continually receive requisitions for more. Until lately I have been able to fill these requisitions, though not without running heavily in debt.
Now, the army in Kentucky, that at Port Royal, and that in Missouri complain of delay for want of means of transportation, and certain Western railroads have given notice that unless their bills are paid they must discharge their hands and stop carrying troops. Nearly all the available sea going steamers of the country, not purchased by the Navy, have been bought of chartered for the various coast expeditions, and I have not now the means of paying the purchase money of many or the charter money of others.
Much of the clothing purchased by inexperienced agents when the factories of the country could not supply the demand for army goods proves to be of inferior strength and durability. This clothing soon wears out, and in many cases the issues have been in excess of the usual allowance. An army of raw soldiers in camp knows not how to take care of health or property.
The estimate submitted from this department for the service of the year ending Ju an army of 545,000 men amounts to $122,000,000. If it be increased in the ratio of the number of 545,000