Brigade, division, and corps quartermasters will consolidate them and forward them to the chief quartermaster of the army, giving in the consolidated reports the estimates in detail for each regiment.
The strength present of the several organizations should be stated upon the several returns and estimates.
The reports should be submitted for approval, as provided by Army Regulations, to the several commanders, regimental, brigade, division, and corps, in order.
The chief quartermaster will consolidate all the reports and submit them to the commanding general for approval and for his orders.
Such supplies of clothing and other property as may be in the several depots under his control he will cause to be brought forward and distributed to the corps quartermasters, to be by them distributed to their subordinates for issue to the troops. The accumulation of surplus stores of any kind in the immediate fields of active operations embarrasses an army, lessens its mobility, diminishes by the necessary guards its fighting strength, and leads to frequent abandonment or destruction of valuable property. It should be avoided.
Every quartermaster competent for his office will be able to estimate accurately enough, for all practicable purposes, the quantity of every kind of supply which his command will be likely to need within a fortnight. While forage and rations for several days use should be always kept with troops, so that they may be able to march at a moment's notice, as far as possible daily supplies should be brought up from the depots for daily issue and consumption. This will leave the supplies packed in wagons, intact as a reserve to be used on the march.
With the monthly estimatethe last day of each month, there should be full estimates of funds for paying off any indebtedness then existing, and also for the expenses of the ensuing month the items should be separately stated in the estimate.
These estimates for money should be consolidated the chief quartermaster of the army to the supervising quartermaster, who is charged with providing him with funds. Only in extraordinary cases should these estimates be sent direct to Washington from the headquarters of the several armies where there is a supervising quartermaster.
The supervising quartermasters will forward the estimates, with their remarks, for the action of the Quartermaster-General.
They will supply such funds as are immediately needed, and will advise the Quartermaster-General's Office, at Washington, of the best mode at the time of supplying the funds required, whether by transfer from the supervising quartermaster or by direct remittance to the chief quartermaster of the army.
When an army is concentrated there should be but one disbursing quartermaster, who is the chief quartermaster of the army. He should furnish the corps quartermasters with the funds needed to pay off the pay-rolls of all persons employed by the quartermaster's department within their several commands, and should examine these pay-rolls and correct them before furnishing the funds.
Where a body of troops is detached to a considerable distance, the funds necessary to pay for forage or supplies purchased from loyal citizens of the country in which they are operating should be placed in the hands of the senior quartermaster accompanying them, who should always be a bonded disbursing officer, of the rank at least of captain and assistant quartermaster.
Public money should not be placed in the hands of officers who have not given bonds. Therefore, if the command thus detached is to