countersigned by medical directors upon their assignment to duty as nurses within their departments.
2. Assignments of "women nurses" to duty in general hospitals will only be made upon application by the surgeons in charge, through medical directors, to Miss Dix or her agents, for the number they require, not exceeding one to every thirty beds.
3. No females, except hospital matrons, will be employed in general hospitals, or, after December 31, 1863, borne upon the muster and pay rolls, without such certificate of approval and regular assignment, unless specially appointed by the Surgeon- General.
4. Women nurses while on duty in general hospitals are under the exclusive control of the senior medical officer, who will direct their several duties, and may be discharged by him when considered super-numerary, or for incompetency, insubordination, or violation of his orders. Such discharge, with the reasons therefor, being indorsed upon the certificate, will be at once returned to Miss Dix.
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF SUBSISTENCE,
Washington City, October 29, 1863.
Honorable EDWARD M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this department during the past year:
The subsistence for the Army, with the exceptions of fresh beef and flour, has in great part been procured by advertising for bids, and selecting the lowest for suitable articles, in the cities of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Saint Louis.
Flour has, when possible, been procured in the same manner at points nearer to our armies. Fresh beef has been obtained in general by contract; sometimes on the hoof and at other times from the block.
On the coast of the Carolina and the Gulf, and, for a large portion of the year, at New Orleans, beef has been forwarded on the hoof from New York.
It is believed that at every point the troops have been supplied with abundance of good, wholesome food, and that if in movements of our armies a temporary want has been felt, it has not been due to any cause over which the officers of this department had control.
In addition to the troops, subsistence has been furnished to all prisoners, whether political or war, to large numbers of contrabands, and to suffering Union families found by our armies in the rebel States.
Great improvement has taken place in the rendering of their accounts by volunteer officers, although cases of neglect still exist.
The few regular officers of this department have had heavy labors and responsibilities imposed upon them, and have exhibited intelligence, integrity, and zeal.
With great respect, your most obedient servant,
J. P. TAYLOR,
Commissary-General of Subsistence.