and importance that justifies the recommendation for a small annual appropriation.
The great difficulty that has been experienced at large general hospitals in procuring a sufficient number of matrons has rendered the use of washing-machines or employment of contractors in many cases a matter of necessity. Additional legislation is required to enable this department to meet the expenses thus incurred. The appropriation for laundry purposes of a sum of money equivalent to pay and allowances of the authorized number of matrons or laundress in hospitals where washing is done by contract or machinery would obviate the present embarrassments.
Depots of medicines and hospital supplies are established at New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Hilton Head, Fortress Monroe, New Berne, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Louisville, Saint Louis, Memphis, Nashville, Chicago, and San Francisco. The importance of this distribution has recently been proven by the promptitude with which every necessary appliance for the treatment and comfort of the wounded from Chickamauga was supplied from the depots at Louisville and Nashville. As adjunct to that in Philadelphia, a laboratory for the examination and testing of drugs and liquors, the preparation of powders, pills, extracts, ointments, tinctures, &c., has been found, even in its limited and experimental operations, to be advantageous and economical. A small appropriation for additional machinery is desired.
The Medical and Surgical History of the Rebellion is processing as rapidly as the amount of material to be examined and classified will permit. The volume for the first year will probably be completed during the next session of Congress.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOS. K. BARNES,
Medical Inspector General and Acting Surgeon-General.
Annapolis, October 31, 1863.
His Excellency President LINCOLN:
SIR: Rumors are to-day current, and they reach me in such a shape that I am bound to believe them, that detachments of soldiers are to be dispatched on Monday next to several of the counties of the State, with the view of being present at the polls on Wednesday next, the day of our State election. These troops are not residents of the State, and consequently are not sent for the purpose of voting, and as there is no reason, in my opinion, to apprehend any riotous or violent proceedings at this election, the inference is unavoidable that these military detachments, if sent, are expected to exert some control or influence in that election.
I am also informed that orders are to be issued from this military department on Monday prescribing certain recreations or qualifications in the right of suffrage-of what precise character I am not apprised-which the judges of election will be expected to observe. From my knowledge of your sentiments on these subjects as expressed to Honorable R. Johnson in my presence on the 22nd instant, as also disclosed in your letter of instructions to General Schofield,* since
* See Series I, Vol. XXII, Part II, p. 585.