War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0988 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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With the exceptions above stated, all the troops in service throughout the country have been paid to October 31, 1863.

I have the honor to remain, sir, with highest respect, your obedient servant,




November 3, 1863.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

It is well known that since the commencement of the rebellion, vast as has been the increase of the duties and labors of this office, there has been no legislative provision enlarging the instrumentalities for their performance. The machinery of the office remains as when the Army consisted of but some 13,000 men. This condition of things is the more striking when it is remembered that in every other branch of the military service legislation has kept pace with the wants created by the emergencies of the war.

The following is a summary of the business dispatched in this office from September 1, 1862, to November 1, 1863, a period of fourteen months:

Number of records of trials by general courts-martial and military commissions reviewed..............................17,357

Number of reports made as to the

regularity of proceedings, on applications

for restoration to the service, and for the

pardon of offenders, and remission or

communication of sentences........................ 2,318

Miscellaneous reports on other questions

referred to the office........................... 172

While many of these reports are brief, many are long and elaborate, involving an examination of complicated masses of fact and of difficult legal questions. As recorded, they occupy about 2,000 quarto pages.

This augmentation of labor and responsibility has been imperfectly met by temporary details, for which it is believed there should be substituted an independent organization as a bureau, which shall continue at least during the war. That such a measure would add greatly to the efficiency of this branch of the service cannot be doubted; and for this reason it is earnestly recommended. Should this view be favorably entertained, I would suggest the following appointments as essential under such an organization:

Two assistant judge-advocates-general, with the rank, pay, and emoluments, each, of a major of cavalry; one fourth-class, one third-class, two second-class, and two first-class clerks.

The current business of the office requires the amount of capacity and labor which these appointments would secure.

All of which is respectfully submitted.




Baltimore, Md., November 3, 1863.


A very extraordinary proclamation was issued last evening by His Excellency A. W. Bradfford, Governor of Maryland, in relation to General Orders, Numbers 53, from these headquarters.