lines in operation during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1863, being at the rate of about 3,300 per diem. These messages have varied in length from 10 to 1,000 words and upward, and generally were of an urgent or most important character.
Pursuant to acts of Congress passed February 16, 1863, and July 12, 1862, three commissioners were appointed to examine and report upon all claims arising under the act of March 25, 1862, entitled "An act to secure to the officers and men actually employed in the Western Department, or Department of the Missouri, their pay, bounty, and pension." The sum of $100,000, or so much as should be necessary, was appropriated by an act passed May 14, 1862, to pay the claims awarded. The commissioners have reported in favor of claims amounting to the sum of $800,612.13. No power of apportionment being vested in the Department, further legislation or a larger appropriation will be required to carry these acts into effect.
Many claims are presented to the Department for the use of land occupied by the Government as forts, camping-grounds, and other public works, for forage, and other property used or injured by the troops. Some of these claims are just, others doubtful, and many exorbitant or fraudulent. The Department has no mode of investigating them and no appropriation to pay them. It is submitted that provision should be made by act of Congress for their speedy adjustment and payment.
Diligent effort has been made for the enforcement, of discipline, the detection of frauds, and their prevention and punishment by summary dismissall or by the conviction and sentence of guilty parties by court-martial and military commission. In this respect much has been, accomplished by the Judge-Advocate-General and his assistants. From his report it appears that since the commencement of the rebellion, vast as has been increase of the duties and labors of his office, there has been no legislative provision enlarging the instrumentalities for their performance. The machinery of the office remains as when the Army consisted but of 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. It is essential that the force of this office by increased to meet the emergencies of the service. The following is a summary of the business dispatched in the Judge-Advocate-General's Office from the 1st of September, 1862, to 1st of November, 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 ad to the regularities of the proceedings on applications for restoration to the service, and for the pardon of offenders, and remission or commutation 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.
It gives me pleasure to bear witness to the general diligence, ability, and fidelity manifested by the chiefs of the several bureaus of this Department. Whatever success may have attended its administration, is in a great measure, due to them and their subordinates.
In conclusion, I may be permitted to express the hope that the next annual report from this Department may announce the complete over-