4. The operations under the act of enrolling and calling out the national forces, detailed in the report of the Provost-Marshal- General.
5. The organization of the Invalid Corps; and
6. The operation of the several departments of the Quartermaster- General, Commissary-General, Paymaster-General, Chief of Engineers, Chief of Ordnance, and Surgeon-General.
It has appeared impossible to make a valuable summary of this report except such as would be too extended for this place, and hence I content myself by asking your careful attention to the report itself.
The duties devolving on the naval branch of the service during the year, and throughout the whole of this unhappy contest, have been discharged, with fidelity and eminent success. The extensive blockade has been constantly increasing in efficiency as the Navy has expanded: yet on so long a line it has so far been impossible to entirely suppress illicit trade. From returns received at the Navy Department it appears that more than 1,000 vessels have been captured since the blockade was instituted, and that the value of prizes already sent in for adjudication amounts to over $13,000,000.
The naval force of the United States consists at this time of 588 vessels, completed and in the course of completion, and of these seventy-five are iron-clad of armored steamers. The events of the war give an increased interest and importance to the Navy which will probably extend beyond the war itself.
The armored vessels in our Navy completed and in service or which are under contract and approaching completion, are believed to exceed in number those of any other power. But while these may get relied upon for harbor defense and coast service, others of greater strength and capacity will be necessary for cruising purposes, and to maintain our rightful position on the ocean.
The change that has taken place in naval vessels and naval warfare since the introduction of steam as a motive power for ships-of-war demands either a corresponding change in some of our existing navy-yards, or the establishment of new ones for the construction and necessary repair of modern naval vessels. No inconsiderable embarrassment, delay, and public injury have been experienced from the want of such governmental establishments. The necessity of such a navy-yard, so furnished, at some suitable place upon the Atlantic sea-board, has on repeated occasions been brought to the attention of Congress by the Navy Department, and is again presented in the report of the Secretary, which accompanies this communication. I think it my duty to invite your special attention to this subject, and also to that of establishing a yard and depot for naval purposes upon one of the Western rivers. A naval force has been created on those interior waters, and under many disadvantages, within little more than two years, exceeding in numbers the whole naval force of the country at the commencement of the present Administration. Satisfactory and important as have been the performances of the heroic men of the Navy at this interesting period, they are scarcely more wonderful than the success of our mechanics and artisans in the production of war vessels, which has created a new form of naval power.
Our country has advantages superior to any other nation in our resources of iron and timber, with inexhaustible quantities of fuel in the immediate vicinity of both, all available and in close proximity to navigable waters. Without the advantage of public works, the resources of the nation have been developed and its power displayed