War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0497 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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Indorsement on communication from U. S. consul at Aix la Chapelle relating to Congreve rocket batteries.

ORDNANCE OFFICE,

July 15, 1864.

Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.

Experience with rocket batteries during this war is not at all favorable to their usefulness. The same number of men and horses can produce more effect with the improved cannon and projectiles now used. Rockets have but little range and accuracy compared to rifled projectiles, and are liable at times to premature explosions and great eccentricity of fight. This department has no assurance that these rocket batteries have been tested in actual service, or that they possess the necessary requisites. I cannot, therefore, recommend their purchase. It may be worthy of remark that most of the foreign offers to this department convey the idea that the rebels are always in the field to purchase, but that preference is given to the United States Government. The desire to find purchasers is, I fear, not always primitive of such disinterested zeal.

GEO. D. RAMSEY,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Ordnance.

WAR DEPARTMENT, PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

Washington, D. C., July 15, 1864.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: Your order of July 14 that the clerks in the different bureaus of the War Department shall be organized and drilled under my general directions received. To give a character of permanence and efficiency to this organization and to make it of some interest to the clerks and to set an example that may be followed by the other departments of the Government, I recommend as follows, in addition to what you have already ordered:

First. That it be authorized to establish a suitable armory for the force to be organized, to be as near the War Department as possible, and the Quartermaster's Department to pay the expense.

Second. That a suit of uniform complete be issued by the Quartermaster's Department, on my requisition, for every man enrolling in the command or who may hereafter be enrolled.

Third. That hereafter the name of every clerk who may be employed in any bureau of the War Department shall be immediately reported to me by the chief of the bureau for assignment to a company of this force, and that when any clerk resigns or is discharged the fact shall be reported to me and he shall not be paid until he has accounted for the army uniforms, &c., issued to him as a member of this organization.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. FRY,

Provost-Marshal-General.

AUGUSTA, ME., July 15, 1864.

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

As soon as intelligence was received that the rebels had crossed the Potomac, and that Washington and Baltimore were menaced, I

32 R R-SERIES III, VOL IV