to retain so good a customer for the product of their capital and industry. I am firmly of the opinion that we should continue to purchase powder of the private manufactures until we can manufacture our saltpeter into gunpowder at our own works. I know not why the manufacture of this essential article of war by the Government has never been considered. The establishment of such works would, I have no doubt, be greatly to the advantage of Government, as in such case all the materials would be purchased and worked up by its own agents. This necessity is strongly sustained by the facts that no two mills make powder alike, and a great want of uniformity exists in that made at the same place. Powder is at times condemned for causes often apart from bad materials, and a case has recently occurred where the condemnation was made on account of impure saltpeter when that article had before manufacturing been ascertained to be of official purity. This fact alone would suggest doubts as to the expediency of transferring our saltpeter to private manufactures, except in case of the most urgent necessity; for after being made up, should the powder prove bad, it would have to go through an expensive procesto its pristine y not be out of place here to state that when it was first determined to buy up stores of saltpeter in time of peace it was in reference to wars that might happen in Europe to affect the exportation of that article. At the present time quite a large quantity of saltpeter is manufactured in this country from nitrate of soda, a natural product of Peru, and found in extensive plains some 150 miles south of Callao. This material is being largely worked up, and the Navy Department is now procuring a supply of it from the New Hampshire Chemical Works. In addition to this, large deposits of saltpeter, more or less pure, have been discovered in California, New Mexico, and Texas, from which last place it is known the rebels have obtained large supplies, and it is believed in case of absolute need we could, after a short time, procure the article independent of Europe.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. D. RAMSAY,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Ordnance.
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, August 6, 1864.
GOVERNOR OF KENTUCKY,
SIR: Under the authority for the re-enlistment of the twelve- months" regiment Kentucky mounted infantry as cavalry for three- years" unconditional service, as per telegram* of this date, the following regulations will govern, viz: The recruitment of the two additional companies for each regiment required to bring them up to the cavalry standard will not be commenced until the present companies are of the minimum strength. When there are a sufficient number of men in the regiment to form eight full companies of the minimum strength the second major can be mustered in, and when the regiment is completed, the third. Bounties will be paid in accordance with existing regulations.
I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,
THOMAS M. VINCENT.