War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0590 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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In reply to your last interrogatory I have to say that but two of the proposed improvements have been matured, viz, the rolling- mill and brush factory. The plans and estimates were approved by you on the 27th of June last, and the time which has elapsed since that date has been occupied in settling certain preliminaries as regards the style of the buildings, which have not yet been fully determined upon. Major Laidley informs me that it will require eighteen months to complete the rolling-mill on the proposed scale. He has not advised me how long it will take to get the brush factory in full operations. The other improvements are progressing as detailed in my answers to the third question. I feel confident that with the hearty assistance of the able and experienced officers composing this department the appropriation in question will be expended to the entire satisfaction of the Honorable Secretary and with the greatest possible advantage to the service and the country.

As reference is made in the clothing paragraph of your letter to meeting the immediate military wants of the country, I would say, in conclusion, that I look upon the possession by the Government of establishments for supplying its own wants as chiefly desirable form economical considerations, and feel almost sure that the private manufactures engaged at present in supplying the Government with the supplies which it is proposed to make itself will be able to meet as heretofore our current wants, without detriment to the service, until our means will enable us to effect the same end at a reduced cost.

I append herewith a statement showing the probable expenditure of this appropriation for arsenals so far as disposed of:

Appropriation for arsenals.

CR.

July 1, 1864, balance on hand from

former appropriations.............................. $300,000

July 9, 1864, amount appropriated for 1864,

and 1865 ......................................... 2,000,000

Total............................................. 2,300,000

DR.

Regular expenditures for repairs and improvements,

and for machinery at all the arsenals, as derived

from former expenditures.......................... $500,000

Rolling-mill at Frankfort Arsenal, as per estimate

approved by the Secretary of War.................. 476,000

Brush factory at Frankfort Arsenal, as per estimate

approved by the Secretary of War.................. 61,000

Indianapolis Arsenal, for continuing the erection of

this arsenal, in addition to balance of special

appropriation, as per estimate of commanding

officer........................................... 100,000

Columbus Arsenal, for continuing the erection of

this arsenal, in addition to balance of special

appropriation on hand............................. 100,000

Benicia Arsenal, for erecting barracks, laboratory,

&c., in addition to amount included in first

item, as per estimate of commanding officer....... 50,000

Total............................................. 1,601,000

Balance not disposed of applicable to improvements

in progress, including armory at Rock Island...... 699,000

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. D. RAMSAY,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Ordnance.