made without interruption of its general business, while I am sure it will greatly promote its general efficiency. For example, a change similar to the one two years since brought about by your recommendation and thorough the weight of your influence in the Subsistence Department of the Army; that the Paymaster-General shall have the rank of brigadier-general; that there shall be two assistant paymasters-general, selected from the officers of the Pay Department, these to be ex officio inspectors of the department, with the rank of colonel; and that there be added to the two deputy paymasters-general now allowed by law, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, ten others of the same grade, selected from the corps. In the large amount of business of this office the service of two assistants are absolutely necessary and indispensable.
The deputies, for reasons forth by the Paymaster-General in his last annual report, are highly necessary as chiefs to superintend, manage, and control the business of the several geographical pay districts into which, for the convenience of business, the country is divided, to estimate for the wants of such districts, and distribute to subordinates the funds, and apportion the duties of each.
It is further respectfully recommended, besides the permanent lieutenant-colonels herein asked for as commanders of pay districts, that when, from the exigencies of the service, it shall become necessary to assign a paymaster or an additional paymaster to the charge of a district, such assignment shall invest the incumbent with the temporary rank of lieutenant- colonel during his continuance in such command. Such established provision, to give the grade of lieutenant-colonel in all cases to the district chiefs, would seem to be demanded on the score of consistency as well as propriety. That an officer charged with the responsibility and official management of millions monthly of the public treasure, and with the important trust of supervising and regulating its proper disbursement, should be held a grade of rank and emolument below that conferred by law upon all the representatives of the others staff departments attached to the immediate staff of a corps commander is, to say the least, anomalous, certainly.
The changes here recommended, you cannot fail to observe, will but in considerably add to the expense, while I feel sure you will appreciate their great benefits to the service.
In justice to this department, in which I have been, I trust, a faithful functionary for near fifteen years, I beg most respectfully to invite your attention to another fact. The corps of paymasters is one of the largest of the staff organizations of the Army, and it is believed that so far in the progress of this gigantic war no disbursing department can exhibit a more favorable record. Its business being confined exclusively to the disbursement of army pay, it is next to impossible for its officers to embark in peculation or frauds without speeded detection. Proper vigilance being exercised at this office, no malefactor of the department can long escape detection. From these facts I am enabled to say with confidence that the officers of this department can, on the score of integrity and good faith in the exercise of their duties, compare most favorably with any class of the public agents. The faithless and dishonest ones have so far been comparatively few, and have paid the fullest penalty of their crimes.
The clerical force of this department, numbering 155 clerks of every class, appears, in all its branches, to exhibit zeal, competency, and