strongly built, and will be very useful in operations along the South Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and in ascending the navigable rivers which empty into the Gulf of Mexico.
Careful records of the burials of soldiers in the cemeteries in the neighborhood of Washington have been kept.
The grounds near the Soldiers" Home, north of the city, having been filled by the burial of nearly 8,000 persons, by your direction a portion of the Arlington estate has been appropriated as a national cemetery. The grounds have been carefully surveyed and suitable laid out and inclosed. Already nearly 3,000 interments have taken place in this national cemetery. This graves are carefully sodded, and at the head of each is planted a neat headboard, painted white, on which are inscribed in black letters (the number referring to the burial record) the name of the soldier, his company and regiment, and the date of his death.
I transmit herewith an extract from the report of Captain James M. Moore, assistant quartermaster, who has, during the greater part of the fiscal year, had charge of interments of soldiers dying in Washington.
The bodies of the loyal officers and soldiers who fell in the sortie from the defenses of Washington, which drove off the rebel army in July last, have been buried in a piece of ground selected for the purpose in the midst of the battle-field and in sight of Fort Stevens. It is hoped that Congress may see fit to cause a monument to be erected to the memory of these patriots who fell in the defense of the capital itself.
In other cities around which hospitals are collected, under general orders and regulations, careful records of burials are kept, which should ultimately be transmitted to Washington and there preserved for future reference.
MILITARY ORGANIZATIONS AMONG THE OPERATIVES OF THE QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT.
Many of the persons employed as mechanics, teamsters, laborers, wagon and forage-masters, clerks, and in other service of the great depots of the Quartermasters" Department, are soldiers of experience, who have been disbarched at the expiration of their enlistment or in consequence of disability from wounds or other causes.
The desire to send all available troops to take part in the decisive and capital operations of the campaigns tends constantly to reduce the guards and garrisons for protection of the immense stores collected at the depots to the lowest limit consistent with safety.
The enemy, taking advantage of this tendency, has more than once threatened some of the most important depots situated near the border. Washington has been more than once seriously threatened. Louisville and Cincinnati have been the subjects of serious demonstrations, and Nashville has twice had an active enemy near enough to threaten it while the victorious army of General Sherman was 300 miles in advance of this his immediate depot and base of operations.
To meet such dangers you directed that the operatives and others employed in these important depots should be organized into regiments, officered, armed, and drilled at intervals, so as to make a