it was some time before proper measures could be devised and inaugurated for their relief.
The care and general superintendence of these refugees were, after some time, committed to Lieutenant Colonel E. M. Greene, assistant quartermaster. U. S. Volunteers, then chief quartermaster of the Department at Washington.
The proceeds of an assessment of $5 per month upon the wages of the able-bodied employed in the public service in Washington and Alexandria were applied to the support and relief of the women and children who had escaped with them from the rebel to territory, and the result has been highly successful and creditable to the intelligence and judgment of the officer in charge.
Neat and comfortable quarters were erected, supplied with water and facilities for cleanliness and police; schools were established, and hospitals for the aged and infirm; vacant lands, abandoned by rebel proprietors, were reclaimed and put under culvation, and the mortality, which has great while they lived in filth and neglect on the outskirts of Washington, was arrested, and they have been maintained with comparatively little expense to the Government. Their husbands and fathers are in the service of the Army, either as soldier or laborers. Many of the women and children have been provided with employment and homes in the agricultural distichs of the Northern States, and those who remain are clean and comfortable, and as contended as it is possible for any set of human beings to be whose condition has so suddenly and so greatly changed.
In my annual reports of 1862 this subject was referred to, and the experience of two years of war has confirmed the views then expressed. The negro is not and embarrassment, but a great aid, in the conduct of the war.
The organization of the Quartermaster's Department, as authorized by the law of August, 1864, is simple and efficient.
With the troops are-
1. To each regiment a regimental quartermaster, with rank of lieutenant. He has charge of the property of the Quartermaster's Department with the regiment, such as the wagons, harness, and animals of the regimental train, and the tents and equipage which pertain to the regiment. He receives in bulk, and issues to the proper officers, the clothing, forage, and other supplies furnished by the Quartermaster's Department for the use of the regiment.
2. To each brigade, consisting of two or more regiments, an assistant quartermaster, with the rank of captain. He is commonly designated as the brigade quartermaster. He receives, takes charge of, and transfers to the proper officer all property and supplies furnished for the use of the brigade, and has charge of the brigade train, its material, and animals. He distributes supplies to the regimental quartermasters.
3. To each division, of two or more brigades, a quartermaster, with the rank of major. He is designated division quartermaster, and performs duties relating to the division similar to those attributed for a brigade to the brigade quartermaster.
4. When several divisions are organized into a corps d"armee a chief quartermaster for the corps is designated, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He has the general superintendence of the affairs of the Quartermaster's Department within the corps.