All requisitions for remittances of money from the Treasury to officers of the Quartermaster's Department are referred first, to the chief of the division of the office having charge of the particular branch of expenditure for which the money is needed, and they then pass under the inspection of the Quartermaster- General, who signs the request, which is submitted to the Secretary of War, and upon which, if he approves, is based the requisition which he addresses to the Treasury Department.
Six inspectors of the Quartermaster's Department, with the rank of colonel, under the immediate direction of the Quartermaster- General or of the Secretary of War, visit and inspect the various armies, posts, and depots, and inquire into all reported or suspected abuses. From the services of these officers, whose reports are transmitted to the inspection division of the office, and there analyzed and acted upon, great benefit is expected.
Most of the officers holding high rank in this organization hold it by temporary assignment, the rank ceasing when, from any cause, they are relieved and transferred to other less onerous duties.
This enables the Department to hold out to meritorious officers the hope of promotion in some degree commensurate wight their efforts and success, and the system has already had a very happy effect in exciting emulation and giving satisfaction to many who had toiled long and were growing discouraged before the passage of the law of 4th of July, 1864, at the small prospect of promotion, while they were conscious that their duties were most important, their services most valuable, and their exertions, labors, and responsibilities as great as those of others who, entering the service, with them, passed them rapidly by in the casualties and promotion of active service.
To some of the officers of this department holding most responsible and important positions, commissions as brigadier- general of volunteers or as brevet brigadier-generals have been given in consideration of most important and valuable service.
The report of Brigadier-General Ingalls, U. S. Volunteers, chief quartermaster of the Armies operating against Richmond (which is herewith), gives details in regard to the march of the trains of an army, and the dangers and difficulties to be met and overcome, which will show the valuable and difficulty of the services of the officers of this department in the field. The guards of the trains are reduced as far as practicable by the natural desire of commanding generals to place every man possible in line of battle, and the officers of this department are obliged to pass back forth between the depots or the trains and the moving columns or the encampments of the troops, often with insufficient escort, frequently with none at all.
Many officers of the department have been captured in these marches, or in the endeavor to save their trains when attacked by partisans. Our chief quartermaster of the Middle Military Division has fallen in such of journey. Lieutenant-Colonel Tolles, chief quartermaster of the Middle Division, under General Sheridan, long chief quartermaster of the Sixth Corps while commanded by the lamented Sedgwick, was severely, supposed to be mortally, wounded while on his way from the depot at Washington to the headquarters near Strasburg. He is officer of education, intelligence, and ability, zealously devoted to his profession, which he made the subject of careful study. As I write this I am informed that though his skull was fractured by a pistol-shot there is still some hope of his recovery.*
* He died November 8, 1864.