Charles W. Thomas, assistant quartermaster, who conducted it with fidelity and success.
The depot at Fortress Monroe has been under charge of Colonel Herman Biggs, now inspector of the Quartermaster's Department, then chief quartermaster Department of Virginia and North Carolina. His management of the extensive business there transacted, particularly as shown in the embarkation and transportation of 35,000 troops, with their material and supplies, with such dispatch that they were landed by surprise at City Point, and seized, without opposition, that important post, within twenty miles of Richmond, are highly commended by his commanding officers. His financial statement shows the receipt of $1,856,278.91.
Colonel S. B. Holabird, aide-de-camp and quartermaster, has been chief quartermaster of the Department of the Gulf since General Banks assumed command in the Southwest.
The position is a very difficult one to fill; the responsibility is very heavy. He has succeeded in providing amply for the wants of the troops operating in a hostile country, intersected by water-courses, and obstructed by thickets and swamps. Owing to the unfriendly state of feeling among the population on New Orleans, the through of eager traders in cotton, sugar, and other productions of the rebel territory at this commercial center, the seizure and appropriation to military purposes of large quantities of property for which numerous claimants, loyal or disloyal, spring up, he has been subject to unusual opposition, which he has borne, and through which he hast striven with signal devotion and energy to fulfill his duties to the department and to the country.
The troops in this department have had a varied fortune, sometimes moving by the Gulf, sometimes by the intricate bayous and watercourses of the interior; sometimes with success, and sometimes with great disaster. Through all fortune, and in every field of operation, however, under the energetic management of Colonel Holabird, the troops have been kept supplied with those articles which it is the duty of the Quartermaster's Department to furnish or to transport.
The depot at Fort Leavenworth, which is the base of supplies for all troops in the Departments of Kansas and New Mexico, and for those operating on the great plains, has been under charge of Captain H. C. Hodges, assistant quartermaster, who has managed it with fidelity and ability. His financial statement shows the receipt and expenditure or distribution during the year of $4,040,948.
Major (now Colonel) J. C. McFerran has had charge of the operations of the department in the Department of New Mexico. He has been most strongly commenced in the dispatches of the general commanding, and has been recommended for promotion.
The affairs of the department on the Pacific Coast have been under the charge of Colonel E. B. Babbitt, deputy quartermaster- general, chief quartermaster of the Department of the Pacific, assisted at the San Francisco depot by Major R. W. Kirkham, quartermaster. Much of the clothing and other material for the supply of the army on the Pacific has been manufactured in California, whose woolen mills produce excellent army cloth and blankets.
The importance of securing some cheaper, more rapid, and safe means of military communication with the great provinces and States on the Pacific Coast has already attracted the attention of Congress.
In case of domestic disturbances of foreign war, the Government would