disbursing officers desirable, and indeed necessary, to secure rigid accountability for the expenditure of the public money and property.
An extension of the increase of compensation granted by the last Congress to clerks of the lowest grandees, so as to include those of higher grades, is recommended by the Quartermaster- General in view of the increased cost of living in Washington.
The Quartermaster-General gives an account of the measures adopted under the orders to the Secretary of War for equipping, supplying, and moving the large army which, concentrating last November on the banks of the Tennessee, fought under General Grant the battle of Chattanooga and opened the way for the victorious campaign of the army under General Sherman, resulting in the capture of Atlanta, and the operations which are now in progress in the State of Georgia. The vast efforts made, the wonderful resources in men and material developed, the manner in which the steam-boat and railroad interests, the agricultural and mechanical products of the Valley of the Mississippi, were laid under contribution in feeding, supplying, and moving a vast army in an advance of over 300 miles from its secondary and 450 miles from its primitive base, are described. The record is one creditable to the people who haste developed such vast resources and placed them so patriotically at the disposal of the Government, and also to the officers, their agents in this great work.
The report gives tables of the quantities of the principal military supplies, fuel, forage, clothing, and materials purchased, transported, and used during the year. It also contains statements of the steamboats employed upon the Western rivers and of the steamer and other vessels upon the ocean engaged in the transportation of troops and supplies.
In this service it is believed many abuses have been reformed and great economies have been effected during the past year. The indications derived from Congressional examination and reports have been followed up with advantage to the service.
The Army has been well supplied with all the essentials of military equipment, and with fuel, forage, and all necessaries.
The losses by capture, and destruction of trains, by the burning of transports by in centuries employed by the rebels, have been great, but the movements of the armies have seldom been delayed by them.
The most severe losses of material during the year have been the destruction of a portion of the train of the army at Chattanooga in the fall of 1863, and the consequent destruction of animals there and in East Tennessee; the destruction of animals there and in East Tennessee; the destruction of a train of 200 wagons near Fort Smith, in Arkansas, since the close of the fiscal year.
As the rebel armies are baton back they burn all important railroad bridges, tear up the railroad tracks, destroy the water stations, carry off -stock, and do all that is in their power to render the railroads useless to our armies.
The armies are obliged to follow generally the natural lines of transport and communication, and the lines by which the enemy retires. All the railroads north of the Potomac and of the Tennessee and Cumberland, and within the territory which our armies have penetrated, have been alternately in the hands of the rebels and of our own troops. When abandoned by the enemy their immediate reconstruction and operation becomes a military necessity.