good service at Washington, Nashville, and Johnsonville, all of which depots have been threatened or attacked by the rebel armies.
The Quartermaster-General states that the views expressed in his report of 1862, in regard to the aid to be expected and derived from the colored population, have been confirmed by two years" experience. These persons have been extensively employed in the labors of the Quartermaster-General's Bureau, where each one so employed released a white soldier from labor and restored him to his place in line of battle. Their extensive enlistment has created a demand, however, beyond the supply. Application being made to the Quartermaster-General of such labor with the armies before Richmond, which he was unable to provide, he endeavored to procure colored men form the departments of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast, where it was publicly reported that they were suffering for want of employment. None could be obtained from those departments, however. The commander of one of them reported that they were all wanted for labor necessary to the switches of military operations, or for other public service, and that no a man, woman, or child could be spared.
The Quartermaster-General makes Honorable mention of the labors and services of some of the officers of his Bureau, who have been engaged in the most important operations, and have most contributed to the general success of our armies.
Reference is made to the danger of interruption of our military communications with the State on the Pacific Coast by war, and the difficulty of supplying armies and defending these portions of the Republic, when the only military communication not exposed to a hostel fleet is a wagon road across the continued, is mentioned. The early completion of the Pacific Railroad is called for as a military precaution, deserving attention and the fostering care of the Government.
It appears from the report of the Surgeon-General that the funds derived from all sources, and available for the expenses of the Medical Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1864, were $12,263,988.08.*
Balance remaining in the Treasury June 30, 1864.. 914,135.10
Balance in hands of disbursing officers........... 324,061.65
One hundred and eighty-two hospitals, with a capacity of 84,472 beds, were in operation at the date of the last annual report. During the summer campaign it was found necessary to establish additional ones and increase the capacity of those nearest the scenes of active operations, giving 190 hospitals, with a capacity of 120,521 beds on June 30, 1864. During the year the health of the entire Army was better than is usual with troops engaged so constantly on active duty and in arduous campaigns. NO destructive epidemics prevailed in any section, and the number of sick and wounded, although large, has been comparatively small in the proportion it bore to the whole Army. At the close of they ar the number of sick and wounded, both with their commands and in general hospitals, was less than 16 per cent. of the strength of the Army. The number sick with their respective commands was 4 per cent., and in general hospitals 5.3 per cent. of the strength. Of the 6.46 per cent. wounded, nearly 1 per cent. were with their respective commands; the rest in general hospitals.
*For report of the Surgeon-General see p. 790.