precise period of time the department was everywhere throughout the country under the greatest pressure of paymaster to mustered- out troops, and money in large sums had to be kept thus distributed. From the above it will be seen that the sum actually disbursed during the fiscal year and in process of disbursement at the end thereof was $430, 054, 946.37.
Since the beginning of the current fiscal year, beside the above sums in the hands of paymasters and the unissued requisitions stated, $94,000,000 have been disbursed and distributed for disbursement, making a total expenditure of $524, 054, 946.37 during the last fiscal year and the more than one-half ($270,000,000) has been paid to disbanded volunteer troops mustered out of service.
From the early days of June to the present time this department has made final payment to more than 800,000 officers and men. The number paid cannot be definitely stated for the want of time for full official returns to be received from the various and distant points of payment throughout the country, especially as these payments are still continuing. Enough, however, is known with certainty to establish the fact that the figures stated are not in excess.
This is an extraordinary exhibit of work performed chiefly within the three months of June, July, and August-$270,000,000 of money paid to 800,000,000 individual men. When the manner of these payments observed, with a knowledge of the particularity required in each case- the accounts varying in amounts, each to be separately computed in as may be chargeable deducted; the final amount stated and the signature of each officer and man to be appended in duplicate to the receipt rolls-a just appreciation may be formed of the stupendous labor involved. No similar work of like magnitude, regarding its immensity both as to men and money and the small limit of time in which it has been performed, has, it is believed, any parallel in the history of armies.
The troops of discharge were, under the orders from the Adjutant- General's Office, transported to their respective State rendezvous as rapidly as the proper officers of the various organizations could dispatch the duty of mustering out.
This department engaged to prepare with founds officers at all the sixty different places of designated rendezvous throughout the States, and to make prompt payment in the shortest practicable time on the arrival of each organization, so as substantially to avert delays, with all their evil consequences, at the places of rendezvous. How far this pledge on our part has been redeemed the country can answer. The facts of record in the War Department show no delays of moment occurring in any quarter; none; at least, chargeable to this department. The work is mainly accomplished, satisfactorily accomplished, beyond the, most sanguine anticipations of those who could understand and properly measure the vastness of the undertaking.
For this result the country is indebted largely to the zeal, intelligence, and sleepless industry of a corps of experienced paymasters who signalized themselves in this the clothing act of their military staff service by a faithfulness and devotion which reflects the highest honor upon them as a body and as individual officers. To them, under the skillful management of their supervising district chiefs, this department owes its success; and I take occasion, as the head of the department, in this public official communication to render to them