urgently, to recommend a reasonable increase of the rates of compensation now by law fixed for the clerks employethis demanded by every consideration of the public interest, of enlightened public economy, for the clerks of the higher grades and for the chief clerk. I feel sure I have only to present this to your attention to insure your influence in the furtherance of a consummation so proper.
In another paper communicated to you, dated the 11th instant, I have had the honor to submit for your consideration a plan for the better organization and a permanent increase of the Pay Department of the Army, to which I respectfully invite your attention in connection with this report.
The entire of the Regular Army and the volunteer forces of every description retained in service, and not embraced in orders for muster out, have been paid, or are provided for and in process of payment to the end of the last fiscal year (to 1st of July last). Many organization have been paid to the later date of September 1.
All discharged troops have been paid in full, and all being discharged or under orders for discharge are provided for, and will be paid as fast as they arrive at their respective places of rendezvous.
Paymasters are held in readiness to make another payment to the troops who shall be continued in the service, whenever the needful funds for that purpose may be available.
In conclusion, I beg to present to your attention the following remarkable summary statement of the results in this department during the past four years of war:
The total of money disbursed by the department from July 1, 1861, to the present date is $1,029.239,000.
Total defalcation in the department for same period, supposing that nothing is made from sureties (it is believed that more than on-half will be collected from these sources)............$541,000
Total expenses for disbursement, including pay and allowances to paymaster and their clerks, mileage, and traveling expenses, &c., an average of 350 paymaster and 400 clerks for the term of four years and four months (a large average)................. 6,429,600
Total defalcations and expenses...................... 6,970,600
Thus it is seen that the total of every character of expense to the Government arising from the disbursement of the pay to the armies during sum disbursed.
Surely this is a cost most wonderfully cheap for the execution of duties so important and responsible. It is much questioned if there is another instance on record of public disbursement so cheaply performed.
B. W. BRICE,
Paymaster-Genera U. S. Army.
Washington, D. C., November 1, 1865.
Brigadier General JAMES B. FRY,
Provost-Marshal-General of the United States:
GENERAL: In obedience ton instructions I have the honor to submit the annual report of the operation of the Disbursing Branch of the