It is well understood among soldiers that upon the efficiency and integrity of the supply branches of the service depends, in a great degree, the power to make long marches, the health and efficiency of the troops.
I have imperfectly set forth in this report some of the more important operations of the Quartermaster's Department during the past year. I hope at a future time to be able to present to you more complete and detail information of the extent of the resources, in material and men money, which under your administration of the War Department have bee applied to support and sustain the armies in every part of the wide field of operations during the past four years of war.
This information properly digested, if published, will stand before the world as an example and a warning of the power and resources of a free people for any contest into which they heartil and statesman will be able to draw valuable lessons for use in case it ever again becomes necessary for this Nation to put forth its strength in arms.
The merits services of many of the officers of the department have been presented to your by myself, or by the generals under whom they have served in the field. I acknowledge the kindness with which their claim and my recommendations have been considered, and thank you for the recognition has been given by their promotion of the service of the department which I have had the honor to control.
I transmit herewith reports of officers, with many tables, giving in detail information of value in relation to the operations of the department. To these I respectfully call your attention.*
All of which is respectfully submitted.
M. C. MEIGS,
Brevet Major-General, U. S. Army, Quartermaster-General.
Numbers 1. On June 30, 1864, the termination of the preceding fiscal year, the balances in the hands of officers (after deducting the disbursements ascertained from accounts which had passed the required administrative examination of his office)
amounted, as stated in the last annual report, to.........................................$296,968,869.36
From which there is to be made a further
deduction of the amount of disbursement,
ascertained from accounts for periods prior
to and of the fiscal year ending June 30,
1864, which had been received and registered,
but of which the required administrative
examination had not been made, viz:
Prior to the fiscal year..............$26,096,345.50
During the fiscal year................201,064,148.97
Less amount shows to have been received
from sales of property, rent of buildings,
Leaving an outstanding balance due June 30, 1864, of.75,629,318.88
* Such of these reports and tables as are here omitted will be found in Executive Document Numbers 1, House of Representatives, Thirty-ninth Congress, first session, Vol I, unless otherwise indicated as appearing in Series I, or elsewhere in this series.