Quartermaster-General's Office, September 7, 1864, at which time I was on duty in the city of New York purchasing officer of forage for the entire armies of the East, together with depots on the sea-costs as far south as Mobile, Ala., and in part the depot of New Orleans.
The important of prompt supplies too the armies and depots above alluded to was deemed sufficient to justify my remaining in New York until January 1, 1865, at which time I assumed personally the supervision of the business of this division.
From the date of my appointment as chief of this division until January 1, 1865, Bvt. Brigadier General Charles Thomas supervised the examination of contracts, and Colonel B. C. Card the examination of claims connected therewith.
Upon entering on duty in this office I at once opened record books of all existing contracts, carefully examining an entering all contracts made since, comparing prices therein with the market value of supplies at posts where the contracts were made, and directing the places at which contracts should be made, as the large demands upon certain markets rendered this necessary to prevent holders of supplies from taking advantage of the wants of the Government.
Records have been kept of the quantities delivered upon contracts from month to month, canceling each contract a time of its expiration.
Daily reports have been required from the principal depots of supply, and weekly reports from all others, showing the quantities on hand, afloat to be received, and quantities due on contracts, keeping this office constantly informed relative to the state of supplies at all posts might be abandoned.
The establishing of purchasing and contracting depots at prominent points where supplies are produced, or large accumulations are thrown upon the market, has greatly concentrated the business of this division and the withdrawal of so many purchasing officers, destroying the competition created by them when seeking supplies in the same marked, has been of great advantage to the interests of the Government.
The records of this division show that from January 1, 1865, too date there have been received, 6,865 claims, which have been acted on as follows:
Settled 1,266 $319,336,36
Rejected 1,379 552.623.95
Suspended awaiting 541 428.649.07
Not acted on 3.666 1.248.842.37
Total 6.852 2.549.451.75
The examination of these claims, especially those presented under act of July 4, 1864, has been critical in relation to the following points:
First. As to the actual use by the Army of stores for which payment is claimed.
Second. As to the past and present loyalty of the claimants and witnesses.
Third. Whether the signatures of the certifying officers were genuine.
After the above points have been considered the claims have been generally referred to the provost-marshals of the districts where the