War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0459 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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Considerations of economy and the embarrassing difficulty attending the care and protection of the non-producing element among the liberated slaves led me to recommend the course adopted with reference to the freedmen. It was folly to suppose that the former owners of the unemployed negroes had any feeling that would lead them to care for their former servants. Great suffering would have resulted to the freedmen had not the Government extended to them support and protection.

I do not propose to offer any suggestions with regard to improvements in the personnel or administration of the Quartermaster's Department. In my opinion the organization of the department is as near perfect as it is possible to become. I base this opinion and declaration on the well-known satisfaction that has been given by the Quartermaster's Department in the grand operations of the last four years.

I cannot conceive of a case of failure on the part of the department if the orders that have been promulgated from the office of the Quartermaster-General are honestly and understanding obeyed.

Herewith inclosed I have the honor to transmit Statements A and B and statement of public funds, as called for in General Orders, Numbers 39, being the only statements coming under the scope of my duties during the past fiscal year.

Respectfully submitted.

JOHN B. HOWARD,

Brevet Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster.

Statement of public moneys received and disbursed by Colonel John B. Howard, assistant quartermaster, during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1865.

On hand July 1, 1864.............................. $318.16

Received from officers during the year............ 176,511.10

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Total............................................. 176,829.26

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Expended during the year.......................... 3,021.44

Transferred to other officers during the year..... 173,807.82

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Total............................................. 176,829.26

JOHN B. HOWARD,

Brevet Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster.

Numbers 111. ASSISTANT QUARTERMASTER'S OFFICE, New Orleans, La., September 22, 1865.

Bvt. Major General M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit herewith my annual report for the year ending June 30, 1865, in compliance with General Orders, Numbers 39, Quartermaster-General's Office, dated July 1, 1865.

Owing to the breaking up of the depot and changes of station consequent thereon, I have been unable to forward the report at an earlier date.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. J. STRANG,

Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster.