rapidity of the Government trains. The contractors are only bound to get all the stores through by a certain date in the fall. No contract should be made unless it has an ample though fixed time for the delivery, dating from the day of shipment. The large accumulation of stock at this depot, teams and wagons, will enable us to send forward, at all times, stores as they may be needed. From the above and many other reasons not necessary now to relate, I am decidedly in favor of the Government doing its own transportation, except in special cases. At such times the depot quartermaster can always hire trains at special rates, not exceeding the present contract rates.
From present appearance the great point of departure for trains another season will be Fort Riley, or that vicinity. The Union Pacific Railroad will be completed to that point, I am assured, by May next. It will be much cheaper for the department to pay transportation direct to Fort Riley, and send across from that point to Kearny, than to ship from Leavenworth. If good progress is made in the railroad from Omaha west, that will be the route for all goods destined for the northern line of posts, via Julesburg and Halleck, while the goods for Denver, Salt Lake, and Santa Fe should go via Riley; those destined for Denver and Utah via the Butterfield route, and those for Sa; ta Fe by the old Santa Fe trail.
The depot of Fort Leavenworth will always be of great importance as the base of distribution for the supplies for all Western posts. From time to time extensive warehouses have been erected, which, although now crowded to their utmost capacity by the large overstock on cumulation from of other posts, will under all ordinary circumstances, be sufficient for the department. At present we are obliged to put up temporary sheds for the extra store-room needed.
Water-works have been ordered for the supply of the post and depot, and will be erected during the winter.
A large amount of timber on that part of the Government reserve east of the Missouri River will be made available for use as soon as the steam mills now ordered are put into operation. The improved farms have yielded well this year, and will be a source of profit to the department.
I cannot too strongly urge upon the department the necessity for watching with the utmost care and preventing by timely remonstrance all attempts on the part of scheming politicians to get the reserved land into market for the purpose of speculation. No one not perfectly well acquainted can estimate its value. I need not extend this report, as the merits and extent of operations at Fort Leavenworth are too well known to need comment.
J. A. POTTER,
Colonel and Quartermaster.
Statement of moneys received, expended, transferred, and remaining on hand for the fiscal year ending on the 30th day of June, 1865, by Colonel Joseph A. Potter, quartermaster at Chicago, Ill., and Fort Leavenworth, Kans.
On hand July 1, 1864.............................. $281,032.42
Received from officers during the year............ 35,364.80
Received from the Treasury Department during the
Received from the sales of property and other
sources during the year........................... 113,479.88
30 R R-SERIES III, VOL V