War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0490 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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including Louisiana, 81,256 of these men are west of the Mississippi River.

In case of emergency 50,000 additional men could be made disposable east of the Mississippi.




November 13, 1865.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: In compliance with your directions, I have the honor to submit as follows in regard to the business transacted by this Bureau since March, 1865, the date of my last official report.*

The operations of the Bureau during this period-of about seven and two-thirds months-are briefly presented by the following summary:

1. Number of records of general courts-martial and military commissions received, reviewed, and filed, 16,591.

2. Number of special reports made as to the regularity of proceedings, the pardon of military offenders, the remission or commutation of sentences, and upon the numerous miscellaneous subjects and questions referred for the opinion of this office, including, also, letters of instruction upon military law and practice to judge-advocates, reviewing officers, and others, 6,123.

By comparing these details with those presented in March last it will be perceived that the number of records reviewed is slightly, and that of the special reports very much greater, in proportion to the period of time embraced, than that specified in my last official communication upon the subject, and that the business of the Bureau, especially as an advisory branch of the War Department, has not yet been diminished or sensibly affected by the altered condition of public affairs.

The Digest of Opinions of the Judge-Advocate-General, issued by the Bureau in January last, has, as it is inferred from the commendatory judgment expressed to me by department and other commanders, and the fact that it has come into extensive use throughout the Army, proved of considerable advantage to the service in contributing to establish a uniformity of decision and action in the administration of military justice; and it is proposed, with your approval, to prepare during the coming winter an enlarged edition of the same, containing, in connection with those already published, a selection of the official opinions communicated by me during the past year. The present edition of the work has, indeed, because of the constant demand for copies, been very nearly exhausted.

I have to express my satisfaction with the ability and efficiency with which the officers, as well as the clerks, connected with the office have performed their several duties; and to add that, while the close of the rebellion will doubtless gradually induce a considerable falling off in the business of the Bureau, it is conceived, as this business will probably not be materially diminished for a twelve-month, that the present organization of this branch of the public service may well be continued by Congress.


*See Vol. IV, this series, p. 1216.