no country since the blockade was established has needed them more. No one article of clothing, or mechanical production was supplied within these States, so that, under the blockade, it has become an absolute necessity, even for the meager supply now existing, that every manufacturer and mechanic should be kept to his art. As the stock which existed at the beginning of the war approaches absolute exhaustion this necessity of course increase. Prudence requires great caution in further diminishing this class. The Army and the people must be fed and clothed, and the munitions of war must be furnished, and the persons engaged in these purposes are already too few for the ends. It is in the class of non-producers that the enrolling officer must chiefly look for his recruits to the Army, and it is in determining who these non-producers are that the conscript authorities are engaged in hourly contest with every authority, every prejudice, every interest, and every fear which exists in the Confederacy. Governors and judges demand some local convenience; others, pecuniary or other interests, and the ends of every occupation are magnified public necessities. Towns and cities demand able-bodied men for police; banks and brokers, for clerks; charitable institutions, for wardens; public functionaries, for subalterns, and all on the plea that such are necessary for the public good. There is one universal effort to keep men from the field. Since I took charge of this Bureau no authority, association, or individual has offered one man to the military service. Against all this the conscription authorities are daily contending. The results evince that the officers have been doing their duty.
IV. I regret I am compelled to report that in no department of Government has the law been rigidly complied with in the matter of details. The plea of public necessity has been so strenuously urged and so distinctly proved that continuations have been allowed beyond the contemplation of law. I respectfully recommend that as soon as the reserve are organized the law be rigidly enforced.
V. The functions of conscriptions are now narrowed to a system of delicate gleaning from the population of the country, involving the most laborious, patient, cautious, and intelligent investigation into the relations of every man to the public defense. There are but few left whose appropriate duties in those relations have not been defined, and it thence become the province of the conscription agents to weigh and determine whether those relations may not be disturbed for the purpose of sending more men into the field and distributing them for the general service.
The efficiency of the Bureau in these investigations has been seriously impaired by the failure to retain in office about seventy officers, selected by you for their peculiar fitness for and accurate training in those duties.
These officers (paper Q) were selected by you with great care and accurate discrimination and appointed or assigned to enrolling service. With few exceptions, all other officers in that service were assigned by accident or by reason of unfitness for ot, when I came to the Bureau, I found the service confused and languid, and the administration of the conscript laws necessarily unsatisfactory. Chiefly by the zealous and intelligent aid of these seventy officers thus selected, the system was organized and the administration became fruitful, not only in men for the field, but in managing the external police of the armies, and also in furnishing a large amount of information on which to base the military policy of the country. These officers were the chiefs who controlled, informed, and energized the ungenial agencies filtered into the conscript from the debris of the general service. They were the practiced and trained soldiers and judges on whom I relied to sustain me in my hard duty of wringing from the wasted population the scanty remnant of men, and at the same time to preserve, as far as our military need would permit, the enfeebled productive energies of the country. These officers have been discharged by the operation of a law which does not provide adequate compensation to the public service.
In the States of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina these officers were the principal agents of conscription, and in these States conscription has been eminently successful. In Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida the officers were altogether causal, and from these States came all the complaints of the evils and failures of conscription.
The Invalid Corps bill has furnished no substitutes for these officers, and I have no authority to ask or receive officers from any other source except such as may be sent by the casualties of the field, or on declarations of incompetence. I cannot too strongly express my dismay at the almost certain prospect of the utter failure of the conscription service during the coming vital campaign if it is made dependent on the accidental officers who are fitfully and irregularly assigned to its duties. On the 1st daranch of the puas working with more order and efficiency than that under the control of this Bureau. All obstacles and impediments-and they were of the gravest character-were yielding to the