War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0781 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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duties were the examination and payment of all accounts pertaining to the Bureau.

Funds were deposited at principal points throughout the country with the several assistant treasurers and designated depositaries, and held subject to the order and for the payment of checks drawn by the disbursing officers above mentioned.

This course was deemed safer, more expeditious and economical, and was adopted instead of the more expensive mode of appointing disbursing officers at numerous points, or intrusting public moneys in the hands of provost-marshals, who, however trustworthy, were from their inexperience thought to be unfitted for such responsible and intricate duties, and whose time, moreover, would doubtless be fully occupied with the other duties of their office.

A geographical division of labor, each division paying all classes of accounts incurred in its section, was the course pursued until July 1, 1864, when the system was entirely and advantageously changed.

Since that date the salaries of all employes have been paid by the First and Second Divisions, the former paying the districts of the Eastern and the latter those of the Western States. The payments of all other accounts have been divided between the Third and Fourth Divisions as follows:

Third Division: Travel pay of discharged drafted men, postage, telegrams, advertising, subsistence, and lodging, and expenses incurred in the arrest or pursuit of deserters.

Fourth Division: Purchases of public property of this Bureau, rent, and transportation; the latter class of accounts being very large and involving more labor than those first mentioned.

Since April, 1865, reductions have been made both in the divisions and the clerical force employed therein, as rapidly as the public interests would admit; and at this date but one of the four divisions remains for the payment of outstanding claims.

A statement (No. 1) giving the names, date of assignment, &c., of all officers detailed for duty in this branch will be found annexed to this report.

The internal arrangement of this branch is similar in most respects, as far as regards the hours and division of labor, classification of clerical force, amount of compensation, &c., to that of the other military bureaus.

The largest number of clerks on duty at any one time was during the month of January, 1865, when there were seventy-one employed.

The number as shown by the report for October, 1865, was thirty, and a careful computation shows an average of fifty-four per month for the entire period of the operations of this branch.

In order to form some idea of the duties discharged by this clerical force, the following statement is submitted, which, when it is considered that every letter and account received has been subjected to a careful examination and to all the checks that secure complete action, it will be seen that the force employed was as limited as the circumstances would possibly admit.

Of letters received, indorsement made, letters sent, and accounts examined and paid from May, 1863, to January, 1866, there were -

Letters received....................................... 69,267

Leers sent............................................ 20,659

Indorsement made....................................... 20,929

Accounts examined and paid............................. 105,398

Checks drawn........................................... 155,127