The aggregate number of letters sent from this desk in 1864 was 5,520, and of indorsements sent in the same period 1,510, making a total of 7.030. The number of letters received at this desk in 1864 was 7,154, making a grand total of 14, 184 communications and papers which passed under notice and received proper attention in this branch alone during that year. This estimate does not include a vast number of mere letters of transmittal, which, while they required but little thought, necessarily consumed, in the aggregate, much time. The letters paper.
The foregoing statements are not made because of any intrinsic importance which they are supposed to possess, but to convey some idea of the magnitude of the work required to be done, and to indicate the necessity which has constrained me from time to time to ask your approval of my employment of additional clerks.
The chief clerk of this branch was also charged with the preparation of such general circulars to the district provost- marshals in my jurisdiction as were required to carry out the orders of the Provost-Marshal-General, or to meet the various circumstances arising in the progress of the work in this State. These circulars were numbered consecutively for each year, for convenience of reference. A copy was made for each provost- marshal, and a manuscript copy retained for file, in addition to the copy taken in the impression book, making at least fourteen manuscript copies of each circular, the average length of each of which has not been less than three letter pages. The number of these circulars for the year 1863 was 81; for 1864, 265; for 1865, to the present time, 80; making a total of 426 different circulars, containing 1,278 pages, or 17,892 pages for the fourteen copies which were made of each circular. This total should, in fact, be largly increased to include the additional copies which were often made for other parties, such as mustering and disbursing officers, recruiting officers, &c.; and the whole should be considered in connection with my previous statement of the amount of labor necessarily performed in this branch.
It has been my aim not only to convey your instructions, when received, to my subordinates through the medium of the general circulars above described, but also to anticipate, as far as possible, through the same medium, such exigencies or difficulties as could plainly be foreseen; thereby preventing misunderstandings at district headquarters, avoiding the necessity of correspondence on their part, and preparing them to meet each emergency as it arose. I cannot too highly commend the practical utility of such a system of circular instructions.
As already intimated in speaking of the business which fell within the province of this department, many of the questions to be decided were not only entirely new to myself, but some of them were of so difficult and intricate a character as to require great care and laborious examination before any action could be safely taken.
This department was in charge of Mr. Newton Bateman from May 12, 1863, to January 9, 1865, when he resigned to assume the duties of the office of superintendent of public instruction for this State, to which office he was elected in November, 1864. To Mr. Bateman's superior business ability, zeal, and diligence I am deeply indebble assistant in all the varied duties he was called upon to discharge while in the office. Upon the resignation of Mr. Bateman, Bvt. Major Harry C. Egbert, first lieutenant, Twelfth U. S. Infantry, was placed in charge of the department, the duties of which, although at first comparatively new to him, he discharged with