Measures have been adopted to obtain an accurate knowledge of the condition of the business in the respective States and Territories, with the view of closing all these offices at the earliest date in can be done without detriment to the public service, and collecting all the valuable papers and records at the seat of Government, where they will be filed in proper manner for future reference. The Provost-Marshal-General's report of the operations of his Bureau, dated March 17, 1866, renders unnecessary reference in more detail to its business now under this office.
No appropriation of money will be required for this branch during the next fiscal year.
For all information in relation to colored volunteer troops I beg leave to refer to the annexed report of Bvt. Colonel C. W. Foster, assistant adjutant-general of volunteers, who organized and has continued in charge of that branch of the duties of this office.
In addition to the distinctive branches already referred to, there are four others immediately connected with this office, as follows: 1. The subject of commissions, under Bvt. Brigadier General J. C. Kelton, assistant adjutant-general. This branch embraces the preparation and issue of all letters of appointment and commissions to officers appointed by the President, and their accurate registry; the regulating of proper succession and promotion of officers; preparation of orders of promotion and army registers; ordnance-sergeants", hospital stewards", and sutlers" warrants; the solution of numerous questions of rank and of pay depending on dates of appointment and acceptance of commission, and of questions of organization of the Army under acts of Congress. Some little idea may be formed of the scope of this class of duties by the fact that over ten thousand commissions, brevets and other, have been issued since November 1, 1865, for regular and volunteer officers.
2. The preparation and distribution of all special orders, the measures for apprehension and trial of deserters, the miscellaneous the correspondence with general and staff officers of the Regular and Volunteer Army, and regimental officers of the Regular Army, relating to leaves of absence, changes of station, &c., and the recruiting service for the Regular Army, details of which have been given above, have been under the immediate direction of Bvt. Brigadier General Robert Williams, assistant adjutant-general, who has arranged the detail and assignment of recruiting officers, the drawing of requisitions for funds to supply them, the assignment and forwarding of detachments from depots to regiments, the preparation of instruction to superintendents and the correspondence with officers concerning accounts, returns, &c.
In addition to these duties, on the transfer of Brevet Brigadier-General Nichols, assistant, adjutant-general, to the headquarters Division on miscellaneous subjects, such as relate to reports of generals, claims, &c., which involves the investigation of all matters of a general nature upon which reports are to be made to the War Department and General-in-Chief, and with the proper filing of letters received.
3. Bvt. Brigadier General Samuel Breck, assistant adjutant- general, is charged with the preparation and distribution of all books of military