War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 1035 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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for the conversion into breech-loaders of the arms heretofore borne by our troops. This board met on March 10 and continued in session until June 4, when its report was submitted, and directions have been given the Ordnance December for the speedy manufacture of breech-loading arms. In view of the great number of small-arms on hand, it has been deemed advisable to convert Springfield rifle muskets, at a comparatively small cost, into efficient breech-loaders, rather than to incur the cost of the entire manufacture of new arms of that description, at a time, too, when the invention may not have been perfected. This alternation of the Springfield musket has been effected so successfully as to render it an arm believed to be better in all respects than the Prussian needle-gun, while its metallic ammunition is regarded as superior to that of the latter. The Department has already on hand breech-loaders of approved patterns adequate for the supply of the cavalry and mounted and light infantry.

Besides the measures that have been mentioned to provide for the comfort and promote the efficiency of the Army, stated monthly inspections have been made in every military command during the year, with a view to bring to notice and promptly remedy any irregularities and defects; and numerous special inspections have also been made throughout the whole country for the purpose or correcting abuses, suggesting improvements, and effecting retrenchment in the service. The inspection service has not been changed by the return to peace. The system developed during the war, meeting the requirements as nearly as practicable, is still continued.

The present organization of military departments and divisions is as follows:

The Department of the East, Major General George G. Meade to command, to embrace the New England States, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Fort Delaware. Headquarters at Philadelphia.

The Department of the Lakes, Brigadier and Bvt. Major General Joseph Hooker to command, to embrace the States of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Headquarters at Detroit.

The Department of Washington, Brigadier and Bvt. Major General E. R. S. Canby to command, to embrace the District of Columbia, Alexandria and Fairfax Counties, Va., and the States of Maryland and Delaware, except Fort Delaware. Headquarters at Washington.

The Department of the Potomac, Brigadier and Bvt. Major General John M. Schofield to command, to embrace the States of Virginia, except Alexandria and Fairfax Counties, and West Virginia. Headquarters at Richmond.

The Department of the South, Major General Daniel E. Sickles to command, to embrace the States of North and South Carolina. Headquarters at Charleston.

The Department of the Tennessee, Major General George H. Thomas to command, to embrace the States of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Headquarters at Louisville.

f the Gulf, Major General Philip H. Sheridan to command, to embrace the States of Florida, Louisiana, and Texas.

Headquarters at New Orleans.

The Department of the Arkansas, Brigadier and Bvt. Major General E. O. C. Ord to command, to embrace the State of Arkansas and Indian Territory, west. Headquarters at Little Rock.

The Department of the Missouri, Major General Winfield S. Hancock to command, to embrace the States of Missouri and Kansas and the