Territories of Colorado and New Mexico. Headquarters at Fort Leavenworth.
The Department of the Platte, Brigadier and Bvt. Major General Philip St. George Cooke to command, to embrace the State of Iowa, the Territories of Nebraska and Utah, so much of Dakota as lies west of the one hundred and fourth meridian, and so much of Montana as lies contiguous to the new road from Fort Laramie to Virginia City, Mont. Headquarters at Omaha.
The Department of Dakota, Brigadier and Bvt. Major General A. H. Terry to command, to embrace the State of Minnesota and all the Territories of Dakota and Montana not embraced in the Department of the Platte. Headquarters at Fort Snellig.
The Department of California, Brigadier and Bvt. Major General Irvin McDowell to command, to embrace the States of California and Nevada and the Territory of Arizona. Headquarters at San Francisco. The Department of the Columbia, Major General Frederick Steele to command, to embrace the State of Oregon and the Territories of Washington and Idaho. Headquarters at Portland.
The principal movements of troops have been in Texas, on the Mexican frontier, and in the Territories, the details of which are given in the companying report of General Grant,* commanding the Armies of the United States, and the reports of division and department commanders, to which reference is made. General Grant reports that a military force has been kept in all the lately rebellions States for the purposes of insuring the execution of law and protecting life and property against the acts of those who as yet will acknowledge no law but force-a class smaller, in his opinion, than could have expected after such a conflict as that through which we have passed, but sufficiently formidable to justify the course which has been pursued. Military movements have also been directed with a view to the protection of emigrants on their way to the mountain Territories against the hostility and opposition of the Indians.
Besides the operations thus recapitulated, of reduction, concentration, retrenchment, and reorganization of the military establishment, and payment, complete equipment, and disposition of the Army, other matters of national importance and interest have received the careful attention of the War Department.
The permanent defenses of the country have been strengthened.
Their efficiency has already been much increased by substituting cannon of larger caliber and improved model for lighter guns, and wrought-iron for wooden gun carriages. This work is still in progress, and will be continued. Diligent and careful efforts, based upon the designs and recommendations of competent boards of engineers, have been made to adapt old works, as well as those in process of construction, to more powerful armaments. Construction has been suspended upon some works in order to await the completion of important experiments having in view the extensive use of iron shields or armor for the protection of guns and gunners. The results already attained give the promise of a practical and highly beneficial application of the knowledge obtained by these trials.
Surveys of the lakes have been continued, and progress has already been made in improving the harbors and rivers of the country. The work will be energetically prosecuted under the liberal appropriations made at the last session of Congress.
* See November 21, p. 1045.