rebellious States to insure the execution of law and to protect life and property against the acts of those who, as yet, will acknowledge no law but force. This class has proven to be much smaller than could have been expected after such a conflict. It has, however, been sufficiently formidable to justify the course which has been pursued. On the whole, the condition of the States that were in rebellion against the Government may be regarded as good enough to warrant the hope that but time will intervene before the bulk of the troops now occupying them can be sent to our growing Territories, where they are so much needed.
I respectfully refer you to the reports of Generals Sherman, Halleck, Meade, Sheridan, Thomas, Sickles, McDowell, Pope, and Steele, herewith, for full information of the condition of the States and Territories under their command.* The last of these reports is but this moment received. The time has passed when they should be in the hands of the printer to prepare them for preservation to Congress on its assembling. To make a full report I would have to get my facts from these reports. Time not permitting, I beg to refer to them in lieu of their condensation by me.
With the expiration of the rebellion Indian hostilities have diminished. With a frontier constantly extending and encroaching upon the hunting-grounds of the Indian, hostilities, opposition at least, frequently occur. To meet this and to protect the emigrant on his way to the mountain Territories troops have been distributed to give the best protection with the means at hand. Few places are occupied by more than two and many by but a single company. These troops are generally badly sheltered, and are supplied at great cost. During the past summer inspections were made by Generals Sherman, Pope, Ingalls, Sacket, and Babcock to determine the proper places to occupy to give the best protection to travel and settlements, and to determine the most economical method of furnishing supplies. The labor of putting up temporary quarters is performed by the troops intending to occupy them. In the course of the next season more permanent buildings will have to be erected, however, which will entail an expense for material at least. I would respectfully suggest, therefore, that an appropriation for this special purpose be asked.
The permanent peace establishment being much larger than has been heretofore provided for, and appropriation for building barracks, store-houses, &c., to meet present wants seems to be required. The reports of the heads of the staff departments of the Army, particularly that of the Quartermaster-General, may cover this point.
I would respectfully suggest for the consideration of Congress the propriety of transferring the Indian Bureau from the Interior to the War Department, and the abolition of Indian agencies, with the exception of a limited number of inspectors. The reason for this change seems to me both obvious and satisfactory. It would result in greater economy of expenditure and, as I think, diminution of conflict between the Indian and white races.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
* Reports omitted.