War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0248 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

The medical department of the Regular Army has not yet been organized, chiefly from the fact that up to this only a small proportion of its officers have been appointed for the service of the provisional and volunteer forces now in the field. The discretion allowed me by Congress of making temporary acting appointments of assistant surgeons has been exercised. I would respectfully suggest that the interests of the service require the increase of the medical staff of the Army suggested in the report of the Adjutant and Inspector General. The Bureau of Ordnance, attached to the Corps of Artillery, has been placed under the direction of Major J. Gorgas, as acting chief. The estimates for this branch of the service for the remainder of the fiscal year are embodied in his report, marked D,* and herewith submitted.

The report of the Engineer Bureau, marked E,* also under charge of Major J. Gorgas, furnishes the estimates which will be required for the service of that department. A statement, marked F,* of the several appropriations made by Congress for the support of the Regular Army, and the purchase of ordnance and ordnance stores for the support of the volunteer forces called into service under the act "to provide for the public defense, for the support of 5,000 men for twelve months at Charleston, and for the support of the War Department proper," together with the expenditures, is herewith transmitted.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, attached to the War Department, has been organized and placed under the direction of the Hon. David Hubbard, as Commissioner. So far this Bureau has found but little to do. The necessity for the extension of the military arm of the Government toward the frontier, and the attitude of Arkansas, without the Confederacy, have contributed to circumscribe its action. But this branch of the public service doubtless will now grow in importance in consequence of the early probable accession of Arkansas to the Confederacy; oentiments of the Creeks, Cherokees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws, and other tribes west of Arkansas toward this Government; of our difficulties with the tribes on the Texas frontier; of our hostilities with the United States, and of our probable future relations with the Territories of Arizona and New Mexico.

The estimates presented have been made for the continuous support of a force in the field of 100,000 men during the current year, this number being the smallest that prudence would dictate to be maintained in view of actual hostilities. The accession of Virginia to the Confederate States, the present earnest co-operation of the remaining border slave-holding States with our cause and their probable early adhesion to our Government, together with the power and resources the common enemy are bringing to bear against the whole, render this amount of force, in my judgment, imperative. Preparation on a smaller scale would but contribute to protract the war. Vigorous measures alone will deter the foe and assure the defense of the country.

In place of the present organization of the clerical force of this Department I would respectfully suggest that in the appropriations for that purpose made by Congress the sum of $25,000 be placed at the disposal of the Secretary of War, to be applied by him for salaries in such manner as to secure the best services; to this might be added a proviso that any additional clerks employed under exigencies of public service shall not receive a greater annual compensation than $1,000 each. This change, without materially increasing the expenses

---------------

*None of the inclosures to this report are found, except the report of the Adjutant and Inspector General and the estimate of the Acting Quartermaster-General, marked, respectively, A and B.

---------------