In addition to the suggestions made in the report of the Adjutant-General concerning the organization of the staff corps, to which I have already called attention, I would respectfully recommend a division of the duties of the Quartermaster's Department, and a recurrence to the system of the United States, with which our officers are familiarized, by the establishment of a regular pay department, with its own force. Either this change or a considerable increase in the quartermaster's staff is indispensable. While the difference in expense to the Government would be inconsiderable, in my opinion greater efficiency in the service would be promoted through an independent pay department.
I would fail in my duty if I did not earnestly recommend that an appropriation be made for the establishment of powder mills and for the purchase of the materials of which gunpowder is composed. This had become the more necessary in consequence of the closing of the channels through which we have been heretofore supplied. This subject is of such obvious and paramount importance that I deem it sufficient merely to mention it.
The appropriation of $25,000 by the act of the Congress approved March 15, 1861, for incidental and contingent expenses of this Department, is, in the present condition of the country, wholly inadequate. One or two items, properly coming under the head of "incidental and contingent expenses," will absorb this appropriation, whilst there are other contingencies daily occurring connected with the military service for which provision should be made.
The operations for the general defense have been carried on chiefly along the extended line of our coast. The principal points at which these operations have been important are the harbor of Charleston, the harbor of Pensacola, the defenses at and near the mounts of the Mississippi River, including an examination of the Atchafalaya, the harbor of Mobile, the defenses of the Savannah River, the Upper Mississippi River, in connection with the defenses at Memphis, Helena, and other points in friendly slave-holding States not yet member of this Confederacy, at Apalachicola, together with an examination into the military necessaries of Galveston and the coast of Texas.
The command of the harbor at Charleston was devolved some weeks ago upon Brigadier Gen. G. T. Beauregard, of the Provisional Army of the Confederate States. The extensive military preparations there commenced and very greatly advanced under the authority of the State of South Carolina were completed under the direction of this experienced officer. They were crowned on the 14th day of the present month with success in the surrender of Fort Sumter, after a bombardment of thirty-four hours, which, in all its highest credit on our arms. I beg especially to commend the gallantry, discretion, and judgment displayed by General Beauregard in a position of great delicacy and responsibility, and to express the appreciation entertained by this Department of the excellent conduct of the officers and men of his command.
In this connection it is proper to mention that the State of South Carolina insisted on defraying all the expenses of the operations in the harbor of Charleston. This noble conduct shows her to be worthy of her ancient renown and commands our highest admiration. The expenses she has thus defrayed in the defense of her principal harbor and in the reduction of her principal fortress, having been incurred for the common defense, constitute justly a debt against the