In like manner every effort has been made, both at home and abroad, to procure an ample supply of powder. Large purchases have been ordered from abroad and strenuous exertions put forth to have it manufactured at home. For this purpose the Government has secured a large quantity of sulphur and made contracts for the delivery of a proportionate quantity of saltpeter. The erection of powder mills has been encouraged by liberal contracts, and the Department does not doubt that the necessities of the service will in due time be amply provided with this munition of war. The deliveries from abroad will of course depend upon the contingencies of the blockade, but the hope is entertained that the arrangements effected by the Department are such as to elude the vigilance of the enemy. The outstanding orders for artillery embrace 15 15-inch columbiads, 220 10-inch columbiads, 340 8-inch columbiads, 70 8-inch siege howitzers, 158 3-inch rifle guns, 24 12-pounder howitzers, 40 24-pounder howitzers, 20 10-inch howitzers, 80 42-pounder siege guns, 100 32-pounder siege guns, and field batteries to the extent of our necessities.
By an act of the last Congress you are authorized to raise troops for the war. It is with mingled feelings of pleasure and regret that this Department mentions the fact that many more have come forward to volunteer for the war than it was possible for the Government to arm - with a feeling of pleasure, because this fact illustrates the heroic and self-sacrificing patriotism of our people; with a feeling of regret, because so many brave soldiers have been necessarily excluded from the service of their country.
From the applications on file in this office there can be no doubt that if arms were only furnished no less than 200,000 additional volunteers for the war would be found in our ranks in less than two months. As the Government has not been able to arm all volunteers for the war, it has of course declined to arm those who have tendered their services for twelve months only. Hence it has only accepted such companies or regiments for twelve months as could come into its service already armed and equipped. Others have been rejected, not only by the will of the Department, but by the stern necessities of the case. With your approval, it has been the policy of the Department, under the law of Congress which gave you the privilege of accepting men for the war or for twelve months, to arm first those who offered for the war. The reason of this policy is obvious. As the enemy calls out men for three years, it is on many accounts highly desirable that we should not accept them for a shorter period. It might cover our arms with incalculable disaster and overwhelm our people with untold calamities if our defensive forces were not as permanent as those of the invading foe. But while this has been the general policy of the Department, exceptions have been gladly made in favor of those who with arms in their hands have tendered their services for twelve months.
The law of the last Congress does not leave the question of how our troops are to be clothed altogether free from doubt. By a law of the previous Congress commutation was allowed in lieu of clothing, and by the law first referred to this commutation was fixed at $ 42 per annum; but it has also provided that clothing might be supplied to the troops by the Government if they chose to take what the Government might be able to furnish. This is the construction placed upon the acts referred to b-General, whose opinion was solicited by me for the guidance of this Department. It was believed that it would be impossible for the troops to furnish themselves, and that
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