companies or regiments, or who have been passed over by a State with their commands to the Con after joining some of our armies, but before their muster-rolls have been duly returned or notice properly given to the Adjutant-General, have been captured or had their commands broken and dispersed by the enemy. Some in such cases have pined long in prison, others have several in assigned commands for months, and when either exchanged or led to apply for recognition and pay as officers have found no authority in the Department to allow either. Several cases like these of peculiar hardship occurred among the officers of the Louisiana State troops transferred to the Confederate service, who were either captured or dispersed after the fall of New Orleans. It is recommended that whatever their imprisonment or service as officers can be satisfactorily established payment to them be authorized by law.
Measures to afford adequate supplies of ordnance, arms, and munitions for the Army have claimed the earnest attention of the Department. The increased stringency of the blockade by the enemy, while it has made the importation of sufficient supplies more difficult and costly, has at the same time induced more energetic efforts to find and develop all internal resources. The results so far are very encouraging. Our present supplies are at least as abundant as they have been at any time past, and our prospects for the future more promising. Two establishments, in addition to the leading one heretofore existing at this city, for making ordnance have been founded in interior towns under the auspices of the Department, one of which is already in successful operation and the other will be in a very short time. Besides these some smaller establishments have been fostered and engaged in similar work. Thus the serious anxiety which resulted from dependence on a single establishment liable to be interrupted by casualties or the chances of war has been removed and a larger provision secured for future supplies. Of small-arms the Department an now furnish stores more adequate to the requirements of the Army than at any preceding date, while of munitions it entertains no dread of deficiency. In these particulars, also, by the encouragement and establishment or manufactures within the Confederacy, the Department is daily becoming less dependent on foreign supply, and it indulges the hope that it will at no remote period be able to dispense altogether with that reliance. In this connection it would be injustice not to refer to the efficient aid which has been rendered by the Niter Bureau, which is charged with much more general operations than its name would indicate. The most serious embarrassment to be apprehended in reference to the ordnance supplies is in the deficiency of iron. Before the war nearly all iron-works within the State of the Confederacy had languished or decayed, and from the sense of precariousness in the future and the scarcity of suitable labor it has been very difficult to establish them in sufficient numbers and on an adequate scale to meet the necessities of the war. It has been necessary that the Department should stimulate enterprise by large advances and liberal contracts, and likewise contribute by details to the supply of labor. Many new furnaces have been established, and those in operation have been enlarged and tempted to continue more uninterruptedly in blast. If the constricts made with the Department are only fully carried out, it is believe the supply will prove adequate, but there are many difficulties in the prosecution of the work from the enhancement of all prices and from the temptations constantly offered to contractors to prefer the superior profits which they can command