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511 Series III Volume V- Serial 126 - Union Letters, Orders, Reports

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Page 511 UNION AUTHORITIES.

duties are efficiently performed by the officers, professors, and instructors charged with the instruction.

The war appropriations at the last session of Congress, as has been stated, amounted to the sum of $516,240,131.70. The estimates for the next fiscal year, commencing June 30, 1866, are $33,814,461.83.

These estimates are based upon a standing force of 500,000 men, so organized as to admit of an increase, without additional organizations, to 82,600 troops of all arms.

This estimate has been made after conference and careful consideration, and is believed to be adequate for any national exigency, if the country should be blessed with peace. The reduction of the national military force in its rapidity and numbers is without example, and if there by any alarm in the public mind because this reduction is made while grave questions at home and abroad are unsettled, a brief consideration of the subject will show that there is no cause for apprehension.

The force to be retained is small compared with that which was organized to subdue the rebellion. But the only reasons demanding greater force are: First, renewal of the insurrection; second, a foreign war. For either or both emergencies the national resources remain ample. The chief demands for war, as shown by our experience, are: First, troops; second, arms and ammunition; third, clothing; fourth, transportation; and fifth, subsistence supplies.

The troops disbanded were chiefly volunteers, who went to the field to uphold the system of free government established by their fathers and which they mean to bequeath to their children. Their toils and sufferings, their marches, battles, and victories have not diminished the value of that government to them; so that any new rebellion would encounter equal or greater force for its reduction; and none can every spring up with such advantages at the start or be conducted with superior means, ability, or prospect of success. A foreign war would intensify the nance misled, would rejoice to atone their error by rallying to the national flag. The question of time in which armies could be raised to quell insurrection or repel invasion is therefore the only question relating to troops. Our experience on this point is significant. When Lee's army surrendered thousands of recruits were pouring in, and men were discharged from recruiting stations and rendezvous in every State. On several occasions, when troops were promptly needed to avert impending States with incredible speed. Official report show that after the disasters on the Peninsula, in 1862, over 80,000 troops were enlisted, organized, armed, equipped, and sent into the field in less than a month. Sixty thousand troops have repeatedly gone to the field within four weeks. And 90,000 infantry were sent to the armies from the five States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin within twenty days.

When the rebellion commenced the Nation was a stranger to war. Officers had little experience, privates had none. But the present generation of men in this country are now veteran soldiers. For the battle, the march, or the siege, they are already trained. they are as much at home in the tended field as in the farm-house, the manufactory, or the shop. No time is required to train them; and the speed of the railroad and telegraph determines the time required to raise an army in the United States.

Second. As to arms and ammunition. The disbanded armies were allowed to take home their arms at a nominal price. Rust is not


Page 511 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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