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

Page 514 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

5. The Military Division of the Pacific, Major General H. W. Halleck to command, to embrace the Department of the Columbia and Department of California. Headquarters at San Francisco.

Indian hostilities upon the plains and the overland routes to the Pacific Coast have given much annoyance, required the employment of many troops, and occasioned great expense to the military department. Several Indian councils have been held during the past season and large military expeditions sent out against hostile tribes and bands. What has been accomplished by treaty or by fighting will doubtless be exhibited in the official reports of the Indian campaigns, which have not yet reached the Department.

Disbanding the troops reduces at once the amount to be expended in some items of appropriation, but in others requires larger immediate expenditures. Upon their discharge the soldiers became entitled to all the installments of bounty which would have fallen due at later periods, and in many cases exceeding a year's pay. The transportation of large armies from the field in Southern States to their remote homes in the West, or in Eastern and Northern States, made extraordinary drafts on the Quartermaster's Department beyond what would be required for armies marching or encamped. The vast amount of live-stock on hand requires forage until sales can be made. These are effected with the utmost diligence; but still this large time of expenditure continues through a large part of the fiscal year. The financial effects, therefore, of the reduction of the Army and retrenchment of expenditures can only operate to any great extent on the next fiscal year.

To accomplish the great object of promptly reducing the military expenditures, the following general order was made by the Secretary of War on the 28th of April.*

The administrative details of the Department during the great military operations that have been mentioned, and what has been done toward a reduction to a peace establishment, will appear in the reports of the respective chiefs of bureaus.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S REPORT.

From the report of the Adjutant-General it will be seen that the recruiting service of the Regular Army is progressing favorably, the number of recruits enlisted for all arms from October 31, 1864, to October 1, 1865, having been 19,555. The regiments comprising it have been distributed to stations, and their regiments of volunteer troops. The present authorized strength of the regular regimens is 1,570 officers and 41,819 enlisted men. This estimate is made on the basis of 42 privates to a company, the number now allowed by law at all except frontier posts.

It is recommended in the report that the maximum standard be fixed at 100 enlisted men to a company.

The Adjutant-General recommends that provisions be made be law for enlisting 100 boys, not under twelve years of age, as musicians, as was done before the laws of 1864 and 1865 prohibited the enlistment of minors under the age of sixteen years; that the laws by which one-half of their pay, during the period of absence, is lost by officers absent with leave for more than thirty days in one year, except from wounds or sickness, be repealed, and that an act be passed providing

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*See General Orders, Numbers 77, Vol. IV, this series, p. 1280.

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Page 514 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.