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OF THE

SECRETARY OF WAR;

356

BEING PART OF

THE MESSAGE AND DOCUMENTS

COMMUNICATED TO THE

TWO HOUSES OF CONGRESS

AT THE

BEGINNING OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE FORTY-THIRD CONGRESS.

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REPORT

OF

THE SECRETARY OF WAR.

Mr. PRESIDENT: By the operation of the fifth section of the act of June 20, 1874, all unexpended balances of appropriations which had remained on the books of the Treasury for two fiscal years previous to the 1st of July last, excepting such amounts as were required to meet unfulfilled contracts at the time of the passage of said act, were carried to the surplus fund of the Treasury. This necessitated estimates by this Department for various objects, the appropriations for which have always been available at any time.

In the item for payment of arrears of pay due to officers and men of volunteers, the sum of $515,852.77 is required. Also, for payment of arrears of bounty due the same, $384,147.23. These, together with other items of a like nature, for which estimates have not been beretofore required, are now included in the aggregate estimates of the Department.

The Department is justly entitled to credit for the large sums of previous appropriations which will be turned into the Treasury as the result of the act aforesaid. The actual expenditures of the War Department for the year ending

June 30, 1873, including river and harbor improvements, were. $46, 325, 308 21 The samu for the last fiscal year, ending June 30, 1874...

42, 326, 314 71 Showing a reduction of ....

3,998, 993 50

The estimates for the military establishment for the fiscal year ending

June 30, 1875, were..
Those submitted for the ensuing fiscal year are

Showing a reduction of

34, 410,722 89 32, 488, 969 50

1,921,753 39

20, 459, 396 00

The estimates of the Chief of Engineers for fortifications, river and

barbor improvements, and public buildings and grounds, and Wash

ington aqueduct, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1875, were .... His estimates for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1876, are as follows,

viz: Fortifications and other works of defense...

$2, 108.700 00 Geographical and military surveys..

399, 000 00 Improvement of rivers and harbors..

13, 285, 500 00 Public buildings and grounds and Washington aqueduct. 678, 410 50

16, 471, 610 30

Showing a reduction of

3,987,785 50

The total estimates of the War Department, for all purposes, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1875, were

$60, 180, 923 89 The same for the ensuing fiscal year are

53, 144,499 00

Showing a reduction in favor of those for the ensuing year of...

7,036, 424 89

The estimates for the military establishment for the fiscal year ending

June 30, 1876, are .....
The appropriations for the current fiscal year were

32, 488, 969 50 23,582, 392 00

Excess of next year's estimates over this year's appropriations .....

3,906, 577 50

RECRUITING FOR THE ARMY. In the act making appropriations for the support of the Army, ap. proved June 16, 1874, $ 105,000 was allowed for recruiting purposes, and it was provided that “no money appropriated by this act shall be paid for recruiting the Army beyond the number of twenty-five thousand enlisted men, including Indian scouts." This prohibition fell in an unfortunate time and manner. The demands for the service of United States troops have been increased, and have been imperative for Indian and other service, ever since the adjournment of Congress; and serious consequences might easily have attended the manifest want of any considerable reliable force. There was no margin for emergencies, such as have arisen in connection with Indian affairs and the troubles in the South. I was opposed to the reduction at the time it was made, and have since had no reason to change the opinion then formed. The reduced appropriations for Army purposes have been too heavily taxed by the necessity of movement of troops; for, when obliged to be scattered at points on sudden emergencies, they have been moved from other points where their presence was needed, and had to be returned at the earliest possible moment. The reduction proposed and insisted on by Congress would, when it was accomplished, save alone the pay, subsistence, and clothing of five thousand men; but this amount cannot all be considered as having been saved, for when troops were needed at points where the force was found, in consequence of the reduction, to be too small for real service, other troops from other points were required to be transported at an expense almost large enough to equal in amount the saving from the sources named.

Besides, the number of posts was not reduced; the necessities of the service required that they should be garrisoned, and, although they were occupied by very small forces, yet the expense incident to the retention and operation of the posts existed to almost as great an extent as it would have done had the number on duty been larger. In my judgment, if a reduction of the Army is to be made, it can only be made by reducing the pain ber of officers and men; in other words, by reducing the number of regiments. How that can be done in the present interests of the service, with the condition of affairs which requires the reteution of the posts now in existence, and, indeed, the establishment of others, is a problem which must be determined if the reduction is insisted upon

As might have been expected, the loss by discharge and other casualties has fallen most heavily upon companies stationed in the disturbed districts, where effective strength is most needed. It may not be true economy to limit the President so strictly to fixed numbers of enlisted men in the Army. It may be better to empower him, in his sound discretion, to increase any companies to one hundred enlisted men. Ordinarily, then, the maximum would not exceed sixty-five or seventy; and when a sudden necessity arises detachments of recruits would be rapidly sent forward to the commands needing re-inforcements. Effective strength would thus be readily obtained, without increased expense on account of quarters, or of additional commissioned officers, as when organized companies have to be moved. It would be easy to maintain in a depot a limited body of well-drilled recruits, who would be effective the moment they joined their companies, and this would obviate very many of the objections existing to our present system.

I again commend to Congress the propriety of authorizing the enlistment of boys as field-musicians, as was formerly done. The arguments in favor of this measure are clearly laid down in previous reports.

Reflection as to the ainouut necessary to be appropriated for the ensiing fiscal year satisfies me that the appropriation for clothing, pay, and subsistence should be made for the Army upon a basis of 30,000 men. This would most certainly prevent any deficiency, and should appropriations to that extent be mare, whatever surplus might remain on hand would be, under existing laws, turned into the Treasury.

QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT.

By the strictest economy, amounting almost to privation, and the cut. ting off of some of the allowances to which the troops were entitled by law and regulation, the expenditures for the Quartermaster's Department have been kept within the appropriations.

There are about 5,000 buildings under charge of the Quartermaster's Department to be kept in repair, to be renewed as they decay, or to be replaced by others in new positions when abandoned in the course of military movements. As long as the Army is in many localities badly sheltered, living in huts and adobe buildings sadly in need of repair, the roofs leaking, and the walls open to the inclement weather, I must repeat what I have so often insisted upon, that the appropriation for

barracks and quarters,” out of which building material is purchased, and the appropriation for "incidental expenses of the Quartermaster's Department," from which the expenses of the hire of labor is paid, are, as for some years they bave been, entirely inadequate to the necessities of the service and the health and comfort of our troops. I call atten. tion to these items again, in the hope, when the proper committee of Congress takes up the consideration of the appropriations for the

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