were the best, as one often meets with self-complacent expressions as to modes of achieving readily what prompt, patient, zealous effort proved to be insurmountable.
In the progress of this work, it is hoped, will be presented not only the magnitude of the obstacles, but the spirit and capacity with which they were encountered by the unseen and much undervalued labors of the officers of the several departments, on whom devolved provision for the civil service, as well as for the armies in the field.
Already has the report of General St. John commissary general of subsistence, of the operations of that department, just before the close of the war, exposed the hollowness of many sensational pictures intended to fix gross neglect or utter incapacity on the Executive.
The hoped — for and expected monograms of other chiefs of bureaus will silence like criticisms on each, so far as they are made by those who are not wilfully blind, or maliciously intent on the circulation of falsehood
necessary to stimulate by contracts the mining and smelting of its ores.
But it was obviously beyond the power of even the great administrative capacity of the chief of ordnance, General J. Gorgas, to whose monograph I am indebted for these details, to add, to his already burdensome labors, the numerous and increasing cares of obtaining the material from which ammunition, arms, and equipments were to be manufactured.
On his recommendation a niter and mining bureau was organized, and Colonel St. John, who had been hitherto assigned to duty in connection with procuring supplies of niter and iron, was appointed chief of this bureau.
A large, difficult, and most important field of operations was thus assigned to him, and well did he fulfill its requirements.
To his recent experience was added scientific knowledge, and to both, untiring, systematic industry, and his heart's thorough devotion to the cause he served.
The tree is known by its fruit, and he may confidently point to resul