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[232] West Point,or have before served with distinction in the field; and of the lieutenant-colonels, majors, captains, and first-lieutenants, a large proportion have been taken from the regular army and the volunteers now in service, while the second lieutenants have been mainly created by the promotion of meritorious sergeants from the regular service.

In view of the urgent necessity of the case, these preliminary steps to the augmentation of the regular service have been taken, and it now remains for Congress, should it sanction what has been commenced, to complete the work by such legislation as the subject may require. A similar increase of the army, under like circumstances, was made in 1818. At the close of the war, the force in service being found too large and too costly for a peace establishment, a reduction was ordered to be made, under the supervision of a board of officers specially organized for the purpose. At the close of the present struggle, the reduction of the present force may be accomplished in like manner, if found then to be larger than the public necessities require. In making any such reduction, however, a just regard to the public interests would imperatively require that a force amply sufficient to protect all the public property, wherever it may be found, should be retained.

I cannot forbear to speak favorably of the volunteer system, as a substitute for a cumbrous and dangerous standing army. It has, heretofore, by many been deemed unreliable and inefficient in a sudden emergency, but actual facts have proved the contrary. If it be urged that the enemies of order have gained some slight advantages at remote points, by reason of the absence of a sufficient regular force, the unexampled rapidity of concentration of volunteers already witnessed is an ample refutation of the argument. A government whose every citizen stands ready to march to its defence can never be overthrown; for none is so strong as that whose foundations rest immovably in the hearts of the people.

The spectacle of more than a quarter of a million of citizens rushing to the field in defence of the Constitution, must ever take rank among the most extraordinary facts of history. Its interest is vastly heightened by the lavish outpouring from States and individuals of voluntary contributions of money, reaching an aggregate thus far of more than ten millions of dollars. But a few weeks since the men composing this great army were pursuing the avocations of peace. They gathered from the farm, from the workshop, from the factory, from the mine. The minister came from his pulpit, the merchant from his counting-room, the professor and student from the college, the teacher and pupil from the common schools. Young men of fortune left luxurious homes for the tent and the camp. Native and foreignborn alike came forward with a kindred enthusiasm. That a well-disciplined, homogeneous, and efficient force should be formed out of such a seemingly heterogeneous mass appears almost incredible. But what is the actual fact? Experienced men, who have had ample opportunity to familiarize themselves with the condition of European armies, concede that, in point of personnel, this patriot army is fully equal to the finest regular troops of the Old World. A more intelligent body of men, or one actuated by purer motives, was never before marshalled in the field.

The calling forth of this large and admirable force, in vindication of the Constitution and the laws, is in strict accordance with a wise prudence and economy, and at the same time in perfect harmony with the uniform practice of the Government. But three years ago, when the authority of the nation was contemptuously defied by the Mormons in Utah, the only safe policy consistent with the dignity of the Government was the prompt employment of such an overwhelming force for the suppression of the rebellion as removed all possibility of failure. It will hardly be credited, however, that the following language in relation to that period was penned by John. B. Floyd, then Secretary of War, and now actively engaged in leading the rebel forces, who have even less to justify their action than the Mormons:

When a small force was sent to Utah, the Mormons attacked and destroyed their trains, and made ready for a general attack upon the column. When a sufficient power was put on foot to put success beyond all doubt, their bluster and bravado sank into whispers of terror and submission. This movement upon that Territory was demanded by the moral sentiment of the country, was due to a vindication of its laws and Constitution, and was essential to demonstrate the power of the Federal Government to chastise insubordination and quell rebellion, however formidable from numbers or position it might seem to be. Adequate preparations and a prompt advance of the army, was an act of mercy and humanity to these deluded people, for it prevented the effusion of blood.

I recommend the same vigorous and merciful policy now.

The reports of the chiefs of the different bureaus of this department, which are herewith submitted, present the estimates of the probable amount of appropriations required, in addition to those already made for the year ending June 30, 1861, for the force now in the field, or which has been accepted and will be in service within the next twenty days, as follows:

Quartermaster's Department,$70,289,200 21
Subsistence Department,27,278,781 50
Ordnance Department,7,468,172 00
Pay Department,67,845,402 48
Adjutant-General's Department,408,000 00
Engineer Department,$685,000 00
Topographical Engineer Department,60,000 00
Surgeon General's Department,1,271,841 00
Due States which have made advances for troops,10,000,000 00
 
Total,$185,296,397 19


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