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[89] When excess of officers has occurred, it has been occasioned by appointments made independently of it and by assignments made without its knowledge.

2d. As this war would be necessarily conducted on and along railroad lines, these should be harmonized and kept up to their highest point of efficiency and capacity of repairs in road-bed and rolling stock. I therefore proposed a plan and expedients for obtaining this end. This subject requires instant attention.

3d. I have always had (and urged) general principles respecting the rapid conversion of funds into commodities, to the full extent of appropriation, the faster the better; and that funds should be furnished, if possible, irrespective of their apportionment in the ratio of time.

4th. A policy in respect to gathering stores from beyond our lines, and from exposed outlying districts.

5th. I have always maintained trading in cotton with the enemy, or through the enemy's ports, and the necessity of promptly meeting our engagements in cotton, with the liberty to make such contracts as the bureau should think expedient, all based on the supposition of being furnished with ample funds to procure the cotton needed.

Time, and repeated congressional investigations (on several subjects) have, in every case, vindicated the policy of this bureau.

I therefore claim to be competent to speak with information well based, and to affirm that, unless suitable men, unembarrassed by fears of removal (except for inefficiency), ample funds, and (for the present) coin in sufficient quantity to keep the army of Virginia in reeves (which being at present driven from beyond our lines can be obtained by coin alone) are furnished, and the means of transportation from the South increased, this bureau cannot perform its functious.

And this brings me finally to the inquiry you make as to the ability of a chief of this bureau to effect the purposes for which it was created. I observe, then, that, in my judgment, it cannot be done except under an administration of the other branches of service (whose operations underlie those of this bureau) different from the past. The treasury must supply funds as needed. Transportation must be found, both wagon and rail. Over neither of these subjects can this bureau exercise any control except by application to the treasury for the one, and to the Quartermaster Department for the other. This latter has its own supplies of forage to gather, and, as controlling transportation, its officers naturally serve that department first, especially in wagon transportation for hauling in from the country.

The Secretary of War must be a centre of unity to all the subordinate branches of his department. Had this been effectively acted on, it is probable that the supplies of this bureau now at the islands would have been brought in.

Without the appliances to buy, fabricate and transport, necessary

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