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[451] had failed to establish and enforce a proper system of payments to colored soldiers, involving great loss; that he was responsible for some minor defalcations of officers who had already been punished; that he had misapplied public funds; that he had transferred confused and incomplete records, and failed to report the state of the same.

The investigation of all the items of charge and complaint went on from day to day till the fortysecond session of the court had been had, May 9, 1874. After the review and advice of the judge advocate general upon all the proceedings and findings, General Grant affixed his approval July 2, 1874. It lacked but one day of four months that I was under the most careful and searching investigation, and I am proud to insert the findings of this celebrated court of inquiry as follows:

First.-The court is of the opinion that, in the matters referred to it for investigation, General O. O. Howard has not, with knowledge and intent, violated any law of Congress, regulation of the army, or rule of morals, and that he is “not guilty,” upon legal, technical, or moral responsibility, in any of the offenses charged.

Second.-The court finds that General Howard, when charged by his superiors with a great work arising out of the war, devoted his whole time and all his faculties and energies to the execution of that work. In this he employed hundreds of assistants and dealt with hundreds of thousands of men. In regard to the expenditure of money, it appears that his accounts are closed and settled to the satisfaction of the accounting officers of the Treasury, whose decisions in such matters are by law the highest authority, “final and conclusive upon the Executive branch of the Government and subject to revision only by Congress or the proper courts.”

Third.-In relation to the investment of certain public moneys

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Oliver O. Howard (1)
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