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Doc. 67.-report of the Secretary of war.

war Department, Washington, July 1, 1861.
Sir — I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this department:

The accompanying statements of the Adjutant-General will show the number, description, and distribution of the troops which are now in service.

It forms no part of the duty of this department to enter upon a discussion of the preliminary circumstances which have contributed to the present condition of public affairs. The secession ordinance of South Carolina was passed on the 20th of December last, and from that period until the majesty of the Government was made manifest, immediately after you had assumed the chief magistracy, the conspirators against its Constitution and laws have left nothing undone to perpetuate the memory of their infamy. Revenue steamers have been deliberately betrayed by their commanders, or, where treason could not be brought to consummate the defection, have been overpowered by rebel troops at the command of disloyal governors. The Government arsenals at Little Rock, Baton Rouge, Mount Vernon, Appalachicola, [230] Augusta, Charleston, and Fayetteville, the ordnance depot at San Antonio, and all the other Government works in Texas, which served as the depots of immense stores of arms and ammunition, have been surrendered by the commanders or seized by disloyal hands. Forts Macon, Caswell, Johnson, Clinch, Pulaski, Jackson, Marion, Barrancas, McKee, Morgan, Gaines, Pike, Macomb, St. Phillip, Livingston, Smith, and three at Charleston, Oglethorpe barracks, Barrancas barracks, New Orleans barracks, Fort Jackson, on the Mississippi, the battery at Bienvenue, Dupre, and the works at Ship Island, have been successively stolen from the Government or betrayed by their commanding officers. The Custom-Houses at New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah, Charleston, and other important points, containing vast amounts of Government funds, have been treacherously appropriated to sustain the cause of rebellion. In like manner the Branch Mints at New Orleans, at, Charlotte and at Dahlonega, have been illegally seized, in defiance of every principle of common honesty and honor. The violent seizure of the United States Marine Hospital at New Orleans was only wanting to complete the catalogue of crime. The inmates, who had been disabled by devotion to their country's service, and who there had been secured a grateful asylum, were cruelly ordered to be removed, without the slightest provision being made for their support or comfort. In Texas the large forces detailed upon the frontier for protection of the inhabitants against the attacks of marauding Indians, were ignominiously deserted by their commander, Brigadier-General Twiggs. To the infamy of treason to his flag was added the crowning crime of deliberately handing over to the armed enemies of his Government all the public property intrusted to his charge, thus even depriving the loyal men under his command of all means of transportation out of the State.

A striking and honorable contrast with the recreant conduct of Brigadier-General Twiggs and other traitorous officers has been presented in the heroic and truly self-sacrificing course pursued by Major Robert Anderson and the small and gallant band of officers and men under his command at Fort Sumter, and also by Lieut. Adam J. Slemmer, his officers and men, at Fort Pickens. In referring, with strongest commendation, to the conduct of these brave soldiers, under the trying circumstances which surrounded them, I only echo the unanimous voice of the American people. In this connection it is a pleasurable duty to refer to the very gallant action of Lieut. Roger Jones at Harper's Ferry, and the handsome and successful manner in which he executed the orders of the Government at that important post.

The determination of the Government to use its utmost power to subdue the rebellion, has been sustained by the unqualified approval of the whole people. Heretofore the leaders of this conspiracy have professed to regard the people of this country as incapable of making a forcible resistance to rebellion. The error of this conclusion is now being made manifest. History will record that men who, in ordinary times, were solely devoted to the arts of peace, were yet ready, on the instant, to rush to arms in defence of their rights when assailed. At the present moment the Government presents the striking anomaly of being embarrassed by the generous outpouring of volunteers to sustain its action. Instead of laboring under the difficulty of monarchical governments — the want of men to fill its armies ( which in other countries has compelled a resort to forced conscriptions)--one of its main difficulties is to keep down the proportions of the army, and to prevent it from swelling beyond the actual force required.

The commanding officers of the regiments in the volunteer service, both for the three months service and for the war, have, in many instances, not yet furnished the department with the muster rolls of their regiments. For the want of these returns it is impossible to present as accurate an enumeration of the volunteer force accepted and in the field as could be desired. Under the proclamation issued by you on the 15th of April last, the Governors of different States were called upon to detach from the militia under their command a certain quota, to serve as infantry or riflemen, for the period of three months, unless sooner discharged. The call so made amounted in the aggregate to ninety-four regiments, making 73,391 officers and men. Of the States called upon, the Governors of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Missouri, peremptorily refused to comply with the requirements made by the department. All the other States promptly furnished the number required of them, except Maryland, whose Governor, though manifesting entire readiness to comply, was prevented from so doing by the outbreak at Baltimore.

In the States of Virginia, Delaware, and Missouri, notwithstanding the positive refusal of their executive officers to cooperate with the Government, patriotic citizens voluntarily united together and organized regiments for the Government service. Delaware and Virginia furnished each a regiment, both of which are on duty in the field. In a similar patriotic spirit, the loyal people of Missouri raised a force of 11,445 officers and men, making, in round numbers, twelve organized regiments, to sustain the Government and to put down rebellion in that State. And so, also, the citizens of the District of Columbia, emulating these honorable examples, furnished no less than 2,822 officers and men, making in all four full regiments, all of which are yet in the field, doing active and efficient service. Thus, notwithstanding the refusal of disloyal Governors to respond, the Government, instead of having been furnished with only the number of troops called for under your proclamation [231] of the 15th of April last, has received and has now in service under that call, in round numbers, at least eighty thousand.

Under your second proclamation of the 4th of May last, calling for volunteers to serve during the war, there have been accepted up to this date 208 regiments. A number of other regiments have been accepted, but on condition of being ready to be mustered into the service within a specified time, the limitation of which has, in some instances, not expired. It is not possible to state how many of these may be ready before the meeting of Congress. Of the regiments accepted, all are infantry and riflemen, with the exception of two battalions of artillery and four regiments of cavalry. A number of regiments mustered as infantry have, however, attached to them one or more artillery companies, and there are also some regiments partly made up of companies of cavalry. Of the 208 regiments accepted for three years, there are now 153 in active service, and the remaining fifty-five are mostly ready, and all of them will be in the field within the next twenty days.

The total force now in the field may be computed as follows:--

Regulars and volunteers for three months and for the war, 225,000
Add to this fifty-five regiments of volunteers for the war, accepted, and not yet in service,50,000 
Add new regiments of regular army,25,000 
Total force now at command of Government, 310,000
Deduct the three months volunteers, 80,000
Force for service after the withdrawal of the three months men, 230,000

It will thus be perceived that after the discharge of the three months troops, there will be still an available force of volunteers amounting to 188,000, which, added to the regular army, will constitute a total force of 230,000 officers and men. It will be for Congress to determine whether this army shall, at this time, be increased by the addition of a still larger volunteer force.

The extraordinary exigencies which have called this great army into being have rendered necessary also a very considerable augmentation of the regular arm of the service. The demoralization of the regular army, caused by the treasonable conduct of many of its commanding officers, the distant posts at which the greater part of the troops were stationed, and the unexampled rapidity of the spread of the rebellion, convinced those high in command of the service, as well as this department, that an increase of the regular army was indispensable. The subject was accordingly brought to your attention, and after careful examination an increase was authorized by your proclamation issued on the 4th of May last.

This increase consists of one regiment of cavalry, of twelve companies, numbering, in the maximum aggregate, 1,189 officers and men; one regiment of artillery of twelve batteries, of six pieces each, numbering, in the maximum aggregate, 1,909 officers and men; nine regiments of infantry, each regiment containing three battalions of eight companies each, numbering, in the maximum aggregate, 2,452 officers and men, making a maximum increase of infantry of 22,068 officers and men.

In the enlistment of men to fill the additional regiments of the regular army, I would recommend that the term of enlistment be made three years, to correspond with the call of May 4, for volunteers; and that to all who shall receive an honorable discharge at the close of their term of service a bounty of one hundred dollars shall be given.

The mounted troops of the old army consist of five regiments, with a maximum aggregate of 4,400 men. Not more than one-fourth of these troops are available for service at the seat of war. At least two regiments of artillery are unavailable, being stationed on the western coast and in the Florida forts.

The increase of infantry is comparatively large, but this arm of the service is that which the General-in-Chief recommended as being most efficient.

The organization of the increased force, it will be noticed, is different from that of the old army. This question was fully considered by officers of the army connected with this department, and after much deliberation it was concluded to adopt the French regimental system, of three battalions to a regiment. Each battalion is commanded by a major, with a colonel and lieutenant-colonel for the general command of the regiment. This, it is believed, is the best organization now existing. The number of officers is less than under the old plan, and therefore much less expensive. Whether this organization may not advantageously be extended to the old army, after the passage of a law providing for a retired list, is a question which may properly engage the attention of Congress.

In making the selection of officers for the new regiments two courses seemed to be open, viz.: to make the appointments from the regular service by seniority or by selection. The first appeared liable to the objection that old, and in some instances inefficient men, would be promoted to places which ought to be filled by younger and more vigorous officers. The second was liable to the grave objection that favoritism might prejudice the claims of worthy officers. After the fullest consideration, it was determined, under the advice of the General-in-Chief, to appoint one-half of them from the regular army and the other half from civil life. Of the civilians appointed as regimental commanders, all except one are either graduates of [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


The resistance to the passage of troops through the city of Baltimore, hastening to the relief of the Federal Capital, and the destruction of bridges of the Wilmington and Baltimore, and the Northern Central railroads, together with the refusal of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company to transport the Government forces and supplies, involved the necessity, at an early stage of the present troubles, on the part of this department, to take possession of so much of the railway lines as was required to form a connection with the States from which troops and supplies were expected. A military route was accordingly opened from Perryville, on the Chesapeake, by steamers, to Annapolis, and thence by railroad to Washington. In view of the necessities of the crisis, Congress, it is not doubted, will justify the step taken.

As the movements of the United States forces are continued, the supervision of railroad and telegraph lines will remain a necessity to be met by the department. I would, therefore, recommend the propriety of an appropriation to be made by Congress, to be applied, when the public exigencies demand, to the reconstruction and equipment of railroads, and for the expense of maintenance and operating them, and also for the construction of additional telegraph lines and their appurtenances. I would also recommend a special appropriation for the reconstruction of the Long Bridge across the Potomac, which is now a military necessity.

The importance of enforcing the strictest discipline, where active army operations are carried on in the rebellious States, cannot be too strongly urged. Public confidence is for the time being destroyed, and the nice moral distinctions which obtain among men in well-ordered communities, are apt to be lost sight of. The Federal courts being suspended, grave offences may be committed over which our military courts, as now organized, have no authorized jurisdiction. It would seem only consistent with a just regard to the interests of the Government and the people, that some properly organized military tribunal should be empowered to take cognizance of criminal offences, and to punish the offenders when found guilty. Such a tribunal should not have any jurisdiction when the functions of the Federal courts are uninterrupted. I therefore recommend that the subject be referred to the consideration of Congress.

The subsistence of the troops now in the service is a matter of the highest importance. Rations, proper in quantity and quality, are quite as essential to the efficacy of an army as valor or discipline. It is desirable, therefore, that the quantity of rations distributed to the troops should, as far as possible, be adapted to their previous dietary habits. While it cannot be expected that the luxuries to which many have been accustomed should be provided by the Commissariat, a just regard to comfort and health imposes upon the Government the duty of furnishing sound, healthful, and palatable food. A larger proportion of vegetables and of fresh meats,when they can be procured, than can now be furnished under the army regulations, would undoubtedly diminish the danger of epidemics among the troops. I, therefore, submit the question, whether it would not be expedient for Congress to enlarge the powers of the Commissariat, so as to enable it the better to carry into practice the views here suggested.

As all requisitions for camp equipage for the means of its transportation, and for supplies, are made upon the Quartermaster-General's department, it is highly essential that every facility should be afforded its chief for meeting all such requisitions with promptness. At present the power of that bureau is limited. For instance, it seems very desirable that the troops in field should be supplied with water-proof capes and blankets, to serve as a protection against the effects of the climate. As the army regulations do not recognize such an item of clothing, and as no discretion has been lodged with the department to act in the matter, many of the troops, for the lack of this essential outfit, have suffered much inconvenience. Some of the States of New England have sent their quotas forward equipped most admirably in this respect. I would reommend that this subject be commended to Congress for its favorable consideration.

The sudden increase of the army in May last induced the acting Surgeon-General to call the attention of this department to the necessity of some modification of the system of organization connected with the supervision of the hygiene and comfort of the troops. A commission of inquiry and advice was accordingly instituted, with the object of acting in cooperation with the medical bureau. The following gentlemen have consented to serve, without compensation, upon the commission:--Henry W. Bellows, D. D.; Prof. A. D. Bache, Ll. D.; Prof. Jeffries Wyman; Prof. Wolcott Gibbs, M. D.; W. H. Van Buren, M. D.; Samuel G. Howe, M. D.; R. C. Wood, Surgeon United States Army; George W. Cullum, United States Army, and Alexander E. Shiras, United States Army. They are now directing special inquiries in regard to the careful inspection of recruits and enlisted men, the best means of guarding and restoring their health, and of securing the general comfort and efficiency of the troops, the proper provision of hospitals, nurses, cooks, &c. The high character and well-known attainments [234] of these distinguished gentlemen afford every assurance that they will bring to bear upon the subjects of their investigation the ripest teachings of sanitary science in its application to the details of military life. The organization of military hospitals, and the method of obtaining and regulating whatever appertains to the cure, relief, or care of the disabled, as also the regulations and routine through which the services of patriotic women are rendered available as nurses, was at an early period of the present struggle intrusted to the charge of Miss D. L. Dix, who volunteered her services, and is now, without remuneration, devoting her whole time to this important subject.

The arms and ordnance supplied from our national armories, under the able superintendence of the Ordnance Bureau, compare most favorably with the very best manufactured for foreign governments. The celebrated Enfield rifle, so called, is a simple copy of the regular arm manufactured for many years at the Springfield armory.

Previous to the early part of last year the Government had a suppy of arms and munitions of war sufficient for any emergency; but, through the bad faith of those intrusted with their guardianship they were taken from their proper depositories and distributed through portions of the country expected to take part in the contemplated rebellion. In consequence of the serious loss thus sustained there was available, at the commencement of the outbreak, a much less supply than usual of all kinds. But through the zeal and activity of the Ordnance Bureau, the embarrassment thus created has been in a great measure overcome. As the capacity of the Government armories was not equal to the supply needed, even after having doubled the force at the Springfield armory, the department found it absolutely necessary to procure arms, to some extent, from private manufacturers. It is believed that from these sources they can be obtained equal in quality and not much higher in cost than those made in the national workshops. It would, therefore, appear a wise policy on the part of the Government to encourage domestic industry by supplying our troops in part from private factories of our own country, instead of making purchases from abroad.

As rifled cannon are, in point of effectiveness, far superior to smooth-bored, arrangements have been made to rifle a large portion of the guns on hand, and the work is still in progress.

Some patriotic American citizens resident in Europe, fearing that the country might not have a sufficient supply, purchased on their own responsibility, through cooperation with the United States Ministers to England and France, a number of improved cannon and muskets, and, at your instance, this department accepted the drafts drawn to defray the outlay thus assumed. A perfect battery of six Whitworth twelve-pounder rifled cannon, with three thousand rounds of ammunition, the munificent donation of sympathizing friends in Europe, has also been received from England.

It will be necessary for Congress, either at its approaching special, or at its next annual session, to adopt measures for the reorganization, upon a uniform basis, of the military of the country. I know of no better source of information on the subject than the able report of General Henry Knox, the first Secretary of War, who, by his wise forecast and eminent appreciation of the future wants of the country, showed the entire safety of an implicit reliance upon the popular will for the support of the Government in the most trying emergency, abundant confirmation of which fact is found in the present great rally of the people to the defence of the Constitution and laws. I have already adverted to the superior manner in which some of the New England regiments, now in service, are equipped. This is to be attributed to the efficient home organization of the militia of some of those States. Their example is an excellent one, and cannot fail to have a beneficial effect upon such States as have not already adopted a like desirable organization.

I think it important, also, to recommend a further distribution of improved arms among the militia of the States and Territories. As the returns of the militia are frequently inaccurate, this distribution should be made proportionate to the latest census returns of free white male inhabitants capable of bearing arms.

The large disaffection, at the present crisis, of United States Army officers, has excited the most profound astonishment, and naturally provokes inquiry as to its cause. But for this startling defection the rebellion never could have assumed formidable proportions. The mere accident of birth in a particular section, or the influence of a belief in particular political theories, furnishes no satisfactory explanation of this remarkable fact. The majority of these officers solicited and obtained a military education at the hands of the Government — a mark of special favor conferred by the laws of Congress to only one in seventy thousand inhabitants. At the National Military Academy they were received and treated as the adopted children of the republic. By the peculiar relations thus established, they virtually became bound, by more than ordinary obligations of honor, to remain faithful to their flag. The question may be asked, in view of the extraordinary treachery displayed, whether its promoting cause may not be traced to a radical defect in the system of education itself.

As a step preliminary to the consideration of this question, I would direct attention to the report, herewith submitted, of the Board of Visitors to the West Point Military Academy. The supplementary report makes a special reference to the system of discipline, which, it appears from facts obtained upon investigation, ignores, practically, the essential distinction between acts wrong in themselves, and acts wrong [235] because prohibited by special regulations. The report states that no difference is made in the penalties affixed as punishments for either class of offences. It is argued, with reason, that such a system is directly calculated to confound in the mind of the pupil the distinctions between right and wrong, and to substitute, in the decision of grave moral questions, habit for conscience. I earnestly trust that Congress will early address itself to a thorough examination of the system of education and discipline adopted in this important school, and, if defects are found to exist, that it will provide a remedy with the least possible delay.

The present exigencies of the public service have necessarily imposed upon this department a vast increase of responsibility and labor. To facilitate its proper administration, I would recommend the passage of a law by Congress authorizing the appointment of an Assistant Secretary of War, and the requisite additional appropriation for the employment of an increased clerical force.

In concluding this report, I deem it proper to express my deep indebtedness to the veteran General-in-Chief of the army for the constant and self-sacrificing devotion to the public service exhibited by him in this grave crisis; and also to the chiefs of the different bureaus of this department for the able and efficient manner in which they have at all times aided me in the discharge of my official duties.

I have the honor to be, with high regard, your obedient servant,

Simon Cameron Secretary of War. To the President of the United States.

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