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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, October 22, 1878. In General Pope's opinion the great want of the military prison is work for its inmates, and that work can only be supplied by assigning to the prison the making of articles needed by the Army. Boots, harness, and kindred supplies can be made here cheaply and well. He invites the attention of the Secretary of War to this subject as it is not possible that the prison can be to any considerable extent self-supporting unless the government utilizes the labor in the fabrication of articles needed by the Army.
W. T. SHERMAN,
OPERATIONS OF THE FREEDMEN'S BRANCH,
Washington, D. C., October 15, 1878. SIR: I have the honor to submit the following information relative to the operations of the Freedmen's Branch, Adjutant-General's Office, for the tiscal year ending June 30, 1878, and from that date to October 1, 1878.
On July 1, 1877, there were on hand for payment 2,374 claims, aggregating $264,932.11, and there were received during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, 543 claims, amounting to $61,356.99.
During the fiscal year there were paid 1,308 claims, aggregating $175,560.78 (including those in which the funds were returned to the Treasury), leaving on hand July 1, 1878, 1,609 unpaid claims, amounting to $150,728.32.
The number of claims paid from July 1 to September 30, 1878 (including those in which funds were returned to the Treasury), are 421, amounting to $60,510.48, leaving on hand October 1, 1878, 1,188 claims, amounting to $139,979.25.
Taking the operations of the office for the three months ending September 30, 1878, as a basis, it is estimated that there will be paid and deposited during the months of October, November, and December, 1878, 233 claims, aggregating $34,751, which will leave on hand January 1, 1879, 955 claims, amounting to $105,228, exclusive, of course, of the number and amount of the claims that shall be received from the accounting officers of the Treasury during the same period.
The amounts appropriated by Congress to defray the expenses of collection and payment of bounties, &c., for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, are as follows: By act of March 3, 1877.
$15, 000 00 By act of December 15, 1877
20, 000 00
$35, 000 00 Amount disbursed during fiscal year
30, 243 93 Leaving a balance on hand July 1, 1878, of
4,756 07 Add amount appropriated by act of June 20, 1878..
16, 000 00 Leaves available July 1, 1878....
20,756 07 Amount disbursed from July 1 to September 30, 1878..... $5, 146 84 Estimated disbursements from October 1 to December 31, 1878. 5, 069 00
10, 215 84 Unexpended balance on hand January 1, 1879 (estimated)....
10, 540 23
The tabular statement herewith, submitted by Maj. G. G. Huntt, First Cavalry, disbursing officer (the only one remaining on duty as such), exhibits, in detail, the financial operations during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878.
There will be a sufficient amount of current appropriations remaining over January 1, 1879, to conduct the work until June 30 of the same year. By that time it is believed a more satisfactory closing up of the unpaid claims could be made if Congress would authorize it, and I presume they would do so, if asked, in view of the hindrances to this business made by the present prevailing epidemic of yellow fever. Had it not been for that, a much larger number of these claims would be paid by 1st of January next than can be under existing circumstances. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Assistant Adjutant-General. Approved, and respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
E. D. TOWNSEND,
Adjutant-General. The ADJUTANT-GENERAL,
United States Army.