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Commissary-General of 'Subsistence
Board of Visitors to the Military Academy..
Board of Commissioners of Soldiers' Home
on the State, War, and Navy Department Building
Reports upon the improvement of the South Pass ...
concerning Leavenworth military prison
Report of the Freedmen’s Branch of the Adjutant-General's Office
on publication of war records of the rebellion
Report of the Chief of Engineers.
Report of the Chief of Ordnance.
Report of the Chief Signal-Officer.
Mr. PRESIDENT: In accordance with law I have the honor to submit
The reports of the Quartermaster-General and Commissary-General of
Notwithstanding the improvement apparent from this statement, the fact remains that the crime of desertion is still alarmingly prevalent, and an evil of no ordinary magnitude.
have occurred in various localities in the Territories, and have been suppressed by the Army; but, in some cases, not without serious loss of life, both among soldiers and citizens. I remain of the opinion that permanent peace in the Indian country can only be maintained by the exhibition of force sufficient to overawe and keep in subjection the more war. like and dangerous of the savages. - It is to be hoped that the time is coming when the Indian can be governed by other methods; but, until he has been reached and elevated by the influences of education and civilization, we must deal with him as he is, and by such methods as will keep him at peace and make secure the lives of settlers in his neighborhood. While, therefore, we should persevere in the effort to improve the condition of the Indian tribes, by teaching them the arts of the herdsman and afterward those of the husbandman, and by providing for the education of their youth, we should, at the same time, confront them with such military force as will teach them the futility of any attempt to resist the power of the United States. I also fully agree with the General of the Army in the opinion that such provision should be made by Congress as will prevent the possibility of suffering, for lack of food, among Indians confined upon reservations. In short, our policy toward the Indians should be designed to enforce these two propositions, viz: 1. Fair and just treatment of the Indians, including the faithful per formance on our part of every promise; and, 2. The prompt and effectual punishment of all acts of war on their part, and to this end the employment of a sufficient milithry force in the Indian country to act with vigor and success, when occasion requires, and prevent the possibility of the defeat or massacre of small detachments of our troops, by which Indian wars have been so often in the past encouraged and prolonged. The experiment of enlisting, for special service, Indian scouts has proved quite successful, and it has been a source of regret that the department has not been able to employ a larger number. Under the existing law, which treats such scouts as a part of the twenty-five thousand enlisted men of the Army, it has been impossible to employ, of the one thousand authorized, a greater number than three hundred without impairing seriously the efficiency of the regular forces. As a material aid in the management of Indian affairs, I recommend that the law be so amended as to authorize an increase of the number of such scouts, and so as to declare them to be a force in addition to the number of enlisted men authorized for the Army proper.