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Number of letters written in the quartermasters's division, 6,438; average number of clerks employed, 27; number of pages written, 4,143; number of vouchers examined, 228,879.
The report exhibits the total number of money accounts and property returns on hand June 30, 1876; the number of each class of accounts received and examined, and the number remaining on hand at the close of the year.
A comparison with the last report shows a reduction in the average number of clerks employed in this division of twelve and a fraction; thus, average number employed during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1876, 39, and the average number employed during the year just closed, 277; notwithstanding such a large reduction, the current work has been kept well in hand, and there has been a steady closing up of the old unsettled accounts that accumulated during the war. The entire force employed in this division at the close of the fiscal year was 20, which number it is hoped will be sufficient to keep up the work.
No claims have been allowed under the second section of the act of May 18, 1872, commonly known as the eight-hour law.
Congress having failed to make appropriation for the support of the Army at its last session, some time must necessarily elapse before accounts for the next fiscal year will be received, which will enable the division to devote their entire time to closing up the accounts rendered prior to the close of the last fiscal year, and in which work the division is now engaged.
SUBSISTENCE DIVISION, ANDREW CAULDWELL, CHIEF.
The subsistence division examines the accounts of all commissaries and acting commissaries in the Army, whose duties are to purchase the provisions and stores necessary for its subsistence, and to see to their proper distribution. These commissaries render monthly money accounts, with proper vouchers for disbursements of the funds intrusted to them, together with a provision-return, showing the disposition of provisions and stores purchased or derived from other sources. These accounts are received through the Commissary-General of Subsistence, and are examined and audited in this division.
The money accounts and vouchers, together with a certified statement of the result of said examinations, are then referred to the Second Comptroller of the Treasury for revision. Upon their return from the Comptroller, with the settlement approved, the officers are notified of the result, and called upon to adjust or explain any omissions or errors that may have been discovered. The money and provision accounts, together with the vouchers and papers belonging thereto, are then placed in the settled files for future reference, and remain permanently in the custody of this office.
The engineer branch is engaged in the examination of the accounts of officers and agents of the Engineer Department, who, under direction of the Chief of Engineers of the Army (except the Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point, whose disbursements are directed by the Inspector-General), disburse moneys out of the various appropriations-now 248 in number-made from time to time by Congress for works of a public nature, which may be classed under the following heads, viz:
The purchase of sites and materials for, and construction and repairs. of, the various fortifications throughout the United States.
Construction and repairs of roads, bridges, bridge-trains, &c., for armies in the field.
Surveys on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
Examination and surveys of the northern and western lakes and riv
Construction and repairs of breakwaters.
Repairs and improvement of harbors, both on sea and lake coasts. Improvement of rivers and purchase of snag and dredge boats for the same; and
The expenses of the Military Academy at West Point.
The transactions of the engineer branch for the fiscal year are shown by the following statement, viz:
Number of vouchers examined in subsistence and engineer division, 111,254; number of letters written, 1,610; number of "differences" written, 729; number of queries answered, 560; average number of clerks employed, 91.
CLAIMS DIVISION, W. S. STETSON, CHIEF.
This division has the settlement of claims of a miscellaneous character, arising in the various branches of service in the War Department and growing out of the purchase or appropriation of supplies and stores for the Army; the purchase, hire, or appropriation of water-craft, railroad stock, horses, wagons, and other means of transportation; the transportation contracts of the Army; the occupation of real estate for camps, barracks, hospitals, fortifications, &c.; the hire of employés, mileage, courts-martial, fees, traveling expenses, commutations, &c.; claims for compensation, for vessels, railroad cars, engines, &c., lost in the military service; claims growing out of the Oregon and Washington war of 1855 and 1856 and other Indian wars, claims of various descriptions under special acts of Congress, and claims not otherwise assigned for adjudication.
On hand July 1, 1876
Disposed of during the year.
On hand July 1, 1877
On hand July 1, 1876
On hand July 1, 1876
MISCELLANEOUS CLAIMS, ETC.
On hand July 1, 1877.....
Number. Amount claimed. Amount allowed.
*This is the amount claimed in 73 cases.
This is the amount claimed in 9,424 cases, the amounts in the other (1,444) cases not being stated in the claim papers.
This is the amount claimed in 3,923 cases, the amounts in the other (93) cass not being stated. This is the amount claimed in 3,549 cases, the amounts in the other (96) cases not being stated. This is the amount claimed in 9,793 cases, the amounts in the other (1,441) cases not being stated. Number of letters written, 2,791.
Oregon and Washington Indian War-Claims, 1855-'56.
*86, 283, 203 62
14, 712, 792 29
10, 995, 995 91
$3, 884, 639 81
§7, 111, 356 10
Number. Amount claimed. Amount allowed.
*$50, 109 03
55, 021 88
$29, 415 92
$25, 605 96
This is the amount claimed in 401 cases, the amounts in the other (342) cases not being stated. This is the amount claimed in 17 cases. the amounts in the other (32) cases not being stated. This is the amount claimed in 64 cases, the amounts in the other (51) cases not being stated. This is the amount claimed in 354 cases, the amounts in the other (323) cases not being stated. Number of letters written, 61.
Lost vessels, &c., act March 3, 1849.
$2,697, 914 06
2,697, 914 06
*8762, 396 37
763, 028 87
*703, 028 87
This is the amount claimed in 2 cases.
STATE AND HORSE CLAIMS DIVISION—T. E. G. PETTENGILL, CHIEF.
The duties of this division embrace the settlement, under the various acts and resolutions of Congress relating thereto, of all claims of the several States and Territories for the costs, charges, and expenses properly incurred by them for enrolling, subsisting, clothing, supplying, arming, equipping, paying, and transporting their troops employed in aiding to suppress the recent insurrection against the United States; and all claims arising out of Indian and other border invasions.
Also the settlement of claims for compensation for loss of horses and equipage sustained by officers or enlisted men, while in the military service of the United States; and for the loss of horses, mules, oxen, wagons, sleighs, and harnesses, while in said service, by impressment or
Number of briefs made, 806; number of claims examined and suspended, 1,754; number of letters received and docketed, 3,942; number of letters written, 5,129; number of clerks employed, 7.
PENSION DIVISION, W. H. WHITNEY, CHIEF.
The duties of this division embrace the settlement of all accounts which pertain to the payment of Army pensions throughout the United States. The Commissioner of Pensions is charged with the allowance and issue of all certificates for pensions under existing laws. The certificate issued in favor of the pensioner is sent directly to the agent for paying pensions, and at the same time a copy of the certificate is forwarded to this office for record. This certificate is recorded in a rollbook prepared for each agency, on which is given the name in full, rate, date of commencement, ending, or other data, to assist in the proper adjustment of payments when made by the several agents.
An account is kept with each pension-agent, charging him with all moneys advanced for payment to pensioners under his proper bond and fiscal year. At the end of each month the agent forwards his vouchers, abstract of payments, and money statement direct to this office, where a preliminary examination is made to see if the money advanced is properly accounted for; the receipt of the account is then acknowledged, and the account filed for audit. Each voucher is subsequently examined and the payment entered on the roll-book opposite the pensioner's name. Care has to be exercised to see that the rate, whether reduced or increased, to which the pensioner is entitled is properly paid.
Every odd year each invalid pensioner, whose disability does not exempt him, is subject to examination by duly appointed surgeons, and if the rate named in his certificate is less than the rate heretofore paid the agent can pay only at the reduced rate. The agent's account, when audited, is reported to the Second Comptroller for his revision, and a copy of the statement of errors, if any, sent to the agent for his information and explanation. The account, when returned from the Second Comptroller, is placed in the settled files, where it permanently remains. In cases of defalcation certified copies of all papers or transcripts of the account are prepared and forwarded to the Second Comptroller, who files therewith a certified copy of the bond, and forwards the same to the Solicitor of the Treasury for suit.
By the act of July 8, 1870, pensioners are paid quarterly instead of semi-annually as before; consequently double the amount of labor has to be performed in auditing accounts.
The act of July 12, 1870, requires all accounts to be audited by fiscal years, and the unexpended balances to be covered into the Treasury to the credit of the appropriation to which they properly belong.
As applied to pensions the law works well.
The act of February 14, 1871, granted pensions to survivors of the war of 1812, who served at least sixty days, and to the widows of those who were married prior to the treaty of peace, and shall not have remarried. This class of cases is gradually decreasing, $237,949.12 less in amount having been paid this year than last.
The act of June 8, 1872, increased the pensions of invalids for specific disabilities to $18, $24, and $31.25 per month, which act was further amended March 3, 1873, by allowing the $18 to be divided pro rata for proportionate disability. The act of June 8, 1874, increased the pensions of soldiers who lost an arm at or above the elbow, or a leg at or above the knee to $24, provided they could not use an artificial limb, or to receive pay therefor if used. This proviso was repealed by act of August 15, 1876. The act of February 28, 1877, increases the allowance to pensioners who have lost one hand and one foot, &c., to $36 per month.
The numerous changes in the laws relating to pensioners increases the amount of labor to be performed in this office, and requires constant watchfulness to prevent erroneous payments.
By act of March 23, 1876, payment for artificial limbs, heretofore paid out of invalid pensions, was transferred to the control and direction of the Surgeon-General of the Army.
At the end of each fiscal year all unexpended balances are deposited to the credit of the Treasurer of the United States, and the certificates are forwarded to the Secretary of the Treasury, who refers the same to this office for proper credits to be given, which is done, and the amounts are designated for credit under the appropriations to which they belong.