Abbildungen der Seite

tives. General Jesup being absent, has been written to for an explanation.

The following certificates—one from the Second Comptroller, and the other from the requisition clerk of this department-will show that no appropriation has been overdrawn, and that in settling the accounts the appropriations for this department have been applied to the objects for which they were intended by Congress.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, Second Comptroller's Office, February 8, 1847. All requisitions on the treasury from the Secretary of War, calling for money to be placed in the hands of the disbursing officers, come directly to this office from the War Department.

It is my duty, as Comptroller of the Treasury, to examine such requisitions, to see if they are “ warranted by law.”

No requisition is permitted to pass unless there is a balance on the books of this office to the credit of the appropriation on which it is drawn, sufficient to meet it.

The amount of the requisition, if passed, is charged to the officer in whose favor it is drawn, and he is required strictly to account for its expenditure, by the production of vouchers, showing the application of the money to the purpose for which it was appropriated.

In no case has an appropriation been overdrawn on a requisition passed at this office, nor has any account been admitted and sassed at this office where the money has been applied to a purpose different from that for which it was appropriated.



FEBRUARY 8, 1847. Being the clerk in the office of the Secretary of War whose duty it is to make out requisitions for money on the Treasury Department, I hereby certify that in no instance, since the troops were ordered into Texas, has a requisition been issued by the Secretary of War on a request or drast from the quartermaster's department, where there was not sufficient money to the credit of the appropriation to pay it.


Requisition Clerk.

Since the foregoing was prepared, I have received from General Jesup a reply to my letter to him asking an explanation of the passage in his letter to Captain Sanders. Both my letter and bis reply follow.


WAR DEPARTMENT, February 10, 1847. SIR: A resolution has been passed in the House of Representatives, as you may have observed by the newspapers, calling upon the President to furnish to that body, among other matters, the correspondence with the quartermaster's department in relation to transportation for the army.

In your letter of the 5th of July last, addressed to Captain Sanders, sent out from the Rio Grande by General Taylor to procure boats for that river, there is a paragraph first brought to the notice of the President and myself while preparing to respond to the resolution, which, unexplained, may be used to sustain a grave charge against the department. The paragraph to which I refer is as follows: " I sustained” (you say in your letter to Captain Sanders) "bim (General Taylor) " for more than two months by using appropriations for the service of his army which the President would have been impeached for using. It was contrary to law to divert them from the objects to which Congress intended they should be applied, but I considered that the situation of the army caused an overruling necessity which justified the course which I adopted. I shall never forget how faithfully and abiy General Taylor sustained me in Florida.

The exigency and circumstances to which you refer are not set forth, and I cannot explain them to the President. I recollect that when the troops were ordered into Texas the appropriation for transportation was found insufficient for that purpose, but it is my impression that the deficiency resulting from the unexpected emergency was supplied by a transfer from other appropriations, which was made by the President pursuant to lawful authority. If any. thing beyond this was done, it was not made known to the President. If " an overruling necessity” required the course you adopted, it is regretted that it was not reported to the President for his direction, and, if unavoidable, his explanation to Congress on the earliest occasion. I cannot but think that the paragraph which I have quoted is capable of some explanation that will change its apparent character, for the accounts in relation to the appropriations for your department have all been adjusted at the treasury, and it does not there appear that any part of any one appropriation has been permanently diverted from objects to which it was designed by Congress.

I hope this communication will be received by you in season for a reply, which may, if necessary, be laid before Congress before its adjournment. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War. Major General Thomas S. JESUP,

Quartermaster General U. S. A., New Orleans, La.

New ORLEANS, February 18, 1847.

. Sir: I have received this moment your letter of the 10th instant, and I hasten to reply to it. The circumstances to which I alluded in my letter to Captain Sanders are these: The appropriations for the active service had mostly been exhausted. There were large balances of other appropriations subject to my control. Congress was in session, and the President could not make a transfer. Without consulting you, I applied large amounts of those balances to the active service. Not having access to the records of my office, I cannot say what amounts they were, or to what officers remitted; but Lieutenant Colonel Hunt received here one hundred and five thousand dollars of those balances, and applied the whole to the support of General Taylor's army. General Taylor had complained of the quartermaster's depart

I had received the impression that he believed he was not cordially supported by the officers of the department. In writing to his confidential agent I wished to show him that I was reaily to support him, not only by performing all my ordinary duties, but by assuming any responsibility the exigency of the service might require.

When I remarked to Captain Sanders that you or the President could be impeached for acting as I had acted, I alluded merely to the illegality of applying appropriations to objects different from those for which they had been made by Congress, and to the want of legal authority in either to sanction what I had done.

I did not consult you on the subject of using those balances, because you could not have given me any legal authority to use them. I considered the necessity of the case as it existed sufficient for my own justification, should my conduct in the matter ever be questioned. I intended no reflection either upon you or the President, nor did it occur to me that my remarks could be so understood by any one. I wished to convince a brother cfficer, with whom I had been on the most friendly terms for years, that the impressions which I supposed he entertained were unfounded, and that in his case I had a personal as well as a public motive for sustaining him to the utmost.

I am much gratified that you have afforded me the opportunity of this explanation, and I am, sir, with high consideration and respect, Your obedient servant,


Quartermaster General. Hon. W. L. MARCY,

Secretary of War, Washington City.

(No. 83.]


Camargo, September 1, 1846. Sir: Before marching for the interior, I beg leave to place on record some remarks touching an important branch of the public service, the proper administration of which is indispensable to the efficiency of a campaign. I refer to the quartermaster's department. There is at this moment, when the army is about to take up a long line of march, a great deficiency of proper means of transport, and of many important supplies.

On the 26th April, when first apprizing you of the increased force called out by me, I wrote that I trusted the War Department would give the necessary orders to the staff department for the supply of this large additional force;" and when first advised of the heavy force of 12-months volunteers ordered hither, I could not doubt that such masses of troops would be accompanied, or preferably preceded, by ample means of transportation, and all other supplies necessary to render them efficient. But such has not been the case. Suitable steamboats for the Rio Grande were not procured without repeated efforts directed from this quarter, and many weeks elapsed before a lodgement could be made at this place, the river being perfectly navigable. After infinite delays and embarrassments, I have succeeded in bringing forward a portion of the army to this point, and now the steamers procured in Pittsburg are just arriving. I hazard nothing in saying that, if proper, foresight and energy had been displayed in sending out suitable steamers to navigate the Rio Grande, our army would long since have been in possession of Monterey.

Again, as to land transport. At this moment our wagon train is considerably less than when we left Corpus Christi-our force being increased five-fold. Had we depended upon means from without, the army would not have been able to move from this place. But fortunately the means of land transport existed to some extent in the country in the shape of pack mules, and we have formed a train which will enable a small army to advance, perhaps, to Monterey. I wish it distinctly understood that our ability to move is due wholly to means created here, and which could not. have been reckoned upon with safety in Washington.

I have adverted to the grand points of water and land transportation. Of the want of minor supplies, the army has suffered more than enough. The crying deficiency of camp equipage has been partially relieved by the issue of cotton tents of indifferent quality. Our cavalry has been paralyzed by the want of horse shoes, horse • shoe nails, and even common blacksmiths' tools, while many smaller deficiencies are daily brought to my notice.

I respectfully request that the above statement, which I make in justice to myself and the service, may be laid before the generalin-chief and Secretary of War. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major General U. S. A., commanding. The ADJUTANT GENERAL of the Army,

Washington, D. C.


Washington, September 21, 1846. Sir: A letter of Major General Taylor, of the 1st instant, addressed to the adjutant general, and by him laid before me, pursuant to the request therein, is of such an extraordinary character, and impeaches in such unqualified terms the management of that branch of the public service committed to you, that I have deemed it to be my duty to order a copy of it to be placed in your hands, and to direct your particular attention to it,

The ayowed object of Gen. Taylor in presenting these complaints, or rather accusations, against the quartermaster's department, is tó make them a matter of record. I am extremely unwilling, and I presume you cannot be less so than myself, that they should there remain without explanation or investigation.

I am fully aware of the great difficulties unavoidable in the management of the quartermaster's department on the sudden occurrence of a war, when the country was not prepared for such an emergency. General Taylor must be presumed to be as well acquainted with all the circumstances of embarrassment attending the quartermaster's department as any other person, and yet his arraignment of it is not qualified by any allusion to them. The inference is, that, all proper allowances made, he considers that the management of the affairs of the quartermaster's department has been such as to deserve censure. Such appears to me to be his meaning, and such, I apprehend, will be the general impression resulting from the perusal of his letter. If this censure is really deserved, it is proper that those obnoxious to it should be ascertained, and dealt with as their conduct deserves; but if, on the contrary, it shall be found that the officers of the quartermaster's department have done their duty in a proper and efficient manner, as I trust will be case, steps must be taken to remove the erroneous impression and indicate their official conduct. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War. Major General Thomas S. JESUP,

Quartermaster General U. S. Army. N. B.-The copy has been furnished to the quartermaster general by the adjutant general.

New ORLEANS, December 5, 1846. Sır: When I received your letter of the 21st September, on the subject of Major General Taylor's complaints, I was apprehensive that neglect or omissions had occurred on the part of some one or more of the subordinate officers of the department, by which his operations had been seriously embarrassed; but I have looked into the whole matter, and I am bound in justice to say that no class of officers, not even General Taylor and the most distinguished

« ZurückWeiter »