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REPORT

OF THE

COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF SUBSISTENCE.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF SUBSISTENCE,

Washington, D. C., October 10, 1881. SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Subsistence Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1881, with such remarks and recommendations in connection therewith as are thought to be for the best interest of the government and the Army:

RESOURCES AND EXPENDITURES.

The following statement exhibits the aggregate fiscal resources and expenditures of the department for the year mentioned, and the balances remaining unexpended at the close of the fiscal year:

RESOURCES.

$41, 004 17

391, 043 19

Amounts in the Treasury to the credit of appropriations of the Subsist-
ence Department on June 30, 1880, as follows:
Subsistence of the Army, 1877 and prior years, act
June 16, 1880 ...

$3,368 95 Subsistence of the Army, 1879.

28, 331 99 Subsistence of the Army, 1880.

1, 081 85 Commutation of rations to prisoners of war in rebel States, per act June 16, 1880...

8, 221 38 Amount to the credit of officers of the Subsistence Department and of

officers doing duty in the Subsistence Department, with the Treasurer,
assistant treasurers, and designated depositaries, and in their personal
possession, on June 30, 1880, as follows:

Subsistence of the Army, 1880....
Amounts deposited to the credit of the Treasurer of the United States

and in process of cover into the appropriations on June 30, 1880, since
covered in, as follows:
Subsistence of the Army, 1878 and prior years

971 Subsistence of the Army, 1879

160 30 Subsistence of the Army, 1830 ....

90 91 Amount in hands of representatives of deceased officer to be collected :

Subsistence of the Army, 1878
Amounts appropriated for the Subsistence Department for the fiscal
year ending June 30, 1881, as follows:
Subsistence of the Army, 1978, and prior years, act
March 3, 1881

2, 212 44 Subsistence of the Army, 1881, act May 4, 1830. 2, 250,000 00

260 92

109 84

Commutation of rations to prisoners of war in rebel
States, per act March 3, 1881

$10, 305 87
Claims for quartermaster's stores and commissary sup-
plies, act July 4, 1864, per act June 15, 1880

15, 062 29 Claims for quartermaster's stores and commissary supplies, act July 4, 1864, per act March 1, 1881.... 3, 268 51

$2, 280, 849 11 Amounts collected from various sources and refunded to the appropria

tions of the Subsistence Department on the books of the Treasury
during the fiscal year 1881, as follows:
Subsistence of the Army, 1878 and prior year.

349 89 Subsistence of the Army, 1879...

473 36 Subsistence of the Army, 1880.

41,257 13 Subsistence of the Army, 1881.

104, 258 70

146, 339 08 Amounts received by officers of the Snbsistence Department and by of

ficers doing duty in the Subsistence Department, from sales of subsist-
euce stores to the following purchasers during the fiscal year 1881,
and taken up for immediate disbursement under the appropriation,
Subsistence of the Army, 1881:
Sales to officers of the army, $461,912.58; to enlisted men, $239,884.33;

to companies, detachments, and hospitals, $144,424.54; to civil
employés, $15,297.06; to Fort Leavenworth Military Prison,
$17,334.72; to civil engineers, $2,847.66; to railroad engineers,
$780.98; to civil employés of Agricultural Department, $384.77;
to Mullan road employés, $284.53; to steamers, $156.14; to Indi-
ans, $153.02; Indian Cominissioners, $122.06; to Quartermaster's
Department, $103.80; to railroad employés, $73.17; of condemned
stores at auction, $6,697.23; of boxes, barrels, &c., $746.30; of

garden seeds and agricultural implements, $1,325.41; total..... 892,528 30 Amounts received from sales of public property to be deposited as cellaneous receipts”.

54 10 Amounts taken up by officers doing duty in the Subsistence Department,

on account of stores lost, damaged, &c., and in correction of errors
in their accounts, &c., during the fiscal year 1881:
Subsistence of the Army, 1881 .

2, 115 44 Amounts arisiug from various sources and deposited to the credit of the

Treasurer United States during the fiscal year 1881, under the follow-
ing appropriations, viz:
Subsistence of the Army, 1879.

2 25 Subsistence of the Army, 1880.

60 00 Subsistence of the Army, 1881..

37 50

99 75 Amounts charged against officers (deceased and resigned) on account of funds alleged to have been lost by theft, &c., as follows: Subsistence of the Army, 1879 and prior years

3,000 89 Amounts charged against officer still in service, on account of funds

alleged to have been lost by theft, &c., and for which relief can only
be obtained in the Court of Claims under sections 1059 and 1062, Revised
Statutes, (including all sums of this character heretofore entered in
this statement), as follows:
Subsistence of the Army, 1879 and prior years..

2,772 86

"mis

Total resources..

$3,760, 177 65

EXPENDITURES.
Announts expended on the books of the Treasury from the appropriations
of the Subsistence Department during the fiscal year 1881, as follows:
Subsistence of the Army, 1877 and prior years, act
June 16, 1880.

$3,368 95
Subsistence of the Army, 1878 and prior years, defi-
ciency act March 3, 1881..

2, 212 44 Commutation of rations to prisoners of war in rebel States, per act June 16, 1880..

8, 221 38 Commutation of rations to prisoners of war in rebel States, per act March 3, 1881.

10, 305 87 Claims " for quartermaster stores and commissary

supplies, act July 4, 1864,” per act June 15, 1880,
beivg portion for "commissary” supplies....

15,062 29

$62, 789 09

Claims “for quartermaster stores and commissary

supplies, act July 4, 1864,” per act March 1, 1881,
being portion for "commissary” supplies..

$3, 192 91 Subsistence of the Army, 1879

147 25 Subsistence of the Army, 1880

20, 184 15 Subsistence of the Army, 1881

93 85 Amounts disbursed by officers of the Subsistence Department and offi

cers doing duty in the Subsistence Department during the fiscal year
1881, as follows:
Subsistence of the Army, 1880.

390, 150 14 Subsistence of the Army, 1881

2,835, 953 36 Amounts dropped by officers doing duty in the Subsistence Department in correction of errors in their accounts during the fiscal year 1881 :

Subsistence of the Ariny, 1881.....
Amount deposited to the credit of the Treasurer of the United States

and covered into the Treasury as “miscellaneous receipts on account

of sale of public property Amounts carried to the surplus fund on June 30, 1881 : Subsistence of the Army, 1878 and prior years.

359 60 Subsistence of the Army, 1879 ....

28,818 40

3, 226, 103 50

260 04

54 10

29, 178 00

Total expenditures...

$3, 318, 384 73

BALANCES UNEXPENDED.

22, 653 07

412,497 08

Amounts in the Treasury to the credit of appropriations of the Subsist-
ence Department on June 30, 1881, as follows:
Subsistence of the Army, 1880

22, 575 45 Subsistence of the Army, 1881

2 02 Claims for “ quartermaster's stores and commissary

supplies, act July 4, 1864," per act March 1, 1881,
being a portion for “ commissary” supplies

75 60 Amounts to the credit of officers of the Subsistence Department, and of

officers doing duty in the Subsistence Department, with the Treas-
urer, assistant treasurers, and designated depositaries, and in their
personal possession, on June 30, 1881, as follows:
Subsistence of the Army, 1880

169 38 Subsistence of the Army, 1881

412, 3:27 70 Amounts refunded to the Treasury near close of fiscal year 1881, but not carried to the credit of the appropriations by June 30, 1881: Subsistence of the Army, 1879.

2 25 Subsistence of the Army, 1880.

60 00 Subsistence of the Army, 1881.

37 50 Amount in hands of representatives of deceased officer to be collected :

Subsistence of the Army, 1878.
Amounts charged against officers (deceased and resigned) on account of
funds alleged to have been lost by theft, &c., as follows:

Subsistence of the Army, 1879 and prior years
Amounts charged against officers, still in service, on account of funds

alleged to have been lost by theft, &c., and for which relief can only
be obtained in the Court of Claims under sections 1059 and 1062, Re-
vised Statutes, (including all sums of this character heretofore entered
in this statement), as follows:

Subsistence of the Army, 1879 and prior years...... 2,772 86
Subsistence of the Army, 1880

393 96 Subsistence of the Army, 1881

265 47

99 75

109 84

3,000 89

3, 432 29

Total balances unexpended....

$441, 792 92 SOURCES OF SUPPLY OF SUBSISTENCE STORES.

The settled rule of the department of making all purchases of subsistence stores as near the points of consumption as practicable-regard being had to quality and prices, as compared with those of stores procurable at remote places, including cost of transportation has been adhered to during the fiscal year. Tabular statements of the stores required in bulk for the various military departments where troops are serving in large bodies are, under existing orders, transmitted to the Commissary. General, at proper intervals, who orders the articles from the different purchasing stations; and thus stores of the best quality for Army use, obtainable in particular sections or markets of the country are procured. In future it is intended to authorize chief commissaries of departments, after their tabular statements have been acted upon by the Commissary. General, to draw, directly upon the purchasing depots selected by him, at such times and for such quantities named on the tabular statements as in their opinion may be necessary. The Commissary-General will thus select the localities from which the supplies are to be obtained, with a view of obtaining for the Army the best and cheapest articles the markets of the country afford, leaving to the chief commissaries of the departments the details as to quantities and times of the respective shipments, which are often dependent upon or influenced by local contingencies, best known to the chief commissaries themselves.

CONTRACTS AND PURCHASES.

During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1881, 154 newspaper advertisements and 191 circulars and posters, inviting proposals for subsistence stores, were reported to this office. The disbursements for advertising for the year, on accounts approved by the Secretary of War, amounted to $7,829.45. There were also received, during the same period, 219 contracts for fresh meats, 29 contracts for miscellaneous articles, 34 contracts for complete rations for recruiting parties and recruits, and 2,384 informal contracts made under written proposals and acceptances.

The average price each month of each of the principal components of the Army ration, purchased at the principal subsistence purchasing depots, is reported monthly to the Commissary-General of Subsistence, under the Army regulations. The following table, prepared after the manner pursued in the preparation of like tables heretofore published, exhibits the average for the twelve months of the fiscal year, 1881, of these monthly average prices, taken from the monthly reports referred to, viz:

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