Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/267

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First Congress.

re the Army of such officers by some mode more prompt and less wounding to their sensibility than the judgment of a court-martial.

Within a recent period we have effected the object so long desired of an arrangement for the exchange of prisoners, which is now being executed by delivery at the points agreed upon, and which will, it is hoped, speedily restore our brave and unfortunate countrymen to their places in the ranks of the Army, from which by the fortune of war they have for a time been separated. The details of this arrangement will be communicated to you in a special report when further progress has been made in their execution.

Of other particulars concerning the operations of the War Department you will be informed by the Secretary in his report and the accompanying documents.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy embraces a statement of the operations and present condition of this branch of the public service, both afloat and ashore; the construction and equipment of armed vessels both at home and abroad; the manufacture of ordnance and ordnance stores; and the establishment of workshops and the development of our resources of coal and iron. Some legislation seems essential for securing crews for vessels. The difficulties now experienced on this point are fully stated in the Secretary's report, and I invite your attention to providing a remedy.

The report of the Postmaster General discloses the embarrassments which resulted in the postal service from the occupation by the enemy of the Mississippi River and portions of the territory of the different States. The measures taken by the Department for relieving these embarrassments as far as practicable are detailed in the report. It is a subject of congratulation that during the ten months which ended on the 31st March last the expenses of the Department were largely decreased, whilst its revenue was augmented, as compared with a corresponding period ending on the 30th June, 1860, when the postal service for these States was conducted under the authority delegated to the United States. Sufficient time has not yet elapsed to determine whether the measures heretofore devised by Congress will accomplish the end of bringing the expenditures of the Department within the