This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
THE EXECUTIVE of War is appointed by the President to assist in carrying on the government of the country, and performs such duties as shall from time to time be enjoined on or intrusted to him by the President relative to military commissions, the military forces, the warlike stores of the United States, or to other matters respecting military affairs.
He must prepare and communicate to Congress estimates of necessary expenditures and needed appropriations for his department, including estimates for such sums as will be required to print and bind documents relating to his department, and for the compensation of his subordinate officers and clerks, and estimates for the construction of public works. All estimates for the public service in this and all other Cabinet departments are transmitted to Congress by the Secretary of the Treasury.
The Secretary of War has the custody and charge of all the books, records, papers, furniture, fixtures, and other property belonging to his department; controls the collection at the seat of government of all flags, standards, and military colors captured by the army from the enemies of the country; defines and prescribes the kinds and amounts of supplies to be purchased by the subsistence and quarter-masters' departments of the army; regulates the transportation of supplies from the places of purchase to the several military posts or stations at which they are required, and the safe-keeping and storage of such supplies, provisions, etc., and the transportation of troops, munitions of war, equipments and stores; provides for the taking of weather observations at military stations in the interior of the continent, and other points in the States and Territories; for giving notice on the Northern lakes and sea-coast, by magnetic telegraph, of the approach and force of storms, and for the establishment and reports of signal offices in various parts of the country concerning the weather, for the benefit of agricultural and commercial interests, with telegraph lines to connect weather-reporting stations, etc.; furnishes non-commissioned officers and soldiers who have in any manner lost their certificates of discharge from the army with duplicate certificates; details employes of the department to administer proper oaths in the settlement of officers' accounts for clothing, camp and garrison equipage, quartermasters' stores, cannon, etc.
The Secretary of War must report to Congress annually a statement of the appropriations of the preceding fiscal year (beginning always July 1) for his department, showing how much was appropriated under each specific bureau or branch of the department, and the balance that remained on hand unexpended, together with his estimates of the amounts of appropriations, specifically stated, that will probably be needed for the ensuing year, aside from what may remain of the balances in his hand; also a statement of all his official contracts for supplies or services during the preceding year, military expenses, etc.
Another important duty of the Secretary is to submit to Congress reports of river and harbor examinations and surveys made by order of Congress, with statements showing the extent to which the commerce of the country will be promoted by the contemplated improvement of these rivers and harbors, with a view to the wisest appropriation and expenditure of the public money in this direction.
Once a year, he reports to Congress an abstract of the returns of the Adjutants-General relative to the militia of the several States.
The annual reports of the Secretary to Congress are made at the beginning of each regular session, and embrace the transactions of his department during the preceding year.
The War Department is divided into branches, governed by the following army officers: The Adjutant-General, Quartermaster-General, Paymaster-General, Commissary-General, Surgeon-General, Chief of Engineers, Chief of Ordnance, and the Court of Military Justice.
There are also 125 private physicians, at Washington and various military posts, who receive $100 a month, with quarters and fuel; 185 hospital stewards, at $20 to $35 a month, with rations, quarters, fuel, and clothing; about fifty paymaster's clerks, at $1,200 a year; ninety national cemetery keepers, at from $720 to $900 a year, with residences; 450 weather observers in the Signal service, at from $25 to $100 a month, with allowances; about 500 employes at armories and arsenals, and 450 clerks, superintendents, janitors of the several buildings of the department, at rates ranging from $40 to $200 a month.