[transcribed 16 August 2014, from Official records, series 4, volume *, pages 1280-1281; available on Making of America]
GENERAL ORDERS, No. 77.
WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, April 28, 1865.
FOR REDUCING EXPENSES OF THE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT.
I. That the chiefs of the respective bureaus of this Department proceed immediately to reduce the expenses of their respective departments to what is absolutely necessary, in view of an immediate reduction of the forces in the field and garrison and the speedy termination of hostilities, and that they severally make out statements of the reductions they deem practicable.
II. That the Quartermaster-General discharge all ocean transports not required to bring home troops in remote departments. All river and inland transportation will be discharged, except that required for necessary supplies to troops in the field. Purchases of horses, mules, wagons, and other land transportation will be stopped; also purchases of forage, except what is required for immediate consumption. All purchases for railroad construction and transportation will also be stopped.
III. That the Commissary-General of Subsistence stop the purchase of supplies in his department, except for such as may with what is on hand, be required for the forces in the field to the 1st of June next.
IV. That the Chief of Ordnance stop all purchases of arms, ammunition, and materials therefor, and reduce the manufacturing of arms and ordnance stores in the Government arsenals as rapidly as can be done without injury to the service.
V. That the chief engineers stop work on all field fortifications and other works, except those for which specific appropriations have been made by Congress for completion, or that may be required for the proper protection of works in progress.
VI. That all volunteer soldiers (patients) in hospitals, except veteran volunteers, veterans of the First Army Corps (Hancock's), and enlisted men of the Veteran Reserve Corps, who require no further medical treatment, be honorably discharged from service with immediate payment.
All officers and enlisted men who have been prisoners of war and now [sic] on furlough or at the parole camps, and all recruits in rendezvous, except those for the Regular Army and the First Army Corps (Hancock's), will likewise be honorably discharged.
Officers whose duty it is under the regulations of the service to make out rolls and other final papers connected with the discharge and payment of soldiers, are directed to make them out without [page 1281] delay, so that this order may be carried into effect immediately. Commanding generals of armies and departments will look to the prompt execution of this work.
VII. The Adjutant-General of the Army will cause immediate returns to be made by all commanders in the field, garrisons, detachments, and posts of their respective forces, with a view to their immediate reduction.
VIII. The Quartermaster's, Subsistance, Ordnance, Engineer, and Provost-Marshal-General's departments will reduce the number of clerks and employés to that absolutely required for closing the business of their respective departments, and will without delay report to the Secretary of War the number required of each class or grade. The Surgeon-General will make similar reductions of medical officers, nurses, and attendants in his Bureau.
IX. The chiefs of the respective bureaus will immediately cause property returns to be made out of the public property in their charge, and a statement of the property in each that may be sold upon advertisement and public sale without prejudice to the service.
X. The Commissary of Prisoners will have rolls made out of the name, residence, time and place of capture, and occupation of all prisoners of war who will take the oath of allegiance to the United States, to the end that such as are disposed to become good and loyal citizens of the United States, and who are proper objects of Executive clemency, may be released upon the terms that to the President shall seem fit and consistent with public safety.
By order of the Secretary of War:W. A. NICHOLS,