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H.G. Hart,
The new annual army list, and militia list for 1856, (London, 1856), p.386.

 
 
[Transcribed by Megan Stevens]
Commissariat Department
 
DUTIES AND ORGANIZATION
 
The Commissariat are charged with the following duties:— In the Field they have hitherto had the custody of the Military Chest, and provided and paid for everything necessary for the subsistence and transport of an army. At the present time, on stations abroad, they have the charge of the Military Chests, negotiation of Bills for their supply, and receipt of all surplus monies arising from various sources in the hands of public departments, as also monies for remittance to England. They make advances to Regimental Paymasters on account of the Pay of the Troops, and to the Heads of the Ordnance and Naval Departments, on account of their respective services. They pay in detail the Staff, all money allowances and contingencies; also the Half-Pay and retired allowances, Chelsea Pensions, Widows’ Pensions, Compassionate allowances, and Naval Pensions, &c., to all persons resident at the several stations. They contract and pay for Provisions required on the spot for the supply of the Troops, and for land and water transport. In the West Indies they pay in detail the Assistant Commissioners and Stipendiary Magistrates under the Provisions of the Slave Compensation Act: at some stations they perform the duties of Naval Agents. In Canada, Nova Scotia, and Jamaica, they pay the Ecclesiastical Establishments, and at the former they have the custody and issue of Indian Presents, and charge of the Locks and Collection of the Tolls on the canals connected with the St. Lawrence. In New South Wales and Van Dieman’s Land, they supply Provisions, Clothing, and Stores, of all descriptions for convict services. They enter into contracts for Ordnance Stores, Building Materials, &c., on the spot, and provide and pay for supplies for Army Hospitals, superintend the issue of provisions, forage, fuel, and light in kind made by Contractors, and issue such articles of Provision as are sent out for the use of the Troops from England. Their duties are blended with the Army, Ordnance, Navy, and many other branches of the public service. They are under the orders of and responsible for the execution of their duties to the General or Officers commanding at the various stations, and receive their instructions from the Board of Treasury, with whom they correspond through the Secretary on all points of service on which they are engaged.
 
See Report of Commissioners appointed to enquire into the expediency of Consolidating the Civil Departments of the Army, dated 21 July, 1837.
 
The following is the authority for its present organization:—
 
Commissary-in-Chief’s Office, 19 March, 1810. His Majesty has been pleased to command that the following regulations should be established and acted upon in all future Promotions and Appointments of the Commissariat.
 
That the Gradation of Rank, be “Commissary-General”, “Deputy Commissary-General”, “Assistant Commissary-General”, “Deputy Assistant Commissary-General”, “Clerk”. No person to enter but as Clerk, — to serve One year before eligible for Promotion. — Deputy Assistant to serve Four years, or Five from entrance as Clerk before eligible. — Assistant, Five years as Assistant, or Ten years from entrance as Clerk before eligible. — Deputy to be Three years in that rank before eligible. — Service to be counted as actual service on Full Pay. No person to be appointed Clerk previous to the age of 16.
 
The comparative ranks are Commissary-General as Brigadier-General. — Deputy as Major; after three years, Lieutenant-Colonel. — Assistant as Captain. — Deputy Assistant as Lieutenant. — Clerk as Ensign. See Army Regulations.