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recommendations in his report, leaving that duty to his successor in the command of the Army, Lieutenant-General Sheridan. He, however, calls attention to and renews a former recommendation that a new organization be adopted for the regiments of infantry so that each shall be composed of twelve companies, making three battalions of four companies each, each company having one hundred men; and that in time of peace two of these battalions shall be maintained on a perfect. war footing, while the other battalion may be a mere skeleton, with its complement of officers, and be used as a nucleus for recruits. The great advantage of this change, as suggested by the General, is the important one of being able to put a large and effective force in the field upon short notice, by merely enlisting a sufficient number of additional private soldiers, the officers and organization being always ready to receive them. During the past year an additional company in each of the regiments of artillery has been mounted and equipped as a light battery, so that there are now in service ten light batteries, stationed in different parts of the United States. The history of the Army during the past year has been one of almost unbroken quiet, during which the troops have been engaged in no more active duties than those of guarding the Indian reservations, and in keeping themselves prepared for any service upon which they might be called. The only exception to this record occurred in Arizona. In March last a small party of Indians made a raid from Mexico, and, after killing nine persons, escaped back to the difficult country from which they had come. Brigadier General Crook made a vigorous pursuit, going many miles into Mexico, and, after pentrating into an almost inaccessible part of the Sierra Madre Mountains, had a fight. with the Indians, and returned with a large number of prisoners, among whom were fifty-two male Indians. As for some time past the only Indian outbreaks have been in Arizona, special attention has been directed to an endeavor to secure for that region of the country the same quiet which exists elsewhere. After careful consideration of the difficulties involved, an arrangement has been made between the Interior Department and the War Department, under which the police control of all the Indians on the San Carlos Reservation has been given to General Crook, and he has been charged with the duty of keeping the peace on the reservation and preventing the Indians from leaving it. General Sherman expresses the belief that if General Crook is permitted to manage the Apaches in his own way, all wars will cease in Arizona, and that with them will disappear the complicated Indian question which has tested the patience and courage of our people ever since the first settlement by whites on this continent. The schools for officers (one at Fortress Monroe for higher instruction in artillery, and one at Fort Leavenworth for more perfect instruction in matters relating to the cavalry and infantry arms of the service)
are reported by the General as being in excellent condition, and as well managed and fulfilling their purpose; and I concur with him in recommending for them support and encouragement.
The number of desertions from the Army in the past year was nearly 3,600; only a few less than the extraordinary number of the year before. The most earnest efforts are being made to ascertain, and, so far as possible, do away with the causes of desertion. I beg leave to renew the recommendation made last year, that a partial remedy may be found by increasing the pay to what it was in 1865, that is, $16 per month for a private soldier and a proportionate amount for non-commissioned officers.
The Superintendent reports that the general tone and discipline of the Corps of Cadets are very good. The total number of cadets present September 1 last was 311.
The full list of officers authorized by law to act as instructors in tactics and military science at colleges throughout the country has been so employed during the past year. The reports show a continuing interest taken by the college authorities and students in this work. The Adjutant-General recommends that Congress be asked to author. ize the retirement of enlisted men who have served faithfully for not less than thirty-five years with full pay of the grade held by them at the time of their retirement. It is true that the Soldiers' Home near Washington makes provision for most of the cases, but there are others for whom it cannot properly provide. The Adjutant-General, in his report, mentions particularly two cases of old soldiers of forty years, service who are incapacitated for further duty, but who cannot avail themselves of the benefits of the shelter of the Soldiers' Home without leaving their wives and children. I concur in his recommendation that some proper provision be made for such cases. I beg leave to renew my recommendation, made last year, that the laws should be amended so as to permit officers at remote posts to employ enlisted men, upon the approval of the proper department commander, for domestic purposes, where servants cannot be obtained. I also renew my recommendation that there be restored the per diem allowance to officers serving away from their stations on courts-martial and military boards. Not infrequently an officer is required to perform such duty under circumstances of considerable hardship in the extraordinary expenses incurred by him. The Adjutant-General recommends that the law in relation to the settlement by enlisted men of their clothing account be so amended as
to require a bimonthly settlement. The reasons given by him for this suggestion in his report show clearly that such a change would be greatly in the interest of economy to the Government, and would at the same time be beneficial to the soldier. The important records of the Adjutant-General, occupying no less than six rented buildings, have since the last annual report been transferred to the new State, War, and Navy Department Building, where they are now safe from destruction by fire. A gratifying progress in responding to requests for information in pension and other claims is reported.
The number of unanswered calls on hand October 1, 1882, was. 45,822
There were received during the year thereafter ...... - - - - - - ... 231,360 Finished during the year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255,923 Remaining on hand October 1, 1883......................... 21,259
THE SOLDIERS' HOME.
The Board of three Commissioners was increased by act of Congress approved March 3, 1883, to seven, including the General commanding the Army, who is the president of the Board. The same act prescribed new regulations for the Home, the most important being those affecting the management and control of the funds and the pensions of inmates. These regulations appear to be satisfactory, and have been strictly observed. No additions have been made to the realty of the Home and no important improvements made during the year, except the completion of a library building and rebuilding a barn destroyed by fire early in July. The expense upon both buildings will be about $5,900. The property of the Home at Harrodsburg, Ky., was offered for sale in April, under authority of an act of Congress approved December 23, 1882, but a sufficient bid could not be obtained. The Commissioners renew a former request that a small piece of land in the District of Columbia belonging to the Home, and now used for the purposes of a national cemetery, may be purchased by the General Government for the same purpose permanently. An appropriation of $15,000, to be paid in to the Home fund as the price of the ground, is recommended. The expense for care and treatment of inmates who become insane is paid by the Home to the Government Hospital for the Insane. The Commissioners ask for the Soldiers' Home in the District of Columbia the same privilege of sending insane patients to the Hospital as was granted by act approved August 7, 1882, for the National Home for Volunteers. Appropriate legislation for this purpose is recommended. The total receipts by the treasurer of the Home during the year were $143,035.50, and the cost of maintaining the Home $139,557.63.
GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE.
The following is a statement of the number of persons committed to the Government Hospital for the Insane, under the orders of the Secretary of War, from October 1, 1882, to October 1, 1883:
Officers of the U.S. Army----------------------------------------------------- 1 Officers of the U.S. Army (retired).------------------------. -----------------. 1 Enlisted men of the U.S. Army------------------------------------------------ 31 Late soldiers of the U.S. Army------------------------------------------------ 3 Late volunteer soldiers ------------------------------------------------------- 1 Inmates of the United States Soldiers' Home ................................... 4 Military prisoners ------------------------------------------------------------- 4. Employés of the Quartermaster's Department.--------------------------------. 1
There is no change worthy of note in the conduct of affairs at the Military Prison at Fort Leavenworth. The Board of Commissioners has made its semi-annual inspections, on each occasion carefully examining into the condition of the prison and inquiring into prisoners’ complaints. The number of prisoners on June 30, 1882, was 453; and there were in the prison on June 30, 1883, 467. The prison work has continued as usual, with the result of 65,000 pairs of boots and shoes, 30,000 brooms, 4,000 barrack-chairs, and a large amount of harness and other articles useful in the Army.
Irenew my recommendation that the officer in charge of the prison shall be given the local rank and the pay and allowances of a colonel, as a just recognition of the importance and character of the service he
The Judge-Advocate-General reports the number of records of trials by general courts-martial received, revised, and recorded during the year to be 1,985, being an increase of 131 over the previous year; and the number of records of cases tried before garrison and regimental courts-martial received and filed in judge-advocates' offices at department headquarters during the same period, so far as reported, was 8,404. The number of reports and opinions rendered upon courtsmartial and miscellaneous questions of law was $1,487, being an increase of 596 over last year. The number of transcripts of proceedings of courts-martial furnished was 511, and the copies of records of courts-martial furnished in conformity with the 114th Article of War numbered 119.
At the beginning of the last fiscal year there remained in the Treasury to the credit of the Quartermaster's Department $1,182,239.65. The sum appropriated was $11,375,000, and the balance undrawn at the close of the year $1,295,279.01. The Quartermaster-General recommends that a reasonable compensation in addition to their pay be allowed to many officers of the line who are required, from time to time, to perform duty as acting assistant quartermasters, and charged with the disbursements of public money and the care and issue of supplies. This should be the same as that allowed to officers performing similar duties in the Subsistence Department. The enlistment of sergeants to assist these officers in their duties is strongly recommended, and he suggests the enlistment of persons who shall be qualified for this work, men who are clerks of experience in the Quartermaster's Department, and that they be designated quartermaster's sergeants; that at every permanent post garrisoned by not less than two companies a quartermaster's sergeant shall be selected by examination from such of the enlisted men of the line of the Army as are competent clerks, and appointed by the Secretary of War, at his discretion, on the recommendation of the Quartermaster-General; also, that the enlisted clerks allowed each post quartermaster shall receive thirty-five cents extra-duty pay per diem where thus employed. There have been authorized 90 new buildings, at an estimated cost of $147,178. Repairs to public buildings have cost, it is estimated, $452,559. Of this sum $4,344 were expended in erecting and fitting up buildings for school and religious purposes. The water supply and system of sewerage have been improved at 21 military posts, costing $51,852. Hospital buildings have cost for construction and repair $74,968. Preliminary steps have been taken for the erection of the Hot Springs Hospital, for which Congress, by act of June 30, 1882, appropriated $100,000. A contract has been made for the work at $85,335, the lowest offer. In regard to quartering troops, the necessity for so many very small and scattered military posts is fast diminishing, inasmuch as the Indians are collected on permanent reservations; at the same time the necessity for larger permanent posts near Indian reservations and frontiers is increasing. For these reasons it will add greatly to the economy of maintenance of troops and to their efficiency if they can be assembled at important points in larger and more permanent garrisons. To do this will require special appropriations from Congress; for that reason several important special estimates have been presented, to which attention is respectfully invited. The important recruiting depot and training school for recruits at David's Island, near New York City, needs an immediate appropriation to replace old, dilapidated, and unsuitable buildings; the sum of $125,000 is needed to begin the work. This work is well known to be a work of pressing national necessity.