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The following organizations are now serving in the department:
Fort Crook, Nebr
Col. Sumner H. Lincoln, Tenth Headquarters, band, and Company E,
jr., Twenty-ninth Infantry. try. Fort Leavenworth, Kans. Lieut. Col. Jesse M. Lee, šixth Headquarters, band, and Troops E, F, G, Infantry.
H, I, K, L, M, Fourteenth Cavalry. Fort Logan H. Roots, Capt. William A. Raibourn, Detachment Company H, Tenth InfanArk. Twenty-ninth Infantry.
try. Fort Niobrara, Nebr ..... First Lieut. G. S. Turner, Tenth Company H, Tenth Infantry.
Infantry. Fort Reno, Okla... First Lieut. Henry B. Dixon, Detachment Troop A, Eighth Cavalry.
Col. George B. Rodney, Artillery Sixth, Seventh, Sixteenth, Nineteenth,
Batteries; Ninth band Artillery Corps; Troops Band D, Eighth Cavalry; Troops A, B, C, and D, Four
teenth Cavalry. Fort Robinson, Nebr..... Maj. Ralph W. Hoyt, Tenth In- Company F, Tenth Infantry.
fantry. Fort Sill, Okla...... Maj. George L. Scott, Tenth Cav- Troop C, Eighth Cavalry.
alry. Camp at Fort Gibson, Capt. T. Q. Donaldson, jr., Eighth Troop A, Eighth Cavalry. Ind. T.
TROOPS TRANSFERRED FROM DEPARTMENT TO PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.
During the year the following troops left the department en route to the Philippine Islands:
First U. S. Infantry.—Companies A and B, August 13, 1900; Companies C and D, August 14, 1900; headquarters, band, Companies E, F, G, and H, August 17, 1900; Companies K and L, March 26, 1901; Companies I and M, April 9, 1901.
Tenth U. S. Infantry.—Companies I, K, and M, March 5, 1901.
Under requirements of paragraph 230, Army Regulations of 1895, the lyceum season for theoretical instruction was designated in the following order:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Omaha, Nebr., October 23, 1900.
II. The two days of each week during the said season on which the sessions of the lyceum will be held, and the hours of same, will be designated by post commanders.
III. The requirements of General Orders, No. 51, of 1897, War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, will be strictly complied with. Reports of the progress and work of the post lyceum will be made by post commanders at the end of each month.
IV. During the lyceum period noncommissioned officers' school will be maintained in each troop, battery, and company. There will be two sessions per week, each of at least one hour's duration, at such time as will insure the largest attendance.
Noncommissioned officers will receive thorough instruction in the duties of their offices as prescribed in Army Regulations and orders, the drill regulations of their respective arms, the several manuals pertaining thereto in minor tactics to include “Patrols, ,” “Advance and rear guards,” “Outposts,” “Pickets,” and in the elements of military map making and reading.
This school will include five or more selected privates of the troop, battery, or company who may have special aptitude for the prescribed instruction or for appointment as noncommissioned officers.
V. The post school will be maintained during the same period and will be conducted as required by paragraphs 317–324, Army Regulations (1895).
VI. During the lyceum and school season such outdoor exercises will be held during fair weather as post commanders may direct within the scope of Drill Regulations and Butts's Manual of Physical Drill.
The hours assigned for gymnastic drills and exercises will be such as to facilitate the attendance of the greatest number of men. All men except the guard and sick will attend these drills, which will be held daily, Saturdays and Sundays excepted, outdoors if the weather permits, otherwise in gymnasiums or barracks. The object of these exercises should be to keep up the bearing and dexterity of the troops to the standard accomplished by the more laborious work of the drill season. To this end very short periods of exercise will suffice if conducted with accuracy and spirit.
In the absence of mounted drill cavalry and artillery horses will be exercised daily, Saturdays and Sundays excepted, under the supervision of an officer, when practicable, and special attention given to the prescribed gaits. If the gaits are to be controlled in ranks, the horses must be required to submit to such control by their riders at all times.
VII. In all reports rendered pursuant to this order the number of officers and enlisted men in attendance will be stated and explanation made in case of absence. By command of Brigadier-General Merriam:
JAMES B. ERWIN,
Captain, Fourth Cavalry, Acting Adjutant-General. Schemes for lyceum work submitted by post commanders indicated a laudable desire to keep abreast of the times in professional study. However, owing to the scarcity of officers and the many and varied duties falling to those present, General Lee, who had succeeded me as department commander, suspended the lyceum work on January 4 for the remainder of the season. The noncommissioned officers' and post schools and gymnastic exercises were not suspended. For such lyceum work as was accomplished reference is made to Appendix A (4).
To carry out the requirements of War Department Orders, Nos. 53 of 1896 and 125 of 1900, and other orders and regulations on the subject of practical instruction, the following order was made:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Omaha, Nebr., March 4, 1901. The period for practical instruction of the troops of this command for the present year will be from April 1 to November 30, inclusive.
In this connection attention is specially invited to the provisions of General Orders, No. 125, Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant-General's Office, series 1900.
Officers and enlisted men not specially excused by Army Regulations will attend all drills and instruction.
Garrison drills.—When not engaged in small-arms or target practice or field exercises, not less than one hour per day for infantry and one and one-half hours for cavalry and artillery, preferably in the forenoon, exclusive of ceremonies, Saturday and Sunday excepted, will be devoted to the drill regulations.
The ground to be covered by garrigon drills will be regulated by post commanders according to the needs of the different organizations. Extra hours may be devoted to drill of recruits and awkward men, the purpose being to achieve and maintain efficiency of the entire organization.
Recruits will be taken up for full duty with their companies, infantry within fifteen days and artillery and cavalry within twenty days after joining.
Instructions in litter bearers' drill and first aid to the wounded will be given as required by Army Regulations 1412, amended by General Orders, No. 60, AdjutantGeneral's Office, 1897, and General Orders, No. 39, Adjutant-General's Office, series 1900.
Signal practice, in accordance with Army Regulations 1544, as amended by General Orders, No. 114, Adjutant-General's Office, 1899, will be held in August and September, and continued thereafter, if necessary, until proficiency is attained.
Where mountain Hotchkiss or machine guns are available, a detachment will be organized from each company and troop and drilled in the manual of these pieces.
Field exercises.-Until October 1 field exercises will be distributed through the
drill season, except in that portion devoted to small-arms practice, commencing with one practice per week for all the troops of the post. For this purpose one portion of the garrison will alternate with the other, so that organizations designated for field exercises may turn out their full strength, all garrison duties being performed by the other units for that day. At posts garrisoned by only one company the platoons will alternate for this service.
After October 1 post commanders will have these field exercises oftener, to make up the full forty days required by War Department orders, and may then turn out all organizations as complete as possible, including hospital corps and signal class, for more comprehensive problems.
In addition to the field exercises detailed in General Orders, No.53, Adjutant-General's Office, 1896, instruction will be given in making and breaking shelter-tent camp and the practical use of the individual mess kit.
For all field exercises troops will march in field dress and equipment, as follows:
Field dress for all officers and enlisted men will include the fatigue hat, leggings, and suitable marching shoes.
Field equipment for dismounted troops will include rifle, sling, bayonet and scabbard, belt, 20 cartridges, blanket bag, containing one service blanket, change of underclothes, toilet articles, and “hold all;” also, half shelter tent, pole, and pins; one haversack containing one meat can, knife, fork, spoon, and small ration bags, and one canteen.
The field equipment for cavalry will be as prescribed in General Orders, No. 67, Adjutant-General's Office, 1898.
Field equipment for light batteries will be as regulated by drill regulations, light artillery, 1896, and by General Orders, Nos. 41, 54, and 67, Adjutant-General's Office, 1898.
When conditions require changes from the above they will be noted in the marching order.
Reports of solutions of problems in minor tactics, including sketches and remarks of umpires, if any, are made necessary parts of the exercises under the War Department order for credit in the annual requirements. At least one such report for each unit will be sent to these headquarters with the monthly report of instruction as a sample of the work being done.
All commanders are advised to so plan the field exercises of their troops as to avoid long and exhaustive marches. It is better not to exhaust even the weakest men and horses. The object is instruction and gradual development of entire units. As a rule, marches of instruction should not exceed 8 miles for infantry and 12 miles for mounted troops, with a maximum of instruction.
Calisthenics and gymnastic exercises. It is expected that gymnastic, calisthenic, and setting-up exercises (including bayonet exercise for infantry and saber exercise for cavalry, and including the elementary school of horsemanship for all mounted troops) will be practiced constantly and with careful attention to details to insure maximum benefits in the bearing and dexterity of the troops.
In this connection reference is made to the manual prepared by Lieut. E. L. Butts, Twenty-first Infantry, published and issued to the Army.
To encourage and promote a high degree of proficiency in these exercises post commanders are authorized to devote one day each month to testing the proficiency of organizations as entire units, and a prize may be offered to the organization exhibiting the highest degree of calisthenic and other training within the limits of the Drill Regulations and Butts's Manual. At posts garrisoned by only one company platoons may compete as units.
All officers are enjoined to exert themselves to give variety and life to drills and exercises of all kinds. A troop or company which has once achieved perfection does not tire of exercise in maintaining it any more than a winning baseball team wearies of training; and the converse is equally true—an officer or company that never wins is always weary of drill.
Post commanders will bmit without delay, for approval of the department commander, progressive schemes for carrying out this order as contemplated in General Order 53, Adjutant-General's Office, 1896.
At the end of each month post commanders will submit reports of drills and instruction on blanks furnished by these headquarters.
The inspector-general of the department will test the instruction of entire organizations in garrison, field, and calisthenic exercises. By command of Brigadier-General Merriam:
R. E. L. MICHE,
It will be noted that under the head of "Field exercises" this order provides for turning out entire units once each week, in field dress and equipment, for some specific field exercise or problem. This principle is applied even to posts garrisoned by a single company or troop by organizing the platoons into quasi-permanent subunits, completely prepared to march at call, to maneuver, and camp alone, for an indefinite period if needful. This plan is found in practice to prepare the units to meet sudden calls, turning out their whole strength without delay or question, and without regard to details of post administration, which the plan teaches to adjust itself from the remaining organizations. The advantage possessed by a tactical unit so trained to turn out suddenly in its entire strength, and trained to work together under all conditions of field service, over a mere mixed detachment called together hastily for an emergency, is too great and too manifest to admit of discussion.
There is a notion too prevalent in the Army, especially among the older officers, that a soldier who has once learned the details of the drill regulations—the mere mechanism of tactical and calisthenic exercises-may be excused from drill without detriment, forgetting that bodies of men can maintain the power of collective action only by frequent collective practice, even in the simplest exercises. A high degree of perfection in collective execution may admit of shortening the drill hour, but should never justify its omission, nor should the ordinary post administration be permitted to deplete the ranks at drills and exercises. When, under the discretionary authority given in paragraph 188, Army Regulations of 1901, the ranks are depleted to less than 80 per cent, it is, I think, a manifest abuse of discretion. And this often happens. No soldier of the line should be habitually excused from any drill or exercise.
Reference is requested to Appendix A (No. 7), showing in detail the amount and kind of field instruction given.
Under date of February 27, 1901, instructions were received from the War Department directing the organization of the Fourteenth United States Cavalry at Fort Leavenworth, Kans.
From the first the progress in organization and instruction of this regiment has been rapid and thorough. It is now fully equipped except in the matter of mounts, and from advices already received it will soon have its full complement of horses. Considering the few officers available for duty with the regiment, and the raw material they had to work with, great credit is due to the post and regimental commanders (Lieut. Col. Jesse M. Lee, Sixth Infantry, and LieutenantColonel Cooper, Fourteenth Cavalry), and the officers of the Fourteenth Cavalry and other officers assigned to assist in its organization. The regiment is now finishing its full season's target practice. During this practice it has been instructed in the duties of camp life, especially messing and sanitation, thus fitting it in some degree for active service in the field. When the First Squadron obtained its maximum strength it was transferred to Fort Riley, where the work of organization and instruction begun at Fort Leavenworth has continued satisfactorily.
Under the provisions of General Orders, No. 78, current series, Headquarters of the Army, the Nineteenth and Twentieth Batteries, Field Artillery, and Ninth Band, Artillery Corps, are being organized at Fort Riley. Under the plans outlined in letters from the War Department of February 14 and June 13, 1901, their recruitment is progressing favorably.
For work performed by the administrative staff departments, attention is invited to reports hereto appended, and lettered from B to K. The water supply at several large posts is expensive and unsatisfactory-especially at Fort Leavenworth and Jefferson Barracks—now in correspondence with a view to improvement. Large expenditures at Forts Leavenworth and Riley are being made in order to provide for the enlargement of facilities for restoration of the important service schools at those posts made especially necessary by the large numbers of young officers coming into the Army through reorge ation. This work can not be advanced too rapidly for the good of the service.
The recommendation of Capt. R. E. L. Michie (Appendix H) for improvement of the cavalry bit is commended for attention of the chief of ordnance. Even with the recent improvement which has rendered the bit less severe upon the mouths of young horses, there is still a considerable percentage of horses made vicious by undue severity in the use of the bit. In fact, I believe a return to the double rein fully justified, for at least half of each troop, to avoid the evil referred to.
Under telegraph instructions from the War Department, dated January 23, 1901, Troop A, Eighth Cavalry, under command of Lieut. H. B. Dixon, Eighth Cavalry, left Fort Reno on the following day to act in conjunction with the Indian agent and United States marshal in maintaining law and order, reported to be threatened by several sections, each of about 50 armed Snake Indian outlaws, intimidating and terrorizing the people residing between Eufaula and Wetumka and between Deep Fork and South Canadian River, etc. The troop is still in the field on the above duty, with its main camp at old Fort Gibson, Ind. T. It is now commanded by Capt. T. Q. Donaldson, jr., Eighth Cavalry.
With the above exception there has been no call for use of troops on account of Indian disturbances within the department. Attention is invited to the report of Capt. Farrand Sayre, Eighth Cavalry (Appendix L), upon the conduct and condition of the Apache prisoners of war under his charge at Fort Sill.
My thanks are due to all officers of this department for uniform good conduct and for zealous and constant attention to all duties prescribed or required of them, and to each officer of the department staff I am especially indebted for indefatigable and efficient labor in the administration of the affairs of the departments in his charge. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. C. MERRIAM, Brigadier-General, U. S. A., Commanding Department,