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" UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,
“70 Saratoga street, Baltimore, Md., October 21, 1881. “ Lieut. Col. H. L. ABBOT, “ Corps of Engineers, U. S. A., Whiteslone, N. Y.
“(Through Chief of Engineers U. S. A.): “SIR: I desire officially to express to you my sense of the important and cheerful aid given by the Engineer officers and men who have been on duty at Yorktown in connection with the Centennial celebration.
“Whatever they have done for me has been done in the best manner, and I am very much obliged to them and to you for their help; and I hope you will find it proper and convenient to communicate to them my feelings about the matter. “ Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"WM. P. CRAIGHILL,
“ Lieutenant-Colonel, Corps of Engineers.” By order of Lieutenant-Colonel Abbot:
J. H. WILLARD, First Lieutenant of Engineers, Adjutant.
[Printed Orders No. 12. |
BATTALION OF ENGINEERS,
Willets Point, New York Harbor, November 23, 1881. I. Officers of the battalion who have not already submitted the reports and papers required by Printed Orders No. 4, current series, will forward them as soon as possible, in order not to delay the publication of the results of the summer's work.
IÍ. The following will be the course of winter instruction for the battalion during the ensuing season, beginning on the 1st proximo:
WILLETS POINT, NEW YORK HARBOR.
In the torpedo service.- A weekly detail, consisting of four officers, one non-commissioned officer, and six privates, will be made, as heretofore, for torpedo duty. The roster for enlisted men will be arranged by companies, in turn, and will include every soldier not excused by orders from the battalion commander. The roster of officers will be arranged as follows: Officers who have served with the battalion during the past, season will form one roster, and those recently ordered forduty another. Details will be arranged to include two from the former and two from the latter. Care will be taken to distribute the detail so far as practicable among the companies.
The officers will spend at least six hours daily in the laboratory (Sundays excepted). Weekly tours may be exchanged on the same roster, in order to render applications for temporary absence unnecessary. The officers will make themselves thoroughly familiar with the details of every part of our adopted system for submarine mining; with the practical execution of all the electrical measurements laid down in the Torpedo Manual; and, generally, with the whole subject of torpedo defense, including its history, its mechanical details, its applications of electricity, the use of modern explosives, &c.
The enlisted men will spend the regular fatigue hours daily (Saturdays and Sun. days excepted) at the laboratory or torpedo depot. Their instruction will be under the direction of the senior commissioned officer, aided by the second in rank and by Sergt. W. H. Brown, assistant instructor in submarine mining. It will comprise telegraphing with the dial instrument, including the code for action; the duties of the loading-room, and, so far as practicable, of the boat service as prescribed in the Torpedo Manual, comprising preparing the plugs of the buoyant and ground torpedoes; charging the mines; charging the cut-off boxes, three methods; jointing the cores; making turk's heads in the electrical cable; using the junction boxes; attaching a cable stop; splicing and knotting hemp rope; inserting thimbles in the wire mooring rope. They will also receive from the senior officer, or the second in rank, daily verbal instruction respecting the fuses, explosives, torpedo material (except that of the operating room), voltaic batteries, simple electrical testing, and the use of the portable apparatus for the electrical ignition of mines. On the Saturday terminating his tour the senior officer will submit to these headquarters a report, giving the names of the detail, what verbal and other instruction they have received, tigures showing the insulation of the core joints made by them, and their relative and absolute proficiency, Printed blank forms will be supplied.
In field photography.—The building, apparatus, chemicals, &c., are in charge of
Lieutenant Griffin, battalion quartermaster, whose duty it is to furnish any desired assistance, and who will be held responsible for the judicious use of the property.
Officers not on the following rosters may, at their option, use the laboratory on Saturday, making such arrangements with him as shall insure no confusion in his official duties.
Lieutenants on company duty who have already passed through the course of instruction will be placed on a roster for practice, and the others will be placed on a roster for instruction under Lieutenant Griffin. Each tour will continue for two weeks, Saturday and Sunday excepted, and the details will be so arranged that one officer is ordered weekly. This detail will excuse from all company duty, and the officer will spend at least six hours daily in the laboratory.
The course of instruction will be arranged to cover that prescribed in General Order No. 2, series of 1877, from the Headquarters of the Battalion of Engineers; and at the close of the season each officer will submit, through Lientenant Griffin, a personal report upon the work he has accomplished. This paper will be returned to him, with indorsements, for his own files; and it is suggested that it be so prepared as to constitute part of the professional journal required by the Corps order regulating examinations for promotion.
Officers detailed for practice will submit, through Lieutenant Griffin, at the end of the season, a report specifying the amount and quality of the work done by them.
Two non-commissioned officers from the companies, in turn, will be detailed for instruction for one week, Saturday and Sunday excepted. One will be selected from the following list: Co. A.
Co, C. Sergeant Tiedman.
Sergeant Turner. Corporal Wunder.
Corporal Grenier. The others will be taken in turn from the remainiug non-commissioned officers of the company. Attendance will include the usual fatigne hours, and the instructor will prescribe such work as may be best suited for the individuals.
In field astronomy.—The daily observations of the officer of the day for time and work in the observatory after each officer has completed the course prescribed in Printed Order No. 4, current series, will be suspended during the inclement season.
In meteorology.—The usual hourly meteorological observations at Willets Point will begin on January 2, 1882, and will continue for sixty consecutive days. Officers who bave not already done so will take advantage of this opportunity to inake themselves familiar with the contents of Professional Paper No. 15 of the Corps of Engineers, treating of meteorology and barometric hypsometry.
The three captains, each acting for ten days, in turn, are charged with the supervision of these observations. They will make daily inspections of the instruments and see that they are kept at all times in perfect condition. They will critically inspect the observer not less than once a day; ascertain by questions and by examining the plots and records that he understands and performs his duty; and, if necessary, will give bim detailed instruction. At the end of each tour of ten days they will submit a report to the commanding officer, giving the names of the several observers, the number of times each has been inspected, and a full statement of his relative and absolute proficiency.
The observers will consist of the lieutenants on company duty with the battalion at this post, and of the requisite number of non-commissioned officers from each of the three companies, to be selected by the captains. Each tour will consist of two consecutive days; the observers will be excused from all other duty during that period, bat will make all reductions and plotting pertaining to their records correctly and at once. Observations between the hours of 12 p. m. and 6 a. m., both inclusive, may be omitted. The roster of companies will be kept by the battalion adjutant.
Immediately after the termination of the observations, the data will be fully and intelligently discussed upon Colonel Williamson's system, by aid of the daily plots and diagrams and ouder the supervision of the captains, by the lieutenants of the companies. "To Company B is assigned the reduction of the observations with the psychrometer including force of vapor and relative humidity; to Company C those with the aneroid barometer and of the air temperature; and to Company A those with the mercnrial barometer and of the wind and clouds. Should this reduction develop culpable want of accuracy on the part of any observer his name will be reported by the captain in charge in transmitting the final tables and diagrams.
In infantry.—Company commanders will see that their companies are kept well drilled in the manual of arms, and that they are practiced in the bayonet exercise, and when the weather is suitable in estimating distances. The hours of practice and of recruit drills will be regulated as may be niost convenient. One company drill will be had at 3 p. m. on Friday of each week, recall being beaten at 2.30 p. m. for that purpose; the drill will be attended by all men supplied with muskets, except the fore. going details and men actually on necessary duty which will not admit of delay.
Theoretical instruction.—The non-commissioned officers of each company in turn will be detailed for one week for theoretical instruction. They will be excused from all duties but those necessary in the company, and will attend all recitations unless excused by the surgeon. The only exception to this detail will be the police sergeant, the depot sergeant, the acting drum major, the battalion printer, and the battalion photographer. The hours of the post school will be regulated accordingly when the teacher is on the detail.
Recitations will be conducted daily (Saturdays and Sundays excepted) at such hours as may be selected by company commanders. The latter will be the instructors of the companies, their subalterns being assistants. Regular classes will be formed in field fortification (including mining), pontoniering, topographical drawing, infantry tactics, the theoretical and practical use of the railroad transit, military signaling, and submarine mining according to the three parts of the Manual. The instructions in electricity will include elaborate verbal explanations and experiments in the electrical laboratory, which will be open on Mondays and Tuesdays for this purpose.
Each recitation will be marked on the West Point system, and at the close of each week a list showing the marks of each non-commissioned officer, in each branch, will be forwarded to the battalion adjutant.
During the winter season the school for soldiers, ordered by act of Congress approved July 28, 1866, and announced to the Army in General Orders No. 56, dated War De. partment, A. G. O., August 1, 1866, will be established. Attendance will be voluntary, the object being to extend aid to such enlisted men as desire to devote a portion of their winter's leisure to study. The necessary fuel for warming the rooms will be furnished by the quartermaster's department, as authorized by General Orders No. 94, series of 1867, from the headquarters of the Army.
This school, as well as that for the children of the post, will be under the charge of the battalion adjutant. Sessions will be held between 7 and 8 p. m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday of each week. Weekly reports will be rendered similar to those of the non-commissioned officers' recitations.
WEST POINT, NEW YORK.
Unless otherwise ordered by the superintendent of the Military Academy, the non commissioned officers and privates of Company E will receive, so far as practicable, the same instruction as the rest of the battalion ; and a consolidated report of the recitations of the non-commissioned officers in each branch will be forwarded to these headquarters at the close of the season. By order of Lieutenant-Colonel Abbot:
J. H. WILLARD, First Lieutenant of Engineers, Adjutant.
[Printed Orders No. 1.1
BATTALION OF ENGINEERS,
Willets Point, New York Harbor, January 9, 1882. I. Lieutenants on company duty, who joined the battalion in 1879, will submit, on or before the 1st of next April, a detailed project for a line of field works extending from Willets Point to Jamaica Bay, designed for the defense of Brooklyn against an invasion of a well-equipped army of 100,000 men landing on the east end of Long Island. This project will include a plan laid down on the battalion photographic map, such sections as are needful to give a correct idea of the character of the works, and a full memoir discussing the military features of the line, and giving the order and time in which the several works should be constructed, and a requisition for tools and such materials as cannot be found on the ground.
Our forces will be assumed to consist of 48,000 good infantry of the National Guard, organized in three divisions and armed with the Springfield rifle; a siege train, cosisting of one United States regiment of artillery (12 companies of 150 men each), equipped with 50 4.5-inch siege rifles and 50 6-inch smooth-bore siege mortars, with the ordnance stores and equipments needful for efficient service; 8 United States light batteries, each armed with 6 3-inch rifles, and 4 United States light batteries, each armed with 6 12-pounder Napoleou guns; one brigade of cavalry; one battalion of United States Engineers, consisting of three companies of 150 men each, provided with the needful tools and equipments for their own use; and of sufficient quartermaster trains, forage, and supplies to provision the army. There will also be subject to requisition 200 four-horse wagons, in the quartermaster depot at Brooklyn, to transport the tools and supplies needed for the construction of the defensive works.
This army will be supposed to be on the ground, provided with a good map, five days before the arrival of the enemy, but after that date the defensive works must be 80 constructed as to leave the troops at all times ready for an attack.
The locations of the camps and of the various headquarters will be shown on the map, with the position of such telegraph lines as may be considered necessary (supposed to be constructed). The artillery, cavalry, and engineers will be under the command of the chiefs of these arms on the stat of the commanding-general. Five commissioned officers will be on duty with each company of engineers, and five with each battery of artillery, all conversant with the construction of earthen batteries.
II. These projects and proposals, after revision by a board consisting of the lieu tenant-colonel commanding and the three captains of the battalion, will be transmitted, with such remarks as may seem fitting, to the Chief of Engineers. By order of Lieutenant-Colonel Abbot:
J. H. WILLARD, First Lieutenant of Engineers, Adjutant.
[Printed Orders No. 2.)
BATTALION OF ENGINEERS,
Willets Point, New York Harbor, January 30, 1882. The following is announced as the result of the target practice of this battalion for the year ending October 31, 1881.
In individual firing the companies were practiced at each range, and the best scores were obtained by combining two scores of five consecutive shots for each man.
The percentage of the maximum possible at each distance-fifty times the number of men firing-is exhibited in the following table :
Company E, stationed at West Point, did not engage in target practice during the year. The range formerly used was broken up and occupied by the new line of railroad through that post, and the company has not yet found a convenient place for a new range.
Forty-eight men were detached from the battalion from September 6 to October 26, in connection with the celebration at Yorktown, and on account of the additional daty required of the remainder of the garrison, firing by file, by volley, and as skirmuishers was omitted.