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active service. This measure recommends itself so strongly and unanimously to the army, that the committee can have no doubt of the opinions of officers in its favor.
In thus expressing freely my views on the proposed bill, I have considered the question only in its general bearing on the wants of the army and of the country.
I have not regarded at all the probable effect of these measures on the interests of individuals, because that consideration must be subordinate to the general good. But it appears to me that if the whole bill (with the alterations which I have suggested) should be adopted, there will be no difficulty in making a suitable arrangement of the present officers without injustice to any of them.
If conflicting views should prevent the committee from recommending the adoption of all the provisions of the bill, much good may be effected by obtaining the increase of force which the condition of the frontier demands; the retired list, which is indispensable for making the force effective; and the increase of pay, which is an act of sheer and tardy justice to the officers.
• A. MORDECAI,
Major Ordnance Department. Hon. CHARLES J. FAULKNER,
Chairman of Committee on Military Affairs, H. R.
WASHINGTON, January 22, 1855. SIR: In compliance with a letter from the Secretary of War, of the 19th instant, I have inade a full and careful examination of the bill (H. R. 615) “ for the increase and better organization of the army, and for other purposes," and respectfully submit the following views relative thereto.
The general principles of the bill are, in my judgment, sound and well calculated to promote the efficiency of the whole army. Its provisions are calculated to prevent controversies, now so frequent, in regard to rank and command; to diffuse the knowledge of staff duties among the whole army; to attain greater efficiency in the performance of those duties by giving a wider field for the selection of staff officers, who would also have a knowledge, gained from the experience of previous service with troops, of their wants and the best mode of supplying them; to remove jealousy and produce harmony and good feeling between the staff and the line, and to infuse new vigor and life into the army by retiring officers, incapacitated from performing their duties, and advancing the capable and competent to their places; at the same time making a fair provision for those who have been worn out or disabled in service; accelerating promotion, and establishing a rate of compensation somewhat commensurate with the services rendered, the responsibilities incurred, and the hardships endured by those actively employed in the army.
But while the bill contains these sound principles, and promises these valuable results, some of its details are, in my opinion, objectionable; so much so as, if not corrected, to raise an amount of oppo
sition to it sufficient to defeat its passage, and thus lose the many advantages it is intended to secure to the military service of the country. These objectionable details are susceptible of correction without abandoning any essential principle of the bill. The modifications which I would suggest for this end, consist in making the proposed reorganizations of the different branches of the military service gradual, instead of immediate, and in effecting them in such a manner as not to disturb existing relations, or do violence to what may be regarded as vested rights. I have noted these modifications on the printed bill, herewith enclosed, in sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. I ask attention to them, and claim for the bill, as so modified, the following advantages over it in its original shape: It will displace no one, and will thus disarm in a great measure, if not entirely, the opposition to it as it now stands, which is not unlikely to cause its defeat. The disadvantages of the present organization of the general staff, the engineers and the ordnance, will become, every year, less and less, and in time (and not a long time either, with the help of the retired list) will entirely disappear. It will give each officer, after entering the army, an opportunity of learning practically, every branch of the military profession, and of showing for which of them he has the best qualifications and most aptitude; and will thus afford the best criterion for selections, when permanent appointments in any of the staff departments or corps are to be made. It will assure to every officer hereafter entering the army a period of service with troops, which will give him a practical military experience, invaluable in any branch of the service he may be subsequently called to act in. It is not with me an opinion, but a fixed conclusion, that it is a serious disadvantage to any graduate of the Military Academy to be entered, at the beginning of his army service, into one of the staff corps, without knowing his qualifications, taste, or aptitude for the peculiar duties of that corps. Class standing at West Point is by no means an infallible evidence of such qualification. The peculiar talent and aptitude, whether for active duties with troops in the field, or for the scientific or business pursuits of the staff, will be subsequently developed in the course of service, while the practical military knowledge acquired by service with troops in the first years of military life will never be forgotten, and never cease to tell advantageously in whatever branch of the army the officer may afterwards be placed. I would, therefore, have no lieutenants permanently attached to the staff, or to any staff corps; but would provide for the performance of duties therein, pertaining to subaltern officers, by details from other corps of the army.
For these reasons I propose my amendments to the 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th sections of the bill; remarking more particularly, in reference to the number of extra lieutenants, stated in the amendment to the 2d section, that it provides officers for details only as the wants of the service may require them, and that the greatest number authorized for the purpose, viz: seven for each regiment~133 in all-is but enough to make up for details, as follows:
Forty for engineer duty, instead of the same number of that grade provided by the 3d section of the bill, but omitted by my amendment;
Seventeen for ordnance duty, which with the nineteen permanent officers provided by the 4th section as amended, will make up the number of the corps as now organized;
Nineteen for quartermasters' and commissaries' duties, being one for each regiment, as authorized by the 5th section of the bill; and
Fifty-seven for separate posts, as authorized by the same section.
The bill, if modified according to the views I have indicated, will attain the same ends that are proposed by it, as it now stands; thu difference being, I conceive, that the mode of attaining those ends will, by my plan, obviate many serious objections to the bill as reported, and that the modified bill will be more likely to pass. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain of Ordnance Hon. C. J. FAULKNER,
Chairman Committee on Military Affairs.
Bill, (H. R. 615,) with amendments proposed by Captain Maynadier.
to accompany his letter of the 22d January, 1855, to the Hon. C. J. Faulkner; prepared in compliance with a request from the Committee on Military Affairs to communicate his views relative to this bill.
A BILL for the increase and better organization of the army, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be added to the army two regiments of infantry and two regiments of cavalry, organized as in the existing force, with such modifications as provided in this act.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the present regiments of dragoons and mounted riflemen shall be hereafter styled regiments of Cavalry, and that, in order to furnish details for engineer, ordnance, and general statf duties, there may be added to each regiment of artillery, infantry, and cavalry as many first lieutenants, not exceeding seven, as the exigencies of the service may require; each company of cavalry shall consist of one captain, one first lieutenant, one second lieutenant, five sergeants, and from six to ten corporals, (one as quartermaster corporal, and one as saddler corporal,) two musicians, two farriers, and from sixty-four to one hundred privates, as the President may direct; that each company of artillery shall remain organized as at present, with the addition of one or three sergeants, the addition of one or three corporals, the addition of two or four artificers, and the addition of from the present number of privates up to one hundred, as the President may direct; and that each company of infantry shall remain organized as at present, with the addition of one sergeant, four corporals, and twenty-six privates, as the President may direet.
Sec. 3. And be it fürther enacted, That there shall be added to the corps of engineers one brigadier general and a company of engineer
soldiers, organized as now provided by law; that the corps of topographical engineers shall be discontinued, and the officers of that corps transferred to the corps of engineers; that vacancies in and below the grade of captain in the corps of engineers shall not be filled until it shall be reduced to consist of one brigadier general, two colonels, two lieutenant colonels, eight majors, and twenty captains; and such additional officers as may be from time to time required for the performance of engineer duties, shall be détailed from the other corps of the army.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That vacancies in and below the grade of captain in the ordnance corps shall not be filled until it shall be reduced to consist of one colonel, two lieutenant colonels, eight majors, eight captains, and the military storekeepers and enlisted men now authorized by law; and such additional officers as may from time to time be required for the performance of ordnance duties, shall be detailed from the other corps of the army.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That including the number now authorized by law, and the one to be at the head of the engineers, there shall be ten brigadier generals—one to be adjutant general, one to be quartermaster general, and two to be employed as inspectors general, when required by the state of the service; and vacancies in the Subsistence, the Adjutant General's, and the Quartermaster's departments shall not be filled until these departments shall be reduced to consist of one commissary general, one judge advocate of the army, eight assistant adjutant generals, eight quartermasters, and six commissaries; and all vacancies, subsequently occurring in either of these departments, shall be filled by officers selected from the regiments or corps, and who shall receive each the cavalry pay and allowances of the grade next above that which he holds in his regiment or corps, except the commissary general, who shall receive the pay and allowances of a colonel; and there shall be as many assistant quartermasters and assistant commissaries as the service may require, not exceeding one to each regiment and each separate post, who shall be selected from the lieutenants of the army, and shall receive not more than twenty dollars nor less than ten dollars a month in addition to their pay, and be subject to duty in both departments: Provided, That the duties now performed by the quartermaster general, in relation to the supply and accountability for army clothing, be hereafter performed by the commissary general.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That all commissioned officers of the army authorized by this act shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Appointments on the staff, to wit: of adjutant general, quartermaster general, inspectors general, and to fill vacancies in the Subsistence, Adjutant Gene ral's, and Quartermaster's departments, shall be made by the President, shall confer no additional rank in the army, and shall be revoked, and the officer returned to the ordinary duties of his commission, whenever, in the judgment of the President, the public service may thereby be promoted; and the assistant quartermasters and assistant commissaries, authorized by this act, shall be appointed and removed under such regulations as the President may adopt; and these appointments and selections of officers for staff duties shall be without prejudice to their rank and promotion in their respective regiments or corps; and all laws now in force authorizing the appointment, by commission, of inspectors general, of officers in the Adjutant General's department, in the Quartermaster General's department, in the Subsistence department, and of judge advocate of the army, and of the appointment of regimental quartermasters, be, and the same are hereby, repealed; and the officers now holding commissions on the staff shall be arranged to places in the army, regard, as far as practicable, being had to rank.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That general officers shall be appointed by selection; the brigadier general of engineers from the corps of engineers, and the colonel of ordnance by selection from the corps of ordnance; in all other cases promotions shall be made by seniority to the grade of colonel, inclusive, except in case of disability or incompetency. In the artillery, infantry, and cavalry, promotions to the rank of captain, inclusive, shall be made regimentally; above that grade, through the lines of artillery, infantry, and cavalry, respectively. Promotions in the engineers and ordnance shall be confined to the respective corps. Vacancies in the grade of captain of engineers or ordnance which may occur after these corps are reduced to the respective organizations provided by sections three and four of this act, shall be supplied by selection from the other corps of the army.
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the President shall have power to prescribe the manner in which the troops shall be armed and equipped, according to the nature of their service.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That articles sixty-first, sixtysecond, and sixty-third of section first of the act of April ten, eighteen hundred and six, entitled “An act for establishing rules and articles for the government of the armies of the United States,” be, and the same are hereby, repealed; and the following rules shall regulate the command and rank of officers in cases not provided for in the ninetyeighth article of the act just recited:
When different regiments or corps join and do duty together, the officer highest in rank there present on duty shall command the whole.
Officers shall take rank and do duty in the regiment or corps to which they belong, according to the commissions by which they are mustered therein. Brevet commissions shall not have effect, either for rank or pay, except in commands composed of different regiments or corps: and then only by assignment by the President, or such officer as he may empower to make such assignments ; but no officer, by virtue of his brevet, shall be placed over another of higher rank by brevet.
An officer of the pay or medical departments cannot exercise command, except in his own department; nor shall he be commanded by a non-commissioned officer, nor by any but the commander of the post, the regiment, or troops with which he may be serving.
Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That the officers and men authorized by this act shall be entitled to the same provisions for wounds and disabilities, and their widows and children to the same allow