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or term of service, while captains seeking promotion must have a different rule applied to them. This is, in my judgment, an unfair and illiberal distinction.
know why a captain if he is a worthy man should not be placed in the same category with field and general officers. He is in the same category the moment he gets above the rank of captain; why should he not be before, if you want to promote a meritorious line of officers?
Mr. SCHENCK. When you speak of the grade above the grade of captain, of course you mean the grade of major, for that is the next grade above. Therefore all these promotions will take place in the ordinary way, by seniority, while officers are yet young, undeveloped in character, and in some degree undeveloped in capacity. But when they become field officers and reach the grade of major, promotions will be made by selections according
As a matter of course, when a man has been promoted from captain to major, if he be a young major, even the last captain promoted, if he manifests unusual ability and fitness for going higher up, he will be eligible for selection for that purpose. That is the whole meaning of the provision. It is adopting in our military system what, as I have shown the House, has prevailed in the military systems of all other countries. I do not say that the first grade above that of captain is the best point at which to make the line. Perhaps you night say above the grade of major, or above the grade of lieutenant colonel or colonel. But the committee thought that after an officer had served as a subaltern, and as the commander of a company, and had got his first promotion above the grade of captain, and was made a major, he ought after that to expect promotion only according to the efficiency, ability, and fitness for higher and more serious and important commands which he should manifest.
Mr. WRIGHT. Does not the promotion of general or field officers depend upon the arbitrary will of the appointing power?
Mr. SCHENCK. Not now.
Mr. WRIGHT. While a captain has to depend alone upon his merits.
Mr. SCHENCK. Not at all; it is just the reverse. In all the staff corps promotions are hereafter to be made without regard to the seniority of commission or date of appointment; that is, they are to be by. merit, and it is proposed that the same rule of promotion, by merit alone, shall apply to all officers of the line above the grade of captain; that is, to majors, lieutenant colonels, and colonels. Promotion by seniority will be confined to those who have not got to the grade.above that of captain, to all below the grade of major.
Mr. WRIGHT. I am aware that many staff officers have the rank of lieutenant. But in regard to the promotion of line officers, I know of no reason why the captain of a company should not have the same chance of arbitrary selection and promotion as field and general officers.
Mr. SCHENCK. If I understand the gentleman aright now, he would have this rule of promotion by selection extend through all the grades.
Mr. WRIGHT. Why not?
Mr. SCHENCK. For the simple reason which I have already stated, and there must be some reason in the rule, since it is one which has been adopted in every country where they have military systems which have been built up through centuries. It is for the reason that junior officers, subalterns and company officers, are not presumed to be men who have become developed; it is not to be presumed that any of them will be able to make such show of preeminent ability above their fellows of the same grade as those in other and higher ranks, and therefore they are to be promoted by seniority alone. That is, where there is a vacancy for major, it is to be filled by promot ing the oldest captain. Above that grade it is proposed to make promotions according to merit.
Mr. WRIGHT. My objection is this: that in the appointment of regimental staff officers, they may be selected without regard to seniority
Mr. BOYER. Mr. Speaker, I fear very much that in the present temper of the House this section is likely not to receive that attention which I think its importance demands. It proposes to make a radical change in the whole system of promotion in the Army. The system which at present exists has not, I believe, been found so deficient in its workings as to call for so radical a change as this.
We are about to organize the Army upon the basis of a peace establishment; and I trust that many years may elapse before it will be called into active service in the field. It is a serious question whether it would be an improvement upon our military system to make promotions below the grade of colonel by selection instead of by seniority. How is the merit of the officer to be determined? Among the various captains, majors, and lieutenant colonels, it will be very difficult to decide, from the manner in which they perform their duties in garrison or upon the parade ground, which of them are entitled by merit to be promoted over the heads of their seniors.
In time of war military genius makes its way; and during actual hostilities our old system did not prevent those who occupied subordinate positions in the Army from rising in the course of a few months to the very highest rank. That system did not smother the genius of a Sherman or a Grant. Why, then, shall this radical change be made now? What is there in the experience of the past to recommend it as a necessary measure?
I fear that however beautiful the system of selection by merit alone may appear in theory, it will be found in practice to be a system of political favoritism, under which officers will be promoted, not on account of their military merit, but because they happen to have a friend at court. I fear that under this system the officer stationed at some remote place upon the western frontier, having no relatives or friends in Congress or in the Cabinet, will be likely to remain in obscurity with his merit undiscovered; while some more fortunate officer much his junior, who has been enjoying for many years a soft place here in the city of Washington, will, because he happens to have an uncle in the Cabinet, or a brother in Congress, be promoted over the head of his meritorious senior; and that will be called a selection by merit!
If you could determine the value of men as you determine the value of jewels, by their luster or their color; or if you could gauge their value by their weight per pound, like so many bullocks, it would be easy to distinguish which man was entitled to the most consideration, and then you could make selections, as this section proposes they shall be made, exclusively by merit. But what man ever discovered in General Grant when he was a simple lieutenant in the Army the merit which would entitle him to be com
mander-in-chief of the Army of the United
States? What man ever discovered in General Sherman, when he was the principal of a military academy in the Southwest, that he was the man to lead the forces of the United States through the very heart of the rebellion?
It was the merit alone of these men that enabled them to gain the distinction which their country ultimately bestowed upon them. But, sir, it was under the old system that this was achieved. And, sir, when we have before our eyes these illustrious examples of selection by merit, why are we to change the whole system, to reverse the whole order of things in the Army? I believe, sir, that there is nothing which would be more calculated to demoralize the Army than this very measure.
Allusion has been made to the practice of foreign countries; and among others that of France has been cited. I happen to know, however, that the selections which are made for promotion in the French army are made very differently from the manner in which they
would be made in this country, if the system proposed by this bill should be adopted without incorporating in the bill anything else to assimilate it to the system in the French army. In the French army the promotions for merit are made upon the recommendation of a board of officers of the army. That part of the French system is not incorporated into this bill.
If hereafter promotion by selection is to embrace all ranks above that of captain, or, as proposed by the amendment of the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. GARFIELD,] all below as well as above that grade, I think the injurious effects of this system should be obviated by incorporating into it that which is deemed necessary for its proper, efficient, and beneficial working in the French army. Let, then, a board of officers be established, (composed of officers of the Army, not of politicians,) empowered to recommend their juniors for promotion. Let the men selected by a disinterested and capable board like that be the persons promoted by merit, if merit alone is to be the criterion. But as it is the practical result will be that the professed object of this section" of the bill will be defeated. Instead of promotion by merit it will be a system of nepotism and favoritism throughout. I am therefore opposed to this section, and also to the amend. ment of the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. GARFIELD,] and if it be in order I will now make the motion that this section be stricken out of the bill.
The SPEAKER. It is in order to move that the section be stricken out.
Mr. SCHENCK. Before the vote is taken on the motion to strike out, the vote will of course be taken on the amendment of my col. league.
Mr. BOYER. I do not make the motion now, and of course do not wish to cut off any amendment to the section.
Mr. SCHENCK. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Pennsylvania has spoken of that which is the objection to this system which I propose, and I admit it is to a limited and to a certain extent. true of the present system. Like all other changes, the question is whether the result is loss or gain by departing from the present condition of things. If, on the one hand, you make promotion in any part of the Army by selection made upon men's merit it is liable to the possible abuse of which the gentleman speaks, that there may be partiality, but so far as examinations are concerned, if he will look at the thirty-fourth section he will find we have provided promotion below the rank of colonel shall be on examination by a board of officers as he recommends, not of politicians, not of outsiders, but a board composed of members of the Army.
The answer to that objection which may be made, the objection of promotion being made through partiality, is that in every human system we must trust somebody. Everything rests somewhere. The necessity of obedience to law devise every expedient you can, and you will is with those who are to carry it out. You may be scarcely able to get rid of that. While there is a fear of partiality and abuse on one side, look at what may be considered a greater disadvantage if you do not have some rule of this kind, found expedient to be adopted in every country which has had a successful military system except our own. The difficulty into which you run, if you do not make it limited, is this: if all promotion is to be by seniority, the oldest captain will be major in his turn, the oldest major lieutenant colonel, and the oldest lieutenant colonel, as a matter of course, colonel; and so all the way through, step by step; and inefficiency and incapacity are sure to result.
The gentleman was unfortunate in his illus trations, I think, drawn from experience during the last war, which experience has aided us in bringing our attention to this particular sub ject. He referred to Grant and Sherman and others who have distinguished themselves as great leaders in the war, prominent above all
others. How did they come to have their services secured in these high places? Most of these gentlemen had left the Army, these two particularly had, while others remained in the regular Army. They got appointed as field officers, some as colonels, some as lieutenant colonels, both these officers as colonels, and were found on trial to develop such qualities they were speedily made general officers, and from general officers of subordinate positions advanced by development of capacity over all others until they became chosen the leaders of the war. And thus men far below in age, in previous rank, and in date of former commission, by the very exigencies of the service and by force of this rule which we propose you shall now adopt to a certain extent throughout the Army, are brought at the head who are admitted on all hands to be those who ought to be at the head.
The illustration is not a good one for the gentleman's argument, it seems to me, but it sustains precisely what I am saying. And without extending the argument further, I would say that we have learned, I think, by sad experience a great deal during this war with all its lessons and among other things we have learned that there is good reason and good cause for the adoption of this rule of promotion by merit and selection, above certain grades at least, as it exists in other armies, and we would do well, perhaps, to introduce it into our own.
vices before a board of three general officers, or officers of his corps or arm of service senior to him in rank.
The gentleman says it is, to a certain extent, a radical change. I admit it. There is argument on both sides, and the gentleman has presented very fairly the argument against it. But I submit to him and to the House whether there is not more to be gained than to be lost by the change; whether the danger is not, if we continue with a still larger army, as we have heretofore, when it has not been so much felt, with a very small army in time of peace, making promotions step by step, by seniority alone, we may not find a large number of those highest in command among the worn-out, effete, and imbecile officers of the Army, instead of the most vigorous, best, and most gifted.
Mr. BOYER. I cannot admit, as the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. SCHENCK] seems to think, that I have been unfortunate in my illustrations. The cases of Generals Grant and Sherman were cited by me for the purpose of illustrating the fact that even under our present system of promotion by seniority, great and shining merit could find its way to the surface. In time of war the regular system of promotion by seniority is to a great extent disregarded, as it has been throughout the whole course of the late war. And I was willing to admit, too, that if we were always to be at war, then the system proposed by this bill is the very one which ought to be adopted. Amid the storm of war military merit makes itself evident, and enables us to distinguish truly when the junior should command the senior.
But we are now preparing an army for a peace establishment, and I say that it is not a good general rule in time of peace to select for promotion otherwise than by seniority.
And I do not think there is much weight, with all due deference to the argument of the gentleman, in the suggestion that we are likely to be overburdened with inefficient and incompetent officers; for you have your examining and retiring boards to enable you to rid the Army of all that sort of material under the operation of the existing system.
Then again, the section which the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. SCHENCK] points out as the remedy of the evils which are complained of as likely to result under the system which he would introduce, namely, section thirty-four, does not provide at all, as he asserts it does, for a board of examiners composed of Army officers to make selections for promotions, but it provides in these words:
That no officer of the Army below the rank of colonel shall hereafter be promoted to a higher grade before having passed a satisfactory examination as to his fitness for promotion and record of past ser
It will be perceived that this board is to decide upon the fitness of officers for promotion. But they do not decide as to the respective merits of the different officers who may appear before the board, but only in general terms as to the fitness or unfitness for promotion. Having received the certificate of such an examining board, a young officer may grow gray before he receives the promotion for which they certify he is fitted.
Now, one of the great evils which will pervade this system thus sought to be introduced into the Army, will be that whenever a vacancy occurs there will be a strife among the various officers as to who is entitled by merit to promotion to fill the vacancy.
In a regiment, for example, where a coloneley is to be filled, every captain in the regiment will consider himself entitled by merit to supersede not only the other captains but the major and the lieutenant colonel; and thus, in every regiment where a vacancy occurs, and as often as it occurs, there will be a scene of jealousy, strife, and intrigue calculated to lead eventually to the demoralization of the Army, and to the destruction of that esprit du corps which it is absolutely necessary should be preserved if we desire that our Army shall continue to be in the future what it has been in the past.
Mr. GARFIELD. I wish to call the attention of the House for a moment to the point in debate. The gentleman says that, notwithstanding the proposition made by the committee in this bill, we have seen notable examples during the late war in which the old system has given us the very best talent in the country. I answer that by a single fact, and that fact is, that all the examples he has given have been in defiance of the old custom in the Army and under special legislation that broke the old rule of promotion by seniority. If the rule of seniority had obtained throughout the war, not one of the leading men who occupied, and are occupying, high places in the Army could have occupied those places. Half a dozen of those who are major generals would have been majors yet but for the fact that the rule of seniority was entirely overlooked. It was found necessary in the progress of the war to enact a law that the President might assign a junior officer to the command of his seniors. It became absolutely necessary. We had some men who had grown old in the service, and it would not do, according to the old custom in the Army, to let a junior officer command them. Con gress, therefore, passed an act providing that whenever the President of the United States saw fit he might assign any general officer, without regard to his rank, to the command of a department or an Army corps, and that officer might command his seniors. Thus, the rule of seniority was broken down regularly and systematically by law, to enable us to get hold of the best intellects of the country and put them into the service.
The great success of Napoleon Bonaparte was due, mainly, to the fact that he utterly ignored the rule of seniority. It is true, he paid this much deference to the rule, that if he wanted a corporal made a captain he promoted him to be a sergeant one day, a second lieutenant the next day, a first lieutenant the next, and a captain the next; but he went through the form only out of respect to a timehonored custom. I affirm, and I wish it understood by every gentleman, that no great and successful army was ever called into the field in the history of war, but what had its officers selected in defiance of the rule of seniority, and upon the principle of merit.
Observe another thing. This rule of senior ity has always been broken down by great commanders wherever great emergencies of war were upon them. For instance, in 179899, when we expected war with France, Wash ington was appointed General-in-Chief of the Army, and he made it a condition to his acceptance of that position that he, himself, should have the selection of his leading officers. When he came to make his selection he made Alexander Hamilton, a man taken from civil life, and who had never been higher than a colonel in the Army, first in the rank of major generals; he made Pinckney, of South Carolina, second in rank, and he made General Knox, who had been a commander of division in the war of the Revolution, third in rank; thus absolutely reversing the order, and placing those men in that order solely on the ground of merit, and not on the ground of seniority.
Now, the only difference between the chairman of the committee and myself is that I do not think he has gone far enough in the application of his rule of merit. I think the rule should be made to apply to captains and lieutenants as well as to officers above them.
And for the purpose of effecting that object I desire to modify my amendment so as to make it a motion to strike out the words "above the grade of captain." That would make the rule of promotion by merit alone universal throughout the Army; and that is what I desire.
Now I desire to say one word on that point before I yield the floor. The gentleman has said that we cannot always judge what a man will be until we have had time to test him. Therefore when a man has risen by seniority to the grade of captain, we cannot tell whether there is anything in him or not. Now, my answer to that is, that in the thirty-fourth section of this bill it is provided that there shall be competitive examinations for officers even below the grade of major, and they are to be promoted only as they shall show themselves to be proficient. And I want that principle adopted here.
Another point: the gentleman says we want men in the Army awhile before we can decide upon their merits. I know that it has under the old rule sometimes taken a man twenty years to reach the grade of major by the rule of promotion by seniority. At the time of the commencement of the late war there were many captains in the Army who had been twenty years in the service. Their merits had become perfectly well known.
As we are now entering upon a time of peace, a man will probably be a second lieutenant on an average for four or five years, which certainly will allow time enough to discover all the capacity there is in him. If young men who are commissioned second lieutenants do not make sufficient improvement in the vigor of their youth, when they can best improve themselves, during the three, or four, or five, or ten years that they are company officers, they certainly ought not to be promoted.
I hope, therefore, that the principle of promotion by merit or examination will be applied to all, and I modify my amendment to that effect.
Mr. STEVENS. I am not sure but I shall vote for the amendment of the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. GARFIELD.] I ought perhaps in modesty to recite the old Dutch maximis it? "Non nostrum inter vos tantas lites componere." [Laughter.] I think that is Latin. [Renewed laughter.] I do not know that I ought to mingle in this quarrel between these high generals, having never been anything more than a second lieutenant myself. But I want to make this suggestion, that the system of giving promotion by seniority of rank comes from the old Eng lish system, and is founded, I think, upon a vicious principle. In England, by means of purchasing commissions, a nobleman who has younger sons, and desires to place them where they can secure a support for life, with a certainty of promotion, purchases commissions for them at from two to three thousand pounds each. Those commissions are salable by the officers holding them. Now, it would not do to have these vested rights broken in upon by allowing promotions or even appointments to be made for merit alone, and hence, until you
get to the higher grades in the British army, promotions are never made for merit, but only by seniority. That is a system devised by the nobility for the support of those for whom they have purchased commissions. But it is a system with which we in America ought to have nothing to do. We cannot afford to make our original appointments by the sales of commissions; nor can we allow those who hold com. missions to transfer them by sale, and thus make a large amount of money out of them. That being the case, there is but one other system which we can adopt, and that is the system of promotion by merit, and I think we ought to apply the system to the lowest ranks.
I hope I shall be excused for venturing to make these remarks upon a qestion that I may be supposed to know nothing about, and I am willing to confess it. As I am requested to call the previous question, I will do so.
The previous question was seconded, and the main question ordered; which was upon the amendment of Mr. GARFIELD.
of a majority of the council is not adverse in the case of any officer, he shall thereupon be immediately marked on the Army list to be retained in the service in the position or rank which he is then holding, of which due notice shall be given in general orders; but if the majority of the council report that in their opinion, and for reasons which they shall assign, the case of any officer ought to be further inquired into, he shall thereupon be summoned, by order, to appear before a board, to consist of three general othcers or officers of his corps or arm of the service, senior to him in rank, to undergo further examination. On such examination, besides other inquiry as to his capacity and qualifications, mental, moral, and physical, the officer shall be allowed, if the case requires it, full and reasonable opportunity for explanation and defense, and may produce witnesses and other testimony to meet any objections or charges made against him. If the board thereupon report that he is not qualified to remain in the Army, for reasons other than any which involve bad moral character, he shall be placed on the retired list, as is provided in other cases for the retirement of Army officers, and on the same conditions; but if he be found unfit for the service on account of moral disqualifications, he shall at once be dropped from the rolls of the Army. And in making such investigations into the fitness of officers to be retained in the service the said military council and such boards as may at any time be appointed and organized under the provisions of this section, shall take into account the cases of any who may have been employed in no active duty in the field during any part of the late war, and shall inquire specially into the reasons for their not being so employed; and any officer whose absence from active field service during the war shall be decided by a board of examiners, after full hearing, to have been on account of his sympathy with the rebellion or his unwillingness to serve actively against the so-called confederate States, or any particular State, or the people of any State engaged in rebellion, shall be reported the same as if found morally disqualified for the service.
The question was taken; and there wereayes thirty-two, noes not counted.
So the amendment was not agreed to.
The question recurring on the motion of Mr. BOYER, to strike out the twenty-eighth section, it was not agreed to.
The Clerk read as follows:
SEC. 29. And be it further enacted, That the President is authorized to transfer officers of the Army of the United States from the line to the general staff, and from the general staff to the line, or from one staff corps of the general staff to another and different staff corps, or from one arm of the service to another; but an officer on being so transferred shall only take such rank in the staff or corps in which he is placed as he held by commission in the staff or line before his transfer.
SEC. 30. And be it further enacted, That the age for the admission of cadets to the United States Military Academy shall hereafter be between seventeen and twenty-two years; but any person who has served two years as a volunteer in the Union Army, in the late war, may be eligible to appointment up to the age of twenty-four years.
SEC. 31. And be it further enacted. That cadets at the Military Academy shall hereafter be appointed one year in advance of the time of their admission, except in cases where by reason of death, or other cause, a vacancy occurs which cannot thus be provided for by such appointment in advance; but no pay or allowance shall be made to any such appointee until he shall be regularly admitted on examination, as now provided by law. And in addition to the requirements necessary for admission as provided by the third section of the "act making further provisions for the corps of Engineers," approved April 29, 1812, candidates shall be required to have a knowledge of the elements of English grammar, of descriptive geography, particularly of our own country, and of the history of the United States.
SEC. 32. And be it further enacted, That the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy may hereafter be selected, and the officers on duty at that institution detailed, from any arm of the service; and the supervision and charge of the Academy shall be in the War Department, under such officer or officers as the Secretary of War may assign to that duty.
Mr. SCHENCK. I move to amend by inserting the following as an additional section: SEC.. And be it further enacted, That no officer of the Army, in time of peace, shall be dismissed the service unless in accordance with the provisions of this act or by sentence of a court-martial duly approved.
The amendment was agreed to.
The Clerk read as follows:
SEC. 33. And be it further enacted. That immediately after the passage of this act the President of the United States shall convene a council of officers to assemble at Washington city, which council shall be composed of three general officers of the Army, three officers of infantry, two officers of artillery, two officers of cavalry, two officers of the medical department, one officer of the Adjutant General's department, one officer of engineers, one officer of ordnance, one officer of the quartermaster's deparment, one officer of the subsistence department, and one officer of the pay department; all to be selected for their high character for intelligence, discretion, justice, patriotism, and professional ability, and who, being thus selected, shall be retained on the Army list. It shall be the duty of this council to inquire into and consider the capacity, character, record of services, and fitness to be continued in the military service of every officer below the grade of brigadier general who may be in the Army at the time of the passage of this bill; and with a view to this they shall be furnished with all information, papers, records, and other documentary evidence they may require from the War Department. As they proceed with this investigation, they shall, from time to time, report all their conclusions in each case to the Secretary of War. When the report
Mr. SCHENCK. The Inspector General's department is not represented in the council of officers according to the present provisions of the section. I move, therefore, to amend by inserting after the word "department," where it occurs the second time in the tenth line, the words "and one officer of the Inspector General's department," and by striking out in the same line the word "and;" so that the clause will read:
Which council shall be composed of three general officers of the Army, three officers of infantry, two officers of artillery, two officers of cavalry, two officers of the medical department, one officer of the Adjutant General's department, one officer of engineers, one officer of ordnance, one officer of the quartermaster's department, one officer of the subsistence department, one officer of the pay department, and one officer of the Inspector General's department. The amendment was agreed to.
The Clerk read as follows:
SEC. 34. And be it further enacted, That no officer of the Army below the rank of colonel shall hereafter be promoted to a higher grade before having passed a satisfactory examination as to his fitness for promotion and record of past services before a board of three general officers or officers of his corps or arm of service, senior to him in rank; and should the officer fail at said examination, he shall be suspended from promotion for one year, when, if he still desires promotion, he shall, upon application, be reexamined, and upon a second failure shall be dropped from the rolls of the Army: Provided, That if any officer be found unfit for promotion on account of moral disqualifications, he shall not be entitled to a reexamination.
Mr. SCHENCK. Mr. Speaker, some representations have been made to me by officers of the Army who have distinguished themselves during the late war as to the possible working of this section, and the propriety of an amendment to guard against possible injustice. In conformity with the suggestions made to me, I move to amend by striking out in the sixth line the words, "senior to him in rank," and inserting in lieu thereof the words, “who have served as seniors to him in rank during the late war against the rebellion;" so that the clause will read:
That no officer of the Army below the rank of colonel shall hereafter be promoted to a higher grade before having passed a satisfactory examination as to his fitness for promotion and record of past services before a board of three general officers or officers of his corps or arm of service, who have served as seniors to him in rank during the late war against the rebellion.
colonels have not been selected for any such command, being supposed to be not quite so well fitted as their juniors, or not quite so young and capable as it was desirable they should be for the efficiency of the service.. Now, these gentlemen who may apply for colonelcies, or any higher grade of position in the extension of the Army, do not wish to be examined by officers senior to them in rank who did not serve during the war, and whose sympathies would not probably be with them.
Mr. WRIGHT. I ask the gentleman from Ohio whether he is not taking away from the President and Senate their prerogative to appoint, nominate, and confirm. The gentleman refuses to answer, and I hope the section will be voted out.
The amendment was agreed to.
The Clerk read as follows:
SEC. 35. And be it further enacted, That no person shall be appointed an officer in the line or in any staff corps of the Army until he shall have passed a satisfactory examination before a board, to be convened under direction of the Secretary of War, who shall inquire into and take account of the services rendered during the late war, as well as the capacity and qualifications otherwise of the applicant; and such appointment, when made, shall be without regard to previous rank, but with sole regard to qualifications and meritorious services. ̧
SEC. 36. And be it further enacted, That for the pur pose of promoting knowledge of military science among the young men of the United States, the President may, upon the application of an established college or university within the United States, with sufficient capacity to educate at one time not less than one hundred and fifty male students, detail an officer of the Army to act as president, superintendent, or professor of such college or university; that the number of officers so detailed shall not exceed twenty at any time, and shall be appointed through the United States, as nearly as practicable, according to population, and shall be governed by general rules, to be prescribed from time to time by the President.
I will state the reason for proposing this amendment. Some officers who formerly served as captains or majors, or held other subordinate positions in regiments, have acted as brigadier and major generals during the late war, while their former colonels or lieutenant
Mr. GARFIELD. I move the following to come in as a new section:
And be it further enacted, That whenever troops are serving at any post, garrison, or permanent camp, there shall be established a school where all enlisted men may be provided with instruction in the common English branches of education and especially in the history of the United States; and the Secretary of War is authorized and directed to detail such commissioned and non-commissioned officers as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
Mr. Speaker, I only ask to say a word on that subject. One of the greatest evils known in standing armies is the evil of idleness, the parent of all wickedness, and especially the ignorance connected with it. I hope we will be able to do something to eradicate that evil from our Army, and to do something to make it a patriotic Army. In the wearisome months spent in camp and at posts and garrisons there is nothing for them to do but to indulge in some deviltry. It is a great evil in the Army, I want the enlisted men to have opportunities for culture, and I ask that the Secretary of War shall detail officers fitted for that purpose. I think such a section will relieve the Army from this evil. It has been drawn hastily, but I think will commend itself to the country.
One word more. If it were in my power I would make a law that every man and woman in the United States should study American history through the period of their minority. We cannot do that throughout the United States generally, but we can enforce it to some extent upon the privates in our Army.
Mr. SCHENCK. I have no objection to incorporate this section into the bill. I only advise the House and the gentleman who offers it that I have a long bill proposing a radical change to take place gradually in our whole system. The purpose will be indicated by reading its title. It is an act to establish a system of education in the regular Army of the United States, and provide that all promotions therein shall begin from the rank and file. As this is not to be presented now, but a matter for future consideration, I do not object to the amendment.
The Clerk read as follows:
SEC. 37. And be it further enacted, That any person applying for a commission under the authority of this act, and having permission to appear before a board
Mr. SCHENCK. I understand the gentle-
Mr. WRIGHT. None whatever.
Mr. WRIGHT. Simply that we may know
The amendment was agreed to.
of examiners, shall be entitled, in case of passing the examination and being appointed or commissioned, to receive mileage from his place of residence to the place of examination, or such portion of that distance as he may actually travel, the same as is paid to officers traveling under orders, but shall be paid no other compensation.
SEC. 38. And be it further enacted, That the allowance now made by law to officers traveling under orders, where transportation is not furnished in kind, shall be increased to ten cents per mile.
Mr. ROLLINS. I move to amend by inserting the following as a new section, to come in after section thirty-eight:
And be it further enacted, That the provision in section fifteen of the act approved July 5, 1838, giving to certain officers an additional ration per diem for each five years of service, shall be construed to apply to all officers or soldiers of volunteers who may be commissioned in the regular Army, and the date of the original entrance of the officers or soldiers in the volunteer service shall be the date from which the period of five years shall be reckoned.
I understand that the committee have no objection to this amendment. The object of it is to secure a credit to the gallant men who have served in the volunteer Army during the war if they shall be appointed in the regular Army, so that they may obtain the additional ration. I think it is just and proper that they should have the credit. They will have been in actual service for some years, and deserve the credit that this amendment proposes.
Mr. SCHENCK. If section thirty-eight remains in the bill I have no objection to this amendment to it. It has been my purpose, however, to move to strike out that section altogether, and for this reason: it relates to pay and allowances, and that very provision is contained in another bill that we have reported called the pay bill, which has been made a special order in this House. Both the thirtyeighth section and the amendment which the gentleman proposes would be very appropriate in that bill.
Mr. ROLLINS. It is the safest course to put it in this bill.
Mr. BLAINE. If that bill should not pass I would rather have the amendment in this bill. The amendment was agreed to.
The Clerk read the following sections:
SEC. 39. And be it further enacted, That in construing this bill, officers who have heretofore been appointed or commissioned to serve with United States colored troops shall be deemed and held to be officers of volunteers.
SEC. 40. And be it further enacted, That officers of the regular Army, who have also held commissions as officers of volunteers, shall not on that account be held to be volunteers under the provisions of this act. Mr. SCHENCK. I propose after section forty to insert as an additional section the following:
And be it further enacted, That nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize or permit the appointment to any position or office in the Army of the United States of any person who has served in any capacity in the military or naval service of the socalled confederate States during the late rebellion, but any such appointment shall be held illegal and void.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. WRIGHT. I have an amendment to offer as a new section:
Mr. ANCONA. I offer the following amendment, to come in as an additional section after the section which has just been passed:
And be it further enacted, That all leaders of bands of music in the United States Army, who now have the pay of second lieutenants, shall be styled bandmasters, with the privilege of wearing the shoulder straps of a second lieutenant with a lyre thereon to indicate their position: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall add to the rank, pay, or emol
uments of such band-masters.
SEC.. And be it further enacted, That there shall be an instructor of sword exercise with the rank, pay, and emoluments of a lieutenant colonel of cavalry; that said instructor of sword exercise shall be a thorough practical swordsman, conversant with both cavalry and infantry sword drill, and be distinguished for capacity, efficiency, and experience as an instructor; that he shall carry out such regulations for perfecting the officers of the Army in the use of the sword as the Secretary of War may prescribe. The amendment was agreed to.
The forty-first section was then read as follows:
SEC. 41. And be it further enacted, That nothing in
Mr. GRINNELL. I offer the following to come in as an additional section:
SEC.. And be it further enacted, That nothing herein contained shall be construed as affecting the existing law respecting the rank, pay, and allowances of chaplains of the Army, but the same shall remain as now established by the act entitled "An act to amend section nine of the act approved July 17, 1862. entitled 'An act to define the pay and emoluments of certain officers of the Army,' and for other purposes," approved April 9, 1864.
The amendment was agreed to.
The forty-second and last section of the bill was then read as follows:
SEC. 42. And be it further enacted, That all laws and parts of laws inconsistent with the provisions of this act be, and the same are hereby, repealed.
No further amendments being offered, the bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time; and being engrossed, it was accordingly read the third time.
Mr. SCHENCK demanded the previous question on the passage of the bill.
The previous question was seconded and the main question ordered.
Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois, demanded the yeas and nays on the passage of the bill. The yeas and nays were ordered.
The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Ohio is entitled to one hour to close the debate, if he desire to do so.
would be if this bill should become a law, and the Army be eventually reorganized under its provisions.
I have here some tables, which I will not detain the House by giving in detail, but which contain some interesting statistics in relation to this subject, and such as may perhaps be new, even to many members of the House.
Let me take, in the first place, the present staff corps of the Army. It consists, including general officers, of a total of three hundred and twenty-seven. Of those, two hundred and fiftysix in the different staff departments are graduates of the United States Military Academy. They are divided in this way:
In the Adjutant General's department, where there are twenty-one officers, three are not graduates, and eighteen graduates.
In the quartermaster's department there are twenty-six who have not been educated at West Point, and thirty-nine who have been.
In the subsistence department, out of twentynine as a total, two have not been graduates, or are not now on the Army list, while twentyseven have been.
I may here remark that this list was taken from the present Army Register of the 1st of January, 1866, and it should contain the names or two other officers who have been appointed in the subsistence department from among the commissaries of volunteers. So that there are really four who are not graduates.
In the pay department seventeen are not graduates, and ten are.
Mr. SCHENCK. I desire to submit some little explanation of the bill before the vote is taken. I do not propose to debate it at length. There has been enough of incidental debate in its progress through the House. The bill, as reported by the committee, has not been in any respect materially altered by any of the amendments that have been made. Its general scope and purposes remain about the same as I indicated they were when the bill was first introduced and submitted for consideration; and it cannot be pretended that full and fair opportunity for amendment and discussion has not been allowed upon each section of the bill in its progress through the House.
I have the honor to submit this to the chair-
The bill, it will be remembered, is one which
the doors wide open for the admission of vol
sume, might be gratified and their position known by the wearing of a shoulder strap with some of the insignia of military office upon it. It does not, I admit, amount to much, but we are all of us men, and the poorest among us have some personal pride, and therefore I would like to have this amendment adopted.
Perhaps gentlemen are not fully aware of what is the present character, even with the changes already made, of the regular Army of the United States as it relates to the material of which its officers are made up, or of what it
In the Engineer corps the whole number employed are graduates of West Point.
And so on until we reach the total which is given as I before recited it.
Among the general officers in the Army, as it now exists, we have a lieutenant general, who is a graduate of the Military Academy, five major generals, all graduates, and nine brigadier generals, eight of whom are graduates, and one of whom, General Terry, is not a graduate. The list which I have here shows only eight brigadier generals; being taken from the Army Register of last January it does not contain the name of General Terry. Thus it will be seen that the staff departments proper, with the exception of the quartermaster's department to a considerable extent, and the pay department and ordnance department to some extent, are made up of those who have been educated at the Military Academy.
But a change has commenced in the line, and is extending upward through the different grades of officers; and it may astonish gentlemen to learn that as the Army now stands, of a total of eleven hundred and twenty-four officers of the line, in the three arms of the service-cavalry, artillery, and infantry-only two hundred and eighty-four have been graduates of the Military Academy; while eight hundred and forty have been appointed from among volunteers or directly from civil life.
But there are vacancies which are not included in my list, which have recently been and are now being filled, of a number of first and second lieutenants, which will make the relative proportion still different. Of five hundred and sixty-four vacancies to be filled, the whole of them are to be filled by appointments from volunteers. The bill before the House, without reference to what the Army will be when these five hundred and sixty-four vacancies are filled, provides for six hundred and subaltern officers, who will also all be taken from the volunteers.
Thus going on through the different items in this table, I find as the general aggregate, if this bill shall pass, that the whole number of officers, in all arms of the service, will be two thousand seven hundred and eighty, of whom two thousand four hundred and thirty-two, being the entire number with the exception of three hundred and forty-eight who are graduates of the Military Academy, will be ap pointed either directly from civil life or for the most part from among those who have served as volunteers in the late war.
The following are the tables to which I have hundred and one white volunteers and eighteen referred:
thousand three hundred and fifty-eight colored volunteers, or a total of thirty thousand five hundred and fifty-nine volunteers, out of an army of one million five hundred and sixteen men which we had in the service at the close of the war.
THE STAFF CORPS.
Number of officers in the several staff corps of the Army according to the Army Register for 1865.
The following vacancies existed. (January 1, 1866.) in the same regiments, and have been filled, or are now being filled, by officers of the volunteer service, namely, cavalry, 56; artillery, 98; infantry, 410......
The bill now before the House provides for eighteen new regiments of infantry, to be officered exclusively by appointments from the volunteer service.... In the fifty-four companies to be added to the twenty-seven battalions of infantry now in the service, all officers of the grades of first and second lieutenants are to be from officers of volunteers...
Two thirds of all other grades from volunteers....
In the six new regiments of cavalry, there will be 264 officers, divided as follows: all first and second lieutenants and two thirds of all other grades from volunteers.........
The Army Register for 1865 shows that there are eleven hundred and twenty-four officers of all grades in the cavalry, artillery, and infantry regiments of the United States Army, divided as follows:
54 154 208
135 237 551 679 840 1,124
108 108 60 90
Now, in regard to the extension of the Army, I have only to say, it has become, in the opinion at least of those who have charge of the military affairs of the country, and of the Department presiding over those military affairs, an absolute necessity to have something done which shall increase our regular Army, and put it upon that more extended footing which it is to have if the wants and needs of the Government are to be supplied.
Let me restate it. At the close of the war we had an army of regulars and volunteers of one million five hundred and sixteen men. Of these, fifteen thousand were regulars, leaving a total of volunteers in service at the close of the war of nine hundred and eighty-five thousand five hundred and sixteen. Of these there have been mustered out to the 18th of last month, until the number remaining was only thirty thousand five hundred and fifty-nine. And since the 18th of April there are known to have been mustered out of service because of expiration of terms of service and of orders already issued about fifteen hundred men. Perhaps another five hundred should be added to that number for the past week, for these statistics are a week old. But counting these fifteen hundred only, it will be seen that the volunteer force of the Army, including colored as well as white troops, has been reduced to twenty-nine thousand and fifty-nine men.
This leaves, therefore, scarcely anything to be relied upon except the regular Army, and nothing whatever to be relied upon after a few weeks more. It is natural, therefore, that those having charge of the military service of the country should be turning their eyes anxiously in the direction of Congress to see what is to be done in order to provide a sufficient army for all the needs of the Government, whether on the frontier or throughout the interior of the country, or upon our widely-extended coast, wherever garrisons are kept up.
The present strength of the regular Army, in consequence of the more rapid enlistments since the discharge of the volunteers, is about thirty thousand. There can be an extension altogether to the number of from forty-two to forty-three thousand, which is the entire limit of the present regular Army. In the course of a few months, or even weeks, we shall find ourselves entirely destitute of any volunteer force whatever under the operation of the orders already existing, and unless some bill be passed to continue in service the colored troops and other troops, we shall find ourselves with an army which at its maximum can be only a little over forty thousand.
34 230 264 348 2,432 2,780
The object of this bill, therefore, it will being seen, is to make a volunteer Army as it were, so far as deriving the material which is to compose the number of its officers is concerned. I mention this matter, because objection is made to an extension of the Army at this time, or to the creation of an Army
The House may not be aware of the gradual diminution of the volunteer Army. I have statistics upon the subject, which I will state briefly. Even while we have been progressing with this bill volunteers have been necessarily mustered out of service from the expiration of their terms of enlistment and the necessity of treating them at the close of hostilities as entitled to their discharge, until there remained on the 18th of April only twelve thousand two
Now, sir, admitting the necessity of a military establishment, extended to meet the requirements of the country, and equal to that which we are told from the headquarters of the Army, and from the Military Department itself, is absolutely essential, the next question is whether this is an appropriate time for creat
such an army. I hold that this is a peculiarly appropriate time. We are now in the transition state from war to a peace establishment. We have now in the country an abundance of skilled officers and skilled soldiers. We have above all a proposition to embody into an army system a number of officers constituting the great bulk of that army, who will enter the new organization fresh from this war to suppress the rebellion, and full of all the sympathies, all the sentiments, all the love of country, and all the zeal to maintain at all hazards the honor of the flag and the integrity of the country in all time hereafter, which they learned in their experience and in their noble service during the late war.
I hold, therefore, that adopting as we do a system of examinations so that officers shall be thoroughly tried as to their merit, including their efficiency and fidelity in the service in which they have been so lately engaged, we can select no better time to put into the independent position of officers who will hold their offices during good behavior a body of men thoroughly adapted to maintain and defend our institutions through all time to come, than now when we can make up that army from men fresh from the field of war, on which they
have nobly defended our institutions and the integrity of our Government.
Sir, I do not propose to extend these remarks. I wish merely to call-the attention of the House to these two propositions: that, in the first place, the army which we propose to create is an army no greater than is proportioned, according to the judgment of all those best qualified to judge of the matter, to the needs" of the country in its extended interests; and in the next place that this army in its component character is made up of those who have served the country faithfully, and who thus have been imbued with such sentiments of devotion to the country and its flag and all its highest interests as will make them the best possible material from which to select such an army. Mr. Speaker, I now call for the previous question on the passage of the bill.
Mr. BOYER. Mr. Speaker, would it be in order now to move to postpone ?
NAYS-Messrs. Allison, Ames, Ancona, James M. Ashley, Baker, Baldwin, Beaman, Benjamin, Bergen, Bidwell, Boutwell, Boyer, Brandegee, Broomall, Buckland, Chanler, Sidney Clarke, Coffroth, Conkling, Cullom, Darling, Dawson, Defrees, Delano, Denison, Dodge, Eldridge, Farquhar, Ferry, Finck, Glossbrenner, Grider, Grinnell, Aaron Harding, Abner C. Harding, Hart, Higby, Hotchkiss, James R. Hubbell, Hulburd, James M. Humphrey, Jenckes, Julian, Kasson, Kelley, Kelso, Laflin, William Lawrence, Lo Blond, Loan, Marshall, McClurg, MeRuer, Morris, Moulton, Newell, Niblack, Noell, O'Neill, Orth, Perham, Pike, Samuel J. Randall, William H. Randall, Raymond, John H. Rice, Ross, Shanklin, Shellabarger, Sitgreaves, Spalding, Strouse, Taylor, Trowbridge, Van Aernam, Ward, Warner, Henry D. Washburn, James F. Wilson, Stephen F. Wilson, Windom, Winfield, and Wright-83.
NOT VOTING-Messrs. Alley, Banks, Barker, Baxter, Bingham, Blaine, Blow, Bromwell, Cook, Culver, Davis, Dawes, Dixon, Dumont, Eckley, Eg gleston, Eliot, Farnsworth, Goodyear, Griswold, Hale, Harris, Hayes, Hill, Hogan, Hooper, Demas Hubbard, John H. Hubbard, Edwin N. Hubbell, James Humphrey, Johnson, Jones, Kerr, Ketcham, Kuykendall, Latham, George V. Lawrence, Marston, McCullough, MeIndoe, Mercur, Myers, Nicholson, Phelps, Pomeroy, Price, Radford, Ritter, Rogers, Rousseau, Sloan, Starr, Taber, Thayer, Francis Thomas, John L. Thomas, Thornton, Trimble, Upson, Burt Van Horn, William B. Washburn, Wentworth, Whaley, and Woodbridge-64.
So the bill was rejected.
During the roll-call the following announcements were made:
Mr. BAXTER. I am paired with my col