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orders as may be required which pertain to officers, soldiers, citizens living in the department, with reference to furloughs, leaves of absence, means of transit, visitors, excursionists who come and go, and such like operations.
ADJUTANT'S OFFICE. The adjutant of the academy is, ex officio, the secretary of the academic board, and is also recruiting officer, commanding officer of the band and field music and of the general service detachment. In addition, he is charged with carrying out in detail all the direct correspondence with the heads of the various departments of instruction and with the corps of cadets; he prepares the academic reports that require transmission to Washington, and sees that the punishment and demerit rolls are kept with accuracy, submitting them daily to the superintendent. He must also attend to the proper working of the academy printing office, the preparation of the staff records, the keeping up of the official correspondence with parents or guardians of cadets, and must also reply to the daily requests for information made by members of Congress, schools, and colleges, and would be candidates for admission.
I have been thus particular with reference to these two offices so as to make a brief exhibit of the labor performed.
I have been asked by members of the board of visitors if there was any advantage in a department. My answer was that I thought the departmental functions were of advantage to the academy. I still think so. The same duties can be done by a post organization, or even by a simpler academy organization. In fact, the academy, like the staff of the Army, could be reorganized. Yet, in the end, I do not think it would be bettered.
DISCIPLINE AND MANAGEMENT.
The academic board consists of the nine professors, the commandant of cadets, the chief instructors of ordnance and gunnery and practical military engineering, and the superintendent, who is, ex officio, president of the board. This makes up a membership of thirteen. Every interest of the academy is carefully weighed by this body of able men. In my judgment, it is the most powerful agent at work here. It is my earnest desire while superintendent to work in harmony with the board as at present constituted. This will give unity and strength to all official action.
Since my arrival a few changes have been made in the regulations. For example:
Paragraph 30, Regulations for the United States Military Academy of 1877, is revoked and the following substituted therefor:
“Par. 30. This course will comprise topography and plotting of surveys with leadpencil, pen and ink, and colors; problems in descriptive geometry, shades and shadows, and perspective; practical surveying in the field; free-hand drawing and landscape in black and white; constructive and architectural drawing in ink and colors. Lei tures by the head of the department will accompany instruction, covering the subjects of: General rules for rectlinear and map drawing, scales, lettering, &c.; topography, different systems and methods of terrene drawing, &c.; methods of projection of meridians and parallels; plotting from field-work; field-sketching; general principles of triangulation, plotting, and filling in; free-hand drawing, light and shade, methods and material; theory of color; quality and character of pigments; methods of coloring and tinting in water-color; the orders of architecture; fundamental architectural forms and general proportions; drawing of plans.”
Paragraph 72, Regnlations for the Uvited States Military Academy of 1877, is revoked and the following substituted therefor:
* Par. 72. If any cadet shall have a total number of demerits thus recorded exceed
ing one hundred and twenty-five (125) for the time between June first and December thirty-first, both dates inclusive, or exceeding ninety (90) for the tiine between January first and May thirty-first, both dates inclusive (no credits being allowed other than those belonging to the time considered), he shall be reported to the academic board by the superintendent deficient in discipline; and the board shall consider and act upon such a deficiency as in cases of deficiency in studies.”—(G. O. No. 22, A. G.O., February 19, 1881.)
Paragraph 75, Regulations for the United States Military Academy of 1877, is revoked and the following substituted therefor:
“Par. 75. Every cadet of the first class who shall have been found proficient in all the studies and exercises of the entire academic course prescribed, including discipline, and whose character as shown by his conduct as a.cadet shall be deemed satisfactory, shall receive a diploma signed by the members of the academic board, and shall thereupon become a graduate of the Military Academy.
"The names of the graduates shall be presented to the War Department, with the recommendation of the academic board for commission in the several corps of the Army, according to the duties each may be judged competent to perform.
“If the academic board doubt the physical ability of a graduate for military service, his case shall be referred to a board composed of the superintendent, the commandant of cadets, and the medical officers provided in paragraph 19, as prescribed in the last paragraph of this article.”—(G. 0. No. 22, A. G. O., February 19, 1881.)
The recommendation of the academic board that paragraph 129, Regulations of the United States Military Academy of 1877, be expunged, and that tbe following be substituted for it: “The use of tobacco in any form by cadets is prohibited,” has been approved by the Secretary of War.—(G. O. No. 6, June 11, 1881, Headquarters United States Military Academy.)
These changes were recommended by the academic board after careful consideration, and I believe will prove decidedly beneficial to the academy.
I have myself made some modifications of existing orders, such as abolishing the cadet “all-night guard” in the barracks, relieving academic officers from company duty with the cadets, the confining of sergeantcies to the second class and corporalcies to the third class, the cutting down of Sunday permits recently given cadets to go beyond the limits, and a few others of relatively small importance. In each instance my purpose has been not to make changes, but to recall some already made which our experience has proved beyond question to be injurious to the cadets. My earnest judgment is in favor of a thorough discipline, but not of a martinetism which overloads the young men with espionage and punishments too numerous and too heavy to be borne. Of course, the cheerful, hearty performance of duty in the main effected by doing right because it is right is the best. The tendency here, with a view of keeping abreast of other institutions of learning, is naturally in the course of time to multiply the text-books and lengthen the lessons. The tendency in discipline is ever to multiply the reports of delinquency and to enforce the reporting by an almost inflexible system of action. The relief to these things, so far as the studies are concerned, is found in the conservative wisdom of the academic board, and in the discipline the burdens are relieved by the watchful kindness of the tactical and other executive officers. Thus believing, I have endeavored to diminish the number of reports, all possible, consistent with good order and good training, and to use all the influence in my power in favor of a kindly and paternal execution of our rules and regulations. The results are good. I bave thus far met only good will. There was no hazing during the last summer encampment. Cadets generally appear contented and are very industrious. In order to facilitate the official intercourse between the cadets and the superintendent without interfering with the essential order of business, one hour every day, except Sundays, is now given to the cadet, if he so desires, to visit the superintendent. Further, he can easily obtain permission from the officer in charge to do so at any other time if necessity appears to him to warrant it.
DETAILS OF INSTRUCTORS.
There is every year a strong pressure brought to bear upon the superintendent to induce him to lengthen the term of service of the officers detailed to the academy as assistant professors and instructors. The period usually adhered to, especially as pertaining to the line officers, is four years. In my judgment, it is of great advantage to the young officer to have a term of duty at the academy. Besides the necessary review of past studies, it has become the custom for each officer carefully to prepare an exhaustive paper upon some important military subject, and to read it before an organized society, where full and free criticism is always invited. Further, the officers have the advantage of the large library to fill out any spare time by advantageous reading and research. It is then desirable to extend these advantages to as many officers of the Army as possible consistent with the best interests of the academy and the service. It might be well to extend the time to five years instead of limiting it to four. I recommend this extension.
I think that there are at present a sufficient number of permanent professorships. Permanency promotes the tendency to increase the cadet's curriculum of instruction. I would not, then, make permanent the professor of law, the instructors in practical military engineering, in ordnance and gunnery, and in artillery. Five years will surely be a sufficient time to detain these able officers from their professional duties in the Army at large. From present knowledge and experience I am of the opinion that the same rule as to length of term should apply to the commandant and the superintendent. A change of administration has not heretofore proved, to any extent, detrimental. The institution in fact has been improved by bringing in a variety of talent, and as so many things are fixed and rigid in any military system, an occasional change in the manner of executing laws and orders is, I think, desirable. Again, in this, as in all other matters, the academy is established and maintained for the interest of the Army, and not the Army for the Academy. Therefore, worthy and capable officers in all the branches should, I believe, continue to have the opportunity of detail, as the law of Congress contemplates.
The enlargement of the cadet barracks is progressing as rapidly as the appropriations will permit.
will permit. As soon as completed there will be sufficient barrack room and therefore less crowding than usually occurs on the accession of the new cadets each year. Meanwhile, I have been able to reduce the number of officers at the academy, have added one new set of quarters, and have had put in habitable condition that of the professor of law, which was injured and partially destroyed by fire. I can now remove nearly all the academic officers from the cadet barracks and still have them comfortably quartered. Our needs in this direction will be still further subserved as soon as the new hospital shall have been completed and rendered fit for occupancy. The old hospital, with a few changes and repairs, can be made to extend our quarters' accommodations. The dentist also will have a new room, with adequate light, in the new hospital. These changes will operate to have the cadet barracks occupied, as they should be, only by the cadets and instructors in tactics.
I notice in several reports of the board of visitors and of the superintendent a recommendation tbat large panes be put in the place of the diamond lights in the windows of the cadet barracks. For some reason
the appropriation asked for this object has hitherto failed. Certainly the light at present is insufficient. I think the change suggested, and the trimming of the trees, now large and during part of the year thick with foliage, will be all that is required to give sufficient light to the rooms. There are several changes that will soon be required in the heating and ventilating of the cadet barracks and the academic building. I believe that the academic building may be so changed, possibly by raising it one story, to fit it better to meet present necessities than it now does. Either an enlargement of the gymnasium-room, now in the basement of that building, should be made or a new building adapted to this purpose constructed. In several reports, since the cutting off by the railway of the cadets' bathing place, the necessity of supplyivg a swimming bath has been urged. I again call attention to this matter.
I have had a “system of gymnastic exercises” prepared, and also formal instructions for the swimming baths. The former are already in use, and the latter will be as soon as the swimming baths shall be constructed. I may add here that these exercises and those of the fencing and sword exercise, which did not prove this year to be as creditable as other performances of the cadets, the commandant has now placed under the more direct and immediate control of one of his skillful tactical officers.
It may appear to you that the Academy continually calls for new constructions. The reasons are, first, that it was built and arranged long since, and before modern improvements in the way of heating, lighting, water supply, &c., were in vogue, so that many of our buildings do not compare favorably with corresponding buildings of many other leading institutions of learning. Again, the numbers to be accommodated, both cadets and officers, have greatly increased. It would, indeed, be wise to have a board of skillful officers, appointed by the Secretary of War, visit the Academy, examine all the structures, the water supply, and the sewerage, and make such recommendations and detailed estimates as should be found necessary to give system, order, and completeness to the whole. Should this be done, and the essential appropriation be granted, the yearly requisitions would thereafter be much diminished, and the board of visitors and other friends of the institution feel better satisfil with the building accommodations. My full estimates, which have been forwarded, cover other repairs and constructions besides the above. The necessity for them is apparent on their face, and I hope the appropriations for them may be obtained.
As you will probably be obliged to answer some objections which bave lately been raised against the financial system in vogue at the Academy, I have called upon the treasurer to make a full and explicit statement of the funds in use, how they accrue, and how they are expended. It should be remembered that the intent of the law and regnlations is that the cadet's monthly allowance, or, as officially denominated, his pay,
should be made to cover his actual expenses. Hence the charge against him cannot be, for example, in regard to his subsistence, merely the cost in the market of provisions, but must cover the cooking and serving. The cost of a coat cannot be simply the cost of the cloth, but must include each cadet's portion of the cutting, the making, the repairing, and the account keeping. This could, of course, all be avoided by a system of contract, but the changing forms of the young men and the necessity for special fitting under the immediate charge of the authori
ties of the Academy is plain to every thoughtful man interested in the institution. It is surely impracticable to purchase for the cadets readymacle clothing by the wholesale. Instead of being neatly dressed as now, with well-fitting uniforms, we should soon see a battalion of shabby appearance. Again, it would be next to impossible to keep up the excellent character of the material now furnished, and difficult at the best to maintain the present economy in prices.
It has been suggested in recent reports “tbat here there should be an appropriation to purchase a stock of provisions for which the commissary should account to the Treasury Department, as is done in the army," with the added assertion that “this would result in no loss to the government, but in a more perfect responsibility in the disbursing officer.' I hope that this will not be done. For it would establish an olijectionable ration system, necessitating the purchase of provisions so long in advance that certain supplies would deteriorate, and a loss necessarily fall upon the government, and it would eventuate in a rigidly monoto. nous system of daily subsistence not adapted to the needs of growing young men. Again, now there is much less wastage and loss under the present system of buying and issuing supplies when needed than there would be under any other system.
The only possible objection to requiring the commissary of cadets to account to the Treasury Department directly for supplies purchased and issued by him to cadets is that it will require additional clerical assistance, and add just so much to the deprecated cost. The treasurer is subjected now, by the inspector of accounts and by the board of audit, to repeated and constant supervision, as the treasurer's report shows. The reasons for the existence of several separate funds, as “the laun. dry," " boat," "printing," &c., are that the needs have, from time to time, suggested to the officers in charge these methods of supplying them.
It would be generous on the part of the government to assume these charges and make direct appropriations therefor, but it would at once change the manner of dealing with each cadet's accounts and really give him an increase of compensation. For such changes careful legis. lation will of course be requisite.
I introduce and make part of my report the following statement of the treasurer of the Academy, Capt. William F. Spurgin, Twenty-first Infantry; he is also quartermaster and commissary of cadets :
In obedience to instructions, I have the honor to submit information relative to the following-named funds, for which I am responsible, as exhibited by the books of this office September 28, 1881, the date of last settlement, viz:
1. Cadet equipment. 2. Cadet laundry. 3. Cadet quartermaster's department. 4. Corps of Cadets. 5. Interest. 6. Military Academy post. 7. Engineering: 8. Printing 9. Damages, library. 10. Gas. 11. Damages, quartermaster's department. 12. Miscellaneous. 13. Dialectic society. 14. Boat, and15. Cadet subsistence department.
I will endeavor to explain in order, how these funds accrue, and how they are ex. pended.
1.-CADET EQUIPMENT. Four dollars of the monthly pay of each cadet is set aside at eich bi-monthly settlement of his accounts, that he may have upon graduati' n a sum sufficient to provide