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are not borne on the clerical rolls. This clerical work must be had, but it ought to be performed by regular clerks.
The Adjutant-General also calls attention to a discrimination, in the matter of compensation, against the clerks under him, which would be corrected by the abolition of the class of “General Service” clerks, and a new arrangement such as is shown in his report, which I recommend.
The Codified Army Regulations, prepared under the direction of my predecessor, are now being issued.
The Adjutant-General recommends that the Secretary of War be authorized to make a proper allowance to officers on court-martial or military board duties, to enable them to meet the exceptional expenses caused by such duties.
The rapidly increasing number of calls from the Pension Office for information from the rolls of the Army, in connection with claims for pension, led to the formation by the Adjutant-General of a new branch in his office last April, designated as the “Enlisted Volunteer Pension Branch.” By the act of March 3, 1881, twenty-five additional clerks of the lowest class, viz, at an annual salary of $1,000, were authorized to be employed in this office, but their want of acquaintance with the minutiæ of Army rolls and records, and the consequent necessity devolving on the older clerks to devote much time to their instruction, has necessarily prevented the attainment of the highest results. The following table, however, is à gratifying exhibit of the labors of this branch and of other divisions of the office engaged in business relating to claims for pension, bounty, homestead grants, &c. :
The report of the Inspector-General shows that the accounts of all officers of the Army who have disbursed public moneys during the past year have been carefully examined, and the reports of balances verified.
Nearly all the military posts have been inspected during the year. The discipline of the troops is reported as very good. They are well armed and well fed and clothed.
Great attention has been paid to target practice, and marked improve. ment is noted. A regular competition is now established throughout the Army, prizes being given annually in military departments and divisions, and biennially after a contest between the best marksmen of the three military divisions.
The Inspector-General's corps of officers, now limited to five, is too small a number for the important duties which devolve on them. The Inspector-General must necessarily be stationed in Washington, and should have at least one competent assistant with him. There are three military divisions and nine departments, each of which ought to have an inspector-general. This would necessitate fourteen officers in allan increase in this corps of nine officers, each of whom should have the right to employ one clerk, with the same compensation which is now allowed to paymasters' clerks.
BUREAU OF MILITARY JUSTICE.
The number of general court-martial records received in the Bureau of Military Justice during the year ending October 1, 1881, was 1,792, an increase of 249 over the receipts of the previous year. The record of cases brought before inferior courts, reviewed and filed in the offices of the judge-advocates of the different military departments during the same period, was 8,500, an increase over the previous year of 267 cases.
The Judge-Advocate General refers briefly to the various military tribunals, and to the usual course of procedure by which their proceedings reach the Bureau of Military Justice for consideration, and in this connection invites attention to the fact that, while the JudgeAdvocate-General is empowered by statute to receive and revise the proceedings of courts-martial, yet the Secretary of War, whose subordinate he is, has no statutory authority to give effect to reports of revisions in such cases, even though he should concur therein, and remarks that to this extent the law is defective.
In connection with the nature, quality, and quantity of the work to be performed, attention is invited to the fact that, in view of the interests involved, an adequate force of clerks, possessing in the highest degree both capacity and fidelity, is imperatively necessary, and that the present inadequate clerical force has necessitated the transfer of officers of the corps of judge-advocates to duty in the Bureau of Mili. tary Justice, while their services are much needed at the headquarters of the various military departments.
The necessity for suitable furniture to replace that now in use, which is worn out and rickety, and the great need for an appropriation suffi. cient to furnish the library, at present incomplete and antiquated, with text-books and reports of recent date, is fully set forth.
The duties of the Judge-Advocate-General and of the corps of judgeadvocates are enumerated, and in view of the advisability of having an officer of the corps at each of the ten geographical military departments, and at the Military Academy as professor of law, the repeal of the law limiting the number of judge-advocates to four, and the organization of the corps on the same basis as the other staff corps of the Army, are recommended, this being the only corps in which there is no promotion, to serve as an incentive to duty. In all other branches of the service officers can look forward to reaching the rank of colonel, while in the
corps of judge-advocates all are of one rank—that of major-which has been held by its members for periods ranging from eight to nineteen years.
It is not perceived why such a discrimination should exist against an expert corps, requiring in the exercise of its functions professional attainments of a high order, and I recommend appropriate legislation to remove it. With a properly organized corps, of sufficient strength to furnish each military department with one of its officers, it is believed that many trials by courts-martial could be avoided by thorough preliminary examination, and much expense to the government saved thereby.
Attention is invited to defects and omissions in the Articles of War (65–71 inclusive) relating to the arrest and confinement of officers and soldiers accused of crime, duration of confinement, copy of charges, and time of trial, being the only provisions of the Articles of War relating to this important portion of the criminal procedure before courts-martial, on account of the unjust discriminations involved and the inadequate provision for the subjects mentioned.
It is also recommended that the scope of the 91st Article be so enlarged as to provide for the taking of depositions in certain instances, to be used at the trial as secondary evidence, where, for any sufficient reason, primary evidence of the facts cannot be procured consistently with the public interests, the extended jurisdiction of courts-martial rendering it difficult, if not impossible, at times, to obtain the viva voce testimony of material witnesses at the time of trial.
Recommendations are also made for authority, under proper regulation, for the revision of charges before arraignment and plea; for compelling the attendance of witnesses in certain cases; for preventing the abuse of authority by non-commissioned officers; for amendment of the 720 Article of War, by expressly authorizing colonels commanding separate departments to appoint general courts-martial when necessary; for a penal sanction of the authority conferred upon a judge-advocate of a court-martial, by section 1202 of the Revised Statutes, “to issue process and compel witnesses to appear," &c.; for authority for a judge-advocate, or other officer of a court-martial, to administer oaths to witnesses or other persons in trials by courts-martial; and for amendment of that portion of the 90th Article of War which requires the judge-advocate to prosecute, as well as to a certain extent to consider himself as counsel for the prisoner, in order to prevent confusion and misunderstanding.
Accompanying the report are extracts from the reports of judgeadvocates of departments (or officers acting and performing the duties of those officers), embodying recommendations on various matters pertaining to their respective departments.
The administration of the affairs of the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kans., during the past year has been in a marked degree successful.
During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1881, there were 373 men received into the prison and 273 discharged. But 1 death occurred during the year, and only 6 prisoners escaped during the same period. The actual number of men confined on June 30, 1881, was 447.
The board of commissioners have made the inspections required by law; have, at each visit, afforded the prisoners the fullest opportunity to make such representations or complaints as they desired to present for consideration; have carefully noted the character of the punishments imposed by the prison authorities for violations of the establisbed rules and regulations, the methods and kinds of labor, the quality of food provided; and they have been fully satisfied, in all respects, with the condition and government of the prison. The governor, while on duty under his brevet rank of colonel, actually receives only the pay and allowances of his actual rank, viz, that of captain. Cousidering that his position demands the possession, in the incumbent, of administrative ability of the highest degree, combined with the rare mechanical powers required for the successful management of an institution embracing many and varied branches of industry, I most earnestly recommend that the local rank of colonel, with the pay and allowances of that grade, be attached to the office of the governor of the prison. This officer has a greater amount of labor and responsibility than any regimental commander. He governs and controls between 500 and 600 persons. Practically, he is at one and the same time the superintendent of a large manufacturing establishment, embracing diversified branches of industry, and the military director of all affairs within the prison.
I beg to renew the recommendation of last year that legislative authority be obtained to apply the earnings of the prison to its maintenance. A bill with this end in view was pending in the Senate last winter, and I sincerely hope it may become a law during the next session of Congress.
There were manufactured at the prison during the year 34,163 pairs of boots, 25,911 pairs of shoes, 4,356 corn brooms, 1,656 barrack-chairs, 110 arm-chairs, 100 chair-rungs, 220 chair-bolts, 1,263 packing boxes, 80 crates, 100 sets of four-mule ambulance harness, 75 sets of six-mule wagon harness, and, in addition to the above, all the doors, sashes, &c., for new buildings, and the work incident to the necessary repairs to buildings already erected. The prison farm produced a large quantity of vegetables, all from the labor of the convicts.
The moneys appropriated for the service of the Quartermaster's Department during the fiscal year were $13,857,187.57; the balances of former appropriations, remaining in Treasury at beginning of fiscal year, were $1,027,815.68. These were applicable only to expenses incurred in prior years but not settled.
There were remitted to disbursing officers during the year, $11,203,536.03; paid through the Treasury, $718,205.13; carried to surplus fund, $230,123.62; and there remained in Treasury, undrawn on June 30, 1881, $1,705,296.04.
The propriety of allowing to the officers of the line who are placed on duty as acting assistant quartermasters some compensation for the great pecuniary responsibility, to say nothing of the labor, imposed by these duties, is again mentioned by the Quartermaster-General. Such an allowance as is by law granted to acting commissaries of subsistence under the same circumstances is recommended.
The difficulty arising in the exhaustion of the depot stock of clothing and equipage, mentioned last year, has continued to be felt, though in a somewhat less degree because, the appropriation being made earlier, at the last or short session, it was possible to make contracts earlier, and thus the deficiency of supply in the earlier months of the year was less felt. The need of a special appropriation, however, to provide a working stock to be placed in depot to meet emergencies and to provide for the spring and summer distribution to the Army, remains, and unless an appropriation for this purpose is granted this winter, the old difficulties will be severely felt again next season.
Under several joint resolutions of Congress, tents and camp equipage were loaned to various organizations during the year, at a cost, in expenses, damages to material, and losses, of $2,038.31.
Helmets have been introduced both for officers and soldiers. For troops in severe climates buffalo coats, fur caps and gloves, and arctic overshoes are supplied by the United States. Their use has made cam. paigns possible without loss by frost in the severe climate of the Upper Missouri and the Canadian boundary.
The construction of 132 new military buildings by the Quartermaster's Department has been authorized during the year, at an estimated cost of $240,000. They are at military posts in twenty-one different States and Territories.
Repair of existing buildings has been authorized to the extent of $417,902; $13,428 of the above sum have been devoted to new buildings for schools and chapels at military posts, under the law of July 28, 1866; and $6,517 have been devoted to repair of wharves at military posts.
Of the $75,000 appropriated for hospital construction, $74,588 have been expended.
Seventy-six old buildings, no longer needed for the military service, have been sold, and their proceeds turned into the general Treasury balances.
With so many buildings under its charge, scattered throughout the country, there has been some loss by fire. Fourteen such fires have been reported, but, considering that the department is estimated to be in charge of 5,000 buildings, the losses have been comparatively small.