« ZurückWeiter »
or Cleveland; could not the troops be supplied from the Missouri River, or from some point on the railroad ?
Answer. O, yes; they could be supplied without this post.
Answer. One reason is that you have to keep some of these posts to shelter the troops. There is Fort Ripley, where there is really no necessity for a post, in my opinion, except for its shelter.
Question. What can you say of Fort Wadsworth ?
Answer. That would probably have to be kept up for the present. There are quite a number of Indians in that vicinity, who, to some ex: tent, are cultivating ground, and who want protection. The Sioux come over there frequently ; that post, I think, should be maintained.
Question. Is there any other post east of the Missouri River which should be maintained, either as protection for the wbites against the Indians, or for the Indians against the wbites ?
Auswer. I have mentioned Fort Ripley and Fort Abercrombie; it would probably be desirable to keep Fort Pembina for the present, on account of oar international relations, and because of the Indians up there, who are somewhat troublesome. But, going west, there is no good necessity for Fort Seward, nor for Camp Hancock, nor apparently much for Fort Stevenson. The Lower Brulé agency right well be abolished; it is unfit for the troops; also Graud River agency; they will be washed into the river, probably, before long. I think there is no necessity for Camp Baker, in Montana. I merely give my views.
Question. Can you give any additional special reasons why these forts you have mentioned should be dispensed with ?
Answer. The reasons why, in my opinion, those posts that I have named can be abolished are, that they are an unnecessary expense, and out of position for properly attaining the object for which troops are re. quired in that section of country. The troops would be of more service, and would cost the Goverment less, if they were placed at other points.
Question. Do you apprebend hostilities or inischief, in any of those portions of the country which you inspected, froin the Sioux Nation of Indians, or from those affiliated with the Sioux ?
Answer. The Sioux are very ugly and hostile generally, and they will give trouble unless they are controlled by a strong and firm hand. The Kiowas and Comanches, as well as the Apaches, are also of a hostile character, and must, in order to preserve peace, be subjected to military control.
Question. What number of troops, in your judgment, can take care of the Sioux tribes ?
Answer. I can bardly say exactly what number; it depends upon how they are placed and the duties required of them.
Question. I mean, placed in the most favorable positions.
Answer. I think that what we have, if properly placed, would answer the purpose; emergencies may arise requiring more.
Question. Have you any knowledge of the inilitary posts in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon ?
Answer. Not particularly.
Answer. I have been to some of them, but I do not know enough about those posts generally to express an opinion.
Question. The forts at Leavenworth and Omaha are both large depots of supplies. Is there any necessity for maintaining both of them!
Answer. I do not think there is.
Answer. They have been pretty expensive. I do not know much about Omaha except from incidental reports.
Question. Which of those forts do you think should be kept?
Answer. I think Leavenworth should be kept, most certainly, on account of its central position and its facilities for receiving and distributing supplies, both by rail and water; and from the fact that storehouses are already established there, and that the Governinent owns the land and has an arsenal there. The Government owns quite a large tract there-nearly seven thousand acres. We have several large fine stone store houses there, and facilities for repairs in the way of shops. There are some twelve large stables, and quarters for officers and men at the headquarters of the department, and for some six companies of troops. Leavenworth is a very central point at which to collect supplies at a comparatively cheap rate, and is one of the best places in the West for collecting cavalry borses, and for wintering public animals.
By Mr. GUNCKEL : Question. Do you know whether Fort Gibson, in the Indian Territory, is still occupied by troops!
Answer. I think it is. I recommended that it should be abandoned, and General Pope did remove the troops; but subsequently it was occupied by a portion of the Tenth Cavalry, and I think it is still occupied.
Question. It is your opinion that it can be dispensed with ?
Answer. That was my opinion then, and I know nothing to the contrary now. If there are any reasons to the contrary, I do not know them. If the troops are to be kept as a police force, to be sent here and there at the request of anybody who may want them, and be used to quell little disturbances that are created from people's own indiscretion, or by liquor-shops, then we have not got balf enough troops. If we had troops we could supply a great deal more for such purposes; in fact, the demand for troops is much larger than the supply.
By the CHAIRMAN : Question. Taking the view of the whole Army, if it is to be reduced, what organizations would you cut down or muster out?
Answer. In answer to that question, my opinion is that the Army should not be reduced at all. If it was to be reduced by organizations, I should cut off two regiments of cavalry. It would be injustice to these regiments.
Question. Could you not better dispense with infantry than with caralry ?
Answer. I think not; cavalry is much more expensive than infantry, and in many locations I think infantry is quite as efficient as cavalry, and more so.
Question. In what places ?
Answer. In any mountainous country. The infantry can get where the cavalry cannot. I have made several expeditions with infantry where I could not have gone at all with mules and horses. For rapid movements cavalry is very necessary, and it is necessary for the Plain Indians.
Question. Are not all the hostile and troublesome Indians located either in the regions of the great plains in Montana and Dakota, and in Northern Texas, Colorado, and Kansas, rather than in mountainous regions!
Answer. The plains virtually terminate at the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains. As you go west of this line, you are in a more rough and broken country, ribbed with mountains and interspersed with valleys and mesas or plateaux.
Question. The troops are not much used in Idaho, Arizona, and Utah ?
Answer. They have been actively used in Arizona; cannot say as to Idaho and Utah.
Question. The bulk of the troublesome Indians are the Sioux, and those fellows in Texas !
Answer. They have got certain agencies established where they feed more or less of the Sioux, Kiowas, Comanches, and Apaches, all considered hostile.
Question. You would prefer infantry to cavalry!
Answer. We must have both ; but if it is a question of reduction and expense, as stated, I would say cut off two regiments of cavalry; but, as I said, I think our Army is none too large for the duties imposed upon it, and for the interests of the country in either arm of the service.
Question. If it is to be decreased, would it not be more economical to cut down organizations than merely to dispense with a certain number of men ?
Answer. If you reduce the number of organizations you cut off the officers and men, and you cut off certain expenses. By cutting off organizations you reduce the expenses probably more than if you cut off the same number of officers and men by taking them out of their regiments.
Question. In other words, you say that to muster out officers and men together is more economical than to muster out the men alone?
Answer. I say that by stopping recruiting and diminishing the num. ber of men, you save less than by cutting off the same number by whole organizations.
Question. Have you made any estimate, or can you make any estimate, showing what would be effected by cutting off, say one fifth, one-fourth, or one-third of the officers and men together, staff and line, and rank and file ?
Answer. The estimate would involve the pay of the troops, rations, quarters, clothing, camp-equipage, and many incidental expenses of the service; that is something so circumstantial or incidental that I cannot state an estimate. You can probably get from the records in the bureaus in Washington the average cost, for a number of years, of an enlisted man in the service, and of an officer of a certain grade, but the data are so variable that there is no fixed quantity as to the saving.
Question. State whether any portion of the staff of the Army can be decreased ; and, if so, what?
Answer. So far as I know, I do not think that it can, with propriety or for the interests of the service. If you require certain duties to be done, you must have certain officers to do them. We have now a large number of line-officers on staff-duty, because we have not got staff-officers enough to do the duty. In the medical department there are a good many hired physicians, because we have not got surgeons and assistant surgeons sufficient. In the pay department we have not enough of officers, because their labors are increased by the wide distribution of the troops, and it is hard service. The officers of the pay department are traveling much of the time in order to discharge their duties, and in some sections of the country, and in some periods of the year, the position is no sinecure. The danger and the hardships of travel' are very
great. The inspectors and paymasters do more traveling than any other class of officers in the service, I believe.
Question. Have you ever inspected the expenditures made about the headquarters of divisions and departments ?
Answer. Generally we were not ordered to inspect there.
Question. Can you state what changes or modifications can be made in the management of the quarters for Army officers, or in the head. quarters of Army officers, that may save money to the Government?
Answer. I do not see how you can fix it any more definitely than you have it now. The law, or regulations, prescribes exactly what each room shall cost, where the Government has no quarters, and prescribes the number of rooms the officers of each grade are entitled to as quarters, and for oflicers.
Question. Do you understand a fair construction of that law to be that an officer can occupy one room and get pay for three or four, if he is entitled to so many?
Answer. Officers generally cannot get along with one room.
Question. I am supposing a case. Suppose that an officer occupies only one room, and he is entitled to be paid for two or three rooms more?
Answer. If it is a special case, where an officer can have, for a limited time, but one room, the question is whether you should have special legislation for that case.
Question. Suppose that an officer who is entitled by the rules to three rooms occupies but one room; is he allowed pay for the three ?
Answer. He may hire a room that will cost more than three rooms; for instance, two good rooms in New York they ask $35 to $50 a week for.
Question. How many rooms, for instance, are you entitled to ?
Answer. Eighteen dollars a inonth for each room; that makes $90 a month.
Question. Can you, under any fair construction of the law, use only two rooms and draw rent for five? In other words, does the Government propose to furnish officers with quarters in kind and not in money?
Answer. I think in kind. When the law was passed changing the pay of the Army, it contained a proviso that existing laws and regulations with reference to allowances for quarters in kind should be continued. Those existing rules and regulations allowed an officer a certain
. number of rooms, according to his grade. The price of these rooms was fixed according to the location, being supposed to be regulated by the prices of living. Officers generally prefer to bave quarters furnished to them, because it is less expensive for them. If the Government hired quarters, it would cost more, probably, than the price now allowed.
Question. If any officer who is entitled to five rooms hires but one room, he gets $90 a month—the same as if he had five rooms hired ?
Answer. He is entitled to so much quarters. Some officers live in hotels, and I do not know how you can say what number of rooms they have. They use exclusively and partially several rooms.
Question. The simple point I want to arrive at is whether an officer who is entitled to five rooms, and occupies only one, gets $90 a month?
Answer. He gets whatever he is entitled to, whether one room, two rooms, or more.
Question. Now suppose that he lives in a Sibley tent!
Question. Would he be entitled to rent for rooms if he occupied his own house ?
Answer. He would be entitled to his rooms, certainly. I presume that there are officers in this city owning their houses.
Question. The question is, what the practice is?
Answer. The officer selects his own apartments, and the quartermas. ter hires the rooms and pays for them. He pays the party who owns or claims to own them, or who is the agent for them. He does not pay the officer himself.
Question. The practice is to pay to these persons the equivalent of so many rooms as the officer is entitled to under the law and orders ?
Answer. Certainly, sir; that is, what is hired for him.
Question. You have had occasion to inspect accounts of that kind and know that to be the practice of the Army?
Answer. That is the practice so far as I know; the officers selecting their quarters and the quartermaster paying the rent authorized.
By Mr. THORNBURGH : Question. Suppose an officer is entitled to $90 a month for quarters, and only actually expends $15 a month, or any other sum under $90; is he entitled to receive the full amount for all the rooins that he is entitled to have under the regulations? Is that the copstruction given to the law?
Answer. I suppose he can draw the full amount for quarters hired. The rule is that he is entitled to a room and he gets it. He selects his rooms, or he has his own house, and he gets his allowance of rooms in kind.
By the CHAIRMAN: Question. To whom is the money paid if the oflicer occupies his own house?
Answer. He will probably have an agent.
Answer. Because there is a regulation or law to the effect that it is not to be paid to the officer.
Question. But whoever pays to a man's agent pays to himself?
Answer. Certainly; it is as long as it is broad. But if money shall not be paid to the officer by law, but to his agent, it conforms to the regulations and to the law.
Question. Then the practice of the Army is that if a man has a house of his own and lives in it he is entitled to have paid to his agent the equivalent for the number of rooms which he is anthorized to occupy under the law ?
Answer. Yes, sir; I understand so. Of course, what he gets from the Government does not always cover the expense of the house.
Question. You inspect accounts of this kind ?
Answer. I inspect accounts, but I do not in such cases know who the agent is. Here, for instance, are the accounts for a number of officers. The quartermaster has the vouchers for rent of rooms in the name of Smith and Jones and others. I do not know them. If the voucher is in due form I have no reason to suspect that anything is wrong. I have no knowledge who this Mr. Smith or Mr. Jones is. In some cases I may know who he is; in most cases I do not know. This rent is a part of