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the location is the best that can be made. The force in that part of the country, I think, is not more than is required to give the country meas. urable protection; perfect protection would require a much larger force than we have ever had there.
Question. What do you mean by perfect protection?
Answer. No, sir; it is a very large territory, sparsely peopled, and the danger is from Indians, Mexicans and outlaws generally. On the Rio Grande frontier the trouble is from the Indians and Mexicans. From the Rio Grande to the Red River, the western frontier, the trouble is from Indians principally; these Indians come principally from the res. ervation north of the Red River, of which abundant evidence was forwarded by myself while in command there, and is now perfectly known to everybody who is at all familiar with that part of the country. The troubles on the Rio Grande frontier were for a long time attributed to a small portion of the tribe of Kickapoos who lived in Mexico, and who were prevented froin rejoining the remainder of their tribe on the reservation in Kansas by the influence of the Mexican officials. Of this fact positive evidence was forwarded to the Department by myself while I was in commavd there, and I advocated the removal of those Indians to their old homes, to do away with that pretence of troubles on the part of the Mexicans, and I think the removal bas been pretty much accomplished within the last two years, or is in process now of being accomplished. The greatest need in that part of the countrythat is, from the Red River to the Rio Grande along that frontier, and out to El Paso, and also along the Rio Grande frontier down as far as Brownsville—the greatest want there is a line of telegraph to connect those frontier posts with each other, and with some central point, say the department headquarters at San Antonio.
Question. Is that the military telegraph that an appropriation was asked for ?
Answer. It is the thing that I advocated three or four years ago.
Answer. I made an estimate in, I think, 1868, for the cost of the wire, which was all I asked. If the wire could have been furnished me we would have built the line with our troops and would have procured operators from our men, and would have asked for nothing else, until some of these days some private company would want it and would take it off the hands of the Government, re-imbursing them for the expense.
Question. You would have operated it, then, through the Ariny?
Auswer. Oh, yes, sir. We would have transacted civil business too, just to accommodate the people.
Question. Are there men sufficiently skilled, in the Army, to act as telegraph operators!
Answer. Yes, sir; a few of them; we can find them here and there, and where they are not already supplied they can be very soon taught. At Fort McPherson I had several men on purpose practiced in telegrapbing, so that in case my operator was absent I had somebody to use. This can be done at any posts garrisoned with white troops. At stations where we had colored troops, of course we would have supplied operators from other companies.
Question. Do you think that could be done yet?
Question. That is, the Army could put up the telegraph by being furnished the wire?
Answer. I have not the least doubt of it. Question. Without any very great expense? Answer. The expense would be very slight. skilled workman in that line to direct our men.
We would want a few
Question. Have you ever estimated the expense of the entire line? Answer. I did at that time, but I have forgotten the figures; my impression is that, according to our estimate of the expense, about $30,000 would have done the whole.
Question. For how many miles, about?
Answer. It must be-I am thinking of the western line-I think between four and five hundred.
Question. What have you to say as to the cause, ordinarily, of Indian difficulties?
Answer. Well, my experience is that a majority of them originate in the acts of white men. From this remark, however, I exclude the predatory incursions on the Rio Grande frontier, which were solely for the purpose of stealing cattle, and I also exclude the systematic and periodical raids into Texas from the reservation north of the Red River. Those were made without any provocation whatever.
Question. What do they seek for, food?
Answer. No, sir; to steal cattle; and if any person is in their way, of course they will murder him.
Question. Are they in want?
Answer. O, no; pure deviltry.
Question. Explain a little more fully how those difficulties arise. Answer. Those that I have traced, I think in the majority of cases, are traceable to bad acts of some white men. That refers to the Indians that are supposed to be on reservations and peaceable.
By Mr. HAWLEY, of Connecticut:
Question. Would the Indians be apt to interfere with this telegraph, so as to make it of little value?
Answer. I think not; my experience for the last two years in Nebraska and Wyoming, among the Indians, is that they have never broken a telegraph once, nor the railroad. They don't seem inclined to break a telegraph wire; whether it is superstition or not I don't know, but such is the fact-it is the universal experience. And even if it were broken-I refer now more particularly to the Texas froutier telegraph-it would be warning that the troops should move to see what was the trouble. In regard to the telegraph line along the Texas frontier, if the feeling of the people there now is what it was something more than two years ago when I left there, they would gladly co operate to protect the telegraph line, and probably even to build it.
By the CHAIRMAN:
Question. In view of a reduction of the Army, would you deem it advisable to reduce it merely in men or in men and organizations and officers?
Answer. If the reduction has to be made, it had better affect organi zations and all, though I would have the reduction affect the commissioned part gradually, and not have them displaced immediately. You would cause, otherwise, a great deal of hardship.
Question. What plau would you suggest?
Answer. If you fix the number of the Army to be so many enlisted men, that will leave you, of course, a certain number of surplus commissioned officers. Now, provide that those commissioned officers shall
be absorbed as vacancies occur, and not discharged immediately unless in case of those who prefer it.
Question. There was a system of putting officers out of the service by a board of officers that were unfit to properly discharge their duties. Do you think a system of that kind would work harshly?
Answer. A worse system could not be devised, in my judgment.
Answer. Principally because it does not do what it is expected to do; that is to say, it does not confine the discharges to persons unfit for service in all cases; and as a proof of that you will find, since the last board we had discharged people that way, there have been as many trials by courts, I think, as there ever were in the Army in the same length of time, showing that the men the law aimed to strike are not brought before the board. In some cases known to me the operation of the board was oppressive in the extreme; but as a general rule, and in a great majority of cases, the officers that the late board eliminated from the Army list were good riddances.
Question. Would or would you not advise against that?
Answer. I advise against that. If a thing of that kind is thought advisable, bowever, let the board be composed of persons wholly disconnected with the Army.
Question. Would you say civilians ?
Answer. I don't care who it is, but let them be disconnected with the Army.
Question. In case the work of consolidation goes on, can the grade of regimental adjutant and quartermaster be dispensed with, or are those officers absolutely necessary!
Answer. I don't regard them absolutely necessary at all ; it is rather convenient to have them, but if reduction must take place they can be dispensed with.
By Mr. HAWLEY, of Connecticut: Question. Detail lieutenants to do the duty ?
Answer. Yes, sir; I would not have those appointments permanent at all, in time of peace especially.
By the CHAIRMAN: Question. Now, as to the majors of cavalry and artillery; there are three at present in those regiments. Are they all necessary, or could two in each be dispensed with? In other words, are more majors needed in artillery and cavalry than in infantry?
Answer. I think there are not any more needed ; they may be very well, but if reduction must take place it can come there as well as any. wbere.
Question. Your cavalry regiments are composed of twelve companies 1 Answer. Yes, sir.
By the CHAIRMAN : Question. In dividing up, is it at all necessary to have a field officer ? Could not the senior captain do just as well ?
Answer. It is better to have a field officer. If you have a field-officer to each four companies it would be enough.
Question. You think you could dispense with one major in each regiment?
Answer. Yes, sir; I would not dispense with more than that, and this is upon the assumption that a reduction must be made; I want it to
strike where it will do the least harm. I would not favor these reductions at all as an abstract thing, but if reductions must take place I would have them made where they will do the least harm.
Question. As to the staff, can the number of permanent officers in a staff be reduced, and a part of the staff just as well be filled by officers detailed from the line?
Answer. I think so.
Question. Please state your reasons.
Answer. If you leave out the Medical Corps, the Corps of Engineers, the Ordnance, and Bureau of Military Justice, there is no department of the staff requiring any special and prolonged training to discharge its duties.
Question. Please state the effect of such a system upon officers of the line, as well as upon the officers of the staff.
Auswer. The duties of the other staff corps, after those I have named, can be performed by any officer who is competent to hold a commission in the Army. The alternation from duty with troops to staff-duty, from time to time, would be beneficial to the officers of the Army, without, I conceive, being in the least detrimental to the staff departments.
Question. Would it be of any considerable advantage to the line-offi cers themselves?
Answer. I think it would.
Question. How long a period of duty would you detail these officers for?
Answer. I would say four years on any one detail; not longer than that. Question. Would you let these details run into the higher branches of the staff, or into the lower grades?
Answer. There is no reason why it should not run throughout the department-staff corps. It may require a few surplus officers, but I would have them attached to regiments, and I would have promotions in the staff-corps, if it exists at all, confined to a very few men.
Question. How large a permanent staff would you have, in proportion to the present staff? How largely would you reduce the perma;
nent members of the staff?
Answer. You would want one officer here at the head of each staffdepartment in Washington, whose rank should not be higher than colonel, at the highest. The precise number of officers required here I do not know; you would want one at the head of each branch, and the General of the Army, I suppose, would want one adjutant besides his aids, and at each department headquarters you may have one officer for each branch of the staff. Beyond this the permanent officers in the staff corps should not go, in my judgment; and I doubt the propriety of extending it that far, in fact. My idea of a general officer is that there should be but one way by which a man ever can attain the rank of a general officer, and that is that he must gain it by work in the field with the men, with the troops. The idea of having a brigadier-general here at the head of each staff-department, who has not won his posi tion by service in the field, is not the thing. My view is that it should be impossible for a man to attain the rank of general officer except by service with the Army proper, which consists of armed organizations.
Question. Could a system be adopted by which the duties of staff officers could be alternated in the field and in the War Department, at Washington, to advantage?
Answer. I think so; that is the very thing that I want to see done.
Answer. The reason I have already given, that it would be a great
benefit to the Army, and no detriment, I think, to the staff corps. There is nothing in these departments that cannot be done by any officer who is competent to hold a commission. Lieutenant-colonel should be the highest grade in the departments, and the officers of the Army should be so arranged that promotion should take place regimentally and not in the staff. Exception to this rule might be made to a limited extent, but very limited.
Question. Why would you have promotion go on and be obtained in the line instead of the staff?
Answer. Because the attainment of high rank in the Army should be possible only by service with the troops; and I would have an officer's service during his whole life, if possible, principally with the troops.
Question. Do you hold it to be preferable to have the rewards of merit in the Army given to those who serve with the troops, or those who are cut off from the troops in mere staff positions ?
Answer. Decidedly to those who serve with the troops. The service will also, of course, include officers on staff duty with the troops in the field.
Question. Please state how you would obtain a sufficient supply of officers to fill these various grades in the staff.
Answer. You would simply want to attach to the regiments a number over and above those required for regimental duty equal to the number required for staff-duty.
Question. In the Medical Department, do you prefer surgeons of the Army to contract surgeons?
Answer. In my experience in the Army I have served with a great many of both classes of medical officers, and I have had no fault to find with either class. The advantage, as I understand that question, of regular commissioned medical officers is that by law they are required to be subjected to a thorough examination before receiving their commissions, and this gives us, in out-of-the-way places, where competent civilians could not be employed, reliable medical men.
Question. Can you say whether or not, if the Army was reduced to 25,000 men, the present number of officers, (forty-four,) besides the deputy and assistant paymasters, could pay the Army every two months?
Answer. I think they could if the present system is to be continued. Question. How are they paid now ?
Answer. They profess to average a payment every two months, and they come pretty near doing it.
Question. Are the paymasters busy all the time paying?
Answer. No, sir.
Question. How long does it take them to get through their various payments?
Answer. A paymaster has a certain place known as his station, and about each muster-day, every two months, he receives an order from the department-commander to go and pay troops at certain posts; he performs this journey, makes this round of payments, and returns to his station until the next order for him to do the same thing, and so on.
Question. Why can he not go on paying through the most of this period of two months, and pay, at intervals of two months, each command?
Answer. I don't know but that might be done.
Question. How long does it usually take them to make the round of their posts?
Answer. That varies so much with their locality that I could not give any definite answer to it. It depends altogether upon the facility