By CAPTAIN OSCAR F. LONG, A. Q. M., U. S. ARMY.
To chronicle properly and systematically the history of the Quartermaster's Department would be to write a history of the army, of which it forms so important a part, with which it is so intimately associated, and without which it could not exist; for otherwise our army would be but a predatory mob, organized but not supplied; dependent upon chance for its existence, and for its supplies upon forays, like the forces of the feudal barons of mediaeval times. The supply departments are the mainstay of an army.
In their relations the departments of the army are correlative. Upon the efficiency of the one the success of the other is largely dependent. The army, which is the faithful servant of the nation it represents, reflects also the condition of the people, socially and economically. It faithfully portrays the evolution from the earliest times to the present,—from barbarism to civilization, and keeps pace with the progress of the country. Its labors have been intimately associated with the spread of civilization, and no other agency has been so potent in perfecting the permanency of our republic,—and making its success assured and its power respected—as has been our army.
Whether in peace or war its duties have been onerous, but cheerfully borne. Whether dealing with savage foe or foreign invader, success has crowned its efforts.
During times of peace the army is dependent for its very existence upon the moods of Congress, and the whims of caprice,—moods as variable as those of the ocean, and whims like those of the breeze. During times of war, the country and Congress depends upon the army for active aid, whether to suppress insurrection, repel invasion, or to fight for actual existence as a free and independent people,—a freedom and independence vouchsafed by our Constitution, a legacy left us by our forefathers, still faithfully guarded.
The evolution which has brought our army to its present state of usefulness, has been dependent upon circumstances and conditions in the history of the country, at its different epochs, and the necessities then existing. As with the army, so with the departments which constitute its staff, and with the several branches of the line,—the cavalry, artillery and infantry; for from time to time each has been changed in numbers and in organization as circumstances and conditions have changed, and in order that they might the better meet conditions or necessities then existing. The change has not been radical; it has been more in the nature of enlargement and improvement, as necessity demanded.
This development has brought the army through various and varied
vicissitudes to its present state of perfection, and has been necessary to meet the requirements of a modern civilization in a country whose geographical isolation is its protection, and whose military and naval strength, its safeguard.
Though essentially a nation of soldiers, in time of peace we do not prepare for war. On the contrary, from our very isolation we rest in a state of fancied security.
Whether in peace or war, the army is mainly dependent upon its supply department, the duties of which are important and multifarious, the obligations great, and the responsibilities enormous.
Facts are interesting and figures tedious, but to show the importance of the operations of a great department of supply, they are a necessity, particularly in referring to the work of the Quartermaster's Department during the War of the Rebellion, when the enormous expenditure, perfect accountability, and recognized efficiency, are of record as unequalled in military history, ancient or modern.
The following is but a brief brochure, containing the more important facts connected with the organization of the Quartermaster's Department from the War of Independence to the present time, compiled from the most authentic available data.
The earliest legislation relating to the Quartermaster's Department is found in the journals of Congress. The Continental Congress in session at Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia, adopted the following resolution June 16, 1775:
"Resolved, That there be one Quartermaster General for the grand army, and one deputy under him for the separate army. * * * That the pay of the Quartermaster General be $80 per month, and that of the deputy $40 per month."
The same Congress, on the 19th of July, 1775, adopted the following resolution:
"Resolved, That the appointment of a Quartermaster General * * * be left to General Washington."
Acting under this authority General Washington appointed Major Thomas Mifflin, of Pennsylvania, Quartermaster General; and writing to the President of Congress on the 21st of September, informed him of the fact, hoping and believing that such appointment would be universally acceptable.
Major Mifflin, immediately after his appointment, entered upon his duties in the Quartermaster's Department.
Prior to December 22, 1775, no provision had been made for the rank of the one who filled the position of Quartermaster General of the Army of the United Colonies, but on that date the following resolution was passed by Congress:
"Resolved, That the Quartermaster General have the rank of a colonel in the Army of the United Colonies."
On the 16th of May following, Colonel Mifflin was elected by Congress a brigadier general of the army, whereupon he resigned his office of Quarter-
master General, and on the 5th of June, 1776, Stephen Moylan was elected to fill the vacancy.
The position and duties of Quartermaster General appear to have been distasteful to Colonel Moylan, and having tendered his resignation to Congress, that body, on the 1st of October, 1776, resolved that "Brigadier General Mifflin be authorized and requested to resume the said office, and that his rank and pay as brigadier general be still continued to him." In accordance with this resolution, General Mifflin, on October 1, 1776, again took charge of the affairs of the Quartermaster's Department.
On the 27th of December, 1776, the Congress empowered General Washington to appoint a clothier general for supplying the army. The duties of this office, however, did not at that time pertain to the Quartermaster's Department.
On February 19, 1777, General Mifflin was elected a major general by the Continental Congress. On the 8th of October, 1777, he requested leave to resign his commission of major general and office of Quartermaster General on account of ill health; and November 7, 1777, the Congress resolved that his resignation of the office of Quartermaster General be accepted, but that his rank and commission of major general be continued to him, without the pay annexed to that office, until the further order of the Congress. With a view, however, to temporarily retain his services in the Quartermaster's Department, the Congress resolved, on the 8th of November, 1777, that he "be desired,—-notwithstanding his resignation of Quartermaster General was accepted,—to continue in the exercise of that office, and that he be invested with full powers to act until another Quartermaster General should be appointed and should enter upon the duties of the office." It does not appear, however, that he again entered formally upon these duties.
The condition of the Quartermaster's Department at this time, without an ostensible head, and with an organization to a certain extent defective and incomplete, was regarded with much solicitude by General Washington.
In this emergency Major General Nathaniel Greene, an able, gallant officer and personal friend of General Washington, was selected by him to fill the vacancy, and was elected by Congress on March 2, 1778. That body gave him authority to employ two assistant quartermasters general, who should be acceptable to him, and power to appoint all other officers of his department, and specially provided that General Greene should retain his rank of major general in the army, which he then held.
General Greene unwillingly accepted the office. He disliked any appointment which required the keeping and expenditure of public funds, and was unwilling to forego the opportunities which might arise for active service in the regular line of the army. It was only at the earnest entreaty of Washington that he finally consented, stipulating meanwhile that he should not lose his right of command in action.
Entering, however, upon his new duties he executed them with great zeal and ability, encountering obstacles of no ordinary kind, and rendering services of the utmost importance to the army. He considered,. however, that Congress had not promptly seconded his views in relation to the business of the department, and he was disinclined to remain at its head. On
the 22d of April, 1779, he wrote to General Washington that he would be happy to obtain the command in the South, if General Lincoln's physical condition rendered him incapable of continuing in command.
General Washington replied April 24, 1779, as follows:
"I am sorry for the difficulties you have to encounter in the department of Quartermaster, especially as I was in some degree instrumental in bringing you into it. If your judgment points to a resignation of your present office, and inclination leads to the Southward, my wishes shall accompany it."
It does not appear, however, that this point was pressed by General Greene at the time. He rendered active services in the field in 1779 while Quartermaster General. The question having been raised as to his proper command under such circumstances, he wrote to General Washington on the subject, and received a reply dated September 3, 1779, stating that when General Greene accepted office as Quartermaster General and made a reservation of his rank, General Washington did not consider that he was to retain thereby an actual permanent command. He further wrote:
"The military reason which prevents a Quartermaster General from exercising command in ordinary cases I take to be this, that whatever may be the fact, the presumption is that both in action and out of action he has, generally speaking, sufficient employment in the duties of his office, and circumstances alone can decide when these are compatible with actual command."
Congress, on November 25, 1779, Resolved, "That the department of the, Quartermaster General to be for the future under the superintendence and direction of the Board of War."
At this time the attention of Congress had been attracted. to the organization of the staff departments as they then existed, and on, January 21, 22, and 23, 1780, three commissioners,—Mr. Schuyler, a member of the Continental Congress; General Mifflin, and Colonel Pickering,—were chosen to make inquiry into the expenses of these departments.
In view of this inquiry a draft of a plan of reorganization of the Quartermaster's Department, considered practicable both by General Washington and General Greene, was submitted by the latter to this committee.
Great hostility to both of these officers, however, was manifested by certain members of the Congress, especially on the part of those, who it is believed, had organized the movement to place General Gates at the head of the army; and the plan finally submitted to that body and adopted by it on the 15th July, 1780, following, was found to differ widely from that which had been proposed by them.
The new law provided for one Quartermaster General and one Assistant Quartermaster General, to be appointed by the Congress; one Deputy Quartermaster for the main army, and one for each separate army, to be appointed by the Quartermaster General, who was also to appoint, if he deemed it necessary, a deputy for each state, to be approved by the Supreme Executive of the State, said deputies to appoint, in turn, as many assistants as required, and also all store-keepers, contractors, clerks, conductors artificers, and laborers, found necessary to the service to be appointed by the deputies in their respective districts. The act occupies several pages
and enters into the most minute details for the government of the department.
General Greene was greatly dissatisfied with the new law. He considered the number of assistants too small, their salaries too low, and the whole scheme inefficient. Early in August, 1780, he tendered his unconditional resignation as Quartermaster General, requesting Congress to appoint his successor at once without loss of time, and expressing his desire to remain no longer in the department than was necessary to close his accounts and to set fairly in operation the new system as adopted for the future government of the department. August 5, 1780, Congress Resolved, "That the absolute refusal of Major General Greene to act under the new arrangement of the Quartermaster General's Department, has made it necessary that the office of Quartermaster General be immediately filled"; and on the same day Colonel Timothy Pickering was elected by Congress to fill the vacancy.
Thereupon Congress adopted this resolution:
Resolved, That Timothy Pickering,
Esq., having been appointed Quartermaster General,
upon an extraordinary emergency, be continued
as a member of the board of war ; but that the
exercise of all his powers at the said board,
and his pay as a member thereof, be suspended
during such time as he shall continue Quartermaster
That while he holds the office of Quartermaster General he have the rank of colonel and the pay and rations of a brigadier general over and above the pay allowed the Quartermaster General in the late arrangement of the Quartermaster's Department.
Upon assuming the duties of his office Colonel Pickering found many serious difficulties with which to contend. The scarcity of funds, the depreciation of the currency, and the want of system and harmony in the Quartermaster's Department under the new organization, seriously interfered with the prompt transaction of business.
On March 14, 1782, Congress by resolution authorized the appointment of one additional deputy quartermaster for the Southern Army, and on the same day reduced the pay of the Quartermaster General to that of Major General.
On October 23, 1782, Congress Resolved,
"That the establishment of
the Quartermaster's Department by resolution
of Congress of July 15, 178o, be after January
1, 1783, repealed, and the following regulations
then adopted in its stead.
"Resolved, That there be one Quartermaster General, the present Quartermaster General to be continued in office ; and hereafter as vacancies arise to be appointed by Congress.
"That the Quartermaster General, with the approbation of the Commander-in-Chief, appoint the following officers for the armies of the United States, viz.:
"For the Main Army: One Deputy Quartermaster, one Wagon Master, one Commissary of Forage, one Director and one Sub-Director, of a Company of Artificers.
"For the Southern Army : One Deputy Quartermaster, one Deputy Commissary of Forage, one Deputy Wagon Master, one Director and one Sub-Director of a Company of Artificers, and as many Assistants in the Main and Southern Army to perform the duties of Quartermasters of Brigades, Storekeepers, Clerks and such other duties in the Quartermaster's Department as the service may require, and also as many Wagon Conductors."
The business of the department was growing less with a constantly decreasing army, and with a view to economy and reduction of expenses, Congress on the 25th July, 1785, resolved that the department of Quartermaster General be considered as ceasing from that date, and that the Secretary of War and all others concerned be governed accordingly.
By a resolution of Congress, dated September 29, 1785, a commissioner, previously appointed for the settlement of the accounts of the Quartermaster General's department, was authorized and directed to enter upon a general settlement of the various accounts of Col. Pickering, as Quartermaster General, and of the several deputies serving in the department.
On May 8, 1786, Mr. Jonathan Burrill was elected by Congress as Commissioner to settle the accounts of the Quartermaster's department at a compensation of $1250 per annum.
On October 2, 1788, Congress adopted the report of a Committee appointed to make full inquiry into the proceedings of the Department of War. This Committee remarks on the affairs of the Quartermaster's Department as follows:
"The Quartermaster's Department
on the frontiers is arranged on principles highly
economical and beneficial to the public. Instead
of an officer at the head of this department,
with his train of attendants, all supplies are
furnished by the contractors of provision, who
have also, from time to time, contracted with
the Secretary of War, to furnish all necessary
articles on the frontiers, which shall be required
for the troops, on the following principles.
"1st. No article to be furnished but by an order in writing from the commanding officer of the troops, or the commanding officer of a separate post, who shall be responsible to the Secretary of War, that only such articles shall be ordered as the situation of the troops render indispensably necessary.
"2d. That for all articles so furnished the original bills of parcels shall be produced by the contractor, which shall be verified upon oath if required.
"3d. That no charge shall be allowed the contractors which shall be deficient in the vouchers, the nature of which are precisely pointed out.
"4th That for all supplies, advances and services rendered in this line, the contractors shall have an allowance made of five per cent. on the settlement of their account, every six mouths at the Treasury. All necessary articles which are furnished within the state for the troops, are purchased by the Secretary of War, without any commission or charge theron to the public."
This arrangement existed previously to the resolve of Congress for abolishing the Quartermaster General's Department, July 25, 1785. The Quartermaster's Department at this time existed more in name than reality. It had no organization or effective force.
On March 4, 1789, the first Congress of the United States convened in Federal Hall, New York City. The army at this time consisted of about 2000 men, and no legislation affecting an increase of this force appears to have been thought necessary by Congress until T791, when the Indian hostilities on the western frontier attracted the special attention of that body. After a careful examination of the subject, it was decided to establish a line of posts sufficient to maintain communication from the Ohio to the Maumee, the intention being to build a strong fort on that river, and to
leave in it a garrison of a thousand men, large enough to send out detachments to keep the neighboring Indians in awe.
On the 3d of March an act was passed which authorized raising and adding another regiment to the force at that time in the service, etc. From sections 5 and 6 of this act is taken the following.
"In case the President of the United States should deem the employment of a major general, brigadier general, a quartermaster, and chaplain, or either of them, essential to the public interest, that he be, and he hereby is, empowered, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint the same accordingly. * * * The quartermaster shall be entitled to the same pay, rations, and forage as the lieutenant colonel commandant of a regiment."
On the 4th of March, the day following, Major General St. Clair was made commander-in-chief of forces destined for Forts Pitt and Washington and neighboring posts as places of rendezvous, whence to carry out the plan of campaign above referred to; and on the same day Samuel Hodgden, of Pennsylvania, having been appointed a quartermaster under the act, by President Washington, was confirmed as such by the Senate.
On March 5, 1792, an act was passed making further provision for the protection of the frontier. Under section 7 of this act, fixing the monthly pay, rations and forage to be allowed to officers of the army, the grade of deputy quartermaster was recognized, although it does not appear to have been created by legislation of Congress. This section also provided for the detail of line officers as quartermasters of the regiments being formed, with additional compensation for the extra duty thus performed by them.
On March 28th General St. Clair left Philadelphia for Fort Washington via Fort Pitt, arriving there May 15th following. Quartermaster Hodgden, however, tardily followed his commanding officer and failed to reach Fort Washington until September 10th, although an express had been received by him some time previously from General St. Clair to hasten forward. The little army, numbering about 2000 men, suffered in the meantime and subsequently for the want of the most necessary supplies.
The quartermaster's and other stores forwarded from the east to the troops were found to be deficient in quantity and bad in quality. Boats for the transportation of the troops were not in readiness; horses which were to be furnished by the contractors were not brought forward; the rations of the men were failing, and the green forage for the animals had been touched by, the early frost. In short, the extreme deficiencies and derangements of the business of the quartermaster and contractor of provisions were considered to have been, to a great extent, the cause of the subsequent failure of the expedition.
On April 19, 1792, Quartermaster Hodgden was superseded by James O'Hara, of Pennsylvania, the latter being nominated by President Washington and confirmed by the Senate as Quartermaster General, although the law at this time only provided for a "quartermaster."
In May following, the duties of the Quartermaster's Department were somewhat reduced by the transfer of the power of purchasing and contracting for army supplies to the Treasury Department, as will appear from Section 5 of act approved May 8, 1792, as follows:
"That all the purchases and contracts for supplying the army with provisions, clothing, supplies in the Quartermaster's Department, military stores, Indian goods, and all other supplies or other articles for the use of the Department of War, be made by or under the direction of the Treasury Department."
In accordance with the request of the Secretary of the Treasury, in a letter to Congress dated December 2, 1794, it was further enacted, February 23, 1795, that an officer be appointed in the Treasury Department, to be known as the Purveyor of Public Supplies, "whose duty shall be, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, to conduct the procuring and providing of all arms, military and naval stores, provisions, clothing and generally all supplies requisite for the service of the United States." The compensation was $2000 per annum.
The grade of Quartermaster General, which had been abolished July 25, 1785, appears to have been again recognized in an act of March 3, 1795, for continuing and regulating the military establishment. This act also recognizes a Deputy Quartermaster General and regimental quartermasters. The grade of Quartermaster General, however, does not appear to have been specifically recreated by legislation of Congress until the act of May 30, 1796. At that time an act was passed authorizing, among other general staff officers, a Quartermaster General. The same act provided that the general staff should continue in service until March 4,1797, and no longer. On June 1, 1796, Lieutenant Colonel O'Hara having resigned, John Wilkins, Jr., of Pennsylvania, was appointed by President Washington and confirmed by the Senate as Quartermaster General under this act.
On March 3, 1797, the act of May 30, 1796, was amended to continue the grade of Quartermaster General, that officer to receive the pay and emoluments previously authorized by law.
During the following year, by reason of the unfriendly demonstrations of France, it was considered necessary to temporarily increase the force of the army to meet any exigency which might arise. Accordingly Congress, by an act of May 28, 1798, authorized the President "in the event of declaration of war against the United States, or of actual invasion of their territory by a foreign power, or of imminent danger of such invasion discovered, to call into active service a provisional army of not exceeding 10,000 men. "
Section 7 of this act provided that in case the President should judge the employment of a Quartermaster General essential to the public interest, he was authorized to appoint the same accordingly, subject to the confirmation of the Senate. The Quartermaster General was to be entitled to the rank, pay and emoluments of a lieutenant colonel.
General Washington had retired to private life and was then residing at Mount Vernon. Just before the close of the session of Congress he was nominated and confirmed Lieutenant General and Commander-in-chief of all the troops to be raised. This command Washington accepted with the express condition that he should not be called into active service until the army was in a situation to require his presence, unless urgency of circumstances should sooner make it necessary.
On December 31, 1798, President John Adams transmitted to Congress
a special report from the Secretary of War, dated December 24, relative to the reorganization of the army.
Congress, taking the entire subject of army reorganization into consideration, passed the act of March 3, 1799. Sections 10 and 12 of this act read as follows:
SECTION 10. That there shall
be a Quartermaster General of the army of the
United States, who shall be entitled to the rank,
pay, emoluments, and privileges of a major general.
SECTION 12. That to any army of the United States, other than that in which the
Quartermaster General shall serve, there shall be a Deputy Quartermaster General, who shall be a field-officer, and who, in addition to his other emoluments, shall be entitled to $50 per month, which shall be in full compensation for his extra services and travelling expenses ; but the provisions of this act are not to affect the present Quartermaster General of the army of the United States, who, in case a Quartermaster General shall be appointed by virtue of this act, is to act as Deputy Quartermaster General, and shall hereafter have the rank of lieutenant colonel ; and that to every division of an army there shall be a division quartermaster, who in addition to his other emoluments, shall be entitled to $30 per month, which shall be in full compensation for his extra services and travelling expenses ; and that to every brigade there shall be a brigade quartermaster, who, in addition to his other emoluments, shall be entitled to $24 per month, which shall be in full compensation for his extra services and travelling expenses; each of which officers shall be chosen by the Quartermaster General from among the regimental officers.
It was also provided by this act that no regimental officer of higher rank than a captain be appointed a division quartermaster, and that no one of higher rank than first lieutenant be appointed quartermaster of a brigade.
The difficulties with France which were at this time apprehended were not to any serious extent realized, hostilities being mainly carried on by the navy, and under the acts of Congress of February 20 and May 14, 1800, enlistments and military appointments under the act of March 2, 1799, were suspended.
The appointment of a new Quartermaster General, under the act of March 3, 1799, was not made, and Mr. Wilkins remained in charge of the duties of the station, his position being raised to that of major general, as would appear from a message of President Jefferson to Congress in 1802.
By the act of March 16, 1802, fixing the military peace establishment, it was enacted that the army be reduced to one regiment of artillerists and two of infantry, with the necessary officers. Sections 3, 16 and 17 of this act provide for the appointment of paymasters, assistant paymasters, and military agents, upon whom the duties of the Quartermaster's Department were thenceforth to devolve. They authorized the appointment of one paymaster of the army, seven paymasters, and two assistants, who, in addition to their other duties, were to have charge of the clothing of troops; also the appointment of three military agents, and such number of assistant military agents as might be thought expedient by the President, not exceeding one at each military post, it being the duty of these agents and assistants to purchase, receive, and forward to their destination all military stores and other articles for the troops in their respective departments, and all goods and annuities for the Indians; they were to make returns of all property which would come into
their possession to the Department of War. Both paymasters and agents were required to file bonds for the faithful performance of their duties. Under operation of this act John Wilkins, Jr., ceased to be Quartermaster General, and Peter Gansevoort, of New York, for the northern department; William Linnard, of Pennsylvania, for the middle department; and Abraham D. Abrahams, of Georgia, for the southern department, were appointed by President Jefferson as military agents, and confirmed as such by the Senate, April 29, 1802.
The next legislation relating to the Quartermaster's Department is found in the act of April 12, 1808, which granted authority to raise, for a limited time, an additional military force in view of apprehended difficulties with foreign powers. This act provided for two brigade quartermasters and a quartermaster to each of the eight regiments to be raised under it.
At this time war with Great Britain seemed imminent, as serious complications had arisen. It was hoped by diplomacy to avoid the impending calamity, but, as a prudential measure, it had been decided to further increase the military force, and by the act of January 11, 1812, thirteen new regiments were authorized to be added thereto. On March 28th, following, an act was approved reestablishing the Quartermaster's Department and reviving the grade of Quartermaster General.
Provision was made for a Quartermaster General and four deputy quartermasters, to be confirmed by the Senate, and as many assistant deputy quartermasters as the service might require, to be appointed by the President alone. The Quartermaster General to have the rank and pay of a brigadier general, and the deputy quartermasters $60.00 per month, five rations and forage for two horses. The assistant deputy quartermasters $40.00 per month, three rations, and forage for one horse.
These officers were to purchase military stores, camp equipage and other articles requisite for troops and provide means of transportation.
The act also provided for a Commissary General of Purchases with a salary Of $3000 per annum, and necessary assistants with compensation derived from commissions on money disbursed, not exceeding, however, $2000 per annum. The Commissary General of Purchases was required to purchase all arms, military stores, cloth in g-formerly purchased by paymasters-and all articles of supply. The Deputy Commissaries were, in cases of necessity, to act under the orders of the Quartermaster General in purchasing supplies.
The office of purveyor of public supplies, and the offices of the military agents were abolished.
Under this act President Madison nominated William Jones, of Pennsylvania, to be Commissary General of Purchases, and Morgan Lewis, of New York, to be Quartermaster General, and they were confirmed by the Senate on April 3 and 4, 1812, respectively.
On the 23d of April, 1812, an act was approved organizing a corps of artificers, to be attached to the Quartermaster General's Department. This corps was to consist of one superintendent, appointed by the President.
four assistants, two master masons, two master carpenters, two master blacksmiths, two master boat-builders, two master armorers, two master saddle and harness makers, twenty house carpenters, five ship carpenters, twenty blacksmiths, sixteen boat-builders, sixteen armorers, twelve saddle and harness makers, and twenty-four laborers, to be selected from the privates of the army, or engaged from among citizens by the superintendent. The corps of artificers was to be engaged for three years, unless sooner discharged by the President.
On May 14th following an act was approved, establishing an ordnance department and creating the grade of Commissary General of Ordnance, which act at once relieved the Commissary General of Purchases of some of the most important duties then devolving upon him.
On the 18th of June, 1812, war against Great Britain was declared and on June 26, 1812, an act was approved for the more perfect organization of the army of the United States and providing for the increase of the same.
By an act of July 6, of the same year, the President was authorized to increase the number of officers of the Quartermaster's Department by the appointment of one Deputy Quartermaster General to any army of the United States other than that in which the Quartermaster General was serving, and such number of assistant deputies, not exceeding thirty, as the public service may require. The military force was further increased by act of January 29, 1813. On March 3d following an act was approved providing for the supplies required for the army and for the accountability of persons intrusted with the same.
On June 2, 1813, Richard Cutts, of Massachusetts, was nominated by President Madison and confirmed by the Senate as Superintendent General of Military Supplies, under the provisions of the above act.
March 3, 1813, an act was also passed "for the better organization of the general staff of the army," making radical changes in the Quartermaster's Department. It provided for eight Quartermasters General, eight Deputy Quartermasters General, and thirty-two assistant deputy Quartermasters General; the Quartermaster General attached to the principal army to have the brevet rank and the pay and emoluments of a brigadier general as before; all other Quartermasters General to have the brevet rank and the pay and emoluments of colonels of infantry, and the deputies and assistant deputies to have the brevet rank and the pay and emoluments of majors of cavalry and captains of infantry, respectively; the President to take these officers from the line or not, as he might consider expedient.
Section 5 made it the duty of the Secretary of War to prepare a code of regulations for the better government of the staff departments, to be used for the army upon receiving the approval of the President.
Under the provisions of this act Robert Swartwout, of New York, was appointed by President Madison as Quartermaster General on March 21, 1813, and designated as chief of the Quartermaster's Department in place of General Lewis, who had on March 2d of that year received the appointment of major general in the army.
On the 10th February, 1814, it was enacted that three regiments of rifle-
men be raised, one quartermaster and one quartermaster sergeant being allowed to each.
On March 30, 1814, it was enacted that three regiments of artillery be formed into one corps, and organized into twelve battalions, one quartermaster being authorized to each battalion. That in lieu of two regiments of light dragoons in service, there be organized one regiment * * * with one quartermaster * * * and one quartermaster sergeant. Section 20 of this act prohibited taking quartermasters of any grade from the line of the army.
On the 11th of February, 1815, news of the proclamation of peace was brought to New York, causing the greatest joy and enthusiasm throughout the country. February 17th the Senate of the United States ratified the treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain, which had been concluded at Ghent on December 24, 1814.
On the 3d of March following an act was passed by Congress reducing the army, and fixing the military peace establishment at 10,000 men, which provided for one quartermaster and quartermaster sergeant to each regiment of artillery and riflemen; also four brigade quartermasters, to be taken from the subalterns of the line. This act made it the duty of the President to discharge all officers who, by its operation, became supernumerary. Accordingly, on May 17, 1815, orders were issued from the Adjutant and Inspector General's office announcing that the President had so arranged the general staff as to include one Quartermaster General and two Deputy Quartermaster Generals, provisionally retained, and the four brigade quartermasters provided for by the law; all other officers of the Quartermaster's Department, whose accounts were unsettled, were to be allowed to remain in service during a reasonable period, for the single purpose of rendering and settling them.
Robert Swartwout, was continued Quartermaster General, with the brevet rank of brigadier general.
At this time the United States was divided into two military divisions, viz.: Division of the North and Division of the South, the two Deputy Quartermasters General, provisionally retained, being assigned to these respective divisions.
On December 27, 1815, William H. Crawford, Secretary of War, in a report to the House of Representatives, referred to the staff officers who had been provisionally retained in the military service, and recommended that in organizing the general staff provision be made, among other officers, for one Quartermaster General, who should be stationed at Washington. This recommendation does not appear to have received favorable consideration at that time, but on the 24th of April, 1816, an act was passed reorganizing the staff departments.
The first section of this act authorized the appointment of one Quartermaster General, with one Deputy Quartermaster General to each division, and an assistant of each to every brigade ; these latter, by the law, superseded the brigade quartermasters and inspectors then existing.
Section 5 provided that the purchasing department consist of one Com-
missary General of Purchases, as before authorized, one deputy commissary to each division, six assistant commissaries of issues, and as many military storekeepers, to be subject to the rules and articles of war in the same manner as officers of the army, as the service might require. The salaries of the latter were to be regulated by the Secretary of War according to the duty they were performing, not, however, to exceed the pay and emoluments of a captain of infantry. The salaries of the former were fixed by law.
Section 7 made it the duty of the President of the United States to prescribe the quantity and kind of clothing to be issued annually to the troops.
Section 9 authorized all officers of the general staff to retain the pay and emoluments secured to them by the act of 3d March, 1813.
General orders issued from the Adjutant and Inspector General's office, May 3, 1816, announced that, in conformity with the above act, James R. Mullany, of New York, and George Gibson, of Pennsylvania, had been appointed Quartermasters General of the divisions of the north and south, respectively, with the rank of colonel, to date from April 29, 1816. .
On the 14th April, 1818, an act was passed further regulating the staff of the army, in accordance with a plan suggested by Mr. Calhoun, Secretary of War.
Section 3 Of this act repealed so much of the act of April 24, 1816, as allowed one Quartermaster General to each division, and provided that the Quartermaster's Department consist, in addition to the two Deputy Quartermasters General and the four assistant deputy Quartermasters General, then authorized, of one Quartermaster General, with the rank, pay, and emoluments of a brigadier general, and as many assistant deputy Quartermasters General as the President might deem proper, not exceeding, in the whole number, 12. This act also repealed former acts relating to forage, wagon and barrack-masters;
President James Monroe, under this act, as will be seen by reference to general orders from the Adjutant and Inspector General's office, of April 30, 1818, appointed William Cumming, of Georgia, Quartermaster General, to date from April 18, 1818, in lieu of Quartermasters General of divisions.
General Cumming declined the appointment conferred upon him, and on the 8th May, 1818, Brevet Colonel Thomas S. Jesup, Lieutenant Colonel 3d United States infantry, was appointed Quartermaster General by President Monroe to fill the vacancy.
Immediately upon the receipt of the notice of this appointment, Colonel Jesup, then at Brownsville, Texas, started for Washington city, and upon the 15th of June, 1818, entered upon the duties of his new position.
On the 17th July following he submitted to the Secretary of War a comprehensive projet of the nature and functions of the Quartermaster's Department and the duties of its officers. This projet, having met with the approval of the Secretary of War, was embodied by Major General Winfield Scott in the code of regulations compiled under the act of March 3, 1813, and published for the information and guidance of the army, in July, 1821. The following is a verbatim copy:
17th July, 1818.
The principal objects of the
Quartermaster's Department are : To insure an
ample and efficient system of supply. To give
the utmost facility and effect to the movements
and operations of the Army. And to enforce a
strict accountability on the part of all officers
and agents charged with monies or supplies.
To accomplish these objects, the following regulations are proposed:
The Quartermaster General, as chief of the department, will be stationed at Washington, and be allowed one assistant, one clerk, and as many subaltern officers as the duties of his office may require. He will be liable, however, to be ordered to any point where his presence may be necessary, or his services required.
He will have the direction of the correspondence of his department, and it shall be his duty to make himself acquainted with the frontiers, both maritime and interior, and with the avenues leading to the contiguous Indian and foreign territories, with the resources of the country, and particularly of the districts on the frontier, with the most eligible points for concentrating troops and supplies, whether in relation to offensive or defensive operations, with the military force of different sections of the country. The relative expense of concentrating at particular points, and the relative military advantages of those points. And with the prices of all articles of supply and of transportation. It shall also be his duty to cause barracks and storehouses to be constructed, to designate the sites for depots, the routes for transportation and communication between different posts and armies, and the course of military roads.
It shall be the duty of the Quartermaster General to prescribe a uniform system of returns, reports, statements and estimates for his department, and he shall, under the direction of the Secretary of War, have the entire control of the deputies and assistants, and generally of all officers and agents acting in or making disbursements on account of the department, in all that relates to the administrative part of their duties, and to their accountability—the generals or commanding officers having the military control.
The deputies or assistants whom the Quartermaster General may assign to the posts of Philadelphia, New York, Pittsburg, Detroit, Saint Louis, and New Orleans, shall not be removed from their stations except by authority of the War Department.
Officers of the Quartermaster General's Department shall not be subject to detail, nor be employed upon any other duties than those of their department, except by order of the Secretary of War, or of a general commanding a division.
No officer of the Quartermaster-General's Department will be permitted to engage, either directly or indirectly, in trade or traffic of any description.
All monies for the Quartermaster's Department will be drawn by the Quartermaster General, and distributed by him to disbursing officers, as the service may require; the receipts of those officers will be his vouchers, and on producing them, or evidence of the transmission of the money, he shall receive a credit, and the person receiving the money shall be charged.
Accounts of subordinate officers of the Quartermaster's Department, whether of money or of property, will be forwarded quarterly to the Quartermaster General. They will be examined and transmitted, with the remarks of the Quartermaster General, to the proper accounting officer. Should vouchers be suspended or disallowed, the accounting officer will return them to the Quartermaster General with his reasons in writing for such suspension or disallowance; and it shall be the duty of the Quartermaster General to require from the officer proper vouchers, or the necessary explanations.
Whenever practicable, the senior quartermaster of each separate army may be re-
quired to receive and account for
all monies received on account of the Quartermaster's
Department for that army. Military departments
represent separate armies; the senior quartermaster,
therefore, may, if required, receive and account
for all monies for the service of his department.
Officers of the Quartermaster's Department will forward their accounts for settlement at the times prescribed; on failure of which they will be recalled, and their places supplied by others.
All officers charged with monies or stores of the Quartermaster's Department will make, from time to time, such returns, reports, statements, and estimates as the Quartermaster General may require.
No expenditure will be made at permanent posts in time of peace for the erection or repair of barracks and quarters, where the whole sum required to complete the work shall exceed five hundred dollars, unless ordered by the Secretary of War.
Whenever any extraordinary expenditure shall be required, particularly if it do not properly belong to the Quartermaster's Department, it shall be the duty of the officer requiring the same to furnish the quartermaster with duplicate certificates of the necessity of such expenditure. If it be made necessary by the failure of any other department, the fact must be stated.
The Quartermaster General may, whenever he shall deem it necessary, cause a thorough inspection to be made of the books and accounts of quartermasters. This inspection shall embrace property as well as money, and shall extend to contracts, to the prices paid for articles purchased, the prices paid for transportation, and generally to every article of supply, and to all objects connected with the department. The books and accounts of the Quartermaster General shall be subject to a similar inspection.
Inspecting officers will notice in their reports all orders of commanding officers requiring the expenditure of money contrary to regulations. They will state particularly whether supplies be forwarded promptly, and whether proper regard be paid to economy.
(Signed) TH. S.
(Signed) C. CALHOUN.
The following letter is interesting as showing the scope of the Quartermaster's Department in those early days:
WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 1819
Sir:—In reply to the
questions propounded to me this morning, I have
the honor to observe, that if it be the intention
of the Government, in operating against Florida,
to employ the troops of the South Division only,
those on the Atlantic may be concentrated at
Amelia Island in fifteen or twenty days, completely
equipt for the field. Those in the vicinity of
New Orleans or Mobile, may effect a junction
in about three weeks, either at Mobile, or at
some point within the Territory of Florida, in
the vicinity of Pensacola. Should the force of
the South Division be considered insufficient
for the objects contemplated, the light artillery
at Boston might be transported to Amelia Island
in twenty days, and to Pensacola in a month;
and the Second Regiment at Sackett's Harbor might
be removed, by the way of the city of New York,
to Amelia in five weeks, and to Pensacola in
forty-six days. If the movement of those troops
be determined on, a convoy will be necessary
in order to protect them from capture.
The Spaniards have probably fifteen hundred men divided between Pensacola, Saint Marks, and Saint Augustine, and they may be reinforced by an equal, if not a greater number, from Cuba; for if our operations be confined to Florida, every soldier
may be drawn from Cuba for its
defense. And the disposable force of Cuba, united
with the Seminole Indians, may be thrown upon
any point of our line of operations which Spain
A reinforcement from Cuba may be prevented by a naval force arriving in the Gulf of Mexico.
Accompanying this is a statement in relation to the movement of the light artillery
and the 2d Regiment.
The Hon. JOHN C. CALHOUN,
Secretary of War.
On March 2, 1821, an act of Congress was approved reducing the army and fixing the milltary [sic] peace establishment. Under this act the army was to be composed of four regiments of artillery and seven of infantry, with certain officers of engineers, ordnance, and the staff.
Section 7 of this act provided for one Quartermaster General (who under the act of March 28, 18 12, received the pay and emoluments of brigadier general), two quartermasters with rank, pay, etc., of majors of cavalry, and ten assistant quartermasters, to be taken from the line and to receive additional compensation, varying from $10 to $20 per month, as the Secretary of War might decide.
Section 8 provided that assistant quartermasters and assistant commissaries shall be subject to duties in both departments under the order of the Secretary of War.
Section 9, of this act, provided for two military storekeepers, to be attached to the purchasing department.
No further legislation of Congress affecting the Quartermaster's Department is found until the act of May 18, 1826.
Section 1 of this act made it the additional duty of the Quartermaster's Department to receive from the purchasing department and distribute to the army of the United States all clothing, camp and garrison equipage required for the use of the troops, and required the Quartermaster General, under the direction of the Secretary of War, to prescribe and enforce a system of accountability for all clothing and equipage issued to the army.
Section 2 made it the duty of every company commander, or other officer who should receive clothing and equipage for the use of his command, or for issue to the troops, to render to the Quartermaster General quarterly returns of such supplies, with vouchers according to the prescribed forms, such returns and vouchers, after due examination by the Quartermaster General, to be transmitted for settlement to the proper officer of the Treasury Department.
Section 3 provided for the proper care and preservation of clothing and equipage by the officers having it in charge.
Sections 4 and 5, in order to enable the Quartermaster's Department to carry out the provisions of this act, provided for the appointment of two additional quartermasters and 10 assistant quartermasters, to be taken from the line of the army, to have the same rank and pay as authorized for like grades in the act of March 2, 1821.
The so-called Black Hawk war and the campaigns in Florida had been
successfully met without any great increase of the standing army, forces of militia being called out by several of the States from time to time, to resist Indian encroachments and depredations.
On May 19, 1836, by direction of the President, General Jesup was assigned to the command of the troops of the United States and of the militia which was called into service from Georgia and Alabama for the suppression of Indian hostilities in the Creek country.
By act of July 4, 1836, the President was empowered, during the absence of the Quartermaster General, to assign some other officer of the department or corps to perform the duties of the Quartermaster General.
On January 14, 1837, Major T. Cross, acting Quartermaster General, also strongly urged, in a letter to the Secretary of War, which was transmitted to the Senate, an improved and increased organization for the Quartermaster's Department. At this time the organization of the Quartermaster's Department consisted of one Quartermaster General, four quartermasters (majors), and twenty assistant quartermasters (taken from the line).
Serious questions having again arisen with England, leading to complications on the northeastern frontier, Congress passed the act of July 5, 1838, increasing the military establishment. This act, besides providing a large military force, caused many changes in the various departments of the army.
It authorized the addition of two Assistant Quartermasters General, colonels; two Deputy Quartermasters General, lieut.-colonels; and eight assistant quartermasters with the rank of captain. Provision was made that the pay and emoluments of all officers in the Quartermaster's Department should be the same as allowed similar rank in the dragoons; that all-appointments shall be made from the army; that promotion in said department shall take place as in regiments and corps, and that line officers taken for such appointments shall relinquish their rank therein.
By a supplementary act of July 7, 1838, so much of Section 9 of the above act as required assistant quartermasters to be separated from the line was repealed.
General Jesup resumed his duties as Quartermaster General August 5, 1839.
The threatened conflict with England having been avoided, no further increase of the military force or change in the organization and duties of the Quartermaster's Department appear to have been made until the act of August 23, 1842, when the office of Commissary General of Purchases, which had been vacant since the death of Callender Irvine, on the 9th of October, 1841, was abolished, and the duties transferred to the Quartermaster's Department.
In May, 1846, war with Mexico was declared, and on the 13th of the same month an act was approved providing for a volunteer force of 50,000 men, and on the 18th of June following an act was approved making certain changes in the military establishment in view of the above action.
Provision was made for such additional officers of the Quartermaster's
Department as the service might require, not exceeding one quartermaster to each brigade, with the rank of major, and one assistant quartermaster, with the rank of captain, for each regiment, to continue in service only so long as their services should be required in connection with the militia and volunteers.
Section 7 provided that promotion in the Quartermaster's Department to the rank of major should thenceforward be made from the captains of the army; that appointments in the line and in the general staff which conferred equal rank in the army should not be held by the same officer at the same time, and that when any officer of the staff who might have been taken from the line had obtained or been entitled to promotion to a grade in his regiment, equal to the commission he might have held in the staff, the said officer should vacate such staff commission, or he might at his option vacate his commission in the line.
On February 11, 1847, an act was approved, increasing the force already authorized, by 10 regiments, each regiment being entitled to a regimental quartermaster, who should be allowed $10 per month additional pay, and forage for two horses for such duty.
Sections 5 and 10 authorized the President to appoint four quartermasters, with the rank of major, and 10 assistant quartermasters, with the rank of captain, to be discharged from the service at the close of the war. This latter clause was repealed by the act of July 19, 1848, which provided, however, that no vacancy which might occur should be filled until authorized by subsequent legislation.
On July 4, 1848, the President issued his proclamation promulgating the treaty of peace between the United States and Mexico.
One of the results of the Mexican War was the vast accumulation of money and property accounts of the disbursing officers who had been engaged in its campaigns. This led to the passage of the act of March 3, 1857, under which all the accounts and vouchers of the disbursing officers of the Quartermaster's Department were to be audited and settled by the third auditor of the Treasury. The same act (Section 2) provided for adding to the Quartermaster's Department five military storekeepers, who were required to file the usual bonds, and who, with those previously authorized, were to be allowed in kind, and in kind only, the fuel and quarters of a first lieutenant of the army.
June 10, 1860, General Jesup died, after a continuous service of forty-two years as chief of the Quartermaster's Department, and on the 28th of the same month Lieutenant Colonel Joseph E. Johnston, 1st United States cavalry, was appointed by President Buchanan, as Quartermaster General with the rank of brigadier general.
The organization of the United States Army on January 1, 1861, just previous to the outbreak of the Rebellion, provided for 13,024 officers and enlisted men. After the close of the Mexican War and the disbandment of the volunteer forces called out by that war, the regular troops had been gradually decreasing in numbers, and at the beginning of the Rebellion in
1861, were scattered by companies and detachments throughout the country.
At the commencement of the Rebellion the organization of the Quartermaster's Department was as follows:
One Quartermaster General—brigadier general. Two assistant Quartermasters General—colonels. Two Deputy Quartermasters General—lieutenant colonels. Four quartermasters—majors. Twenty-eight assistant quartermasters—captains, and seven military storekeepers. Total 44.
On the 15th April, 1861, President Lincoln issued his proclamation calling for 75,000 men to serve three months.
On the 22d April, 1861, General Johnston resigned his charge of the Quartermaster's Department, for the purpose of entering the Confederate service, and on the 15th. May following, Colonel M. C. Meigs, of the 11th United States Infantry, formerly captain of engineers, United States Army, was appointed by President Lincoln, Quartermaster General in his stead. General Meigs assumed charge of the department on the 13th June, 1861.
On the 3d May, 1861, President Lincoln issued his second proclamation, calling into service 42,034 volunteers to serve three years, if required, and increasing the regular corps by the addition of 22,714 officers and enlisted men.
The acts of July 22 and 25, 1861, following soon after, authorized the increase of the volunteers to 500,000 men during the war; each regiment raised to have a quartermaster (a lieutenant) and a quartermaster sergeant, the latter to have the pay and allowances of a sergeant of cavalry; each brigade was also allowed one assistant quartermaster; the officers and men thus authorized to be placed on the footing as to pay and emoluments of similar corps of the regular army.
On the 29th July following, an act was approved, adding to the regular army 11 regiments for service during the Rebellion; authority being given to reduce the military establishment to 25,000 men within one year after the organized resistance to the authority of the Government ceased, unless otherwise ordered by Congress. This law also provided for regimental and battalion quartermasters and quartermaster sergeants for the new organizations.
On the 3d August, 1861, an act was passed, "providing for the better organization of the military establishment." Section 3 provided for adding to the Quartermaster's Department one colonel, two lieutenant colonels, four majors, and twenty captains, with the rank, pay and allowances of officers of cavalry of like grades. This section also provided that, whenever any captain of the Quartermaster's Department had served 14 years continuously, he should be promoted to be a quartermaster with rank of major.
By section 8, of the act of 5th July, 1862, the President was authorized to increase the number of military storekeepers of the Quartermaster's Department to 12, if the exigencies of the service rendered it necessary. At this time there were only 7 military storekeepers provided for.
On the 17th July, 1862, Congress authorized the acceptance of the services of 100,000 additional volunteers for nine months. Section 10 of this act authorized the addition to the staff of the commander of each army
corps of one chief quartermaster with the rank of lieutenant colonel, to be assigned by the President from the army or volunteer force. Appointments under this act were made of volunteer and regular officers of the Quartermaster's Department; the rank and pay which they thus obtained being temporary, and dependent upon the existence of the corps organization to which they were assigned as chief quartermasters.
On the 25th June, 1864, an act was passed, providing for the examination of certain staff officers, including quartermasters and assistant quartermasters. Boards consisting of three officers, of whom two at least must be officers of volunteers, were provided to conduct the examinations. Officers not appearing for examination within ninety days after being summoned were to be dropped from the rolls, officers not found to possess necessary qualifications to be dismissed with one month's pay.
In accordance with the provisions of this act, the necessary regulations were prescribed in general orders from the War Department, and boards were located at different places. The majority of the officers of the regular and volunteer corps were examined, and those found disqualified were permitted to resign or were dismissed; or, in some cases, were simply mustered out of the service, in view of their having served during the war with such ability as they possessed. The requirements of the law that two of the officers constituting each board should be of the volunteer corps, and the subsequent rapid muster-out of the volunteer organization, rendered the examination of all the officers of the department impracticable, and in accordance with the instruction of the Secretary of War, further action under the law was suspended.
On the 4th of July, 1864, an act was approved providing for the better organization of the Quartermaster's Department. This art established in the office of the Quartermaster General, nine divisions, to exist during the Rebellion and one year thereafter; each division to be placed in charge of a competent officer of the Quartermaster's Department, with the rank, pay, and emoluments of a colonel, under assignment by the Secretary of War, and to perform the duties thus assigned them under such rules as should be prescribed by the Quartermaster General, with the approval of the War Department. Section 7 of this act specified in general terms the business embraced in each of these divisions, and the special duties of the officers placed in charge, under the direction of the Quartermaster General.
Section 3 of this act provides that it shall be the duty of the Quartermaster General to establish depots from time to time, at places convenient to the principal armies in the field, for receiving and distributing the supplies necessary for such armies.
On the 28th of July, 1866, an act was passed increasing and fixing the peace establishment of the United States, and authorizing thereby 60 regiments,—5 of artillery, 10 of cavalry, and 45 of infantry.
Section 13 provided that the Quartermaster's Department of the army thenceforward consist of one Quartermaster General, brigadier general, six assistant Quartermasters General, colonels; ten deputy Quartermasters General, lieutenant-colonels; fifteen quartermasters, majors, and forty-four assistant quartermasters, captains. The vacancies thereby created in the
grade of assistant quartermaster, should be filled by selection from among the persons who had rendered meritorious services as assistant quartermasters of volunteers during two years of the war; but that after the first appointments made under the provisions of this section, as vacancies might occur in the grades of major and captains in that department, no appointments to fill the same should be made until the number of majors be reduced to 12, and the number of captains to 30, and thereafter the number of officers in each of such grades to conform to said reduced numbers.
Section 14 provided for the increase of the number of military storekeepers to 16, if such increase became necessary, and allowed to them the rank, pay and emoluments of a captain of infantry.
Section 15 enacted that the act of July 4, 1864, reorganizing the Quartermaster's Department, and above referred to, continue in force until January 1, 1867, and no longer, and Section 23, that thereafter the Quartermaster General shall be appointed by selection from the corps to which he belongs.
Section 23 also provided that no person be appointed to any vacancy created by the act, in the pay, medical, or Quartermaster's Department until they pass the examination required by the act of June 2 5, 1864.
While actual hostilities with the Confederate forces practically ceased with the surrender of General Lee, April 9, 1865, General J. E. Johnston, April 26, 16,, and General Kirby Smith, June 2, 1865, it was not until August 20, 1866, that President Andrew Johnson issued his proclamation declaring peace established throughout the whole United States.
The Quartermaster General reports as follows for the fiscal years from 1861 to 1866, inclusive:
The total amount to be accounted for during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1861, was, $ 10,603,033.75
The total amount to be accounted for during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1862, was, $176,348,419.60
The total amount to be accounted for during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1863, was, $375,096,282.27
The total amount to be accounted for during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1964, was, $581,778,567.08
The total amount to be accounted for during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1865, was, $732,295,924.68
The total amount to be accounted for during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1866, was, $571,764,197.87
By Section 7 of the act of March 2, 1867, the rank, pay, and allowances of military storekeepers were made equal to those of captains of cavalry.
On the 1st of January, 1867, the various divisions of the Quartermaster-General's office were abolished, and the officers of the department then assigned to duty in various capacities, with the temporary rank of colonel and major, lost such rank and resumed that held by them previous to such assignment.
Section 6 of the act of Congress approved March 3, 1869, provides, "That
until otherwise directed by law there thall [sic] be no new appointments in the * * * Quartermaster's Department. * * * "
On October 11 , 1870, the Quartermaster General recommended to the Secretary of War the removal of the restrictions upon appointments to the Quartermaster's Department.
By act approved June 3, 1872, it is provided:
"That the President be, and hereby is, authorized to nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint certain officers of the Quartermaster's Department to the grade they would have held in said department, respectively, had the vacancies created therein by the act of July twenty-eighth, eighteen hundred and sixty-six, from the rank of major to the rank of colonel, both inclusive, been filled by promotion by seniority: Provided, that no officer shall be deprived of his relative rank or reduced from his present grade by this act, and that the officers whose appointments are herein authorized shall take rank and receive pay only from the date of their confirmation."
By act approved June 20, 1874, it was provided:
"That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to nominate and promote William Myers to be Major and Quartermaster, to date from the eighteenth day of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, to take place on the Army Register next below Major J. G. Chandler: Provided, that no officer in said department shall by this act be reduced from his present rank, nor shall any additional pay or allowance be made to any officers by virtue of this act."
By act approved March 3, 1875, it was provided:
"That the Quartermasters Department
of the army shall hereafter consist of the Quartermaster
General, with the rank, pay, and emoluments of
a brigadier general; four Assistant Quartermasters
General, with the rank, pay, and emoluments of
colonels of cavalry; eight Deputy Quartermasters
General, with the rank, pay, and emoluments of
lieutenant colonels of cavalry; fourteen quartermasters,
with the rank, pay, and emoluments of majors
of cavalry, and thirty assistant quartermasters
with the rank, pay, and emoluments of captains
SEC. 2. That no more appointments shall be made in the grade of military storekeepers in the Quartermaster's Department, and this grade shall cease to exist as soon as the same becomes vacant by death, resignation, or otherwise of the present incumbents.
SEC. 3. That no officer now in service shall be reduced in rank or deprived of his commission by reason of any provision of this act.
SEC. 4. That no officer shall be promoted or appointed in the Quartermaster's Department in excess of the organization prescribed by this act, and that so much of Section 6 of the act approved March three, eighteen hundred and sixty-nine, entitled, "An act making appropriations for the support of the army for the year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and seventy, and for other purposes," as applies to the Quartermaster's Department be, and the same is hereby repealed."
General Meigs was retired from active service on account of age February 6, 1882. On February 13, 1882, Colonel Daniel H. Rucker, Assistant Quartermaster General, was appointed by President Arthur as Quartermaster General. General Rucker assumed the duties of his new office on February 20, 1882, and on the 23d of the same month was himself retired from active service, having reached the limit of age, 64 years.
President Arthur then appointed Col. Rufus Ingalls, Assistant Quartermaster General, as Quartermaster General, to date from February 23, 1882. General Ingalls assumed the duties of his new office March 16, 1882.
By act of Congress approved March 3, 1883, paragraph 4, it is provided that, "hereafter vacancies occurring in the Quartermaster's Department * * * may in the discretion of the President be filled from civil life."
On July 1, 1883, General Ingalls was retired from active service on account of age, and on the same day President Arthur appointed Colonel S. B. Holabird, Assistant Quartermaster General, as Quartermaster General.
Under the act of Congress approved July 5, 1884, it was provided:
"That the Secretary of War is authorized to appoint, on the recommendation of the Quartermaster General, as many post quartermaster sergeants, not to exceed eighty, as he may deem necessary for the interests of the service, said sergeants to be selected by examination from the most competent enlisted men of the army, who have served at least four years, and whose character and education shall fit them to take charge of public property, and to act as clerks and assistants to post and other quartermasters. Said post quartermaster sergeants shall, so far as practicable, perform the duties of storekeepers and clerks, in lieu of citizen employés. The post quartermaster sergeants shall be subject to the rules and articles of war, and shal [sic] receive for their services the same pay and allowances as ordnance sergeants."
Under the provisions of this act eighty post quartermaster sergeants have been appointed and assigned to duty at the several military posts and stations, to assist post quartermasters in the performance of their duties in lieu of civilian clerks.
General Holabird, after serving nearly seven years as Quartermaster General, and having reached the age limit, on June 16, 1890, was retired from active service.
By the act approved February 12, 1887, which amends section 1661, R. S.,
and makes appropriation for arms and equipments for the militia, it is further provided that "the purchase and manufacture of * * * quartermaster's stores and camp equipage for the militia, shall be made the same as provided for the regular army."
Congress, by act approved June 20, 1890, provided "That the enlisted men known as the artillery detachment at West Point, should be mustered out of the service as artillery-men, and immediately reënlisted as army service men in the Quartermaster's Department, continuing to perform the same duties, and to have the same pay, allowances, rights and privileges, and subject to the rules, regulations and laws in the same manner as if their service had been continuous in the artillery, and their said service shall be considered and declared to be continuous in the army."
This detachment is composed of 117 men, viz.: 1 first sergeant, 6 sergeants, 8 corporals, and 102 privates, and consists of clerks, mechanics, laborers, teamsters and overseers, whose duties are mainly taking care of the buildings and grounds at the Military Academy at West Point, New York.
On June 26, 1890, President Harrison appointed Lieutenant Colonel Richard N. Batchelder Deputy Quartermaster General, as Quartermaster General. General Batchelder assumed duty July 10, 1890, and is the present occupant of the office.
The Quartermaster's Department provides the means of transportation by land and water for troops and materials of war for the army. It also provides the means of transportation for ordnance and ordnance stores issued by the United States to the several states and territories, and is charged with the duty of purchasing and transporting the quartermaster's stores and equipage for the militia. Upon proper requisition it also transports the property of other executive departments. It provides wagons, ambulances, carts, saddles and horse equipments (except for the cavalry), and harness (except for the artillery).
It also provides vessels for water transportation, builds wharves, constructs and repairs roads for military purposes and builds bridges. Provides and distributes clothing, tents and equipage, and band instruments to the army, and clothing and equipage to the militia. Supplies tableware and mess furniture, fuel, forage, stationery, blank books, lumber, straw for bedding for men and animals, and all materials for camps and for shelter of troops and stores, furniture for barracks, such as bunks, chairs, tables and lockers, heating and cooking stoves, heating and cooking apparatus for use in public barracks and quarters, equipments of bake houses for post bakeries, tools for mechanics and laborers in the Quartermaster's Department, lights, water supply and sewer systems for all military posts and buildings. It hires, purchases and builds barracks, quarters, storehouses and hospitals, provides by hire or purchase grounds for military encampments and buildings, supplies periodicals and newspapers to post libraries. Contracts for horses for cavalry and artillery, cares for and maintains the national cemeteries, and prepares and settles accounts for telegraphing on army business.
The work in the Quartermaster General's office, under its present organization, is distributed among the different branches as follows:
A. Finance.—This branch
has charge of matters relating to the procurement
and distribution of funds, the compilation and
preparation for Congress of the annual estimates
of funds for the service of the Quartermaster's
Department, and for funds required for the Quartermaster
General's office ; the examination of estimates
of funds received from disbursing officers, and
the issue of requisitions in favor of such disbursing
officers; the action upon settlements made at
the Treasury of claims and accounts pertaining
to the Quartermaster's Department ; the abstracting
of weekly and monthly statements of funds for
comparison with the Treasury records, and the
conducting of the necessary correspondence, and
the keeping of the prescribed records and necessary
memorandum books connected with the foregoing.
B. Money and Property.—The duties of this branch are the administrative examination of the money accounts and returns of quartermaster's stores rendered by officers serving in the Quartermaster's Department, before their transmission to the accounting officers for final action.
It also takes action on certificates of deposit of funds pertaining to the appropriations for the Quartermaster's Department, received from sales to officers and soldiers, sales at auction and other sources, and upon boards of survey and inventory and inspection reports of quartermaster's stores no longer fit for issue or use.
C. Clothing and Equipage.—In this branch returns of clothing and equipage are received, registered, and examined. After examination and the correction of
errors they are forwarded to the
Second Auditor of the Treasury for final settlement.
D. Transportation.—Through this branch the Quartermaster General exercises supervision over all matters pertaining to the transportation of troops, and supplies for the army, and for the militia, and settles all accounts therefor which, for any reasons, legal or technical, cannot be paid by the disbursing quartermasters stationed throughout the country, including the accounts of bond aided Pacific roads, estimates for transportation funds, and reports of their expenditure, and replies to all inquiries of Congress, the Court of Claims, and the accounting officers of the Treasury relative to transportation are prepared in this branch. All matters pertaining to Southern railroads indebted to the United States for railway material purchased by them at the close of the war, are adjusted through this branch. Telegraphing on military business and accounts growing out of such service are supervised through the transportation branch. Transportation for the other executive departments is also provided upon requests of their authorized officers and agents.
E. Regular Supplies.—This branch has charge of all matters relating to the procurement and distribution of supplies, including means of transportation, stoves, and heating apparatus, and repair and maintenance of same, for heating barracks and quarters; of ranges, stoves, and apparatus for cooking; of fuel and lights for enlisted men, guards, hospitals, storehouses, and offices, and for sales to officers; of cavalry and artillery horses; of equipment of bake houses, to carry on post bakeries; of the necessary furniture, textbooks, paper, and equipment for the post schools; for the tableware and mess furniture for kitchens and mess halls for enlisted men; of forage and bedding for the public animals of the Quartermaster's Department, and for the authorized number of officers' horses; of straw for soldiers' bedding; of stationery and blank books for the Quartermaster's Department, certificates for discharged soldiers, blank forms for the Paymaster's and Quartermaster's Departments, and of the necessary correspondence connected with the work of this branch.
This branch has also charge of matters relating to all contracts to which the Quartermaster's Department is a party.
F. Clothing Supplies.—This branch of the office takes action upon all matters pertaining to the purchase and manufacture of clothing and equipage, and of the issues of same to the army, and to the militia of the states and territories in conformity with laws and regulations governing the same.
G. Barracks and Quarters.—The work of this branch pertains to providing by hire, purchase, or construction, of barracks, quarters, hospitals, store-houses, stables, roads, sidewalks, wharves and bridges, shooting galleries and target ranges, and generally to all structures furnished by the Quartermaster's Department for the use of the army, including the repairs thereof, and matters relating to post cemeteries, except interments therein, and other miscellaneous duties, among which are the preparation of drawings, specifications, estimates, and studies of various works under the heads enumerated above, and of conducting the necessary correspondence, and keeping the requisite books and records of the transactions pertaining to the work of the branch.
H. Inspection.—In this branch cognizance is taken of such matters as relate To the personnel of the officers of the Quartermaster's Department, their assignment to stations, furnishing official bonds, etc., and to matters which pertain individually to clerks and employés in the office of the Quartermaster General and of the Quartermaster's Department at large. All reports, such as the biennial and annual returns of officers of the Quartermaster's Department, and monthly and semi-monthly pay-rolls of clerks and employés in this office, are prepared therein, and action is taken on all
matters pertaining to the post
quartermaster sergeants and the detachment of
army service men, Quartermaster's Department,
at West Point.
The distribution of books, orders, circulars, and other printed matter intended for the use of officers of the Quartermaster's Department is made from this branch.
I. Records and Files and Miscellaneous Claims.—This branch has the custody of the records and files of the office, from the date of its organization, June 15, 1818, and investigates and takes action upon miscellaneous claims for payment for services rendered as mechanics, teamsters, and laborers for extra-duty pay to enlisted men employed in the Quartermaster's Department for reimbursement to officers, soldiers, and civilian employés for expenses incurred while travelling on duty or under orders ; for the expenses of burial of officers and soldiers ; for awards for pursuing, apprehending, and delivering deserters ; for recovery of lost and stolen public animals, and such other claims and accounts as do not specifically pertain to other branches of the office.
The branch also has charge of the supply of newspapers and periodicals to military post libraries for the use and benefit of the enlisted men of the army, and of the printing and binding for the Quartermaster's Department, and also all matters relating to claims filed arising under the act of July 4, 1864.
K. Reservation.—This branch has charge of title papers to all lands in custody of the War Department for military uses, except such as are designed for permanent fortifications, or for armories, arsenals, and ordnance depots ; and of collecting and compiling information in regard to each reservation. It also has charge of all matters relating to water works and water supply, sewerage, plumbing, structural heating, lighting, fire protection, etc., and of conducting correspondence in connection therewith.
National Cemeteries.—This branch has charge of matters pertaining to national cemeteries and the approaches thereto, and the superintendents of same. It exercises a general supervision over the proper disbursement of the funds provided by Congress for the care and maintenance of these cemeteries.
Mail and Records.—This branch has charge of all matters pertaining to the keeping of the records, and briefing, entering, and indexing of communications received in the office of the Quartermaster General, as well as the typewriting and mailing of letters and endorsement.
General depots have been established at New York City; Philadelphia and Schuylkill Arsenal, Pennsylvania; Washington, D. C.; Jeffersonville, Indiana; San Francisco, Cal., and Saint Louis, Mo.
These general depots of the Quartermasters' Department are established in different sections of the country for the collection, manufacture and preservation of quartermasters' supplies, until they are required for distribution to the army. They are under the immediate control of the Quartermaster General, and the officers in charge act under his sole direction.
At the depots at Philadelphia, Jeffersonville, Ind., and San Francisco, all the clothing for the army is manufactured.
By act of Congress approved March 3, 1873, there was established at Rock Island, Ill., a prison for the confinement of offenders against the rules, regulations and laws for the government of the army of the United States,
and subsequently by act approved May 21, 1874, the military prison was transferred to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
This prison is governed by a board of five commissioners, consisting of three army officers, and two civilians. The commandant of the prison is an officer of the Quartermaster's Department.
In 1876, the manufacture of boots, shoes, etc., for the army by the convicts of this prison was first commenced and has continued to the present time.
Congress, under existing law of February 27, 1893, limits the amount of the annual appropriation for clothing for the army, that can be expended at the military prison, to $125,000.
Another duty attached to the Quartermaster's Department which resulted from the war, is that relating to burial places for the Union dead.
The act of Congress approved July 17, 1862, provided that the President of the United States shall have power, whenever in his opinion it shall be expedient, to purchase cemetery grounds, and cause them to be enclosed, to be used as a national cemetery, for the soldiers who shall die in the service of the country. During the progress of the war, the sites selected for the interment of the Union dead, who were killed in battle or died in hospital, were usually those the most conveniently located for the purpose.
After the close of the war, Congress by act approved February 22, 1867, provided for the purchase by the United States of sites for national cemeteries. The work of selecting more suitable sites, securing fee simple titles and collecting and transferring thereto the Union dead, scattered over the length and breadth of the land, was assigned to the Quartermaster's Department, and was a labor of great magnitude. This work has been continued under the direction of the Quartermaster's Department until the present time, when there are 82 national cemeteries located either on military reservations, or on land purchased for this purpose and owned by the United States, and which contain 331,755 interments. The national cemeteries are entirely distinct and disconnected from the local cemeteries.
Congress appropriates annually about $161,880 for the care and maintenance of these cemeteries, including the pay of the 72 superintendents.
Under the fostering care of the Government, the national cemeteries have been made attractive, the graves of the Union dead provided with marble headstones, the grounds ornamented and beautified, thus creating a most fitting national monument to the memory of those who gave up their lives that the Union might be preserved.
The regular appropriation for the service of the Quartermaster's Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, is as follows:
Horses for Cavalry and Artillery
Barracks and Quarters
Transportation of the Army and its Supplies
Clothing and Camp and Garrison Equipage
Construction and Repair of Hospitals
Shooting Galleries and Ranges
Quarters for Hospital Stewards
Pay of Superintendents of National Cemeteries
The United States, under existing orders, is divided into eight military departments, viz.:
Department of the East,
Department of the Missouri,
Department of the Platte,
Department of Dakota,
Department of Texas,
Department of California,
Department of the Colorado,
Department of the Columbia.
The enlisted strength of the army as authorized by existing laws is limited to 25,000 men. There are, besides the staff departments provided by law:
10 regiments of cavalry,
5 regiments of artillery,
25 regiments of infantry.
The organization of the Quartermaster's Department, as provided for under existing laws, is as follows:
1 Quartermaster General, brigadier general.
4 Assistant Quartermasters General, colonels.
8 Deputy Quartermasters General, lieutenant colonels.
14 quartermasters, majors.
30 assistant quartermasters, captains.
1 military storekeeper, captain. (The last retirement in this grade will occur May 15, 1905, when by operation of the law, the grade will cease to exist. Act of Congress approved March 3, 1875.)
80 post quartermaster sergeants.
117 army service men, Quartermaster's Department, are on duty at West Point, New York.
In addition to the above there is also an average of 135 officers of the line of the army, who are detailed for duty as acting assistant quartermasters in the Quartermaster's Department at the 94 posts and recruiting depots.
was organized in 1883. Its object is to examine into the organization of the clerical force of the office, with a view to increase its efficiency; to recommend changes, promotions and transfers; and to prepare and present a
schedule of pay for the office force. The officers on duty in the Quartermaster General's office compose the Administration Board.
was organized in 1883. The object of this board of officers is to enable the Quartermaster General to get an authoritative expression of opinion upon current inventions, suggestions, results of improvements, etc., suitable or fit to be introduced into the military service through the Quartermaster's Department, for the quartering, moving, equipment, supply and outfit of all troops in the United States military service. A record of all proceedings is kept, and reports made to the Quartermaster General. The officers on duty in the Quartermaster General's office, and the depot quartermaster, Washington, D. C., compose the Equipment Board.
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