صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

and notified the Secretary of War of his outright removal from office. The Adjutant-General was immediately intercepted by legal process, however, under the tenure-of-office act, and the impeachment of the President ensued, the Secretary remaining personally within the walls of the War Department until the impeachment proceedings had been abandoned in the Senate, whereupon he notified the President on that day (May 26, 1868) that he had "relinquished the charge of the War Department."1

Pending the proceedings on the articles of impeachment, and in entire consistency with the President's theory of his constitutional rights in regard to removals, he sent in a nomination to the Senate to fill the vacancy which he assumed he had made in the office of Secretary of War. This nomination was of a brigadier-general, still holding his commission in the regular army, who was confirmed after the impeachment proceedings had broken down, and the incumbent holding over had "relinquished his place as Secretary of War."

On the 31st of May, 1868, the General of the Army was nominated for the Presidency, and was elected in the ensuing fall. It was known that, upon the accession of the new President, the Lieutenant-General was to be promoted to be General, and the chief of staff of the retiring General was to be appointed Secretary of War. Before this latter appointment was made, however, the then Secretary of War issued an order under date of March 5, 1869,3 marking out the following jurisdiction for the incoming General of the Army, viz:

By direction of the President, General William T. Sherman will assume command of the army of the United States.

The chiefs of staff corps, departments, and bureaus will report to and act under the immediate orders of the General commanding the army.

All official business which, by law or regulations, require the action of the President or Secretary of War will be submitted by the General of the Army to the Secretary of War; and, in general, all orders from the President or Secretary of War to any portion of the army, line or staff, will be transmitted through the General of the Army.

In assuming command under this order, the General of the Army announced the following chiefs of War Department bureaus and officers as his general staff, viz: The Adjutant-General, an Inspector-General, the Quartermaster-General, the Commissary-General of Subsistence, the Surgeon-General, the Paymaster-General, the Judge-AdvocateGeneral, the Chief of Engineers, the Chief of Ordnance, and the Chief Signal Officer. This general staff consisted of nine major-generals by brevet, and one brigadier-general by brevet, while his personal staff, announced at the same time, was to consist of his six aides-de-camp allowed by law, all having the full rank of colonel.

The new Secretary of War, however, soon found that this investiture of the War Office ran counter to the laws and traditions of his office,

McPherson's Reconstruction, p. 263.

Ibid., p. 264.

3G. O. No. 28, March 5, 1869.

G. O. No. 11, A. G. O., March 8, 1869.

and unsettled a routine as ancient as the Department itself. Upon direct personal protestation to the President,' therefore, he succeeded in having the order of March 5 abrogated, except only that part which directed the General to "assume command of the army of the United States." A jurisdiction was thereupon defined for the General of the Army substantially the same as that which had been allowed to the senior general officer of the army since 1821, and was as follows: 2

All orders and instructions relating to military operations issued by the President or Secretary of War will be issued through the General of the Army.

It was required this year that the annual reports of the chiefs of the various subordinate branches should be submitted to the Secretary of War through the beadquarters of the General of the Army. This, however, was rescinded in subsequent years.

The same session of Congress which revived the grade of General of the Army also directed the Secretary of War3 to have prepared and submitted to Congress a code of Regulations, the existing Regulations of 1863 to remain in force until Congress should act on the new code. The ensuing period of political excitement prevented any action being taken in this direction, and in 1870 the Secretary was again directed to prepare a system of Regulations, "not inconsistent with the laws of the United States," which, when approved by Congress, were to be in force and obeyed until altered or revoked by the same authority. This last enactment (act July 15, 18704) contained the following significant provisions: 1st, it repealed the law fixing the headquarters of the army in Washington, and that provision requiring "all orders and instructions relating to military operations issued by the President or Secretary of War" to be "issued through the General of the Army, and, in case of his inability, through the next in rank"; and, 2d, it enacted that "the offices of general and lieutenant-general shall continue until a vacancy shall occur in the same, and no longer."

Soon after the passage of this last act a board of military officers was assembled, who, after much labor and inquiry into the practical needs of the service, finally prepared a code, which, with some modifications, was submitted to Congress by the Secretary of War too late in the session of 1872-73 for proper consideration by the House Military Committee, and it was accordingly ordered to be printed only.

This system of regulations, prepared "IN AID OR COMPLEMENT TO THE STATUTES," defined and prescribed the details for carrying on the routine work of the army. Although not entirely free from defects in minor particulars, it nevertheless embodied the fundamental idea that the Secretary of War was the civil minister, for and in the place of the

1 Speech of Senator Sumner, May 31, 1872, in United States Senate.
G. O. No. 28, A. G O., March 27, 1-69.

314 Stat. at Large, 338.

416 Stat. Large, 318.

See Report No. 85, H. R., Forty-second Congress, third session.

President, presiding over the Executive Department for War. After defining the various branches of the military service, including the special staff or administrative services, it laid down broadly the proposition that "The Secretary of War is the head of the administrative service of the army, and has control of its branches."

The act of July 15, 1870,1 directing the preparation of these regulations, enacted that when approved by Congress they should "be in force and obeyed until altered or revoked by the same authority." If ap proved, therefore, by Congress, as reported, it would have been illegal for the President to alter or amend even the slighest provisions until authority was granted by Congress for the purpose. This unwise restriction being brought to the attention of Congress, a section was passed March 1, 1875,3 repealing so much of the law as required the Regulations to be reported to Congress, and authorized the President, under that law, "to make and publish Regulations for the government of the army, in accordance with existing laws.”

In March, 1876, the General of the Army, with his headquarters and aides, was recalled to Washington from Saint Louis, whither he had gone in 1874,5 upon his own request, and with the consent of the President. The jurisdiction which he was to fill in Washington was thus set forth in General Orders No. 28, A. G. O., 1876, viz:

The headquarters of the army are hereby re-established at Washington City, and all orders and instructions relative to military operations, or affecting the military control and discipline of the army, issued by the President through the Secretary of War, shall be promulgated through the General of the Army, and the Departments of the Adjutant-General and the Inspector-General shall report to him, and be under his control, in all matters relating thereto.

The following are the main divisions of the War Department as at present organized, with a general statement of the duties appertaining to each :

THE ADJUTANT GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT.

The promulgation to the army of orders and instructions relating to military operations, and the conduct of the correspondence between the General and the Army, are the duties of the Adjutant-General. The reception and preservation of muster-rolls and stated reports in regard to the personnel of the army; the forwarding of commissions; the superintendence of the recruiting service, and of the military prison at Leavenworth, Kans.; the care of papers concerning the enlistment and drafting of volunteers; the care and custody of the papers and records of the late Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands; and the furnishing of consolidated reports of the personnel of the entire

16 Stat. Large, 319.

* See Report No. 85 H. R., Forty-second Congress, third session.

318 Stat. Large, 337.

4G. O. No. 28, A. G. O., 1876.

*G. O. No. 108, A. G. O., September, 3, 1874.

army for the information of the Secretary of War and the General of the Army pertain also to the Adjutant-General.

All officers of this Department, subordinate to the Adjutant-General, are assigned to staff duty with the army, or to other appropriate duties pertaining to the office of Adjutant-General.

THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT.

The inspection and report upon the matèriel and personnel of the army, when ordered by proper authority, and the inspection of army disburs ing accounts under the law, are the duties of this Department.

THE QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT.

The providing, under the direction of the Secretary of War, of quarters and transportation for the army, and of clothing, camp and garrison equipage, horses and mules, forage, wagons, stoves, stationery, fuel, lights, straw, barracks, hospitals, and medicines, the payment of funeral expenses of officers and men, of pay and expenses of guides, spies, and interpreters, and veterinary surgeons, and the charge of the national cemeteries, are the duties which appertain to this Department.

All officers of this Department subordinate to the QuartermasterGeneral are assigned to staff or other duty with the army, or to appropriate duties in connection with the Quartermaster's Department under the Secretary of War.

THE SUBSISTENCE DEPARTMENT.

The providing, under the direction of the Secretary of War, of the necessary articles and materials for the subsistence of the army, compose the duties of this Department.

All the officers of the Department subordinate to the CommissaryGeneral of Subsistence are assigned to staff or other duty with the army, or to appropriate duties in connection with the Subsistence Department under the Secretary of War.

THE PAY DEPARTMENT.

The duty of this Department is, under the direction of the Secretary of War, to pay the enlisted men and officers of the army.

The officers of the Department subordinate to the Paymaster-General are assigned, under the Secretary of War, to appropriate duties in connection with the payment of the army.

THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT.

The Surgeon General, under the immediate direction of the Secretary of War, is charged with the administrative duties of the Medical Department; the designation of the stations of medical officers, and the issuing of all orders and instructions relating to their professional du

He directs as to the selection, purchase, and distribution of the medical supplies of the army. The Army Medical Museum and the official publications of the Surgeon-General's Office are also under his direct control.

THE ENGINEER CORPS.

The Corps of Engineers, embracing its commissioned officers and battalion, is charged, under the direction of the Secretary of War, with all duties relating to fortifications, whether permanent or temporary; with torpedoes for coast defense; with all works for the attack and defense of places; with all military bridges, and with such surveys as may be required for these objects, or the movement of armies in the field.

It is also charged with the harbor and river improvements; with military and geographical explorations and surveys; with the survey of the lakes, and with any other work specially assigned to the corps by acts of Congress or orders of the President of the United States.

The officers of the corps subordinate to the Chief of Engineers are assigned to staff duty with the army, or to appropriate professional duties throughout the country under the President or Secretary of War.

THE ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT.

The duties of the Ordnance Department, under the direction of the Secretary of War, consist in providing, preserving, distributing, and accounting for every description of artillery, small-arms, and all the munitions of war which may be required for the fortresses of the country, the armies in the field, and for the whole body of the militia of the Union. In these duties are comprised that of determining, subject to the ap proval of the Secretary of War, the general principles of construction, and of prescribing in detail the models and forms of all military weapons employed in war. They comprise also the duty of prescribing the regulations for the proof and inspection of all these weapons, for maintaining uniformity and economy in their fabrication, for insuring their good quality, and for their preservation and distribution. For carrying into effect the general purposes here stated, large annual appropriations are made, under which extensive operations are conducted at the national armory, arsenals, and ordnance depôts.

The officers of the Department subordinate to the Chief of Ordnance are assigned to staff or other duty with the army, or to the command of arsenals, the armory, or other necessary duties connected with the Ordnance Department, under the Secretary of War.

THE BUREAU OF MILITARY JUSTICE.

The Judge-Advocate-General and his assistant, under the supervision of the Secretary of War, receive, review, and have recorded the proceedings of the courts-martial, courts of inquiry, and military commis

« السابقةمتابعة »