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ing scenes which he had to encounter in that || the mode of issuing the same; and also to report a system for the establishment of a commissariat lowing Report: for the army," I have the honor to submit the fol
In order to form a correct opinion on a subject en-involving so many particulars as the expense of our military establishment, it will be necessary to ascertain, then, "whether any, and if any what, consider it under distinct and proper heads. To reductions may be made in the expenses of our military establishment," I propose to consider its number, organization, pay, and emoluments, and administration. To the one or the other of these heads all of its expenses may be traced; and, if they are greater than what they ought to be, we must search for the cause in the improper extent of the establishment-the excessive number of
officers in proportion to the men—the extrava
of the pay or emoluments, or the want of proper responsibility and economy in its administration.
To the other good qualities of Mr. Adams, may be added a partiality for learning, a respect for the productions of genius, and a disposition to courage merit of every description. With his discriminating mind, his surprising and systematic industry, his considerate observation of men and things, his stores of knowledge, his regular and moral habits; he must have been, in any rank of life, among any class of citizens, a distinguished personage. He is a man who will not proceed without understanding his subject. He sees every thing; he examines every thing: he is, intel lectually, every where present in the multiplicitygance of transactions confided to his superintendence. If some scribblers, conceiving themselves the levers which raise or depress, at pleasure, the opinions of the people to any point of political elevation, have scurrilously assailed him, and endeavored to paint for him a foul and false reputation, their dark and unnatural sketches have faded away before the light of his genius, as the mists of the valley disappear beneath the influence of the sun. These scribbling defamers, consistent in nothing but calumny, in attacking him betray the anomaly of their own mental organization: They decry the doctrine of hereditary succession, and yet they would make Mr. Adams the legitimate inheritor of the blemishes thrown upon his father's administration!
has been stated, the first question which offers Pursuing the subject in the order in which it itself for consideration is, whether our military establishment can be reduced "with safety to the public service," or can its expenditures be, itself?" It is obvious that, viewed in the abstract. with propriety, reduced, by reducing the army few questions present so wide a field for observation, or are so well calculated to produce a great diversity of sentiment, as the one now proposed. volve in its discussion the political institutions of Considered as an original question, it would inthe country, its geographical position and character, the number and distance of our posts, and cipal European powers. It is conceived, however, our relations with the Indian tribes, and the printhat a satisfactory view of it may be taken with out discussing topics so extensive and indefinite.
In fine, by whomsoever John Quincy Adams is intimately known, he will be respected. His character does not develop itself at once. His mind is like some of those statues and pictures of the masters of antiquity, which require much steady contemplation before all their beauties can be perceived; but they grow upon the eye of an attentive observer daily; until, identifying eve-supposed to be consistent with the public safety. ry excellency, assent is yielded to the superiority Assuming these as a standard, and comparing the of those faculties which, at all times, and in every present establishment, (taking into the comparison the increase of our country,) with them, a sasituation, have fixed the attention and won the tisfactory opinion may be formed on a subject esteem of eminent and enlightened men. which otherwise might admit so great a diversity of opinion.
The military establishments of 1802 and 1808, have been admitted, almost universally, to be sufficiently small. The latter, it is true, received an enlargement from the uncertain state of our foreign relations at that time; but the former was established at a period of profound quiet, (the commencement of Mr. Jefferson's adminis tration,) and was professedly reduced, with a view to economy, to the smallest number then
Our military peace establishment is limited, by the act of 1815, passed at the termination of the sub-late war, to 10,000 men. The corps of engineers and ordnance, by that and a subsequent act, were retained as they then existed; and the President was directed to constitute the establishment of such portions of artillery, infantry, and rifiemen, as he might judge proper. The general order of Department of War, Dec. 11, 1818. the 17th May, 1815, fixes the artillery at,3,200, In compliance with a resolution of the House the light artillery at 660, the infantry 5,440, and of Representatives, passed the 17th April last, di- the rifle 660, privates and matrosses. Document A recting "the Secretary of War to report, at an exhibits a statement of the military establishment, early period of the next session of Congress, whe.including the general staff, as at present organiz ther any, and if any what, reduction may be made ed; and B exhibits a similar view of those of 1802 in the military peace establishment of the United and 1808: by a reference to which it will appear, States, with safety to the public service; and whe-that our military establishments, at the respective ther any, and if auy what, change ought to be periods, taken in the order of their dates, present made in the ration established by law, and in an aggregate of 3,323, 9,996, and 12,656. It is
Report of the Secretary of War, upon the
But the danger, it may be said, is not so much from its numbers, as a spirit hostile to liberty, by which it is supposed all regular armies are actuated. This observation is probably true, when ap plied to standing armies collected into large and powerful masses; but, dispersed as ours is, over so vast a surface, the danger, I conceive, is of an opposite character, that both officers and soldiers will lose their military habits and feelings by sliding gradually into those purely civil.
obvious, that the establishment of 1808, compared with the then wealth and population of the country, the number and extent of military posts, is larger in proportion than the present; but the unsettled state of our relations with France and England, at that period, renders the comparison not entirely just. Passing, then, that of 1808, let us compare the establishment of 1802 with the present. To form a correct comparison, it will be necessary to compare the capacity and necessities of the country then, with those of the pre- I proceed next to consider whether any reduc sent time. Since that period our population has tion can be made with propriety by changing the nearly doubled, and our wealth more than doubled. organization, or by reducing the number, of offi We have added Louisiana to our possessions, and cers of the line, or the staff, in proportion to the with it a great extent of frontier, both maritime men. It is obvious that, as the officers are much and inland. With the extension of our frontier) more expensive in proportion to their numbers and the increase of our commercial cities, our mi- than the soldiers, that the pay of the army, in re litary posts and fortifications have been greatlylation to its aggregate numbers, must be increased multiplied. Document marked C exhibits the or diminished, in the increase or the diminution number and positions of posts in the year 1802, of the former. It is impossible to fix any absolute and document D those of the present time; by a proportion between officers and men which will reference to which, it will be seen that, at the suit every country and every service; and the orformer period, we had but 27 posts, the most re-ganization of different countries, and of different mote of which was, to the north, at Mackinaw, periods in the same country, has, accordingly, vaand to the south, at Fort Stoddert, on Mobile ri-ried considerably. Our present organization, of ver; but now we have 73, which ocupy a line of which document marked A contains an exhibit, is ́ frontier proportionally extended. On the Lakes,|| probably as well, or better, adapted to the nature the Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansaw, and Red ri- of our country and service than any other, as it ver, our posts are now, or will be shortly, extend- seems to be the result of experience; for, by a ed, for the protection of our trade and the pre- reference to document marked B it will be seen, servation of the peace of the frontiers, to Green that it is nearly similar, with the exception of the Bay, the mouths of the St. Peters, and the Yellow general staff, in which the present is more extenStone River, Bellepoint, and Natchitoches. Do-sive, to the organization of the military establishcument marked E exhibits a statement of the ex- ments of 1802 and 1808. It is believed that the tent of the line of our frontier, inland and mari-proportion of officers of the line to the men will time, with the distance of some of the more re-require no farther observations. mote posts from the seat of government, drawn up by Major Long, of the topographical engineers, from the most approved maps.
The staff, as organized by the act of the last session, combines simplicity with efficiency; and is considered to be superior to that of the periods to which I have reference. In estimating the expenses of the army, and particularly that of the staff, the two most expensive branches of it, the engineer and ordnance departments, ought not fairly to be included. Their duties are connected with the permanent preparation and defence of the country, and have so little reference to the existing establishment, that, if the army were reduced to a single regiment, no reduction could safely be made in either of them. To form a correct estimate of the duties of the other branches of the staff, and consequently the number of officers required, we must take into consideration not only the number of troops, but, what is equally essential, the number of posts and extent of country which they occupy. Were our military establishment reduced one half, it is obvious, that, if the same posts continued to be occupied which now are, the same number of officers, in the quar termaster's, commissary's, paymaster's, medical, and adjutant and inspector general's, departments, would be required
If, then, the military establishment of 1802 be assumed to be as small as was then consistent with the safety of the country, our present establishment, when we take into comparison the prodigious increase of wealth, population, extent of territory, number and distance of military posts, cannot be pronounced extravagant; but, on the contrary, after a fair and full comparison, that of the former period must, in proportion to the ne cessities and capacity of the country, be admitted to be quite as large as the present; and, on the assumption that the establishment of 1802 was as small as the public safety would then admit, a reduction of the expense of our present establishment cannot be made, with safety to the public service, by reducing the army. In coming to this conclusion I have not overlooked the maxim, that a large standing army is dangerous to the liberty of the country, and that our ultimate reliance for defence ought to be on the militia. Its most zealous advocate must, however, acknowledge that a standing army, to a limited extent, is necessary; and no good reason can be assigned why any should exist, but what will equally prove that the present is not too large. To consider the present army as dangerous to our liberty, partakes, it is conceived, more of timidity than wisdom. Not to insist on the character of the officers, who, as a body, are high-minded and honorable men, attached to the principles of freedom by education and reflection, what well founded apprehension ean there be from an establishment distributed on so extended a frontier, with many thousand miles intervening between the extreme points occupied?"
To compare then, as is sometimes done, our staff with those of European armies asssembled in large bodies, is manifestly unfair. The act of the last session, it is believed, has made all the reduction which ought to be attempted. It has rendered the staf efficient without making it expensive. Such a staff is not only indispensable to the effi. ciency of the army, but is also necessary to a proper economy in its disbursements; and should an attempt be made at retrenchment, by reducing the present number, it would, in its consequences, probably prove wasteful and extravagant.
In fact, no part of our military organization requires more attention in peace than the general staff. It is, in every service, invariably the last in attaining perfection; and, if neglected in peace, when there is leisure, it will be impossible, in the midst of the hurry and bustle of war, to bring it to perfection. It is in peace that it should receive a perfect organization, and that the officers should be trained to method and punctuality, so that at the commencement of a war, instead of creating anew, nothing more should be necessary than to give to it the necessary enlargement. In this country, particularly, the staff cannot be neglected with impunity. As difficult as its operations are in actual service every where, it has here to encounter great and peculiar impediments, from the extent of the country, the badness, and frequently the want of roads, and the sudden and nespected calls which are often made on the militia. If it could be shown that the staff, in its present extent, was not necessary in peace, it would, with the view taken, be unwise to lop off any of its branches which would be necessary in actual service. With a defective staff we must carry on our military operations under great advantages, and be exposed, particularly at the commencement of a war, to great losses, embarrassments, and disasters.
tionary war, and in 1802, 1815, and 1818. By a reference to those documents it will be seen, that under most of the heads, the variation of the dif ferent periods has been very small, and that, on a comparison of the whole, the pay of an officer is not near equal now, if allowance is made for the depreciation of money, to what it was during the revolution. I will abstain from further remarks, as it must be obvious, from these state. ments, that the expense of our military establishment cannot be materially reduced without injury to the public service, by reducing the pay and emoluments of the officers and soldiers.
It only remains to consider, in relation to this part of the resolution of the House, whether the expense of our military establishment can be r duced by a proper attention to its administration, or by a more rigid enforcement of responsibility and economy. Our military establishment is doubtless susceptible of great improvement in its administration. The field is extensive, and the attention of the government has not heretofore been so strongly directed towards it, as its im portance deserves. Here all savings are real dis-gain, not only in a monied, but a moral and politi cal point of view. An inefficient administration, without economy or responsibility, not only ex hausts the public resources, but strongly tends As intimately connected with this part of the to contaminate the moral and political principles subject, it is proper to observe, that so many and of the officers who are charged with the 'dis such distant small posts as our service requires,bursements of the army. To intreduge, however, not only add to the expense of the army, by ren a high state of economy and responsibility in the dering a more numerous staff necessary, but in-management of a subject so extensive and comcrease the price of almost every article of supply,plicated as our military establishment, is a task of and the difficulty of enforcing a proper responsi.great difficulty, and requires not only a perfect bility and economy. To an army thus situated, organization of the department charged with it, the expenses and losses resulting from transporta- but a continued energetic and judicious enforce tion alone constitute a considerable sum. Under ment of the laws and regulations established for the best management our army must be more ex- its government. The organization is the proper pensive, even were our supplies equally cheap, sphere of legislation, as the application of the than European armies collected in large bodies, laws and regulations is that of administration. in the midst of populous and wealthy communi. The former has done all, or nearly all, that can be ties. These observations are not made to justify done. It is believed that the organization of the an improper management, or to divert the atten- War Department, as well as the general staff of tion of the house from so important a subject as the army, is not susceptible of much improvethe expense of our military establishment. They, ment. The act of the last session regulating the in fact, ought to have an opposite effect; for, just staff has not only made important savings in the in the same proportion that it is liable to be ex-expenses of the army, but has given both to the pensive, ought the attention and effort of the go- department and the staff a much more efficient vernment to be roused to confine its expenses organization than they ever before had. Every within the most moderate limits which may be department of the army charged with disbursepracticable. ments, has now a proper head, who, under the The next question which presents itself for con- laws and regulations, is responsible for its adminsideration is, can the expenses of our military es-istration. The head of the department is thus tablishment be reduced, without injury to the freed from detail, and has leisure to inspect and public service, by reducing the pay and emolu- control the whole of the disbursements. Much ments of the officers and soldiers? There is no time and reflection will be required to bring the class in the community whose compensation bas system into complete operation, and to derive advanced less, since the termination of the war of from it all the advantages which ought to be ex the revolution, than that of the officers and sol-pected The extent of the saving which may re diers of our army. While money has depreciated sult from it can only be ascertained by time and more rapidly than at any other period, and the experience; but, with an attentive and vigorous price of all of the necessaries of life has advanced administration, it doubtless will be considérable. proportionably, their compensation has remained In war, it will be much more difficult to enforce nearly stationary. The effects are severely felt economy and responsibility; but with a system by the subaltern officers. It requires the most well organized, and with officers trained to merigid economy for them to subsist on their pay andthod and punctuality, much of the waste and emoluments. Documents marked F and G exhi- frands, which would otherwise take place in was, bit the pay and subsistence during the revolution, will be prevented. In peace there can be no inand as at present established; and document superable difficulty in attaining a high degree of marked I exhibits the allowance of clothing, fuel, responsibility and economy. The mere monied forage, transportation, quarters, waiters, station-responsibility, or that of purchases and disburseery, and straw, at the termination of the revolu- Il ments, will be casily enforced, The public now
sustains much greater losses in the waste and im- wars, from this cause, were probably much greater proper use of public property than in its monied than from the sword. However well qualified for transactions. In our military establishment, res- war in other respects, in the mere capacity of ponsibility in the latter is well checked, and not bearing privations we are inferior to most nations. badly enforced. The accounts are rendered with An American would starve on what a Tartar would considerable punctuality, and are promptly set- live on with comfort. In fact, barbarous and optled; and even neglect or misapplication of public pressed nations have, in this particular, a striking funds, by the disbursing officers, are not often ac-advantage, which, however, ought to be much companied with ultimate losses, as they are under more than compensated by the skill and resources bonds for the faithful discharge of their duties. of a free and civilized people. If, however, such Accountability, as it regards the public property, a people want the skill and spirit to direct its reis much more difficult, and has heretofore been sources to its defence, the very wealth, by which much less complete. Returns of property in ma- it ought to defend itself, becomes the motive for ny cases, particularly in the medical department, invasion and conquest. Besides, there is somehave rarely been required; and even where they thing shocking to the feelings, that, in a country have been, they have not been made with punc-of plenty beyond all others, in a country which tuality. It cannot be doubted but what the pub- ordinarily, is so careful of the happiness and life lic has sustained very considerable damage from of the meanest of its citizens, its brave defenders, this want of accountability. Every article of pub- who are not only ready, but anxious, to expose lic property, even the smallest, ought, if possible, their lives for the safety and glory of their counto be in charge of some person, who should be try, should, through a defective system of supply, responsible for it. It will be difficult to attain be permitted almost to starve, or to perish by the this degree of perfection; but it is hoped, by poison of unwholesome food, as has frequently making each of the subordinate departments of been the case. If it could be supposed that these the War Department liable for the property in its considerations, are not sufficient to excite the most charge, a very considerable improvement and re- anxious care on this subject, we ought to rememduction of expenses will be made. ber that nothing adds more to the expense of miOn the quality of the ration, and the system of litary operations, or exposes more to its disasters, supplying and issuing it, which I propose next to than the sickness and mortality which result from consider, the health, comfort, and efficiency, of defective or unwholesome supplies. Impressed the army mainly depend. Too much care cannot with this view of the subject, considerable be bestowed on these important subjects; for, let changes have been made in the ration, under the the military system be ever so perfect in other authority of the 8th section of the act regulating particulars, any considerable deficiency in hese the staff of the army, passed at the last session of must, in all great military operations, expose an Congress. The vegetable part of the ration has army to the greatest disasters. All human efforts been much increased. Twice a week, a half almust, of necessity, be limited by the means of lowance of meat, with a suitable quantity of peas sustenance. Food sustains the immense machinery or beans, is directed to be issued. Fresh meat has. of war, and gives the impulse to all its operations; also been substituted, twice a week, for salted. and if this essential be withdrawn, even for a few In the southern division, bacon and kiln dried Indays, the whole must cease to act. No absolute dian-corn meal have been, to a certain extent, standard can be fixed, as it regards either the substituted for pork and wheat flour In addition, quantity or quality of the ration. These must orders have been given, at all the permanent vary, according to the habits and products of dif-posts, where it can be done, to cultivate a suffiferent countries. The great objects are, first and cient supply of ordinary garden vegetables for the mainly, to sustain the health and spirit of the use of the troops; and, at the posts remote from troops; and the next, to do it with the least pos. the settled parts of the country, the order is exsible expense. The system which effects these tended to the cultivation of corn, and to the supin the greatest degree, is the most perfect. The ply of the meat part of the ration, both to avoid ration, as established by the act of the 16th March, the expense of distant and expensive transporta 1802, experience proves to be ample in quantity, tion, and to secure, at all times, a supply within but not of the quality best calculated to secure the posts themselves either health or economy. It consists of eighteen ounces of bread, or flour, one pound and a quarter of beef, or three-quarters of a pound of pork, one gill of rum, brandy, or whiskey, and at the rate of two quarts of salt, four quarts of vinegar, four pounds of soap, and one pound and a half of candles, to every hundred rations.
The objections to it in relation to the health of the army, are fully stated in a report of the geon General to the War Department, (marked 1) which I would respectful y annex as a part of this report. Under this view of the subject more need not be added, except to urge its importance, both on the score of humanity and policy.
In addition to these changes, I am of opinion the spirit part of the ration, as a regular issue, ought to be dispensed with; and such appears to be the opinion of most of the officers of the army. It both produces and perpetuates habits of interperance, destructive alike to the health and moral and physical energy of the soldiers. The spirit ought to be placed in depot, and be issued ocSurcasionally, under the direction of the commander. Thus used, its noxious effects would be avoided, and the troops, when great efforts were necessary, would, by a judicious use, derive important benefits from it. Molasses, beer and cider, according to circumstances, might be used as substitutes. the substitution of bacon and kiln-dried corn meal, in the southern division, will have, it is believed, valuable effects. They are both much more congenial to the habits of the people in that section of our country. Corn meal has another, and, in my opinion, great and almost decisive adtality. Our losses in the late and revolutionary II vantage; it requires so little art to prepare it for
Our people, even the poorest, being accustomed to a plentiful mode of living, require, to preserve their health, a continuation, in a considera ble degree, of the same habits of life in a camp; and a sudden and great departure from it subjects them, as is proved by experience, to great mor
use. It is not easy to make good bread of wheat By a judicious collection of provisions at proper flour, while it is almost impossible to make bad of depots, combined with an active and energetie that of Indian corn. Besides, wheat is much more system of transportation, it would be seldom neliable to be damaged than the Indian corn, for the cessary to resort to any other mode of purchasing. latter is better protected against disease and the To provide, however, for contingencies, the pureffects of bad seasons in time of harvest than any chasing department ought to be efficiently or other grain; and, when injured, the good is easily ganized, and a branch of it, as already stated, atseparated from the bad. Experience proves it to tached to each army and military department. As be not less nutricious than wheat or any other it is the means to be resorted to in cases of negrain. Parched corn constitutes the principal cessity, it ought to possess those high and discrefood of an Indian warrior; and such are its nutri-tionary powers which do not admit of exact concious qualities, that they can support long and trol. It is in its nature liable to many abuses, and, fatiguing marches on it alone. to prevent them from being great, more efficient I next proceed to consider the system of sup-regulations and checks are required than in any plying the army with provisions, or the establish. other branch of the general staff. ment of a commissariat, and as they are connected in their nature, I propose to consider that part of the resolution in relation to a commissariat, and the mode of issuing the rations, at the same time. The system established, at the last session, will, in time of peace, be adequate to the cheap and certain supply of the army. The act provides for the appointment of a commissary general, and as many assistants as the service may require, and authorizes the President to assign to them their duties in purchasing and issuing rations. It also directs that the ordinary supplies of the army should be purchased on contracts to be made by the commissary general, and to be delivered, on inspection, in the bulk, at such places as shall be stipulated in the contract. Document marked contains the rules and regulations which have been established by order of the President, and presents the operation of the system in detail. It is believed that it is as well guarded against fraud, as any other department of our military supplies;cious and, judging from the contracts already formed under it, will, when improved by experience, probably make a very considerable saving. It would improve the system, to authorize the appointment of two deputy commissaries, one for each division, with the pay, rank, and emoluments, of major of infantry, to be taken from the line or from citizens, and so to amend the act of the last session, as to authorize the President to appoint the assis-tained by contract founded on public notice, pos. tant commissaries, either from the line, or citizens.sesses (besides those peculiar to itself) all the adWhen the assistant commissary is not taken from vantages fairly attributable to the system of issuthe line, to make his pay equal to that of a subal-ing rations by contract. It is equally guarded tern appointed from the line, it ought to be $50 || against fraud, and its purchases can be made on per mouth, with two rations a day. It should be terms more advantageous. A considerable objec.. the duty of the deputy commissaries to perform tion to the system of issuing the ration by consuch service as the commissary general might pre-tract, is, that the merchants and capitalists are: scribe, and particularly to inspect the principal || deterred from bidding, by the hazard of issuing depots, and, in cases of necessity, to make the the ration; and thus the sphere of competition is necessary purchases. When a suitable subaltern contracted, and the contracts for supplying the cannot be had, or when his services are necessary army often thrown into the hands of adventurers. in the line, the power proposed to be vested inThis objection is avoided under the present systhe President, to select from citizens, would be stem, by which the ration will he cheaply supimportant. It is not believed that any other al-plied, and the danger of failure almost wholly reteration would be necessary in peace; but the moved. system would require great enlargement in war, to render it sufficiently energetic to meet the many vicissitudes incidental to the operations of
The defects of the mere contract system are so universally acknowledged by those who have experienced its operation in the late war, that it cannot be necessary to make many observations in relation to it. Nothing can appear more absurd, than that the success of the most important military relations, on which the very fate of the country may depend, should ultimately rest on men, who are subject to no military responsibility, and on whom there is no other hold than the penalty of a bond. When we add to this observation that it is often the interest of a contractor to fail, at the most critical juncture, when the means of supply become the most expensive, it seems strange that the system should have been conJtinued for a single campaign. It may be said, that, when the contractor fails, the commander has a right to purchase at his risk, by which the disasters, which naturally result from a failure,' may be avoided. The observation is more spethan solid. If on failure of the contractor there existed a well organized system for purchasing the supplies, there would be some truth. in it: but, without such a system, without depots of provisions, and with the funds intended for the supply of the army, perhaps, in the hands of the contractor, his failure must generally be fatal to a campaign. It is believed that a well organized commissariat, whose ordinary supplies are ob
All which is respectfully submitted.
Manufactures, Commerce, and Navigation.
It would then be necessary to divide the system into two divisions, one for purchasing and the other for issuing of rations, with as many deputy commissaries of purchases and issues, as there may be armies and military districts, to whom ought to be added a suitable number of assistants. The basis of the system ought, in war, to be the same as is now established. The ordinary sup-sell their captures in that island. It is even asplies ought to be by contract on public proposals. "serted, that as these proceedings have been con
A letter from Copenhagen states-" It is positively known that the Swedish government has renewed the orders already given to the governor of the Island of St. Bartholomew not to permit privateers of governments not acknowledged, to