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I miss the gallant young officer, Lieutenant Parrott, Seventy-fifth Illinois, one of my Aides, who fell in the second day's battle, badly wounded in the thigh.
Whilst I rejoice that the number of casualties is not large, yet I deeply regret the loss of such excellent and brave soldiers. Lieutenant Baldwin, Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania, an excellent and brave young officer, fell in the second day's battle, at his post, and died as heroes die.
For further particulars of the part taken by each regiment respectively, reference is made to reports of regimental commanders herewith forwarded.
I have the honor to be, Captain,
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all officers, non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates of volunteer regiments or corps now in military service of the United States for the period of three years, or during the war, or who may hereafter enter the said service for said period, shall hereafter have all the rights, privileges, and benefits hereafter granted to the officers, non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates of the regular army of the United States, and said officers, non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates of volunteers, shall form, and be hereafter considered, a part of the regular army of the United States.
same series with the (6) regular regiments of cavalry in the service of the United States, in the manner prescribed in the third section of this act for the regiments of infantry.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That all such volunteer regiments of artillery now in the service of the United States be numbered in the same series with the (5) regular regiments of artillery now in the service of the United States, in the manner prescribed in the third section of this act for the regiments of infantry.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That promotions shall hereafter be made as they have been heretofore made, except that no regard shall be had to the fact that the vacancy to be filled is in an old or a new regiment, or that the officer to be promoted belongs to an old or a new regiment.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That the commissions given by Governors of States to such volunteer officers shall be considered the same as if given by the President of the United States, and the officers holding them shall take rank according to the date of such commission.
vacancies hereafter occurring in said volunSEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That all teer regiments shall be filled by the President according to existing laws and regulations for the government of the army of the United
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That all laws, regulations, articles of war, or parts thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this act, be, and the same are hereby repealed.
On the seventeenth of December, reported this bill without amendment, and accompanied it with the following adverse report:
The Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia, to whom was referred Senate bill, “to abolish the distinction now existing between the regular and volunteer forces of the United States," having had the same under consideration, report:
That they have given the subject that careful attention which its great importance seemed to demand at their hands. The object of the bill is clearly set forth in its title. It proposes a radical change in that branch of the public service, which, in the present condition of affairs, is almost the sole reliance of the country. A change so sweeping as the abrogation of the
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That all such volunteer regiments of foot shall be considered regiments of infantry, and shall be num-line between the regular and volunteer systems bered in the same series as the (19) regular regiments of infantry now in the service of the United States; the oldest of such volunteer regiments of infantry to be called the (20th) United States infantry; the next oldest the (21st), and so on until all such regiments now in service, and that may hereafter come into service, be numbered in the same series.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That all such volunteer regiments of cavalry now in the service of the United States be numbered in the
of military service, would, even in the most ordinary and peaceful times, have been fraught with the gravest consequences, and would have arrested the attention, if it had not excited the alarm, of the whole country. At this moment, with over half a million of new troops in the field, drawn thither from civil pursuits, and, as a mass, without previous knowledge of the business of arms--a vast body, imperfect yet in drill, and greatly wanting in discipline-it seems to your committee the least propitious of all
times to attempt the introduction of any radical change affecting the character and organization of the military forces of the republic.
The committee are free to confess, therefore, that leaving out of account all considerations touching the constitutional right and power of Congress involved, the mere object of the bill is one which they could not commend at the present juncture, except upon grounds of the most urgent and imminent necessity; and, in the opinion of the committee, no such necessity now exists, nor is any likely to exist in the fu
Passing, however, from the consideration of the object of the bill to its subject matter, the committee find serious grounds of objection to it, both in respect of its unconstitutionality and its inexpediency. No fact is more clearly deducible from the Constitution than this, that there should always exist in the country two different and distinct classes of military organizations: the one, a permanent organization to be raised, supported, armed, and disciplined by, and to belong to, and represent, the whole Union, as a Federal army; the other, a temporary organization, to be raised by the respective States, whenever the exigencies of public danger, in the obstruction of the laws, the raising of insurrections, and the fact of invasions, should necessitate the use of a larger force than that possessed by the Federal Government, to be called into being only upon extraordinary occasions, to preserve their distinct character as volunteers or militiamen during the term of their service, and to be disbanded again when the occasion which called them forth had passed
States," is in violation of the Constitution, and cannot become law. The provision of the bill above recited, and which embodies its whole substance, being thus, in the opinion of the committee, violative of the letter and spirit of the Constitution, they would be justified, perhaps, in closing their report, at this point, with a recommendation that the bill do not pass; but they find, on examination, that the details of the bill are as objectionable as its general features.
The sixth section provides "that the commissions given by Governors of States to such volunteer officers shall be considered the same as if given by the President of the United States, and the officers holding them shall take rank according to the date of such commissions." It is believed that the Constitution of the United States interposes an obstacle against such officers being "considered" officers of the regular army by any such process. The second clause of the second section of Article II. of the Constitution, provides that the "President shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law." It is further provided, that "Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of such inferior officers as they think proper in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of depart ments." No one who considers the subject will assume that officers of the army belong to that "inferior" class specified in the latter clause, whose appointment can vest solely in the President. On the contrary, a uniform interpretation has been given to both these clauses by Congress since the foundation of the Government; and, according to that interpretation, all officers of the rank, dignity, and responsibility of officers of the regular army, have been held to belong to that higher grade specified in the first of these clauses, whose appointment could only be constitutionally made "by and with the advice and consent of the Senate."
The absolute and continually existing necessity of an army to maintain the power and dignity of the nation; the constitutional prohibition that no State shall, without the consent of Congress," "keep troops;" and the express authority granted by the Constitution to Congress, "to raise and support armies," are all confirmatory, beyond question, of the right, power, and duty of the Government to maintain a regular standing army as a Federal establishment; while the The seventh section of the bill provides clauses of the Constitution which provide for" that all vacancies hereafter occurring in said "calling forth the militia," and for their arming, volunteer regiments shall be filled by the Presdiscipline, and governance by Congress, in "re- ident, according to existing laws and reguserving to the States, respectively, the appoint-lations for the government of the Army of the ment of the officers, and the authority of training" them, while "employed in the service of the United States," mark the latter as a fundamentally separate and distinct organization, and one which cannot, under the Constitution, be amalgamated with, and made a part of, the regular army.
The committee, therefore, are of the opinion that, as the volunteers were recruited under State authority, and constitute a part of the militia system of the country, the clause of the bill which provides that the "officers, non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates of volunteers shall form, and hereafter be considered, a part of the regular army of the United
United States." This section is open to the same objection as the preceding one; for, while the Constitution (section 8, article 1) gives Congress the power "to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions," and "to provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such parts of them as may be employed in the service of the United States," the right of "the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress," is, by the same section, "reserved to the States respectively." The committee are not able to reconcile the proposition
sion of arms as an employment, has been amply illustrated since the beginning of this rebellion. When the President called upon the country for volunteers, more than a million of citizens tendered themselves for this branch of the military service. When, on the other hand, the Congress, by the act of twenty-ninth of July last, authorized the addition of eleven regdis-iments to the regular army, the people gave, comparatively, no response. It is true that the offices of these new regiments were quickly applied for and appointed; but their ranks remain unfilled to this day. No fact could demonstrate more fully than this the repugnance of the great mass of the people against entering the regular army as common soldiers.
of the bill, that the President shall fill all vacancies occurring in the volunteer regiments, with this counter requirement of the Constitution. The eighth section repeals all laws and parts of laws conflicting with the provisions of the bill under consideration. Repealing thus the law or laws under which the volunteers enlisted and were mustered into the service, this section would, in the opinion of your committee, band every volunteer regiment now in the field. The committee believe that the distinction which the Constitution has drawn between the regular and the militia service is too plain to need further elucidation, and too well grounded to be abrogated by a simple act of Congress, even in these revolutionary times. It is not doubted that Congress has power to increase the regular army to the number contemplated by the bill under consideration, or to any larger number deemed necessary for the protection and vindication of the Union and its laws, but it is doubted that the Congress possess power, in defiance of the letter and spirit of the Constitution, to transmute volunteers into regulars and regulars into volunteers. The two systems are made different and distinct in their whole object and organization, by the Constitution itself, and they must be kept so by law.
Had your committee felt no distrust of the present as the proper time for effecting radical changes in our military system, nor found any constitutional embarrassments in the way of recommending the passage of the bill by the Senate, there exist other substantial objections which would alone impel them to withhold such recommendation.
Our people are not a military people. Practicing the gentler arts of peace, we have been builders, not destroyers; and the instruments by which we have reclaimed a land from barbarism to civilization have not been the gun, the sabre, and the lance, but the plough, the loom, and the anvil. The genius of our people has thus been averse to war.
Our people are jealous of their personal liberty, and are impatient of restraint. Enjoying, in a larger degree than the people of any other country, freedom of action and of speech, they do not willingly yield such enjoyment, except in the presence of some great public danger, which requires the sacrifice of individual comfort to the general good. It is thus that the dispositions of our people have harmonized with the true interests of our country. A large military establishment is the bane of any nation, exhausting its resources, and endangering its liberties. Happily for us, the unerring instincts of our virtuous, intelligent masses, have uniformly thwarted all the attempts of ambitious men to create great standing armies; and the saving of our wealth, which has made us strong, and the preservation of our institutions, which has left us free, is owing, more than to all other causes, to the peaceful temper of our people, and to their jealous love of personal freedom.
The deep-seated prejudice against the profes
The Congress recognized this popular repugnance in the act above referred to; for, in the fifth section, the term of enlistments made during the years 1861 and 1862 is reduced from five years to the volunteer term of three years, and in all respects, as to bounties already allowed, or to be allowed, the regular recruit is placed upon the same footing as the volunteer. In spite of all this, the fact remains that the volunteer enlistments have been more than fifty to one over the enlistments in the regular service. And this is a fact, the significance of which your committee do not feel at liberty to disregard. It shows that the people consider service in the ranks of the regular army as a personal degradation. They have, in following their instincts and prejudices, unconsciously voted upon the proposition of the bill under review, that the 'volunteers shall form, and be hereafter considered, a part of the regular army of the United States," and their verdict is before the country, protesting, nearly a hundred voices to one, against its adoption.
If, therefore, there were no objections against the measure proposed, either in respect of the time when it is to go into effect, or of the constitutional barriers which stand in its way, the fact here demonstrated, that, with the vast bulk of the grand army now enlisted for the defence of the Union, the measure will be regarded as one of degradation, and as an outrage upon their rights and character, would, of itself, determine the committee to report against its passage.
If, however, it shall be considered that your committee have misconceived the whole subject under consideration, and that they have been in error in regarding the regular as the least popular branch of the military service, they would yet be inclined to doubt the expediency of the change proposed. They can realize that if the regular branch of the army be considered the most desirable, its own character, and that of the volunteer branch may be improved by keeping the two organizations separate and dis tinct, as they now are. In such a view, the transfer from an inferior to a superior branch of the service, would be an ever present object of ambition, stimulating the volunteer to a higher valor, and to the more faithful discharge of his duties; while its beneficial effects would soon
REBELLION RECORD, 1862-65.
of the bill, that the President shall fill all vacan- sion of arms as an employment, has been amply cies occurring in the waluntaan maximanta with.
this counter re
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