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Report of the Secretary of War.
the regular army, will consti- | regiment. Each battalion is Report of the tute a total force of two hundred commanded by a Major, with a Secretary of War. and thirty thousand officers and Colonel and Lieutenant-Colonel men. It will be for Congress to determine whether for the general command of the regiment. This, it is this army shall, at this time, be increased by the believed, is the best organization now existing. The addition of a still larger volunteer force. number of field officers is less than under the old plan, and, therefore, much less expensive. Whether this organization may not advantageously be extended to the old army, after the passage of a law providing for a retired list, is a question which may properly engage the attention of Congress.
"The extraordinary exigencies which have called this great army into being have rendered necessary also a very considerable augmentation of the regular arm of the service. The demoralization of the regular army, caused by the treasonable conduct of many of its Commanding-officers, the distant posts at which the greater part of the troops were stationed, and the unexampled rapidity of the spread of the rebellion, convinced those high in command of the service, as well as this Department, that an increase of the regular army was indispensable. The subject was accordingly brought to your attention, and after careful examination an increase was authorized by your proclamation issued on the 4th of May last.
"In making the selection of officers for the new regiments, two courses only seemed to be openviz: to make the appointments from the regular service by seniority or by selection. The first appeared liable to the objection that old, and in some instances inefficient men would be promoted to places which ought to be filled by younger and more vigorous officers. The second was liable to the grave objection that favoritism might prejudice the claims of worthy officers.
"After the fullest consideration it was determined, under the advice of the General-in-Chief, to appoint one-half of them from the regular army and the other half from civil life. Of the civilians appointed as regimental commanders, all except one are either graduates of West Point, or have before served with distinction in the field; and of the Lieutenant-Colonels, Majors, Captains and FirstLieutenants, a large proportion have been taken from the regular army and the volunteers now in
"This increase consists of one regiment of cavalry, of twelve companies, numbering, in the maximum aggregate, eleven hundred and eighty-nine officers and men; one regiment of artillery of twelve batteries, of six pieces each, numbering, in the maximum aggregate, nineteen hundred and nine officers and men; nine regiments of infantry, each regiment containing three battalions of eight companies each, numbering, in the maximum aggregate, two thousand four hundred and fifty-two officers and men, making a maximum increase of infantry of twenty-service, while the Second-Lieutenants have been two thousand and sixty-eight officers and men.
"In the enlistment of men to fill the additional regiments of the regular army, I would recommend that the term of enlistment be made three years, to correspond with the call of May 4th, for volunteers; and that to all who shall receive an honorable discharge at the close of their term of service a bounty of one hundred dollars shali be given.
"The mounted troops of the old army consist of five regiments, with a maximum aggregate of four thousand four hundred and sixty men. Not more than one-fourth of these troops are available for service at the seat of war. At least two regiments of artillery are unavailable, being stationed on the western coast and in the Florida forts.
"The increase of infantry is comparatively large, but this arm of the service is that which the General-in-Chief recommended as being most efficient.
"The organization of the increased force, it will be noticed, is different from that of the old army. This question was fully considered by officers of the army connected with this Department, and after much deliberation it was concluded to adopt the French regimental system of three battalions to a
mainly created by the promotion of meritorious Sergeants from the regular service.
"In view of the urgent necessity of the case, these preliminary steps to the augmentation of the regular service have been taken, and it now remains for Congress, should it sanction what has been commenced, to complete the work by such legislation as the subject may require. A similar increase of the army, under like circumstances, was made in 1812. At the close of the war, the force in service being found too large and too costly for a peace establishment, a reduction was or dered to be made, under the supervision of a board of officers, specially organized for the purpose. At the close of the present struggle, the reduction of the present force may be accomplished in like manner, if found then to be larger than the public necessities require. In making any such reduction, however, a just regard to the public interests would imperatively require that a force amply sufficient to protect all the public property, wherever it may be found, should be retained.
"I cannot forbear to speak favorably of the volunteer system, as a substitute for a cumbrous and
Report of the Secretary of War.
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR.
dangerous standing army. It has, heretofore, by many been deemed unreliable and inefficient in a sudden emergency, but actual facts have proved the contrary. If it be urged that the enemies of order have gained some slight advantage at remote points, by reason of the absence of a sufficient regular force, the unexampled rapidity of concentration of volunteers already witnessed is an ample refutation of the argument. A Government whose every citizen stands ready to march to its defense can never be overthrown; for none is so strong as that whose foundations rest immovably in the hearts of the people.
Report of the Secretary of War.
of War, and now actively en-
"I recommend the same vigorous and merciful policy now."
"The spectacle of more than a quarter of a mill-manity to those deluded people, for it prevented the effusion of blood.' ion of citizens rushing to the field in defense of the Constitution, must ever take rank among the most extraordinary facts of history. Its interest is vastly heightened by the lavish outpouring from States and individuals of voluntary contributions of money, reaching an aggregate thus far of more than ten millions of dollars. But a few weeks since the men composing this great army were pursuing the avocations of peace. They gathered from the farm, from the workshop, from the factory, from the mine. The minister came from his pulpit, the merchant from his counting-room, the professor and student from the college, the teacher and pupil from the
common school. Young men of fortune left luxurious homes for the tent and the camp. Native and foreign born alike came forward with a kindred enthusiasm. That a well-disciplined, homogeneous and efficient force should be formed out of such a seemingly heterogeneous mass appears almost incredible. But what is the actual fact? Experienced men, who have had ample opportunity to familiarize themselves with the condition of European armies, concede that, in point of personnel, this patriot army is fully equal to the finest regular troops of the Old World. A more intelligent body
of men, or one actuated by purer motives, was never before marshaled in the field.
The point here made against his predecessor-one of the most infamous of all the conspirators whom it was Mr. Buchanan's misfortune to have in his counsels and confidence -was forcible and searching.* The report then proceeds to consider in detail the various steps taken in perfecting the several arms of the service, the subsistence and medical departments, &c. Especial attention was directed to the "startling defection" of the West Point graduates, but for whose desertion of their flag the rebellion never could have gained much front. Mr. Cameron found the root of the evil to lie in the defective moral instruction of the Military Academy, whereby the pupil was taught to substitute habit for conscience. He called upon Congress to examine into the matter. The report was accompanied by the Adjutant-General's returns of forces in the several military departments for the month of June, giving Butler an aggregate (officers and men) of 9,978;
“The calling forth of this large and admirable McDowell, 16,610; Colonel Cooke, (Utah,) force, in vindication of the Constitution and the 629; General Sumner, (Department of the laws, is in strict accordance with a wise prudence Pacific,) 3,426; Colonel Loring, (New Mexiand economy, and at the same time in perfect har- Co,) 2,498; Department of the West, including mony with the uniform practice of the Government. all the forts on the Upper Missouri and MisBut three years ago, when the authority of the na-sissippi, 2,655; Colonel Brown, (Department tion was contemptuously defied by the Mormons in of Florida,) including Forts Pickens, JefferUtah, the only safe policy consistent with the dig nity of the Government was the prompt employment of such an overwhelming force for the suppression of the rebellion as removed all possibility of failure. It will hardly be credited, however, that the following language in relation to that period was penned by John B. Floyd, then Secretary
The same point could have been made against Mr. Cobb. That individual once uttered strong anti. secession sentiments. [See page 53, vol. I.] So of Mr. Stephens. Inconsistency and desertion of prin ciples, however, were but minor sins of the con spiracy of which these men were directing spirits.
son and Key West, 1,453; General Wool, | two to nine guns each. By these
Report of the Secreta ry of the Navy,
to eighty-two vessels, carrying upwards of eleven hundred guns, and with a complement of about thir teen thousand men, exclusive of officers and marines.
'Purchases of sailing ships have been made for transporting coals to the steamers that are perform ing duty as sentinels before the principal harbors. It would be inexpedient and attended with much loss of time, as well as great additional expense, tc
compel the steamers when short of fuel to leave their stations and proceed to the nearest depot, dis tant in most cases several hundred miles, to obtain a supply. In the absence of any proper or suitable
stations or buildings for storing coals, hulks have been provided, to be anchored at some convenient place for the use of the squadron.
To the report of the Sec-There are also several steamboats and other small Report of the Secreretary of the Navy less im-craft, which are temporarily in the service of the tary of the Navy. portance was attached by Department. the public, but, to the reflecting few it assumed an importance exceeding that of all other departments. To the Navy Department was committed the responsible and onerous task of effecting and sustaining the blockade; of creating expeditions against insurgent ports; of sweeping privateers from the sea; of co-operating with the land forces in carrying forward campaigns by inland water courses as well as by sea; and, finally, of sustaining the honor and prestige of our flag in event of foreign interposition in American affairs. After adverting to the weakness of the Navy when the new Administration came into power-to the loss of the Norfolk Navy-guns and three thousand three hundred men. Yard property through the unaccountable inaction of Commodore Macauley-to the extraordinary measures which had to be called into requisition in order to meet demands made upon the Department-the Secretary thus stated the force at his command and its distribution up to that date (July 4th, 1861):
"Of the sixty vessels carrying thirteen hundred and sixteen guns, herein before mentioned as available for service on the 4th of March last, the sloop Levant has been given up as lost in the Pacific; the steamer Fulton was seized at Pensacola; and one frigate, two sloops and one brig were burnt at Norfolk. These vessels carried one hundred and seventy-two guns. The other vessels destroyed at Norfolk were considered worthless, and are not included in the list of available vessels.
"These losses left at the disposal of the Department sixty-two vessels, carrying eleven hundred and seventy-four guns, all of which are now, or soon will be, in commission, with the exception of the Vermont, ship-of-the-line.......................... 84 Guns. Brandywine, frigate...........
'The squadron on the Atlantic coast, under the command of Flag Officer S. H. Stringham, consists of twenty-two vessels, two hundred and ninety-six
"The squadron in the Gulf, under the command of Flag Officer William Mervine, consists of twenty. one vessels, two hundred and eighty-two guns, and three thousand five hundred men.
"Additions have been made to each of the squadrons, of two or three small vessels that have been
captured and taken into the service. The steamers Pawnee and Pocahontas, and the flotilla under the late Commander Ward, with several steamboats in charge of naval officers, have been employed on the Potomac river, to prevent communication with that portion of Virginia which is in insurrection. Great service has been rendered by this armed force, which has been vigilant in intercepting supplies, and in protecting transports and supply vessels in their passage up and down the Potomac.
"The squadron in the Pacific, under the command of Flag Officer John B. Montgomery, consists of six vessels, eighty-two guns and one thousand men. The West India squadron is under the command of Flag Officer G. J. Pendergrast, who has been temporarily on duty, with his flag-ship, the Cumberland, at Norfolk and Hampton Roads, since the 23d of March. He will, at an early day, transfer his flag to the steam frigate Roanoke, and proceed southward, having in charge our interests on the Mexican and Central American coasts, and in the West India Islands.
"The East India, Mediterranean, Brazil and African squadrons, excepting one vessel of each of the two latter, have been recalled.
"The return of these vessels will add to the force for service in the Gulf and on the Atlantic coast about two hundred guns and two thousand five
Regarding resignations in the Navy up to that time (July 4th), the Report presented a less dishonorable record than the
Army lists would show, of desertions and dismissals from the service. Two hundred and fifty-nine officers was the number named as having "resigned" their commissions or as having been dismissed the service, from the 4th day of March.
length in opposition to the res-
The Report succinctly referred to the various necessities of the service; to the steps taken in establishing efficiency; to the subject of iron floating batteries; to the slavers cap-in the matter of revenue, yet the President had stitution says no preference shall be given to States tured; to the Naval Academy, &c., &c.—the Secretary adding, in conclusion:
gone far beyond that, and blockaded the ports of several States. Further, the President has increas"In discharging the duties that pertain to this ed the army, when there was no law for it. The Department, and which have devolved upon it durPresident also suspended a writ of habeas corpus, ing the brief period it has been entrusted to my which even the king of England could not do. He hands, I have shrunk from no responsibilities; and honored the Chief-Justice (Taney) for his opposition if, in some instances, the letter of the law has been to this assumption of authority. It is justified by transcended, it was because the public necessities the plea of necessity, but no necessity had been required it. To be declined the exercise of any shown. Necessity is always the tyrant's plea, all powers but such as were clearly authorized and lethe world over. The President had even gone begally defined, when the Government and the counyond that, and proclaimed martial law-a thing not try were assailed and their existence endangered, mentioned in the Constitution; and the security of would have been an inexcusable wrong and a cowpersons guaranteed by the Constitution had been ardly omission. When, therefore, the Navy was violated. He could not approve of the acts of the called into requisition to assist not only in maintain- President in thus violating the Constitution. The ing the Constitution and to help execute the laws, State of Missouri had obstructed no law whatever of but to contribute in upholding the Government itthe United States, and yet that State, under no preself against a great conspiracy, I did not hesitate, text of law, had been invaded by United States under your direction, to add to its strength and effitroops from Iowa and Kansas. Mr. Polk then prociency by chartering, purchasing, building, equip-ceeded to argue that the President had no right to ping, and manning vessels, expanding the organiza-invade a State, and no right to give the power to tion and accepting the tender of services from patriotic individuals, although there may be no specific legal enactment for some of the authority that has
Opposition to the President's course.
proclaim martial law to a mere Captain. He then referred to the acts of Captain Lyon, and in some detail to the occurrences in the city of St. Louis, which he characterized as illegal and unconstitutional. He also referred adversely to the course of General Harney. He was willing to do anything to put a stop to this unholy war; he would do nothing to continue it."
These were, substantial
Among the early resolutions introduced was one covering the procedure of the President and his Secretaries in meeting the uncontemplated dangers which had arisen during the interval of the sessions. This at-ly, the points made by othtempted justification excited the violent op- ers in the two Houses who position in the Senate, of Powell and Breck- opposed the war. Kennedy, of Maryland, enridge, of Kentucky, Kennedy, of Maryland, strenuously regarded the suspension of the Polk, of Missouri; and, in the House, of habeas corpus act as an arbitrary, unconstituBurnett, of Kentucky, Vallandigham and tional, and unjustifiable exercise of ExecuPendleton, of Ohio, Wood, of New York, tive authority. Mr. Breckenridge, in his
speech of July 16th, elabo- | enough, refer to the extrarated the points already ur- ordinary circumstances surged by his colleague (Pow-rounding the Presidentell,) and by the two Missouri Senators, (Johnson and Polk.) He declared against the constitutional right of one branch of the Government to indemnify another branch for an unconstitutional or doubtful exercise of authority. His argument, on this head, was very strong. He assumed that the powers conferred on the Government by the people of the States are the measure of its authority. These powers are confided to different departments, and their boundaries are determined. The President has rights and powers conferred, and the Legislative Department its powers, and the Judicial Department its powers, and he denied that either can encroach on the other, or indemnify the other for usurpations of the power conferred by the Constitution. gress has no more right to make constitutional the unconstitutional acts of the President than the President to make valid the acts of the Supreme Court encroaching on the Executive power, or the Supreme Court to make valid an act of the Executive encroaching on the Judicial power. The resolution of indemnity substantially declared that Congress may add to the Constitution or take from it in a manner not provided by that instrument; that a bare majority can by resolution make that constitutional which is unconstitutional by the same authority; hence, in whatever view, the power granted by the resolution was utterly subversive of the Constitution.
to the danger of the total subversion of the Government-to the repudiation of that precious Constitution by those for whom he then claimed its protection: all these did not enter into his technical disquisition. It was enough that the Constitution did not provide for its own preservation for him to demand that its powers could not be exceeded. His words were:
"Let Congress approve and ratify these acts, and there may occur a necessity which will justify the President in superseding the law in every State in this Union; and there will not be a vestige of civi authority left to rise against this usurpation of military power. But I deny this doctrine of necessity. violate the Constitution on the ground of necessity. I deny that the President of the United States may The doctrine is utterly subversive of the Consti
He proceeded to point out the several acts which he regarded as clearly unconstitutional. They were:
1st. The blockade.
2d. The enlisting of men for the war.
3d. Increasing the regular (standing) army.ple that, under any presumed stress of circumstan4th. Increasing the navy.
5th. Suspension of the habeas corpus act. 6th. The promulgation of martial law. 7th. The suppression of the freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
To the substantiation of his opposition he threw himself entirely upon the constructive unconstitutionality of these several acts, and therefore denied the President's right to enforce them. The Senator did not, singularly
ces, powers not granted may be assumed. Take
"Constitutional" Rights of Traitors.