THE RESULTS OF THE WAR.
The results of the war are too well known to require much attention.
To stun them up in a few words the United States, iu the short space of ino
days, organized, armed and equipped and provided transportation for an
army of over a quarter of a million of men; conducted campaigns separated
by 10,000 miles of land and water; humiliated and destroyed the enemy
wherever met, without one single reverse. And this with the small loss of
but a little over 1 per cent from all causes an achievement unparalleled in
the history of warfare, savage or civilized, and which will be referred to b}'
critics of the future as the military marvel of the century.
ON A PEACE BASIS.
How the Army Was Situated Before the Hostilities Broke Out.
The year 1898 began with the United States at peace with the world: its
army oil a peace basis, of 2,164 officers and 25.o.~>0 enlisted men, embracing
(in addition to the general staff corps, and including one battalion of en-
gineers) ten regiments of cavalry, five regiments of artillery and twenty-five
regiments of infantry, gathered in various posts throughout the countr\-.
The entire force was well armed, well clothed, well housed, well fed. and
retrularly paid: all of the men in splendid spirits and excellent physical
condition. A state of discipline prevailed which knew nothing but loyalty
and obedience, awaiting any call, ready for any service.
COAST DEFENSE INCOMPLETE.
An elaborate scheme for coast defense, devised in ISM'), was not only in-
complete, but just fairly begun: but few guns had been mounted, and the
few others made ready for mounting with meagre appropriations had not
left their factories, owing to the failure of Congress to provide the neces-
sary funds asked for from time to time by the Chief of Ordnance.
The devastating war in Cuba which had waged for the two and one-half
years preceding, occupied the minds of the American people. Neither the
Administration, the War Depart incut nor any of its bureaus have anything
to excuse, but a few words of explanation touching the obstacles to be
overcome, considered in connection with the results obtained, will appeal to
the reason of fair-minded people who may have or who would criticise upou
imperfect knowledge or false statements.
LACK OF CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY.
Many legal restrictions hampered and embarrassed the transaction of bus-
iness. Indeed, only those conducting- the affairs of the war can have any
idea of the handicap placed by Congress on the War Department and the
serious obstacles which have made it impossible to accomplish ready and
effective work at all times.
During the War of the Rebellion the Secretary of War exercised to its
fullest extent the power which then lawfully belonged to the heads of the
several departments in controlling- and directing the appropriations voted
and placed under his care. Can it be questioned that the arm of the great
Secretary was strengthened by this prerogative which enabled him to main-
tain complete control and directive power over the expenditures necessary
to a successful prosecution of his work? This power over expenditure re-
mained with the Secretary of War until March :!(), ixiis, when Congress
deprived him of it and placed over him the Comptroller of the Treasury,
with power to reverse his action and disallow his payments; the effect has
made contractors timid and slow.
Nine successive Attorney Generals (Wirt, I'errian, Taney, Mutler, Reverdv
Johnson, Crittenden, Gushing, Bates and Stanbery), after elaborate consid-
eration of the same question, held that it was essential to I he proper and
successful administration of the (lOvernment that the executive heads of
the several departments, in the matter of expenditures of money, should
exercise and control authoritative direction, not subject to the reversal of
the Comptroller or any accounting officer of the Treasury.
RED TAPE HAMPERED PREPARATIONS.
In the work of organizing, equipping, subsisting, clothing, sheltering,
transporting and providing munitions of war, medical supplies and siirgical
aid, the numerous and varied expenditures incident to military operations,
require prompt and decisive action in the matter of expenditures, with
prompt and certain payment, if satisfactory results are to be obtained.
At the outbreak of the Ilispano-Ameriean war, no supplies in large quan-
tities could be purchased without advertisement; and copies of advertise-
ments were required to be submitted to and approved before publication,
by the Secretary of War, or payment, could not be authorized. The news-
papers of the National capital were excluded by law from publishing adver-
tisements, except for supplies and services to be used in the District of
THE ARMY REGULATIONS.
There has been criticism of the army regulations. It is admitted that as
they are now constructed they are cumbersome, but they are the product
of thirty years' work and experience. To have changed them materially
when war was declared or during the campaign would have created no end
of confusion and perhaps disaster. What changes could be made at such a
time were made. The army regulations under which the War Department
is working were revised under a former Democratic Secretary of War.
CONGRESS OBJECTED TO TRAINED COOKS.
For over twenty years efforts have been made to secure legislative action
for the enlistment' of trained cooks for the military service, but it was
denied until after war was declared.
Bv the same legal restrictions, the number of cavalry and artillery horses
v:;s limited to the number of mounted men in the service, not allowing
; r u sir,"le breakdown, a single death or a single remount; and the number
of draft animals was ]iinit< d to 5,000, a number by no means sufficient to
mobilize the small regular nnn.v.
No law existed which enabled the War Department to regulate and pro-
tect explosive mines and mine fields in the waters of the United States.
HAMPERED BY OLD DECISIONS.
At the present time, a serious embarrassment arises to pay for certain
advertisements which were essentially necessary in the matter of procuring
recruits and volunteers for the army, and to supply wood for the Iroops
near Tampa, and to provide cavalry horses for the service. Notwithstanding
the vouchers for these items were approved by the Secretary of War, the
Second Auditor of the Treasury adheres to a decision made in 1876, that
written authority of the Secretary of War must !,< obtained before publica-
tion, or payment must be withheld.
Section 3048, Kevised Statutes, provides that no advance of public money
shall be made in any case whatever, and agents of express companies fre-
quently refuse to forward goods without pajTiient in advance.
UNHEEDED APPEALS TO CONGRESS.
The foregoing are merely a few of the cases in which it became necessary
for the War Department to apply to Congress for legislation. Many in-
stances might be shown where the dispatch of public business and the work-
ings of the bureaus of the Department were embarrassed and delayed by
reason of its head being deprived of final authority in the matter of allow-
ance of accounts and expenditures.
ATTACKS FROM THE REAR.
The supply departments have been the subject of bitter attack from tin-
rear, though the American soldier at the front has courageously borne the
hardships of war, which he expected and knows are unavoidable, with but
few complaints. The partisan journals have spread discontent and created
sorrowful anxiety at home.
President McKinley and the officers of his Administration, continually
since assuming oilice, had been alert and active to bring the struggle to a
dose and give peace and stable conditions to Cuba, and sought, if possible,
to accomplish the end without recourse to arms.
DRIVEN INTO WAR.
Jaundiced journals and jingo orators manufactured a restless disposition
and impatient demand from the people for precipitate action, and the temper
of the Spanish people was such that pacific diplomacy became unpopular in
both countries. Notwithstanding this public pressure, the President and
his associates worked incessantly for, and believed that peace could be main-
tained, most of them having learned on the battlefield what war meant, what
distress and suffering it entailed, and sought to save the nation from its
dreadful consequences. Therefore but little was done, and but little could
be done in preparation for war, without increasing its chances. The publi-
cation of the J)e Lome letter, speaking disparagingly of the President on
February 8, added fuel to a fire which burst into a blaze of wrath and in-
dignation on Februar3 r 15, when the world was horrified by the destruction
of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor.
CONGRESS GIVES A LITTLE AID.
One week following that disaster Congress increased the army of the
United States by the addition of two regiments of artillery. This was hardly
a war measure, however, but merely an additional force required to care
tor the extra guns of costly pattern which had been mounted along the sea
ist and the need for which had been shown for a long period previous
though, through political fear, the legislation had not been enacted into law!
THE DEFENSE BILL,
By March 8 the situation had grown so grave that Congress, upon the
. of the President, appropriated, by unanimous vote, the sum of
$50,000,000 for the National defense. This act, however, was viewed as
more of a peace than a 'war measure, and three days later the new Spanish
.Minister, Senor Polo y Bernabe, was received by the President of the United
It was not until April 11 that the President asked authority of Congress,
to intervene in Cuba by force to re-establish peace and order in the island.
After nearly a week of debate the resolutions were passed. The President
signed them on April 20 and sent the ultimatum to Spain.
On the following day, April 21, the war broke out, and two days later came
the call for 125,000 volunteers, followed by a second call for 75,000. In the
meantime Congi-ess had passed a law increasing the regular army to 61,000
iind also providing for sixteen regiments of United States volunteer engi-
neers, cavalry and infantry.
HOW A VAST ARMY SPRANG UP.
Mustering was carried forward vigorously in every State of the Union,
ul in the short space of one month this vast army of nearly two hundred
and twenty-five thousand men were suddenly gathered together, and the
staff departments had to be organized and were called upon to equip and
WORK OF THE ADJUTANT-GENERAL.
In the short period of five weeks the Adjutant-General of the Army with
his four assistants, at their desks constantly from 8 in the morning until
after midnight week days and Sundays, had organized his working force,
issued commissions to and assigned to duty over 800 generals and general
staff officers, enrolled and mustered the regiments of this vast army into
service of the United States, completed the papers, gathered them into
<'amps of instruction and organized them into brigades, divisions and army
corps, and conducted without error the overwhelming correspondence aris-
ing from the abnormal conditions, which ran the average of his telegrams
to over 500 and his letters to over 1,000 per day, touching every intricate
legal question affecting personal and public interests; surrounded too, by
throngs of Congressmen pressing the claims of their constituents, news-
paper men eager to furnish their papers with, accurate and comprehensive
reports of proceedings and progress, and a crowd of persistent callers seek-
ing personal advantage.
NO PARTY OR FACTION RECOGNIZED.
There were over eighteen thousand applications for appointment of gen-
eral and staff officers; the President in his selections and appointments from
; r his vast number recognized no party or faction. Of the 836 appointed, 301,
or a little over 36 per cent, were chosen from the regular army a larger
percentage than was ever selected to officer any volunteer army organized in
the United States; and all would have been taken from the regular army it'
possible, but so large a number could not be spared without seriously im-
pairing its efficiency. The regular army was recognized by military men,
and thoughtful statesmen, as already too small, and its officers had been
reduced by the withdrawal of 200 for mustering and recruiting duty.
MAJORITY OF OFFICERS WERE REGULARS.
Of the major-generals appointed, all, with the exception of five, were from
the regular army, and of these five three were graduates of the Military
Academy and all of them soldiers of distinction and National reputation.
Of the seventy brigadier-generals appointed, forty-two were from the
regular army, and of the others, five were graduates of the Military Acad-
emy and the remainder men who had won reputations as soldiers on the
HOW STAFF OFFICERS WERE CHOSEN.
Of the seven hundred and forty-eight staff officers, two hundred and fifty-
six were chosen from the army; of those selected from civil life, many were
graduates of the Military Academy, or had seen service, and all were ap-
pointed upon the recommendation of chiefs of staff departments, other sol-
diers, and of the representatives elected by the people to promote their wel-
fare and guard their every interest. Of the remaining four hundred and
ninety-two civilian appointments, over one-half are in the Medical Depart-
ment, Pay Department and the Signal Corps, the only field from which men
in such numbers, possessing approximately the required technical knowl-
edge, could be drawn.
The appointment of officers of the staff would have produced at once an
efficient service, if equal care had been exercised by the Governors of all the
States to appoint none but good regimental and company officers. A staff
officer's work is rendered futile by neglect or lack of knowledge on the part
of line officers. Over the appointment of the latter Congress gave the Presi-
dent no power, but instead, reserved it to the Governors, and in one State
the Governor went so far as to disband the National Guard before muster-
ing began, so that the officers' positions in the volunteers might be more
easily bestowed upon political friends.
In'all assignments to duty, care was exercised to see that only trained
officers of the regular army were put in position of high authority aiic!
WHAT WAS ASKED OF CONGRESS.
Every general commanding the army since the Civil War has included
in his 'annual report from time to time a recommendation to Congress for
a reorganization of the infantry arm of the service upon modern lines;
and every Congress for. the same period has had upon its calendar a bill
embodying such features; and in the spring of 1898, when war seemed
imminent and apparently near at hand, Mr. Hull, chairman of the House
Military Committee, drafted a bill embodying the ideas of the most ex-
perienced officers of the army, which provided for an increase of the regu-
lar establishment to about 100,000 men. This, it was confidently expected
at the War Department, would, as a war measure, be enacted into law:
and the thought given to preliminary preparation proceeded with that end
WHAT CONGRESS GRANTED.
The organized militia opposed the passage of such a measure, fearing
that if it became a law it would destroy their organization by replacing
it, and Congress failed to pass the measure. Had this bill become a law,
the splendid recruiting organization of the regular army, with the multi-
tude of applications for enlistments, could have been quickly recruited
to the full strength from men chosen with peculiar fitness for military
service, without the strong ties binding them to home, school and busi-
ness, which, when excitement wanes, breed discontent and nostalgia. AH
of the men so enlisted would have been quickly gathered in companies
and regiments of the regular army, where, with their veteran comrades
side by side in the same tents and the same messes, the'y would have
quickly adapted themselves to the splendid discipline and thorough instruc-
tion under the watchful care of the trained and zealous officers so necessary
to the health, instruction and efficiency of an army.
REGULARS AND VOLUNTEERS.
By this failure it became necessary to send the regular army, small as
it was, in compact regiments, carefully looking after their own health and
comfort, and side by side were regiments of men equally patriotic and
zealous but suffering from a lack of knowledge, which rendered the super-
iority of the one over the other, so appare* 1 *
DEATHS: VOLUNTEERS, 425; REGULARS, 1.
In the camp at Chicka.mauga, where the volunteers and the regulars
were camping side by side, in 'the ratio of about two of the former to
one of the latter, there were 425 deaths among the volunteers and only
one of the regulars.
No braver, no more zealous, no more devoted soldiers ever followed a
country's flag- than the volunteer soldiers in the American army; but
putting a guii in a man's hand no more makes him a soldier than putting
a plane in" his hand makes him a carpenter. Our people and their repre-
sentatives have indulged in this mistake for thirty years.
The science of arms is a profession which requires a long apprenticeship
and careful training under schooling of a master, and no amount of .
patriotism and no degree of bravery can make up for the lack of such
training and apprenticeship. If without it great results are obtained it
is at the expenditure of life to a degree so shocking that the true cause
is lost to sight for the moment and until reason makes it plain.
CONGRESS ACTS BUT TOO LATE.
Finally Congress- did effect a partial reorganization and about doubled
the enlisted strength of the regular army, but did it at a time when the
States were organizing their own troops and the influence of friends m
regiments already enlisted carried the men into the State organizations
rather than the regular army, and delayed its recruitment.
HOW AND WHY CAMPS WERE CHOSEN.
' After the State troops were mustered into the United States service it
became necessary to gather them into large camps of instruction tor the
purpose of organization and formation into brigades, divisions and army
corps. Several points of concentration were selected, notably Chickamanga
on account of the great extent of country there owned by the United
States, and over which 100,000 men had once engaged in the grand man-
eiivers of a great buttle. The selection was influenced by the splendid
character of the roads throughout the park, its adaptability to camping
purposes on account of abundant shade, open fields, rolling surface and the
splendid water supply, as reported by (Jen. 1'oynton. chairman of the Park
WHY CAMP ALGER WAS SELECTED.
In a great war between two nations the capital of the country is always
supposed to be a final objective, and one of the military weaknesses of
the I'nited States is the location of its beautiful capital within fifty miles
of the sea, and upon a tide-water river.
With an adversary having nearly one hundred thousand troops within
eighty miles of our territory, and a navy supposed to be as strong if not
stronger than our own. it was but a reasonable precaution to take meas-
ures against the possibility of an attack on Washington. For that reason
a force of some thirty thousand men were gathered together in the vicinity
of that city for the double purpose of organization, instruction and possible
For that reason Camp Alger was established. The site selected was ten
or twelve miles from Washington, upon which had camped during the
War of the Rebellion frequently an equal and at times a vastly greater force,
without inconvenience or more than the average death-rate from disease.
TAMPA WAS NEAR CUBA.
Tampa was selected as a point of embarkation on account of its prox-
imity to the Cuban coast, and with the thought that a sojourn in the
Southern latitudes would in a measure prepare the troops for a climate
it was known they must endure in a tropical campaign. As soon as possible
after the embarkation of a portion, the remainder of the troops were re-
moved. When the danger of attack upon Washington had entirely passed,
were moved from Camp Alger.
AS TO MONTAUK POINT.
Montauk Point was selected because of its splendid adaptability' as a re-
cuperating point, with salt water bathing, fresh ocean breezes, excellent
artesian water, good surface drainage and sufficiently isolated to protect
the centers of population of the United States from fever infection brought
from the tropics by the returning soldiers.
In preparing the camp at that point an experienced medical officer was
put upon the ground immediately after the selection of the site, who had
authority to call upon the medical supply officer at Xew York for everything
he needed, and that officer wa.s directed to fill all his requisitions without,
reference to the War Department.
IT WAS THE BATTLEFIELD BROUGHT HOME.
To persons unused to the scenes and horrors of war, it doubtless pre-
sented many sights of pity and despair, but it must be borne in mind that
it wa.s but the rear of the battlefield of Santiago brought home, where the
terrible privations of that struggle would be diminished, and some lives
saved, which if the troops had remained long in Cuba, or had been trans-
port fd farther, would have been lost.
WAR AND PEACE ARE DIFFERENT.
" t a / h f r i"8-. to f-ether lar-e bodies of men it is hard to impress upon
that then- daily life must be materially changed. Men from the
rural Iiticts not able
node of f ,
i mode of hf e to winch they have been accustomed will endanger a
develop disease clangorous and fatal. And this, as with many othe/fLons
e-,J ed * m7t Tt 1 V 10 ma , Ster 1)UT **?. and the only lessons
ami taken to heart are those received in that thorough school.
ALL COMPLAINTS WERE INVESTIGATED.
Many individual complaints were received at the department in various
ways anonymous letters apparently written by soldiers newspaper articles
prepared far from the scene of action, letters from friends and relatives
based upon letters received from members of their families in the army
and from members of Congress, generally based upon hearsay evidence.'
Never was a single complaint allowed to pass without a thorough investi-
gation and report; nearly always with the result that the complaint was
trivial and not founded upon fact, but in the few cases which merited
remedial measures they were at once applied; and if neglect upon the part
of oil'icers was discovered, they were promptly admonished.
. ADVOCATES OF WAR FIRST TO COMPLAIN.
Hardly had the sensational journals of the country ceased their exciting
and inflammatory editions crying for war when they began to magnify
complaints and utter criticisms as unjust as they were pernicious and
harmful, spreading discontent in the ranks and producing alarm at home.
REMEDIAL MEASURES INSTANTLY TAKEN.
Immediately npon receipt of reports at the Department that sickness
was prevalent in the camps, measures were taken to remove the men and
scatter .the commands. Chickamauga and Camp Alger were abandoned,
but after supplies and equipment had been sent to those points they could
not be entirely given up until the supplies were properly distributed. And,
moreover, until the camp lessons were learned, one suitable location was
as good as another.
How a Quarter of a Million Men Were Armed and Equipped.
The bureaus attracting the most attention are the Ordnance, Quarter-
master's, Subsistence and Medical Departments.
When the first call for troops was made, the Ordnance Department was
called upon to suddenly equip a quarter of a million of men with a class
of articles not produced by private manufacturers. Appropriations _of Con-
gress for these equipments for many years had been barely sufficient for
replacing those worn out by the regular army, which required about 5.000
sets of equipments per year, and to equip 250.000 men in four weeks re-
quired it to increase its business six hundred-fold.
NOT ARTICLES OF COMMERCE.
The supply on hand was necessarily very small, and money for the
increase in These classes of equipment wa.s only available a few days before
war had actually begun, when upon telegraphic orders the work of manu-
facture was immediately commenced at the various arsenals, and was sup-
plemented by purchase from contractors; though it must be borne in