Copyright
Ohio. Adjutant General's Dept.

Report (Volume 1879) online

. (page 1 of 38)
Online LibraryOhio. Adjutant General's DeptReport (Volume 1879) → online text (page 1 of 38)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Reference Department.




Class



Book.



Copy

Accession No. ... I ..**•«..-•. . O. I



ANNUAL REPORT



OF THE



ADJUTANT-GENERAL



TO THE



GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF OHIO,



FOR THE YEAR 1879.



6*° m %



$ib



rat




COLUMBUS:

NEVINS & MYERS, STATE PRINTERS.

1880.
o J D 9 <V



n 'i '»■



/



General Headquartkks, State of Ohio.
Adjutant-General's Office,

Columbus, November 15, 1879.

To Mis Excellency Richard M. Bishop, Governor and Commander-in-Chief :

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith, in pursuance of law, my report for the

fiscal year ondinn: November 15, 1879.

Reaper*' fully, your ob.dient servai ,

Luther M. Meily,

Adjutant- General of Ohio



STATE ROSTER FOR 1879.



His Excellency RICHARD M. BISHOP,
Govtrnor and Commander-in-Chief.

Major-General LUTHER M. MEILY,
Adjutant- General, Inspector-General, and Chief of Staff.

Brigadier-General SAMUEL F. HUNT,
Judge-Advocate-General.

Brigadier-General CHARLES L. YOUNG,
Quartermaster-General and Commissary-General.

Brigadier-General J. EMMITT BURNS,

Surgeon- General.

Colonel LEANDER R. HOAGLAND,

Assistant Adjutant- General.

Colonel FREDERICK GEIGER,
Chief of Engineers.

Aids-de-Camp :
Colonel WILLIAM A. BIRCHARD,
Colonel RICHARD NEVINS, Jr.,
Colonel GRIFFIN H. EIDSON,
Colonel EVAN F. WILLIAMS,
Colonel LOUIS SCHMIDT,
Colonel JAMES M. WILLIAMS,
Colonel RALPH K. PAIGE,
Colonel THOMAS R. ROBERTS,
Colonel M. L. HALL,
* Colonel JAMES M. CARSON.



Vice Carson Lake, resigned.



ANNUAL REPORT.



THE NATIONAL GUARD.

THE LAW AND CODE OF DISCIPLINE.

Since my last annual report the General Assembly has made some very
important changes in the code enacted for the government of the militia
of the State. However, such changes are all by way of amendments to
the act of May 7, 1877, and are embodied in the general statutes of the
State, to be in force from and after the first day of January, 1880, conse-
quently, they have no present application to the military service of the
State, further than to serve as a guide to assist the proper authorities in
so shaping the militia organization, that it may readily accommodate
itself to the provisions of the new code, without inconvenience or sur-
prise.

There are some provisions of the new code, which, if promptly and
strictly enforced, in my judgment, will work permanent disaster to the
service.

First. Section 3033 limits the number of organizations to eight bat-
teries of artillery, two troops of cavalry, and one hundred companies of
infantry. The first and second will not be affected, as these arms of the
service are sufficient, and already within the limit required by the sec-
tion. There are now in the service one hundred and twenty-five infantry
companies, including the four unattached. Under the provisions of this
section, the twenty-five companies whose term of service first expires
after the first day of January, 1880, are to be mustered out, in order that
the number of infantry companies may be brought within the limitation
fixed by law. The State must, therefore, necessarily lose the benefit of
the five years experience and instruction of twenty-five of the most effi-
cient companies now belonging to the Guard. They can not be re-enlisted
for another term of service, and accepted by the State, without disregard-
ing the statutory limitations, which most certainly will not be done.
These companies, dating their organization back none less than five
years, and some almost a quarter of a century, are to be suddenh' excluded
from the service of the State.

Second. Section 3039 provides that the dues of contributing members
shall in no case be less than ten dollars each, annually. The amount is



6 ANNUAL REPORT.

too large, and practically destroys the contribution system, at least so far
as it is intended to benefit the companies located outside of the large
cities.

Third. Section 3075 provides that "the Adjutant-General may, after
the appropriations are made for those purposes, purchase and keep ready
for use, or issue to the troops, as the best interests of the service may re-
quire, such an amount and kinds of camp and garrison equipage as may
be necessary." If tl/e necessary appropriations are made at once, and
the requisite amount of clothing, camp and garrison equipage purchased
and stored or distributed, or the money appropriated and held subject to
draft, there could be no objection to this section of the code ; but if some
such precautionary measures be not adopted, and an emergency arise for
the use of the troops upon the requisition of the civil authority, the law
must be violated or the General Assembly convened, and the slow pro-
cess of an appropriation bill occasion fatal dela} 7 , and the availability of
the troops for immediate active service destroyed. " After the appropria-
tions are made for that purpose^ makes the law vest a discretion in the offi-
cer without power to exercise it. I therefore respectfully suggest that
the code be amended as follows : In section 3033, by inserting in the
fifth line, after the word " hundred," the words " twenty-five." Section
3039, by striking out the word "ten," in the eighth line, after the word
"than," and inserting the word " five." Section 3075, by striking out
in the first line the words, "after the appropriations are made for these
purposes."

The Governor and Commander-in-Chief should be vested with power
to designate, by orders, the time and place for the annual encampments
of the troops, an authority which, under the present as well as the new
code, rests with the regimental, troop, battery, and, when unattached,
with the company commandants; and often several commands are en-
camping during the same periods and at different points in the State,
thus rendering it difficult, and in some cases impossible, for the inspec-
tion and muster required by law to be properly made. When so amended,
there can be no question ot the perfection of the militia code, or the suc-
cess of the service.

The code of discipline remains unchanged since my last report. It is
better understood and more strictly observed, and for the present needs
no revision. The supply being exhausted, it should be reprinted, and
made part of this report.

THE ROSTER OF THE MILITIA.

The service, at the beginning of the fiscal year 1879, was composed of
sixteen regiments of infantry, eight batteries of light artillery, three



ADJUTANT-GENERAL. -

troops of cavalry, and three infantry companies unattached. During
the year the following companies have been enlisted and accepted: The
Toledo Cadets, infantry unattached, and five other infantry companies,
assigned, one each, to the First, Fourth, Tenth, Fourteenth, and Seven-
teenth Regiments. The Twelfth Regiment, infantry, being in a demor-
alized condition, was disbanded as a regimental organization, and the
companies were reassigned as follows : One to the Eleventh Regiment,
two to the Seventeenth, and one to the Fourteenth, and the remaining
two companies were disbanded. The Second and Eighteenth Regiments
were consolidated into the Second Regiment, and the First troop of Cav-
alry was disbanded.

The following organizations constituted the militia of the State on the
15th day of November, 1879 : Fourteen regiments of infantry — five with
ten companies each, four with nine companies each, two with eight com-
panies each, one with seven companies, and two with six companies
each ; four unattached companies of infantry, seven four-gun batteries
and one two gun battery of light artillery, and two troops of cavalry,
with an aggregate force, rank and file, of eight thousand three hundred
and seventy-four men, against eight thousand six hundred and three last
year. Thus showing that, while the number of regimental organiza-
tions has been reduced from sixteen to fourteen, the number of infantry
companies from one hundred and forty-one to one hundred and twenty- five,
and troops of cavalry from three to two, there is but a slight reduction
in the grand aggregate. It cannot be truthfully said of Ohio's militia what
is so frequently asserted concerning that of many of the other States, that
it is all officer* and no men. This process of gradual reduction, by consoli-
dating the good and disbanding the worthless and inefficient organiza-
tions, must result in strengthening the service, while it lessons the
expense of maintaining it. Elsewhere in this report will be found a
complete roster of the officers — field, staff, and line — to which Ave have
added, this year, a full list of the noncommissioned officers and men
belonging to the Guard, for the information of those concerned.

THE CONDITION OV THE MILITIA.

Reporting- upon the condition of the militia for the year 1878, I was
compelled to treat some portions u'.' it as little better than a mob. This
was not a pleasure, but necessary, in order that the more worthy and
respectable portions of it might receive proper recognition, and the evils
complained of be duly corrected. There was not then, nor is there now,
the slightest intention to reflect upon the management of the previous
administration. With the State, and not with the militia or its officers,



8 ANNUAL REPORT.

rested the responsibility of its almost useless condition. The basis for
such conclusion is plain enough when we remember that the act of
May 7, 1877, called the organization into the service of the State ; and *
when so enlisted and mustered, they became legally bound' (and, in many
cases, subjected to severe penalties for disobedience) to provide each
member for himself a uniform made in conformity to the provisions of
law ; to provide their respective organizations with proper armories and
drill-rooms ; to drill a specified number of times a year as minor organi-
zations ; to go into annual encampment for a period of not less than four
nor more than six days, for instruction in the school of the battalion and
the duties of a soldier in garrison, camp, and field, and at all times hold
themselves in readiness to answer the call of all civil authority, from
the mayor of a village to the chief executive of the State; and when it
is remembered that such call was made in 1877 (and quite as unusual as
is here written), and the prompt, patriotic response and the effective
service done by the citizen soldiery upon that occasion, and the good
spirit with which they have performed all subsequent duties exacted
from them by the statute of the State, without receiving the compensa-
tion and reimbursement contracted by the same law to be paid them, for
more than a year after such obligations were incurred, should commend
the militia to all law-abiding citizens of Ohio. Under the terms of the
act of May 7, 1877, to the 15th day of January 1878, the State was in-
debted, on account of services performed, expenses contracted, and cloth-
ing purchased by the militia, in the sum of one hundred thousand dol-
lars, and no provision made for the payment of a single dollar. In
addition to all this, not a single item of camp or garrison equipage was
furnished by the State. All such expenses, together with that of trans-
portation to and from annual encampments and subsistence, were pro-
vided at individual expense. Thus, for the first year of the existence of
the Ohio National Guard, it had performed all duties required of it, and
furnished the means to support itself; the State had discharged little or
no part of the obligation incurred by it, under the terms of the same
act. And this is not all. The most disheartening feature was the fact
that when the several claims thus incurred were presented to the Gen-
eral Assembly for its consideration, and the promised reimbursement, for
expenses and pay for services asked, they were met with bitter opposi-
ion upon the part of a few members in each branch of the Assembly,
whose treatment of this subject would justly entitle an} r impartial mind
to believe that the sight of a soldier, at an)*- period of the existence of
the Union, was to them a loathsome object. These members were not
without aid and comfort. A trio of newspaper men, neither of whom



ADJUTANT-GENERAL. V

ever had a local habitation on the face of the globe, or contributed a cent
of taxes to the public exchequer, self-styled " the Press of Ohio," con-
verted themselves into watch-dogs of the treasury, and were ever active
in dictating upon what conditions tho National Guard of Ohio might
remain in existence, and just how far its officers might go in the dis-
charge of their duties.

Is it, therefore, strange that at the end of a year's service so unsatis-
factory as this, we were justified in saying that a portion of it was
little better than a mob ? But all this bitter opposition availed them
nothing beyond furnishing them an opportunity to play the demagogue
for personal political effect. In the end the better judgment of the
General Assembly prevailed, and the necessary appropriations to pay all
the existing obligations, with ample provisions for the future, were
made. And the members of the service, feeling that the State has now
done its part, they are under obligations to perform the duties required
of them by the terms of their enlistment, and have consequently become
attached to the service, attended faithfully to their duties, and yielded
willingly to the strictest discipline. Having all the clothing the law
at present provides, splendid camp and garrison equipage, it is not too
much to say, that, for active service, it is the equal of any militia organi-
zation in the United States.

EQUIPAGE.

Articles of camp and garrison equipage, necessary for the use of the
troops, and not provided by the State, have been furnished by individual
contribution. The report of 1878 exhibits a contract entered into by
the Adjutant-General, on the part of the State, with Frederick W. Evers-
man, by which contract the said Frederick W. Eversman agreed, for a
consideration therein named, to furnish to the State of Ohio, for the use
of the troops, thirteen hundred wall tents and flies complete, and all the
transaction had thereunder, to the delivery to said Eversman, by the Ad-
jutant-General, of his certificate to the Auditor of State for the amount due
him upon said contract, duly countersigned by the Governor, as provided
in section thirty-eight of the militia code. Upon the re-convening of
the General Assembly an application was made for an appropriation to
cancel this outstanding certificate ; whereupon parties who assumed to
be " the Press of Ohio," with headquarters at Columbus, came promptly
to the front with their objections, criticisms, and misrepresentations,
which, together with the members who were not friendly to the organiza-
tion, brought about the adoption of a resolution constituting the finance
committee of the House a committee to investigate the " tent contract,"
with power to send for persons and papers. This investigation, con-



10 ANNUAL EEPORT.

ducted in the main by the chaiman, and at times with other members
of the committee, covered a period of many weeks. All papers, bids,
contracts, and communications, either by letter or telegraph, belonging
to this department, were delivered to the committee for its inspection.
Testimony of witnesses — officers of the service and experts — was given,
and such part thereof as was considered suitable by the chairman of the
committee, was reduced to writing.

When Daniel Herman, the agent of the contractor, reported to a mem-
ber of the Senate and to the Adjutant-General, that he had been ap-
proached by a newspaper man with the proposition that if he, Herman,
would make it a money consideration, the " Press of Ohio " would change
tone, and advocate the passage of the bill to pay his claim, the Senator
and Adjutant-General both advised Mr. Herman that the State, in the
end, would deal fairly with him, and that it was not necessary to make
such an investment. The Adjutant-General immediately reported this
matter to the chairman of the committee, and asked that Mr. Herman
be sworn, and his statement made part of the record for the consideration
of the committee, but was told by the chairman that it was a matter of
no importance. Perhaps it was not. inasmuch as the scheme had failed,
but the objection to its exclusion was that it might cause the record to
have an ex parte appearance. However, the record of part of the testi-
mony, with the conclusions of the committee thereon, was reported to
the House. The report makes an effort to conderiln my action because
it was odious and illegal ; and then it recommends to the House of Rep-
resentatives that it will be wisdom on its part to .assume the odium and
sl'ni^der the responsibility. Then it makes the House contract with
Mr. Eversman for thirteen hundred tents, promising to pay him $30,914
for the same, when the committee knew that Mr. Eversman had no tents,
and when it had suggested in its report that it was useless for the State
to have any. The committee, anxious to ignore my authorit}- in the
matter, recommended the appropriation of the money by an illegal and
unconstitutional vote of the House, and permits the Auditor of State to
pay it out on the Adjutant-General's certificate, so approved by the
Governor, and Mr. Eversman receives the original consideration, and
makes no forced contribution to the " Press of Ohio. '

It was further urged by some members of the committee that I had no
authority to make the contract, because there was no appropriation for
the purchase of equipage. This argument was repeated many times
during the previous session, and I as often suggested that the appropria-
tion be made, or the law requiring the purchase and distribution be re-
pealed. The Assembly would do neither. I made the contract of pur-
chase because the law governing my department required it. J did i



ADJUTANT-GENERAL. 11

make the appropriation, because the law made that the duty of another
department.

CLOTHING.

The entire command is properly uniformed with the fatigue uniform
of the regulation pattern. All claims against the State upon account of
clothing, filed in this department to the loth day of November, have
been paid, leaving sufficient funds on hand to settle all outstanding
claims and all new purchases authorized and likely to be made to the
15th day of January, 1880. Great coats have become no less a material
item of the outfit for the comfort and necessity of the soldiers than they
were when I submitted the last annual report ; when, as now, an esti-
mate of their probable cost was included in the estimate to the Auditor
of State, and elsewhere published in this report for the information and
consideration of the General Assembly.

CLAIMS OF THE STATE AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

I have no new information to add upon this subject. The statement
made in the last annual report of this department was full and complete
as to the situation, and in furtherance of the suggestions made then, a
bill was prepared and presented to the General Assembly, the object of
which was to authorize the Governor to designate some competent person
as an agent to act for the State in this matter, under such restrictions and
for such compensation as the General Assembly might designate by way
of percentage on the amount actually collected and paid into the State
Treasury, which bill was defeated. It is true the validity of the claims
now remaining unpaid is disputed ; and satisfactory evidence, or such as
will warrant the General Government in allowing them, can not be pro-
cured in a great many cases, and when obtained at all, must be at an
expense equal to a large per cent, of the same. No effort has been made by
this department (through which all previous collections of this character
were made) since January, 1876. Much of the required proof rested with
living witnesses only, eighteen years ago. Some can only be made from
unrecorded receipts and certificates, executed sixteen and eighteen years
since. Other proof can not be made, except from records long since worn
out and cast aside as of no .further value. Yet the Legislature of Ohio
spent valuable time in debating the propriety of paying the expenses of
the officer to and from Washington City, who made the collection of the
last installment paid the State. This was in 1876, since which time no
effort to further adjust the balance has been made, nor will there be under
the encouraging circumstances just recited as precedents. Each moment's
delay in this matter is expensive to the State, and iias doubtless already
cost her more than one hundred thousand dollars.



12 ANNUAL REPORT.

This settlement also includes the accounts of this department with the
ordnance department of the United States, and the only source from
which we can draw ordnance supplies is stopped, and will remain so
until some measures to cancel accounts are adopted; and the military
service of the State suffers for the want of a few thousand dollars worth
of ordnance, when all who have any knowledge of the condition of these
affairs know the United States owes to the State many thousand dollars
more on this account than would amply supply its wants.

UNITED STATES MILITARY SOCIETY.

In response to an informal call, issued at the suggestion of a number
of officers of the militia of the Eastern and New England States, a con-
vention of the officers of the militia service of the United States assem-
bled in the armory of the Seventh New York Infantry on the 16th day
of January, 1879. Although the weather was intensely cold and stormy,
traveling tedious, uncomfortable, and dangerous, the attendance was
large beyond expectation. Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, California, Iowa,
Michigan, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsyl-
vania, New Jersey, New York, and Kansas, with large delegations from
the New England States were represented. After three days protracted
discussion upon resolutions of general interest to militia organizations
of the United States, it was unanimously agreed to submit to Congress
for its consideration and action the following :

AN ACT
To reorganize and discipline the militia of the United States.

Section 1. Every able-bodied male citizen resident within the respective states and
territories, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, except such as may be excepted
by the law, shall constitute the militia.

Sec. 2. The militia shall be divided into two classes— the active, to be known as the
national or state guard, as the legislature of each state may prescribe, and the inactive,
to be known as the reserve militia.

Sec. 3. The national or state guard shall consist of such regularly uniformed and en-
listed troops in the several states and territories as are or may be organized therein in
pursuance of such laws as have been or may be passed by legislatures thereof, and shall
be liable to be first called out for service. The reserve militia may be enrolled in such
a manner as the legislatures of the several states and territories may direct. They shall
be liable to no active duty, excepting when called into service in time of war, riot, or
insurrection.

Sec 4. In time of peace the number of the state or national guard of each state upon
which such state shall be entitled to receive aid under this act, shall not exceed seven
hundred regularly uniformed commissioned officers and enlisted men for each congres-
sional representative.

Sec. 5. The organization of the national or state guard of the several states and ter-
ritories shall be prescribed by the legislatures thereof. Such organization shall conform



ADJUTANT-GENERAL. 13

as closely to the method prescrihed for the regular army as the circumstances of the
various states and territories will permit. In time of peace the numbers, rank, and
duties of the staff officers, and the organization of bureaus of administration in the
act ve militia of the several states and territories, shall be such as the legislatures thereof
may from time to time direct. When called into the service of the United States, the
militia, if called out by regiments, may be organized by the president into brigades and
divisions, as the public interests may, in his opinion, require, and he may assign and
designate the commanders of such brigades and divisions, and the numbers, rank, and
duties of the staff officers shall be the same as prescribed for the regular army.

Sec. 6. Officers of militia of the same grade shall take precedence according to the
date of their commissions. In case two of the same grade have commissions of equal



Online LibraryOhio. Adjutant General's DeptReport (Volume 1879) → online text (page 1 of 38)