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Washington, D. C., September 29, 1900.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following annual report of operations of the Inspector-General's Department, in addition to the matters relating to fiscal affairs and other branches of the public service, which have been submitted to the Secretary of War.
The important duties of the Inspection Department may be better appreciated if both branches of work were considered together. It is no insignificant task, and requires the persistent and faithful efforts of every officer in the department to make a thorough inspection of the entire military establishment in all its ramifications; and it is sincerely hoped that the results of the past year have been satisfactory, as the work has been performed enthusiastically and with an intense desire of aiding in the maintenance of the proverbial efficiency of the Army, and doing all the duty that is required by law, regulations, and orders. The work during the past year included inspections of disbursements involving over $300,000,000, of property amounting to over $10,000,000, with over $1,000,000 saved for further service, and of over 130,000 men; and in addition to the usual inspections of military posts, supply depots, arsenals, armories, recruiting stations, hospitals, national cemeteries, and soldiers' homes, mention may be permitted of the organization of a systematic inspection service of transports, the inspection of West Point from this office, the resumption of inspections of military schools having an army detail and United States arms and equipments, and the inspection of complicated insular accounts.
The difference in the amount of work assigned to the several inspectors in the United States seems much greater under the department than under the district system of inspections, which was in very successful operation previous to the Spanish war. At New York, for nstance, the inspections averaged over two per diem, including Sundays and holidays; and yet many millions of disbursements and a number of arsenals, depots, recruiting stations, etc., within the limits of the Department of the East were regularly inspected from this office. This is about four times as much as the average for each inspector. But the work everywhere was most cheerfully done in a iquiet but effective manner; and the results accomplished indicate continued efficiency and generally economical administration, the average being about seventeen daily inspections throughout the entire military
At date of the last report the permanent force of the InspectorGeneral's Department consisted of 10 officers, including its chief. Now there are but 9, the death of Col. H. W. Lawton, major-general, U. S. Volunteers, who was killed on December 19, 1899, at San Mateo, having left a vacancy which has not yet been filled. The death of this gallant soldier is deeply mourned by the nation and the Army; and by none more than his comrades in the Inspection Corps. And it will be difficult to find another officer of such sterling force and impressive qualities for the place and duties he filled so well.
No change has occurred in the number of volunteer inspectors-general, of which there are 9. But the number of acting inspectors-general and of officers assigned to duty in this department has increased from 7 at date of last report to 20 at this date; giving a total force of 38 commissioned officers serving at present in this department.
It is very gratifying that at present a much larger proportion of the officers on duty in this corps has been assigned according to the recommendation of this Bureau than two years ago; and the benefit to the service seems evident. For instance, in Cuba the inspection work was habitually arduous, exacting, and well performed at most points, both in its civil and military branches, and the work since Colonel Burton arrived there can hardly be designated as perfunctory. Incidentally the discovery of the defalcation there may reflect credit upon the Army and its system which has produced such remarkable regularity and exemption from wrongdoing and fearless revelations. And the work in the Philippines was no less arduous or well performed regardless of exposure to death or disease.
The best officers of this corps are usually selected for their soldierly and individual qualities; they do not aspire to know everything better than anyone else can know it; nor know any branch of the service better than their commanding general, who served in it and to whom it is their first desire to be useful; nor know the mysteries of accounting or any other specialty better than the technical experts. But they know enough, and have not hesitated to do their duty; and are ready, like all other soldiers, to do their best, whatever duties are assigned them. With an untrammeled, well-selected, and well-sustained inspection service, centrally supervised, the Army has remained constantly not only irreproachable, but above the possibility of suspicion. And their work habitually wins commendation among our best officers, of both the staff and line; though there may be some who criticise, oppose, or obstruct inspections, as there may be some who even speak evil of the law. But the cause for scandals in the public service has been minimized and the efficiency of the military service justly demonstrated by the admirable qualities and high character of the men inspected rather than by any type of inspections. The work, whether civil or military, assigned the Army has been habitually well done by faithful and intelligent public servants.
With such men as Hughes and Lawton commissioned, and Otis and Chaffee assigned to duty in a corps so small-or, if a single arm like the artillery is considered, with such men as Sanger or Duvall on inspection duty definite and beneficial results can confidently be anticipated, and have been habitually attained, carping criticisms and baleful or occult influences to the contrary notwithstanding. The very nature of the duties prevents publicity frequently, or the great benefit some
officers have accomplished in their several spheres of influence, some with every assistance given them and some in the face of the lack of it, might in justice to them be specified. But attention may justly be invited to the faithfulness of the dead during the year, as no one can desire that their work shall be ignored; and perhaps no corps has lost worthier or a larger percentage of officers. They embrace, though so few, the regular, the volunteer, and the detailed officer; and their obituary circulars from this Bureau are inclosed, though recognizing how much more is their due.
The names, rank, changes, appointments, stations, etc., of these officers are shown in Appendix C, to which attention is invited for detailed information, and a summary of the duties performed by them is given in tabular form in Appendix B.
These two statements deserve careful consideration as they show several general features to which special attention is invited, viz:
1. That there is but one regular inspector-general on duty in the Philippines, and he the junior of the Inspection Corps; and that none of the other inspectors there hold a higher rank than that of major, though these islands are occupied by half of the entire Army.
2. That there are too numerous changes among the officers detailed to this department incident to the exigencies of the service.
3. That the work of the inspection department has largely increased, indicating the necessity of an increase of the permanent force, and suggesting simply a permanent and proportional
INCREASE OF THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT.
From the experience gained in the past two years, with our Army largely increased and extending its operations into another continent, the needs of both line and staff may now be definitely-determined. The standing army has not proven adequate in numbers, though so highly commended for its qualities; and line officers have been heavily drawn upon to meet the more exacting demands of the staff, and both suffer in consequence. This is especially so in the Inspector-General's Department, whose work can seldom be measured in dollars and cents, though it has a direct bearing upon the economic administration of the entire military establishment and upon that discipline and efficiency which determine the standard of military excellence; and this principle is recognized in every modern army. The mental state is to the physical as three to one in war. The Inspector-General's Department should therefore be always maintained on the most efficient basis, for its efficiency is multiplied by the numbers it inspects; and it is evident, from the experience of the past, that legislation on the following lines will accomplish all that is most desirable:
1. Legal establishment of inspections.
2. Adequate number of permanent inspectors for peace footing.
4. Judicial independence and subordination to higher authority.
5. Elasticity to meet the varying demands of war.
6. Adequate clerical assistance.
7. Insuring complete and thorough inspections of all fairly alike.
The necessity of defining the duties of the InspectorLegal establishment General's Department by law is obvious. It is but just to the department, and will assure that moral and legal support which is essential in making effective inspections. Law is the due expression of the nation's will and is the best authority in
WAR 1900--VOL 1, PT III—8