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panies and find post commanders (who have also the civil duties of supervising districts), quartermasters, commissaries, and disbursing officers of island funds from among the few officers available.
“All the posts in the department have been inspected once regularly, and most of them several times besides incidentally, when I have been in their vicinity on civil business.
"The inspections were at first in their nature 'field inspections,' but latterly, as conditions became more regular, the inspections have been as far as practicable such as would be made at regular garrisons in the United States.
"In general these inspections have shown that the troops are in an efficient condition as to instruction, are comfortably quartered, and in good health, though there is always a proportion of malarial fever.
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"In spite of all that can be done the soldier on foreign service must necessarily suffer a disadvantage compared with the men at home; it would therefore seem that he should be afforded the few advantages which may be available at his particular station, although the War Department may be unwilling that the particular convenience be extended as a matter of right to the whole Army. For instance, at many of these Cuban stations electric lighting is available, and is particularly desirable on account of the lack of heat and because with everything wide open as is necessary in a tropical climate lamps can not be made to burn properly.
"So great is the advantage of the electric light that I have seen them installed in some of the squadrons at the expense of the men themselves.
"The following notes have in many cases been included in previous reports, but are here briefly resuméd: "A great many of the slings have been worn out, not in fair use The sling for the in slinging, but in handling the pieces. A saving would be effected if this strap were considered as part of the field equipment and only put on the rifle when the canteen and haversack were carried. Americans do not seem to fancy carrying their arms slung over the shoulder as is the continental custom, and the sling is therefore useless at the ordinary drills.
The bayonet scab
"The spring is weak and allows the bayonet to fall out. The scabbard swings too freely on the pivot of the attachment; it rattles against the tin cup hanging to the strap of the haversack and gets in the way. It would be steadier and at the same time free enough if secured by a leather frog of proper kind.
"The revolver is unsatisfactory and was the subject of a special report.
"The development of the use of enamel in the finishing of bicycles should by this time have produced a satisfactory method of protecung saber scabbards from rusting, and also making them less conspicuous.
"Is not provided with proper lacing of the sweat band and therefore rests like a hat on a sharp edge around the head instead of being properly supported. When the chin strap is worn its effect without the lacing is to pull the helmet over the head.
"The helmet is not well made; it will not stand up under rain and hard service. I have worn out two of the quartermaster's helmets in a few months' use here, while an English trooper's helmet, made by Christy, that I bought in 1886 and have used a great deal since then, is presentable and serviceable. The color should be khaki; this color can be given by the use of 'khaki Blanco,' with which I have experimented and upon which I made a special report.
"Letter and number is unsatisfactory, the characters fall off The device of the and can not be conveniently removed for polishing. The old cross rifles, etc., as used on the forage cap, were perfectly satisfactory, and their use on the helmet and on the campaign hat should be authorized. Before the issue of the letter and numbers prescribed, the cap ornaments were used on the campaign hats, being placed on the left side instead of in front, as being less likely to be broken there and having more room.
"At the request of the Quartermaster-General, I am at present The khaki coat. altering a sample uniform which he kindly sent me to illustrate suggestions I made in a special report on khaki.
"The changes suggested will be:
"Larger breast pockets, set in front and high up instead of under the armpits. "Shoulder straps of a special pattern that will admit of their being made stiff and their being removed by unlinking one button when the clothing is washed. "More room in the chest, so that the soldier can hold himself up.
"Darts in front of the waist to take up the necessary cloth under the belt at that point.
"N. B.-This coat is never worn over the belt. Lower pockets well to the front and low down, so that the contents will be under the belt and in front of the hollows
of the groin. These pockets to be pleated like those on the chests, but not quite so large. As made now they are on the side, and so tightly drawn over the hips that nothing can be carried in them.
"Tight at the knee but very loose above, fitting, however, Riding breeches for snugly about the hips. Buttoned at the knee with four buttons the cavalryman. and below the calf with two more. Pockets, including the watch pocket, well down in front where they can be reached when mounted without pulling up the belt, and where the contents will hang inside the upper side.
As a field substitute
on the insignia and
The gold medal camp cot.
"I would suggest the adoption of a whistle with a single cord, color of the arm of the service, for corporals, and a double cord for sergeants. This would do away with the necessity for sewing would, it seems to me, be very satisfactory.
"There have been a great many of these cots submitted for condemnation. Their durability would be improved by using a stronger canvas, perhaps of linen, to save weight and bulk, and by changing the angles of the cross legs so as to make the cot 6 inches higher. This would reduce the width of the bed, but still leave it wide enough for the purpose. The advantage obtained is that the men on sitting down on the cots reach the support before they get below the point where the knees support the weight. It is believed that most of the cots are broken by the drop of the body in the last 6 inches while sitting down on the cot. If proper rivets and canvas were liberally supplied, cots could be easily repaired by the company carpenters. The rivets are made useless for repair by the cutting off of the ends in taking out the broken sticks. "The system of raising the height of the cot is one that was tried successfully several years ago by Captain Ward, First Cavalry. I do not know whether he made any report upon the matter.
"It is very evident that the wall tent is only adapted to permanent camps and to railroad transportation. For field service the conical wall tent with its single pole is the only practicable device. For service where fires in the tents are not an absolute necessity there should be a light jointed pole to replace the cumbersome pole and tripod we have used at home. The canvas should be lighter and perhaps the tent could with advantage be made a little smaller on account of the saving of the stove room. A tent of this kind was in use by the Canadian mounted police a few years ago and seems to be much handier than our own.
"Theoretically nothing should be condemned by an inspector that can be advantageously repaired at the post. Practically the repair of articles at a post is hampered by many restrictions as to methods of obtaining money, estimating for material, etc. The quartermaster and his office force have not had the time to comply with the requirements, except in the case of large important pieces of work, and the result is that many things are submitted for condemnation that would most certainly have been repaired by the superintendent of a private enterprise, unhampered by restrictions as to the use of money he might have on hand. "In the tropics where comfort depends upon exposure to preDouble sets of quar- vailing winds, our system of building officers' quarters double results in making one side uncomfortable for lack of air.
"The small saving effected by building the quarters double could be made by economizing on the finish. The rough cottage, if single, would be considered more desirable than the wrong side of a well-finished double house. The cold or sunless side of a house in the North also has its disadvantages, but they can be somewhat counteracted by a lavish use of fuel, while there is no way of meeting lack of breeze.
Pay of saddlers and blacksmiths.
"The small pay of cavalry saddlers and blacksmiths is poor economy; the proper kind of men can not be secured and kept at work. The saving on horses and saddlery would be vastly greater than the cost of giving these men the same pay as a company cook.
"It has not been the custom in our service to provide for the cavalry saddle rooms of sufficient size to enable the horse equipments to be arranged in order for convenient inspection, and to be kept in clean condition. We have been satisfied if 60 per cent of the troopers could gather together enough clean equipments to make a satisfactory showing once a week at the Saturday inspection. In our dry western climate, where the cavalry was doing rough service, the system did not involve serious injury to the equipments that were for weeks left bundled up with damp saddle blankets on the crowded pegs in the saddle rooms.
"In the Tropics, however, rust and mold soon work serious deterioration, and the principle that equipments should at all times be clean should receive official indorse
ment. This will mean for the cavalry that the leather and steel should receive attention immediately after use, as is the practice in well-managed private stables, and that the equipment be arranged so that its condition is instantly visible at all times.
"The present regulations as to the horses of mountedofficers are absolutely impracticable. Either the officers should be furnished with a public mount, or he should be allowed the money necessary to mount himself properly; he should be afforded every facility for buying a mount from the Government in the localities where horses are not readily obtainable outside, and once having bought his horses they should be transported for him wherever he may be ordered. He should be relieved from the necessity under which he now labors of having to sell his mounts at a loss every time he is ordered to move without troops.
"The extra pay of a mounted officer does not cover the cost of the average of $10 per month that he pays to the man that takes care of his horses.
"A civilian visiting an army post once remarked, 'that it seemed strange to see the officers riding unsound or vicious condemned horses while the privates were furnished with sound animals.'
"An officer's allowance should be based on a calculation of the expense to which he will be put from year to year to keep himself mounted in the manner expected of him.
"Our present system is based on the false assumption that a cavalry officer is a man of means, independent of his pay. If it were rigidly carried out it would result in driving all others out of that branch, as has been the case in the British army.
"The exchange is an excellent institution, but its profits should The exchange. not be diverted to making up the deficiencies in the food of the soldier, which should be the care of the commissary department. The soldier's food should not depend upon the accidents of surroundings that affect the profits of the exchange or may prevent its establishment. It is advisable that a small money allowance be added to the ration, say three cents, and the messes be thus independent of any money-making devices.
Chief of squad.
"My inspections reveal the fact that company commanders generally fail to avail themselves of the services of chiefs of squad to assist them in the details of the control of the men.
"The spirit of the regulations, paragraphs 270 and 271, and of the drill regulations, paragraph 559 (cavalry) not only allow but require the active intervention of the chiefs of squad and squad leaders.
"The men in most cases when questioned can not tell whose squad they belong to, and the noncommissioned officers can generally not conceal their surprise when questioned about the men of their squads or called to account for having allowed some neglect on their part. The company commanders often seem to think that a deficiency on the part of a few men in their company is excusable as they have to look after a hundred individuals. They communicate directly with the hundred individuals instead of with the eight chiefs of squads; and these chiefs have nothing more to do with the particular requirement than to comply with it individually like the privates.
"As the tropical climate prevents in a great measure the drills and field exercises practicable in home stations it is thought that more attention might be given to schools and to instruction that
can be given indoors or in the shade. "The primary object of these schools and indoor instruction should be the perfecting of the men and noncommissioned officers as soldiers, not the remedying of defects of early education. It could include the care of arms, clothing, equipments, and horses, the pitching of tents and making camps, measuring and judging distances, trajectory, intrenchments, field engineering, scouting, camp hygiene, first aid, signaling, etc.
"A soldier who has thoroughly learned his trade might be employed to instruct others, or, if not needed for this purpose, might be afforded opportunities of improvement in matters outside of his profession; preference being given to such matters as may add to his usefulness as a soldier. The duration of this instruction should be fixed with reference to the amount of other work required of the men attending, in order that the number of hours of leisure per day should be what is considered proper according to season and to circumstances.
"Experience here shows the necessity for officers in excess of Need for extra offi- the prescribed regimental quota when regiments are on foreign service, in order to allow for the number detached on duty in the United States, and for those required for detached duty at the foreign stations. This need would not be so severely felt if regiments were kept intact so as to have the -11
WAR 1900-VOL 1, PT III
regimental staff meet the necessities of the whole regiment, as contemplated by the scheme of our organization; but when eight companies of a regiment are scattered at five posts (as has been the case with the Second Infantry, in this department) the lack of officers is most severely felt. Maj. G. K. McGunnegle, acting inspector-general, Department of Santiago and Puerto Principe, states: "The officers I have found to be capable and efficient. A number recently appointed from civil life need considerable instruction and training, but all of this class hold out promise of future worth
under proper guidance.
"Up to the time of my inspections the great scarcity of officers in the majority of the commands had militated against the troops being perfected in drill and other instruction. In a number of cases officers alone with their organizations were disbursing officers of insular funds, and in charge of civil improvements, and, with the important and exacting functions of these officers devolving upon them, their military duties must of necessity be more or less neglected and perforce suffer; consequently the instruction in many cases was not as full and complete as it might have been, and the organizations in some instances fell short of the standard. Yet on the whole the troops do not evince in their drill and instruction the lack of proficiency that might be expected under the conditions; and in many instances the proficiency displayed was very good. Ancther fact which would materially contribute its share toward a lack of soldierly excellence was the large percentage of recruits and comparative recruits of which the various organizations were composed.
"Instruction in minor tactics and military problems has not been given, nor have officers' lyceums and schools for enlisted men been held throughout the department. These omissions are mainly due to lack of facilities, separation from libraries, and scarcity of officers. In my opinion it would be well for orders to be issued defining the seasons in Cuba during which these exercises and schools should be included in the curriculum of instruction.
"The class of men received since the war is not, as a rule, equal to that recruited prior to this event; still they may be considered fair, and the last consignment of recruits shows a
"The mounts of the cavalry are good, but those of the infantry were, as a rule, a poor lot of horses when received. They are now in a vastly improved condition and may be said to be now satisfactory. Blindness among the horses prevails to a great extent. Its origin and cause no one seems to be able to define. Several plausible theories have been advanced, but to my mind no one is to be accepted as the true one. It is an accepted fact that the number of horses affected by blindness decreases when the animals are placed under shelter. This might be considered as proving that blindness is caused and aggravated by constant exposure to the sun's rays, yet I do not believe that it is entirely due to this agency. Mules seem to be practically exempt from this disease.
"The troops are well supplied with clothing and rations and all necessaries for their comfort and welfare.
"There is a remarkably rapid deterioration of subsistence stores noticeable everywhere in the department, which no doubt is attributable to dampness and other climatic influences. Bacon quickly molds and starch foods are quickly attacked by weevils, while most other articles of food supply are sooner or later attacked by a parasite or fungus of some kind or other. The first consignment of plug tobacco deteriorated and became unfit for use very quickly through mold, but since the system of wrapping the tobacco in paraffin paper was adopted the deterioration is no longer observable."
Maj. G. S. Grimes, acting inspector-general, Department of Havana, states:
"The general health of the troops during the year has been remarkably good, showing that our men, if reasonably well sheltered and their sanitary surroundings carefully looked after, have
little to fear in this regard from service in Cuba.
"The troops are fairly well housed in temporary frame buildings, and all the posts are supplied with abundant and excellent water, being connected with the Havana
"Bathing facilities, usually the shower bath, are fairly adequate.
"To these essentials and the enforcement of wise regulations prescribed in Department General Orders, requiring the men to sleep in barracks at night and prohibiting drills, etc., in the open during the warmer hours of the day, and the excellent police and sanitary measures prevailing at all the posts, are to be ascribed the general satisfactory condition as regards the health of the troops in the department.
"The ration as now constituted seems to meet all reasonable requirements as regards sufficiency and variety of this locality. The addition during the year of two ounces of dried fruit to the ration and the removal of the restriction in regard to the issue of fish, so as to authorize the issue of the fish ration in lieu of the ordinary beef ration when desired, have been beneficial.
"The clothing supplied has been generally satisfactory. The improvement in the quality of the khaki, both as regards texture and color, is especially noticeable.
In my opinion khaki is the most suitable and satisfactory material for uniform for service in Cuba.
"The present helmet, for foot troops at least, gives, I think, general satisfaction. The color, however, should be changed from white to khaki for wear with the service uniform.
"To insure a uniform and good appearance I would suggest that the cap be provided, when issued, with an eyelet properly placed for attaching the cap ornament.” Lieut. Col. R. B. Harrison, inspector-general, Department of Porto Rico, states:
"I can not close this report without reference to the uniform good order that has prevailed throughout the department during the past year. Every American citizen can point with pride to this record, which had not only given the American soldier the highest reputation among those who know the American soldier best, but has caused astonishment and surprise among the native Porto Ricans, who have been used to the Spanish soldier all their lives. While the officers can take some credit for this result, the enlisted man himself is entitled to the greatest credit.”
Lieut. Col. R. B. Harrison, inspector-general, U. S. Volunteers, Post exchanges. makes the following report on post exchanges in the Department of Porto Rico:
The post exchanges of this department have been the means of elevating the enlisted men by keeping them away from low and cheap resorts and the worst elements of Porto Rican society. In the operation it has been the constant aim of the officers having them in charge to provide clean and cool places, so needed by the enlisted men in the Tropics, where the light, cooling, and nonalcoholic drinks, with light lunch, could be economically obtained with the minimum of physical exertion. I have noted that the exchange as operated in the department has reduced instead of increasing drunkenness, and by the profit of operation, which is divided among the enlisted men, has greatly increased and improved the messing of the soldiersthereby his happiness and health-by providing him necessities and luxuries not otherwise obtainable. I have noted from inspections that the companies, troops, and batteries of the department have averaged over $100 per month in extra food purchases, and these purchases have chiefly been made possible by the post exchange.
"No soldiers the world over have been better fed than these stationed in Porto Rico, and thus the post exchange additionally contributes to the comfort and health of the enlisted men. With United States laws, Spanish laws, and military orders governing the island it is not surprising that some of the officers lost sight of the decision of the Court of Claims that the post exchange was an instrumentality of the United States and could not be taxed under local taxation. The United States Court of Claims, in Dugan . The United States, held:
"The Government, through its officers, by authority of the regulations, not only establishes and maintains such exchanges, but receives, handles, and disburses the funds in connection therewith, and whatever profit accrues is paid over to and held by the officer in command of such organizations as a company fund.
"It has never been the policy of the Government to tax its own enterprises or its own manner or method of doing business; and inasmuch as post exchanges are established and maintained by it for the mental and physical betterment of its troops in garrisons and posts with resulting, if not immediate, benefit to itself, we think such exchanges are exempt from the payment of special tax for the sale of such articles as the regulations permit.'
"The department commander, by Circular 46, dated December 26, 1899, recognized the decision of the United States Court of Claims by giving publication to an opinion of the Judge-Advocate-General of the Army.”