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Siege Battery O, Seventh Artillery, is under orders for service in the Orient, while orders have also been received for the recall of headquarters and two battalions of the First Infantry from Cuba to Fort Leavenworth, Kans. At that station headquarters, band, and two battalions will then be prepared for foreign service.
During the year the following troops have been prepared for service in the Tropics and forwarded from this department: Troop K, Third Cavalry; headquarters and Troops A, B, D, I, K, L, and M, Sixth Cavalry; Troops A, C, K, First Cavalry, and six regiments of United States Volunteer Infantry, namely, Thirty-second and Forty-fourth, at Fort Leavenworth, Kans.; Thirty-eighth and Forty-ninth, at Jefferson Barracks, Mo.; Thirty-ninth, at Fort Crook, Nebr.; Fortieth, at Fort Riley, Kans.
In the preparation of all these troops the greatest care was taken that they be carefully selected and thoroughly outfitted in every particular, and as well drilled before departure as time and circumstances would permit. Special attention was given to target practice, and it is believed that all of these troops left the department thoroughly equipped and in every way well prepared for the arduous duty they are now performing.
Schemes for lyceum instruction at the various posts were prepared and submitted by post commanders and approved at these headquarters. For work done reference is made to Appendix A (No. 4), from which it will appear that the usual marked interest has been taken in this branch of instruction.
Progressive schemes of instruction were prepared in accordance with orders and regulations covering the period from April 1 to November 30. Owing to the constant changes of troops it has been impossible satisfactorily to complete the schemes of instruction so outlined, but all commanding officers, so far as can be seen from their reports and gathered from the reports of the acting inspector-general of the department, have zealously endeavored to carry out their orders in this respect, covering garrison drills, field exercises, problems in minor tactics, calisthenic and gymnastic exercises, signal instruction, first aid, etc. For more complete illustration of what has been done in this direction reference is made to Appendix A (No. 7).
Extensive repairs and construction are now in progress under the able supervision of the chief quartermaster of the department, Lieut. Col. Forrest H. Hathaway, at Forts Leavenworth and Robinson and Jefferson Barracks. At the latter post I regret exceedingly that the Quartermaster-General did not find it practicable or advisable to remodel the post mess hall to serve as administration building, and by adding kitchens and mess rooms to the barracks make it possible to abolish the post mess at that important post as recommended by these headquarters. I suppose it is now conceded everywhere that the post mess is a distinct injury to the service and should be abolished as rapidly as possible.
The old Government building in this city has also been remodeled and converted into a most commodious and comfortable department headquarters, thus saving the large expenditure heretofore made for
I am glad to note that all Indian tribes residing within this department or contiguous to it have continued to be quiet and peaceable during the past year as during the previous year, so that no calls have been made for troops in connection therewith. From all reports received, it is also noted that progress is being made by all of the tribes in the direction of civilization. It is especially gratifying to report the quiet behavior and progress in agriculture and stock raising by the Apache prisoners of war, now located at Fort Sill, Okla. Of all the tribes encountered, the Apaches have been regarded as the least promising; in fact, twenty years ago no one would have ventured to predict the advancement these Indians have now actually made. For more complete particulars reference is made to the report of the officer in charge of Apache prisoners of war, Appendix L. These Indian prisoners, by their good behavior, have earned the good will and deserve liberal treatment and assistance at the hands of the Government.
ZEAL AND GOOD CONDUCT OF OFFICERS.
In all of the arduous work incident to mobilization, instruction, and forwarding of troops for foreign service, involving innumerable transfers of men and material, the organization of new regiments, and the practical reorganization of old ones, uniform zeal and energy of officers have been most noteworthy. Not a single case of neglect or misconduct of an officer has called for disciplinary measures, while my especial thanks are due to all of the members of my personal and department staff, and their assistants, for promptness and efficiency in the discharge of all their duties.
HENRY C. MERRIAM, Brigadier-General, U. S. A.
REPORT OF COL. CHAMBERS M'KIBBIN, TWELFTH INFANTRY, COMMANDING DEPARTMENT OF TEXAS.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF TEXAS,
The ADJUTANT-GENERAL UNITED STATES ARMY,
Washington, D. C.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the conditions and affairs in this department since June 30, 1899, the date of my last report:
The troops remaining on duty in the department are distributed as follows: Troop E, Tenth Cavalry, Fort Brown; Troop F, Tenth Cavalry, Fort McIntosh; Troop G, Tenth Cavalry, Fort Ringgold; Troop H, Tenth Cavalry, Fort Clark and Camp Eagle Pass; Battery O, First Artillery, Fort San Jacinto, Fort Crockett, and Fort Travis; Light
Battery K, First Artillery, Fort Sam Houston; Company A, Twentyfifth Infantry, Fort Bliss; Company C, Twenty-fifth Infantry, and Company D, Twenty-fifth Infantry, Fort Sam Houston.
I have visited all the posts in the department, except Forts Brown and Ringgold. These will be visited later.
Fort Bliss, which I inspected last December, is in excellent condition. The buildings are all new and in good repair.
The garrisons and posts of Fort Clark and Camp Eagle Pass were inspected between February 3 and 5, 1900, and found to be in good condition, except Camp Eagle Pass. Camp Eagle Pass (old Fort Duncan) is garrisoned by a detachment from Fort Clark. The buildings are very old and nearly beyond repair. While habitable for a small detachment, when conditions will permit of a full garrison the question of a thorough rebuilding of the old post or the building of an entirely new post in a more suitable location will have to be considered. The present site (old Fort Duncan) is ill suited for a military post under modern conditions. The entire reservation is dominated by higher ground on the Mexican side. The Rio Grande has, year by year, cut into the reservation. At this point, where a large amount of American capital is invested, there should be an adequate garrison, and it is but a question of time when this point must of necessity be garrisoned. The citizens of Eagle Pass have offered to donate 640 acres of land situated on the high ground just east of the railroad bridge. This, in my opinion, is the proper site for the post, as it would command the bridges and fords and be safe from encroachments of the river. There is no cemetery at the post; 73 bodies of soldiers, civilians, and children were moved in April last from the plot formerly used as such to the national cemetery at San Antonio. This ground was outside the reservation and did not belong to the United States.
On December 8, 1899, I visited Galveston, Tex., and inspected Forts San Jacinto, Travis, and Crockett. These posts are about 4 miles apart, and the labor falling on one battery in garrisoning them, or rather furnishing care-taker detachments for them, is excessive. Nearly all the time of the battery has to be employed in the necessary cleaning and oiling for the preservation of the guns, leaving but scant time for the other instruction of the men. As soon as conditions will permit, at least one additional battery should be sent to Galveston. The defenses when completed will consist of
At Fort San Jacinto.-Battery of two 10-inch B. L. rifles; battery of two 3-inch 15-pounder rapid-fire guns; battery of two 4.7-inch rapid-fire guns; battery of two 6-inch rapid-fire guns; battery of eight 12-inch mortars; battery of two 10-inch B. L. rifles at Pelican Spit.
NOTE.-Pelican Spit is separated from Fort San Jacinto by a narrow channel, and is just inside the harbor entrance.
At Fort Crockett.-Battery of two 10-inch B. L. rifles; battery of two 3-inch 15-pounder rapid-fire guns; battery of eight 12-inch mortars. At Fort Travis.-Battery of two 8-inch B. L. rifles; battery of three 3-inch 15-pounder rapid-fire guns; battery of four 6-inch rapid-fire
These are all in excellent condition.
At the time of my visit the battery was in comfortable temporary buildings near Fort Crockett. Since then, 60 acres adjoining the reservation have been purchased, giving sufficient room for the erection of barracks and quarters for a two-battery post. Permanent
buildings for one battery are now being erected there, and will be occupied before another winter.
There are now at Fort San Jacinto permanent quarters, consisting of barracks, officers' quarters, storehouses, etc., for a garrison of 65 men. These are not habitable, however, by reason of the fact that they are on piles raised to a height of about 10 feet above mean low tide, with water at high tide flowing under the buildings. Through an arrangement between the Engineer and Quartermaster's departments, a steam dredge, the property of the Engineer Department, has been at work (when not required for its regular work in the harbor), since November, 1899, pumping sand on to the post site. There is such a large amount of filling required at this post, and also at Forts Crockett and Travis, that I think it would be more economical for the Quartermaster's Department to purchase, or construct a suitable dredge of its own. Only about one-sixth of the fill has been made, under the present arrangement in seven months.
Fort McIntosh is in very good condition. At the time of my visit the water system was sadly in need of overhauling. This has since
At department headquarters a long felt want has been supplied by the construction of a modern sewer system. The construction of a system for Fort Sam Houston adjoining is to be commenced soon. The buildings and grounds here are in good condition.
The Thirty-third Infantry, U. S. Volunteers, was organized at Fort Sam Houston, Tex., in July and August, 1899, and left on September 15, 1899, for San Francisco, en route to the Philippines. Especial attention was paid to the instruction of this regiment in target practice, the regiment being sent by battalions to Fort Clark, Tex., for that purpose. The expense thus incurred was well repaid by the brilliant record the regiment made immediately after landing in the Philippines.
INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING.
Schools and lyceums were conducted as required by existing regulations wherever the conditions obtaining would permit. An account of the operations of same appears in Exhibits 2 and 3, Appendix A.
It can not be said that the lyceum course, under existing conditions, has been of especial value, nor can satisfactory results be obtained until a greater number of officers are present at each post.
The methods prescribed in General Orders No. 51, Adjutant-General's Office, of 1897, while conducive to excellent results, can not be made applicable at one-company posts.
Schools for noncommissioned officers, under the immediate charge of troop, battery, and company commanders, have been carried on during the entire year.
A course of practical instructions, including small-arms practice, signal instruction, close and extended order drills, instructions in packing at all posts garrisoned by cavalry, and in the duties of litter bearers and first aid to the sick and wounded, calisthenic and gymnastic training, as well as instructions in minor tactics as contemplated by General Orders No. 53, Adjutant-General's Office, 1896, has been prescribed and is being carried out with as good results as can be expected, considering the reduced garrisons and heavy demands made upon the troops for necessary police and fatigue duties.
The washing of the clothing of the enlisted men has been a source of more or less trouble, especially in this climate, where the wearing of the authorized duck clothing during many months of the year is imperative. The extra laundry expense in keeping this clothing clean falls heavily upon the men without corresponding increase in pay and allowances.
The subject has received careful consideration, and upon the recommendation of the commanding officer, Fort Ringgold, Tex., a laundry was established at that post in connection with the post exchange, which, it is thought, successfully solves the problem. The expense to the men has thus been reduced from $2.50 to $4 per month (heretofore paid to laundresses) to $1 per month, and in addition all the soiled bedsacks, mattress covers, etc., on hand at the post have been laundered without expense to the Government. Laundries are now in successful operation at Forts Brown, Clark, and Ringgold. Reports from Forts McIntosh and Bliss state that owing to local conditions it has been impracticable to establish them. The credit for the inception of the scheme is due to Capt. Guy Carleton, Tenth Cavalry, commanding Fort Ringgold, where the laundry has been in operation for five months. His report with reference thereto was forwarded July 30, 1900.
Special attention is invited to the status of the Seminole-negro Indians residing by permission on the Fort Clark Military Reservation. These people number about 150.
The Seminole treaty of 1866 provided for two classes of colored people only, viz: (1) Persons of African descent and blood who were residing in the Seminole country on the date of the treaty and their descendants, and (2) such others of the same race as should be permitted by the Seminoles to settle with them.
The Interior Department has held that they do not belong to the first class; that at the date of the treaty they were not residents of the Seminole country; nor had they been at any other time; that they were not held as slaves, nor were they even residents of this country at the date of the abolition of slavery, but were citizens and subjects of Mexico, where they had immigrated from the United States in 1849, and were in no sense freedmen and could not then acquire any legal rights in the Indian Territory under existing treaties and laws.
These people returned to the United States shortly after the civil war, and many of the male adults were enlisted in the Army as scouts, being subsequently discharged.
During the flood of 1899 such crops as they had planted were destroyed, and it became necessary for the Government to provide subsistence until again able to render themselves self-supporting.
Having forfeited their rights to residence and citizenship in Mexico and being neither citizens of the United States nor recognized by the Seminoles as part of their people, some action should be taken whereby the status of these people may be defined. It is respectfully recommended that the attention of Congress be called to these people. Attention is invited to the accompanying detailed reports of the department staff. CHAMBERS MCKIBBIN, Colonel Twelfth Infantry, Commanding.