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Feb. 16, 1837.]
Increase of the Army.
of extravagance, designed chiefly to expend the money in the Treasury for objects not only unnecessary but pernicious. He went into some general observations on the corrupting tendency of the present course of policy, and then observed that every change that had been made in the army had gone to destroy its morale. He had not the least confidence that the proper materiel would be selected in the bestowment of the many prizes which this bill proposed to create. All must remember what had been the history of the regiment of dragoons in this respect. Who had been appointed to command in that corps? In many instances cadets who had been discharged for misconduct in the Military Academy. Persons of this cast had been set over those who had gone through the whole course in that institution in a manner most highly creditable. The effect had been demoralizing, and he feared that the results of this bill would prove still more so. Mr. C. then proceeded in a course of general objection to all measures calculated to increase the powers of the General Government; dwelt on the central tendency of our system; the necessity of diminishing and generalizing the action of this Government, as our population increased. He compared the Government to a partnership. While there were but few partners, the regulations might be minute and particular; but when they were numerous, and amounted to hundreds, the system must be more general. Our chief arm of defence was the navy. This was exterior in its character, and less dangerous on the ground of patronage; and it would be his policy to increase this arm of the national force, and to render it respectable in the eyes of foreign nations. Then, this Government needed a sound Judiciary and a well-regulated Post Office; and beyond this he would not advance one inch. He concluded by remarks of a general character on the state of the Treasury, and the determination to expend the surplus, that it might not be returned to the people. Mr. BEN TON replica to the Senator from South Carolina, [Mr. Calhous,) and congratulated himself on the easy task which he had to perform in answering all his objections to this bill; for he had nothing to do but to bring the gentleman who was Secretary at War under Mr. Monroe's administration, to answer the gentleman who was now Senator in Congress from the State of South Carolina. The quondam Secretary would answer the Senator most completely; and to enable the Senate to make the full application of what he should read, he would first remind them of the circumstances under which the former Secretary at War had made the report, which was now to be produced as an answer to the Senator's speech. It would be remembered, (said Mr. B.,) that at the close of the late war with Great Britain, the war establishment of the army was reduced to a peace establishment, and that this peace establishment was still further reduced in 1821, when the Treasury, from a dream of inexhaustible surplus revenue in which it had been indulging for a few years, was suddenly waked up to the reality of empty coffers, unavailable funds, and unreliable resources. The aggregate of the peace establishment of 1815 was 12,656. In the year 1818 it was proposed in Congress to reduce that number; and to enable members to act with full information on the subject, the Secretary of War, then happening to be the present Senator from South Carolina now objecting to this bill, was called upon to report whether, with safety to the public service, any reduction could be made, either in the rank and file of the army, or in the general staff, or in the expense of the establishment itself. The Secretary answered upon all three points; and it so happens that he has spoken to the same three points this day. He has objected to this bill because it increases the rank
and file, because it increases the general staff, and be. cause it increases the expense of the army. It also further so happens that his report and his speech are not only on the same subject, but actually on the same measure! for the peace establishment of 1815 was authorized by a law which retained a force of 12,656 men; and this bill is to raise the present force of the army to about 12,500. The two establishments, then, are practically the same; the object of the present bill is to revive the establishment of 1815, with some diminution in the general staff, but, as establishments, they may be considered as the same. The Senator from South Carolina [Mr. CALhou N] opposes the present increase, and opposes it in all its branches—rank and file, general staff, and expense; and he opposes it upon all the grounds which can be assumed against a standing army in time of peace—unnecessary, unwise, dangerous, contrary to republican maxims, only tending to expend public money without public advantage, alarmingly increasing the patronage of the Government, multiplying the sources of corruption, and endangering all that is dear in the eyes of the patriot, the sage, and the statesman, and preventing a distribution of the surplus. Very good, (said Mr. B.) Fine charges, these, against the 12,500 men proposed to be re-established by this bill! Let us see how they will be answered in a report in defence of the same establishment, when in fact they were 12,656; and when the population of the country was only half what it now is, and its frontier much less; for Florida was not then acquired. Mr. B. then read: “In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives, passed the 17th of April last, (1818,) directing the Secretary of War to “report, at an early period of the next session of Congress, whether any, and, if any, what reduction may be made in the military peace establishment of the United States with safety to the public service,’ &c., I have the honor to submit the following report: “Pursuing the subject in the or 'er in which it has been stated, the first question which offers itself for consideration is, whether our military establishment can be reduced with safety to the public service, or can its expenditures be with propriety reduced, by reducing the army itself. *k * sk * * “The military establishments of 1802 and 1808 have been admitted, almost universally, to be sufficiently small. The latter, it is true, received an enlargement from the uncertain state of our foreign relations at that time; but the former was established at a period of profound quiet, (the commencement of Mr. Jefferson's administration,) and was professedly reduced, with a view to economy, to the smallest number then supposed to be consistent with the public safety. Assuming these as a standard, and comparing the present establishment with them, and taking into comparison the increase of the country, a satisfactory opinion may be formed on a subject which might otherwise admit of a great diversity of opinion. * * Our military peace establishment is limited, by the act of 1815, passed at the termination of the late war, at 10,000 men. The corps of engineers and of ordnance, by that and a subsequent act, were retained as they then existed; and the President was directed to constitute the establishment of such portions of artillery, infantry, and riflemen, as he might judge proper. The general orders of the 17th of May, 1815, fix the artillery at 3,209; the light artillery at 660; the infantry 5,440; and the rifle 660 privates and matrosses. Document A exhibits a statement of the military establishment, including the general staff, as at present organized; and B exhibits a similar view of those of 1802 and 1808; by a reference to which it will appear that our military establishments, at the respective SENATE.]
Increase of the .7rmy.
[Feb. 16, 1837.
periods, taken in the order of their dates, present an aggregate of 3,323, 9,996, and 12,656. It is obvious that the establishment of 1808, compared with the then population and wealth of the country, the number and extent of military posts, is larger in proportion than the present; but the unsettled state of our relations with France and England at that period renders the comparison not entirely just. Passing, then, that of 1808, jet us compare the establishment of 1802 with the present. To form a correct comparison, it will be necessary to compare the capacity and necessities of the country then with those of the present time. Since that period our population has nearly doubled, and our wealth more than doubled. We have added Louisiana to our possessions, and with it a great extent of frontier, both maritime and inland. With the extension of our frontier, and the increase of our commercial cities, our military posts and fortifications have been greatly multiplied. " * * If, then, the military establishment of 1802 be assumed to be as small as was then consistent with the safety of the country, our present establishment, when we take into the comparison the prodigious increase of wealth, population, extent of territory, number and distance of military posts, cannot be pronounced extravagant; but, on the contrary, after a fair and full comparison, that of the former period must, in proportion to the necessities and capacity of the country, be admitted to be quite as large as the present; and, on the assumption that the establishment of 1802 was as small as the public safety would then admit, a reduction of the expense of our present establishment cannot be made, with safety to the public service, by reducing the army. In coming to this conclusion, I have not overlooked the maxim that a large standing army is dangerous to the liberty of the country, and that our ultimate reliance for defence ought to be on the militia. * To consider the present army as dangerous to our liberty partakes, it is conceived, more of timidity than wisdom. - * * sk *
“The staff, as organized by the act of the last session, combines simplicity with efficiency, and is considered to be superior to that of the periods to which I have reference. In estimating the expenses of the army, and particularly that of the staff, the two most expensive branches of it (the engineer and ordnance departments) ought not fairly to be included. Their duties are connected with the permanent preparation and defence of the country, and have so little reserence to the existing military establishment, that if the army were reduced to a single regiment, no reduction could safely be made in either of them. To form a correct estimate of the duties of the other branches of the staff, and consequently the number of officers required, we must take into consid. eratien not only the number of the troops, and, consequently, the number of officers required, but, what is equally essential, the number of posts and extent of country which they occupy. Were our military establishment reduced one half, it is obvious that, if the same posts continued to be occupied which now are, the same number of officers in the !"...o. commissary’s, paymaster's, medical, and adjutant and inspector general's departments would be required.
“To compare, then, as it is sometimes done, our staff with those of European armies assembled in large bodies, is manifestly unfair. The act of the last session, it is believed, has made all the reduction which ought to be attempted. It has rendered the staff efficient, without making it expensive. Such a staff is not only indispensable to the efficiency of the army, but is also necessary to a prope economy of its disbursements; and should an attempt be made at retrenchment, by reducing the present number, it would, in its consequences, probably prove wasteful and extravagant.
“In fact, no part of our military organization requires more attention in peace than the general staff. It is in every service invariably the last in attaining perfection; and, if neglected in peace, when there is leisure, it will be impossible, in the midst of the hurry and bustle of war, to bring it to perfection. It is in peace that it should receive a perfect organization, and that the officers should be trained to method and punctuality; so that, at the commencement of a war, instead of creating anew, nothing more should be necessary than to give to it the necessary enlargement. In this country, particularly, the staff cannot be neglected with impunity. Diffi. cult as its operations are in actual service every where, it has here to encounter great and peculiar impediments, from the extent of the country, the badness and frequently the want of roads, and the sudden and unex. pected calls which are often made on the militia. If it could be shown that the staff, in its present extent, was not necessary in peace, it would, with the view taken, be unwise to lop off any of its branches which would be necessary in actual service. With a defective staff, we must carry on our military operations under great disadvantages, and be exposed, particularly at the commencement of a war, to great losses, embarrassments, and disasters. * - - - *
“The next question which presents itself for consideration is, can the expenses of our military establishment be reduced without injury to the public service, by reducing the pay and emoluments of the officers and soldiers? There is no class in the community whose compensation has advanced less, since the termination of the war of the Revolution, than that of the officers and soldiers of our army. While money has depreciated more rapidly than at any other period, and the price of all the necessaries of life has advanced proportionably, their compensation has remained nearly stationary. The effects are severely felt by the subaltern officers. It requires the most rigid economy for them to subsist on their pay and emoluments. Documents marked F and G exhibit the pay and subsistence during the Revolution and as at present established; and document marked H exhibits the allowance of clothing, fuel, forage, transportation, quarters, waiters, stationery, and straw, at the termination of the revolutionary war, and in 1802, 1815, and 1818. By a reference to those documents it will be seen that, under most of the heads, the variations of the different periods have been very small, and that, on a comparison of the whole, the pay of an
officer is not near equal now (if allowance is made for
the depreciation of money) to what it was during the Revolution. I will abstain from further remarks, as it must be obvious, from these statements, that the expense of our military establishment cannot be materially reduced without injury to the public service, by reducing the pay and emoluments of the officers and soldiers.” Having read these extracts from the report of the then secretary at War, and now Senator from South Carolina; [Mr. Calhoux,] Mr. B. said that every word of it applied with double force in favor of the bill which that Senator was now opposing. Every reason which he gave against reducing the military establishment in 1818 applies with double force in favor of raising it now to what it was then. That report was then sanctioned by Congress. it prevented the reduction of the army. Not a man was reduced at that time, nor for three years afterwards, nor until the exhausted state of the Treasury compelled reduc. tions of expense at all practicable points, and included the army in the objects on which retrenchment sell. The report prevented the reduction in 1818; the emptiness of the 'i'reasury caused the reduction in 1821; and now, when the treasury is full again, and when the wants of the service are so urgent for an increased force, and Feb. 16, 1837.]
when experience has proved the mischiefs resulting from the reduction, surely the sound arguments in the report, ought to have their full weight in re-establishing the military force at what it then was. Mr. B. said that he had not read this report for the purpose of showing inconsistency in the Senator from South Carolina; that would be a small business for him to engage in, and a business which he had never followed. He had read it for the sound arguments which it contained, and in answer to the unsound arguments, as he conceived them to be, which the author of the report, in his present capacity of Senator, had used against the bill now depending, to raise the strength of the army to what it then was. He had read it for the argument; and if a show of inconsistency resulted, it was an incident, and not an ob. ject, of the reading. He repeated, he had read it for the argument; and must be permitted to insist that what was a good argument against reducing the army below 12,656 in 1818, was a far better argument in favor of raising it to about 12,000 now. The reasons were far stronger in favor of that number now than then. In the first place, the extent of our frontier line is greatly increased since that time. Fiorida has been since acquired, and has given a great extent of frontier; for, being a penin§ula in one part, and stretching along the Gulf and Atlantic coast on two sides, it is all frontier, and suscepti. ble only of a thin population, and requires more defence than any other of equal extent, either in our own countoy or any country upon the globe. With Florida came the islands Key West, the Dry Tortugas, and others, all requiring forts and garrisons. In the next place, the number of our fortifications and military posts has greatly increased since 1818, and requires an increased force to man them. In the third place, the whole Indian population of the United States are now accumulated on the weakest frontier of the Union—the Western, and Southwestern, and Northwestern frontier—and they are not only accumulated there, but sent there smarting with the lash of recent chastisement, burning with reWenge for recent defeats, completely armed by the United States, and placed in communication with the wild Indians of the West, the numerous and fierce tribes to. wards Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, and the NorthW*st, who have never felt our arms, and who will be eady to join in any inroad upon our frontiers. In the fourth place, experience has shown that the present *Tony is too small—that the then secretary at War was right in 1818, in saying that it could not be reduced with safety to the country. The Secretary of 1818 was light in this opinion. The country has suffered vastly som it; it has suffered in lives, property, and money. The Black Hawk war, which cost three millions of mo. *y, many lives, and the breaking up of the Illinois stontier, took place because the force on the upper Missis*PP was too small to command the respect of the Indi. *ns. The Florida war, which has cost seven millions of money, occasioned the loss of so many lives, and the deYostation of four counties, would never have taken place if an adequate force had been in that quarter. 'The massacre of families, and the devastation of farms and Plontations, which took place in Georgia and Alabama last summer, were the fruit of our smail military estab. lishment. Mr. B. did not undertake to say that the Indians, in all these instances, did not believe that they had some grievances to complain of, and for which they Were entitled to redress; but what he did mean to say was this: that if we had possessed a military force to have been respected by them, they would have left the odress of these grievances to the Government of the Voited States, as they ought to have done, instead of taking vengeance into their own hands, and executing * not upon those of whom they complained, but against innocent persons—against the women and children even,
who could do them no wrong. In the fifth place, Mr. B. said, the country was twice as populous and twice as wealthy now as it was in 1818, and therefore required a larger military establishment now than then. For these reasons, Mr. B. insisted that the report from which he had read was far stronger in favor of raising the miliary establishment to about 12,000 now, than it was against reducing it below that number at the time it was made. Add to this the pertinent remark, so often made by the then Secretary of War in the report of 1818, that 12,000 men was less—the increase of territory, wealth, and population, considered—than the peace establishment of Mr. Jefferson was in 1802. An establishment now, in proportion to that, would exceed 20,000 men. Mr. B., having shown how cogently the report of 1818 applied in favor of raising the strength of the army to the number proposed in the bill, would also show that it was equally cogent in favor of raising the general staff. He remarked that the reduction of 1821 fell upon two branches of the establishment—upon the rank and file and on the general staff. Begging the Senate to recollect and well to consider all that was said in the report of 1818 in favor of keeping up a numerous and efficient staff, and the opinion so fully and elaborately given that the staff of that period was as small in number as the public service would permit, Mr. B. would first state, in general, and then show in detail, that the general staff, as proposed to be increased in this bill, was still considerably below that of 1818; and, consequently, that the objections to reduction, made at that time, applied with infinitely more force in favor of augmentation now. The general staff was reduced almost to nothing in 1821; it was almost abolished; and the consequence has been an immense injury to the public service. It is now proposed to raise it, but not to raise it so high as it was before the reduction; and to this augmentation the Senator from South Carolina [Mr. CALHoux] vehemently objects. Without reading over again that part of his report of 1818 which applied to this branch of the reduction, Mr. B. would show that the augmentation now proposed was far below that which he then so elaborately eulogized, so completely demonstrated to be necessary, and so triumphantly rescued from reduction or diminution. Mr. B. then proceeded to show, in detail, that the general staff was greater in 1818 than it was proposed to be made by the pending bill. Beginning with the adjutant general's and inspector general's departments, he said that they consisted of thirteen officers in 1818, of three now, and that this proposed to add eight, making eleven. The quartermaster general’s department consisted of nineteen officers in 1818, of five now, and the bill proposed to add twelve, making in the whole seventeen. The engineers proper, and the topographical engineers, Mr. B. said, were nominally increased, but in reality not; for the act of 1824, which allowed the President to employ an unlimited number of civil engineers, and under which a great number were constantly employed, was to be repealed by a section of this bill, so that the discontinuance of those now employed under that act would be equal, or superior, to the contemplated additions. In the ordnance department, Mr. B. said there were forty-four officers in 1818, but fourteen now, and only twenty-two were proposed to be added, making in the whole thirty-six, and being eight less than in 1818. Mr. B. had gone over this comparative state of numbers, both in the line and in the general staff, for the purpose of showing to the Senator from South Carolina [Mr. Calhoun) that the aggregate of the army would be no greater under this bill than it was in 1818, when he so nobly and efficiently defended it, and that the general staff would still be less than it was at that time, and SENATE.]
Increase of the flrmy.
[FEB. 16, 1837.
when he so well argued, as subsequent events had proved, that it could not be reduced without inflicting injury upon the public service. This, he thought, ought to be a sufficient answer to that Senator's present objections. If they were not, and if the Secretary at War under Mr. Monroe's administration was not able to contend successfully with the present Senator from South Carolina, he would introduce into this debate another gentleman, and claim the right of his opinions in aid of the quondam Secretary; it was a gentleman who was a Representative in Congress from the State of South Carolina during the late war, and for a year or two after it; and who, at the close of the war, was in favor of the military peace establishment of twenty thousand men recommended by Mr. Monroe, and of the fifteen thousand voted by the Senate, and who then repelled, rebuked, and scouted in terms of indignation, such doctrines as the Senator from South Carolina has this day held. This is an extract from one of the speeches on this subject which that gentleman then madc: “As a proof, said Mr. Calhoux, that the situation of the country naturally inclines us to too much feebleness rather than to too much violence, I refer to the fact that there are on this floor men who are entirely opposed to armies, to navies, to every means of defence. Sir, if their politics prevail, the country will be disarmed, at the mercy of any foreign Power. On the other side, sir, there is no excess of military fervor, no party inclining to military despotism; for though a charge of such a disposition has been made by a gentleman in debate, it is without the shadow of foundation. What is the fact in regard to the army? Does it bear out his assertion? Is it even proportionally larger now than it was in 1801-'2, the period which the gentleman considers the standard of political perfection? It was then about 4,000 men; it was larger in proportion than an army of 10,000 would now be. The charge of a disposition to make this a military Government exists only in the imaginations of gentlemen; it cannot be supported by facts; it is contrary to proof and to evidence.” To complete this branch of his argument, (this argumentum ad hominem, as the logicians called it,) the argument to the man, and in which he (Mr. B.) never indulged unless extorted from him, he would cite another passage from the speech of the Representative from South Carolina in the House of Representatives in 1816, in which that Representative went for national defence generally, and for fortifications especially, and carried his patriotic zeal so far as to pronounce any future administration, which should neglect these defences, entitled to the “execration of the country!” Hear him: “There was another point of preparation which (Mr. Callious sa'd) ought not to be overlooked: the defence of our coast by means other than the navy, on which we ought to rely mainly, but not entirely. The coast is our weak part, which ought to be rendered strong, if it be in our power to make it so. There are two points on our coast particularly weak—the mouth of the Mississippi and the Chesapeake bay--which ought to be cautiously attended to; not, however, neglecting others. The administration which leaves these two points in another war without fortification ought to receive the execration of the country. Look at the facility assorded by the Chesapeake bay to maritime Powers in attacking us. If we estimate with it the margin of rivers navigable for vessels of war, it adds fourteen hundred miles at least to the line of our seacoast, and that of the worst character; for when an enemy is there, it is without the fear of being driven from it; he has, besides, the power of assaulting two shores at the same time, and must be expected on both. Under such circumstances, no degree of “xpense would be too great for its defence. The whole margin of the bay is, besides, an extremely sickly
one, and fatal to the militia of the upper country. How it is to be defended, military and naval men will best judge; but I believe that steam frigates ought, at least, to constitute a part of the means; the expense of which, o: great, the people ought, and would cheerfully ear. Mr. B. commended this paragraph from the speech of the South Carolina Representative in 1816, in favor of fortifications, even at the expense of taxes, to the favor. able attention of the Senator from South Carolina, who now opposes a bill for sortifications, even in the Chesapeake bay, while the Treasury is stuffed, crammed, gorged, and distended, with money, for which we can find no constitutional object of expenditure. It was a pity the present Senator from South Carolina was not on more intimate terms at present with the quondam Secretary at War and Representative. It would certainly put him on better terms with the administration of President Jackson, which was now doing, in despite of the opposition of the present Senator, the things which the former Secretary and Representative most nobly advocated, and for the possible omission of which the execrations of the country were imprecated in advance! Mr. B., having finished the argumentum ad hominem, would next have recourse to the argumentum adjudicium—the argument to the judgment—and hoped to convince the Senate that all the provisions in the bill were necessary and proper in themselves, and deserved to be passed into law. He said it had been already observed that the great reduction of the military establishment in 1821 sell upon two branches of the army, namely, the rank and file and the general staff. No diminution in the number of the regiments or in the number of the officers of the line had been made; but, by stripping the regiments of men, and nearly abolishing the general staff, a skeleton establishment had been produced, extorted by the exhausted state of our finances in 1821, and ready to be filled up when the finances were restored, and the public service required. Both these contingencies have now happened. The finances are restored, and the public service imperiously requires the skeleton regiments to be filled up, and the abolished staff to be recreated. The present strength of the army was wholly inadequate to the guarding and manning of the posts and forts stretched along a circumference of nine thousand miles of frontier; much less to repel incursions or to suppress the hostilities of the Indians. At every alarm, heavy drafts, at great expense, were made upon the militia and volunteers of the States; at every breaking out of hostilities, Iarge bodies of these troops were called into the field. During the past year, not less than twenty-six thousand militia and volunteers, mostly mounted men, had been mustered into ser. vice. A regiment of Arkansas volunteers are now doing garrison duty on the frontiers of that State. If this bill is not passed, annual and perpetual calls must be made on the militia and volunteers, to supply the defect of the regular troops. The expense of a full establishment, and far mo; e than that expense, would be incurred. A proper sense of economy alone would require the regiments to be filed up. Mr. B. said it was in vain, and looked a little like the use of the argumentum ad ignorantiam– an argument founded on the supposed ignorance of the hearers—for the Senator from South Carolina, [Mr. CALhous,) who had once presided over the Military Department, to undertake to frighten the Senate with an array of 12,000 men. Every person slightly acquainted with the nature of an army will know that 12,000 men on paper is not more than 8,000 or 9,000 in the field; that from the rapid succession of casualties—deaths, desertions, sickness, accidents, expirations of enlistments—the act. ual force is always one third or one fourth less than the author'zed force; and that, to obtain the services of a Feb. 16, 1837.]
given number, a considerably larger number must always be authorized. Thus it is at present. The aggregate force now allowed by law is near 8,000; yet the numerical force, on paper, at the last return, was only 6,233; and the actual available force for service was no more than 4,282. Thus, it is clear that an authorized establishment of 12,000 will not give more than an actual force of 8,000 or 9,000; and less than that number cannot possibly man and garrison our extended frontier--a fron'tier of 9,000 miles in circuit, without counting the doublings and indentations of the coasts. Of this vast circuit, the inland frontier, from the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Superior, along the boundary of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, the Des Moines settlements, Wisconsin Territory, and the State of Michigan, would require an actual available force of 6,000 men; while the lake, maritime, and gulf coast would require 3,000 or 4,000 more; making 9,000 or 10,000 men for service, which an authorized establishment of no more than 12,000 can hardly ever give. Mr. B. repeated, we have regiments enough. Seven of infantry, four of artillery, two of dragoons, making thirteen in the whole, are enough. But these regiments, especially the artillery and infantry, are skeletons; and we want them filled up. Their companies are allowed but 42 men each, which gives for service in the field the ridiculous exhibition of 25 or 30 men for a captain to command! This bill proposes to raise the infantry and artillery companies to 100 men each, which would give for service the respectable strength of 70 or 80 men. Mr. B. dilated on the evils of the present small size of the companies. It was injurious to the discipline of the troops in time of peace, and fatal to themselves and disastrous to the country in time of war. To go no further for examples, the present Florida war presented numerous instances in which the war would probably have been terminated if the officers in command had had troops equal to their rank. Thus, Major Dade, instead of a major's command of four or five hundred men, with whom the devoted courage and discipline which he and his brave band displayed would have defeated a thousand Indians, had but a captain's command of one hundred; General Clinch, instead of a brigade, had half a battalion; Major Pierce, instead of a major's command, had a captain's; and so of other instances. Hence the disaster of Major Dade's devoted corps; hence the want of decisive results from General Clinch's brave combat on the Withlacoochie—from Major Pierce's gallant attack at Fort Drane—and from numerous other instances in which a handsul of men fought bravely, performed heroic actions, and did all that courage and discipline could do, but were too few in numbers to reap the advantages of victory, even when victorious. The result of the whole has been, the death of many good soldiers, without adequate advantage to their country—the encouragement of the enemy—the protraction of the war— the call for numerous volunteers and militia—the incurring of an enormous expense——and the exposure of numerous families to massacre, with the devastation of counties and settlements entitled to the protection of this Government. . Mr. B. would conclude what he had to say on the subject of raising the rank and file of the infantry and artilery, with referring to the report of the Secretary of War ad interim, (Mr. Butler,) in which this measure is conclusively shown to be absolutely necessary: , “10. Proposed increase in rank and file of artillery and infantry.--In compliance with the suggestion of Gen
eral Macomb, and with my own convictions of duty, I beg
leave to invite your attention to a proposal for the in: crease of the rank and file of the artillery and infantry.
... The insufficiency, in several respects, of our present military establishment has already been noticed. It is greatest in the general staff and the rank and file; those
arms of the service being much less numerous, in proportion, than the officers retained in the line of the army. The object of Congress in this arrangement evidently was, on the one hand, to reduce the rank and file and the general staff to the lowest allowable point; and, on the other, to retain in the line officers enough to preserve an amount of military knowledge and experience competent to the direction of a large effective force, whenever such a force might be required by special emergencies, or by the permanent interests of the country. This policy was recommended at the time of its adoption (1821) by the existence of other and more pressing claims on the Treasury, and by the comparatively few calls then made for active military operations. ... In both these respects our condition is now widely different. The extinction of the public debt, whilst it gives us the ability to attend to other subjects of national importance, lays us under new obligations to do so. We have a much larger number of fortifications and other posts to be garrisoned, and our Indian relations have now reached a point which demands an effective military provision. “There are thirty-two forts on the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico, each of which ought to be garrisoned by a sorce adequate at least to the preservation of the public property, and to the retaining of some knowledge of artillery practice. This will require, as I understand, an average of about ninety-six men to each post, or about three thousand in the whole. The rank and file of the present regular army, supposing the new regiment of dragoons to be filled, amounts in the total to seven thousand and sixteen; from which number a large deduction must always be made for sickness, arrests, occasional absence, and time lost in recruiting and marching. The effective force, exclusive of officers, which may be relied on under the present arrangement, can therefore scarcely ever exceed six thousand men; a force utterly inadequate to the necessities of the public service, inasmuch as it assords, after the scanty provision for the seaboard above suggested, only about three thousand for the interior. “In that part of this report which relates to Indian af. fairs, I shall have occasion to specify some of the weighty reasons which make it necessary that we should establish additional posts on our Western borders and in the Indian country, and that each should be permanently garrisoned by a respectable force. We have now in that region sixteen posts, including three temporary stations, the whole of which are now occupied by about three thousand men, including a regiment of Arkansas volunteers recently called into the service. All, probably, will agree that the present force at several of the existing posts is inadequate, and a deliberate survey of the immense field of operations, and the various interests involved, will, I think, lead to the conclusion that this branch of the service cannot safely he lest, for the next five or ten years, with a force at any time less than from five to seven thousand men. “The seaboard may be provided for in the manner above suggested, and adequate protection may be given to the interior and to the Indian country, by augmenting the number of men in each company of artillery and in. fantry to one hundred. This would increase the legal force, independently of commissioned officers and noncommissioned officers of artillery and infantry, to twelve thousand and thirty, from which we might at all times expect to command an available force of not more than about ten thousand effective men. Two plans for a similar increase in the rank and file of the army were submit. ted to Congress in the report of the Secretary of War of the 8th of March, 1836, and the accompanying communication of General Macomb of the 7th of that month, both of which communications were laid before the Sen. ate of the United States, in compliance with a resolution