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STATE OF MICHIGAN.
ANNUAL REPORT of the Adjutant, Quarter Master and Inspector General.
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Kalamazoo, Dec. 1, 1860."' To His Excellency, Moses WISNER,
Governor and Commander-in-Chief: SiR :-Conformable to the laws of Congress, “establishing a uniform Militia throughout the United States," and agreeable to the act of May 18, 1846, of the State of Michigan, entitled "An act to provide for the organization of a more active Militia, and for other purposes," I have the honor to submit the following as my report, embracing the years 1859 and 1860.
Among the duties assigned to this department, is that of making an annual return to the President of the United States of all the militia of the State, together with a schedule of all the arms, accoutrements, &c.
This duty I have to report as accomplished. In order to ascertain with as much precision as possible the numerical military strength of Michigan, I caused to be issued circulars to each of the supervisors of the State, reminding them of their duty in this regard, when they assessed their different town. ships and wards. This effort, your Excellency will readily perceive imposed upon the Adjutant General an onerous duty, inasmuch as it necessarily opened a correspondence with the 1200 supervisors of the State.
The result of the undertaking was as favorable as might have been expected, since a very large majority of such officers responded faithfully to the call upon them. From actual returns, together with safe estimates from such townships as neglected to report, I am enabled to set down the military strength of the State as 110,600 able-bodied men. To attempt to discipline so large a body of our citizens, though originally contemplated by the law, has been deemed impracticable. The Legislature at its last session saw the folly of such an unreasonable demand, and 80 amended the militia law as to exact service from volunteers exclusively. In order to impart something like stability to the system, they appropriated from the Treasury $3,000 per annum, and made it the duty of the Executive to appoint a Board, to be known as the “State Military Board of Officers”—who should act in conjunction with the Adjutant General in re-organizing and re-modeling the entire system. Among the first duties performed by the Board was the passage of a resolution to limit the number of volunteer companies in the State to forty, and to fur nish them with arms of the most approved patterns, and then to exact of them an elevated standard of military knowledge. That they have succeeded even beyond their highest expectations, I have the honor to report. Few States in our confederacy, in military bearing, in drill, in company movements, and in all that contributes to constitute a good soldier, can excel most of these organizations. The amended law also provided that the Adjutant General should also perform the duty of an Inspector General, and annually inspect each company in their uniform, in their arms and armories, and in their general improvement. An order to this effect was issued in May, 1859, and a day and place was appointed at which each company, desiring to compete for a portion of the appropriation, should rendezvous. During the months of August, September and October, of 1859, as Inspector General, I minutely inspected twenty-eight companies, and reported to the State Board of Military Officers, their condition, when they were classified and awarded, according to merit, portions of the military fund. The following embraces the proceedings of the Board at their session at Detroit, April 5, 1859, and at their second session at the same place, on the 25th, 26th and 27th of October, of the same year.
These proceedings are embodied in this report, and are here presented in order to preclude the necessity of one separate and distinct.
MEETING OF THE STATE MILITARY BOARD OF
On the 5th inst. the State Board of Officers, under the new Military Law, met in Detroit, organized and transacted some business.
The Board consists of Gen. A. S. Williams and Col. H. M. Whittlesey, of Detroit ; Col. C. W. Leffingwell, of Grand Rapids, and Col. A. W. Williams, of Lansing. The following resolutions, offered by Gen. Williams, were adopted :
Resolved, That to entitle any volunteer company to a share of the Military Fund, this Board will require that there be at least forty members, completely uniformed and equipped, to each company of Light Infantry, Infantry, Rifles, or Dragoons, and twenty members, uniformed and equipped, of Light Artillery ; that the arms and equipments be kept in good order, and in suitable armories ; that each member be thoroughly drilled in the “School of the Soldier," and the “School of the Company," according to the tactics used in the army of the United States, and that the Commissioned officers be well instructed in the drills and evolutions of the company, the duties and services of officers of Guards and parades, inspections and reviews, as prescribed in the Army Regulations.
Resolved, That each company intending to claim a share in the Military Fund, be required to notify the Adjutant General in writing, on or before the 15th day of June next, and at the same time furnish him a report in writing, setting forth :
1. Number of members actually uniformed and equipped. 2. Date of organization of the company.
3. Number of drills and parades of each company, and the average attendance at each for and during the preceding six months.
4. Kind and description of arms, uniform and equipments, where kept and in what condition.
5. What books of tactics are used.
Resolved, That the Adjutant General be requested to issue a circular to each volunteer company on the general rostor, embracing therein substantially the foregoing requirements, and that each company intending to claim a share of the Military Fund will be subject to a muster and inspection by the Adjutant General, or his Assistant, on or before the 1st day of October next, at such time and place as he shall previously designate.
Resolved, That at such muster and inspection, the Adjutant General be required personaily, or by his Assistant, to ascertain the number of officers, non-commissioned officers and privates fully uniformed and equipped actually present, the condition of the arms, uniforms and equipments ; the state of the drill, especially in the position of the soldier, the manual of arms, the facings, alignments, wheelings and company evolutions generally, the tactical knowledge of the company officers in drills, guard duties, inspection, parades and reviews ; that he personally inspect the armories and the company and State property, and report to this Board in detail upon each point and upon the general condition of such company.
Resolved, That members of companies not present at each muster and inspection, must be satisfactorily accounted for by affidavit or otherwise, and that they are in all respects uniformed and equipped and properly drilled.
Resolved, That all general, field and staff officers claiming compensation for services with volunteer companies, will be required to be fully uniformed and equipped according to the rank of the office, and to pass satisfactory examination relative to their qualifications in military knowledge for the particular offices which they may hold.
The following resolution, offered by Col. Leffingwell, was adopted, and the mover of the resolution appointed with the Adjutant General to make the compilation:
Resolved, That the Adjutant General be and he is hereby instructed to make a compilation of the existing Military Laws of the State, and of all general orders for the discipline of the militia, and such other matters therein as he may deem important, and have a sufficient number for the use of the officers of the militia published in pamphlet at as early a day as practicable, and distribute the requisite number to such officers, all at the expense of the State.
The following resolution was offered by Col. Whittlesey, and adopted:
Resolved, That a committee be appointed to prepare a compilation of Military Tactics, suited to the different corps of the service, which shall, as far as practicable, conform to the Army regulations of the United States, as applied to each arm of the service, that the same be published under the supervision of said committee, provided that no expense be incurred by the State therefor, and that volunteer companies who shall make application for a share of the military fund of the State, be required to adopt such tactics in their drill.
Gen. Williams and Cols. Whittlesey and Williams were appointed such committee.
Col. H. M. Whittlesey was chosen by ballot permanent Secretary of the Board.
Col. A. S. Williams offered the following resolution, which was adopted:
Resolved, That this Board recommend to the several volunteer companies of the State, the propriety of their effecting insurance on the property of the State in their possession.