OF SERVICE FOR ARMY OFFICERS.
535. UNDER this general heading will be considered the following special headings pertaining to the government of a Regiment, viz.:
Instruction in Tactics.
Discipline, including Rewards and Punishments.
Appointment and Reduction of Non-Commissioned Officers.
Parades, Reviews, Inspections, and Musters.
536. ORGANIZATION.-The Law fixes the organization of the Regiment, and it is different for each arm of the Service, and there may be different organizations for the same arm. The changes in the Military Art have required corresponding changes in the organization of armies, and many changes have been made of late years in our service. There are two organizations each for the Artillery and Infantry, and the Cavalry arm has but recently received the same organization throughout.
537. There is no difference in the general principles of forming a Regiment in the Regular or Volunteer Service. In the former, the officers are appointed by the President of the United States. and confirmed by the Senate; in the latter, the Governors make the appointments. In both Services the Law authorizing the troops to be raised, govern the organization, and both, when completed, are generally inspected by an Inspector-General, or a Mustering Officer, who would reject all officers and men in excess of the legal organization.
538. The raising, equipping, and preparation for Service of a Regiment, is a task of no small dimensions, even where the Colonel is a competent man, assisted by experienced Captains, but when from the Colonel down, all are called suddenly from civil pursuits to organize, and proceed to the Field of War, as most of the Regiments were required to do, in the late great Civil War; it is not to be wondered at that disasters occurred upon the field, and great loss of life resulted in the Hospitals of the Camps.
539. It will be well to state here the main points to be regarded in the organizing of a Regiment, as was required finally after much experience, by the War Department, during the Rebellion. Governors of States adopted their own systems of recruiting and appointing, but before a Regiment was considered in the Service, it was first inspected and mustered by a duly authorized officer, generally of the Regular Service, whose duty it was to see that the Regiment conformed to the Law in its organization, and that it was properly supplied with the necessary equipments, and that it was neither over-supplied, nor deficient in its allowances. The pay and emoluments of officers and men commenced generally from the date of muster-in. Provision, however, was made for the expenses incurred in recruiting the men out of the funds appropriated for that particular purpose.
540. It was found that in many cases the officers who possessed the means and influence to raise men under the Volunteer System were unfit to command them in the field, and it required some service and experience before they were displaced, and the right men were found in the right place. The popularity and amiability that could induce the men to Volunteer, could exist without the necessary qualifications for an officer.
541. The appointment and promotion of the Regimental Officers rested with the Governors, and much delay, and often confusion, resulted in the filling of vacancies, until the system of Mustering Officers was in complete working order, and even then the regulations required such conditions that officers were often performing the duty of an increased grade, long before they had an opportunity to muster-in, and receive the pay of the new grade.
542. The Governors of the different States each adopted their own method for raising troops, and organizing Regiments, and it would be difficult to ascertain which should be regarded as the best, as the course pursued in one section would not do in another, and the plan adopted at the beginning of the war, when patriotism was not checked by sad experience, would not work towards the close, when townships taxed themselves voluntarily beyond all precedent to buy substitutes, to avoid a draft.
543. As all great wars in this country must depend upon the will of the people, none can take place that the people will not be willing to enlist in, and therefore the plan of raising troops by voluntary enlistment will be the basis upon which our future armies will be organized; it proved eminently successful in the past, and will therefore be resorted to until it fails in the future.
544. The Colonel of the Regiment is appointed by the Governor, and the other officers should, at least, believe that their appointments have originated with the Colonel, and that their future success and promotion depend upon his good-will; this is absolutely necessary in volunteer organizations for temporary service, as in the late Rebellion, to secure their hearty co-operation. The Colonel then, as the Superintendent of the Recruiting Service for his Regiment, gives his orders as to the stations to be taken, respectively, by the officers for recruiting purposes.
545. A circular should be carefully prepared, containing complete instructions for the guidance of the officers, giving sufficient details to enable the officers fully to comprehend their duties, for it is in the first formation that the greatest care is necessary in order to get started right. (Part. 479.) Much depends upon the completeness of the instructions, for little progress can be made where the first steps taken are not correct.
546. The officers are distributed about in localities where recruits may be expected, and are directed in their duties from the Headquarters of the Regiment, by the Colonel, through the Adjutant of the Regiment. The Headquarters should be favorably located for supplying the troops, and for transportation and communication.
547. Those companies where the men and officers came from the same district, were found to be much less efficient than where the officers were strangers to the men. The men are apt to presume on officers who were friends and neighbors in civil life, and this evil existed in the most aggravated form where the men elected their own officers.
548. As soon as a company had recruited the number of men contemplated by law, it was ordered to the rendezvous, and the course of instruction began in daily routine and Tactics. It added much more to the efficiency of a Regiment, where recruits were sent in detachments, and organized into companies, without reference to locality, or who recruited them; as soon as a sufficient number of men were assembled at the Rendezvous to form a company, the senior Captain, and senior First and Second Lieutenants, were assigned to it, and the nucleus was formed for the Regiment. The next company was formed in the same way, and this was found to be the best way to build up the Regiment.
549. Full details should be contained in the circular of instructions to the Recruiting Officers, as to the subsistence and quartering of the men, and the time and means of transportation of the recruits to the depot. Clothing should be supplied to the recruits as soon as possible, as the uniform assists greatly in controlling and disciplining the men. The mode of procuring the clothing, and from what source, and in what quantity it should be drawn and issued, should be fully explained, and the more inexperienced the officers are in military matters, the more detailed should be the instructions.
550. ROUTINE.-Having taken all necessary measures to procure the men, and to provide for them, until they reach the depot or rendezvous where the Regiment is to be organized, the next thing is to establish the routine or order in which the camp duties are to be performed. No camp can be well governed without system, and no Regiment can be properly instructed without established hours for the different exercises.
551. A Regimental Order should be published, setting forth the hours for the various Roll-Calls, and when the Drills are to take place, and in an entirely new Regiment it will be necessary to explain the mode of doing, and the object of the various duties required. An explanation tinder this head of the various duties is given, in paragraph 42:;.
552. The enforcement of these duties is the task of the Commander. He must see that his orders are rigidly obeyed and executed. He uses his Field Officers as his inspecting officers, and requires them to attend at the various hours of duty to see that his orders are obeyed. It may not be necessary to require all his Field Officers at the same time, but fie should assure himself that everything is properly done, and to this end he should use them all, if necessary.
553. The Officer of the Day, and the Officer of the Guard, are two of the most important aids in enforcing the routine of Camp duties. He should hold them rigidly to the performance of their respective duties. It is through them mainly that order is preserved, and punctuality observed in the hours of duty.
554. Modifications are necessary in the routine of duties depending upon the location of the Regiment, the season of the year, and the condition of the same, whether it has been long in service, whether it requires improvement, whether it is in Camp or Garrison, or on Campaign. System must be preserved at all these times. The rule is, to adhere to the condition and routine of a Camp of instruction, as near as possible, and according to the necessities of the Regiment.
555. INSTRUCTION.-The manner in which instruction in Tactics is imparted to the troops, is through the theoretical instruction of the officers, and practical exercises by the enlisted men. Schools are established, thus: The Non-Commissioned Officers of each Company form a School, and recite to the Officers of the Company under the direction of the Captain of the Company; their instructions should extend through the "School of the Soldier," and "School of the Company." The Commissioned Officers of the Companies are united into one or more Schools, under the Field Officers, and their recitations should cover the entire range of Tactics.
556. The practical exercises are carried out, thus; the men of each company are divided into squads of three or more men each, and exercised in the "School of the Soldier," under a Non-Commissioned Officer, and these exercises are superintended by the Commissioned Officers of each Company, respectively. These exercises are continued daily, until the men are sufficiently instructed to be united into platoons, when they are drilled by the Commissioned Officers, until the men and officers are perfect in the School of the Company. The Companies are then united and exercised in the "School of the Battalion," by the Colonel and Field Officers of the Regiment.
557. The schools should progress with the exercises, and keep about one lesson in advance, in order that the lesson, as soon as understood in theory, may be impressed on the mind by practice. Weekly reports should be made of all the recitations in the various schools, in the form given for record of examinations, page 153. These reports will serve to show that the schools are in operation, and what progress they are making, and also the relative merits in the same school of the members composing it.
558. In nearly all climates there is a season when the exercises are, for a portion of the year, suspended. When the season returns for the resumption of the exercises, they should begin with the fundamental exercises, viz., the "School of the Soldier," and proceed progressively through the whole subject, according to the character and composition of the command.
559. When recruits are received, they are drilled more frequently than the old soldiers in the "School of the Soldier," until they are sufficiently proficient to be admitted to the exercises of the company, after which no distinction is made between them and old soldiers, so far as relates to exercises.
560. Target practice is an exercise that has never been properly enforced in our service, and yet if men do not know how to fire accurately, and have no confidence in their weapons, all other qualifications of the soldier are virtually of no avail in the hour of battle. This exercise, like the other, should combine theory with practice, the men should be taught the principles involved in firing, and required to apply them in practice.
561. Other schools and gymnasium exercises are found of service to the soldier, in European armies, particularly during such seasons of the year when out-door exercises are, for the time, necessarily suspended. Soldiers are necessarily precluded from promotion, unless they can read and write, and every man is valuable to the service in proportion to his intelligence.
562. DISCIPLINE.-The preservation of order, the prevention of all kinds of offences, and the faithful performance of every kind of duty, without delay or interruption, is what is meant by discipline. It is maintained more by attention to all the duties of the Regimental Commander, than by attention to any one particular duty, and consists not alone in requiring every one to do his particular part, but also in doing his own towards his command.
563. There are certain general principles that should be observed in the requirements of duty that tend greatly to the preservation of discipline. The commanders of companies, guards, and detachments, should be held responsible for the proper deportment and attention to duty of their respective commands, and the Commander of the Regiment should never attempt to make corrections or changes, except through the proper subordinate. Each subordinate should have complete and exclusive control of his own command, and any orders or instructions to it should be issued to the commander, and none other.
564. When an officer is relieved from the responsibility of any duty by the interference of any one in authority, all interest is lost in the matter, he becomes indifferent, and if he does not positively neglect it, he does no more than he is obliged to do. This principle is universal, every one to be efficient in his position must feel a certain amount of self importance in it.
565. The duty is immensely simplified by requiring the officers to do their duty; if successful in that, it follows as a matter of course, that the men do theirs. It is much easier to direct a few officers of the Regiment, than to direct all the officers and men individually; if the Captains can be made to do their duty, their companies will be efficient, and consequently the Regiment.
566. The certainty of reward for meritorious conduct, and the equal certainty of punishment for dereliction of duty, are pre-eminent in the preservation of discipline. There should, therefore, be certain inducements in the way of promotion, furloughs, relief from arduous duties, preference for special or desirable duty, medals, badges, etc., etc., to encourage those who are faithful, and do their duty well.
567. For the insubordinate and vicious there should always be a Court-Martial impending, and a punishment commensurate with the offence. There should be no delay or shrinking, the first and highest offender should be always selected for an example. The discomfiture of a leader in such a case is the intimidation of all his followers.
568. But all rewards and punishments must be administered "without partiality, favor, or affection," with a just appreciation of the merits of all, and the strictest regard for justice; there must be no "friends to reward, or enemies to punish," in the government of a Regiment, and above all, there must be no feeling manifested, except such as it may be desirable to excite in the minds and hearts of the officers and men; for the feelings which are exhibited by the Commander excite corresponding feelings in the command.
569. APPOINTMENT AND REDUCTION OF NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS.-The Regulations have provided how Non-Commissioned Officers are appointed and reduced. (Par. 410, 411. Reg. 73 and 79.) All Non-Commissioned Officers are appointed by the Colonel or Commanding Officer; but those of the companies are appointed upon the recommendation of the Company Commanders. The Non-Commissioned Staff of the Regiment are entirely selected by the Colonel. Captains have the exclusive right to select their First or Orderly Sergeant, from the Sergeants. (Reg. 80.)
570. There are but two ways of reducing Non-Commissioned Officers: first, by order of the Regimental Commander, on the application of the Company Commander; second, by sentence of a Court-Martial; any other means is irregular and contrary to Regulations. (Reg. 79.) If the Captain and Colonel do not unite on the subject of the reduction of a Non-Commissioned Officer, the only course left is to prefer charges and have him tried by a Court-Martial. An officer of superior grade has no right to order the reduction of a Non-Commissioned Officer, but he may prefer charges, like any other officer, and bring him to trial.
571. The Colonel or Commanding Officer of the Regiment issues a Warrant to each Non-Commissioned Officer, signed by himself, and countersigned by the Adjutant of the Regiment, corresponding to a Commission for a Commissioned Officer. The blanks for the Warrants are furnished by the Adjutant-General's Department. (Reg. 80.) A Regimental order is always made to announce the appointment of a Non-Commissioned Officer, in which the grade and data of its commencement should be distinctly stated, and the Warrant should be made out to correspond to it. The issuing of Warrants should not be neglected, for the Non-Commissioned Officers place great value on them.
572. Much of the discipline of a Regiment depends upon the care in the selection of the Sergeants and Corporals, and the distinction that is made in these appointments. If they are well selected, properly sustained and directed, the Regiment will be well governed, for they will furnish the material aid to govern the men.
573. As a rule, the Company Commanders being most interested, and having greater opportunities to judge of the merits of the candidates, the Colonel will have little else to do than to confirm the recommendations of the Company Commanders, for the appointments. He should not oppose the wishes of the Captain, except for manifest reasons. The appointing power is given to the Colonel as a check, and the fact that he possesses it is sufficient to control the recommendations for the appointments in favor of the best interests of the service.
574. Company and Post Commanders may make temporary appointments, subject to the approval of the Colonel. (Reg. 74.) When a Non-Commissioned Officer is reduced by sentence of a Court-Martial, at a Post not the Regimental Headquarters, the Company Commander will for-ward a copy of the order to the Commander of the Regiment. (Reg. 79.)
575. If in addition to the care in selecting Non-Commissioned Officers, there is also the hope held out that where a Non-Commissioned Officer is recommended by his Company Commander as a worthy candidate for a Commission, under the provisions of the Act, August 4, 1854, he will certainly receive an examination, and if found competent, be recommended for promotion, the rank and file will feel that the gate of preferment is open to them, and thus the greatest stimulus be given to meritorious conduct and ambition. There can be no progress in human nature, in the ranks or out of it, unless there is a hope that time and successful labor will bring its rewards.
576. PARADES, REVIEWS, INSPECTIONS, AND MUSTERS.-These are ceremonies instituted by Regulations for various purposes so closely related and intermingled, yet all with different objects, that, although under one heading they require to be treated of separately.
577. A Parade is a ceremony that in our service takes place daily when the weather permits, at sundown; it may be required at other hours, but this is not usual. (Reg. 337.) It consists of a display of the command in a manner established by Art. XXXII of the Regulations; it is the occasion on which orders are published, and such other information as may be necessary to communicate to the command collectively.
578. The form given is for the Infantry arm, there is no form given in Regulations for Artillery or Cavalry. A form is generally provided in the Tactics for those arms. In practice throughout the service, these different ceremonies in the Artillery and Cavalry assimilate themselves as near as possible to the forms given for Infantry in the Regulations.
579. The form for Review is also found in Art. XXXII. This is a ceremony of compliment to some superior Officer, and usually precedes the prescribed Inspections and Musters as an exercise. The form given is for a single Battalion or Regiment of Infantry; Artillery and Cavalry are required to conduct their reviews on "similar principles, and according to the systems of instruction for those arms of service." (Reg. 374.) For larger commands the necessary modifications are suggested in the Regulations. (Reg. 371.)
580. An Inspection is a ceremony instituted to show the condition of the command with regard to numbers, equipment, and general fitness for service. Art. XXX of the Regulations relates to inspections. It prescribes the form of the ceremony, and requires that stated Inspections should be made by Captains every Sunday, by the Colonel every month, and at every muster for payment. (Reg. 304.) Inspection is usually preceded by Review. (Reg. 303.) The Commanding Officer is also required to visit the Quarters, Hospitals, Guard House, and other departments of his command. (Reg. 305.)
581. The form prescribed is for Infantry, which totally inapplicable to Artillery or Cavalry in the details. The form may be adhered to in the main, when mounted; but for a minute inspection of individuals, they must be dismounted, and it is therefore attended with much more inconvenience and difficulty. An established form is greatly needed. It is the custom to make a cursory inspection, as near the form prescribed for Infantry, as the dissimilarity of arms will admit, and then dismount the men to inspect in detail.
582. Muster is a ceremony required to be performed on the last day of February, April, June, August, October, and December, for the purpose of ascertaining the presence of the men and officers borne on the rolls, and to prepare the rolls for the payment of the troops for the two preceding months. (Art. XXXI.) This ceremony cannot be dispensed with; it is usually preceded by a Review and an Inspection. The muster is required to be performed by an Inspector-General, or a Special Inspector, designated by the Corps, Division, or Department Commander, but generally neither are present, in which case it is the duty of the Commanding Officer of the Post. (Reg. 327.)
583. Military ceremonies are very important in the government of troops, they serve to keep up an interest, to excite a military spirit and fondness for the service, partly on account of the beauty and attractiveness of the displays themselves, but principally on account of the attention they attract generally. They are often thrilling in their nature. recalling brilliant and heroic deeds, stimulated by stirring music, and the reports of arms, the presence of exciting crowds and public enthusiasm, making such a halo of military glory around the soldier's life as to enchant him with the profession, in spite of the dangers and inconveniences that every one is aware, attend it.
584. Inspections extending throughout all the matters pertaining to a Regiment are the surest means of keeping every part in order. They require, however, a thorough knowledge on the part of the Inspector of all the details, and much patience and industry in making the inspections thorough. Where officers and men feel that their carelessness and neglect will be observed and reproved, and their correctness and completeness commended and approved, they will exert themselves to avoid the former, and attain the latter.
585. The Regiment should not be visited solely at stated intervals, and upon due notice, but the inspector must avail himself of all times and all hours to visit it, to know and fully understand the workings of a Regiment, and be able to state what its real merits are. To see a Regiment on review will enable an inspector to judge its capacity for a review, but does not furnish the least clue as to how it will behave on picket duty, or on the field of battle.
586. Hence the Colonel should visit the company quarters, kitchens, stables, etc.; he should examine carefully the company records and books, direct what he finds to be wrong to be corrected, and also to see that the correction is made. He should visit the grand guard, and observe the men and officers on picket duty, and how they conduct themselves during an alarm. He should, himself, receive the reports of the Company Commanders, at the principal roll-calls, particularly at Reveille. If he requires the Company Commanders to be present at Reveille, they will require the First Sergeants, and they will require the men, and so the presence of the Colonel insures the presence of every other member of the Regiment.
587. The Quartermaster's and Commissary Departments, and the Hospital, should all be subject to his general supervision, and receive frequent visits from him. These visits, however, must be made in an official way, not with a detective spirit, but in an open way, requiring the responsible person to attend and explain the operations of his department; otherwise the officer responsible might feel that he was not treated with sufficient respect in his own department.
588. In these inspections there is nothing so essential to the good feeling of the command, as for the individuals to be treated with full consideration in their respective departments, by their commanders. To get the full amount of labor that a man is capable of, he must be allowed full confidence in his particular branch, the moment he is neglected and ignored in his own department he becomes disgusted and discouraged, and in time becomes neglectful and indifferent to his duty.
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