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MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA BOUNDARY LINE.
For some years past at various times difficulties have occurred between the citizens of Maryland and the Oyster Police Force of Virginia along the line between the two States. Arrests have been made of the citizens of Maryland, who have appealed to the Executive, claiming that the arrests were made while they were pursuing their daily labor either of oystering or crab. bing within the territory of Maryland.
In order to avoid these difficulties commissioners were appointed by the Executives of Maryland and Virginia to mark the boundary line, and their reports, on file, show that the work has been satisfactorily done.
AMENDMENT OF MUNICIPAL CHARTERS.
It sometimes happens that an important amendment to a municipal charter, containing features obnoxious to a majority of the citizens it is to affect, is passed by the General Assembly at the instance of the local officers. To obviate this difficulty I think it well that the General Assembly should require a popular vote on such measures before they become effective.
STATE AUDITOR. I wish to renew the recommendation which I made in my Message to the General Assembly of 1898, that provision be made for a State Auditor, whose duty shall be to examine the accounts of public officers who receive and disburse State funds, and of institutions that receive State aid.
MARYLANDERS IN CIVIL WAR. The General Assembly of 1896 authorized me to appoint a commission, without compensation, to compile and publish a History of the Maryland Volunteers in the Civil War. This work has been conscientiously done, and contains the records of 62,000 soldiers and sailors who were an honor to the nation and to the State.
I would recommend that a similar publication be made of the names of Marylanders who volunteered their services during the war with Spain.
On the first call for volunteers by the President, April 23, 1898, the State of Maryland furnished one regiment of infantry (Fifth Regiment Maryland United States Volunteers) commanded by Col. R. Dorsey Coale, consisting of fifty officers and 961 enlisted men, aggregating 1011, and two battalions of infantry (First Maryland United States Volunteers) commanded by Col. W. P. Lane, consisting of thirty-two officers and 626 enlisted men, aggregating 658.
On the second call by the President the State furnished one battalion of infantry, consisting of sixteen officers and 426 enlisted men, aggregate 442.
The total strength of these commands was ninety-eight officers and 2,013 enlisted men, aggregate 2,111-this was the full quota of the State asked for by the War Department. In addition to this the Navy Department on the first call and subsequently was furnished twenty-six officers and 430 enlisted men, making a total of 124 officers and 2,443 men, aggregating 2,567 furnished by the State.
The Maryland Naval Battalion manned the United States Auxiliary Cruiser “Dixie" and several United States Monitors. The men comprising the crew of the Dixie were the only organization from Maryland which had actual war service, having participated in the capture of Ponce, Peurto Rico. The State appropriated $200,000 for preparing troops for the war. Of this sum $125,000 was used. Vouchers have been filed with the War Department. $101,080.40 has been refunded to the State, and I hope that the full amount will be shortly returned.
No troops furnished the government were more expeditiously and fully clothed, armed and equipped for service and sent forward than those from the State of Maryland.
Every care and comfort was extended to the sick soldiers brought home from the camps in the South and placed in our hospitals, and no necessary expense was spared in giving them the best medical attention during their convalescence.
The foregoing gives a fair general idea of the condition of the departments and institutions of the State. I would, however, again suggest that you accord to the reports submitted from these sources a careful hearing, as they contain much information of value that could not well be made within the compass of a paper such as this. With these as a guide, and with the interests of the whole people of the State in view, I trust that you will enact such measures as will redound to its honor and promote the public welfare.