« السابقةمتابعة »
consideration. The Act clearly states the purposes for which the money appropriated should be used, and clearly defines the duties of the Adjutant General in issuing warrants and accounting for its disbursement, the only duties imposed upon this officer by the Act.
On April 16, 1898, the Adjutant General of Maryland, in accordance with a request contained in a letter to the Governor from Mr. Hull, Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, appeared before said committee in Washington with military representatives from a number of other States in the Union. The object of this meeting seemed to be to ascertain the views of these State representatives, as well as the views of certain army officers present, as to the advisability of passing what was known as the "Hull Bill" for the increase and practical reorganization of the army upon such a scale as would insure a sufficient number of officers and men to meet, in the first instance, any requirement in the event of war. Incidentally, or it may be primarily in the minds of some, the object was to show that there was no immediate necessity for the proposed increase, but that the so-called National Guard organizations of the several States were sufficient and adequate to co-operate successfully with the army. This latter view was supported earnestly and sincerely by many of those present. Maryland's representative, speaking for himself, without any previous instruction, and for what he believed to be the position of Maryland, warmly advocated the "Hull Bill” which, had it been enacted into law at that time, would have avoided the alleged necessity of calling upon the National Guard. While claiming for the Maryland National Guard as much patriotism, loyalty, devotion to duty and efficiency as that of any other State, I did not think its training and experience had been such as to fit it for service in a war which might require invasion of a foreign country. Moreover, I did not think it fair that officers and men who had been mustered in in the State service with no other purpose than to serve their State in ordinary emergencies should be placed in the dilemma of having to sacrifice their business and other interests at a moment's notice or be branded as unpatriotic or cowardly.
The committee adjourned to meet at the office of the Secretary of War in the afternoon with the State representatives and the Army Officers who were present at the earlier meeting. At the latter meeting it was officially declared that war was certain, and it was determined that practically the entire National Guard of the country should be called out and that the committee should forthwith prepare a bill containing provisions giving the President authority to so call out the National Guard upon the declaration of war. Such a bill was subsequently passed with a supplemental bill passed later.
It is important to bear in mind these preliminary matters as an explanation of the meaning of the provisions of the Act of Congress for calling out the National Guard, of the subsequent course of events in the preparations by the States for war and the volunteering of the National Guard, and of the peculiar status of these organizations while in the United States service.
It is proper also to add that there was apprehension, at that time, of actual invasion of our waters by the Spanish fleet.
So much having been determined at Washington in relation to the National Guard, against such protest as was made and implied by the position taken by the Adjutant General of Maryland, the afternoon and night of that Saturday were spent in a careful consideration of these new and unusual conditions, and General Orders Nos. 6, 7 and 8 were prepared. There was question whether or not a “retired list” could be created. Although the Board of Officers who prepared the Militia Law of 1896 agreed that the authority proposed to be vested in the Governor by Section 3 “to make and publish all needful rules and regulations” would be ample for this purpose, when officers of both the Fourth and Fifth Regiments as early as the summer of 1896 asked that a regulation creating a retired list should be made and published, the Adjutant-General, after a more careful study of the law, refused to make the regulation on the ground of its doubtful legality. But the present being a case of "threatened invasion” and “certain war," Section 2 which authorizes the Governor “to make all needful rules and regulations therefor" was deemed to apply. There was ample authority in Section 23 to revoke commissions, for “qualification” applies to physical as well as to mental incapacity. The method prescribed in the latter section is not only
cumbersome but somewhat harsh, and it was thought every officer would gladly accept this method of “retirement," which, as a matter of fact, was generally accepted at the time General Orders No. 6 went into effect.
The information gained at Washington on April 16, as hereinbefore set forth, with copies of General Orders Nos. 6, 7 and 8, was laid before a number of officers called together at the house of Brigadier-General Lawrason Riggs in Baltimore, on Sunday, April 17, 1898. The officers present were General Riggs, General Thomas S. Mumford, Major Clinton L. Riggs, Captain C. Baker Clotworthy, Captain Charles D. Gaither and Lieutenant J. Markham Marshall. It was proposed to have at least two officers of the Fourth Regiment, but there attendance could not be secured at the time of the conference.
There was no expression of objection at this conference to the provisions of these General Orders nor to anything that had then been done or that was then proposed. It was understood and agreed that as the Maryland National Guard was to be called upon Maryland would do her duty, and that every preparation should be made in advance, as far as praticable, for the situation that confronted us. There was no enthusiasm. It was a matter of duty and of State pride, for the most part.
General Orders Nos. 6, 7 and 8 were therefore promulgated on April 18.
During this week, besides the activity in the First Brigade, the First Naval Battalion received special orders to prepare for war upon inquiries and requests from the Navy Department. It may be stated in this place that the whole course of conduct of the officers and seamen of this battalion during the continuance of their service in the war and on their return to the service of the State was such as to gain for them the approbation of the United States and the State authorities. It may also be stated that the "Extract from Log of First Prize Crew from U. S. 'Dixie'” and other appendices to Commander Emerson's report on file at these Headquarters are of great interest, but it was impracticable to print them with the report.
On April 21, war being declared, the Governor placed the Adjutant General in command of the Maryland State forces by a duly authenticated commission. A copy of this special commission was filed at the War Department, and it was recognized there during the period it was in force. The authority so vested in the Adjutant General was fully approved by the War Depart. ment as simplifying the relations between that Department and this, for the commission not only placed the Adjutant General in command, but gave him “full power and authority to do and to act in all respects as the Governor and Commander-inChief could or might do in the premises,” thus making him the Governor's representative as the law prescribed.
The officers at Brigade Headquarters in Baltimore requested that the troops should be ordered into camp to facilitate the equipping and organizing for the war. Orders were accordingly issued on April 22.
On April 23, upon the request of the Secretary of the Navy, the first contingent of the Naval Battalion was ordered to Norfolk, and subsequently another contingent was called for and ordered to Norfolk to complete the complement of the "Dixie." The celerity of the movements of the Naval Battalion in thus reporting for active duty, as more fully set forth in Commander Emerson's report herewith, was among the creditable achievements of this well-disciplined State organization.
On Monday, April 25, 1898, the entire First Brigade reported for duty at Pimlico, in accordance with orders previously issued, under the immediate command of Brigadier General Lawrason Riggs. The promptness of the movements in this case also deserves high commendation. (See General Riggs' report). Most of the events at the Pimlico Camp are stated by General Riggs in his report and explained by the orders issued during the encampment. Not only was delay caused by the weather, as shown by General Riggs' report, but by the frequent changes in numbers required and in the method and manner of organizing prescribed from time to time by the War Department. Nine changes were made after the call for troops.
In addition to these causes of delay preparations were hampered by the very natural efforts of relatives and friends who did not desire those they loved and upon whom, in many cases, they were dependent, to volunteer for this doubtful experiment. A sort of public sentiment was thus created which found expression in letters and other matter published in the newspapers. This sentiment had so far prevailed that assertions were made "on the outside” that when the day came for muster in one entire regiment would refuse to volunteer. Of course these assertions were made by those who did not know the regiment. In order to relieve somewhat this phase of our difficulties and to more clearly set forth the restrictions imposed by the State upon volunteering, a letter was written General Riggs to the following effect: "No officer or man of either the Fifth or the First Regiment who has father or mother, wife or sister, or any other relative dependent upon him for support, will be permitted to remain in his regiment or to be mustered in into the United States service."
On April 26 a telegram was received from the Secretary of War calling for Maryland's quota as one regiment of infantry and four heavy batteries and prescribing the number of officers and men in each organization. A telegram was immediately sent stating we had no artillery in Maryland and asking for a change in this call. A letter was also immediately written to the Secretary of War protesting against this call and offering the entire First Brigade as then constituted, stating further, in effect, that if efficiency and fighting were desired Maryland could better answer these requirements by furnishing the entire Brigade, and asking that we be credited with the excess thus furnished upon a second call for troops. No notice was ever taken of this letter, but on April 27 was received the official letter from the Secretary of War repeating the call as above stated, and asking that the quota be made uppreferably from the National Guard organizations." This was in accordance with the determination made on April 16, above referred to, and the act passed in accordance therewith.
Immediately after receiving this letter from the Secretary of War the Governor issued his proclamation, and orders were issued accordingly, as will appear from copies thereof herewith printed. The call for the four batteries of artillery was changed to a call for two battalions of infantry, and other changes were made as above stated.
The question as to how these National Guard organizations should be mustered in arose at the War Department, and upon suggestion it was agreed that they should be mustered in and the officers commissioned as of the “5th and ist, (respectively), Maryland U. S. Volunteers, [5th and ist, (respectively), Regt's, I., M. N. G.]," the designation "U. S. Volunteers being subsequently changed to "U. S. Volunteer Infantry."
This parenthetical designation was designed to mark the distinction between National Guard regiments and other regiments in the Volunteer Army of the United States and thus to preserre the integrity of our State organizations.
On May 13, 1898, provisional and special commissions were issued by the Governor of Maryland, as required by the United States, to the officers of the Fifth and First Regiments. The Fifth Regiment was mustered in into the United States service by Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, 8th U. S. Cavalry, on May 14, 1898, with 985 officers and men, and the two battalions of the First Regiment were mustered in by him on May 17, 1898, with 651 officers and men. The Fifth soon after departed for Chickamauga, and the First for Fort Monroe.
Provision had been made by the United States that each National Guard regiment might have one Army Officer as a Field Officer. This was a wise provision. Captain Walter L. Finley, 9th U.S. Cavalry, who had been in Maryland by assignment of the War Department for several years, whose ability as an officer was well known, and whose high standing in this Department as a man of integrity, courage and honor was understood and approved by officers and men of the Maryland National Guard, was recommended for the position of Major in the First Regiment, and Lieutenant Ellwood W. Evans, the mustering officer above mentioned, who had been military instructor at St. John's College for several years and who was also most favorably and popularly known among Maryland officers and men as a competent officer and a gentleman above reproach, was selected for the Fifth Regiment. It was subsequently made known that the Fifth preferred to enter the United States service with its own officers alone. After information was received from the War Department that the First Regiment would be assigned to garrison duty, for a time at least, and that Captain Finley's regiment, the oth Cavalry, was ordered to the front, Captain Finley held it to be his duty to join his regiment and resume the command of his own Troop. As Lieutenant Evans' regiment was not assigned for duty at the front he consented to go with the First Regiment as a more certain means of seeing active service in the end, and the officers of that regiment readily accepted him as one of their majors. His services to this regiment were invaluable.
The announced purpose to permit these regiments to select and retain, as far as practicable, such of their own officers as were not rejected by the examining surgeons was consistently followed in commissioning officers at Pimlico. No other course would have been just to those who were making the sacrifices many of them made, and any other course would have been in violation of the rights of these organizations as National Guard organizations.
The Staff appointments were, in every case, made by the