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Letter Transmitting Report of the Adjutant General.
HEADQUARTERS LAND AND NAVAL FORCES OF MARYLAND.
ANNAPOLIS, December 30, 1899. To His Excellency the Governor of Maryland, and to the Hon.
orable the Members of the General Assembly of Maryland,
I have the honor to submit herewith the fiscal reports required by law for the years 1898 and 1899; also report of the expenditures of the “Military Emergency Fund” disbursed by warrants upon the Comptroller of the Treasury, as required by the Act of Assembly of 1898, Chapter 380.
A type-written copy of the fiscal report for 1898 was submitted to the Governor in the beginning of the year, and the reporters of the press were given items for publication. As it was desired that the General Assembly should have information of all matters contained in that report, more particularly the report of expenditures of the “Military Emergency Fund” authorized by the said Act of 1898, it was determined that the printing of the report should be deferred for a year so as to embrace all in the report to the General Assembly.
Only fiscal reports are required of this Department, but there are added a consolidated statement of the claim of the State of Maryland against the United States growing out of the expenditures on account of equipping and preparing our troops for the late war, and a statement of the condition of that claim at the date the report was placed in the hands of the printer, December 20, 1899.
Since that date there has been received from the United States a further payment of $22,926.39 made on December 27, 1899, leaving the condition of the claim, at this writing, as follows: Balance of claim as amended and filed December 6, 1899.......
$52,652 80 Payment on December 27, 1899, as above stated...
$22,926 39 Unadjusted Clothing Account, arising out of dif
ferences in valuations made by the State and the U. S. Quartermaster General's Department
20,874 51 Total of various items running through entire
account, causes of non-payment not yet stated by Auditor ........
$52,652 So $52,652 80
It is hoped outstanding differences may be adjusted before the close of the current State administration.
There are also submitted copies of the Proclamations of the Governor and of the principal General Orders issued in connection with the late war, a roster of the officers, with the number of men, who served the United States from Maryland in said war, a roster containing the names of the Governor and Commander-in-Chief, the General Staff of the Militia and the aids to the Commander-in-Chief, and the names of the officers, with the number of men, now constituting the Maryland National Guard and the “Veteran Corps,'' Fifth Regiment Infantry, Maryland National Guard.
This information is followed by reports of the operations of the Quartermaster General's Department and the Inspector General's Department, and by reports of the Commanding Officers of the First Brigade, the First Naval Battalion and the “Veteran Corps.”
These additions to the fiscal reports are full and complete, and your attention is respectfully called to them as giving valuable information, especially in regard to Maryland's work in preparing for the late war and to some of the conditions which followed.
In the preparation of the fiscal reports care has been taken, not merely to state a debit and credit account, but to explain the purposes for which the several disbursements were made. The Adjutant General's accounts have been compared with the books of the Comptroller's office, and there is exact agreement so far as warrants issued have been presented to that office.
The claim of the State against the United States was prepared chiefly by John C. Marshall, Clerk to the Acting Quartermaster General, whose services in the Quartermaster General's Department have been invaluable to the State in this and in other work of the Department, notably in the preparation of the property statement appended to the Acting Quartermaster General's report. It would be well if the services of Mr. Marshall, who is a retired army man, could be secured for the State in future work in the Quartermaster General's Department and in other Departments. Some conception of the magnitude of the work in preparing the State's claim against the Government may be had from the statement that over twelve hundred papers, besides letters of information and of inquiry, have been filed with the Auditor for the War Department.
The State is indebted to Senator McComas for his interest in urging the speedy adjustment and settlement of this claim, and action has been accelerated by visits of the Governor to Washington. In this, as in other matters in which he has directed and assisted officers charged with the collection and disbursement of public funds, the Governor has endeavored to protect the financial interests of the State.
This claim against the United States was presented and has been actively followed up by the Adjutant General, although this is not among his prescribed duties. Some of the States have not only employed agents or attorneys, but have had a number of clerks aiding the Auditor's Department in Washington.
While the money ($101,080.04) thus far collected has been paid into the Treasury of the State without any discount or abatement whatsoever, the work of the Adjutant General in prosecuting the claim was with the understanding, as he supposed, that he should proceed in consideration of the increased pay to be received by him, under the assignment and order of the Governor hereinafter referred to, during his tour of special duty which ended on November 21, 1898. Although the increased pay was withheld on and after September 1, 1898, the Adjutant General has, nevertheless, been performing the work he undertook.
In an interview with the outgoing Attorney General and the Comptroller about this increased pay, in which the work of the Adjutant General during his tour of duty as commanding officer was fully explained, the Attorney General said that, while he did not feel at liberty to reverse the opinion of his predecessor who had sustained the position taken by the Comptroller in withholding this pay, he thought the Legislature should, and he believed it would, award compensation for the work of prosecuting the State's claim against the Government of the United States, and thus adjust the claim of the Adjutant General for increased pay fairly and equitably. I shall not discuss the question at this time further than to say that the Comptroller stated that, although constrained to pursue the course he did pursue upon his and the former Attorney General's interpretation of the meaning of the law, he thought the claim for increased pay was “equitable.” The Governor admitted it was just and fair." I shall later beg leave to call the attention of the General Assembly to this matter, with a particular account of all things relating thereto, as it is a matter which, while somewhat personal to myself, concerns the public as well. I have not desired, and do not desire, anything to which I am not legally and justly entitled, according to my conception of law and right, and I shall be content to rest the determination of the matter with the representatives of the people.
The statement appended to the Acting Quartermaster General's report, above referred to, is one of the most valuable contributions of its kind ever published in Maryland, and, as stated in that report, much time was consumed in collecting the information from which this statement is compiled.
The expenditures for re-equipping the Maryland National Guard have been heavy this year. As some off-set to this we have, as will be noted in the fiscal report, an unusually large sum to our credit out of the apportionment of the appropriation to Maryland by the United States Government for the benefit
of our militia. This sum should be sufficient to meet all demands during the coming year for tentage, ordnance and such other material as is usually furnished by the Government.
It was originally proposed that this Department should not go further in submitting the reports herewith, especially as the reports of officers give such information as will be of interest. Nevertheless, as it has been suggested that a more particular account should be given of the operations of this Department during the late war, and of matters relating thereto, the more so in that upon the head of the Department, not only as Adjutant General, but as Commanding Officer and representative of the Governor, devolved responsibilities of a delicate and trying nature, I shall proceed. I shall endeaver not to repeat what has been treated of in reports of officers herewith, and shall, not merely of necessity, but for the good of the service, omit many details and incidents, seeking to avoid criticism and comment as far as may be, and making this communication as brief and impersonal as it is possible to make it.
It may be well to state in the beginning, in view of some misconceptions that have prevailed, that the object in incorporating into the Act of 1896, Chapter 89, known as the “Militia Law," the provision authorizing the governor to "assign, delegate and order” the Adjutant General to command of troops in the case of riot, as set forth in the Act, and “in all other cases of internal disturbance, war and invasion," was to avoid the complications and injustices which occurred in the riots of 1894, when not only did my distinguished predecessor hold, according to the opinion of the learned Attorney-General at that time, a very doubtful authority, to say the least, in the military “Department of Maryland," but, while bearing the burdens and responsibilities of Commanding Officer, he received, very much against his protest, the pay of one of his First Lieutenants. It may be added that neither the General Assembly which passed the bill nor any officer who proposed the provision above referred to, so far as has been ascertained, could have foreseen the war with Spain in 1898, two years later.
Towards the close of the session of 1898, when rumors of war prevailed, a member of the House of Delegates offered a bill to appropriate $200,000.00 in the event of war. This was not encouraged at the time, but later, when other States were making large appropriations, a bill was prepared by me which, at the Governor's request, was delivered to him, and after some emendation it was offered in the Senate by the President of that body, referred to the proper committee and passed with great unanimity after an amendment had been added in committee, as I have been informed, authorizing the members of the Board of Public Works to borrow money if necessary. I was not asked to appear before the committee nor was I present in either branch of the Legislature at any time when the bill was under 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