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ADJUTANT GENERAL OF THE STATE,
HIS EXCELLENCY WM. B. BATE, GOVERNOR.
DECEMBER 13, 1884.
To His Excellency, Wm. B. BATE, Governor of the State of Tennessee :
SIR: I have the honor to report to Your Excellency that upon assuming the duties of Adjutant General, something near two yeprs since, I, at the earliest practical moment thereafter, made a personal inspection and examination of the State's Armory and military equipments, and found the same in endless confusion. There seemed to have been no regard for this valuable and costly property of the State. The various articles and stores were scattered about with no order and no special place for any particular article. An examination of the laws for something directory to me in the man. agement of the department.proved of no avail, as upon this ques- . tion the laws were almost silent. I then looked to the appropriation to the department in the hope of being able to accomplish something at least by way of bringing some degree of order out of the mass of confusion found, as some expense must necessarily accrue upon the execution of any contemplated work. I only found one hundred dollars ($100), not enough to undertake any work. Notwithstanding this state of facts, however, by devoting such spare time as I have been able to command from my additional duties as Secretary to the Governor, to the work of classifying and arranging the department, which has been done without money, and mainly with the help of Mr. Dautel, the landscape gardener of the capitol grounds. Much has been done, but I am still unable to report with any degree of accuracy the number of guns, or to give a tabulated amount and condition of this character of property belonging to the State, much of it being scattered about over the State, that I am unable to have reports of, or collect, by reason of no laws to enforce, and no money to bear expense. Since in office there has been added to this department, upon my application to
the War Department at Washington, one Gatling gun, two 3-inch Parrott guns, and a small mountain howitzer with equipments. Have equipped several other guns, and have several hundred new regulation infantry guns, with equipments and ammunition, besides other smaller articles. The armory at times, like the remainder of the building, is damp, and consequently causes mildew and rust. To obviate this, cases should be made suitable for packing different articles, properly distributed and labeled, and provision should be made for cleaning at certain intervals, so as to preserve this property. Provision should also be made by which the scattered arms and equipments could be ascertained, returned to the armory, cleaned and properly preserved. If wholly unserviceable, as is the case with some, they should be disposed of and the place given to others, all of which should be kept serviceable and in good order.
We have a number of military companies and several military schools in the State ; some of them in good organization, others not. Some laws should be enacted that would require them all to come to a common standard, and they should be subjected at regular intervals to inspection by the proper State officer. The companies, though not regularly in the service of the State, stand ever ready to respond to a call by the State, and therefore deserve some recognition and encouragement from the State.
I trust Your Excellency will recommend to the Legislature an investigation of this department, and such legislation in the premises as will collect and preserve the interests involved.
All of which is most respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,
R. W. CANTRELL,