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ments ont of the fifty-five, instead of the old unless such a provision is made as that we stitute twenty-five per cent. ; those who have corps of twenty-four regiments, these ten regi- make in the bill. When gentlemen make an had three wounds in the servvice constitute nine ments to be oflicered by selection from among objection of that kind they do not see how far per cent. ; those who have had four wounds one the officers of the Veteran Reserve corps and it will go. If you cannot legislate the Veteran and a half per cent. ; those who have received all other officers and soldiers wounded in the Reserve corps or any selection of them into five wounds, one per cent.; those who have Union cause in the suppression of this rebel- your Army because there is bad policy in it, suffered amputation of a leg, ten per cent. : lion, the only requirement being that they shall then it is bad policy to have twenty-seven new those who have suffered amputation of an arm, be found competent upon examination. regiments made up of the nine old regiments nine per cent.; the number not wounded, but
These officers of the Veteran Reserve corps raised only for the war. I expect these gen- admitted because of disease or other causes might well say, “It is hard that we should be | tlemen have forgotten that.
disabling from duty, only nine and a half per required to undergo a reexamination, having Who are these wounded officers? Let us cent. once passed an examination when we received look at their character, as they will be spoken And yet people are talking about these sol. our appointments and were confirmed by the of disparagingly here and elsewhere in refer- diers as though they were made up of men who Senate." But these men do not ask for them- ence to points connected with this debate. had no claim upon the country by reason of selves, nor is it asked for them, that they shall There is a great misapprehension, I expect, in having actually served in the field of battle, be exempt from this reëxamination. But the relation to them. They were appointed to the and of having suffered in their persons by being door being thrown open for all wounded ofti- Veteran Reserve corps in 1863, 1864, and 1865. || exposed to the bullets and bayonets of the cers and soldiers of the Union Army, it is pro- In 1863, when this organization was first begun, enemy. posed that they shall come in with the rest, and the aggregate of oslicers appointed was six hun- But all these remarks are unnecessary when that from the whole the oflicers for these ten dred and eighty. They were appointed without you take into account the fact that after all regiments shall be selected.
examination by transfer from the volunteer you are going to select from the whole numAgain, how are the men for the regiment to service.
ber, that after all you throw the door wide be obtained? Generally by recruiting, as in It was afterward determined to give a better open to all who have been wounded; and inother cases.
But there is in one of the later character to the corps, and it was provided they asmuch as that is the fact, you bring it back sections of this bill a provision for obtaining should undergo an examination and be con- to the reply to the general argument, that a and providing for men who have suffered wounds firmed by the Senate. On that examination, wounded man is not fit for duty and a wounded or contracted disability in service. At the close of the six hundred and eighty appointed about || officer cannot properly have command. of the tenth section is the following provision: one third failed and were dropped from the Sir, the true reason leaked out from a re
It shall be competent to enlist men for the ser- rolls, leaving the number of appointments in mark which dropped from one of the gentle. rice who have been wounded in the line of their duty 1863 at four hundred and forty-six. In 1864 men from New York, which I have heard while serving in the Army of the United States, or who have been disabled by disease contracted in such
near four hundred appointments were made repeated again and again outside, and which service, provided it shall be found, on medical in- after rigid examination.
is in fact based upon a general opposition on spection, that by such wounds or disability they are
In 1865, at the close of the war, only fifty-five the part of those now constituting the regular not untitted for eficiency in garrison or other light duty; and such men, when enlisted, shall be assigned
were appointed, making the total appointed and Army to having any Reserve corps made up to service exclusively in the regiments of the Vet- confirmed by the Senate eight hundred and of wounded men, and, as far as possible, of cran Reserve corps.
ninety. About six hundred remain in the ser- wounded oflicers. The argument is this: that Those three provisions in these different vice who were regularly appointed, confirmed, all the easy places, such as garrison duties and and appropriate sections, show, taken together, and commissioned. Of these six hundred station duties in towns, will probably fall to how we would constitute this Veteran Reserve about four hundred are on duty with General the share of this corps, and the able-bodied corps, to consist of these ten regiments. There Howard in the Freedmen's Bureau. I think it | gentlemen of the regular Army will have to is full provision made by which oslicers and no breach of confidence to say I have his assur- rough it out on the frontier posts, in the field, inen alike who have served their country and ance-although like all other classes of officers or at hard work. have been wounded or otherwise contracted there may be some who are unfortunate, who Well, sir, the only reply I have to make to that disability shall not on that account be debarred will be weeded out on examination-yet as a is this, that if any class of men deserve the easy from coming with their meed of help to the body he has no better, more efficient, capable, | places, deserve to be put on recruiting luty, in country in doing such duty as they may be fitted and intelligent officers than those sent to him garrison along the coasts and as guards, where to perform, because they would be unable to for duty.
ever they can properly perform that duty, and undergo successfully that medical inspection [Here the hammer fell.]
not to be sent out to report on the frontier, it which, both as to officers and men, is a part Nr. CONKLING. I move that the time of is exactly these men who have not only had an of the inquiry into their fitness when they the gentleman be extended.
opportunity to prove themselves, but have actuare presented for service; but the rule being The motion was agreed to.
ally proved themselves, brave soldiers in the relaxed in their case, they are to be received Mr. SCHENCK. This is the testimony of cause of their country, and have got their disnotwithstanding their wounds or disability: General Howard, and I think it is a better sort ability in that way. And so long as that dis
If you do not have a provision of that kind, of testimony than that of gentlemen who think ability does not unfit them for a reasonable both as to officers and men, what will be the that one-armed men are not fit to be employed share of profitable duty, I say, employ them consequence? No man who has been wounded in the service of the United States, and who in that profitable way and give them the benein your cause can ever expect to be admitted would dispense with any further committal of fit of thus being provided for as some compen: into your service, whether he be an officer or a trust to that gallant and distinguished officer sation for that which they have undergone. If private, because the medical inspection always who sympathizes with and is in favor of pro- || anybody is entitled to easy places, it is these on inquiry into his fitness will exclude both | viding for those who have suffered in the cause oslicers and men unless you have some such of their country,
Ah! but it is said they would not be fit for provision.
But it may be asked, why did not these the duty. I suppose not; I suppose not. A But gentlemen say, these men being wounded veterans return to their duty when they so far fellow with one arm could not make the salute ought not to be employed-let them live upon recovered as to be fit for any duty whatever? | properly! A fellow with one eye could not their pension ; let them go into the pursuits of The answer is most obvious. In about nine maneuver his opera-glass properly! A fellow civil life. Let me apply that to those gentle. cases out of ten it arose from the fact that there with one leg could not lead the “German;" men who, being themselves already established was an order of the Department in 1862, called he could not waltz properly, even with the aid in the regular Army, would exclude these the sixty day order, which provided that if an of a piece of cork to supply his deficiency! wounded officers of volunteers. When one officer on account of wounds or disease should Now, I trust that all such arguments will be of them becomes wounded does he wish to go be absent sixty days or upwards, his name put aside. I trust that while we throw the out of the Army upon his pension? When one shoull be stricken from the rolls and his place doors wide open to all men of the volunteers of them becomes wounded does he wish to be supplied by another appointment. In this and of the regular Army, and endeavor to build relieved from all duty, from light duty, and way men who were wounded and who ultimately up a good and sufficient army upon a liberal receiving such entire pay as the law gives him? recovered far enough to be able to be employed || system, we shall give every one a chance; that You never hear an argument of that kind come profitably in the service fell out of the Army | there will be no more of these miserable and from that quarter.
entirely. They found their places filled on narrow attacks upon and attempts at exclusion But they say that it is to legislate a body of their return to duty.
of those who, whatever be their merits othermen into the regular Army who were only But, sir, I was going to speak of the char- wise, have at least proved that they have been temporarily employed, passing by the question acter of these men who are spoken of as unfit in the way of danger. what these men were taught to expect in the for service, men who have found their way Mr. SHELLA BÄRGER. I sympathize very Veteran Reserve corps when they were given into this Veteran corps as “loafers' so called. heartily in the line of remarks of my distinthe privilege of remaining in the Army or not. I happen to have among my papers a state- guished colleague, and I am earnestly in favor. Let me say if we do that it is no more than what ment of the percentage of the number of the of retaining in the service, as an act of mere We are doing for the regular Army. What are different character of the wounds received by | national justice, this Veteran Reserve corps, these new regiments made up of? The nine these men against whom this tilt is now made, but I do desire, before my colleague sits down, regiments of the old Army. They were regi- and I find that the percentage of wounds that he shall give the House the benefit of ments of three battalions each, raised by law received by the present officers of the corps is whatever knowledge he may have upon this for the rebellion, and their term will expire by as follows:
point. It is a common objection in the Army the limitation of law. Why, every one, whether Those of them who have had one wound against the retention of this Veteran Reserve he belongs to the School of West Point or was constitute thirty-five per cent. of the whole; corps that practically it will result in having appointed from civil life, would be turned out those who have suffered from two wounds con- ten regiments of officers and very few men. I
understand that it is said that the experience other, except that the course proposed by the of the country heretofore in this matter has
to a post or to a fort. The gentleman says that
committee will enable you to receive a class of there will always be, in an army of fifty thouindicated pretty strongly that it will not be men who otherwise will be excluded.
sand men or more, a great number wounded or practicable to have these regiments filled with Mr. BOUTWELL. I would ask the gentle- disabled by the accidents or casualties of the
man whether as a matter of experience, as well service to make up these garrisons. But they Now, I would like my distinguished col- as within the range of reasonable probability, will have no organization. They do not get sick league to tell the House what there is that is kuown bearing upon that subject, and whether
it is not true that an army of fifty thousand by companies or by regiments. You cannot,
men, composed of those who will pass a rigid therefore, send them, with their proper oflicers, it would be practicable to fill up these regi- | examination, will not necess ments and keep them filled up; for that is the the troubles and trials even of a time of peace,
essarily furnish, in to perform garrison duty. The reply to the
whole matter is that you cannot garrison your great point, I take it, that is made against this all the men disabled and incompetent for active posts by selecting one man from one regiment, feature of the bill. I understand that it has military service who may be necessary for all another from another regiment, two from a been very strongly made at the other end of
the light duties of the peace establishment. third, and an oflicer from a fourth to command the Capitol.
And I would also ask still further, whether, them. So that this substitute suggested for a Mr. SCHENCK. I am very glad to have considering the extended and varied character attention called to that point by my
Veteran Reserve corps is simply impracticable had my
of this country, and its variety of climate, it is colleague, and I shall bot be repeating my
and is utterly inconsistent with military discinot necessary in order to secure the physical pline and military practice. reference to the tenth section of the bill when and moral welfare of the Army that there should Then, again, the inquiry is, whether the ableI indicate how that difficulty is provided for. be capacity in the Commander-in-Chief to trans- bodied men will not necessarily be sent off to
Mr. SHELLABARGER. The difficulty is fer regiments and brigades from one portion of places where they will be exposed to the deletesaid to exist in the fact that you cannot get the country to another. And is not the natural rious influences of climate; whether they ought men to fill these regiments.
and necessary effect of this bill to place the not to be changed. Of course they should be Mr. SCHENCK. If you can get men for able-bodied and vigorous portion of the Army changed from time to time, and they may be ang regiments you can get them for these, with in unhealthy and exposed and delcterious situ- changed. As a great part of the peace duty the additional advantage that men recruited for ations which will undermine in five or ten years will be garrison duty, it is probable that these the general service are eligible to employment | the best and most vigorous physical constitu- regiments of the Veteran Reserve corps will in these ten regiments. Any man rocruited for tions?
be occasionally changed from post to post, from, the Army may be assigned to duty in one of Mr. SCHENCK. To that I answer "No." fort to fort, from guard duty at one point to these ten regiments, whether he has been The SPEAKER. The second fifteen min- guard duty at another, from garrison duty to Founded in the service or not. But in addi.
utes of the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. SCHEXCK] guard duty, and from guard duty to garrison tion to that we throw these ten regiments open have expired.
duty. So also with the able-bodied troops; so so as to authorize the enlistment, which other- Mr. INGERSOLL. I move that the time also with the remaining forty-five regiments of wise we could not permit under medical inspec. of the gentleman from Ohio be again extended. infantry who will not constitute the Veteran tion, of men partially disabled by wounds, and Mr. SCHENCK. My time has been much Reserve corps. They will be on duty someprovide that they may be transferred to these taken up by interruptions and explanations. times on the Pacific coast, sometimes upon the ten regiments.
Hereafter when occupying the floor I will decline Florida coast, sometimes along the Indian frontThe consequence will be practically this: if to yield to any one.
ier, and sometimes elsewhere. There will be you get enough wounded men to fill the ten The time of Mr. SCHENCK was extended by room enough for changes and transfers of all, regiments you will have these regiments com- unanimous consent.
notwithstanding the continuance of the Veteran posed exclusively and entirely of men who, to Mr. STEVENS. Before the gentleman from Reserve corps; for there will be a vast deal some extent, are invalids or cripples, but not Ohio [Mr. SCHIENCK] proceeds, I desire to state more of garrison and post and guard duty to as much so as to be unfit for duty. But if you to him that there is one objection in the minds be performed than can possibly be performed do not get enough such men to fill the ten regi- of some gentlemen, not pertaining necessarily by these ten regiments. ments you can fill them up from the rest of the to this section, but which still has some bear- Now, as to the efficiency of the Veteran Re· Army.
ing upon the votes which we are to give. And serve corps for such purposes, let us see what The tenth section provides what shall be done while do not entertain the objection that the present corps has done.
A portion of that with the recruits sent to the general rendezvous, others do, I desire some information.
corps was sent out to Johnson's Island at a and it then goes on to say:
Some gentlemen believe that the bill as it time when other troops had been withdrawn; It shall be competent to enlist men for the ser- now stands is intended to include, first, all the and during their servire as guard to that rebel vice who have been wounded in the line of their officers of the Veteran Reserve corps, and then prison the weather was sometimes so cold that duty while serving in the Army of the United States, or who have been disabled by disease contracted in
only to go among other wounded men for offi- the men froze at their posts. This shows that such service.
cers of these regiments. I do not myself so the members of this corps have been employed If there were not such a provision you could understand the bill, but others think so. But for duty at inclement places as well as ablenot enlist one of these men. Men who have I desire to ask the gentleman from Ohio if there
bodied men. Men of this corps, mounted as lost an eye or lost a finger or an arm, men who will be any objection on the part of the Com- cavalry, were sent up through Pennsylvania at have been injured in any way, would be rejected mittee on Military Affairs when we come to the time of the riots in the mining region; and by the medical inspector. But we provide the next section, the fifth section, to strike out they scouted the country for miles. Again, against that and say that any wounded man the words “by selection from the oflicers of they were mounted as cavalry and scouted the or officer shall be eligible, with this further the present Veteran Reserve corps, and;' and country in front of the fortifications of Washproviso:
thereby leave it open to all wounded men. ington toward the close of the war. They Provided, It shall be found, on medical inspection,
The section now reads:
guarded the public property here at Washingthat by such wounds or disability they are not unfitted The Veteran Reserve corps shall be officered by ton at every point. At the time of the apfor eficiency in garrison or other light duty; andsuch
selection from the officers of the present Veteran men, when enlisted, shall be assigned to service ex
proach of the rebel enemy to this city in the Reserve corps, and by appointment from any oflicers clusively in the regiments of the Veteran Reservo and soldiers who have been wounded, &c.
summer of 1864, they occupied and garrisoned Mr. BOUTWELL. I understand from the
If amended as I suggest it will then read:
the northeast fortifications of the city, from Shall be officered by appointment from any offi
Fort Stevens entirely around to Fort Reno. remarks just made by the gentleman from Ohio, cers and soldiers of volunteers who have been wound
They were in conflict with the enemy. Many [Mr. SCHENCK,] that, he thinks it possible at ed, &c.
of them, although they had suffered wounds or least, and not only possible but probable, from That would remove all doubt on the subject. contracted disease in former battles, were able our past experience, that these ten regiments Mr. SCHENCK. I do not know that I should to renew the fight, to take again their position will not be filled and kept full by invalids of the make any objection to the amendmentsuggested as efficient soldiers; and many of them suffered Army. In that case, he suggests that these ten by the gentleman from Pennsylvania, [Mr. even unto death in the battles which occurred regiments are to be filled as the other regiments STEVENS ;] that is precisely the meaning of the when Washington was thus threatened. Their are filled ; that is, hy men who can pass a rigid || bill now. As the bill now stands, it is that this conduct upon that occasion received, as it merexamination. I desire to ask that gentleman Veteran Reserve corps is to be officered by ited, great praise. I might go on multiplying whether that is not likely to bring together two selection from the present officers of the corps notices of the services of this Veteran Reserve classes, and to assign the better class to duties and any other officers and soldiers who have corps, showing that it is a slander upon officers to which they ought not to be assigned. As I been wounded. These officers having already and men alike to say that they have not perunderstand, one of the results contemplated by been prominent before the country, having un- formed their duty, and performed it well. this bill is that the invalid regiments are to be || dergone their examination, and having been Now, sir, it may be said that these men are assigned to certain specific and lighter duties. appointed, confirmed, and commissioned, would men who have gone from civil life into volun
Mr. SCHENCK. My answer to that is sim- | naturally be looked to among those who are to teer organizations, and that now we pass them ply this: if you do not receive any man who | supply the officers for these ten regiments. And over to the regular Army. I admit that this is has been wounded, then all these light duties hence it will do no harm, one way or the other, so; but if it be a sound objection, it is one which have yet to be performed by somebody. For I suppose, to leave out the words indicated by extends to all other volunteers: in that case all these ten regiments and all the the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
What is yourarmy now? It is an army made other regiments will be filled up with able-bodied Now, sir, to reply to the gentleman from | up largely from civil life. I have taken the mnen. who must perform light duty, garrison Massachusetts, [Mr. BOUTWELL, ] let me say, in trouble to have a table prepared to show how luty, and all the other kinds of duty which our the first place, that your garrisons are organi- the present line officers, field and company ofiisoldiers are called on to perform.' Therefore izations. You send a company, or half a com- cers,
of the regiments in the regular Army have there is nothing gained or lost one way or the pany, or two or three companies, or a regiment, been appointed. I find it is by no means a
West Point army. West Point has gone fur- a bill providing pensions or relief, we are upon The paper is signed by Generals Sherman,
West Point gets for the most part the an Army bill; a bill to lay anew the founda- Meade, and Thomas, and I am not sure whether bureaus. West Point is in the Department. tions of the regular Army, to vitalize, to invigo | by General Grant also. West Point has the general supervision of the orate, to utilize it. The objects are efficiency
"The only essential change proposed in the Army, whole. But when it comes to the line officers, and economy; and making the provision due to bill is to omit the Veteran Reserve corps altogether." field and company officers, in the several regi- sufferers in the late war is another inatter, not This is the reason they give : ments, I find of the thirty colonels twenty-one less in importance, certainly not in duty, but were educated at the United States Military | separate and distinct from this.
“In ar y army, no matter what pains be taken in
selecting recruits, when we come to put them into Academy, eight not graduates of West Point, Those whose experience and observation service experienccteuches that nearly thirty percent. and one vacancy. When you come to lieuten- entitle them to instruct me will not deem me fail by reason of the ordinary imperfections of human ant colonels, there are twenty-five graduates in error when I say that it is at least a question
nature. Now, if eight regiments of the fifty be taken
from the invalids, or mon of inpaired strength, we and five who were not graduates of West Point. whether an invalid corps should ever exist in a add filteen per cent., or in all forty-five per cent. of Of the majors, fifty-five were graduates of West permanent military establishment. I mean, of invalids, which is too large a proportion. In the end
it is cheaper to provide directly, by way of pensions, Point and twenty-one are from civil life. When course, a purposely created invalid corps.
for this class of soldiers. If the oflicers of the Veteran you get to the captains, you find that only one The laws of decay in peace, and of destruc- Reserves have a good record and restored health, they hundred and thirty-one are from West Point, tion in war, multiply invalids fast enough, and can be appointed just as other officers of the volunteer while three hundred and three of the present it is the mission of ingenuity and of duty to Army never have been at the United States prevent the members of an army from becom- I hope the gentleman will remember the subMilitary Academy. Of the first lieutenants, ing invalids, and to provide for the ever sick- ject with which these generals were dealing seventy-nine have been at West Point and three ening and ever suffering and ever failiny. when they expressed that opinion, and the hundred and sixty-eight have never been there. Even this task is, from its nature, too dillicult subject with which we are dealing when we Of the second lieutenants, fifteen have been at to be well performed.
listen to it. I ask gentlemen to remember West Point and twenty-nine have never been With the utmost rigor of examination as to what seems to have been sometimes forgotten there, there being a great many vacancies. I physical fitness at the time of enlistments, and to-duy, namely, that the bill is not one to estabfind in the present Army, of field and company with the best sanitary regulations afterward, lish a military asylum or to provide for disabled officers one thousand and sixty, and of these which the most favored service admits of, the men, but to invigorate and compact the armies only three hundred and twenty-six were grad. || percentage of human ailments is so great, that of the Republic. Looking to the object in view, vates of the United States Military Academy, in the Army, as in every other walk of life, a they say that an invalid corps, however organwhile seven hundred and thirty-four never had large proportion of the whole is constantly unfit ized, is a mistake. Why? Do we not all know; that advantage of military education, and have for hardship or activity.
do we not all see obvious reasons, some of only been taught by commanding troops in the Beyond all this, the military life makes regi. which were suggested by the gentleman from field and by such attention as they have been ments and whole commands the sufferers from Massachusetts, Mr. BOUTWELL?] Is not the able to bestow on the subject.
seasons and climates and hardships and cam- reason of the matter so plain that even those You would exclude these men who in the paigns, from which they must have relief by of us who can lay no claim to military attainvolunteer service have been wounded, and yet | change and rest.
ments may see and affirm it? Passing over when these nine new regiments were made up The necessities of a soldier's life require all the thirty per cent. of disability which inheres, the officers who were appointed in great part | the relief that the best system will allow, and in every army, however well selected, we see had nothing to commend them except political the opportunity to afford this relief has been the need of relief duty, of light service like garinfluence to get them their places. There are found inconsistent with allotting light service, rison and post duty to recruit. the weary and men in your regular Army who never until they or any special service, perpetually to one por
the worn. were put into that Army served anywhere. I do tion of an army and hard duty of the same Regiments sent to Texas, for example, and not complain of this. You had to make a sud- kind perpetually to the other.
to other distant parts even in ordinary times, den expansion of your regular Army amid the This is no new idea. It is not started to be become worn, jaded, and impoverished, and exigencies of the rebellion, while yet there applied to the proposed Veteran Reserve corps. there must be some relief for them, and for were no men wounded, no men who had prac- Experience declared it long ago; and it has companies and battalions requiring change of . tical experience and who had seen service, to been recently and pointedly declared for our
climate and life. While post and garrison serput in these places. The consequence was instruction in the very matter in hand.
vice are left open to be allotted from time to they were filled up, these original and other I suppose it is no secret that the public au- time among those most in need of the rest thus vacancies, by men from civil life without any thorities recently caused to be convened in this afforded, one hand is made to wash the other, experience whatever. These men are not to city a number of the first generals of the age.
the service is performed, and there are always be legislated out, but are to be left for what The object of the convention was to consult as enough and to spare of those whose hardships, they may have done since.
When we come to to the best disposition to be made of the mili- and absence far away, and actual bodily conthe present Army in the field you take the men tary establishment of the country, now that the dition, not only deserve but require repose and there is no inquiry to prove who they are war is over, and to consider and devise the best and the relaxation which light service gives. or what they are, no matter to what organiza- || legislative provisions in reference to the regu- If they are not to be thus relieved they must tion they have belonged, but you object that lar or permanent Army. These generals were
have seasons of entire uselessness and idleness this is legislating a class into the Army, that it those whose large experience and whose pro
accorded them. is taking men in a body and transferring them fessional eminence selected them as the best I am assured by gentlemen who would not to a position to which they are not entitled. advisers, and whose official station makes them be questioned here as military authorities, that
I have occupied more of the attention of the the persons to execute the law to be enacted. a great element of the morale of the Army, of House than I intended, but whatever I had to They came together; the Lieutenant General, the spirit and content of the Army, is the fact say might as well have been said now.
General Sherman, General Thomas, General that all know that each regiment and battalion Mr. CONKLING obtained the floor.
Meade, all came. General Sheridan, and and company will have its fair turn at home Mr. HALE. The gentleman will allow me. others, did not come. This group of men, so
duty as well as distant duty, at the relaxations Mr. CONKLING. I have been waiting a illustrious and so skilled, studied the whole which repair as well as the trials which jade. long while to say something myself. subject, and presented their views in writing.
This has been always the rule in our service, Mr. HALE. In justice to the officers of the The measures they deemed wisest were em- and it has never been violated, I believe, in nine new regiments, the fact should be stated bodied in a bill which they approved. That legislation. that those regiments were organized within sixty || bill was introduced in the Senate, carefully It was in no way violated by the formation days after the war broke out, so that they could considered in committee there. It became the for the time being of the existing Veteran not be officered from those who had seen ser- subject of conference and correspondence be
Reserve corps. vice in the field.
tween the committee of the Senate and the offi- The gentleman from Illinois said yesterday Mr. CONKLING. Mr. Speaker, I am per- cers who had recommended it. It was elabo- that this corps was given reason to suppose suaded we ought not to petrify the Veteran | rately considered in the Senate, and passed that it was created permanently. I say to him, Reserve corps in the permanent military sys- witli but little alteration, and came to us. Here if he will look into the fact he will find it pretem of the country. This conviction remains it went to the Military Committee, and there it cisely otherwise. The Invalid corps, as it was unchanged by the earnest appeal made by the || stays.
first called, was created pot by statute but by chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs; In its place we have a bill presented which an order which I have before me. unchanged by the extraordinary efforts which contains various things, which were specially created for a temporary purpose. What was have been made from the outside to convert and pointedly condemned by the oflicers to it? It was created as an auxiliary to the this House to the opinion that the officers of whom I have referred, by the committee of the Bureau of the Provost Marshal General, which the Veteran Reserve corps en masse ought to Senate, and by the Senate also. There may be bureau, by the terms of the statute creating it, be taken up and preferred before all the other reasons for this, though we have not yet heard died with the war. This corps was created to officers and men to whom the country owes so them.
guard prisoners, to assist in drafting, in short, much.
Beside the bill, however, which these offi- to perform duties rather of police than of war Even if the proposition were free from favor. cers blocked out, they made a record of their at draft rendezvous, and elsewhere.
It was itism; even if all the heroic and disabled were recommendations. One was upon the point created for these purposes, and for these purto be allowed to compete alike for the benefits now before us. I will read it. It is, as will poses alone. There was a necessity for it, and proposed, it seems to me when I remember the be discovered, in answer to a communication that necessity was as temporary as it was great, object of the bill before us that such a measure sent them with a bill, to which had been added while the war continued, and while every able: would be of doubtful wisdom. We are not upon a provision creating a Veteran Reserve corps. bodied man in the service was needed at the
front. The necessity has passed, the duties for wounds, to drag themselves back to the camp, The SPEAKER. The time of the gentlewhich the corps was formed are no longer to be the trench, and the battle-field.
man from New York [Mr. ConKLING] has done. Of course everybody foresaw that the Bear in mind, then, that these men expired. purpose was temporary, and everybody knew, | body have been during three years drawing Mr. PAINE. I move that the time of the who knew anything about it, that the organiza- pay and performing the lightest duty of the gentleman from New York be extended. tion was not to be permanent.
service to the exclusion of all others; and bear No objection was made. The Government has by act and word held in mind that there now remain as officers of Mr. CONKLING. An insinuation has been but one language on this point, and no expec- the Veteran Reserve corps, say six hundred made, I hope not by design, that those who tations have been created that any set of oth- and twenty-one men, some detailed and some oppose this measure oppose the defenders of cers were to be preferred to others in the final
unemployed. I hope the gentleman from Ohio the country, or are wanting in a sense of justice reorganization.
[Mr. SCHENCK) will not take me up upon the and gratitude to the defenders of the country. I should like to make further observations exactness of that statement. It may not be
The case is put as if here was an occasion opon the questionable expediency of any per- literally accurate. I will stop and refer to the to do an act of justice for the general good of manently established special invalid corps, but figures if he does, as I have them somewhere those who went out from the fireside to the time does not permit. Let us assume that such on my desk.
camp to maintain on far distant battle-fields 1 corps if impartially constructed, so as to give Now, a Veteran Reserve corps of ten regi- the life and glory of their country. For one all disabled officers a fair chance, would be ments is to be rendered permanent and to be I deny this in toto. I repel the insinuation, Faluable and wise. Then why should those officered by selection"-mark the word-not and I can show that nothing could be a more who have already enjoyed advantages over their by appointment afresh, but by “selection from heartless mockery than to pretend that the companions in arms be still further favored ?
the officers of the present Veteran Reserve real sufferers by the war have any interest on I ask this question because in spite of the lan- corps, and by appointment from any officers and earth in adding five regiments to the number guage of section five and of the interpretation | soldiers of volunteers who have been wounded of men required for the regular Army, for the pat upon it by the chairman of the Military in the line of their duty,'' &c. Does not every- purpose of organizing ten of them in the Committee, I believe the practical effect will body see what is likely to result from such a manner proposed. be virtually to prefer en masse a large portion mode of organizing? All these officers are in In the first place, what is to become of the of the officers of the present corps to other is already, they can act in concert, they and great bulk of those, a multitude sad to numwounded and disabled Officers and soldiers. their friends can and will see to their inter- ber, who have never been kept upon pay and
Mr. SCHENCK. There is no such thing in ests and pilot them through red tape and other in light service, but who went out and returned the bill, and the gentleman either cannot read obstacles.
ruined by wounds and disease? or will not understand.
Being already imbedded in the corps, and of them will be unsuccessful for every one Mr. CONKLING. I hope the gentleman having their places and commissions, they will who succeeds in obtaining a commission in from Ohio will not get too energetic. He has be selected,' and although here and there one of these ten regiments ? had three extensions of his time, and has ex- other wounded officers may fight in or beg in But again, are the most unfortunate to be pressed himself so fully that he should be con- from the outside, the ready-made officers of included at all? An examination is required tent for a space. I do not wish to wrench this corps are to happen in, and outsiders are as to bodily ability. This will have the effect myself by attempting to execute that cele- to have the right to shear the wolf; their to cause the rejection of the most unfortunate brated pelvic gesture, by which the gentleman | trouble will be how to cut the fleece. Those of these men, to exclude those whose bodily makes himself forcible, but I hope the House who know the ins and outs of the matter can disability is the greatest, and whose power to will consider that I have executed it as far as tell just how it can be worked ; it has been maintain themselves is the least. The advan. is necessary, and that I say with just as much | explained to me by officers, and volunteers, tage is to be enjoyed by those who are able in distinctness as the gentleman employs that the too, who oppose the whole thing. But with- some sort to come up to the military standard. result under the language he refers to will, in out going into the minutiæ, we can all see Therefore, as to the bestowal of the commismy belief, be just what I have stated. Let us about how it will be. So it is understood in sions, the plan is to favor the least needy. see how this is.
the corps and out of the corps. How else How as to the men? Does any one suppose A provision on this subject, substantially if shall we explain the influences around us? that regiments which are to do nothing but not exactly like the present, was suggested Whence the enormous anxiety of the officers | garrison duty need to be kept filled with men? originally in the Senate bill as first introduced. connected with this corps to have this provis- | Why, not at all. Does any one suppose they will No one then denied or doubted that under it ion retained if they are to come in only for a be filled up and kept filled with men wounded the officers of the existing Veteran Reserve | slight percentage of commissions ? Because heretofore? We know that it would be imposcorps were to be continued. The whole pro- on the theory of the gentleman from Ohio, sible to keep them filled by such wounded men vision was struck out in the Senate committee. [Mr. SchExcK,] when you come to put the even if it should be desirable. Why? Here is When the bill was under consideration in the three or four hundred officers of the Veteran a regiment to be made up of five hundred Senate, an amendment was offered not in the Reserve corps who now remain out of employ | wounded men. There are fifteen hundred same language here employed. The whole in among all the wounded officers and soldiers other wounded men who would be glad to have subject was sifted in debate, and before a vote of the country, they would be lost. They places in the regiment, but they do not get was had the mover of the amendment adopted | would be
there, and the occasion passes by. Does any the original language which, as I said, was in
“Like the snow-flake in the river,
one suppose that these fifteen hundred men effect if not literally the same as we have here,
A moment white, then lost forever."
are to stand as tide-waiters, watching for namely, “to be selected from officers of the Every one must see that if this little few were vacancies, that they will forego, or could or Veteran Reserve corps, and appointed from to be mingled with the many, put on a par with should forego, other modes of life so as to be other wounded officers. Still, nobody in the all the wounded soldiers of the war, and only | ready to enlist? Senate doubted that the provision was for the allowed to receive their share of commissions
"Each stepping where his comrade stood especial benefit of the officers of the present in proportion to their numbers, that share would
The instant that he fell." Veteran Reserve corps. So it was held and be virtually nothing at all.
Then how, after the first formation of the treated, and so it was condemned and defeated. Is that the understanding of those who have regiments, is the body to be kept, filled with So much to show that I am not solitary in my || besieged Congress on behalf of the Veteran men wounded “in the late war?!! The first mistake, if mistake it be.
Reserve corps? Is that the understanding of enlistment of privates might answer the descripBot let us look for ourselves at the probable || the volunteer officers who bear honorable and tion, but the recruiting must be done in other result of such a provision. Who are the per: disabling scars who oppose and denounce the fields. One portion of wounded men are to be sons upon whom the provision is to act, and proposed legislation as unjust to them and their taken and the others are to be left to shift for bow are they now situated? The privates of unnumbered comrades?
themselves and to become occupied in various the Veteran Reserve corps protested against Circulars have been sent throughout the Vet- ways in life. The relief, then, is merely for being kept in service, and nearly all upon their eran Reserve corps officers, as I understand, those who in the first instance form these regiown application have been discharged. Six and as has never been denied, calling upon hundred and twenty-one officers preferred not those addressed to contribute money in order Mr. STEVENS. If the gentleman will allow to be mustered out, and so remain in service. to have their interests properly attended to me, I desire to make a single suggestion. I Three hundred of this number have already | before Congress. Has this expense and this think he cannot have understood the question been provided for in the Freedmen's Bureau | equivocal expedient been resorted to for the which I put awhile ago to the chairman of the and ia the Treasury service; the rest are unem- benefit of somebody else?
Committee on Military Affairs. Seeing that ployed. Look at these facts a moment, first, No man can wink so hard as not to see that this suggestion might. be made, I asked him for another purpose. Here is a body of men the practical operation of this bill as it stands what was the intention of the bill in this respect, conceded, for this purpose, to be all without is likely to be to substantially include all the and whether he had any objection to an amendexception meritorious, conceded to have suf- officers of the existing Veteran Reserve corps, ment striking out the words by selection from fered in the service of their country, and for and only by accident; to include anybody else. among officers of the present Reserve corps. three years they have been kept on light ser- Therefore I say again, that while the bill does He assured me that he would not object to it. pice and on full pay, while other men who have provide that the officers shall be taken not only | This does away with that part of the argument been wounded and disabled have been cast from the present officers of the corps, but also of the gentleman from New York. I do not aside, or compelled, in spite of their wounds, to appointed from among others who have been know whether the gentleman heard the remark. go to the front. All other heroes and martyrs wounded in the late war, the effect will be as I Mr. CONKLING. I did not overlook it, have been doomed either to retire from pay believe in the first instance to secure in their and I am very glad that the gentleman from after being disabled, or else, wounds or no places all those who are now in the corps. Pennsylvania has made this suggestion. For
39TH Cong. 1st SESS.-No. 126.
one, I shall vote for that amendment when I vided for by this bill. I fear that the amend- relief of our soldiers and their families of a have the opportunity. And I am glad to have ment of the gentleman from Pennsylvania [ Mr. proper and fair character than I will vote for. the gentleman's attention at this moment, be- || STEVENS) will not insure the contrary, and if The more it favors wounded and disabled men cause I want it directed to the fact that even if the section is retained I shall move a further the heartier shall be my support. This prothose words were stricken out, the fault of the amendment in the saine direction.
vision does nothing wise or just in that direcbill will not be cured in the particular he sug. Mr. BLAINE. I desire to suggest to the tion, and therefore it wins no favor with me on gests. It will still be open to evasion and easy i gentleman from New York that it would be that account. abuse. How are the officers of the Veteran more satisfactory if he would point out the sec- Mr. PAINE obtained the floor, but vielded to Reserve corps to be gotten out to take their tion of the bill which conveys that meaning, Mr. BLAINE, who said : Mr. Speaker, I chance fairly with other men? That is the instead of indulging in loose and vagne asser
want the floor for five minutes to correct a gross question. The Veteran Reserve corps exists; tions with nothing in the bill to support them. || misapprehension, I will not call it a misrepreand you propose to prolong and perpetuate it. Mr. CONKLING. I have endeavored to sentation, of the gentleman from New York. Now, unless you have some provision which refer to the provisions of the bill; and I will When the gentleman from New York speaks dissolves this organization, which turns these suggest to the gentleman from Maine [Mr. of his own knowledge on a subject he is a genofficers out, which makes the officers of the Blaine) that possibly by listening he will have tleman of accuracy to whom I always listen Veteran Reserve corps as well as the others his attention directed to some provisions of the with great pleasure. He is not so accurate applicants in the same sense and on the same bill which he may not understand any better when he speaks upon the suggestions of others footing for appointment, the purpose of the than the rest of us.
who are interested adversely to this bill. gentleman from Pennsylvania will not be ac. I take up this matter, Mr. Speaker, in a plain He makes the broad assertion that this bill *complished, although the bill will be improved. || way, and judge with the poor light I have, and incorporates the Veteran Reserve corps as it
Mr. STEVENS. I desire to inquire of the also from what gentlemen say who know more stands into the regular Army. He has evidently gentleman whether he understands that if this about such things than I do. Taking the words not read the bill. The fourth section of the bill passes, these officers are necessarily re- as they stand, and even as proposed to be modtained? May they not be mustered out by the ified by the gentleman from Pennsylvania, [Mr. Often regiments to be raised and officered as hereDepartment in the same way as other officers STEVENS,] unless he turns out the Veteran Re- inafter provided for, to be called the Veteran Reserve are?
serve corps, and have them begin again, the Mr. CONKLING. Mr. Speaker, I do under- preference will be given to this set of oflicers
The fifth section: stand precisely that, and so I think will the gen- over the others, as I think.
The Veteran Reserve corps shall be oficered by tleman from Pennsylvania when I remind him Mr. STEVENS. Let me read. It provides
selection from the officers of the present Veteran
Reserve corps, and by appointment from any officers how all this has been managed. When we came for ten regiments to be raised and officered as and soldiers of volunteers who have been wounded here this session the officers of the Veteran hereinafter provided for, to be called the Vet- in the line of their duty while serving in the Aruy Reserve corps were in the position in which eran Reserve corps. Does not that show de
of the United States in the late war, or have been
disabled by disease contracted in such service, and the gentleman assumes they are now. They novo operation?
may yet be competent for garrison or other duty, to had been brought into being by an order; and Mr. CONKLING. The bill says, also, that which that corps has heretofore been assigned. they could be sent out by an order. But in the the Veteran Reserve corps shall be officered Now, if the gentleman from New York will early part of the session, upon the motion of by oslicers selected from the present Veteran | turn to the thirty-fifth section of the bill, lie the chairman of the Committee on Military Reserve corps. Does this treat the language will find that no person shall be appointed to Aflairs, a resolution was adopted calling upon of the other section which the gentleman reads office in the line or staff corps of the Army the War Department not to muster out these as requiring everything de novo?
until he shall have passed a satisfactory examoslicers, as the Departinent was doing, until Mr. STEVENS. . The gentleman refers to ination before a board to be convened under provision to that effect had been made by Con- another section. They are not to be transferred the direction of the Secretary of War, so that gress. That was the substance of it. Now, I as they now are, but new regiments are to be as a matter of fact, I assert it in its broadest challenge any gentleman to show me in this bill raised, to be called the Veteran Reserve corps. and most unexceptionable sense, officers of any provision overriding that declaration of the Mr. CONKLING. I have succeeded partly the Veteran Reserve corps now in commission House. in my purpose by rousing the attention of the
are not given one single inch advantage over Mr. SCHENCK. Does the gentleman really | House, although I have wandered from saying | any other wounded ollicers along the length want an answer? the most that I wished to.
and breadth of the loyal States. And the genMr. CONKLING. My friend's manner is In the fragment of time left to me I will tleman from New York certainly made a loose rather appalling; but if there is no danger at make another remark. I subinit to the chair- and vague assertion on that subject, contrary this distance
man of the Military Committee that he states to the very letter and spirit, line and precept Mr. STEVENS. I desire to ask my friend rather strongly when his auditors are people of the bill. I say this in vindication of the from New York whether the resolution to not accustomed to military distinctions the committee, of whom he has spoken as having which he refers was a joint resolution, or proposition that officers can never enter the cunningly gotten this in. It is drawn with merely an expression of the opinion of the Army if they have been founded. He does very great care and proper safeguards are House.
not mean that. He does not mean, I think, thrown around it. Mr. CONKLING. I am not sure whether
say that officers are so examined as to be Mr. PAINE. I am in favor of this provision it was a joint resolution or not, and therefore rejected merely because they do not come up of the bill which constitutes the Veteran Reserve I have refrained from saying anything of it to the bodily standard required in the case of corps. I am at the same time in favor of'makexcept that it passed the House. I know that || privates.
ing careful provision for wounded officers and such a resolution passed this House; and I Mr. SCHEYCK. I do, most certainly. soldiers both of the volunteer and regular remember very well that I inquired at the Mr. CONKLING. Does the gentleman say | Army who have not hitherto been in that corps. time whether it was to lead to such a result as an officer in the service goes out as a private If I supposed for one moment that the result it is like to.
goes out, in consequence of being wounded? of the provision contained in this section would Mr. GARFIELD. I think that was a mere Mr. SCHENCK. The gentleman asks be to give preference to men who are already resolution of the House, making a request of whether an officer is subject to medical exanii. in the Veteran Reserve corps, at the expense the Secretary of War.
nation on his appointment, and I say he is. of those wourded officers and men who have Mr. CONKLING. And here, in the return One of the best officers of the Veteran Reserve never yet been placed in that corps, I should made from the Adjutant General's office, with corps was a candidate for the place of second be opposed to the provision and struggle for its which my colleague [Mr. VAN AERNAM] sup- lieutenant in the regular Army and was rejected | amendment. plies me, there is a note in the case of a num- on medical inspection.
and I am pleased to see the anxiety maniber of officers, stating that they are retained Mr. CONKLING. I have no doubt an fested by the gentleman from New York [Mr. under the resolution of Congress to await officer may be so disabled as to be unable to do | CONKLING] in favor of these wounded officers further action in their cases. Three hundred || duty in the Army and may be rejected for that and soldiers who have not hitherto been memand ninety-nine are retained in that way. reason. I have no doubt thei:e are such cases. bers of that corps. I only wish it had gone a
Mr. SCHENCK. If the gentleman really Phil. Kearney, though, went one-armed, with | little further, and had promised to take some wants information on this point
his bridle in his teeth, through all the war till | practical form in this House which might benThe SPEAKER. Does the gentleman from he fell in fight, and nobody but death mustered efit them. I only wish he had manifested a willNew York yield to the gentleman from Ohio, him out. Officers who are fit to do duty are not, | ingness so to amend this bill as to give these [Mr. SCIENCK?]
as I understand the application of the law, wounded officers and soldiers of the volunteer Mr. CONKLING. I will if it does not come rejected because they have been wounded at and of the regular Army, who have not hithout of my tiine.
some time and could not pass examination as erto been provided for in the Veteran corps, The SPEAKER. It will come out of the privates.
a chance under this law. But no; he turns gentleman's time.
It seems to me the true way to provide for with scorn from every attempt to amend this Mr. CONKLING. Then I decline to yield. officers and men wounded in the war is to adopt bill so as to include them, and makes that
I have had a great deal of curiosity on this measures which will deal, equitably and impar- l provision the basis of his opposition, and then point; and I have asked at the Department tially among them all. This cannot be done by turns around and positively refuses to do any. and outside of the Department, what was to mixing one bill with a nother, and ingrafting thing by way of amendment which shall obbe the effect of such a provision as this; and I upon a bill to make the Army more efficient viate that objection. Now, the amendment am advised that by the bill as it now stands the an invalid corps, holding out benefits to them proposed by the gentleman from Pennsylvania officers of the present Veteran Reserve corps which ought to be given in another way. No (Mr. STEVENS] does obviate that objection. will be transferred in a body to the corps pro- man can invent a stronger measure for the Mr. CONKLING. Did the gentleman say I