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of 1818 with Mr. Calhoun of 1822, by which it would appear that, between those two periods, he bad altered his practical economy much for the better.
If the affairs of his Department, however, were not managed in 1822 with more economy than they should have been, which will not be pretended, then they must have been managed with the utmost profusion and extravegance in 1818 and '19.
If the Army was not supported in 1818 more economically than at the rate of 451 dollars per man, under a contract system, in time of profound peace, it must have been because that system was badly administered
The Commissariat system began to go into operation in that year. The Commissary General, and other officers subordinate to him, were appointed and under pay, and no doubt performed s me services. It must be allwed, however, that the beneficial effects of the system could not be immediately realized. But in 1819 the system was in fuil operation, and yet very little improvement then took place in the expenditures of the War Department; not more than should have resulled from the reduced price of all articles necessary for the support of an Army at that time.
Under a well regulated contract system, in time of peace, the Army may be as cheaply, but perhaps not as well, supplied as under a Commissariat system. In fact the present Commissariat system, so far as it respects the purchase of supplies for the Army, is essentially a contract system, as will appear by the 7th section of the act of the 14th pril, 1818, regulating the Staff of the Army, viz: “ That the supplies for the Army, unless in particular and urgent cases, the secretary of War should otherwise direct, shall be purchased by contract to be made by the Commissary General, on public notice, to be delivered, on inspection, in bulk, and at such places as shall be stipulated; which contract shall be made under such regulations as the -ecretary of War shall direct.”
he most important difference between the two sys. tems is this: that under the one, the contracts for supi lies were made by the immediate direction of the Secretary of
War-under the other, by the immediate direction of the Comissary General; which, for the time being, is certainly a great impri-vement.
In 1819 the expense of supporting the Army, und. the Commissariat system, was at the rate of $131 70 per
In 1822, under the same system. it was at the rate of $299 46 per man.
And Mr. sterling was truly surprized that it cost us so little in the latter year, but forgot to be surprized that it cost us so much in the former. The pay of a paivate is 5 dollars per month-for
$60 00 In 1822 the rations might have been had at 12 Clothing at $1 75 per month
21 00 Other expenses, estimated at
The privates ought to cost us annually about 130 dollars each.
In 1822 the average expeuse of the Army, officers included, was at the rate of $299 40 (say 300 dollars) per man.
But this, Mr. ;-terling's opinion to the contrary notwithstanding, was much more than it ought to have been.
will our farmers and planters, whose hard earnings are tahen to suppori an Army of six thousand men at the annual rate of 3:30 dollars eacái, be persuaded that their money, in this case, is expended with a degree of econo. my truly surprizing?
Thic country labors under great occuniary distress, froni which we cannot anticipate any speedly relief-the produce of agriculture sells at a price that will scarcely de. fray.the expense of transporting it to market--and at no peno period of our bistory could the articles necessary for clothing our troops be had at so cheap a raie
And is our Army still to cost us at the rate of three bandred dollars
Unless the articles necessary for the support of an Army shall command a bettír price than they have for two or three years past, the Army can apl must be supported at a cheaper rate than it has been.
But, if three hundred dollars per man be considered as a reasonable rate of expenditure for 1822, how is the
Secretary to account for his extravagance in 1819? Why should our troops Cost us $135 24 more per man in that year than in the year 1822? Why this waste of public money?
Had it been the object of Mr. Sterling to shew to the people whose money must support our standing Army, the profusion and extravaganee of the Secretary in 1818, '19, and '20, he could not have done it more effectually than by the statements he has exbibited.
Well may Mr. Calhoun exclaim, “Save me from
For once 1 will endeavor to do it, by removing some of the unfavorable impressions which these statements are calculated to make,
The Army, according to Mr. Sterling's statement, in 1818, cost as per men $+51 00—in the year 1822. $299 46—making a difference of $151 5+. But the whole of this difference ougnt not to be charged to the extravagance of the Secretary of War.
In the first place, Mr. Sterling has swelled up the aggregate of the Army for 1822 beyond the limit of its organization, which, under the law of the 2nd March, 1821, is fixed at 6,183 men, officers included, as appears by the return of the acting Adjutant General of the 9th of November, 1822.
The ranks of the Army, however, will rarely be full agreeably to this organization. In 1822 the aggregate of the Army amounted to 5,211 men, officers included. This appears by the return of the acting Adjutant General of the 12th of Noveinber, 1822. And this return, signed by the acting Adjutant General, to make it very strong is also signed by the Major General, but in what capacity, whether as Commander in Chief, or as assistant ácting Adjutant General does not appear by the record. It goes, however, to shew that the Major General has something to do at Washington, notwithstanding all the Radicals have said to the contrary.
Mr. Sterlinx's rate of expense per man for 1822 should be increased more than 20 per cent: that is, he should bave divided the whole expense of the Army for
that year by 5,211, the actual number of men in service, instead of 6,442, bis estimated number. This would
$mok $151 51 to $8079 cents per man.
There are other circumstances to be taken into the calculation. To make up the annual amounts of the expenditures of the Army, from which Mr. Stirling has taken hiş rates of expense, he includes the charges for the pay, subsistence, forage, bounties, and premiums, and other expenses of recruiting Hospital department contingencies and quarter master's department, but excludes the expense of the Military Academy.
In the year 1818, the transportation account of the officers alone, amounted to $43,341. In 1882, to a comparatively small sum.
In the year 1818, the recruiting service cost $155,878. In 1822, no more than $23,579 -Most of the contingent expenses of the army were greater in 1818, than in 1822.
It is not doubted, but that the Commissary General, has made considerable savings in his Department, by bis care and diligence in forming contracts for supplies. If to all this, we add, what has been gained by the reduciion in the pricos of all articles necessary, for the supply of an army since 1818, about 33 1-3 per cent. on an average, we shall find that Mr. Sterling's great difference in. the rate of the expense of the army in 1818 and 1822, can be accounted for, without considering Mr. Calhoun more -extrnvagant in the former year than in the latter, or more economical in the latter year than in the former.
In fact, so far as regards his particular agency, there seems to be but little change in his system of economy, either for the better or the worse, since he came into office.
But there are certain supposed great savings upon a variety of contracts, the merit of which more exclusively belongs to the Secretary.
In a debate on the contract for delivering stone at the Rip Raps, one of his friends deelared that he was an. thorized to say, that, if Mr. Mix had not taken this contract, a loss would have been occasioned to the United
States of 75,000 dollars--the contract having been taken by Mrix at half a dollar per perch less than was just about to be contracted for by another person.'
That this circumstance has not been published among the strong reasons for raising Mr. Calhoun to the Presi. dency, may possibly be owing to the great modesty of his friends. As, however, they seem in a fair way to recover of that, we may still have these 75,000 dollars exhibited among the great savings in the War Department. After which, we may also have an account of great sav. ings on other contracts for fortifications. On the cont act for advancing the public money to build a Powder Mill for Mr. Buzzard. "On the contracts for cannon, howitzers, shot shells. &c. for the last five years, and more es. pecially on the contracts with the Messrs. Jonhsons, for transporting our army from t. Lonis to Council Bluffs; all which will require an impartial and careful examination.