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Military Peace Establishment.
House in the shape it now was, he should perhaps vote for it, for the sake of closing this long stand
sincere desire to see the State admitted, and with the view of meeting gentlemen on the other side, as far as they could; but, as the proposition ap-ing and disagreeable question, to accomplish which he was willing to make great sacrifices; but he was not ready to play so bold a game as to volunteer to the other House a surrender of the whole principle for which they contended; especially as the Senate had already tendered to it one proposition, which had been there rejected. A compromise to the extent the proviso went would be
peared not to be acceptable to them, he, for one, would not press it on them, and therefore moved its indefinite postponement.
YEAS-Messrs. Brown, Chandler, Dickerson, Eaton, Horsey, King of New York, Lanman, Lowrie, Macon, Mills, Noble, Otis, Sanford, Smith, Southard, Tich-time enough when it came from the other House. enor, Van Dyke, and Williams of Mississippi.
Mr. TALBOT conceived that the amendment
NAYS-Messrs. Barbour, Dana, Edwards, Elliott, Gaillard, Holmes of Maine, Holmes of Mississippi, Johnson of Kentucky, Johnson of Louisiana, King of Alabama, Knight, Morril, Palmer, Parrott, Pleasants, Roberts, Stokes, Talbot, Taylor, Thomas, Trimble,
proposed by Mr. BROWN would be mischievous and produce no good. On so great a subject, and to settle a question so momentous, he was willing to give up something, and hold out to the other side the hand of compromise; but it was certainly a question which every one was to settle with his own conscience.
Walker of Alabama, Walker of Georgia, and Williams of Tennessee. 2
This motion was negatived—yeas 24, nays 18, as follows:
Mr. WILLIAMs, of Tennessee, made an unsuccessful motion to lay the resolution on the table, with the view of taking up the Army bill.
Mr. KING, of New York, renewed the motion previously made and withdrawn by Mr. BARBOUR, to strike from the resolution all the proviso, as follows:
"Provided, That the following be taken as fundamental conditions and terms upon which the said State is admitted into the Union, namely that the fourth clause of the twenty-sixth section of the third article of the constitution, submitted by the people of Missouri to the consideration of Congress, shall, as soon as the provisions of said constitution will admit, be so modified, that it shall not impair the privileges or immunities of any description of persons who may now be, or hereafter shall become, citizens of any State in this Union; and that, until so modified, no law, passed in conformity thereto, shall be construed to exclude any citizen of either State in this Union, from the enjoyment of any of the privileges and immunities to which such citizen is entitled under the Constitution of the United States."
tion, it was negatived without a division.
Mr. TRIMBLE moved to amend the proviso, by adding thereto the following clause:
And provided, also, That the 8th article of the said constitution [the article authorizing the establishment of banks,] shall be annulled as soon as said constituion, in conformity with the provisions thereof, is subject to amendment.
This amendment was rejected without debate, and without division.
The question was then put on ordering the resolution to be engrossed and read the third time; and was decided by yeas and nays as follows:
MILITARY PEACE ESTABLISHMENT. The Senate then resumed the consideration of the bill from the other House to reduce the Army, and the amendments proposed thereto by the Committee on Military Affairs.
Mr. WILLIAMS, of Tennessee, submitted to the Senate the considerations which induced the committee to recommend the modifications which they had reported to the bill. He went into a detailed view of the subject, of the posts necessary to be maintained, the proper distribution of the forces, &c., to show that the service required the number of regiments proposed by the substitute; also to show that the staff ought to be constituted as proposed by the amendment; that the cost of the organization proposed by the substitute would be but a small sum more than that proposed by the other House; that they had varied from the bill of the other House only in features which they deemed of importance, leaving others, to some of
which there was some objections, as the other House had passed them.
The principal objection which Mr. WALKER, of Georgia, had to the details of this bill, or the amendment, was the amalgamation of the ordnance corps with that of the artillery; to show the inexpediency of which, he offered a few arguments, and added some observations on the impolicy of the whole plan of reduction, to which he was opposed, conceiving it incompatible with considerations of true economy, and for which he should vote with reluctance.
Mr. WALKER, of Georgia, moved to strike out the 4th section of the amendment which merges the ordnance in the artillery, giving the President power to select artillery officers to perform the present ordnance duties, giving them extra pay therefor, &c., and to insert in lieu thereof a clause to retain the ordnance corps as at present established. Mr. TRIMBLE opposed this motion, and spoke to obviate the objections which had been urged by Messrs. DANA and WALKER against the proposed consolidation of the two corps, and referred to its operation and effect to show its expediency in the organization of our Army.
Mr. Oris advocated the motion to amend, being always in favor of maintaining existing establishments which there were not strong and clear reasons for changing, which reasons did not exist for the present change, but on the contrary they were adverse to it; he would therefore prefer the provision of the other House in preference to the amend
Mr. WILLIAMS, of Tennessee, explained the difference of cost in the two plans, showing that the mode proposed by the committee would make a saving of $82,000; that, besides this reason, the ordnance corps wanted revision, and spoke to show that the duties would be better discharged by an amalgamation; that it would practice the artillery officers in the performance of those duties, &c.
Messrs. WALKER, of Georgia, TICHENOR, and TRIMBLE, severally spoke repeatedly to enforce their views of this matter of detail.
Mr. THOMAS, from the Committee on Public Lands, to whom the subject was referred, by resolution of the 6th December, reported a bill to designate the boundaries of a land district and for the establishment of a land office in the State of Indiana; and the bill was read, and passed to a second reading.
Mr. TICHENOR offered his views at large on the subject of reduction, and of the modes proposed; and also submitted a number of remarks on the present ganization of the Army, in its supply department particularly, to show its great and unexampled excellence, both in efficiency and economy; also, to prove the inexpediency of consolidating the ordnance and artillery corps; and in favor of leaving the system established in 1815 relative to the ordnance department untouched. Mr. DANA objected to that clause of the amend-"An act for the relief of John Harding, Giles ment which proposes to merge the ordnance de- Harding, John Shute, and John Nichols," reported partment in the artillery, as it proposed to abolish the same without amendment. a separate superintendence and control of the public military property, and the responsibility which ought to attach to those officers discharging those duties, and explained his views at some length; he preferred the provision in the bill of the other House.
Mr. RUGGLES, from the Committee of Claims, to whom was referred the bill supplementary to an act passed on the 5th of April, 1820, entitled
The question being taken first on striking out the 4th section, it was negatived-yeas 18, nays 19. The bill was then laid on the table.
THURSDAY, February 22.
Mr. WALKER, of Alabama, presented the memorial of the convention convened pursuant to the act of Congress "to enable the people of the Alabama territory to form a constitution and State government," in behalf of the people of the State of Alabama, suggesting the expediency and policy of annexing to that State so much of the country lately ceded by Spain as lies west of the Appalachicola river, and declaring their consent to such annexation; and the memorial was read, and laid on the table.
Mr. NOBLE, from the Committee on Pensions, in pursuance of a resolution of the 15th instant, reported a bill for the relief of Dean Weymouth; which was read, and passed to a second reading.
Mr. SMITH, from the Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the petition of John Slocum, made a report, acompanied by a resolution, that the prayer of the petitioner be not granted, and that he have leave to withdraw his petition.
Mr. SMITH, from the same committee, to whom was referred the petition of John Cahoone, made a report, accompanied by a resolution, that the prayer of the petition be not granted, and that the petitioner have leave to withdraw his papers.
Mr. SMITH, from the same committee, to whom was referred the resolution of the 12th of December to inquire into the expediency of amending the judiciary laws, so as to authorize writs of error in criminal cases, reported that it is inexpedient to legislate on the subject; and the report was read.
The bill to authorize the Commissioner of the General Land Office to remit the instalments due on certain lots in Shawneetown, in the State of Illinois; and the bill giving the right of pre-emption to William Doak and Noble Osborne; were severally read the second time.
The Senate proceeded to consider the report of the Committee of Claims on the memorial of Bartholomew Shaumburg; and in concurrence therewith, resolved that the prayer of the petitioner ought not to be granted.
The Senate resumed the consideration of the report of the select committee on reducing the allowances authorized by law for the two Houses of Congress, and for the Executive Departments; and, on motion by Mr. BARBOUR, it was laid on the table.
A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that they have passed the bill which originated in the Senate, entitled "An act for the relief of Samuel Tucker, late a Captain in the
Military Peace Establishment.
Navy of the United States;" with an amendment. They have also passed a bill, entitled "An act to fix and equalize the pay of the officers in the Army of the United States;" a resolution providing for jails in certain cases, for the safe custody of persons committed under the authority of the United States; and a resolution for the appointment of a joint committee to report the subjects proper to be acted on during the present session; in which amendment, bill, and resolutions, they request the concurrence of the Senate.
Mr. DICKERSON said, if the amendment of the Committee on Military Affairs, to the bill sent from the House of Representatives, proposed an equal reduction of the army with that bill, and an equal reduction of the officers of the army, he should prefer it to the bill, because it proposed some improvement in the organization of the force to be retained; but this, said he, is far from being the case. The army, as proposed by the bill, is composed of skeleton regiments, but that proposed by the amendment is a much nearer approach to an army of officers. The reduction is to fall chiefly upon the non-commissioned officers and privates. The nearest approach we can make to the bill, except in organization, the better. Retrenchment is the object, and it ought to fall in due proportion upon the most expensive part of the army. But, sir, we know that a considerable part of the Senate is opposed to any reduction of the army, and we have just heard a gentleman say, upon this floor, he would willingly vote for an indefinite postponement of the bill.
will soon be abandoned for something more splendid. The presses, once the guardians of our liberties, are now silent upon this subject, or advocate the present establishment of the army; and not a breath is heard against it except upon the floor of Congress.
The army which it is proposed by the amendment to retain in the service, although unnecessarily large, and calculated to add to the embarrassments of our exhausted Treasury, is not such as to excite any alarm as to the liberties of our country, although history furnishes us with numerous instances of revolutions, effected by armies of no greater numbers. But, the exertions which have been made, and I fear successfully made, to produce a revolution in the public mind, upon the subject of standing armies in time of peace, I will confess, fill me with apprehension that our liberties after a war or two more are to be controlled by our standing armies. The apathy of the people upon this subject, to judge from their silence, would indicate that their former jealousies of permanently standing armies, by some strange influence, had been put to rest forever; and if so, the fundamental principles of our free Government
A respectable army in time of peace, by which at present we are to understand a force of about 12,664 men, is spoken of with as little concern as if such an establishment was of the essence of our Government.
Parents calculate to educate their sons to the profession of arms, as a provision for life, as they would do to the profession of medicine, law, or divinity.
Many who have provided for their sons in the army, and many who wish to provide for their sons in the army, find their minds strangely altered upon this subject; and they begin to view as chimerical and ridiculous their former fears of a military government. If we may judge of the future by the past, the standing army is to make a most rapid progress in this country. Every circumstance attending the army indicates this, but people, who must bear the burden. In thirty years excites little apprehension in the minds of the from this time an army of 50,000 men will be considered as a very moderate peace establish
not be because it is against the genius of our GovIf we succeed in reducing the army now, it will ernment to keep up such an establishment in time of peace, but because our revenues fail us; it will be because a resort to measures calculated to save the army, as at present established, would not be exactly calculated to save ourselves. Loans, if frequently repeated in time of peace, are pernicious and dangerous expedients. Direct taxes would lead to certain inquiries which might be extremely troublesome to us who are responsible for the expenditure of the public moneys. We shall be told, that, with a surplus of five millions in our Treasury four years ago, we have, in time of profound peace, been obliged to borrow three millions last session, and must borrow more this-for no taxes can save us from this necessity.
I should wish to see the army reduced to five thousand men in time of peace, when no enemy threatens to molest us, even if our finances were in the most prosperous train. But a reduction which principle would render proper, our empty Treasury will render necessary; and but for this necessity no reduction would take place. If our country was not in distress-if our finances were not embarrassed, the army, as at present established, would be permanently fixed upon us. No efforts of those who think such a force unnecessary for our defence, or dangerous to our liberties, would have the least avail. The peace establishment would go on to increase, but never to decrease, from this time forward.
The time was, about twenty years ago, when a certain party made prodigious clamors against standing armies in time of peace; but times have altered, and I fear we have altered with them.
For my own part, however, I like to look back
Military Peace Establishment.
to the period when our Government was first established-when its fundamental principles were more duly appreciated than they are now-when we were swayed by political maxims that had been rendered sacred by the Revolution.
And if, by comparison and examination, we find that we have deviated from the courses then pursued; that we have advanced in measures then condemned as dangerous to our Government, a retrograde movement should be prescribed. An approach to first principles should be attempted. But in nothing is this more necessary than in a King William, after establishing himself upon rigid economy in the expenditure of public moneys, the throne, was obliged to disband his army; but and a proper and necessary jealousy to be ob- he was extremely anxious to retain a large peace served towards a standing army in time of peace. establishment; in this he was opposed by his own These sentiments, I know, are somewhat unfash- friends, the whigs, who had brought him over. ionable at present; they are considered as illiberal, And, notwithstanding he was the best monarch contracted, calculated only for the short-sighted that nation ever imported to rule over them; notpoliticians of the early stages of our Government-withstanding his remonstrances and even entreanot suited to the lofty and expanded views of the ties, in favor of his army; notwithstanding the statesmen of the present day. But these are sen- cry excited and kept up from one end of the kingtiments of which I am very tenacious. Former dom to the other, that the church and the monarprinciples (perhaps I should say prejudices) have chy were in danger; the Parliament were inflextaken deep root in my mind. I delight in the ible, and obliged him to reduce his forces to ten simplicity and economy of our early establish- thousand men, and subsequently to seven thousand. ments. And, as good old fashions sometimes re- If I should attempt to point out the most brilliant vive, I cannot but hope that these discarded prin- period in the parliamentary history of Great Britciples, now covered with obloquy and ridicule, ain, I should select this, when the Parliament thus may again become the favorites of those at least obliged the King to reduce his army, and, what who cherished them twenty years ago. was still more mortifying to him, to send home his favorite Dutch guards. Let it be remembered, however, that, when they thus reduced the army, they made a larger provision for the sea service; they did not consider an increased navy as at all dangerous to their liberties.
In the reign of Queen Anne, the military glory acquired by the English, reconciled them to a standing army, which was unnecessarily kept up, with all its corruptions and abuses, under the most fortunate, the most mean, and the most mercenary of mortals, the Duke of Marlborough.
Sir, the present embarrassed condition of our finances, and the general distress of our country, will produce a salutary change in the minds and views of our citizens generally, which could not have been hoped for in times of prosperity. The most beneficial effects result, not unfrequently, as well from national as individual calamity. It is the part of wisdom to profit by the lessons such times afford.
In order to form a just estimate of what may be expected from a standing army in this country, it will be well to consider what has happened in the land from which we derive our origin. Charles II., after his restoration, when he found it necessary to disband his army, retained in his service one thousand horse and four thousand foot under Monk, who had betrayed the commonwealth. This force was retained for guards and garrisons. And this was the first appearance of a regular standing army in England, under a monarchy. I do not speak of the very ingenious plans of Oliver Cromwell to fix an army on that nation.
James II. was anxious to increase his army, and in his speech to Parliament, immediately after Monmouth's rebellion, he says: "but when I re'flect what an inconsiderable number of men began it, (the rebellion,) and how long they carried it on without any opposition, I hope eve 'ry body will be convinced that the militia, which | hath hitherto been so much depended on, is not 'sufficient for such occasions, and that there is nothing but a good force of well disciplined 'troops, in constant pay, that can defend us from such as, either at home or abroad, are disposed 'to disturb us!" Here we have royal doctrine, as well in favor of the army as against the militia.
This speech, says the historian, equally surprised both Houses of Parliament and the whole kingdom, when it came to be published; notwithstanding which, the Parliament enabled him to increase his army from seven thousand to fifteen thousand men; and subsequently to thirty thousand men, when his kingdom was invaded by his dear nephew and son-in-law, the Prince of Orange. His army, then, in imitation of other armies, deserted him; and, having no confidence in his subjects, he abdicated his throne.
During the two succeeding reigns, the constant cry of the Pope and the Pretender, seems to have deprived the people of that kingdom of their senses; and they went on from period to period to increase the army, which was to enslave them.
The circumstances which have led to a large increase of their standing army, since that period, are too familiar to need recital. It is a melancholy fact which we should constantly keep in view, that that nation which, a little more than one century ago, looked with the greatest jealousy upon a standing army of ten thousand men, now groans under the curse of a military Government.
Our progress, I fear, will be still more rapid. In the year 1790, General Knox, then the Secretary of War, made a report upon the subject of the militia, which will afford a just test of the sentiments of those who were most favorable to a standing army in time of peace at that day; for, it can hardly be supposed that General Knox, a distinguished officer of the Revolution, had not a strong partiality for the army. In this report he says:
"A small corps of well disciplined and well informed
artillerists and engineers, and a legion for the protection of our frontiers, and the magazines and arsenals, are all the military which may be required for the use of the United States. The privates of the corps to be enlisted for a certain period, and, after the expiration of which, to return to the mass of citizens. An energetic national militia is to be regarded as the capital security of a free Republic, and not a standing army, forming a distinct class in the community.
Military Peace Establishment.
The Military Academy at West Point is a valuable institution, inasmuch as it leads to a diffusion of correct military science throughout the United States, to be called into requisition whenever wanted, and thus renders it proper to reduce the standing army to a point below what it would otherwise be expedient to do. There is but one thing to be feared from this academy, which is, that it may enlist too many friends in favor of standing armies.
"It is the introduction and diffusion of vice and corruption of manners into the mass of the people, that renders a standing army necessary. It is when public spirit is despised, and avarice, indolence, and effeminacy of manners, predominate, and prevent the establishment of institutions which would elevate the minds of the youth in the paths of virtue and honor, that a standing army is formed and rivetted forever."
In time of war we must have armies sufficient for the exigencies of the war; most of the fighting should be done by regular forces; but the first onset in all our wars must be sustained by our militia, and, during the war, they must be prepared at all points to defend the country; and, in order that they may be enabled so to do, the greatest attention should be paid to their organization and discipline, which never will be the case while we rely upon a standing army.
The policy of keeping up skeleton regiments, so much reduced as to consist of no more than 440 rank and file, with a full complement of officers, will not be understood, except by gentlemen of the army. To show the propriety of reducing the army to the lowest point proposed, both as to officers and men, I will read some statements made and calculated from documents laid on our tables:
This report was examined, and strongly recommended to the attention of Congress, by General Washington, the then President of the United States. Eight months after this, it was enacted by Congress that the whole number of non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates, to be in the service of the United States at any one time, should not exceed 1,216 men, to be raised for three years, unless sooner discharged, to be organized into one regiment of infantry, to consist of three battalions, and one battalion of artillery.
In 1802, the Peace Establishment was fixed at 3,284 officers, non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates, exclusive of a few military agents.
In 1815, it was enacted by Congress, that the Peace Establishment of the United States should consist of such portions of artillery, infantry, and riflemen, not exceeding in the whole ten thousand men, as the President of the United States should judge proper, and that the corps of engineers should be retained, which consisted of 140 men, making, in the aggregate, 10,140 men; yet, such is the construction given to this law, that, by the present organization, our army amounts, in the aggregate, to 12,664.
After the next war in which we may be engaged shall be finished, I have no doubt our Peace Establishment will be fixed at 20,000 or more.
We had for the head of our first Peace Establishment a colonel; for the second, a brigadier general; for the third, two major generals and four brigadiers. If such has already been the progressed, in three years, 1816, 1817, 1818, to $92,564, Expense for transportation for officers amountof our army, what may we not expect in future?
and their charges for the same time, for fuel and
I think, with General Knox, that an energetic national militia is to be regarded as the capital security of a free Republic. The navy has grown up to a degree of importance that could not have been anticipated thirty years ago. It is now looked upon, and justly so, as our strong defence against European enemies; and it has this important circumstance to recommend it, that it has no tendency to endanger the liberties of the country. It was the policy of the party of the De Witts, who were Republicans, to encourage the navy, but of the Orange party, to encourage the army, because, This would give for our six years of peace, says Mr. Hume, the army were in favor of monar-23,538, which, at fourteen dollars for each recruit, chy; and a large army must at all times, from its or- would amount to $315,532. So much for recruitganization, be anti-republican. ing, besides large sums for taking up deserters, at
Average of four years
Expense of the army for pay, subsistence, forage,
Eleven months in 1820
The average of three years
Recruits in the year 1817