Page images
PDF
EPUB

of the interior of California and Oregon ; and finally, the great emigrant routes to California, Oregon, and New Mexico.

The different lines of our military posts, starting from Pembina, where a post would have been established this year had there been troops available for the purpose, down west of Texas to the mouth of the Rio Grande ; from San Antonio, in Texas, across the continent to San Diego, in California ; from San Diego up to Bellingham bay; from Fort Bliss, Texas, up to Fort Massachusetts; and from the main line of the New Mexican posts across to Fort Defiance, alone, make up a total of over 6,500 miles, which is swelled to over 9,500 by the addition of the three great trails to California, Oregon, and New Mexico, just mentioned ; and these distances, it must be remembered, bear a very inconsiderable proportion to the actual extent of frontier exposed.

The population of the United States in the year 1815 may, by taking a mean between the census of 1810 and that of 1820, be set down at 8,438,905; that of the present year probably amounts to at least 26,000,000.

While, then, our population has at least been trebled, and the extent of our frontier settlements to be defended against Indians has increased nearly sevenfold ; our revenue being nearly four times as great ; the value of our imports being at least doubled, and that of our exports having more than quintupled, the organized strength of the army, meantime, is less than twice as great, and its actual strength falls, usually, 2,000 short even of that to which its organization is limited.

If we compare the various changes which have been made in the organization of the army with the history of the different wars in which the country has been engaged since the year 1815, we will find that there is no economy in keeping the army reduced to a standard of strength so low that it is unable to meet the demands which are made upon its services. It has been stated in official reports before this, that a regiment of troops stationed at Jefferson barracks would have immediaately suppressed the first outbreak of the Sac and Fox hostilities in 1832; and that a few regiments ordered at once to Florida would have saved the country from the long and bloody Seminole war of 1835-'42.

Recurring again to the reduction of 1821, we may be allowed to ask what was really gained by it, when not two years had elapsed before it was found necessary again to increase the army, when we see that it has been steadily augmented ever since; and that, to supply for the insufficiency of regular troops in the intervening period between that year and 1816, not less than 55,324 volunteers had to be mustered into the service of the United States.

Looking at the subject in another way, we find that of the 10,000 constituting the strength of the army from 1815 to 1821, nearly threefourths were usefully employed in garrisoning our maritime fortresses, and, by keeping them and their armaments in good preservation and repair, saved large sums to the government, while not a fourteenth part of our present force, nor more than one-sixth of that formerly so employed, can now be spared for that useful duty. We see, too, that whilst schools of cavalry, artillery, and for rifle practice, are imperatively needed to give to our army that thorough training in the several arms of service which is essential to its perfect efficiency in case of our ever being opposed to a civilized foe, it is yet impossible to establish them, for the reason that neither troops nor officers can be spared for the purpose ; and thus, while our officers are acquiring admirable lessons of fortitude, endurance, cool presence of mind in danger, and ready resources in the midst of difficulties, and gradually qualifying themselves to dispute the palm of superiority with those of the best light troops of Europe, they are yet, at the same time, slowly unlearning the scientific lessons which the country is at so much pains to inculcate in them at the Military Academy, and from necessity falling somewhat short of what elsewhere constitutes the true standard of the officer of heavy infantry, cavalry, and artillery.

Looking upon the subject in yet another light, we will find that the expenses of an army do not always increase in the same ratio with an increase in its numbers; and that where the latter are insufficient, the cost of transporting large bodies of men over vast distances, from one remote department to another, to repress disturbances, which the mere presence of an efficient force would either have prevented from breaking out, or, at least, have stifled in the beginning, enters largely into the account; and thus it is we find that the annual expense per man, including officers, of an average army of 6,000 men, in the years 1809-'10-'11, exceeds that of one of 10,000 men in 1820, from $50 to as much as $80; (See House Document 182, 1st session 16th Congress, report of the adjutant and inspector general.)

I have endeavored, in this brief and hasty sketch, strictly to confine myself to the points to which you had directed my attention ; but in considering the subject at this day it will not do for us to lose sight of the all-important fact, that the events of the last two or three years are indicative of a spirit of hostility on the part of many powerful tribes who dwell on the great plains which forebodes, at no very distant day, an Indian war of formidable magnitude-one that may, for a long time, check the overland emigration to our Pacific coast, and which can only be averted by vigorous measures, and by an imposing display of our force among them.

In conclusion, allow me to draw your attention to the report made by Mr. Calhoun, when Secretary of War, to the House of Representatives, dated December 12, 1820, which will be found in House Document 197, 2d session, 16th Congress. He has discussed the whole subject upon general principles, and so thoroughly as to leave little to be supplied.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER,

Adjutant Ġeneral. Hon. JOHN B. FLOYD,

Secretary of War.

List of documents accompanying the report of the adjutant general.

CHEYENNE EXPEDITION.

Letter from Colonel E. V. Sumner to the assistant adjutant general

at the headquarters of the army, August 9, 1857. . Letter from Colonel E. V. Sumner to the assistant adjutant general

at the headquarters of the army, August 11, 1857. Letter from Colonel E. V. Sumner to the assistant adjutant general

at the headquarters of the army, September 20, 1857.

TROOPS IN KANSAS.

Letter from the adjutant general to General W. S. Harney, May 8,

1857, enclosingNo. 1. Letter from the adjutant general to General P. F. Smith,

April 1, 1857. No. 2. Letter from the adjutant general to the commanding officer at

Fort Leavenworth, April 28, 1857. No. 3. Letter from the adjutant general to the commanding officer at

Fort Leavenworth, October 6, 1855. No. 4. Letter from the adjutant general to the commanding officer at

Fort Leavenworth, January 30, 1856. Letter from General W. S. Harney to the Secretary of War, Septem

ber 25, 1857, enclosingNo. 1. Letter from Governor R. J. Walker to General W. S. Harney,

September 21, 1857. No. 2. Letter from General W. S. Harney to Governor R. J. Walker,

September 22, 1857. No. 3. Letter from Captain A. Pleasonton to Lieutenant Colonel J.

E. Johnston, September 22, 1857. No. 4. Letter from Captain A. Pleasonton to Major J. Sedgwick,

September 22, 1857. No. 5. Letter from Captain A. Pleasonton to Major J. Sedgwick,

September 24, 1857. No 6. Letter from Captain A. Pleasonton to Lieutenant Colonel J.

E. Johnston, September 25, 1857. No. 7. Proclamation of Governor R. J. Walker, September 10, 1857. Letter from General W. S. Harney to the Secretary of War, October

5, 1857, enclosingNo. 1. Letter from Governor R. J. Walker to General W. S. Harney,

September 26, 1857. No. 2. Letter from General W. S. Harney to Governor R. J. Walker,

September 27, 1857. No. 3. Special orders No. 77, headquarters troops in Kansas, Sep

tember 26, 1857. No. 4. Letter from Captain A. Pleasonton to Major T. W. Sherman,

September 26, 1857. No. 5. "Letter from Governor R. J. Walker to General W. S. Harney,

September 28, 1857.

No. 6. Letter from General W. S. Harney to Governer R. J. Walker,

September 28, 1857. No. 7. Special orders No. 78, headquarters troops in Kansas, Sep

tember 28, 1857. No. 8. Letter from Captain A. Pleasonton to Lieutenant Colonel H.

Brooks, September 28, 1857. No. 9. Letter from Governor R. J. Walker to General W. S. Harney,

October 3, 1857. No. 10. Letter from General W. S. Harney to Governor R. J. Walker,

October 3, 1857. No. 11. Special orders No. 85, headquarters troops in Kansas, Octo

ber 3, 1857. No. 12. Letter from Captain A. Pleasonton to Major H. J. Hunt,

October 3, 1857. No. 13. Letter from Captain A. Pleasonton to Captain T. Hendrick

son, October 3, 1857. No. 14. Letter from Captain A. Pleasonton to Captain E. W. B.

Newby, October 3, 1857. Letter from General W. S. Harney to the Secretary of War, October

11, 1857, enclosingNo. 1. Letter from General W. S. Harney to Governor R. J. Walker,

October 9, 1857. No. 2. Letter from Governor R. J. Walker to General W. S. Harney,

October 10, 1857.

DEPARTMENT OF TEXAS.

Letter from Lieutenant J. B. Hood to the assistant adjutant general,

headquarters, department of Texas, July 28, 1857. Letter from Lieutenant J. B. Hood to the post adjutant at Fort Mason,

Texas, July 27, 1857. Letter from General D. E. Twiggs to the assistant adjutant general

at the headquarters of the army, August 5, 1857.

DEPARTMENT OF THE PACIFIC.

Letter from General N. S. Clarke to the assistant adjutant general.at

the headquarters of the army, Septeniber 14, 1857, enclosingLetter from Major G. 0. Haller to the assistant adjutant general at

the headquarters, department of the Pacific, August 17, 1857.

DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO.

Letter from General J. Garland to the assistant adjutant general at

the headquarters of the army, June 30, 1857. Letter from General J. Garland to the assistant adjutant general at

the headquarters of the army, August 1, 1857, enclosingNo. 1. Letter from Colonel B. L. E. Bonneville to the assistant adju

tant general at the headquarters of the department of New Mexico, July 14, 1857.

No. 2. Letter from Lieutenant Colonel D. S. Miles to Colonel B. L.

E Bonneville, July 13, 1857. No. 3. Letter from Captain R. S. Ewell to Lieutenant Colonel D. S.

Miles, July 13, 1857.

DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA.

Letter from General W. S. Harney to the assistant adjutant general

at the headquarters of the army, March 8, 1857. Letter from Colonel G. Loomis to the assistant adjutant general at the

headquarters of the army, August 30, 1857, enclosingNo. 1. Letter from Captain J. E. Michler to Colonel G. Loomis,

August 28, 1817. No. 2. Letter from Captain W. H. Kendrick to the assistant adjutant

general at the headquarters, department of Florida, August 26, 1857.

INDIAN DISTURBANCES IN MINNESOTA.

Letter from Captain B. E. Bee to the adjutant of 10th infantry, April

9, 1857. Letter from Colonel L. Thomas to General W. Scott, August 3,

1857. Letter from Colonel L. Thomas to General W. Scott, August 10,

1857. Letter from Captain G. W. Patten to the assistant adjutant general

at the headquarters, department of the west, October 7, 1857.

HEADQUARTERS CHEYENNE EXPEDITION, Arkansas river, near the site of Fort Atkinson, August 9, 1857. Sir: I have the honor to report that, on the 29th ultimo, while pursuing the Cheyennes down Solomon's fork of the Kansas, we suddenly came upon a large body of them, drawn up in battle array, with their left resting upon the stream and their right covered by a bluff. Their number has been variously estimated from two hundred and fifty to five hundred; I think there were about three hundred. The cavalry were about three miles in advance of the infantry, and the six companies were marching in three columns. I immediately brought them into line, and, without halting, detached the two flank companies at a gallop to turn their flanks, (a movement they were evidently preparing to make against our right,) and we continued to march steadily upon them. The Indians were all mounted and well armed, many of them had rifles and revolvers, and they stood, with remarkable boldness, until we charged and were nearly upon them, when they broke in all directions, and we pursued them seven miles. Their horses were fresh and very fleet, and it was impossible to overtake many of them. There were but nine men killed in the pursuit, but there must have been a great number wounded. I had two men killed, and Lieutenant J. E. B. Stuart, and eight men wounded ; but it

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »