THE REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR.
The Army consists of ten regiments of infantry, four of artillery, two of dragoons, two of cavalry, and one of mounted riflemen. Its whole strength is 17,984 men, its actual strength 15,764. This force is called upon to garrison 68 forts and to occupy 70 less permanent forts, scattered over an area of 3 000,000 of square miles. Its principal duty is the protection of the double line of Indian frontier on either side of the Rocky Mountains and the great lines of travel across that range, an ag-gate line of 6,700 miles. Not less than five additional regiments are absolutely requisite for this purpose. The Secretary recommends a line of posts near the usual habitations of the Indians and the concentration at eli-gible points of large bodies of horse.
The troubles in Florida claimed the attention of a strong force, which, when withdrawn to Kansas, was replaced by volunteers. The earnest call of the Gov-ernor of Kansas for a large body of troops to secure the public peace in that Territory, required the trans-fer of the 10th regiment of infantry and the 4th ar-tillery to Fort Leavenworth, and the recall of Col. Sumner’s command as well as that of the 1st cavalry engaged in marking the southern boundary of Kansas, in addition to other bodies of troops from other quar-ters. The peace of Kansas has been undisturbed. This, however, seriously deranged the plans with re-gard to Utah. A large portion of the force intended for this service was forced to remain, leaving the ex-pedition to proceed with the 5th and 10th infantry, the batteries of Captains Phelps and Renno, with a part of the 2d dragoons, which followed late in the season. The Secretary recites well-known facts with regard to the Mormons, attributing to them the substitution of a theocracy for the laws of the land, plans of secession from the United States and distrust of all Gentiles, the filling of their ranks and armies chiefly from the lowest classes of foreigners, general lawlessness and particular instiga-tion of Indians to hostilities against the United States. A for-bearance long exercised toward them might, he now says, be contin-ued were not their settlements in the great pathway which leads from the States to the Pacific.
The safety of emigrants demands that they be reduced to sub-mission. When, early in the Summer, troops were ordered to Utah it was not supposed that they would seriously resist, and the instructions to the commanding officer charged him to allow no conflict between the troops and the people of the Territory, unless he should be called on by the Governor for soldiers to act as a pose comitatus in enforcing obedience to the laws. A discreet officer was sent on in advance, to assure the people of the specific intentions of the movement, but he found that these deluded people had deteremined to resist the approach of the column, and, the days after his departure on his return, Brigham Young issued his proclamation, substantially declaring war against the United States.
The Secretary recommends a change in the staff corps de-priving it of its separate independent character; a definition of the rights of brevet rank; of abolition of promotion by seniority, and an arrangement of the regiments so as to admit their con-traction for peace and expansion for war without altering their basis. He proposes to create permanently the general offices now exercised under brevets, and to retain that rank as a mere honary distinction to make promotion a reward of merit, leav-ing general offices to be at the choice of the President. He would have the purchase of stores and supplies an dmoney ac-countalility given to a civil officer, who should be amenable to military tribunals, and would provide a retreat for infirm and disabled officers, and a substantial discipline for the unworthy by a trial either on the application of the officer or on the direc-tion of the President, before a board of five officers of high rank to be detailed for each case, the examination to be conducted as a Court-Martial and the disposal of the officers to be an honorable release from duty with pay and emoluments as on a leave of absence, remains as a supernumerary officers or to be retired from the army on pay or to be retired without pay and with a gratuity of a year, or six, or three months pay to secure the offi-cer from absolute want. The Secretary recommends that sol-diers be no longer degraded by being employed as laborers. He thinks that if our army was put upon the proper footing, the anomalous spectacle of two-thirds of our rank and file composed of foreigners would certainly not be witnessed He declares that the El Paso route is best for the Pacific Railroad, but re-commends that at least two other routes be kept open by a line of stockade posts. Two exploring expeditions are out, one be-yond the waters of the Upper Missouri and the other on the Colorado of the West. Thirty five camels have been employed in the construction of a road from Fort Defiance to the Majare, and from recent reports it would appear that they are likely to answer fully the high expectations entertained of them for mili-tary purposes A system of Artesian wells is in progress from Fort Fillmore to Albuquerque and from Fort Union to Santa Fe The Secretary recommends the establishment of a national foundry. He thinks American ores may be found which will furnish an iron equal to that now purchased from Norway for the manufacture of small arms.
The Secretary recommends a few rods of iron fence at Baton Rouge and the purchase of shooting grounds at Fort Monroe. He considers that New-York will be impregnable from a sea at-tack when the fortifications now in progress shall be finished. He says that they will be better and the guns heavier and more numerous than those of Sevastopol A larger force could be thrown into New-York in tow weeks by means of internal com-munication, he says than could be brought there from abroad in a year by all the means which European Powers could pos-sibly command He recommends that pensions in the army be placed upon the same footing as those in the navy; that provi-sion be made for the support of regimental bands out of the fines and forfeitures of the army. He thinks that the volunteers of Oregon and Washington Territories must be paid for their ser-vices stores and subsistence, according to the report of Capts. Smith and Ingalls and Mr. Glover. He speaks favorably of breech-loading arms. He concludes by a geographical descript-tion of the country west of the Mississippi as a justification of the large sums of money demanded by the Quartermaster General.
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