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THE SERGEANT MAJOR.

541. THE sergeant major is the ranking non-commissioned officer of the regiment: he is appointed by the regimental commander.  Each regiment in service is entitled to one sergeant major, and the nine new regiments of infantry are allowed one to each battalion.  His pay is twenty-six dollars per month, an allowance of clothing, and one ration.

542. The sergeant major assists the adjutant in the performance of his duties; he makes the details for guard, fatigue, &c. under his direction parades them, verifies the number required from each company, and sees that they are properly equipped for the duty for which they have been detailed.

543. He superintends the clerk, and assists him in making out the various returns, rolls, and reports required, and in keeping the books and records of the regiment.

544. He keeps the roster of the sergeants and corporals and of the various details for guard, fatigue, detachments, &c., and is responsible that these duties are equally required from the various companies.

545. He generally keeps the time at head-quarters, and sees that the musician detailed for the purpose at head-quarters sounds the calls at the proper time.

546. At orderly call, he returns the morning report books to the first sergeants, gives them the orders for the day, and furnishes them with the details required from their respective companies for the morrow.  The orders, to be copied in the company order-book, are also furnished them.

547. In the absence of a drum-major or principal musician, the musicians of the companies are controlled and directed by him, and he attends to their instruction.  He sees that they attend practice, and that they do not absent themselves without authority.

548. He keeps their roster for the various duties of orderly, guard, fatigue, &c.  Should there be a regimental band and no authorized leader or drum-major, he performs a similar duty as in the case of company musicians.

549. The sergeant major attends at guard-mounting, taking post in front and on the right of the line on which the guard is to form, facing to the left.  As each first sergeant marches his detail upon the line, and having brought it “to rear open order,” and “right dress,” he receives the report from the first sergeants, “all present,” or, so many sergeants, corporals, or privates “absent.”  He then verifies the reports of the first sergeants, after which the sergeant major brings his sword to a “present,” and reports, “Sir, the guard is formed, all present,” or, so many sergeants, corporals, and privates “absent.”  The adjutant then gives the command “front,” and the sergeant major takes post two paces on the left of the guard, and the guard, mounting, then proceeds as prescribed in Regulations.

550. At dress-parade, the sergeant major posts the left guide or marker, and, after all the companies have formed, he takes his post two paces on the extreme left of the regiment.  When the guard or regiment marches in review, the sergeant marches on the left of the guard or rear platoon, two paces, or on the left of the rear company or platoon.

551. The sergeant major should be a model soldier for the rest of the regiment in his dress and military deportment.  His example and punctual requirements of duty go far towards influencing a proper discipline in the regiment.  If a due regard for the merits of the non-commissioned officers of the regiment is maintained, he will be the first to succeed to a commission in the regiment.

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THE CADET.

552. THE United States Military Academy is located on the west bank of the Hudson River, about fifty miles from New York City.  It is maintained and supported at the Government expense, and is under the direction of the Chief of the Engineer Corps.  The superintendent is an officer selected from the Engineer Corps, with the local rank of colonel.  The commandant is taken from the line of the army, with the local rank of lieutenant colonel.  The professors of the different branches are permanently located at the Academy.  The superintendent, commandant, assistant professors, and instructors are taken from the officers of the regular army, and continue on duty at the discretion of the War Department.  It is, however, the custom to relieve them, at the end of four years service, by other officers.

553. The students, called cadets, are appointed by the Secretary of War, on the nomination of the member of Congress of the district or the delegate from the Territory from which the cadet is appointed.  Each Congressional district or Territory, and the District of Columbia, is entitled to a representative.  The President is authorized to appoint ten at large, without reference to districts; and he also makes the appointment for the District of Columbia.

554. The appointments at large are generally given to the sons of distinguished officers of the army and navy who have been killed or died in service.  This rule is, however, not implicitly observed.

555. Candidates are required to be between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one years, physically sound, and of good moral character and habits.  They are allowed the same pay as the Naval Cadets, which is five hundred dollars per year (Act April 1, 1864, sec. 3,) out of which all expenses are paid for clothing, books, board, lights, washing, and other incidental expenses.  They are not allowed to draw the money; but on leaving the Academy, the balance, after deducting all expenses, is paid them.

556. The appointments are usually made in March, and the cadet is required to report at the Academy between the 1st and 20th of June.  Before he is admitted, the cadet undergoes a rigid medical examination of his physical qualifications, and also as to his proficiency in reading, writing, the four ground-rules of arithmetic, reduction, and vulgar and decimal fractions.

557. Cadets reporting before the 20th of June have the advantage of the intermediate time to prepare themselves for the preliminary examination under the instruction of some older cadets selected for the purpose, which familiarizes them with the manner of recitation and instruction and gives them a foretaste of what their academic life is likely to be.  By reporting early, the cadet may save himself the mortification of being rejected.

558. Vacancies occurring after the 1st of July and before the 1st of September are filled, if in time to report on or before the 1st of September.  Cadets appointed during this interval are at some disadvantage with their class-mates, on account of entering three months later.

559. At the end of two years, if the conduct of the cadet has been sufficiently good, he receives a furlough from after the June examination until the 28th of August.  If he has been economical, he will have saved some money, which is paid him to assist him in going on furlough.

560. About forty cadets graduate annually, being a little more than one-third of those appointed.  On graduating, the cadet receives a leave of absence until the 1st of October.  The graduation takes place about the 25th of June.  In the mean time an order is published from the War Department assigning the graduates to corps and regiments, according to standing.

561. Not much choice is allowed the graduates.  Formerly, before the increase of the army, they were generally assigned according to class-rank, ordinarily Nos. 1 and 2 to the engineer corps, Nos. 3 and 4 to the topographical engineers, Nos. 5 and 6 to the ordnance corps, Nos. 7 to 20 to the artillery regiments, and the remainder to the infantry and cavalry regiments.  As the prospects of promotion affected the assignments, the highest on the class-roll receiving the assignment that promised the speediest promotion, there was no great room for preference.

562. If there were no vacancies in the different regiments, the graduates were assigned as supernumerary officers, with the lowest rank (brevet second lieutenant), not to exceed one to each company.  Since the increase of the army, however the number of graduates annually is not sufficient to fill the vacancies that occur; and the remainder have been filled from the army or from civil life.

563. The regulations of the Academy are very strict, and are rigidly enforced.  Patience, perseverance, and industry are the principal qualities necessary to accomplish the course, as it is not beyond the capacity of the majority of young men.  Method, unremitting application, and fondness for the cadet life seem necessary to enable one to pass through it successfully.

564. It will not do to become disgusted or discouraged; and the cadet should avoid the error of thinking that he is the object of a petty malevolence on the part of any of the professors or instructors, as instances of such injustice are extremely rare; and such thoughts should not be indulged in without the most satisfactory proofs, which would readily obtain redress when made known to the superintendent or commandant.

565. The following circular can be obtained by applicants by addressing the Chief of the Engineer Corps, Washington, D. C.

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REGULATIONS RELATIVE TO THE ADMISSION OF CADETS INTO THE MILITARY ACADEMY.

As frequent inquiries are made in regard to the mode of procuring admission into the Military Academy, all persons interested in the subject are hereby informed that applications should be made by letter to the Secretary of War.  By provision of law, each Congressional and Territorial district, and the District of Columbia, is entitled to have one cadet at the Military Academy, and no more.  The district appointments are made on the nomination of the member of Congress representing the district at the date of the appointment.  The law requires that the individual selected shall be an actual resident of the Congressional district of the State or Territory, or District of Columbia, from which the appointment purports to be made.  Also appointments “at large,” not to exceed ten, are annually made.  Application can be made, at any time, by the candidate himself, his parent, guardian, or any of his friends, and the name placed on the register.  No preference will be given to applications on account of priority; nor will any application be entered in the register when the candidate is under or above the prescribed age; the precise age must be given; no relaxation of the regulation in this respect will be made; nor will any application be considered in cases where the age and other qualifications of the candidates are not stated.  The fixed abode of the candidate, and number of the Congressional district which he considers his permanent residence, must be set forth in the application.  The pay of a cadet is thirty dollars per month, to commence with his admission into the Military Academy, and is considered ample, with proper economy, for his support.

The appointments will be made annually in the month of February or March, on the applications made within the current or preceding year.  The claims of all the candidates on the register will be considered and acted upon.  No certain information can be given as to the probable success of the candidate before the arrival of the period for making the selections.  Persons, therefore, making applications, must not expect to receive information on this point.

As a general rule, no person will be appointed who has had a brother educated at the institution.

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QUALIFICATIONS.

Candidates must be over sixteen and under twenty-one years of age at the time of entrance into the Military Academy; must be at least five feet in height, and free from any deformity, disease, or infirmity which would render them unfit for the military service, and from any disorder of an infectious or immoral character.  They must be able to read and write well, and perform with facility and accuracy the various operations of the four ground-rules of arithmetic, of reduction, of simple and compound proportion, and of vulgar and decimal fractions.

It must he understood that a full compliance with the above conditions will be insisted on—that is to say, the candidate must write in a fair and legible hand, and without any material mistakes in spelling, such sentences as shall be dictated by the examiners: and he must answer promptly, and without errors, all their questions in the above-mentioned rules of arithmetic: failing in any of these particulars, he will he rejected.

It must also be understood that every candidate will, soon after his arrival at West Point, be subjected to a rigid examination by an experienced medical board; and should there be found to exist in him any of the following causes of disqualification to such a degree as will immediately, or in all probability may at no very distant period, impair his efficiency, he will be rejected:—

1. Feeble constitution and muscular tenuity; unsound health, from whatever cause; indications of former disease; glandular swellings, or other symptoms of scrofula.

2. Chronic cutaneous affections, especially of the scalp, or of any disorder of an infectious character.

3. Severe injuries of the bones of the head; convulsions.

4. Impaired vision, from whatever cause; inflammatory affections of the eyelids; immobility or irregularity of the iris; fistula lachrymalis, &c. &c.

5. Deafness; copious discharge from the ears.

6. Loss of many teeth, or teeth generally unsound.

7. Impediment of speech.

8. Want of due capacity of the chest, and any other indication of a liability to pulmonic disease.

9. Impaired or inadequate efficiency of one or both of the superior extremities, on account of fractures, especially of the clavicle, contraction of a joint, extenuation, deformity, &c. &c.

10. An unnatural excurvature or incurvature of the spine.

11. Hernia.

12. A varicose state of the veins, of the scrotum and spermatic cord (when large), sarcocele, hydrocele, hemorrhoids, fistulas.

13. Impaired or inadequate efficiency of one or both of the inferior extremities on account of varicose veins, fractures, malformation (flat feet, &c., lameness, contraction, unequal length, bunions, overlying or supernumerary toes, &c. &c.

14. Ulcers, or unsound cicatrices of ulcers likely to break out afresh.

 

SIMON CAMERON,             

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, September 16, 1861.

The following is a synopsis of the course of studies pursued at the Military Academy:—

FIRST YEAR.

Fourth Class.

Mathematics.—Davies’ Bourdon’s Algebra; Davies’ Legendre’s Geometry and Trigonometry; Davies’ Descriptive Geometry.

English Grammar, including Etymological and Rhetorical exercises; Composition, Declamation, and Geography of the United States.—Bullion’s Grammar; Vocabularies and Exercises by Professor French; Morse’s Geography; Sargent’s Elocution; Parker’s Aids to English Composition; Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words; Worcester’s Dictionary.

French.—Bolmar’s Luvizae’s Grammar; Bolmar’s Verb Book; Agnel’s Tabular System; Gerard’s Legons Frangaises; Chapsal’s Legons et Modules de Litairature Francaise.

Use of Small Arms.—Instruction in Fencing and Bayonet Exercise.

SECOND YEAR.

Third Class.

Mathematics.—Davies’ Descriptive Geometry; Davies’ Shades, Shadows and Perspective; Davies’ Spherical Projections and Warped Surfaces; Davies’ Surveying; Church’s Analytical Geometry; Church’s Calculus.

French.—Bomar’s Levizac’s Grammar; Bolmar’s Verb Book; Agnel’s Tabular System; Rowan’s Morceaux Choisis des Auteurs Modernes.

Drawing.—Human Figure; Topography.

Cavalry.—Practical Instruction in Cavalry Exercise.

THIRD YEAR.

Second Class.

Natural and Experimental Philosophy.—Bartlett’s Mechanics; Bartlett’s Acoustics and Optics; Bartlett’s Astronomy.

Chemistry.—Fowne’s Chemistry; Electrics, from Miller’s Physics of Chemistry.

Drawing.—Landscape.

Infantry Tactics.—Rules for the Exercise and Maneuvres of the United States Infantry; Jomini’s Art of War.

Artillery Tactics.—Tactics for Garrison, Siege, and Field Artillery; Thackeray’s Army Organization and Administration; Extracts from McClellan’s Military Commission to Europe; Army Regulations.

Cavalry.—Practical Instruction in Cavalry Exercise.

FOURTH YEAR.

First Class.

Engineering, Civil and Military.—Mahan’s Course of Civil Engineering; Mahan’s Lithographic Notes on Stone-Cutting; Mahan’s Lithographic Notes on Machines; Mahan’s Treatise on Field Fortifications; Mahan’s Lithographic Notes on Permanent Fortification; Attack and Defence; Mines and other Accessories; Mahan’s Treatise on Advanced Guards and Outposts, &c.

Practical Engineering.—Practical Instruction in Fabricating Fascines, Sap-fagots, Gabions, Hurdles, Sap-rollers, &c.; Manner of laying out and constructing Gun and Mortar Batteries, Field Fortifications, and Works of Siege; formation of Stockades, Abatis, &c.; Topographical Sketching in the Field, embracing rapid methods of reconnoitring woods, heights, defiles, fields, marshes water-courses, fords, bridges, roads, and other communications, houses, villages, batteries, field-works, &c. &c.; Recitations upon Field Fortification, Sapping, Mining, Pontonniering, and Military Reconnaissance.

Ethics, Constitutional, International, and Military Law.—Kent’s Commentaries; Practical Ethics by Professor French; De Hart on Courts-Martial; Preliminary Lecture on Law, by Professor French.

Mineralogy and Geology.—Dana’s Mineralogy; Hitchcock’s Geology.

Ordnance and Gunnery.—Practical Pyrotechny; Ben-ton’s Course of Instruction in Ordnance and Gunnery.

Spanish.—Josse’s Grammar; Morales’ Progressive Reader; Ollendorf’s Oral Method, applied to the Spanish by Velasquez and Simmone.

Cavalry Tactics.—Cavalry Tactics for United States Service; Youatt on the Horse.

Cavalry.—Practical Instruction in Cavalry Exercise.

 

566. The first appointment is only a conditional one; and the cadet must pass the preliminary examinations, and the semi-annual examination in January following, before he can receive his warrant, which is then made out, to date from the 3rd of June previous.  At the time of receiving his warrant, the cadet takes the oath of allegiance to the United States, and that he will serve them honestly and faithfully for eight years from the date of his warrant, unless sooner discharged.  The following section of the Act of August 3, 1861, requires the following oath to be taken on admission,

 

“Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That no cadet, who has been or shall hereafter be reported as deficient, either in conduct or studies, and recommended to be discharged from the Academy, shall be returned or reappointed, or appointed to any place in the army before his class shall have left the Academy and received their commissions, unless upon the recommendation of the academic board of the Academy: Provided, That all cadets now in the service, or hereafter entering the Military Academy at West Point, shall be called on to take and subscribe the following oath: ‘I, A. B., do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and bear true allegiance to the national government; that I will maintain and defend the sovereignty of the United States paramount to any and all allegiance, sovereignty, or fealty I may owe to any State, county, or country whatsoever; and that I will at all times obey the legal orders of my superior officers and the rules and articles governing the armies of the United States.’  And any cadet or candidate for admission who shall refuse to take this oath shall be dismissed from the service.”

 

567. During the months of July and August, all the cadets, except the second class, which is then on furlough, go into an encampment at the post, and are employed in military duties and exercises in the field until September.  During this period they enjoy a relaxation from study; and, although they are quite busily employed, they still have good opportunities for pleasure and amusement, and for cultivating the lighter accomplishments that tend to complete their education as accomplished gentlemen.

568. During this season, the place is thronged by visitors from all parts of the United States.  Many of their friends visit them; they are permitted to have social parties, which the visitors are fond of attending, provided with music and attended with dancing.  They have the benefit of a dancing-master during this period; and, in connection with the superior society that is convened there at this time, the cadet has the opportunity of learning correct manners, ease of deportment, and a knowledge of the great world, from which he is in the main excluded during the remainder of the year.  It is only necessary to caution the cadet not to become too much devoted to this part of his experience, so as to detract from the more serious duties on which, after all, his best energies must be expended to insure success.

NOTE.—During the rebellion, the vacancies from the seceded States have been filled by appointments from the armies occupying those States.  Candidates of the proper age are summoned before a board under the direction of the commanding officer, and the appointments are made on the recommendation of the board, after a thorough examination.

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PROMOTION.

569. THE Act of August 3, 1854, sec. 5, provides that non-commissioned officers who pass an examination of a board of officers under the direction of the War Department may be promoted to the rank of brevet second lieutenant.  The following is the Regulation with regard to the board:

 

77. A board, to consist of the Professors of Mathematics and Ethics and the Commandant of Cadets, will convene at the Military Academy, on the first Monday of September in every year, for the examination of such non-commissioned officers, for promotion as have already passed the regimental examination prescribed in General Orders No. 17, of October 4, 1854.”

 

570. The following is the Order No. 17 referred to: it will be observed that the above Regulation modifies the first paragraph of the order, with reference to the Board of Examination:—

 

“GENERAL ORDERS, No. 17.

“WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE,

Washington, October 4, 1854.

 

“The following regulations have been established to carry out the provisions of the fifth section of the Act of August 4, 1854, relative to the promotion of non-commissioned officers:—

“1. An Army Board, composed of four officers of rank, will be convened, annually, on the first Monday in September, in the city of Washington, for the examination of such non-commissioned officers as may be ordered to appear before them by the War Department.

“2. To aid the Department in the selection of proper candidates for promotion, company commanders will report to their colonels all such non-commissioned officers as, in their opinion, by education, conduct, and services, seem to merit advancement.  In these reports must be set forth a description of the candidate, his length of service as non-commissioned officer and as private soldier, his character as to fidelity and sobriety, his physical qualifications and mental abilities, the extent to which his talents have been cultivated, and his fitness generally to discharge the duties of a commissioned officer.  If recommended on account of meritorious services, the particular services referred to must be stated in detail.  On receiving the reports of company commanders, the colonel will assemble a Board, to consist of four officers of his regiment, of as high rank as the convenience of the service will admit, to make a preliminary examination into the claims and qualifications of those non-commissioned officers who may appear to him deserving promotion.  Where the Colonel has not authority to convene such Board, the regimental officers necessary to form it will, on application to the proper department commander, be placed subject to his orders.  The Board, constituted as above, will submit a full statement in the case of each candidate examined; and on these statements the colonel will endorse his remarks and forward them, through the head-quarters of the army, to the Adjutant-General, to be laid before the Secretary of War.

“3. The foregoing reports must be transmitted in time to reach Washington by the 1st day of May in each year, and such non-commissioned officers as the Secretary of War may consider suitable candidates for promotion will receive orders from the Adjutant-General’s Office to present themselves for examination by the Board to be convened on the first Monday in September following.  As a general rule, one-fourth of the vacancies occurring annually in the Army will be filled from the non-commissioned grades.  The persons thus appointed shall, as far as practicable, be attached to the regiments in which their meritorious services had been rendered, and will thereafter succeed to vacancies in their particular arm of service according to seniority.

“4. No candidate will be examined who is married; who is under twenty or over twenty-eight years of age; who, in the judgment of the Board, has not the physical ability to endure the exposures of service; who has any deformity of body, or whose moral habits are bad.

“5. The Board, being satisfied of these preliminary points, will proceed to examine each candidate separately—

First.  In his knowledge of English Grammar, and ability to read and write with facility and correctness.

Second.  In his knowledge of Arithmetic, and his ability in the application of its rules to all practical questions, and in his knowledge of plane and solid Geometry.

Third.  In his knowledge of Geography, particularly in reference to the northern continent of America, and in his ability to solve the usual problems on the terrestrial globe.  Also in his knowledge of what is usually denominated popular Astronomy.

Fourth.  In his knowledge of History, particularly in reference to his own country.

Fifth.  In his knowledge of the Constitution of the United States, and of the organization of the Government under it, and of the general principles which regulate international intercourse.

“6. After having completed the examination of all candidates who have presented themselves, the Board will then submit their names to the War Department in order of relative merit.  In determining this order, the Board will consider eight as the maximum of the first, fourth, and fifth heads, and ten as the maximum of the second and third heads; and no candidate will be passed by the Board who shall not have received at least half of the number of maximum marks on each head or subject of examination.  And any candidate having passed, who is also a graduate from any college, shall be allowed five additional marks in his favor, which shall be taken into the account of his general merit.

“7. In order to give effect, as early as practicable, to the intention of the law, the first general examination of non-commissioned officers, except such as are serving in the Department of New Mexico, will take place at Washington on the second Monday of January next.  Those serving in New Mexico will be examined the first Monday in June following.  Colonels will accordingly take immediate measures for forwarding, in due season, the reports necessary to aid in the selection of proper candidates to be brought before these first two Boards of Examination.

“By Order of the Secretary of War:

“S. Cooper, Adjutant-General.”

 

571. It is, perhaps, the surest means for a competent man to enter the army as an officer to enlist as a soldier and by attention to his duties be made a non-commissioned officer, and finally appear before the Board for examination.  It is a severe school, but sure to succeed if pursued with proper energy and perseverance.

572. During the early part of the rebellion the examinations fell into disuse, and a great many non-commissioned officers were promoted, on account of their gallantry and faithful service, who perhaps would not have passed the board.  The Board of Examination has, however, recently been revived, and the necessity of the case will undoubtedly cause the organization of boards of examination for promotion to the higher grades also, in the course of time.

573. The rule of promotion by seniority has been detrimental in affording no encouragement to the ambitions to improve themselves in the study of their profession; whilst the certainty of a regular advancement encourages the ignorant and idle to content themselves with barely performing their duty, and neglecting all opportunities to improve themselves.

574. It is a great mistake to suppose that when the commission has been obtained there is nothing more to be done, except to draw the pay and display the uniform.  In reality, the field of study has just opened, and the most competent, efficient officer finds it necessary to devote a portion of his time to improvement, even if it extend no further than simply to keep himself posted in the changes daily promulgated, in orders, of the laws, regulations, orders, instructions, and rules for the government of the army or its different divisions and detachments.

575. The studies for the military profession cannot be exhausted; and although the officer may succeed to the various grades by virtue of his seniority, it does not follow that he will, therefore, fill them well, or that his ignorance and inefficiency are not known and condemned.  On the contrary, his industry and zeal, whilst it may not bring him rank, will certainly bring him reputation and the respect of his brother officers; and although he may wear the shoulder-strap of a subaltern, he may still be enjoying a reputation and renown which many a general might well envy.  A high standing among his fellow-officers in the army is of more value to an officer of proper feeling than all the rank and notoriety that a newspaper reputation or political favor can lavish upon him.

576. An officer of the army should always be a gentleman, sufficiently well educated to appear well in any society, and fully conversant with the duties of his grade in the arm of service to which he belongs.  Whatever additional qualifications he possesses will be so much more to aid him in attaining a higher grade, and, although they may not be strictly military they will be an additional ornament to his position, for which he will surely be appreciated and which will always be considered in canvassing his merits to perform the duties to which he will from time to time be assigned.

577. When non-commissioned officers are promoted, they must be discharged; the discharge and final statements to be made out up to the date of acceptance of the commission.  Volunteers must be mustered out of the old grade and mustered in in the new.  The muster-out and muster-in rolls can be dated back to the time when the officer can furnish the necessary evidence of having entered upon the duties of his commission, and that he could not be mustered before; otherwise the muster must be dated at the time it is made.  The muster, however cannot in any case be dated prior to the date of commission, nor prior to any muster in which the officer has been mustered in another grade: this would seem to restrict the dating back of the muster to two months at farthest.  It sometimes happens that an officer receives his commission where he cannot be mustered for some months; and, as it is prohibited to take him up on the rolls in any capacity until he has been regularly mustered out of the old and mustered in the new grade, the dating back the commission, it seems, cannot be extended beyond the last muster (See G. O. No. 48, 1863.)

578. When an officer receives a commission, the facilities to be mustered in should, therefore, be at once extended to him by the commanding officers, by either sending or permitting him to go where he can be mustered into service.

579. The introduction of colored troops into our army affords most favorable opportunities for promotion.  Any one who is competent may present himself before the board of examiners; and, if he passes the examination, he will be commissioned an officer in a grade proportionate to his qualifications.

580. This arm of the service seems likely to become very popular.  The system of examinations which is pursued for obtaining officers is calculated to insure success, as the colored regiments must necessarily be well officered, and good officers will make good troops even out of negroes.

581. Applicants who are in the military service and desiring to be commissioned to command in the colored regiments must obtain recommendations from their commanding officers, and forward them to the Adjutant-General, who will give the necessary authority to appear before the examining board.  Civilians must present satisfactory testimonials in order to obtain authority from the Adjutant-General to present themselves, showing that they are of good moral character and standing in the community where they reside.

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VETERAN RESERVE CORPS.

582. ALL soldiers who have been incapacitated for active duty, but who are nevertheless able to do garrison duty, may be enlisted or transferred into the Veteran Reserve Corps, with the same pay and allowances as infantry.

This corps is a volunteer organization.  The troops composing it are required to serve for the unexpired portion of their term, and re-enlistments are for three years.  The organization of the corps is provided for in G. O. Nos. 105, 130, and 173, 1863.  The name of the corps has been changed from Invalid Corps to Veteran Reserve Corps. (General Orders No. 111, 1864.)

583. These orders provide that the officers and men composing the Veteran Reserve Corps shall consist of men of good character, whose disability has occurred in the discharge of their duty, and whose services have been faithful and meritorious.

584. Regimental commanders are required from time to time to make out the lists of officers and men physically disqualified for active field duty, and forward them, through the intermediate commanders, to the Provost-Marshal General at Washington, with the history and merits of each case stated in the column of remarks by all officers through whose hands the lists are required to pass, and who have any knowledge of the cases. (G. O. No. 105, 1863.)

585. When these lists reach the corps or department commander, he issues the order for the transfer of the invalid detachment to the reserve corps, and for it to proceed to the depot for invalids for his army corps or department, which depot is directed in General Orders from the War Department.  The detachment must be accompanied by the descriptive lists and clothing accounts of the men. (G. O. No. 173, 1863.)

586. Soldiers who have been honorably discharged on account of disability incurred in the service, and who deem themselves fit for garrison or other light duty, may re-enlist for three year for service in this corps, provided that they are unfit for service in the field, but fit for garrison duty, that they are deserving, and have been honorably discharged.  Men desiring to re-enlist under the foregoing circumstances must present themselves before the Board of Enrollment for the district in which they reside, and be examined by the surgeon of the board, and establish the required facts in each case, to the satisfaction of the board: they can then be enlisted under the regulations prescribed by the Provost-Marshal General.

587. Soldiers receive no increased pay for reenlistment in the Veteran Reserve Corps, nor can they claim any pension, bounty, or increased pay for enlistment or re-enlistment; but no previous claim for pension or bounty will be invalidated by their enlistment in this corps; they can receive only the pay and allowances of United States infantry, and nothing additional.

588. The corps is organized into companies and regiments, and is used for garrisoning forts, towns, and other duties which these troops are capable of performing, and for which able-bodied men would otherwise be required.


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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2006.


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