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This prospect cannot but be interesting to the Government and the coun
try. Although the numerical strength of the arıny is comparatively small, it is yet sufficient to excite public solicitude; and this must be in. creased by the consideration that the character of our military establishmeni may hereafter essentially depend upon the measures now taken for lits moral and intellectual advancement. Although it were idle, in the present state of the country, to apprehend any danger from the force which is employed, still, the lessons of experience taught by the progress of events in other nations, ought not be neglected, nor the possibility foverlooked, that other circumstances may lead to the increase of our milia tary strength, and to the diminution of that wise jealousy which is now fone of our national characteristics. Moral habits in the soldiery constitule one of the best safeguards against the abuse of military power, and their inculcation has engaged the attention of this department during such cessive periods of its administration. Amongst other measures which have been adopted with this view, you have recently directed the discoutinuance of all parades on Sunday, in order that that day may be exclu. sively devoted to the purposes of instruction and improvement. CertainHly, in time of peace, no just reason can exist for converting a day of rest and devotion into a day of military parade.
The act for the better desence of the frontiers, by raising a regiment of dragoons, is in the process of execution. About six hundred men have been enlisted, and most of the officers appointed, and five of the compa nies have been ordered to proceed to Fort Gibson, upon the Arkansas, where they will be stationed during the winter. The remainder of the regiment will be concentrated at Jefferson barracks this season, and it is intended in the spring to order the whole to proceed through the extensive Indian regions between the western boundaries of Missouri and Arkapsas and the Rocky Mountains. It is deemed indispensable to the peace and security of the frontiers, that a respectable force should be displayed in that quarter, and that the wandering and restless tribes who roam through it should be impressed with the power of the United States, by the exhibition of a corps so well qualified to excite their respect.These Indians are beyond the reach of a mere infantry force. Without stationary residences, and possessing an abundant supply of horses, and with habits admirably adapted to their use, they cau be held in check only by a similar force, and by its occasional display among them Almost every year has witnessed some outrage committed by them upon our citie zens, and as many of the Indian tribes from the country this side of the Mississippi, have removed and are removing to that region, we may anticipate their exposure to these predatory incursions, vuless vigorous measures are adoptea to repel thenu. We owe protection to the emigrants, and it bas been solemnly promised to them. And this duty can only be fulfilled by repressing and punishing every attempt to disturb the general tranquillity Policy and huinanity equally dictate this course, and their is reason to hope that he display of this force will itself render unneces. sary its hostile employment. The more barbarous tribes will perceive that their own safety is closely connected with the permanent establish ment of pacific relations, both with the United States and with the other Indians.
It is due to the regiment of dragoons to remark that its composition is
believed to be good, and I anticipate it will do honor to the army, and Tender effectual service to the country.
I feel it a duty once more to ask your favorable interposition in beball of the Medical Corps. There is no portion of the army whose compen.
satiou is so utterly inadequate to their services. The pay of the highest grade but little exceeds that of a captain, and the pay of the lowest that of a first lieutenant; and these two grades constitute the whole range of service within the reach of medical officers. In the line of the army, and inost of the staff departments, there are successiv: gradations of rank, each with increased emolument, to stimulate the exertions and to reward the services of the officers. The importance of professional skill and talent in the medical corps will not be doubted; and the dispersed condition of our Army in time of peace, and its exposure to the effects of vari. ous clinates, render the conservation of its health an object of much solicurle ; and, in time of war, this solicitude will te jocreased by the perils of active service.
In order to place in a proper condition this branch of our military es. tablishment, a system of examination has been recently instituted, by which the pretensions of medical gentlemen, seeking appointments in the army, will be sunjected to rigid scrutiny. A board, composed of able and experienced surgeons, has been organized, and the various members of the department have beeo examined by thein. The result has already been highly useful, and cannot fail to be so for the future. But, while the standard of professional acquirements is thus increased, justice demands that the rate of compensation should be examined, and that it should be rendered comniensura:e with the duties and responsibility of This most useful class of officers. It is pot to be expected that the medical corps can retain the able men who now compose it, or see others join it, unless their services are adequately rewarded.
The act organizing the Subsistenice Department expires, by its own limitation, on the 2d day of March next. It was originally passed in 1818, and has been continuerl, by successive teinporary acts, till the present time. The reason of this course of legislation is undoubtedly to be found in the fact, that the introduction of the system was an experiment, and it was deemed prudent to test its operations before a permanent character w is given to it This has been fully done, and the result is, in every point of view, satisfactory. All who were acquainted with the mode of supplying the army previously to, and during the late war, and for a few yars after its termination, must be sevisible of the superiority of the present plan. In the quality of the provisions, in the certainty of the supply, and in the economy of administration, its operation is decidedly su. perior to the old system, where contractors furnished and issued all the subsistence required. The continued failures that took place, and frequentiy in the most critical state of affairs, the controversies arising out of perpetuul attempts to issue unsound provisions, and the serinus obstacies which these and the other operations of ibe system interposed to the public service, must be fresh in the recollection of every military man who participated in the events of those periods. The army is now weil and promptly supplied, and the faithfulfficer at the head of the subsis tence department has established a system of purchasing, of issuing, and of responsibility, which, while it evsures this result, guards the public
interest against loss and imposition, as far as a business necessarily so extended permits. During the fifteen years in which this department has been in operation, more than five millions and a half of dollars have been expended uniter its direction, and the whole loss a hich has been incurred by the defalcations of its officers, does, not amount to sixteen thousand dollars.
I consider that the time has arrived when the present arrangement should be rendered permanent, and I therefore present the subject with that view to your notice. And I also beg leave to suggest that the compensation of the clerks in the office should be increased. It is now lower than the average amount allowed in the other public rffices, and less than is due to their labor and responsibility
The report of the Visiters appointed to examine the Military Academy shows that the justitution is in a prosperous condition, and is fuiflling the duties commiited to it, in the education of the young men destined for the military service of the country. The suggestions made by the Visio ters for the improvement of this national school, are the resuli of a caieful examination, and, coming as they do from a body of able and impartial citizens, are entitled to much consideration. They appear to me just in themselves, and promising, in the evevt of their adoption, salutary consequences to the institution. There is one subject which I feel particularly desirous of placing be
The situation of teacher of drawing corresponds neither with the nature and importance of the duties required of that officer, nor with the professional merit of the distinguished artist who has relinquished the fair prospects held out to himn in a foreign country to accept it. The art itself is highly important to military men, and its acquisition is essential to a respectable standing at the academy It is very desirable that the instructor should unite in his person those high qualifications, natural and acquired, which have in all ages been the lot of those who have attained eminence in the art, and which have placed it among those pursuits that are at once the cause avd the effect of advanced improvement in society. I respectfully recommend that this officer be placed in the same situation as the professors at the academy, and I cannot but believe that such a measure would not only be just in itself, but would be a proper tribute of respect to the liberal arts, ant a proper notice of one whose professional talents and success have been honorable to his country.
I have had the honor heretofore to submit to your consideration my views in relation to brevet commissions in the army, and I am induced, as an act of justice to those entitled to them, again to present the subject. If no new legislation is contemplated, nor any action of the Senate which shall change the principle or practice heretofore prevalent, no objections occur to me to delay, anỳ longer, these promotions. The officers have earned them by length of service, agreeably to the established usage ; and to make a discrimination d'ithou! any previous declaration, so as to exclude from th s advantage those who are at this time entitled to it, does not seem called for by the exigency of any circumstance cou
nected with this subject. And, in fact, there are no very obvious reasonoccurring to me, why these professional honors, which, in common cases, make no demand upon the Treasury, but serve to foster those professional foelings which give elevation to the military character, sbould not be
granted, as they have heretofore been. Under ordinary circumstances they would protece no practical operation, either with relation to emolu ment or command When they should do either, it would be precisely when their value would be enhanced by the very state of things produc. ing this change in their operation; when the great experience of the brevet oficer would entitle him to an enlarged command, and to a corresponding rank over those, whether in the regular army or the militia, whose qualifications, so far as these depend upon service, are less than his.
The attention of the army has been frequently drawn to a project for the establishment of a fund for the support of invalid officers, and of the widows and children of such as muy die in the service. The object is a commendable one and as the only aid expected of the Government is such legislative provision as may be necssary to give effect to the measure, in couformity with the general views of the officers of the army, it is certainly entitled to the favorable regard of the Goverument. A mo derate and stated deduction from the pay of each officer would create a fund which would afford essential relief to many, who otherwise would be exposed to want and pepury, and might soothe the declining years of meritorious officers, who may have necessarily expended in the maintenance of their fainilies the whole allowance mide to them by law, and who, without such an arrangement, would look forward with anxiety for the future. Whatever plan may be ultimately attopted, a legal organization is essential to its operation and success. Aud as the funds will be provided by the officers themselves, and for their own advantage, the administration will no doubt be committed to them, to be exercised by such persons, and in such inaoner, as they may direct. The considerations connected with this measure are so obviously just, and in accordance with the dictates of prudence and humanity, that I trust they will be favorably considered. And I also feel it my duty to bung before you a kindred subject connected with the rank and file of the army, and having for its objecí a provision for the support of superannuated soldiers. In our service, as at present organized, a soldier can only be retained as long as his physical powers are sufficient to enable him to perform the ufuties required of him. When his constitution fails, unless it is the result 6 of disability incurred in the line of his duty,” he is discharged without any provision for his support, and generally, from the habils of his life, without the disposition and too often the power to labor, and without the means of support. He is then throw upon the charity of the community, after devoting the best of his life to the service of his couutiy
This result may be easily obviated without expense to the Governo ment, and an ample provision made for those discharged soldiers who are unable to procure the means of support. The principle which has been long and wisely applied to the navy, may be sa sely applied to the army. An inconsiderable deduction from the pay of each soldier would go far towards the creation of a fund for this
purpose: And if this deduction were to cominence with those who might enlist after thz passage of the law, there could be no objections on account of the previous engagements formed with the soldiers. Aud there are thrre auxiliary sour. ces of revenue which may be applied towards the former object. These
Fines assessed by courts martial ;
The pay due to soldiers who may die without leaving any beirs to claim it ;
A proportion of the post sund, which is principally derived froni a tax upon sutlers.
It is believed that the means which may be realized agreeably to this suggestiou would be found sufficient to provide for the maintenance of this class of persons whose condition is now so hopeless, and so suited to the character of the Goverument, and the feelings of the community.
The experience of every year adds to the conviction, that the sooner the Indians remaining east of the Mississippi migrate to the region west
of that river, the sooner will they be relieved from the embarrassments of their present position, and placed in a situation where they may phy sically and morally improve, and look forward 10 a prosperous and permanent restiny. All the reports which reach the department upon this subject, concur in the represent iion that the emigrants already there
are comfortable and contented--that the region assigned to them is feruile, salubrious, and as extensive as they and their descendants for many generations can require. They are making improvements, and erecting dwellings, and are evidently laying the foundations of a social system, which, it is to be hoped, will afford them security and prosperity. As a striking proof of their improvement, and of the quantity of provisions raised among them, it may be stated that oue of the contracts for furnish ing provisions has been taken by a Choctaw, who is said to have a supply of bis own, amply sufficient to enable him to meet his engagement fortunate for the Indians theniselves, and for the great cause of bumamity, that the efforts of the Government to persuade them penceably and vo luntarily to remove, are every year crowned with more and more success Since the last ainual report from this department, the conditional ar. rangement made by the Seminoles for their emigration bas been rendered absolute by a person-l inspection of the country proposed for their residence They have examined, and are satisfied with it; and if the treaty
houli be ratified by the Senate, they will soon leave the Territory of Florida An arrangement has also been made with the separate bands in that Territory, by which they have agreed to emigrate ; and t1118 provision has been made for the removal of the whole Indian pipulation froin Florida.
The trealy with the Chickasa ws has terminated all difficulties with that ribe. It is understood that the exploring party, provided for in that ostrument, are about 10 commence their journey with a view to select a itsidence west of the Mississippi. If they succeed, they will remove within the perind limited. If they do not, and choose to remain, they will berome, with their own coneeni, citizens of Mississippi, and will occupy. as absolute owners, the several tracts of land assigned to them.
i he obligations assumed by the United States in the treaty with the Choct.ws, for the removal of those ludians, have been fulfilled. From the rappris which h:•ve been made t:) the department, it appears that anout overn how and divirtuals of this tribe have been renoved. A party,
estimats to ropraw from, fitt en hundred to three ihousand persons, havr changed their usual piace of residence in ti-bama, and have declined ac