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Appendix to Vol. I.


Note a, page 29.

WE append here, for the benefit of those who may feel interested in the subject, a more detailed description of the functions of the various departments and their respective positions in the staffs of the American armies.

The province of the adjutant-general comprised;—the recruiting of regiments, their organization, their interior movements, their relations with the special authorities of States, the enrolling of militia and volunteers in the Federal service, the condition of the men and officers, the promotions, casualties, and resignations, and, finally, the creation and distribution of commands. All correspondence with bodies of troops in the field was conducted by him; he transmitted the orders of the President and the Secretary of War to the generals in command, and the latter addressed all their reports to him.

The assistant adjutant-generals, besides special duties which might be entrusted to them—such as the organization of new regiments—were attached to the staffs of the army or army corps of every division and brigade. They prepared, received, and classified all the reports, regulated the commands, transmitted all the records relating to the personnel of the army corps, and kept up with them the general correspondence; they thus descended from organization to organization, until the regiment itself was reached, the adjutant of which, having control of all administrative operations, was in direct communication with the assistant adjutant-general of brigade.

The functions of the quartermaster's department, which at a later period were distributed among nine offices into which the department was subdivided, comprised the following services: the purchase and distribution among the army corps of all the effects of the men, equipments, [632] tents, tools, camp furniture, cooking utensils, transportation by land and water—that is to say, the hiring or purchase of vessels conveying troops, war material, or provisions on the high seas, lakes, or rivers, and even the equipment of military flotillas on inland waters independently of the navy; the direction of the several maritime services, of all telegraph lines and railways which the armies had taken possession of; contracts with other railways for every kind of transportation; the construction and distribution of all wagons, fieldforges, ambulances, and harness; the purchase of all animals required for that service, and the repairing of roads; the purchase and distribution of fuel, forage, straw, and stationery; the construction and supervision of barracks, hospitals, stables, bridges, magazines, and wharfs for landing; the renting of army quarters; in short, all the expenditures of the armies not under the special care of some other department. All these operations were effected by means of contracts with private individuals, through the medium of the department at Washington, or the various quartermasters who exercised a controlling authority in that branch of the service, either at the headquarters of an army or at a central depot, for that department had no workshops under its direction. The superintendence of these operations was entrusted to special officers, who acted, some as inspectors to verify accounts, and others in the capacity of paymasters. The latter, having to settle all the authorized expenses in the different branches of that department, had to give bonds as a guarantee for the proper disbursement of the large sums of money which they received directly from the government at Washington.

The ordnance and subsistence departments, whose functions we have already sufficiently described, were organized in the same manner as the preceding, the inspection and disbursements being made in the corps itself by officers especially detailed for that service. The principal officer who represented each of these three branches of the service at the War Department attained that position by regular promotion, and could not be deprived of it at the pleasure of the Secretary like a simple employe. A portion of the officers of this corps negotiated the contracts and saw to their proper execution, inspected and received the supplies, and took charge of the Federal arsenals. The others were attached to the armies in the field and to their depots, forming, from the regiment up, an official bond of communication through which all matters connected with their departments passed before reaching their chief at Washington, under the simple supervision of the commander of each body of troops. [633]

These three branches of the administrative department were alone empowered to conclude heavy contracts.

The surgeons, taken from the doctors already possessed of diplomas, were attached to the regiments, but did not constitute a component part of their staffs; at all the general headquarters there were brigade and division surgeons above them; and, finally, the surgeon-general of the army. Those placed in attendance in hospitals were under their direction, and received their supplies partly from the quartermaster and partly from the commissary of subsistence.

The paymasters were employes of the War Department, and not of the Treasury, inasmuch as each administrative department kept separate accounts, and was itself the disburser of the funds required to pay the expenses it had authorized; they had only to settle the pay, the bounties, and a few trifling expenses; consequently none of them remained with the army; mere birds of passage, they made their appearance at certain stated periods, settled the pay-accounts according to the company-rolls, and disappeared immediately after.

We will sum up this sketch by showing, first, what the composition of the headquarters of a general-in-chief, such as that of Scott in Mexico, is, and then the organization and interior administration of the regiment. We will thus be spared the necessity of recurring to these details when we shall have to speak of the volunteer armies which were formed on the same model.

All the members of the headquarters were designated as aides-decamp, and were distinguished by the addition to their titles of the three letters A. D. C., although their functions differed.

Near the general there was, first of all, the chief of staff, the intermediate agent between the former and his principal officers, but having no particular command himself. Under his immediate direction there were the personal aides to the general, who, apart from the special missions entrusted to them, had no other duties to perform than the name indicated, to accompany him, carry his orders, observe what he could not see for himself, and receive all the communications addressed directly to him.

All that depends upon the chief of staff with us was left to the care of the assistant adjutant-general, and, in a small portion, to the inspector-general of the army.

The administrative personnel was represented by the quartermastergeneral, the chief officer of ordnance, the chief commissary, and the surgeon-general. These heads of the administrative branches of the service had under their respective commands sole officers (or physicians) [634] and non-commissioned officers, but no troops. The teamsters, laborers, and hospital nurses were civilians hired for that purpose, or soldiers temporarily detached from their regiments.

At headquarters the special arms of the service had each a chief surrounded by his own particular staff, such as the chief of artillery, the chief of engineers, and the chief of topographical engineers. Sometimes, with armies in the field, the cavalry were also under a special commander, called the chief of cavalry.

The police of the army was under the supervision of a provostmarshal, while the management of courts-martial and the examination of all legal questions were sometimes delegated to a lawyer styled judge-advocate, who was invested with provisional military rank.

Let us now proceed from the first to the last degree, from the general headquarters to the regimental, or rather the battalion staff; we shall find that their administrative functions were very limited, which increased so much the importance and the duties of the special corps of the service detailed to assist in all that concerns the interior regimen — a service from which such officers are excluded in the organization of the French regiment. In the American regiment there are no regimental accounts, no fund, no council of administration. There are only two employes of the administrative department, the ordnance-sergeant, whose duty was not only to attend to the repairing of arms, but also to ascertain their number and condition, to address all requests for arms and ammunition to the officials of the department, who were his immediate superiors, and to deliver them to the regiment. The other was the quartermaster of the regiment, who, acting under the immediate authority of the brigade-quartermaster, delivered to the regiment the personal effects, all made up, which he had requested and received from the central depot. The regiment, unless it formed no part of a brigade, had no commissary of subsistence, the commanders of companies keeping direct accounts with the commissary of brigade. If, at any time, the opportunity presented itself for practicing certain economies in the expenses of the regiment, especially as regarded the companies' rations, the officers had absolute control of the matter.

All the records, writings, reports of condition and administrative control, were in the custody of the adjutant of the regiment, whose functions resembled those of our major; he had charge of all the regimental accounts. On one hand, he had to verify the reports furnished by the commanders of companies, and to examine their several books; on the other hand, he had to check and register the operations [635] of the quartermaster, the ordnance sergeant, and the supplies furnished by the brigade commissary of subsistence for the mess of companies and the hospital.

In an administrative point of view, the regiment had no separate existence; there was no community of interest except in the companies among the men who were fed from the same camp-kettle.

Note B, page 82.

If any one wishes to form an idea of the irremediable demoralization that slavery entails, there is no necessity to read romances or pleadings, but only the simple diary kept in Georgia, on the plantation of her husband, by an author who bears a name illustrious in the dramatic annals of England, Miss Kemble. It is the naked truth, such as would strike an observer free from local prejudices; the astonishments and the hopes, even, expressed by the author, are evidences of her good faith. She was struck at first by the contrast between the magnificence of nature and the human wretchedness to be seen there. It was only by degrees, however, that she found out all the evils of which slavery was the source. Being seized with charitable enthusiasm at each sight of the picture, she wished to apply some remedy to it, but each time she stumbled against some new obstacle. It appeared to her that, the power of the master being so great, he might have used it in correcting the abuses of slavery; but on the one hand, the prejudices, the interests, the institutions, which fettered the hands of the masters, and on the other the despondency which has a prostrating effect upon the strongest minds when doomed to a hopeless life of servitude, neutralized all her best intentions. She acknowledged at last that slavery is almost as wretched under a good master as under a bad one. She became convinced, by constantly-recurring examples, of the intelligence of the negro and his aptitude for intellectual improvement, which place him on the same level with ourselves. The moral degradation attributed to him, which was made the miserable pretext for his servitude, was only the natural consequence, as may be seen in every page of the journal, of the condition to which he had been reduced.

A single word placed at the beginning of the book allows us to guess what was the cause which induced the frightful denouement of the pictures, which the author brings abruptly to a close when leaving the plantation for ever. An unholy day arrived when all the slaves were [636] sold at auction. All the families who had become attached to that estate through their very sufferings, which the authoress has made us acquainted with, were scattered under the hammer of the auctioneer. This simple book bears most conclusive evidence that all that has been said in Europe about the horrors of slavery, and of its influence upon the morals of the whites, was far below the truth; and if we have not dwelt more at length upon this subject, it is because it seemed useless to us to plead in favor of a cause already triumphant.

Note C, page 89.

Below is a table, in round numbers, according to the census of 1860, of the population of the principal cities in the slave States. In estimating the forces of the Confederacy, it will be necessary to omit from this list four of the five first-mentioned cities, which were never beyond the Federal authority. They are marked with asterisks:

* Baltimore212,000 inhabitants.
New Orleans169,000 inhabitants.
* St. Louis152,000 inhabitants.
* Louisville70,000 inhabitants.
* Washington61,000 inhabitants.
Charleston51,000 inhabitants.
Richmond38,000 inhabitants.
Mobile29,000 inhabitants.
Memphis23,000 inhabitants.
Savannah22,000 inhabitants.
Wilmington21,000 inhabitants.
Petersburg18,000 inhabitants.
Nashville17,000 inhabitants.

Note D, page 105.

These details, with many others relative to the Confederate army, are taken from a book entitled ‘Thirteen Months in the Rebel Army,’ by W. G. Stevenson, published in 1863. It describes most vividly the situation of the South at the commencement of the war. The author relates, with a degree of simplicity which saves him from all suspicion of exaggeration, his forced enlistment in the Confederate army, the positions he filled, willingly or unwillingly, in the infantry, [637] the administrative departments, the cavalry, the hospitals, and finally the adventures through which he escaped from those who compelled him to fight against relatives and friends. Notwithstanding the awkward position in which he found himself, and his legitimate aversion for the government whose tyranny he had to undergo, he does not cherish ill feelings against any one, and pays a tribute of respect to the personal qualities of the generals whom he had known. Fan from despising the South, he makes known to his fellow-countrymen the resources, the courage, and the energy of their adversaries, in order that they may redouble their efforts to put an end to the war.

Note E, page 256.

It would fill an entire library to collect together all that has been written in America on the battle of Bull Run; its slightest incidents have been discussed, commented upon, and presented under the most different phases. It has called forth the most fantastic descriptions on the part of a crowd of eye-witnesses whose judgment and vision had been singularly affected by the excitement of the combat so novel to them. It would be impossible to unravel the truth from among so many contradictory assertions if we had not as guides the official reports of both parties, remarkable for their completeness and the manner in which they agree with each other. This labor has been facilitated for us by the works of two American writers, Mr. Swinton, who has written two accounts of the battle of Bull Run with his wonted sagacity, and Mr. Lossing, the prolific draughtsman and scrupulous narrator.

Finally, the author himself accompanied McDowell a few months after the battle, when the latter visited for the first time since the action the scene of his defeat; and he thus received on the spot, from the mouth of the principal actors, who recognized, with emotions easy to understand, here the route on which they had at first been victorious, there the point where some of their bravest companions had fallen, and farther on a trifling break in the ground, insignificant in appearance, which marked the spot where the rout of their troops had commenced.

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