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refused to have anything to do with that amend
Mr. PAINE. I do not say that he refuses to vote for that amendment, but I do understand him--and if I am mistaken I beg he will correct me to have intimated to the House that notwithstanding that amendment he will vote against this Veteran Reserve corps.
Mr. CONKLING. My friend I know will indulge me in saying that he did misapprehend me. What I said was, that I should vote with pleasure for the amendment of the gentleman from Pennsylvania, [Mr. STEVENS,] and should seek to amend the section still further, if it was not stricken out, so as to accomplish the object which the gentleman from Wisconsin [Mr. PAINE] now announces.
Mr. PAINE. I am happy then to understand the gentleman as being willing to vote for the Veteran Reserve corps if the provision shall be so framed as to meet his views.
Mr. CONKLING. If we are going to have any, I will.
Mr. PAINE. Allow me to read this provision for the Veteran Reserve corps, as it will stand amended by the proposition of the gentleman from Pennsylvania:
The Veteran Reserve corps shall be officered by appointment from any officers and soldiers of volunteers or regular troops who have been wounded in the line of their duty while serving in the Army of the United States in the late war, or have been disabled by disease contracted in such service, and may yet be competent for garrison or other duty to which that corps has heretofore been assigned.
Mr. Speaker, I undertake to say that that provision is fair to all the wounded officers and soldiers of the volunteer and of the regular Army; that it embraces them all, and that under this provision it will be the duty of the Secretary of War and of the President-a duty which they cannot evade honestly or fairly in reorganizing this corps-to select out of the whole tody of the officers and soldiers wounded or diseased those who are best fitted to fill these regiments. Now, I ask what objection there can be to that.
I will not detain this House now by discussing all the arguments of the gentleman as to whether or not this Veteran Reserve corps should be established. I believe it is absolutely certain that not only in peace but in war we must employ a force equal to that embraced in these regiments for the performance of just exactly the duties which these men and these officers will be fully able to perform. And it is absolutely necessary that we should retain them in regimental organizations, and not have them in detachments or in squads. Then, I ask, what objections, upon principles of equity and humanity and justice, can there be if we undertake at once to provide for this case, and to discharge a duty of solemn obligation to the gallant men who have gone through this war, and suffered in the defense of their country, and for the maintenance of the national existence?
I shall vote to amend, improve, and perfect this provision, and after that is done I shall Tore to retain it as a principal feature of this bill.
Mr. ROGERS. I have been greatly im pressed by the remarks which have been made by the distinguished chairman of the Military Committee, Mr. SCHENCK,] as well as the remarks of other honorable gentlemen who have sustained this provision of the bill, in regard to the bravery and valor of the men who are to be provided for by this section.
But I have not yet forgotten that we have an interest at stake in which thirty million people are interested, far greater and above the mere interest which may be contemplated by this bill for the benefit and advancement of those who have been wounded in the late war. Now, I am as willing as any man in this House to accord to the brave and gallant soldiers every effort to reward them for the duties which they have performed upon the field of battle, which may be within the legitimate sphere of our action. But while I am willing to accord to them all that we owe to them, I still remember
that we have a great country at stake, and that we are here to day deliberating for the purpose of establishing an army for the whole country, to represent thirty million people, an army that some day may be marshaled against the combined forces and hordes of Europe, that may attempt to trample upon our rights.
But the interests of this particular class of men, the particular claims that they have upon the community, must give way to the interests of the people at large. We must not allow our feelings and prejudices in favor of these men to so warp our judgments as to lead us to legislate against the best interests of the country, merely because these men have exhibited bravery and valor upon the field of battle and have been wounded.
Sir, as much bravery, as much valor, as much patriotism as were ever exhibited upon the field of battle in any country, whether upon this continent or upon any other, have been exhibited during the late war by men who were not wounded at all. And because men in the discharge of their duty may have received wounds that is no particular evidence of their bravery over those whose bravery undaunted defied the bullets that have whirled around them, whose bravery in battle was evinced in the most determined manner, and yet who had the good fortune to escape any wounds what
Now, those persons who have been fortunate enough to obtain positions in this Veteran Reserve corps took them with the distinct understanding at least I so understood it, and I think almost every one so understood itthat that Veteran Reserve organization was merely for a temporary purpose; and because they have had the benefits of those places for two or three years of bloody warfare, without being exposed to the dangers to which other soldiers have been exposed, that is no reason why we should pass this class legislation in their favor, when they embrace not more than one out of twenty of the wounded soldiers of the Union Army.
Mr. BINGHAM. Does not the gentleman know that the text of the bill does not confine it to this Veteran Reserve corps?
Mr. ROGERS. That is the meaning of the bill and the only construction which can be put upon it. If the intention is not to give an advantage to the Veteran Reserve corps why say that the officers shall be taken from their ranks? Why is it that the body of the Reserve corps to be established by virtue of this bill shall be taken from the body of the Reserve corps as it exists at this time? Now, I say that this bill will authorize the officers of the Reserve corps as it now exists to take the places in these ten regiments, while that other body of wounded men, twenty times as large, who have been so unfortunate as not to get into the Veteran Reserve corps, are entirely excluded from the benefits of the Reserve corps to be established by this bill.
For one I am unwilling to make this discrimination between those who have not had the benefit of the Reserve or Invalid corps and those who have had it. I assert, without fear of contradiction, that the present Reserve corps, or the highest maximum number of it at any time during the war, would not constitute more than one twentieth of the wounded soldiers of the Union Army. Why should we make this class legislation here? These persons have been protected and taken care of by the Federal Government during three years of war merely because they happened to have the good fortune to get in this Reserve corps, while twenty times as many men who were not so fortunate and who were exposed to the same risks of battle are not provided for by this bill.
But I am mainly opposed to this bill for a graver and greater consideration, and that is for the interests of the country. I am not willing to do anything here for the benefit of these men that will destroy the morale of the American Army and impair its efficiency. No instance can be pointed out in the history of the world, from the time of Alexander the
Great down to the present time, where, in the organization of a great army, an invalid corps has been provided for in the very commence
Sir, I say that all history will be false if it be true that it is to the best interest of any country, at the formation of an army, to incorporate into that army a body of men who are recognized before they enter the army as unfit to do the great work of military duty for the protection of the country when an invasion may come upon it or an insurrection may break out in it.
Now, I am in favor of paying these men liberally in the way in which the Government has always provided for its soldiers in such cases. It is enough to put them on an equality with the other soldiers and officers of the Army, with the other brave men who have shown determination and valor equally with them, without making this particular class legislation, and without specifying and picking out these individuals as the ones who are to have particular consideration from the Government, by placing them in this Reserve corps and making it a part of the permanent organization of the American Army.
As was remarked by the learned and eloquent gentleman from New York, [Mr. CONKLING,] cases will arise fast enough by accidents and sickness and wounds received in the service to constitute a corps of this kind in the Army, without providing for such a corps at the outset. You cannot point to the legislation of any country in the world where heretofore provision has been made in the formation of an army, that ten, twenty, or any other number of regiments should be composed and constituted of men unable to do the most important military duty.
Why, sir, I have understood from military men, in conversation with them, that they want able-bodied men in the Army, men able and ready at any time when invasion may come upon the country on a sudden, when we have not time to prepare for war, before volunteers can be called out-that they may have ablebodied and efficient men to advance to the protection of the country at once, and that is the object and intent of the formation of a regular army in this country.
When our Constitution provided that Congress should have power to raise and maintain an army, it had reference only to the raising and maintaining of a regular army; and it is a fact which the history of all countries in all times attests that a standing army, which is to be called upon in emergencies for the defense of the country, should be composed of ablebodied men, competent to render effective service.
But, sir, it is enough for me to know that General Grant, General Sherman, General Meade, and General Thomas have all given the weight of their opinion against the formation of any such corps as this. Sir, I have confidence in the patriotism and the sagacious judgment of these officers. I do not pretend to be a military man; I have never been in the Army; but as one of the Representatives of the people of this great country, I am ready to accept the views of those who are better qualified than I am to determine what is best calculated to promote the efficient organization of the Army of the United States. I am satisfied that the advice given by such men as these is prompted by the purest motives and the highest wisdom; and I am willing to be guided by that advice.
Mr. ROUSSEAU. Will the gentleman from New Jersey yield to me for a moment?
Mr. ROGERS. I have only three minutes of my time remaining, and I cannot yield.
Besides, sir, this very question has been under consideration in the Senate of the United States. The Army bill as first presented there contained a section similar to this. But the committee of the Senate, to whom that bill was referred, struck out the whole section with regard to the Veteran Reserve corps; and subsequently two thirds of the Senate voted against inserting in the bill any such provision as that
contained in the bill reported by the honorable chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs. I am satisfied that the members of the Senate, in taking this action, were actuated by considerations of duty and a regard to the best interests of the country, guided by the knowledge which they had derived from leading military men.
However much regard, therefore, I may have for the members of this corps on account of the brayery which they have shown, I am not willing, with all the light we have on this question, to jeopard the interests of the country for one instant for the sake of advancing the welfare of any one class of people in this country.
Sir, these men ought to be provided for, and the Government is able to take care of them; and I am for inaugurating measures that will break down this Freedmen's Bureau system, this refugee system, and this provost marshal system, seeking at every man's heels for his blood; and I am ready to vote for spending the money of the Government in caring for the soldiers. But do not let us undertake, in this indirect way, regardless of the interests of the country, to provide for these men. Let us be liberal in appropriations of money for their support, but when we are organizing an army for the defense of the country, let us seek to insure the efficiency of that army.
Mr. WASHBURN, of Indiana. For my part, Mr. Speaker, I am in favor of a certain kind of class legislation. I am in favor of legislation for the benefit of that class of persons who are the survivors of those that have lost their lives in the defense of the country. I am in favor, also, of legislation for the benefit of those who have suffered wounds or incurred disability in the service of their country. I am in favor of such class legislation. And, Mr. Speaker, my objection to the provision of this bill with reference to the Veteran Reserve corps is that it should, in my judgment, be extended so as to include more of these men who have been wounded or partially disabled in the service, provided they are able to discharge the duties required of them.
I hope, Mr. Speaker, that the House will observe that all the gentlemen who oppose this Veteran Reserve corps, however much sympathy they may profess for the officers and soldiers who have rendered faithful service, finally settle down in their remarks to the point made by the gentleman from New Jersey that they are opposed to any of the wounded men being in the Army. Because General Grant has expressed the opinion that able-bodied officers should be placed on duty in the far West and in the South, the gentleman from New York [Mr. CONKLING] attempting to support himself by that opinion, argues in favor of giving all the easy places to the able-bodied officers of the regular Army, while I contend that the easy positions should be given to the wounded and disabled soldiers who have so nobly fought for their country.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I think the only question that is here for discussion is whether a wounded officer or soldier shall have the "soft places" in the Army, the duties of which they can discharge as well as the most able-bodied officers and soldiers.
It has been suggested that these men should retire from the Army upon their pensions. Now, sir, I do not want them to be put in the position of pensioners taking money from the Government when doing nothing, while they can discharge the duties of very many places where we now have able-bodied officers. Men in the Veteran Reserve corps if discharged would only get eight dollars pension whereas they now have full pay and are on duty; and the officers, numbering some three hundred and more, who now get full pay, would only get pensions from seventeen to thirty dollars.
The gentleman wants to know how we are to get rid of them. Let them be distributed to the States and Territories according to the number of troops raised. Of the three hundred officers of the Veteran Reserve corps one hundred and twenty-nine came from the State of
New York. Under the distribution suggested, her share would be thirty-two. The others we can easily fill up from the western States.
And it must be recollected that one of the objections to the Veteran Reserve corps is that it was not distributed fairly, and not because members are opposed to providing for wounded officers and men. The bill corrects that. It provides there shall be a fair distribution of wounded men in this corps and not to turn them all out.
For my own part I am in favor of providing this for these wounded officers and men. I hold in my hand a letter from a wounded soldier of my own regiment, asking and praying for this as a boon. I will read it:
"General, you know I have served my country as a faithful soldier, from the beginning of the war until the ending, and all I ask of it is merely to give me a situation in the Army as a soldier. You know your regiment was through many a hard-fought battle, that I never was absent from one except when wounded. I now bear the sears of thirteen wounds, and I want a place as a soldier if I can get it.'
Mr. Speaker, it is for the wounded soldiers as well as the wounded officers I want a Veteran Reserve corps. It is because we have wounded officers and soldiers that a Veteran Reserve corps is necessary.
Mr. SCHENCK. I propose to call the previous question on this section after making a remark or two in behalf of the committee.
I am determined we shall not be misunder
stood. I am determined to correct a misrepresentation which has been insisted on although again and again corrected. I do it by saying this: the Committee on Military Affairs had no idea of framing any bill providing for this Veteran Reserve corps except by making appointments to it from the wounded officers from all arms of the service, at least so far as volunteers are concerned. More than that, I am willing it should be extended to include the regular Army.
I will give notice to this House that no opposition will be made, but on the contrary my entire approval given to an amendment such as is proposed by the gentleman from Pennsylvania and the gentleman from Wisconsin-in the fifth section, that the language shall be altered so as to read that the Veteran Reserve corps shall be officered from any officers and soldiers of the volunteers and of the regular Army who have been wounded during the late war. determined there shall be no misapprehension about this, so that when gentlemen vote to strike out the provision for the Veteran Reserve corps I want it to be understood they are voting to strike it out with the distinct understanding that the officers are to be selected from all arms of the service, officers and privates.
Mr. HARDING, of Illinois. I hope the gentleman will go a little further, and provide for the apportioning of the appointments to be made among the several States. It is said the appointments shall be made to the effect that the public interest shall be subserved. The Veteran Reserve corps being in the service now they would of course be selected according to these dictates of public interest. If it be provided that these officers shall be apportioned among the several States as nearly as possible, I will, for one, vote for it,
Mr. SCHENCK. I have no objection to that. There is virtually a provision "as nearly as the public service will warrant.
Mr. HARDING, of Illinois. There is the point.
Mr. SCHENCK. The gentleman may move an amendment when we come to that section. We thought when we provided that these appointments should be made proportionately among the States we were doing about as well as we could. We could not cut a man in two.
Mr. SMITH. I desire to ask the gentleman a question in relation to the reorganization of the Army. I would like to know what was the proportion of the regular Army officers who served in the war compared with the volunteer officers belonging not only to the Veteran Reserve corps but to other branches of the Army, who distinguished themselves and showed them
selves equally efficient upon the field and in discipline. And I would suggest whether it would not be fair to give to all such officers a fair chance.
Mr. SCHENCK. That is so much a matter of history that I shall not undertake to answer it. I will only say that we shall have to depend upon the statistics furnished at the other end of the avenue, and I do not know but each man had better make up his own table as to the comparative merits of volunteers and regulars. I move the previous question.
Mr. TAYLOR. I have an amendment that I wish to offer before this section is disposed of. Mr. SCHENCK. I will withdraw my demand for the previous question so as to allow it to be read.
Mr. TAYLOR. I desire to state that by a bill which passed this House a few days since, the law on the statute-book depriving pensioners of their pension during the time they were employed by the Government was changed. Now, if this bill should pass and this Veteran Reserve corps should be constituted, the officers and soldiers in that corps would receive their pensions. Therefore I propose to insert in line eight, after the word "corps," as follows:
And pensions of all officers appointed to the Veteran Reserve corps, to privates enlisted in said corps, to cease from their appointment or enlistment.
Mr. SCHENCK. That does not properly belong here. I would rather not see it inserted in this bill. It is the law now. I insist upon the previous question.
The previous question was seconded and the main question ordered.
The question was on agreeing to the amend ment of Mr. DAVIS to strike out of section four the following:
Of ten regiments to be raised and officered as hereinafter provided for, to be called the Veteran Reserve
Mr. CONKLING. I demand the yeas and
The yeas and nays were ordered. The question being taken on the amendment, it was decided in the negative—yeas 30, nays 84, not voting 69; as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Delos R. Ashley, Baker, Baldwin, Benjamin, Boutwell, Boyer, Brandegee, Conkling, Davis, Eldridge, Farnsworth, Finek, Glossbrenner, Goodyear, Aaron Harding, Edwin N. Hubbell, Jenckes, Marshall, Marvin, McCullough MeRuer, Nicholson, Phelps, Ritter. Rogers, Shanklin, Taber, Van Aernam, Elihu B. Washburne, and James F. Wilson-30,
NAYS-Messrs. Ames, Ancona, Barker, Baxter, Beaman, Bidwell, Bingham, Blaine, Broomall, Buckland, Reader W. Clarke, Sidney Clarke, Coffroth, Cook, Defrees, Delano, Deming, Donnelly, Eckley, Eggleston, Eliot, Ferry, Garfield, Grider, Hale, Abner C. Harding, Hayes, Henderson, Holmes, Asabel W. Hubbard, Chester D. Hubbard, Hulburd, James M. Humphrey, Ingersoll, Julian, Kelley, Ketcham, Kuykendall, Loan, Longyear, Lynch, Marston, McClurg, Mereur, Miller, Moorhead, Morris, Myers, Newell, Niblack, O'Neill, Orth, Paine, Patterson, Perham, Price, Samuel J. Randall, William II. Randall, Raymond, John H. Rice, Rollins, Ross, Schenck, Scofield, Shellabarger, Sitgreaves, Smith, Stevens, Stilwell, Taylor, Thayer, Francis Thomas, John L. Thomas, Thornton, Trowbridge, Upson, Robert T. Van Horn, Ward, Henry D. Washburn, William B. Washburn, Welker, Williams, Windom, and Woodbridge-84.
NOT VOTING-Messrs. Alley, Allison, Anderson, James M. Ashley, Banks, Bergen, Blow, Bromwell, Bundy, Chanler, Cobb, Cullom, Culver, Darling, Dawes, Dawson, Denison, Dixon, Dodge, Driggs, Dumont, Farquhar, Grinnell, Griswold, Harris. Hart, Higby, Hill, Hogan, Hooper, Hotchkiss, Demas Hubbard, John H. Hubbard, James R. Hubbell, James Humphrey, Johnson, Jones, Kasson, Kelso, Kerr, Laflin, Latham, George V. Lawrence, William Lawrence, Le Blond, MeIndoe, McKee, Morrill, Moulton, Noell, Pike, Plants, Pomeroy, Radford, Alexander H. Rice, Rousseau, Sawyer, Sloan, Spalding. Starr, Strouse, Trimble, Burt Van Horn, Warner, Wentworth, Whaley, Stephen F. Wilson, Winfield, and Wright-69.
So the amendment was not agreed to.
Mr. SCHENCK moved to reconsider the vote by which Mr. DAVIS's amendment was rejected; and also moved that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table. The latter motion was agreed to.
The fifth section was then read, as follows: SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That the officers of the thirty-seven regiments of infantry, first provided for in the foregoing section, shall consist of those now commissioned and serving therewith, sub
ject to such examination as the condition of their being retained in the service as is hereinafter pro vided for: all the original vacancies in the grades of first and second lieutenant, and two thirds of all other original vacancies in each of the grades above that of first lieutenant, to be filled by selection from among the officers and soldiers of volunteers who have served in the Army of the United States in the late war for the suppression of rebellion, and who have been distinguished for capacity, good conduct, and efficient service; but graduates of the United States Military Academy shall be eligible to appointment as second lieutenants. The Veteran Reserve corps shall be officered by selection from the officers of the present Veteran Reserve corps and by appointment from any officers and soldiers of volunteers who have been wounded in the line of their duty while serving in the Army of the United States in the late war, or have been disabled by disease contracted in such service, and may yet be competent for garrison or other duty, to which that corps has heretafore been assigned. The officers selected to fill original vacancies in the regiments of colored troops shall be taken from among the present officers of colored troops who have served in the Army of the United States in the late war. And all appointments of officers in the Veteran Reserve corps and in regiments of colored troops shall be made on examination, as hereinafter provided, having reference to capacity, good conduct, and efficient service in every case.
Mr. PAINE. In order to make that section conform to section three, as amended, I move to strike out the following:
All the original vacancies in the grades of first lieutenant and second lieutenant, and two thirds of all other original vacancies in each of the grades above that of first lieutenant, to be filled by selection from among the officers and soldiers of volunteers who have served in the Army of the United States in the late war for the suppression of rebellion, and who have been distinguished for capacity, good conduct, and efficient service; but graduates of the United States Military Academy shall be eligible to appointment as second lieutenants.
And to insert in lieu thereof the following: And in making appointments to fill the original vacancies in the thirty-seven regiments thus provided for, and for a period of three years after the passage of this act, all first and second lieutenants and two thirds of the officers of each of the grades above that of first lieutenant shall be selected from among the officers and soldiers of volunteers who have served in the Army of the United States in the late war for the suppression of the rebellion, and who have been distinguished for capacity, good conduct, and efficient service; but graduates of the United States Military Academy and enlisted men shall be eligible to appointment as second lieutenants in those regiments, as in the new regiments of cavalry, under the provisions of the third section of this act, and not otherwise.
Mr. SCHENCK. That amendment only makes the section conform to what the House has determined in regard to the other section. I have no objection to it.
Mr. GARFIELD. If I understand the amendment, as read, it provides that graduates of the United States Military Academy and enlisted men shall be eligible to appointment as second lieutenants. I want to know if that does not leave it open so that any man, whether he has ever served or not, can go and enlist one day and the next day be commissioned under this provision. I simply make the inquiry Mr. PAINE. The amendment is carefully guarded on that point, and prescribes precisely the same conditions and requirements as are prescribed in regard to the six new cavalry regiments in the third section.
Mr. GARFIELD. I am satisfied. I see
that it is so.
The amendment was agreed to. Mr. SCHENCK. In pursuance of the notice I gave, I now move to strike out the words by selection from the officers of the present Veteran Reserve corps, and," and to insert after the word volunteers" the words (6 or of the regular Army;" so that the clause will
The Veteran Reserve corps shall be officered by appointment from any officers and soldiers of volunters or of the regular Army who have been wounded in the line of their duty while serving in the Army of the United States in the late war, or have been disabled by disease contracted in such service, and may yet be competent for garrison or other duty, to which that corps has heretofore been assigned.
Mr. CONKLING. I desire to move to amend the amendment so as to provide that the present officers of the Veteran Reserve corps shall be mustered out and put upon a par with other wounded officers, so that they may all take their chance together.
The SPEAKER. The gentleman will please reduce his amendment to writing.
Mr. CHANLER. I understand this amendment to allow any soldier who has been wounded in the United States service to be promoted to be an officer of the Veteran Reserve corps.
I understand the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. SCHENCK,] in this amendment, to have adopted the suggestion of the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. STEVENS.] And from the point of view in which I look at it I recognize in it a step in the right direction. I suppose it is the effort of the gentleman from Pennsylvania to include the colored troops and permit them to be made officers of the Veteran Reserve corps, and that is proper, that is just, that is consistent with the teachings of the modern "Moses." [Laughter.] And if gentlemen will only go on in that direction they will reorganize the American Army on a basis that will make it irresist ible. They can "carry the war into Africa." They can overcome all sections and all sexes. I hope it was in that spirit that the gentleman from Pennsylvania made that suggestion. [Cries of "Louder!"] Louder! Sir, I consider the suggestion of the gentleman from Pennsylvania loud enough. It speaks in trumpet tones of the philanthropy and patriotism of that gentleman.
Sir, I do not think the gentleman from Ohio has looked into this question as deeply as he should have done. I think he has allowed himself to be duped by the astute mind of the able chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, and if he is not careful he will find a bill introduced here making a specific appropriation for this very class of officers; for officers taken from among the colored troops of the line who have been wounded in the service of their country. For it must be borne in mind that the appropriations which have been made for the Army as now organized will not be sufficient for what is here proposed.
This is a new movement; one in the right direction, but still a new movement. The gentleman from Ohio is being led in a direction he knows not whither. If the American armies shall be organized as is proposed, if the colored troops are to be brought into the organization, as is proposed by him and by the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania, he must consider the effect upon the existing organization of the Army. Accepting the proposition that has been laid down here by gentlemen on the other side of the House, that the black man is superior to the white man, then we must provide means for retiring our white officers. It is not possible that the competition can exist with safety to the white officers.
We have been told by the gentleman 'from Pennsylvania [Mr. STEVENS] that the battles of this country have been won by the colored troops, led by white officers, to be sure. But suppose those troops are to be led by black officers, as suggested by the gentleman from Pennsylvania, where are your white officers to go? I submit to the gentleman from Ohio that he shall look well into these questions. He is amending this bill in a manner which will defeat it. There are gentlemen on the other side of the House who cannot stand this thing; there are gentlemen who are not ready to officer the United States armies with colored officers.
We have refused, through our committees, upon a direct application to this House by petition, to appoint colored soldiers as officers; but by this act of indirection, as suggested by the gentleman from Pennsylvania, the Committee on Military Affairs are being duped into following a course which they themselves have already refused to take, and they will stand stultified upon the record of the House.
My friend from Wisconsin [Mr. ELDRIDGE] suggests that this is a movement toward the tropics; that it is an effort on the part of the sagacious chairman of the Committee on Ap propriations to move toward Mexico and the tropics; to take possession of those countries where the white man wilts and turns yellow,
and where nothing blooms but the cactus and the negro.
Sir, this insidious effort on the part of the gentleman from Pennsylvania to destroy the American Army is in keeping with his successful effort to force the civil rights bill upon this House, to reduce the dignity of American citizenship, overriding the veto of the President, and placing the ipse dixit of a peculiar clique upon the laws of the country.
I hope, before it is too late, before the Military Committee is utterly committed to this folly by its too great trustfulness in the gentleman from Pennsylvania, this matter will be so ventilated and placed before the country that all may know whether or not the chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs is aware of his position, whether or not he really means that the wounded and disabled colored soldier shall be made an officer of the Army of the United States. Let that gentleman come for. ward and avow whether or not he is in earnest upon that subject, or whether he is innocently allowing himself to be misled by the great philanthropist of the country, the venerable statesman from Pennsylvania.
Mr. CONKLING. I will read the amendment I desire to offer, and the Chair will be kind enough to indicate the proper place in this section for it to come in. It is as follows:
Provided, That the officers of the existing Veteran Reserve corps shall, upon the passage of this act, be mustered out of service, and be put upon the same footing with other disabled officers.
The SPEAKER. That amendment can be offered to come in at the end of the section by way of addition to the section, but will not be in order for action until other amendments to perfect the section have been disposed of.
Mr. CONKLING. I will give notice that at the proper time I will offer the amendment I have read.
The SPEAKER. By general consent of the House, the amendment of the gentleman from New York [Mr. CONKLING] can be received at this time, to be voted upon when all the amendments for the purpose of perfecting this section shall have been disposed of.
Mr. SCHENCK. I move to amend the fifth section by striking out in the twenty-fifth line the words "the present," and inserting in lieu thereof the words "those who have served as,' and by striking out in the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth lines the words "who have served;" so that the clause will read:
The officers selected to fill original vacancies in the regiments of colored troops shall be taken from among those who have served as officers of colored troops in the Army of the United States in the late war.
The language as it stands a present assumes that all the officers of colored troops are yet in the service; while in fact a great many have been mustered out even since this bill was framed.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. PAINE. I move to amend by inserting after the word 66 war," in the twenty-seventh line, the following words:
But graduates of the United States Military Academy shall be eligible to appointment as second lieutenants in these regiments as in the new regiments of cavalry under the provisions of the third section of this act.
So that the clause will read as follows:
The officers selected to fill original vacancies in the regiments of colored troops shall be taken from among those who have served as officers of colored troops in the Army of the United States in the late war. But
graduates of the United States Military Academy shall be eligible to appointment as second lieutenants in these regiments, as in the new regiments of cavalry, under the provisions of the third section of this act.
Mr. FARNSWORTH. Why not make officers of other volunteer troops eligible to these appointments? The section, if amended as proposed, would confine appointments as officers of these colored troops to those who have been officers of colored troops and to cadets who shall hereafter graduate. There is no propriety in that.
Mr. MARSTON. I move to reconsider the
vote by which the amendment just offered by the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. SCHENCK] was adopted.
The SPEAKER. That motion will be entered, and will be reserved till the question is taken on the pending amendment.
Mr. PAINE. My object in offering this amendment was simply to give to the graduates of West Point, under the precise conditions which we have imposed upon them in the cases of the six new regiments of cavalry and the thirty-seven regiments of regular infantry, an opportunity to become competitors for second lieutenancies in the colored troops. I see no reason why the graduates of West Point should be excluded in this case from the privilege which they have in the other two cases.
Mr. FARNSWORTH. I have no objection to the gentleman's amendment, if he will make it a little broader. I do not see why we should extend the section so as to include graduates of the Military Academy unless we also extend the privilege to officers and soldiers of volunteers. If the amendment be made as broad as the provision with reference to the six regiments of cavalry I shall have no objection.
Mr. MARSTON. It was to accomplish that very object that I moved to reconsider the vote by which the amendment of the gentleman from Ohio was adopted. I desire that appointments to the command of colored troops shall be thrown open, not only to those who have served with colored troops, but also to all the officers of volunteers.
Mr. PAINE. I do not say that I am opposed to the proposition of the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. FARNSWORTH] or the gentleman from New Hampshire, [Mr. MARSTON ;] but it seems to me that it is hardly fair to load down my amendment in that way.
It undoubtedly occurred to the committee, in framing this clause of the bill, that some consideration was due to those officers of the Army who had encountered during this war the prejudices which at first unhappily prevailed against service in the colored troops. ready to recognize the claims of those men who were willing to stand up in the face of that prejudice and serve as officers of colored troops. If, however, the proposition of the gentleman from Illinois be adopted, we may perhaps fail to obtain a proper recognition of the desert of those officers who have heretofore served with colored troops. I am in favor of giving to the officers who have gallantly served with the colored troops hitherto the first opportunity in the officering of these colored regiments. But after this privilege shall have been extended to them, I certainly am in favor of giving to the graduates of West Point an opportunity to become second lieutenants of these troops. I shall probably vote for the amendment suggested by the gentleman from Illinois; but I would rather vote for it as an independent proposition, and not as a load upon the amendment which I have offered.
Mr. STEVENS. I believe I cannot vote for the amendment or the suggestion. If I read this rightly, after the first vacancy the subsequent vacancies become open for all troops. I do not know how many regiments of colored troops there were. I am told there were nearly two hundred. We have only eight regiments provided for here. I think it is best to leave it as it is. It only gives to those who served in the colored troops the vacancies in these eight regiments. I think it fair to leave, as this does, all future vacancies to the discretion of the appointing power.
Mr. PAINE. As there seems to be some opposition to this I withdraw it.
The question recurred on Mr. Marston's
motion to reconsider.
among the present officers of colored troops who have served in the Army of the United States in the late
And to insert in lieu thereof the following: The officers of colored troops herein provided for shall be selected and appointed in the same manner provided herein for officering the six regiments of cavalry provided for in the third section of this act.
I think that will cover all that the gentleman from New Hampshire seeks, and I hope, therefore, he will withdraw his motion to reconsider so that I may move my amendment.
Mr. MARSTON. I withdraw the motion to reconsider.
Mr. FARNSWORTH. I now move the amendment. I am not particularly wedded to this method of officering the colored troops. It brings up the question to be determined by the House. It places the colored troops upon the same footing that you place the cavalry and infantry, and on the same footing as the Veteran Reserve corps. I do not see why the door should not be open to all officers and soldiers who served in the Army for commissions in the colored troops as in the cavalry.
Mr. GARFIELD. I desire to oppose the amendment of the gentleman from Illinois, and will give in a word my reasons. As it has been already stated, there were nearly two hundred regiments of colored troops for whom the officers were selected from the. Army, and examined before being appointed. I doubt whether we had anywhere during the war so carefully a selected body of men as those who commanded the colored troops.
I will remind the House that it required no little moral courage to take position in the colored regiments when they were first raised. I remember well when I drew an order calling a board which organized the first regiment of colored troops. I know that many officers said, "You cannot find enough respectable officers in this Army to officer that regiment.' When
a prominent staff officer accepted the position, and was made colonel of the regiment, and the ice was broken, we were enabled ultimately to get it raised. For a long time men were compelled to bear reproaches as commanders of negroes. Those who bore the prejudice, and who bore the taunts, and who showed themselves to be able officers, it is no more than right, I think, should fill these vacancies. When the original vacancies are filled they will be then thrown open to all. I hope the amendment will not prevail.
Mr. CHANLER. I offer the following amendment to the amendment:
The act or part of any act which authorized the use of colored troops in the Army of the United States is hereby repealed.
All rets or parts of acts inconsistent with this section of an act are hereby repealed,
Mr. FARNSWORTH. I hope the gentleman from New York will yield a few minutes of his time so that I may reply to the gentleman from Ohio.
Mr. CHANLER. Iyield five minutes of my time to the gentleman from Illinois. Then I propose to speak to my own amendment to the amendment.
Mr. FARNSWORTH. I desire to reply to the argument of the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. GARFIELD.] He says that it required a considerable degree of moral courage at one time for a man to take command of colored troops. Now, I recollect very well that at the very first organization of the colored troops there were men enough in the Army of the United States who had the moral courage to apply for positions in colored regiments, many more than were required to fill the regiments. There was no time when there were not at the office of Colonel Foster in this city pigeon holes full of applications for positions as officers of colored troops. Now, sir, why not open the door to these men who had just as much moral courage at the time as those who succeeded in getting the commissions?
Mr. STEVENS. I remember in this House, when it was proposed to raise colored troops, that many declared that nobody could be found
to command them; and certainly a member from Illinois declared that all the highest officers would resign if you put them in the field. Mr. FARNSWORTH. Who was that? A MEMBER. General Logan.
Mr. FARNSWORTH. I do not know whether that general made that remark or not. I think I have heard him deny ever having made it. But certain it is, and I presume every member of this House who was a member of Congress at that time can bear witness to the fact, that there were applications upon applications of soldiers in the field for the privilege of being examined before this board and for appointments in the colored regiments, a great many more than could be appointed.
Now, hundreds of these soldiers thus applying were obliged to serve in the war in the ranks because there were not colored troops enough to admit them to these places. Why should we not, then, open the door for these men? Why should we confine the officering of this colored corps to those that have served with them? Open the door. I have no doubt that all these worthy officers who desire to come in and who have served well with the colored regiments will stand a better chance for appointment than new men. Undoubtedly they will. But do not let us confine it to any particular class of men. Open the door broadly for competition to every man who deems himself worthy to seek the place.
Mr. CHANLER. My object in offering the amendment to the amendment is to place myself right upon the record, after having endeavored in vain to induce the gentlemen on the other side to officer the colored troops with colored men. There is nothing so utterly inconsistent in legislation as the effort of gentlemen on the other side to induce a class of our fellow-citizens to do the fighting and then not give them the same reward they claim for their own laborers in the field. There has never been any greater incentive offered to a soldier than that of rising gradually from the humblest to the highest rank. And when gentlemen who have served in the field, after having reiterated upon this floor time and again how great are their obligations to the soldiers, bring in here propositions to exclude the black man from any chance of becoming an officer in the Army, I deem it fit and proper at this time to bring in an amendment whereby the whole organization shall be repealed. It is a blot on the military organization of America, a blot on the whole carly policy and system of this Government. You say that Democracy at the origin of the Government claimed that all men were equal. If the negro is your equal at home, is he not so on the battle-field? And if you deny him the right to march with the sword at his side as well as with the musket on his shoulder, you should, to be consistent, take from him both. He should not be allowed to use either as an implement of war unless he is allowed to use both. There is no variation or shadow of turning from the line of right and justice in this matter.
I know that in their inner hearts the gentlemen on the other side do not wish to officer the Army with negroes. I know that this is the last grand act of the apocalypse of the gentle man from Pennsylvania, [Mr. STEVENS.] But let him begin at the root by recognizing the equality of the negro in arms as well as elsewhere.
After riding over the President's veto of the civil rights bill, are you willing to take the position that, as regards the military service, you have disenfranchised this people? The slander is false and unjust. Such conduct as that is political heresy and against your own doctrine. I say that the Republican party is to-day guilty of political heresy in not officering the black troops with black officers. I know that it has been ruled out of order to use such language here, but I also know that in the face of the facts you dare not deny that what I say is true. My friend on the left [Mr. BALDWIN] says that is sound doctrine. He, too, is waiting
an opportunity, under the modern Moses, to pass over the Jordan
Mr. PRICE. Will the gentleman allow me a word?
Mr. CHANLER. Oh, certainly. The gentleman is always so very courteous. [Laughter.]
Mr. PRICE. I want merely to thank the gentleman for having given the House and the country the information that Moses did cross the Jordan. [Laughter.] We had thought before that he never got over.
Mr. CHANLER. I thank brother Aaron for his suggestion. I do not see the originality of his idea, and I can hardly see the force of his remark.
I ask the House to come to a vote upon this proposition. I want to see how many men there are here who are sincere, how many men who, having cried up the colored soldiers, are unwilling to give them the rank of officers in the Army of the United States. I ask the previous question on my amendment.
Mr. SCHENCK. I thought it a good time for the previous question to be demanded after the gentleman had made a speech, and I rose for that purpose.
Mr. CHANLER. I had no desire to cut off debate upon this proposition. I did not mean to demand the previous question, but I ask the yeas and nays on my amendment.
Mr. CONKLING. I hope the previous question will not be called before I have an opportunity to offer my amendment.
Mr. SCHENCK. The gentleman's amendment is already pending, and I move the previous question.
Mr. CONKLING. I hope the gentleman will withdraw that. I will renew it. I want to say a word or two upon my amendment. Mr. SCHENCK. I withdraw it. The yeas and nays were ordered upon CHANLER'S amendment.
Mr. CONKLING. Will the Chair be kind enough to state the situation of the question now?
The SPEAKER. The gentleman from New York [Mr. CONKLING] moved a proviso to be added to this section, which was reserved by general consent until the section should be perfected. There is now pending an amendment to that amendment, on which the yeas and nays have been ordered.
Mr. CONKLING. After that question has been taken, then, I will make the suggestions which I desire to present to the House.
EVENING SESSION DISPENSED WITH.
Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. Has the evening session been dispensed with? The SPEAKER. It has not.
Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. I move, then, that until further orders, the evening sessions be dispensed with.
Mr. BLAINE. I object to that.
The SPEAKER. It is within the power of
a majority of the House to do it.
Mr. CONKLING. Then, let us do it. Mr. STEVENS. I hope the gentleman will confine his motion to this week. Mr.WASHBURNE, of Illinois. I will agree to that modification.
Mr. BLAINE. Has the gentleman from Illinois a right to make the motion?
The SPEAKER. Certainly; it is a priv ileged motion, pertaining to the order of business in the House, and can be entertained even pending a demand for the previous question.
Mr. CONKLING. I hope the gentleman will modify his motion so as to make it general. We can order evening sessions whenever we
The SPEAKER. The Chair will state to the House how the matter now stands. The House under a suspension of the rules directed the holding of an evening session each day except Saturdays until otherwise ordered. The words "until otherwise ordered" place it in the power of the majority of the House to order otherwise at any time. And they can
order that there shall be no evening session for any particular day, or they can order that the evening sessions be dispensed with until otherwise ordered.
Mr. FARNSWORTH. Can the majority of the House order an evening session at any time, if the motion of my colleague [Mr. WASHBURNE] prevails?
The SPEAKER. Certainly, at any time. Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. I am myself in favor of suspending indefinitely the order for evening sessions.
Mr. CONKLING. Then I move to amend it so that the suspension shall be indefinite, to the end that we may not be required to be on the watch to ascertain if we are to come here at an evening session.
Mr. STEVENS. I hope the amendment will not prevail. It may be necessary Mr. CONKLING. Is debate in order? The SPEAKER. It is not.
Mr. CONKLING. Then I think this proposition should not be debated either way.
The question was upon the amendment of Mr. CONKLING to the motion of Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois.
Upon a division there were-ayes 72, noes 22.
ENROLLED BILLS SIGNED.
Mr. TROWBRIDGE, from the Committee on Enrolled Bills, reported that they had examined and found truly enrolled Senate bills of the following titles; when the Speaker signed
An act (S. No. 261) for the relief of Ann Heth, widow of William Heth, of Harrison county, Indiana;
An act (S. No. 241) directing the enrollment of Agnes W. Laughlin, the widow of a deceased soldier, as a pensioner;
An act (S. No. 252) granting a pension to Mrs. Sarah E. Wilson; and
An act (S. No. 260) granting a pension to Emerance Gouler.
REORGANIZATION OF THE ARMY-AGAIN. The House resumed the consideration of the bill to reorganize the Army.
The pending question was upon the amendment of Mr. CHANLER to the amendment of Mr. FARNSWORTH to the fifth section.
Mr. CONKLING. I stated a few moments ago that I would make a brief statement in reference to the amendment which I have offered.
Mr. SCHENCK. Do I understand that the gentleman from New York [Mr. CHANLER] offered an amendment to the one offered by the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. FARNSWORTH,] and that the previous question has been ordered on those amendments?
The SPEAKER. The previous question has not been called; but the yeas and nays have been ordered upon the amendment to the amendment.
Mr. SCHENCK. Then why should the gentleman from New York [Mr. CONKLING] discuss another amendment which he proposes to offer presently, when he can discuss it just as well after we have disposed of those now pending?
The SPEAKER. By general consent the proviso proposed by the gentleman from New York [Mr. CONKLING] was regarded as pending, but not to be acted upon until the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. SCHENCK] and other gentlemen had perfected the section. And if the previous question should now be called and seconded, and the main question be ordered, it would not exhaust itself until a vote had been taken upon the proviso offered by the gentleman from New York, [Mr. CONKLING.] The gentleman from Ohio can call the previous question on the amendment of the gentleman from Illinois, [Mr. FARNSWORTH,] and the amendment to that amendment moved by the gentleman from New York, [Mr. CHANLER.]
Mr. SCHENCK. Very well; I will call the
previous question upon the amendment and the amendment to the amendment.
The previous question was seconded and the main question ordered.
The first question was upon agreeing to the amendment to the amendment.
The question was taken; and it was decided in the negative—yeas 23, nays 85, not voting 75; as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Ancona, Boyer, Chanler, Coffroth, Eldridge, Finck, Glossbrenner, Grider, Aaron Harding, Edwin N. Hubbell, James M. Humphrey, Marshall, Niblack, Nicholson, Samuel J. Randall, Ritter, Rogers, Ross, Shanklin, Sitgreaves, Taber, Thornton, and Whaley-23.
NAYS-Messrs. Allison, Ames, Baker, Baldwin, Barker, Baxter, Benjamin. Bidwell, Bingham, Blaine, Boutwell, Bromwell, Buckland.Bundy,Sidney Clarke, Cobb. Conkling, Cook, Davis, Defrees, Delano, Deming, Donnelly, Eckley, Eliot, Farnsworth, Garfield, Hale, Abner C. Harding, Henderson, Hooper, Asahel W. Hubbard, Ingersoll, Jenckes, Julian, Kasson, Kelley, Kelso, Ketcham, Kuykendall, Latham, George V. Lawrence, Loan, Longyear, Lynch, Marston, McClurg, McKee, Mercur, Miller, Moorhead, Morris, Myers, Newell, O'Neill, Orth, Paine, Perham, Phelps, Price, William H. Randall, Alexander H. Rice, John H. Rice, Rollins, Rousseau, Schenck,Shellabarger, Spalding, Stevens, Thayer, John L. Thomas, Trowbridge, Van Aernam, Ward, Warner, Elihu B. Washburne, Henry D. Washburn, William B. Washburn, Welker, Williams, James F. Wilson, Windom, and Woodbridge-85.
NOT VOTING-Messrs. Alley, Anderson, Delos R. Ashley, James M. Ashley, Banks, Beaman, Bergen, Blow, Brandegee, Broomall, Reader W. Clarke, Cullom, Culver, Darling, Dawes, Dawson, Denison, Dixon, Dodge, Driggs, Dumont, Eggleston, Farquhar, Ferry, Goodyear, Grinnell, Griswold, Harris, Hart, Hayes, Higby, Hill, Hogan, Holmes, Hotchkiss, Chester D. Hubbard, Demas Hubbard, John II. Hubbard, James R. Hubbell, Hulburd, James Humphrey, Johnson, Jones, Kerr, Laflin, William Lawrence, Le Blond, Marvin, McCullough, MeIndoc, McRuer, Morrill, Moulton, Noell, Patterson, Pike, Plants, Pomeroy, Radford, Raymond, Sawyer, Scofield, Sloan, Smith, Starr, Stilwell, Strouse, Taylor, Francis Thomas, Trimble, Upson, Burt Van Horn, Robert T. Van Horn, Wentworth, Stephen F. Wilson, Winfield, and Wright-75.
So the amendment to the amendment was not agreed to.
During the roll-call,
Mr. NIBLACK stated that Mr. KERR had paired with Mr. HILL.
The result of the vote was announced as above stated.
Mr. CONKLING. I move that the House do now adjourn.
Mr. DEMING. I ask the privilege of making a personal explanation.
Mr. CONKLING. I insist on my motion that the House adjourn.
The motion was not agreed to; there being— ayes sixteen, noes not counted.
PERSONAL EXPLANATION. Mr. DEMING. I ask unanimous consent to make a personal explanation. There was no objection.
Mr. DEMING. A discussion arose yesterday upon a personal matter, between the gentleman from New Jersey, [Mr. ROGERS,] the gentleman from New York, [Mr. CONKLING,] and the gentleman from New York immediately on my right, [Mr. RAYMOND.] I paid but little attention to the discussion as it progressed; but on reading the report in full in the Globe of this morning, I feel it due to the gentleman from New York [Mr. RAYMOND] to add a few words to the disclaimer which he then uttered, that he was not responsible for the paragraph in the Times, which was first read by the gentleman from New Jersey, and which was afterward commented upon by various gentlemen of the House.
I was not present in the House when the bankrupt bill was introduced by the gentleman from New York, [Mr. CONKLING.] I shortly afterward saw the gentleman from Rhode Island, [Mr. JENCKES,] the author of the bill which was acted on recently by the House, and who, as we all know, has labored assiduously during the last two sessions to perfect" that bill; and he informed me that the bill presented by the gentleman from New York was the identical bill which he himself had so laboriously prepared. I thought but little of the circumstance at the time; but a day or two later, I saw a paragraph in the New York