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as has been done for years at West Point, where the cadets are charged for their laundry just enough to make the plant self-supporting. The expenses of running this laundry for the twelve months ending August 31, 1900, amounted to $12,860, and averaged $3.04 per cadet per month.
PROMPT RENDITION OF INSPECTION REPORTS. This matter was mentioned at length in the annual report of last year in the following words:
And in the matter of handling inspection reports it is found that the reports which do reach the office are not received so regularly or promptly as was formerly the case, and some have never reached this office, thereby making the records here incomplete.
In some cases reports of inspections made on the recommendation of the InspectorGeneral have appeared in the public press before they were received in the office of the Inspector-General of the Army:
Can it not be fairly recognized that under the Secretary's immediate directions the inspection service and the reports thereof pertain to this Bureau, and that on it should rest the responsibility for a complete, prompt, and thorough general inspection of all branches of the military service, and the proper handling of the reports thereof as they are received in the War Department?
But where there is no central supervision of the work of detached officers there can be no certainty of uniform methods being used nor of equal attention being paid throughout the service to the more pressing details. Nor can a systematic, wellrounded plan of inspections, applicable to all parts of the Army, be possible.
If the reports of the inspections are not all received in this Bureau, there can be no complete record of the condition and efficiency of the Army available at all times for the authorities. Nor can it be expected that the defects and irregularities of the service, whether in disbursements, personnel, equipment, uniform, or transportation, will be promptly called to the attention of the Secretary of War and Major-General Commanding if this department, to which this duty pertains, is unable to get this information. However well done may be the work of the outlying officers, and however complete their reports and recommendations may be, the work is still not completely done, if no steps can possibly be taken looking to a general analysis and comparison with definite deductions therefrom as to what is needed for the good of the whole service, as decided by the Secretary himself.
Where this central supervision is lacking the work is individual only, and being exerted along several and possibly divergent lines, it loses force instead of gathering strength from the aggregation of effort as it comes together in the central office, there to be recorded and used.
It is earnestly recommended that steps be taken which will insure prompt rendition of inspection reports and their receipt in this Bureau, with as little delay as practicable.
Prior to the Spanish war the regular rendition of the reports had been absolutely assured, and the maximum delay in their receipt in the War Department was reduced to about as many weeks as it had been months; and similar excellence and promptness may again be hoped for now, when an officer on duty in this department is assigned to every point, and inspection duty receives their undivided attention without interference from other bureaus.
Repeated efforts have been made during the year to remedy the condition of affairs above referred to: with what excellent results the opening remarks in this report and the tabulations in the appendixes may fairly indicate.
Upon the first military occupation of the insular possessions, the changes in military affairs incident thereto, and the insufficient number of experienced inspecting officers available, delay might be expected in the prompt rendition of inspection reports. But as additional inspectors-general have been assigned, who are displaying their habitual energy and faithfulness in making thorough and intelligent inspections of troops, posts, transports, and disbursements, there seems to be no reason why the reports should not be as promptly received as rendered. There is an improvement over this time last year, yet it is to be
regretted that any of these important reports should not have reached this office promptly.
The effective execution of paragraph 875, Army Regulations, requires the inspector to prepare for the post commander immediately at inspection a statement in writing of every irregularity or defect observed, no matter by whom pointed out. The commander of troops should then take action and forward his supplementary report without delay, stating the remedies he has applied to irregularities or defects within the scope of his authority, together with his recommendations in respect to those which are not. On the receipt of this communication the department commander causes such extracts to be made for staff or other officers as may appear to be necessary, who thereupon render the reports required of them; and the whole series is then forwarded to the Adjutant-General for transmittal to the Inspector-General of the Army, and to be subsequently excerpted for reference to other chiefs of bureau and ultimately tiled with the report. In this way the condition of the troops is clearly shown to the highest authority in every particular and it can be determined whether it is such as the circum stances surrounding them justify; and when the report is filed it is understood that the inspection is complete, and that every department and individual has done what was requisite and possible to have the troops in every respect in the best condition practicable at the time. This timeliness and attentiveness are essential elements of the most effective inspections, and any delay simply continues unnecessarily any discomfort that results for the troops.
Appendix K exhibits several tables indicating for a series of years the maximum, minimum, and average number of days elapsing between the date of the reports of inspection and the time they reach this office. These tables, which cover the examination of 1,357 reports of military posts, 882 of depots, arsenals, etc., 1,212 of property, and 1,113 of disbursements, or a total of 4,567, seem to indicate that the time essential for reports of inspections upon this continent to reach this office is less than a fortnight, and that all should habitually reach it within the month, especially if everything is found correct; and the delays at intermediate offices may not always have the same cause or meaning for at some points the action upon the reports is just as attentive, exact, and prompt under one system as another, though generally it takes 50 per cent longer to arrive under the department than under the district system, and about three times as long through military channels as direct. During the past year the reports of inspection of military posts, exclusive of those in our insular dependencies, took an average of 47.5 days to reach this office; of depots, arsenals, etc., 12.5; of property, 22.4; and of disbursements, 24.1. Property and money can not be considered more important than men; and the reports concerning the men can doubtless receive equally prompt attention and expedition as the others if desired.
Prompt remedial action is the soul of effective inspections; and the success of the efforts to insure every command and station being in the best condition practicable at the time inspected depend greatly on timely supervision. How persistent and earnest all the personnel of this department have labored to that effect, and the results attained, may be partially illustrated by a mere comparison of the tables under the two systems, which indicate that, whatever the system of inspections adopted, all have constantly and faithfully endeavored to subserve the best interests of the service.
TIIE SPECIAL SERVICE SCHOOLS. No complete inspection of these schools by an officer of this department, in so far as they are distinet from military posts, has been made since 1995, when the Army Regulations were modified so as to require specific instructions for their inspection by the Secretary of War or the Commanding General of the Army. The attention of the Secretary of War was called to this matter in 1896 and, in regard to one of them, again this year. The others seemed fallen almost into innocuous desuetude.
It is believed that a complete reestablishment and thorough inspection of these schools would be of benefit to them and to the public service. Few, if any, features of our military establishment did more to perfect and enlighten our military methods, and few are more needed for the younger officers now. The proposed war college seems suited to cap
. a perfect system rather than replace them. The present may possibly be accepted as approximately our new normal military situation, and its future needs should be prepared for accordingly. The artillery school is being reestablished. It is recommended that the Army Regulations be so amended as to permit their inspection by officers on their regular tours and that the authority for ordering these inspections be arranged in the same manner as those provided for by General Orders, No. 109, Adjutant-General's Office, 1898.
COMPANY OFFICERS DETACHED FOR OTHER DUTIES. If the full complement of officers authorized by law could be kept continuously on duty with a company, no complaint could be made; but many are demanded for work in civil administration and for detached military service, while others are either sick or wounded. The consequence is that some companies are without an officer and many company organizations are left with only one officer present for duty, and that one frequently has had only a short military experience. It is hardly necessary to explain why a company diminishes its efficiency in war under these conditions. And those who remember
. the complaints about our Army being over-officered in peace times and having too little or insigniticant duties to do may hope that the lessons taught by solid facts may yet be accepted and learned by all.
FIRST-AID PACKET HOLDER. Maj. W. D. Beach, inspector-general, U. S. Volunteers, has designed and furnished the following sketch of a first-aid packet holder, of which several hundred were made and are now on trial in the Philippines:
In submitting the model to headquarters, Department of Southern Luzon, which was made at the Manila Arsenal through the courtesy of Capt. William Crozier, of the ordnance department, Major Beach says:
I have the honor to invite attention to the destructibility of the first-aid packages issued to the enlisted men and to recommend the following in connection therewith, requesting that this paper, with model, be forwarded to division headquarters for the consideration of the chief surgeon.
This matter has frequently appealed to me while making inspections, besides being called to my attention by the brigade inspectors of this division and by circular No. 19, Headquarters Department Pacific and Eighth Army Corps, of March 26, 1899.
The contents of the packet are not secure when subjected to the necessarily rough usage given them by the soldiers.
Various methods of carrying the package have been adopted. Some companies use the pocket of the shirt, some thrust the packet into the legging, and others tie it to the cartridge belt. All of these methods result in soon breaking open the waterproof cover, thus destroying the antiseptic properties of the compresses and bandage.
The package herewith has been in my dispatch bag (which is always carried in the field and on inspection trips) for about two months and has broken open, although it has never been wet. The life of the cover when the package is carried by the enlisted man is, of course, much less.
As a method of prolonging the life of this absolutely necessary addition to the soldier's equipment in time of active service, I would suggest a pouch made on the
Sketch of first-aid packet holder.
plan of the one herewith of some similar but better material (both strips to be simifar to the one to which the ring is attached and which permits of being securely fastened in the same manner as the cinch of a saddle).
In order to insure the package being with the soldier, it should be fastened to the cartridge belt, the straps passing through the loops or thimbles as shown in accompanying sketch.
WATERPROOFING UNIFORM CLOTHING.
A brief mention was made in my last annual report as to a suggestion of Dr. Munson of a practical means for rendering the wearing apparel of the soldier impervious to rain. The method to accomplish this was by the use of wool fat, technically known as suint, or of its purified products, such as lanoline. It is known that blankets woven by the Navajo Indians from yarn spun by themselves from their native raw wool possessed waterproof qualities. In cleansing •raw wool for trade purposes great care is taken to remove all fat from the fleece, in order to render the action of dyes more satisfactory; and experiments show that by restoring this wool fat in the proper proportion to a fabric made from such purified wool the waterproof properties are regained. It is claimed that this method of waterproofing has the great advantage of rendering the ordinary clothing of the soldier suitable for all conditions of weather. No appreciable weight is added, and no change for storm or sunshine is required. The parafining of campaign hats has been resorted to in the Tropics individually but successful experiments with such substances as suint may remove this necessity. The ventilation between sweat-band and hat, as issued experimentally, may then become still more important.
The press reports speak of the injurious heat in the military operations in China; and this would be partially guarded against by ventilating corks or fluted material in front of the forehead.
Experiments with this method have been going on at Schuylkill Arsenal since last November, but no final report upon its value for the military service has yet been received.
On this subject Lieut. Col. M. P. Maus, inspector-general, Department of California, reports as follows:
About three years ago I purchased in London, England, a shooting suit complete, including cap of hand-made cheviot cloth, from the natural wool, as made in the rural districts of Scotland. It was explained to me that this material was waterproof and that this property was due to the fact that the natural fat in the wool had not been extracted from it. I have worn this suit on various occasions in the rain, and have found it, as far as tested, waterproof. I therefore believe that Dr. Munson's process for waterproofing, properly applied, would give the necessary results, and should be thoroughly tested at one of our clothing depots.
MUNSON HOSPITAL TENT.
Attention is again invited to the above-named tent, of which mention was made in my last annual report.
During an inspection of troops in the West Indian Islands, made by me from January 21 to April 3, 1899, the matter of shelter for the sick was carefully inquired into, and it was said in my report:
How different the several kinds of houses are, and the marked difference in the deadly temperature even in different tents, need not be dwelt on here; but a note is given of one or two tests showing this difference of temperature.
The above paragraph attracted the attention of Capt. E. L. Munson, assistant surgeon, United States Army, and after thoroughly studying the matter he devised a hospital tent to better meet the needs of troops in the Tropics, which apparently is 10 degrees cooler in extremely hot weather than the old regulation tent, is admirably ventilated-stagnation of foul air being impossible--and gives much better protection against both rain and sun.
At the request of the Surgeon-General the Quartermaster's Department constructed a tent according to Dr. Munson's suggestions, and it was shipped in September, 1899, to Washington Barracks in this city for trial; where it was examined and favorably reported upon by the Surgeon-General and other officers of the Medical Department. My attention was invited to the matter, and I directed Maj. S. C. Mills, inspector-general on duty in my office, to make a complete inspection of the tent. His report was so favorable that I submitted it to the Secretary of War, with the recommendation that 100 of these tents be made and distributed among troops in Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines for trial. There was much delay in the manufacture of them, due largely to lack of the special material required and to certain details of construction not being at once understood, and it was not until the end of April, 1900, that they were reported as ready for service. In the meantime Captain Munson gave the military authorities of the United States full rights to manufacture or purchase these tents without the payment of royalty therefor. Of the 100 tents made by the Government 50 have been sent to the Philippine Islands, 10 to Cuba, and 6 to Porto Rico for trial by the Medical Department. No reports of the results of these trials have yet been received, which, in view of the short time they have been on trial was to be expected. All reports upon the sample tent in this city have been uniformly favorable. And experiments by line offiers are recommended.