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The washing of the clothing of the enlisted men has been a source of more or less trouble, especially in this climate, where the wearing of the authorized duck clothing during many months of the year is imperative. The extra laundry expense in keeping this clothing clean falls heavily upon the men without corresponding increase in pay and allowances.
The subject has received careful consideration, and upon the recom: mendation of the commanding officer, Fort Ringgold, Tex., a laundry was established at that post in connection with the post exchange, which, it is thought, successfully solves the problem. The expense to the men has thus been reduced from $2.50 to $4 per month (heretofore paid to laundresses) to $1 per month, and in addition all the soiled bedsacks, mattress covers, etc., on hand at the post have been laundered without expense to the Government. Laundries are now in successful operation at Forts Brown, Clark, and Ringgold. Reports from Forts McIntosh and Bliss state that owing to local conditions it has been impracticable to establish them. The credit for the inception of the scheme is due to Capt. Guy Carleton, Tenth Cavalry, commanding Fort Ringgold, where the laundry has been in operation for five months. His report with reference thereto was forwarded July 30, 1900.
Special attention is invited to the status of the Seminole-negro Indians residing by permission on the Fort Clark Military Reservation. These people number about 150.
The Seminole treaty of 1866 provided for two classes of colored people only, viz: (1) Persons of African descent and blood who were residing in the Seminole country on the date of the treaty and their descendants, and (2) such others of the same race as should be permitted by the Seminoles to settle with them.
The Interior Department has held that they do not belong to the first class; that at the date of the treaty they were not residents of the Seminole country; nor had they been at any other time; that they were not held as slaves, nor were they even residents of this country at the date of the abolition of slavery, but were citizens and subjects of Mexico, where they had immigrated from the United States in 1819, and were in no sense freedmen and could not then acquire any legal rights in the Indian Territory under existing treaties and laws.
These people returned to the United States shortly after the civil war, and many of the male adults were enlisted in the Army as scouts, being subsequently discharged.
During the flood of 1899 such crops as they had planted were destroyed, and it became necessary for the Government to provide subsistence until again able to render themselves self-supporting.
Having forfeited their rights to residence and citizenship in Mexico and being neither citizens of the United States nor recognized by the Seminoles as part of their people, some action should be taken whereby the status of these people may be defined. It is respectfully recommended that the attention of Congress be called to these people.
Attention is invited to the accompanying detailed reports of the department staff. Very respectfully,
CHAMBERS MCKIBBIN, Colonel Twelfth Infantry, Commanding.
REPORT OF BRIG. GEN. JAMES F. WADE, U. S. A., COMMANDING
DEPARTMENT OF DAKOTA.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF DAKOTA,
St. Paul, Minn., September 10, 1900. The ADJUTANT-GENERAL UNITED STATES ARMY,
Washington, D. C. Sır: In compliance with the instructions of the Lieutenant-General Commanding the Army, I have the honor to submit my annual report.
Since my last report I have continued in command of this department. From January 21 to June 25, 1900, I was, by direction of the President, also in command of the Department of the Lakes. Have performed no other duty without the department.
Camp Bacon at Walker, Minn., was abandoned May 28, 1900. Forts Assinniboine and Missoula, Mont., have remained ungarrisoned, but have been cared for by detachments from other posts. Considerable repairs have been made on buildings at the various posts, and all are in fair condition.
The Indians on the numerous reservations in the department have given no trouble.
The transfers of troops to and from the department, changes of station, practice marches, and other events occurring since my last annual report were as follows:
Troop G (2 officers and 93 enlisted men), under command of Capt. George W. Goode, First Cavalry, left Fort Meade, S. Dak., July 16, 1900, for Fort Yellowstone, Wyo., where it arrived and took station July 18, 1900.
Troop D (2 officers and 87 enlisted men), under command of First Lieut. John W. Craig, First Cavalry, left Fort Yates, N. Dak., July 21, 1900, for Seattle, Wash., en route for foreign service.
Headquarters, field and staff, band and Troop I (6 officers and 158 enlisted men), under command of Lieut. Col. Thomas C. Lebo, First Cavalry, left Fort Meade, S. Dak., July 22, 1900, for Seattle, Wash., en route for foreign service.
Troop M (3 officers and 101 enlisted men), under command of Capt. Oscar J. Brown, First Cavalry, left Fort Yellowstone, Wyo., July 24, 1900, for Seattle, Wash., en route for foreign service.
Company A (111 enlisted men), under command of Capt. George W. McIver, Seventh Infantry, left Camp Bacon, Walker, Minn., May 28, 1900, for Seattle, Wash., preparatory to proceeding to Fort St. Michael, Alaska, for station.
Detachment of 12 enlisted men, under command of First Lieut. Edwin Bell, Eighth Infantry, arrived and took station at Fort Snelling, Minn., September 5, 1899, from detached service in Alaska.
Companies I, K, L, and M (depot battalion), 4 officers and 232 enlisted men, under command of Capt. Edward N. Jones, jr., Eighth Infantry, arrived and took station at Fort Snelling, Minn., September 22, 1899, from Columbia Barracks, Quemados, Cuba. Total distance traveled, 2,530 miles.
Companies E and F (5 officers and 205 enlisted men) arrived and took station at Fort Snelling, Minn., July 24, 1900, from Columbia Barracks, Cuba. Distance traveled 2,686 miles.
Headquarters, band, and Companies A, B, C, D, G, and H (21 officers and 595 enlisted men), under command of Lieut. Col. Philip H. Ellis, Eighth Infantry, arrived and took station at Fort Snelling, Minn., July 27, 1900, from Columbia Barracks, Cuba. Distance trayeled, 2,686 miles.
Company B (3 officers and 85 enlisted men), under command of Capt. F. H. Sargent, Eighth Infantry, left Fort Snelling, Minn., August 8, 1900, for Fort Yates, N. Dak., where it arrived and took station August 10, 1900. Distance traveled, 505 miles.
Third Battalion, Companies I, K, L, and M (8 officers and 487 enlisted men), under command of Maj. William L. Pitcher, Eighth Infantry, left Fort Snelling, Minn., August 15, 1900, for San Francisco, Cal., en route for foreign service.
Headquarters, band, and Second Battalion, Companies E, F, G, and H (14 officers and 536 enlisted men), under command of Maj. John F. Stretch, Eighth Infantry, left Fort Snelling, Minn., September 6, 1900, for San Francisco, Cal., en route for foreign service.
Company D (95 enlisted men), under command of Capt. Charles Gerhardt, Eighth Infantry, left Fort Snelling, Minn., September 8, 1900, for Fort Harrison, Mont., where it arrived and took station September 9, 1900. While en route a detachment of 34 men of this company was left at Fort Assinniboine, Mont., for duty at that post, relieving a similar detachment of Company D, Twenty-fourth Infantry, which boarded the train and proceeded to Fort Harrison to rejoin its company.
TWENTY-FOURTH INFANTRY. Detachment of Company D (2 noncommissioned officers and 20 privates) left Fort Harrison, Mont., July 17, 1899, for Fort Assinniboine, Mont., where it arrived and took station the next day.
Detachment of Company D (9 enlisted men) arrived at Fort Missoula, Mont., August 14, 1899, from Fort Harrison, Mont., relieving a similar detachment which returned to Fort Harrison the same day.
Detachment of Company D (1 noncommissioned officer and 8 privates) from Fort Harrison, Mont., arrived at Fort Missoula, Mont., July 18, 1900, relieving a similar detachment which left for station at Fort Harrison July 19, 1900.
FORTY-FIFTH U. S. VOLUNTEER INFANTRY.
This regiment was organized at Fort Snelling, Minn., under the act of Congress approved March 2, 1899, in compliance with General Orders, No. 150, series of 1899, headquarters of the Army. Col. Joseph H. Dorst, major, Second Cavalry, U. S. A., who was appointed colonel of the regiment by the same order, arrived at Fort Snelling August 28, 1899, and proceeded with the organization of the same.
The regiment, with the exception of Companies L and M, which were organized at Vancouver Barracks, Wash., was encamped on the reservation at Fort Snelling until October 22, 1899, when it left for San Francisco, Cal., with 36 officers and 1,100 enlisted men.
FROM FORT MEADE, S. DAK.
Troop G, First Cavalry (80 enlisted men), under command of Capt. George W. Goode, First Cavalry, left post September 20, 1899, and marched by a circuitous route through the northern part of South Dakota to Camp Crook on the Little Missouri River, returning to station via Macy, S. Dak., October 3, 1899. The men were instructed in advance and rear guard, outpost duty, the details of making and breaking camp, and general routine duties in the field. Distance marched, 317 miles.
Troop H, First Cavalry (74 enlisted men), under command of Capt. George S. Hoyle, First Cavalry, left post October 6, 1899, and marched to Hot Springs, S. Dak., returning to post October 20, 1899. Instruction, both theoretical and practical, was given the troop in advance guard, outpost duty, pitching and striking tents, camp hygiene, saddling, packing saddles and kits, and care of horses' backs in the field. Distance marched, 194 miles.
Troop I, First Cavalry (77 enlisted men), under command of First Lieut. Samuel B. Arnold, First Cavalry, left post November 2, 1899, and marched to Devils Tower, Wyo., returning to station November 16, 1899. During the march instruction was given in the care of horses, making and breaking camp, and minor tactics. Distance marched, 195 miles.
FROM FORT YATES, N. DAK.
A detachment of Troop D, First Cavalry (65 enlisted men), under command of Second Lieut. James D. Tilford, First Cavalry, left post July 20, 1899, and marched to Bull Head Agency, on the Grand River, South Dakota, returning to post July 23, 1899.
A detachment of Troop D, First Cavalry (2 officers and 65 enlisted men), under command of Capt. Herbert E. Tutherly, First Cavalry, left post October 7, 1899, and marched to Blackfoot Creek, North Dakota, returning to station October 9, 1899. Distance marched, 46 miles.
A detachment of Troop D, First Cavalry, under command of First Lieut. Charles B. Drake, First Cavalry, left post May 5, 1900, and marched to Hump Butte, N. Dak., returning to post via the Cannon Ball River, May 10, 1900.
Camp Bacon, which was established at Walker, in the northern part of Minnesota, October 23, 1898, during the Indian disturbances in the vicinity of Leech Lake, was garrisoned by Company G, Third U. S. Infantry, until January 10, 1899, when it was relieved by Company A, Seventh U. S. Infantry. The latter company having been selected by the War Department for duty in Alaska, was relieved from duty at Camp Bacon on May 28, 1900, and left for Seattle, Wash., same date. There being no further necessity for maintaining troops at that point, the camp was thereupon abandoned, under authority of the Secretary of War contained in telegram from the Adjutant-General's Office, dated April 27, 1900.
Camp Merritt, Montana, a subpost of Fort Keogh, Mont., at the Tongue River Indian Agency, has been garrisoned by a detachment of 3 noncommissioned officers and 22 privates from Troop F, First Cavalry, stationed at Fort Keogh. The detachment has been relieved periodically by a similar detachment from that troop.
Attention is respectfully invited to the accompanying reports of the chiefs of the staff departments at these headquarters. Very respectfully,
JAMES F. WADE, Brigadier-General, U. S. A., Commanding.
REPORT OF BRIG. GEN. H. C. MERRIAM, U. S. A., COMMANDING
DEPARTMENT OF THE COLORADO.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE COLORADO,
Denver, Colo., August 1, 1900. The ADJUTANT-GENERAL UNITED STATES ARMY,
Washington, D. C. Sir: I have the honor to submit annual report of the affairs and administration of this geographical department.
The troops remaining on duty in this department are: One troop First Cavalry; four troops Fifth Cavalry; four troops Ninth Cavalry; one company Seventh Infantry; one company Tenth Infantry; four companies Twenty-thud Infantry; one company Twenty-fifth Infantry, and 41 Indian scouts. Their distribution is shown in the following table:
Stations of troops.
Fort Apache, Ariz..
Capt. L. W. Cornish, Ninth Cavalry....... Troops L and M, Ninth Cay
alry. Lieut. Col. R. I. Eskridge, Twenty-third Companies I and L, TwenInfantry.
ty-third Infantry. Maj. M. B. Hughes, Ninth Cavalry..... Troops I and K, Ninth Cay
alry. Maj. C. L. Cooper, Fifth Cavalry.... Troops B and D, Fifth Cav
alry. Capt. A.C. Macomb, Fifth Cavalry.. Troop A, Fifth Cavalry. Capt. J. D. Leitch, Twenty-fifth Infantry. Company D, Seventh Infan
try, and G, Twenty-fifth
ty-third Infantry. Subpost to Fort Grant, Ariz.....
Detachment 10 men from
Fort Mackenzie, Wyo.......
San Carlos, Ariz....
Fort Washakie, Wyo....
Fort Wingate, N. Mex..
Indian scouts: Forts Apache, 10; Grant and San Carlos, 11; Huachuca, 15; Washakie, 1, and Wingate, 4. Total, 41.