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and for services other than the hire of signal soldiers the sum of $7,300. A large part of the aggregate of these two sums, which exceed $17,800, may be considered as the investment in this Insular Telegraph by the United States during this year.
The line receipts were $18,318. Previous to the establishment of the civil government these current receipts could be used and were used in defraying operating expenses, but upon termination of the military rule over civil affairs these current receipts were no longer available and now must be covered into the Treasury.
The signal officer states that the net cost to the United States Treasury for operating the lines for the current year was $46,712.74, but in computing the cost he makes no allowance for cost of clothing and medicines for signal soldiers, nor has he made any allowance for forage and shoeing of animals, repairs of means of transportation, etc. If expenditures under these and other incidental heads of outlay had been included, the cost of the service would probably not fall below $60,000 for the year. For the current year this expense will probably not exceed, say, $10,000, unless there should be a repetition of the havoc caused last August by the tornado. I think it may be said that for the fiscal year ending last June the cost of the military telegraph service was $6,000 per month, the tolls reimbursing the United States to the extent of about $1,500. Army appropriation for the current year will probably be drawn on for $10,000, and the United States Treasury (but not the army appropriation) may recoup to the extent of $18,000—in other words, the net cost to the United States for the service in Porto Rico will be in the neighborhood of $2,000 per month.
At the present time the wires are used without payment of tolls on messages sent on urgent official business by military commanders and staff officers, and by postal, quarantine, customs, light-house, and other United States officials, the governor of Porto Rico, and the heads of the civil departments; also the insular police have free use of the lines for transmittal of messages on official business.
I repeat former recommendations to the effect that the whole telegraph service be turned over to the civil government of the island. The original cost of the plant was paid for by the taxpayers of Porto Rico, and the Spanish representatives on the evacuation commission are recorded as having said that the telegraph belonged to the island. . The civil government could either sell or lease the franchise and property upon terms that would save the Government from any outlay, and the bills for military telegraphing should not exceed $250 per month.
In my opinion the United States would not be warranted in the retention of the line unless it should be found impossible to operate it otherwise.
The West India and Panama Cable Company have communication with Ponce on south and San Juan on north coast. Self-interest would justify and require this company to connect Ponce and San Juan by a land line were the existing service withdrawn. The French railroad is compelled by its charter to maintain telegraphic service along its lines. This company will be compelled by self-interest to close two existing gaps in the line of its rails which extends from Carolina via San Juan to Mayaguez and Ponce. This will insure the maintenance of another telegraph line traversing nearly the whole of the north, west, and southwest shores. It matters not at all to the military if any
other lines are maintained. Those I have named must be main
WAR 1900—VOL 1, PT III-20
tained without any intervention by the army and would supply all military needs. If the civil government extended lines to other towns, that would not be a concern of the army.
The reports of Maj. S. A. Day, Fifth Artillery, artillery inspector, and First Lieut. F. Le J. Parker, Fifth Cavalry, aid-de-camp, inspector of small-arms practice, supply information respecting the instruction of troops in the use of their weapons.
The only armament available for defense of the harbors is that found in position at the date of transfer of sovereignty, and is of Spanish fabrication. The explosives available are those which have been accumulated by Spain, and some of the powder has been reported by a board of experienced artillery officers as unserviceable.
Practice was had during the year with the guns of all types and some very fair results secured, considering that the artillerists lacked some necessary appliances and were unfamiliar with the guns. Reports of this practice have been forwarded.
Efforts to carry out small-arms practice in a methodical manner have been made at all posts, but so many have been the difficulties and so constant the interruptions that, save with a few organizations, the practice has not been carried through the regular course.
The barracks occupied by the United States troops have been such as Spain provided for herarmy. The Spanish officers evidently considered range firing as unnecessary, as there was not a single place provided in the department where Spanish soldiers had fired at distances greater than 400 yards. At no post save San Juan was there a reservation having an area very much greater than was covered by the barracks proper. The country is densely populated, and it is difficult to secure by lease proper ranges. Target practice in Porto Rico will never be what it should be until the Government secures by purchase the needed ground for ranges.
The important service rendered by the Army in Porto Rico was brought to a close on May 1, 1900, when, in obedience to orders and the will of Congress, the executive government of the island was delivered into the charge of the Hon. Charles H. Allen, who had been commissioned as governor of Porto Rico by the President of the United States.
The term of military occupation of the island by the United States Army may be divided into four periods, each characterized by some special feature or condition.
The first was the period of active military operations of the American Army against that of Spain. It commenced with the landing at Guanica on July 25, 1898, and ended when a knowledge of the existence of a peace protocol had been communicated to the contending armies on August 13, 1898.
The second period may be described as the time elapsed between the cessation of hostilities between the two armies, and the evacuation of the island by Spain on October 18, 1900, a period when assassination, arson, and all kinds of personal violence by natives against Spaniards
were common in many localities; when the old régime had not entirely passed nor the new been fully installed; when hostile operations continued by both the American and Spanish troops against these moving banditti, each force operating within the territory controlled by itin fact, a period of evacuation, occupation, and transition.
The third period began on October 18, when the government of the islands and of its inhabitants was strictly military; a period when, in a technical sense, a state of war still continued, yet no opposing armies contended for mastery. This period ended on April 11, 1899, when the treaty of peace was ratified and proclaimed by the President, a date which marks the conclusion of the state of war and the resumption of peaceable relations by the United States and Spain. During this and the preceding periods the laws of the United States recognized and authorized the use of the military commission for enforcement of martial law among the civil populace as well as in the army.
The fourth period extended from the date of signing of the treaty of peace to the 1st day of May of the current year, after which date only the laws of the land could be enforced and those through civil instrumentality only:
The commander of the troops in Porto Rico was assigned to his trust by the President of the United States, and by virtue of his assignment the local commander became the personal representative of the Chief Executive, who was the Commander in Chief of the Army; and as Congress had taken no action respecting the government of Porto Rico, the supreme government of the country was lodged in the commanding general.
His duties, responsibilities, and powers were specified and limited in a very general manner in certain orders of the President, which had been communicated to the army; but those orders left to the military commander a very wide discretion, an almost complete power over executive administration and legislative matters.
The use which has been made of these powers by the army commander is now a matter of history, and the country and the world will judge whether or not military rule over this conquered territory has been wise and prudent and conducive to the best interests of the people, or the opposite.
On April 30, the machinery of civil government was in the charge of experienced public officers, and the organization, with departments, bureaus, and other branches, both insular and municipal, was such that the new government ordered by Congress to be instituted could the following day be launched and carried forward in an efficient and economic manner.
The courts of the island were all in the discharge of their proper functions. The dockets were not crowded as they were a year before. The prisons and jails were well kept and were not overflowing. The public highways were in fine condition and were being rapidly extended. The amount that could be spared from the treasury for education was being applied in such a manner as to give instruction according to modern methods to over 30,000 children. The laws of taxation had been so changed that very heavy and onerous burdens had been removed from the poor.
In office in every municipality were officers who in every instance were the choice of the electors, thus granting to municipalities almost complete autonomy.
Life and property were everywhere secure, and this without the use of troops for protection. Notwithstanding the most grievous losses suffered by the people from raids of banditti, from arson, from disturbance of trade relations, from losses of Spanish markets without corresponding gains elsewhere, from unsettled conditions resulting from the use of a currency which suffered a heavy discount when referred to a gold basis, and, finally, from the almost overwhelming disaster of August of last year, when seven-tenths of all the maturing crops were blotted out of existence-notwithstanding all these obstacles and burdens the military governor was able to turn over to the civil governor the comfortable balance in the insular treasury of over $300,000.
As commander of the military department of Porto Rico, and the last military governor, I think I may not inappropriately say that the trust contided to the Army by the President and the people has not been abused, but instead has been wisely and justly exercised in the interest of and for the benefit of the inhabitants of this beautiful island.
The officers and men of this command have given me most loyal and able support during the year, which has been a year of severe labor and anxiety for all. The civil duties which were devolved upon the Army were strange and to many they were especially irksome. I believe that every assigned duty has been well done; that every pound of food and dollar of money committed into the hands of officers and men were correctly applied and properly accounted for to the ounce and penny, and I know that neither officer nor soldier received or asked for addition to his pay in the form of extra compensation, emolument, or allowance from the United States or insular treasury. Very respectfully,
GEO. W. DAVIS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
REPORT OF CAPT. ROBERT N. GETTY, FIRST U. S. INFANTRY,
COMMANDANT UNITED STATES INFANTRY AND CAVALRY SCHOOL.
UNITED STATES INFANTRY AND CAVALRY SCHOOL,
Fort Leavenworth, Kans., June 30, 1900. The ADJUTANT-GENERAL UNITED STATES ARMY,
Washington, D. C. Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report pertaining to the United States Infantry and Cavalry School for the year ending June 30, 1900:
Capt. W. B. Reynolds, Fourteenth Infantry, was relieved as commandant July 13, 1899, by Capt. George H. Sands, Sixtb Cavalry, relieved by Capt. R. B. Paddock, Sixth Cavalry, August 17, 1899, relieved by Capt. E. E. Benjamin, First Infantry, September 22, 1899, relieved by Capt. R. N. Getty, First Infantry, October 13, 1899.
The purchase of new instruments and repair of old ones in the department of engineering as recommended in report of Maj. J. A.
Augur, June 30, 1899, has been made, and instruments repaired and adjusted.
The present arrangement of the photographic branch of the department of engineering is very unsatisfactory. Part of the instruments are stored on the second floor, the dark rooms are in one end of the basement, while the blue-print room and enlarging apparatus are at the other end. Then, certain of the work is done in a small building about 70 yards from Sherman Hall. Due to a large addition to the main building, the present blue-print room is so placed that the frame can be exposed to the sun's rays for only a few hours in the afternoon. The entire building has been gone over with a view to changing the location of this apparatus, but there is no place except the attic, which is not at all suitable and would require almost as much money in fitting up as would be needed in building a new house.
This branch of engineering is of great importance in the school, and with the present arrangement the instructors will be seriously hampered and unable to procure the best results.
The report of the secretary includes a sketch of a photographic studio which would fully answer the needs of the institution. It has been gone over carefully by the secretary and the photographer of the school. As it conforms to the available ground, the apparatus on hand, and the requirements of the school, it is recommended that it be placed with as little change as possible from the plan submitted.
The following defects are noted in Sherman Hall and should be remedied if a larger class for the school is contemplated:
Library. Shelves getting overcrowded. Two new stacks would ease matters for a year or so; afterwards same condition would exist.
Lecture room.- View of rostrum and blackboard obstructed by a row of pillars down center of room.
Drafting room. ---Cramped quarters. In overlooking work when whole class (of 45) is drawing in this room, instructors have to move edgewise among the tables. Room for this work should have floor space enough to accommodate whole class--ample room for each student and for instructors to circulate among the tables. Light comes from only two directions—5 windows in the east and 2 in the south. Students placed on west side or in northwest corner usually elect to carry their drawing materials into lecture room, so as to be nearer windows. This involves duplicating instructions written on blackboard or given orally, which is inconvenient for the instructor and requires care that the two sets of instructions shall be identical. The curriculum imposes enough wear on the eyes of those undergoing the course, and the drafting room should be the best lighted room in the building:
The conversion of the school building from its present T shape into the form of an H would give the architect an opportunity to design a lecture room having a clear field of view from all points and with permanent seats and desks arranged on a theatrical plan. The present lecture and drawing rooms are used for examinations, but the above arrangement would serve much better.
On the west end could be placed a drafting room, getting light from three sides, and of dimensions commensurate with the size of any class that will ever be sent here.
On the floor above could be placed the photographic studio proposed elsewhere.