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INSPECTION OF THE BRANCHES OF THE NATIONAL HOME
FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS.
Washington, December 9, 1901. SIR: I have the honor to report that, under instructions from the Secretary of War of July 30, September 30, and October 15, 1901, I made the annual inspection of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, its records, disbursements, management, discipline, and condition, as required by the act of August 18, 1894. The inspection comprised the several Branches of the Home, including the newly authorized Mountain Branch near Johnson City, Tenn., and the offices of the president of the Board of Managers and the general treasurer, and were made in the following order and on the dates named:
Eastern Branch, Togus, Me., August 9 to 14, 1901.
Pacific Branch, near Santa Monica, Cal., August 30 to September 3, 1901.
Northwestern Branch, Milwaukee, Wis., September 8 to 11, 1901. Danville Branch, near Danville, Ill., September 12 to 15, 1901. Marion Branch, near Marion, Ind., September 16 to 19, 1901. Central Branch, near Dayton, Ohio, September 21 to 28, 1901. Southern Branch, near Hampton, Va., October 4 to 8, 1901.
President and general treasurer, New York City, October 17 to 19, 1901.
Mountain Branch, near Johnson City, Tenn., November 13 and 14, 1901.
I was accompanied on this tour to the Branches, except the Mountain Branch, by Mr. A. B. Horner, and to the office of the president of the Board of Managers and general treasurer by Mr. D. C. Spencer, clerks in the Inspector-General's Office.
There have been no changes in the membership of the Board of Managers of the Home since the date of my last inspection. The personnel of the active board, with the expiration of term of office, etc., is shown in the following table:
The Board of Managers consists of 14 members. In addition to the foregoing, who are elected from time to time by Congress for a term of six years, the President of the United States, the Secretary of War, and the Chief Justice are ex-officio members of the board.
Some changes have occurred since the date of last inspection among the general and Branch officers. Several officials have been removed by death. Maj. J. M. Bermingham, the efficient general treasurer of the Home for the past seven years or more, died September 29, 1901. In the death of Major Bermingham the Home has met with a serious loss. His association with the institution since its infancy and the responsibilities attaching to the duties of the office he so ably filled made him very important in the administration of the affairs of the Home, and his death is much regretted. The vacancy was filled by the promotion and appointment of the assistant general treasurer, Maj. Moses Harris. Col. P. T. Woodfin, governor of the Southern Branch, died August 24, 1901, after a protracted illness. This vacancy was filled by the appointment of Maj. William Thompson, the former treasurer of the Branch. Other changes which have occurred in the Branch officers, as well as various statistical information, will be found in the appendixes, under the report of inspection of each Branch, respectively.
ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION. The Home is composed of nine different Branches located in as many separate States. The first one was authorized by act of Congress of March 21, 1866, and the last one January 28, 1901, thus covering a period of thirty-five years. The Branches, mentioned in the order of establishment, are as follows: Eastern, Central, Northwestern, Southern, Western, Pacific, Marion, Danville, and Mountain. Four of them were established by the year 1870. There was then an interval of some fifteen years before the next, or Western Branch, was established, and this was followed by the Pacific and Marion in 1887 and 1890, respectively. Another interval of seven years elapsed, when the Danville Branch was established in 1897, and this was followed by the Mountain Branch in 1901.
The government of the Home is invested in the Board of Managers. The officers of the Board of Managers are elected by the board, and consist of a president, two vice-presidents, and a secretary, who are members of the board. All members of the board and its officers, except the president and secretary, serve without compensation. There are in addition to these officers certain salaried officials, consisting of an inspector-general, two assistant inspectors-general, general treasurer, and assistant general treasurer, who are elected by the board but are not members of it. The president and general treasurer have their headquarters in New York City. The board assigns from among its members a local manager to each Branch and appoints all officers of the Branch Homes. The president of the Board of Managers is its chief executive officer, and seven members, of whom the president or one of the vice-presidents shall be one, constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at the meetings, which are held from time to time at various places. The board prescribes the rules and regulations governing the entire establishment.