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REPORT OF THE QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL
OFFICE OF THE QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL,
Washington, D. C., October 28, 1903. SIR: I have the honor to submit the annual report of the operations of the Quartermaster's Department for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1903.
By acts of Congress approved June 28 and 30, 1902, and March 3, 1903, there was appropriated for the regular service of the Quartermaster's Department for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1903, the sum of..
$42, 414, 494.00 During the fiscal year there was deposited to the credit of appropriations 1903, amounts received from sales to officers, etc
2,521, 921. 16 Making a total of...
44, 936, 415. 16 Of this there was remitted to disbursing officers.... $29, 891, 271. 28 There was paid out on account of settlements made at Treasury of claims and accounts
30, 110, 729. 28 Leaving a balance on July 1, 1903, available for payment of
outstanding obligations incurred or fulfillment of contracts
14, 825, 685. 88 On July 1, 1902, there was on hand from the regular appropriations
for the service of the Quartermaster's Department pertaining to the fiscal year ended June 30, 1902, the sum of..
27, 629, 881.09 And fronı appropriations pertaining to previous fiscal years the sum of. 17,915, 004.99 And from appropriations for special and indefinite purposes, certified claims, etc
1, 704, 213. 78 Making a total balance on hand of these appropriations of.... 47, 249, 099. 86 For specific purposes there was appropriated during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1903
$7, 155, 532. 96 During the year there was deposited and transferred
to credit of approprations, other than those of 1903,
10, 820, 811. 77
58, 069, 911. 63
Making a total on hand from these appropriations of Of said amounts there was remitted to disbursing officers the sum of....
$7,439, 056. 67 There was paid out on account of Treasury settlements
1,335, 604. 95 There was carried to the surplus fund.
17,995, 262. 67
26, 769, 924. 29
Leaving a balance on hand July 1, 1903.,
31, 299, 987.34
Remitted to officers and paid out on Treasury settlements from
appropriations for the regular service of the Quartermaster's Department for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1903.
$30, 110, 729. 28 From appropriations previous fiscal years, and from indefinite and special appropriations
8,774, 661. 62 Total ......
38, 885, 390. 90 Balance remaining in Treasury July 1, 1903, of appropriations for the
regular service of the Quartermaster's Department for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1903
14, 825, 685. 88 And of appropriations for previous fiscal years, and for indefinite and special appropriations
31, 299, 987. 34 Total .
46, 125, 673. 22 By act of March 2, 1903, making appropriations for support of the Army for the fiscal year 1904, there was made immediately available $2,000,000 “ Barracks and quarters," and $25,000 “Equipment of officers' schools, military posts," which were designated by the Treasury as 1903 and 1904 appropriations. Of the former there was remitted to officers prior to June 30, 1903, the sum of $26,934, on which date there remained a balance in the Treasury of those two appropriations of $1,998,066.
Of the $200,000 appropriated by act of May 13, 1902, for "Relief of citizens of the French West Indies," there has been charged against the same on the books of this Office during the fiscal year 1903 the sum of $18,893.70.
Of the $50,000,000 appropriated by act of March 9, 1898, for “National defense,” there has been charged against the same on the books of this Office during the fiscal year 1903 the sum of $15.22.
I relinquished the duties of chief quartermaster, Division of the Philippines, late in March, and assumed duty as QuartermasterGeneral on June 1, 1903, so that the great bulk of the operations herein reported upon were under the direction of my predecessor, Maj. Gen. M. I. Ludington.
The fiscal year ended June 30, 1903, while not so active as the four preceding years, was yet a very busy one. Troops who had served their tours of duty in the Tropics were transferred to the United States and others sent out to replace them, and the duty of furnishing rail and water transportation devolved upon and was performed by the Quartermaster's Department; a vast amount of construction work has been undertaken and is under way; new military posts have been established, and several old posts reconstructed and modernized; the important work of effecting the change in the uniform of the Army has progressed with all possible dispatch; the innumerable classes of stores and supplies requisite for the use of the Army, which it is the duty of this Department to furnish, were provided wherever called for; a greatly increased amount of current reading matter was furnished the enlisted men; our national cemeteries have been cared for, and 15,866 marble headstones were provided by the Department to mark the resting places of those who, before they dropped off the muster roll, served their country in the ranks.
CLOTHING AND EQUIPAGE.
The sum of $4,720,116.98 was available during the past fiscal year for use in providing clothing and equipage supplies for the Army and militia. Of this amount, $3,066,583.29 were remitted to officers of the Department for the purchase and manufacture of clothing and equipage and requisition for $7,180.86 issued on settlements made by the Treasury on account of claims, leaving a balance of $1,646,352.83 in the Treasury on June 30, 1903, nearly all of which will be drawn upon to defray such outstanding indebtedness as was incurred prior to the close of the fiscal year.
There were issued during the year to the mititia of the States, Territories, and District of Columbia various classes of supplies to the amount of $338,711.20.
THE NEW UNIFORM.
A board of officers was convened by the Secretary of War under the provisions of paragraph 14, Special Orders, No. 52, War Department, March 3, 1902, for the purpose of considering the whole subject of the uniform and equipment of officers and men generally. The proceedings of this board, as modified by the Secretary of War, were published to the Army in General Orders, No. 81, Headquarters of the Army, 1902. Said order was subsequently amended by General Orders, No. 132, of same series, directing that the uniform changes would take effect July 1, 1903, by which date all officers were to uniform and equip themselves as provided in said orders. Officers serving in the Philippine Islands and Alaska are to wear the uniform hitherto prescribed during the continuance of duty there.
Immediately upon the promulgation of General Orders, No. 81, referred to, this Office took steps to perfect standard samples of the new clothing provided for both officers and men. This work has been successfully accomplished. Colored illustrations of the various standard samples of uniforms are now in process of publication, and although delay has been encountered by reason of the magnitude of the work and the many details connected therewith, it is expected that they will be ready for issue early next winter.
During the year a great deal of work has been done with a view of perfecting the materials entering into the olive-drab service uniforms for winter wear. A covert cloth has been decided upon as the most suitable material for the overcoats and breeches, and a serge for the service coat. The service uniform for summer wear and for the Tropics will be made of cotton khaki cloth, as heretofore.
The woolen materials decided upon being of a new and special shade, the greatest precautions have been taken to insure fastness of color. After many experiments, both in this Office and at factories, standard samples of the materials referred to have been adopted and contracts entered into for sufficient quantities for the first equipment of the Army with the new service uniforms.
The specifications for these materials provide that they shall be composed of black, white, and olive-drab wools, mixed in such proportions as to produce the shade of standard sample; the olive-drab and black to be dyed in the wool; colors to be fast and they must stand perspiration and climatic influences, such as sunlight, air, and exposure incident to the military service.
Contracts have also been made for the manufacture of the new dresscoats which will hereafter be of finer cloth, weighing 17 ounces to the linear yard, instead of 20 as heretofore. Purchases are being made of all the other articles of the new uniform, so that the department will be ready at the proper time to commence distribution to the entire Army, and ultimately to the militia of the States and Territories.
Among other things General Orders, No. 132, before referred to, provides that the issues of the new uniform shall be deferred until the present available supply of articles of the old uniform has been exhausted. In this connection it is remarked that on June 30 there were on hand at the general depots the following quantities of clothing, representing a money value of approximately $3,000,000, which must be exhausted, viz:
31,556 helmets, untrimmed.
33,121 pairs buckskin gauntlets. How best to accomplish the introduction of the new uniform has required much study, it being necessary to carefully consider
First. How to arrange so as to leave the least amount of the old for final condemnation and sale.
Second. How to accomplish the change from the old to the new uniform and avoid having uniforms mixed in the same command.
It is evident that the desired results can be best obtained by taking up one organization at a time and completely uniforming it under the new order, and thus let the change throughout the Army be gradual and the time of its final accomplishment be determined by the supplies to be issued. Thus the number of organizations to wear the old uniform will be constantly diminished and the best opportunity offered thereby for exhausting the old stock to the fullest extent practicable.
Aside from the question of minimizing the loss to the Government by exhausting supplies on hand is the problem of changing the uniform from the old to the new with the least expense to the enlisted men. Requests from organizations and parts of organizations now fully equipped with the old are being received for issue of the new uniform. To comply with these requests would entail much loss upon the enlisted men who are provided with the old clothing, as it would hardly be desired to have some members of an organization in the one and some in the other uniform. To keep the loss down to the minimum it has been decided that issues of the new uniform shall commence with organizations returning from the Philippine Islands, as after a tour of service in those islands the commands have practically no articles of woolen uniforms in their possession, and the prospect of three or four years' service in the United States justifies their equipment throughout with the new uniform.
Under existing orders the Artillery Corps and engineer troops serying in the United States wear the old full-dress uniform. This will be continued until the stock on hand is exhausted, except in the cases of battalions or companies returning from the Philippines.