The Army of the US Historical Sketches of Staff and Line with Portraits of Generals-in-Chief
Adjutant General's Department
By Gen. J. B. Fry
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On the 15th of June 1775, George Washington was elected General and Commander-in-chief. It was resolved (by the Continental Congress, June 16th) "that there be appointed for the American Army two (2) major-generals, with pay $166 per month, eight (8) brigadier-generals and one (1) adjutant-general, with pay $125 per month." Horatio Gates, Esq., (of Virginia, late major, British army) was chosen adjutant-general June 17th, and it was resolved "that he shall have the rank of brigadier-general." His commission was signed by President Hancock, on the 19th of June.
On July 17, 1775, Congress resolved "that the convention at New York be desired to recommend to General Schuyler a proper person for a deputy adjutant-general or brigade major for the Army in the New York department." Subsequently, on September the 14th, Congress resolved "that Edward Flemming, Esq., be appointed deputy adjutant-general for the Army in New York or Northern department, with the rank of colonel, and that the President make out a commission for him accordingly, and forward the same the first opportunity." On November 8th, Congress approved General Schuyler's appointment of Captain David Dimon to be brigade major and ordered him a commission accordingly. Meanwhile the major-generals, on assuming command in separate departments, and the division commanders in the "Continental" Army before Boston, had, from the necessity of the case, to designate suitable persons to perform the functions of deputy adjutant-general or brigade major. By resolution of July 19th, Congress provided that " it be left to General Washington, if he thinks fit, to appoint three (3) brigade majors, and commission them accordingly."
The pressure of events, during this year, made it necessary to recognize in the continental or "regular" establishment such officers as had been raised with the troops in the several colonies by the provincial conventions, or councils of safety, for limited periods. These resolutions were of similar tenor to the resolutions of November 4th, which directed "the President to sign blank commissions, and that the conventions, or, in their recess, the councils of safety for South Carolina and Georgia, respectively, fill them up with the names of such officers as they may think proper, and return a list thereof to the Congress." The adjutant-general and deputy adjutants-general were commissioned to those offices, respectively, as well as many of the earlier appointments of brigade majors. The office of brigade major had come into existence early in the history of the constitutional British
army. The officer filling it was detailed from the officers of the line, receiving, usually, increased pay and allowances. His functions were similar to those of the acting assistant adjutant-general of the present day. The Army had but one adjutant-general who was at general headquarters. Deputy adjutants-general performed like services at subordinate army headquarters, and corps and wing headquarters. On the 30th of March, 1776, Congress resolved "that each brigadier-general when on command be empowered to appoint a brigade major." It was resolved, June 17th, that "General Washington be directed to send General Gates to Canada," and, on September 16th, that "the appointment of all officers, and filling up of all vacancies (excepting general officers) be left to the Government of the several States, * * * that all officers be commissioned by Congress." On the 5th of June, Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Reed, of Pennsylvania, aide de-camp to the General-in-chief, was elected adjutant-general. Reed appears to have resigned about January 22, 1777, and Brigadier-General Arthur St. Clair acted as adjutant-general until his promotion to major general, February 19, 1777, when Colonel George Weedon, of Virginia, performed the duties, although promoted to brigadier-general February 27, 1777. On the 20th of February it was resolved that "the President (of Congress) write to Major-General Gates and inform him that it is the earnest desire of Congress that he should resume the office of adjutant general, and that his present rank and pay shall be continued." General Washington, from Headquarters Morristown, March 10th, also wrote to Gates, then at Philadelphia, to the same effect, but the latter declined, being then in a separate command. On the 26th of March it was "ordered that the President acquaint General Washington that Congress expects the office of adjutant-general to be filled up by a speedy appointment of a person of abilities and unsuspected attachment to these United States, and recommended Colonel William Lee to his consideration for this purpose." Congress, by Resolution of September 27, 1776, had already given Washington the power, for six months, "to displace and appoint all officers under the rank of brigadier-general, and to fill up all vacancies in every other department in the American Army." General Washington, in a letter to Colonel Timothy Pickering, of Salem, Massachusetts (late colonel Essex County Regiment), dated March 30, 1777, offered him the position "vacant by reason of the resignation of Colonel Reed, and the power of appointing a successor resting with me." When Washington wrote to Pickering, offering him the appointment of adjutant-general, he enclosed a letter to Lee (who had been recommended for the position by Congress) offering it to him-the letter to Lee to be forwarded, in case Pickering should decline. Pickering did decline and sent the letter to Lee, who reported at Washington's headquarters. Pickering, however, subsequently reconsidered the matter, and determined to accept, whereupon Lee yielded his claims. On the 5th of January, 1778, Congress proceeded to the election of an adjutant-general in the room of Colonel Pickering, who was called to the Board of War by Resolution of November 7, 1777, and the ballots being taken, Colonel Alexander Scammel of the New Hampshire Continental Line was unanimously elected adjutant-general. Pickering,
however, continued to perform the duties until January 13, 1778, when Scammel assumed them. On the 17th of May, 1779, it was resolved that "the adjutant-general of the Army of the United States be allowed the same rations as a brigadier-general; that he be permitted to engage two assistants and one clerk." On the 22d of June it was resolved that "the adjutant-general for the time being be also assistant inspector general."
On the 8th of January, 1781, Brigadier-General Edward Hand of Pennsylvania was elected adjutant-general to succeed Scammel, who had been appointed colonel of the 1st New Hampshire Regiment Infantry, Continental Line, a position he did not long occupy as he was mortally wounded by a Hessian cavalryman in front of Yorktown, Virginia, September 30, 1781, and died a prisoner of war October 6, 1781. On the 1st of August, 1782, it was resolved that "the adjutant-general be appointed by Congress from the general officers, colonels, lieutenant-colonels commandant, or lieutenant-colonels in the Army. * * * He shall have two assistants and one clerk to be appointed by himself and approved of by the Commander-in-chief. The assistants shall be majors or captains of the Army. * * * That there shall be as many deputy adjutants-general, of the rank of field officers, as there may be separate armies in the United States that consist of one or more divisions, to be appointed occasionally by the commanding officer of such army, whose names shall be returned to the commander-in-chief for his approbation. * * *
"The deputy adjutants-general shall appoint each one assistant, of the rank of major or captain, who shall be approved of by the commanding officer under whom they serve.
* * * * * * * *
That there be one major of brigade to each brigade in the armies of the United States, whether of cavalry, artillery, or infantry, who shall be appointed by the Commander-in-chief, or commanding officer of a separate army, as occasion may require, upon the recommendation of the adjutant-general or deputy adjutant-general as the case may be.
* * * * * * * *
"These regulations shall take effect on the 1st day of January next, and from thenceforth all acts, resolutions, pay and appointments heretofore made in any wise respecting the department of adjutant-general and brigade majors shall cease and are hereby repealed." On the 31st of December it was resolved that "Brigadier-General Hand be and is hereby continued in the office of adjutant-general." He retained the office until almost all of the Revolutionary Army was disbanded on November 5, 1783, in pursuance of a proclamation issued by Congress on the 18th of October previous.
From the disbandment of the Army, 1783, until the act of March 3, 1791, there was no regular adjutant-general (or brigade major as it was sometimes called), and no authority for the commissioning of such an officer. On October 31, 1784, from headquarters 1st American Regiment, Fort Pitt, Ensign Ebenezer Denny, of this regiment (late of 1st Pennsylvania, Continental Line), was appointed adjutant, he having acted as such from August 12, 1784. On July 31, 1787, Congress appointed lieutenant-colonel
commandant, and brevet colonel, Josiah Harmar, of this regiment, a brevet brigadier-general, and placed him on duty as General-in-chief with the emoluments of his brevet rank, which gave him command not only of his own regiment but of the battalion United States artillery. On the 28th of October, 1787, from. headquarters Fort Finney, General Harmar appointed Ensign Denny as acting adjutant-general. The act of March 3, 1791, gave the President power to call into service the militia or to enlist volunteers for six months, and to form them into regiments under the denomination of levies, and to appoint the commissioned officers. Governor Arthur St. Clair, of the Western Territory, was appointed major-general March 4, 1791, thereby superseding brevet Brigadier-General Harmar as "General-in-chief." Lieutenant Ebenezer Denny, adjutant 1st U.S. Infantry, was appointed aide-de-camp to Major-General St. Clair, September 30, 1791, in general orders of that date from headquarters, camp on the Great Miami, near Fort Washington. (This camp was afterwards called Fort Hamilton.) Brevet Major Winthrop Sargent, of Massachusetts (late Corps of Artillery, Continental Line), was secretary of the Western Territory, under Governor St, Clair, and was called into service with the rank of lieutenant-colonel of militia, early in September, 1791, and at Ludlow's Station announced as acting adjutant-general. In the disastrous engagement of November 4, 1791 with the Miami Indians, Colonel Sargent was badly wounded—receiving two bullets in his body which he carried until his death. The act of March 5, 1792, recognized a "general staff," in which is found one "adjutant" to do also the duty of "inspector." President Washington appointed Winthrop Sargent, late acting adjutant-general, "adjutant" and "inspector" under this act of March 5th, and he was confirmed by the Senate, April 11, 1792, but declined the appointment. Meanwhile, on March 5, 1792, Major-General St. Clair had resigned his commission, and Anthony Wayne (formerly brigadier-general, Continental Army) was, on the same day, appointed major-general, and placed as "General-in-chief" over the United States Army. Capt. Henry de Butts, 4th Sub-Legion, U. S. A. (of Maryland), the first aide-de-camp to General Wayne, acted as adjutant-general until the office was filled by an officer specially detailed for that duty. Major Michael Rudolph, who had been a captain in the Maryland Line Continental Army, was, while, major of dragoons, U. S. A., then nominated and confirmed as "adjutant" and "inspector," February 23, 1793, vice Winthrop Sargent, declined. He resigned July 17, 1793, and was succeeded by Major John Mills, 2d Sub-Legion, U. S. A., of Massachusetts, who was confirmed as "adjutant" and "inspector," May 13, 1794, vice Rudolph, resigned. He died in office July 8, 1796. The act approved March 3, 1795, recognized the office of "adjutant-general" to do also the duty of inspector, and directed that "the present military establishment of the United States, composed of a corps of artillerists and engineers and a legion to consist of 4800 non-commissioned officers, privates and musicians be continued, "that they be completed," etc. This is the first mention in the laws of a " legion."
The legion was the favorite idea of General Henry Knox, then Secretary of War. It was divided into four sub-legions, each of which was to consist of one brigadier or sub-legionary general, with one aide-de-camp, one
brigade or sub-legionary major and inspector, one quartermaster and one surgeon. The forces in each sub-legion comprised 1280 non-commissioned officers, musicians and privates, and were to consist of one troop of dragoons, one company of artillery, two battalions of infantry, and, one battalion of rifles-each battalion to have four companies. The legionary staff itself was to consist of the major-general or legionary general, two aides-de-camp, one adjutant and inspector, one major commandant of cavalry, one quartermaster, one deputy quartermaster, one surgeon and one chaplain. On November 1, 1796, pursuant to the act of May 30, 1796, the President arranged and completed out of the legion, four regiments of infantry, and two companies of light dragoons, taking care as far as practicable to arrange two sub-legions back again to their original infantry numbers, the first sub-legion again becoming the 1st regiment United States Infantry—supernumerary officers and soldiers were discharged from that date, the officers thus discharged receiving each six months' pay and subsistence. The act of May 30,1766 [i.e., 1796], directed that "after the last day of October, 1796, the military establishment shall consist of the corps of artillerists and engineers, two companies of light dragoons, four regiments of infantry of eight companies," and section 3 of the act directed, amongst other details, that "there shall be one inspector who shall do the duty of adjutant-general." The general staff authorized by this act was to continue in service only until the following March 4th. From the decease of Adjutant-General Mills, in July, 1796, until the appointment of an inspector under this act, Major Jonathan Haskell, 4th sub-legion, a revolutionary officer, and Captain Edward Butler (Pennsylvania) of the rifle battalion, 4th sub-legion, sub-legionary major and inspector, were successively detailed by Major General Wayne to perform the functions of adjutant-general to the United States Army. On February 27,1797, Major Thomas H. Cushing (Massachusetts) of the First United States Infantry (formerly 1st Lieutenant Massachusetts Line Continental Army), was appointed by the President, with consent of the Senate, to be "inspector." He by law was also required to do the duty of "adjutant-general." The act passed March 3, 1797, repealed section 3 of the act of May 30, 1796, regulating the general staff. It made no provision for a major-general vice Wayne deceased—nor for an adjutant-general, but allowed one brigadier-general, who could choose his brigade major, also an inspector from the captains and subalterns in the line. The act of May 22, 1798, amended the act of March 3, 1797, so as to permit the brigadier-general—who was now General-in-chief—to select his brigade major and inspector or either of them from commissioned officers of any grade in the line of the Army. Major Cushing had not relinquished his rank in the infantry upon receiving the commission of inspector. He continued to perform the duties of inspector and adjutant general, under detail, even after his commission of inspector had by operation of law expired March 3, 1797. The act of May 22, 1798, enabled Brigadier-General James Wilkinson, then General-in-chief, to keep him on duty as "inspector," section 2 of this act giving to Major Cushing by name, the difference between his major's and inspector's pay and allowances while thus serving by appointment of General Wilkinson, from
March 3, 1797, to May 22, 1798. No other officer represented the Adjutant-General's Department except the brigade major on immediate duty at Army Headquarters from March 3, 1797, until July 19, 1798, when, under the act of May 28th of that year, Brevet Major William North, of Massachusetts, (formerly aide-de-camp to Major-General Baron Steuben, and afterwards Inspector of the Army in 1784) was appointed adjutant-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a brigadier-general. This act (May 28, 1798) authorized "the President alone to appoint, from time to time when he shall judge proper, assistant inspectors to every separate portion of the Army, consisting of one or more divisions, who shall be deputy adjutants-general thereof, respectively, and who shall be taken from the line of the Army," they receiving extra pay while on such duty.
The act of March 3, 1799, provided for the better organization of the troops heretofore authorized, and directed that the adjutant-general of the Army (a brigadier-general) shall be ex-officio assistant inspector general (the inspector-general at this time was Alexander Hamilton, with the rank of major-general), and that every deputy inspector-general shall be ex-officio deputy adjutant-general, and shall perform the duties of adjutant-general of the Army to which he shall be annexed. The act of May 14, 1800, provided for the disbandment of the Army, except the first four regiments of infantry, the two regiments of artillerists and engineers, the two troops of light dragoons and the general and other staff authorized by the several laws for the establishing and organizing of the aforesaid corps. In pursuance of this act, the inspector-general, adjutant-general, and other officers appointed for the "Provisional Army" raised during the continuance of differences between the United States and the French Republic were disbanded on the 15th of June, 1800. Brigadier-General Wilkinson again became "General-in-chief," in consequence of such disbandment Major Cushing, 1st U. S. Infantry, continuing to be inspector to the Army, and on duty under immediate orders of the Secretary of War. Major Cushing continued to fill the office, by detail, until Congress again made it a distinct office. The act of March 16th, 1802, fixed the military peace establishment at one regiment of artillerists, two regiments of infantry, and a corps of engineers, not to exceed twenty officers and cadets, and, amongst other details, provided for one "adjutant and inspector of the Army," to be taken from the line of field officers. On the 25th of March, President Jefferson sent the following nomination to Congress: * * * "Thomas H. Cushing, Adjutant and Inspector of the Army," * * * which nomination was confirmed March 26, 1802. Major Cushing became by promotion lieutenant-colonel of the 2d U. S. Infantry, April 1, 1802, and colonel of his regiment September 7, 1805, but as the only limitation as to the appointment of an "adjutant and inspector" was that he should be a field officer," Colonel Cushing continued to perform the duties now performed by the adjutant-general of the Army, until April 2, 1807. First Lieutenant James Biddle Wilkinson, (of Maryland) 2d U. S. Infantry, was appointed aide-de-camp to his father, the General-in-chief—December 1, 1804,—was promoted to be Captain 2d U. S. Infantry, December, 1808, and
continued to perform the duties of aide-de-camp and of acting assistant adjutant-general to the troops in the field when under immediate command of his father, until his own death, September 7, 1813. There appears to have been no change in the legal authorization for an "adjutant and inspector" until 1812, although during that period there were changes in the incumbents.
The act of January 11th, amongst other details, provided for five brigadier-generals, each to be allowed a brigade major to be taken from the captains and subalterns of the line, and for one adjutant-general with the rank, pay and emoluments of a brigadier-general; the adjutant-general to be allowed one or more assistants, not exceeding three, to be taken from the line of the Army, with the same pay and emoluments as a lieutenant-colonel, but no officer detached to serve in the general staff to thereby lose his rank. On the 15th of March, the Hon. William North, formerly adjutant-general of the Army, was again nominated and confirmed as adjutant-general, but he declined the office, and on the 6th of July, Colonel Thomas H. Cushing, 2d Infantry, late "adjutant and inspector," was appointed and confirmed. Soon afterwards Adjutant-General Cushing was nominated and confirmed a brigadier-general in the Army, to rank from July 2, 1812, which was an earlier rank than that given to him in his commission as adjutant-general with the rank of brigadier-general. General Cushing continued, however, to perform the duties of adjutant-general at the seat of government, and contributed greatly by his long experience as head of that department, towards the organization of the large regular and volunteer force called suddenly into existence in consequence of the war with Great Britain.
The act of July 6, 1812, directs that "to any army of the United States, other than that in which the adjutant-general shall serve, the President may appoint one deputy adjutant-general who shall be taken from the line, * * * and there shall be to each deputy adjutant-general such number of assistant deputies (not exceeding three to each department) as the public service may require." The act of March 3, 1813, organizing the "general staff" of the Army, provided for an "Adjutant-General's Department" to consist of an adjutant and inspector-general, with the rank, pay, and emoluments of a brigadier-general; not exceeding eight adjutants-general, each with the rank, pay, and emoluments of a colonel of cavalry; and sixteen assistant adjutants-general, each with the brevet rank, pay, and emoluments of a major of cavalry. The act further authorized the President, when he should deem it expedient, to assign one of the brigadier-generals to the principal Army of the United States, who should, in such case, act as adjutant and inspector-general, and as chief of the staff of such Army. This was the first mention of the " Adjutant-General's Department," eo nomine. On March 12, 1813, Brigadier-General Cushing relinquished his junior and now superseded commission of "adjutant-general," and was assigned to the command of Military District No. 1, comprising the States of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. On the same day Brigadier-General Zebulon M. Pike, U. S. A., was appointed by President Madison to be "adjutant and inspector-general" to the Army commanded by the "General-in-
chief," (Major-General Henry Dearborn) but on April 27, 1813, General Pike was killed in the assault and capture of the British fortifications at York (now Toronto), Upper Canada. From this time until May 19, 1814, the office remained vacant, the act of March 3, 1813, having been construed to the effect that there could be but one adjutant and inspector-general, who must either be an officer appointed and confirmed to that office, or else be a brigadier-general especially designated by the President to perform the functions. The affairs of the office at the War Department were meanwhile administered by Colonel A. T. Nicoll, inspector-general, and Major C. K. Gardner, 25th Infantry, assistant adjutant-general, in their branches, respectively, during the remainder of the year 1813. On May 19, 1814, Brigadier-General William H. Winder, U. S. A., was appointed "adjutant and inspector-general," and chief of staff to the Northern Army, but did not retain the office long, as, on July 2d, following, he was assigned to the command of the Tenth Military District, and commanded the American forces in the affair at Bladensburg, and unsuccessful defense of Washington. General A. T. Nicoll, inspector-general, having resigned, June 1, 1814, he was succeeded by Colonel John R. Bell, inspector-general (promoted from assistant inspector-general, October 20, 1814), at the War Department. In the adjutant-general's office, proper, Colonel John De B. Walbach, adjutant-general, administered affairs, under the direction of the Secretary of War, from December 30, 1813, until November 22, 1814, when Daniel Parker, of Massachusetts, chief clerk of the War Department, was nominated and confirmed by the Senate as "adjutant and inspector-general." The act of March 3, 1815, reduced and fixed the military peace establishment at 10,000 men, but made no provision for an "Adjutant-General's Department." The act required the President to discharge supernumerary officers on May 1, 1815, or, "as soon as circumstances may permit," and we find that by executive general orders of May 17, 1815, one adjutant and inspector-general, and two adjutants-general were "provisionally retained." Had not President Madison seen fit to retain such officers this act would have virtually abolished the department. The act of April 24, 1816, recognized and made permanent in service, these officers, thus provisionally retained, and declared that the department should hereafter consist of an adjutant and inspector-general with the rank, pay, and emoluments of a brigadier-general; an assistant adjutant-general, with the rank of colonel, to each division (of which there were two); and an assistant adjutant-general with the rank of major, to each brigade (of which there were four). The department therefore consisted, at this time, of seven officers, and general orders of May 3, 1816, based on the act, publishes their names, etc.
The act of March 2, 1821, fixed the military peace establishment at four regiments of artillery, of nine companies each; seven of infantry, of ten companies each, and the corps of engineers, and provided for one adjutant-general, with the rank, pay, and emoluments of a colonel of cavalry, and directed that the aides-de-camp to the major-general and the brigadier-generals should, in addition to their other duties, perform the duties of assistant adjutant-general. This act, in effect, reduced the department to one commissioned officer.
Brigadier-General Henry Atkinson, who, in order to be retained in service, had consented to be arranged according to his earlier commission of colonel and brevet brigadier-general, was offered by President Monroe the position of "adjutant-general," but he elected, on August 13, 182i, to take his former regiment, the 6th Infantry, from which he had the year before been promoted. Colonel James Gadsden, inspector-general, was, thereupon, on the same day (August 13, 1821) appointed adjutant-general. The Senate negatived his confirmation on March 22, 1822, and on the following April 12th, the President renominated him for the office, but the Senate adhered to its original determination. Capt. Charles J. Nourse, 2d Artillery, late "assistant adjutant-general," was detailed as "acting adjutant-general" of the Army, May 8, 1822, and took charge of the office and continued to perform the functions of adjutant-general until relieved, March 7, 1825, by the appointment of Captain Roger Jones, 3d Artillery (late colonel and adjutant-general), to be adjutant-general, with his old rank. There appears to have been no change in the legal status of the department from 1821 to 1838, when the act of July 5th of that year, increasing the military establishment, empowered the President to appoint so many assistant adjutants-general, not exceeding two, with brevet rank, pay and emoluments of a major, and not exceeding four with the brevet rank, pay and emoluments of a captain of cavalry, as he might deem necessary, to be taken from the line of the Army, and in addition to their own to perform the duties of assistant inspectors-general when the circumstances of the service required; the transfer of these officers to be without prejudice to their rank and promotion in the line, which was to take place in the same manner as if they had not been transferred. This again made the Adjutant-General's Department to consist of seven officers. The act of March 3, 1839 "to amend an act entitled "an act regulating the pay and emoluments of brevet officers," approved April 16, 1818, directs that " the same shall be construed as to include the case of the Adjutant-General of the United States." This act reads "The officers of the Army who have brevet commissions shall be entitled to and receive the pay and emoluments of their brevet rank when on duty, and having a command according to their brevet rank and at no other time." Act approved June 18, 1846, providing for the prosecution of the war between the United States and the Republic of Mexico, empowered the President to appoint as many additional assistant adjutants-general, not exceeding four, as the service may require, with the same rank, pay and emoluments, and to be charged with the same duties as those now authorized by law; appointments to continue only as long as the exigencies of the service might render necessary. Under this act two majors and two captains were appointed. The department, therefore, now consisted of eleven officers. The act of March 3, 1847, making provision for an additional number of general officers, and for other details, directed that there be added to the Adjutant-General's Department, one assistant adjutant-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a lieutenant-colonel of cavalry, and two assistant adjutants-general, with the brevet rank, pay and emoluments of a captain of cavalry, to be charged with the same duties as those now existing by law, and the officers so appointed to be discharged at the close of the war
with Mexico. This brought the strength of the department up to fourteen. The act of July 19, 1848, repealed so much of the act of March 3, 1847, as required the discharge at the close of the war with Mexico * * * of an assistant adjutant-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a lieutenant-colonel of cavalry, and two assistant adjutants-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a captain of cavalry; provided that no vacancy happening under the provisions so repealed be filled up until further authorized by law. The act of March 2, 1849, repealed so much of the proviso to the 3d section of the act approved July 19, 1848, as related to officers of the Adjutant-General's Department, which left the department with an aggregate strength of fourteen officers, with authority to make promotions and fill vacancies. This continued to be the strength of the department until 1861. The act of August 3, 1861, providing for the better organization of the Army, directed that "hereafter the Adjutant-General's Department shall consist of one adjutant-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a brigadier; one assistant adjutant-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a colonel of cavalry, and two assistant adjutants-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments each of a lieutenant-colonel of cavalry; four assistant adjutants-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a major of cavalry, and twelve with the rank, pay and emoluments of a captain of cavalry" (total 20). The act of July 17, 1862, directed that "one colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, and nine majors be added to the department by regular promotion from its present officers, and that the grade of 'captain' be abolished, and in future that all vacancies in the grade of major be filled by selection from among the captains of the Army"—(total strength of the department, 20). The act of July 28, 1866, directed that the adjutant-general shall hereafter be appointed by selection from the corps to which he belongs." The act of March 3, 1869, prohibited promotions and appointments in the Adjutant-General's Department, but by act of March 3; 1873, the appointment of one assistant adjutant-general, with the rank of major, was authorized. Thus the legal strength of the Adjutant-General's Department at this time was one brigadier-general, two colonels, four lieutenant-colonels, and thirteen majors (twenty in all), but by the act of March 3, 1869, prohibiting promotions and appointments, the department became reduced to one brigadier-general, one colonel, three lieutenant-colonels, and eleven majors (sixteen in all). The act of March 3, 1875, "to reduce and fix the Adjutant-General's Department," directed that "said department shall hereafter consist of one adjutant-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a brigadier-general; two assistant adjutants-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of colonels; four assistant adjutants-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of lieutenant-colonels, and ten assistant adjutants-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of majors"—(seventeen members in all). This act also repealed so much of the act approved March 3, 1869, as prohibited promotions and appointments in the Adjutant-General's Department.
The act of February 28, 1887, "to effect a rearrangement of grades of office in the Adjutant-General's Department of the Army" directed that "The Adjutant-General's Department of the Army shall consist of one
adjutant-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a brigadier-general; four assistant adjutants-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of colonel; six assistant adjutants-general; with the rank, pay and emoluments of lieutenant-colonel; and six assistant adjutants-general, with the rank, pay and emoluments of major: Provided that the vacancies in the grade of colonel and lieutenant-colonel created by this act shall be filled by the promotion by seniority of the officers now in the Adjutant-General's Department."
At this date, therefore (May, 1891), the legal strength of the Adjutant-General's Department is seventeen, and the department is open to promotion and appointments on the occurrence of vacancies.
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