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or operated by the United States shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States, as required by section thirty-six hundred and seventeen of the Revised Statutes; and all acts or parts of acts inconsistent herewith are
hereby repealed. Act of March 3, 1883 (22 Stat. L., 616). Injury to telegraph lines, etc.,
1234. Any person or persons who shall willfully or of United States, interference
maliciously injure or destroy any of the works or propery obstruction, ete: or material of any telegraphic line constructed and owned,
June 23, 1874, or in process of construction, by the United States, or v. 18, p. 250.
that may be hereafter constructed and owned or occupied and controlled by the United States, or who shall willfully or maliciously interfere in any way with the working or use of any such telegraphic line, or who shall willfully or maliciously obstruct, hinder, or delay the transmission of any communication over any such telegraphic line, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof in any district court of the United States having jurisdiction of the same shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars, or with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or with both, in the discretion of the court. Act
of June 23, 1874 (18 Stat. L., 250). HISTORICAL NOTE.-The office of Signal Officer of the Army, with the rank of major of cavalry, was established by the act of June 21, 1860 (12 Stat. L., 66). By section 17 of the act of March 3, 1863 (ibid., 753), a signal corps was created to consist of a Chief Signal Officer with the rank of colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, two majors who were to be inspectors, and, for each army corps or military department, one captain and as many lieutenants, not exceeding eight, as the President might deem necessary: The officers thus provided for were to receive the mounted pay of their grades, and were to continue in service during the pendency of the existing rebellion. For each officer authorized by the act of March 3, 1863, one sergeant and six privates were to be detailed from the volunteer armies, who were to receive the pay and allowances of enlisted men of engineers. Eligibility for appointment and detail were to be determined, in part, by prior faithful service in the acting signal corps, and were conditioned in all cases, upon the successful passage of a preliminary examination.
A permanent signal corps was added to the military establishment by section 22 of the act of July 28, 1866 ( 12 Stat. L., 335) (which was embodied in the Revised Statutes as sections 1165, 1166, and 1167). It was to consist of a Chief Signal Officer, with the rank of colonel of cavalry, and of six officers of the line, detailed for signal duty, and one hundred enlisted men, detailed from the battal on of engineers; these details were to be conditioned upon the successful passage of a preliminary examination, and the officers, while so detailed, were to receive mounted pay. By the act of March 3, 1871 (16 ibid., 520), certain duties in connection with the observation and report of storms were assigned to the department. By the act of June 18, 1878
The act of March 3, 1875, contained a provision authorizing the Secretary of War "to pay the expenses of operating and keeping in repair the said telegraph lines out of any money received for dispatches sent over said lines; any balance remaining after the payment of such expenses to be covered into the Treasury as a miscellaneous receipt; the money received in any one fiscal year to be used only in payment for the expenses of that year. And a full report of the receipts and expenditures in connection with the said telegraph lines shall be made quarterly to the Secretary of War, through the Chief Signal Officer. And the Chief Signal Officer shall have the charge and control of said lines of telegraph in the construction, repair, and operation of the same."
(20 ibid., 146), the number of enlisted men, hitherto fixed by Executive regulation, was established at four hundred and fifty, and by the act of June 20, 1878 (ibid., 219), the enlisted force of the department was fixed at one hundred and fifty sergeants, thirty corporals, and two hundred and seventy privates, who were to receive the pay and allowances of enlisted men of corresponding grades in the battalion of engineers. By this enactment extra-duty pay was prohibited, and the commissioned force of the department was increased by the annual appointment of two second lieutenants, who were to be selected from the grade of sergeant. By the act of June 16, 1880 (21 ibid., 267), the rank of brigadier-general was conferred upon the Chief Signal Officer, and the number of privates was increased to three hundred and twenty; by the act of August 4, 1886 (24 ibid., 247), the number of second lieutenants was limited to sixteen, the school of instruction at Fort Myer, Va., was abolished, and the Secretary of War was authorized to detail five commissioned officers of the Army for signal duty, this number to be in addition to the second lieutenants already authorized by law; this requirement was repeated in the acts of October 2, 1888 (26 ibid., 537), and March 2, 1889 (ibid., 969), by which enactments the number of second lieutenants was reduced to fourteen.
By the act of October 1, 1890 (26 Stat. L., 653), the Weather Service was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and the strength of the Signal Corps was established at one Chief Signal Officer (brigadier-general), one major, four captains, and four first lieutenants mounted, and tisty sergeants who were to have the pay and allowances of hospital stewards. The second lieutenants not selected for appointment as first lieutenants were to be transferred to the line of the Army. By the act of August 6, 1894, the department was reorganized, the reorganization to take effect upon the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of Chief Signal Officer, when the corps was to consist of one colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, one major, three captains, and three first lieutenants; by the act of March 2, 1897 (29 ibid., 611), the promotions provided for in the act of August 6, 1894, were authorized to be made. By section 2 of the act of May 18, 1898 (30 ibid., 417), and joint resolution No. 53, of July 8, 1898 (ibid., 749), a volunteer Signal Corps was authorized, to consist of one colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, one major, as disbursing officer, and such other officers and men as might be required, not exceeding one lieutenant-colonel for each army corps, and two captains, two first lieutenants, five first-class sergeants, ten sergeants, ten corporals, and thirty first-class privates to each organized division of troops, a certain proportion of whom were to be skilled electricians or telegraph operators.
By section 24 of the act of February 2, 1901 (31 Stat. L., 754), the permanent strength of the Signal Corps was fixed at one Chief Signal Officer with the rank of brigadier-general, one colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, four majors, fourteen captains, fourteen first lieutenants, eighty first-class sergeants, one hundred and twenty sergeants, one hundred and fifty corporals, two hundred and fifty first-class privates, one hundred and fifty second-class privates, and ten cooks; and a system of details was established by the operation of which the permanent commissioned personnel of the department will be gradually replaced, as vacancies occur, by officers detailed from the line of the Army for duty in the Signal Department.
H. Doc. 545 -30
THE RECORD AND PENSION OFFICE.
teers. 1257. Certificates of service United States
Military Telegraph Corps.
Feb. 2, 1901, s.
1235. The division organized by the Secretary of War May 9, 1892, v. 27, p. 27. in his office for the preservation and custody of the rec
ords of the volunteer armies under the name of the Record and Pension Division is hereby established as now organized, and shall hereafter be known as the Record and Pension Office of the War Department. Act of May 9, 1892
(27 Stat. L., 27). Composition. 1236. The officers of the Record and Pension Office of 25, v. 31, p. 751.the War Department shall be a chief of said office with
the rank of a brigadier-general and an assistant chief of said office with the rank of major: Provided, That any person appointed to be Chief of the Record and Pension Office after the passage of this act shall have the rank of colonel. Section 25,' act of February 2, 1901, (31 Stat. L., 754).
1237. The Record and Pension Office of the War DepartMay 9, 1892, v. 27, p. 27.
ment shall, under the Secretary of War, have charge of the military and hospital records of the volunteer armies and the pension and other business of the War Department connected therewith; and all laws or parts of laws inconsistent with the terms of this act are hereby repealed. Act of May 9, 1892 (27 Stat. L., 27).
1238. All returns and muster rolls of organizations of
the Volunteer Army and of militia organizations while in Apr. 22, 1898, s. 8, v.30, p. 362. the service of the United States shall be rendered to the
Returns and muster rolls of volunteers.
Section 8 of the act of March 2, 1899 (30 Stat. L., 979), contained the same requirement. By the act of March 3, 1899 (ibid., 1007), this office was exempted from the operation of the reduction clauses of the act of March 2, 1899.
Adjutant-General of the Army, and upon the disbandment of such organizations the records pertaining to them shall be transferred to and filed in the Record and Pension Office of the War Department. And regimental and all other medical officers serving with volunteer troops in the field or elsewhere shall keep a daily record of all soldiers reported sick, or wounded as shown by the morning calls or reports, and shall deposit such reports with other reports provided for in this section with the Record and Pension Office, as provided herein for other reports, returns and muster rolls. Section 8, act of April 22, 1898 (30 Stat. L., 362).
1239. All military records, such as muster and pay rolls, vian Revolu. orders, and reports relating to the personnel or the opera- ferred to secretions of the armies of the Revolutionary war and of the targe Wa. war of eighteen hundred and twelve, now in any of the v. 28, p. 403. Executive Departments, shall be transferred to the Secretary of War, to be preserved, indexed, and prepared for publication. Act of August 18, 1894 (28 Stat. L., 40.3). 1240. All the employees provided for * the Rec- Clerks, etc., to
be exclusively ord and Pension Office of the War Department shall be engaged on work exclusively engaged on the work of this office.” Act of July 16,1892, v. July 16, 1892 (27 Stat. L., 92).
tionary army rec
Aug. 18, 1894,
REMOVAL OF THE CHARGE OF DESERTION.
1241. The charge of desertion now standing on the rolls , Charges of and records in the Record and Pension Office of the War moved from recDepartment against any soldier who served in the late volunteers.
Sec. 1, Mar. 2, war in the volunteer service shall be removed in all cases 1889, V. 25. p.: 869
May 9, 1892, v. where it shall be made to appear to the satisfaction of the 27, p. 27. Secretary of War, from such rolls and records, or from other satisfactory testimony, that such soldier served faithfully until the expiration of his term of enlistment, or until the first day of May, anno Domini eighteen hun
"The act of July 27, 1892 (27 Stat. L., 275), had contained the requirement that “the military records of the American Revolution and of the war of eighteen hundred and twelve, now preserved in the Treasury and Interior Departments, be transferred to the War Department, to be preserved in the Record and Pension Division of that Department, and that they shall be properly indexed and arranged for use.'
The acts of March 2, 1895 ( 28 Stat. L., 788), and May 28, 1896 (29 ibid., 161), authorizing the Secretary of War, upon the application of the governor of a State, to furnish to such governor a transcript of the military history of any regiment or company furnished by his State, under such regulations as might be prescribed by the Secretary of War, the expense of preparing such transcript to be borne by the State requesting it.
Subsequent acts of appropriation since that of July 16, 1892 (27 Stat. L., 92), have contained the same restriction.
Sec. 2, ibid.
dred and sixty-five, having previously served six months or more, and, by reason of absence from his command at the time the same was mustered out, failed to be mustered out and to receive an honorable discharge, or that such soldier absented himself from his command, or from hospital wbile suffering from wounds, injuries, or disease received or contracted in the line of duty and was prevented from completing his term of enlistment by reason of such wounds, injuries, or disease. Acts of March 2,
1889 (25 Stat. L., 869); May 9, 1892 (27 ibid., 27). Applications
1242. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to remove the charge of desertion from the record of any regular or volunteer soldier in the late war upon proper application therefor, and satisfactory proof in the follow
ing cases: Return to duty
First. That such soldier, after such charge of desertion was made, and within a reasonable time thereafter, voluntarily returned to his command and served faithfully to the end of his term of service, or until discharged.
Second. That such soldier absented himself from his sick or wounded.
command or from hospital while suffering from wounds, injuries, or disease, received or contracted in the line of duty, and upon recovery voluntarily returned to his command and served faithfully thereafter, or died from such wounds, injuries, or disease while so absent, and before the date of muster out of his command or expiration of his term of service, or was prevented from so returning by reason of such wounds, injuries, or diseases before such
muster out or expiration of service. Minors dis
Third. That such soldier was a minor, and was enlisted charged by order
without the consent of his parent or guardian, and was Mar 2, 1891, v. released or discharged from such service by the order or
decree of any State or United States court on habeas
time such soldier was not in the performance of military duty. Sec. 2, ibid. Act of March
2, 1891 (26 Stat. L., 824). Removal of 1244. The charge of desertion now standing on the rolls charge where soldier reenlisted. and records in the office of the Adjutant-General of the
Army' for the Record and Pension Office of the War Department]' gainst any regular or volunteer soldier who served in the late war of the rebellion by reason of his having enlisted in any regiment, troop, or company, or in
Sec. 2, ibid.
Mar. 2, 1889, S. 3, v. 25, p. 869.
May 9, 1892, v. 27, p. 27.
Act of May 9, 1892 (27 Stat. L., 27).