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REPORT FOR 1899.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, D. C., November 29, 1899. . To the PRESIDENT:
I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of this Department for the past year:
On the 29th .of November, 1898, the date of the last annual report, the Army of the United States consisted of 2,324 officers and 61,444 enlisted men of the regular force and of 5,216 officers and 110,202 enlisted men of the volunteer force, making an aggregate of 7,540 officers and 171,646 enlisted men.
The signing of the protocol between the United States and Spain on the 12th of August, 1898, had suspended hostilities between the two nations, and the signing of the treaty of peace at Paris on the 10th of December, 1898, followed by its ratification on the part of the United States February 6, 1899, and on the part of Spain March 19, 1899, brought into operation the provisions of the acts of April 22 and April 26, 1898, which required that at the end of the war the entire volunteer force should be discharged from the service, and the Regular Army should be reduced to a peace basis, thus making necessary the discharge of 34,834 regulars and 110,202 volunteers, besides substantially all the 5,216 volunteer officers.
These provisions have been complied with, and a large part of the labor of the year has consisted of the transportation and mustering out of these forces, with the examinations and accountings incident thereto.
The act of March 2, 1899, passed in view of the insurrection among the Tagalogs on the island of Luzon, gave authority to again increase the Regular Army to a strength not exceeding 65,000 enlisted men, and to raise a force of
not more than 35,000 volunteers, to be recruited from the country at large. This authority has been exercised, and the Regular Army has been increased to the number of 61,999 enlisted men and 2,248 officers, making a total of 64,247, and a new volunteer force has been raised from the country at large numbering 33,050 enlisted men and 1,524 officers, making an aggregate of 34,574.
The men thus enlisted, both for the regular and volunteer forces, were carefully selected from a greater number of applicants, a majority of whom were rejected. As the volunteer forces were designed for immediate employment in the field, rapid organization and training were necessary. The field officers were accordingly in the main selected from officers of the Regular Army. The line officers were taken from the officers who had served in the war with Spain, apportioned as nearly as practicable among the several States, and selected on the basis of the efficiency which they had displayed during their former service.
As to two of the volunteer regiments, the Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth, the enlisted men and most of the line officers are colored. A large part of these line officers were taken from the most efficient noncommissioned officers serving in the colored regiments of the Regular Army, on the recommendations of the colonels commanding those regiments.
One battalion of 400 men has been organized in Porto Rico, composed of native Porto Ricans. The reports of their conduct and discipline are satisfactory.
The Regular Army is now distributed as follows: