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pany quartermaster-sergeant, upon whose statement, he said, he had based his complaint. This sergeant admitted that he could have drawn the full staple ration at any time after August 19, but complained of the lack of fresh onions and potatoes. As a matter of fact, some of the vegetable ration was carried and issued en route, the country, however, furnished such a bountiful supply of vegetables, eggplant, green corn, sweet potatoes, beans, lettuce, etc., that the vegetables brought on the trains were transferred to the junks and extra staple components taken in their place.
Capt. William Crozier, Ordnance Department, in his observations on the Pekin relief expedition, published in the North American Review for February, 1901, said:
To begin with the Subsistence Department, it is borne in upon the campaigner that the eatables and drinkables, if not the most important, are at least the most continuously insistent of the indispensables. Of these there was an ample supply at Tientsin from the time of the arrival there of the first American troops, and they included not only the ordinary components of the ration, but most of the delicacies classed as fancy groceries. Ginger ale and bottled waters were in abundance and plenty was the order of the day. The food of our soldiers exceeded in quantity, quality, and variety that of any of the allied forces, as was the comment of all foreign officers under whose notice it fell. When the march to Pekin was taken up, however, the fare was less generous. All supplies directly accompanying the troops had to be carried in wagons or on pack mules, and of these means of transportation the command was very short, having sufficient only for carrying three days’ rations and 100 rounds of reserve ammunition per man; but, in common with the other contingents, we had a reserve supply of rations and ammunition following upon junks by the Peiho, of which the course was in the general direction of the march as far as Tung Chow, within 13 miles of Pekin. Such luxuries as tents, however, were out of the question, officers and men sleeping in the open air and taking the rain as it came.
The ration thus carried was reduced to about 3 pounds per man, the full ration in bulk with its packing cases weighing about 5 pounds per man, and comprised the staples: Bacon, hard bread, sugar, coffee, rice, beans, and condiments. Even so, it was better than was carried for the troops of any other nation. The Japanese had only rice and dried fish, the Indian troops mainly rice, the others a variety and quantity approaching but not equaling those of the Americans.
* I have neither heard nor read any criticism of the operations of the Subsistence Department other than as these were affected by lack of transportation, which suggests inquiry as to the character and quantity of the latter. *
Within three days after the arrival at Pekin fancy groceries and bottled waters began to make their appearance in the American commissary, and within a week there was abundance of these for all.
The following extracts from a report made in pursuance of A. R. 56, by Capt. Thomas Franklin, A. C. S., U. S. V., dated at Manila, January 30, 1901, give the results of his observations in China:
As there is no doubt in my mind that the American soldier was the best fighting man of all the allies, I shall only draw comparisons from which we can benefit, I believe, between his needs and supplies and those of his quondam friends.
In the first place he required more and better food than they, and he got it. This fact astonished the European troops above all else. A British_officer said to me: "How often do you give your men this excellent bacon?" "Twenty-one times a week, if they want it," said I, and he did not believe me But while our food and other supplies were infinitely more generous in quantity and quality than that of the others, it was not packed with the same scrupulous care for safe carriage and quick handling. In this particular the Japanese and British were without rivals. As a rule our subsistence stores were very well packed in strong cases of moderate weight and volume. Sacks were all double-sacked and were quite strong.
Reverting once more to the food question, in my mind there were none who had as excellent or abundant a supply as the Americans. The Japs had rice, bread, and dried fish, and tea, which they supplemented by the use of the sheep and cattle the country produced. They also had American canned meats, but they were not used with impunity-seemed to be more of the nature of a special or emergency article of their diet.
The British white troops had a ration similar to ours in quality and quantity, but not so varied or flexible. They used tea instead of coffee. The British Indian troops had about three-fourths pound atta or flour, about 1 pound rice, 1 gill ghee or vegetable oil, salt, and once a week a pound of fresh meat, bone and all.
The Sikhs only used mutton or goat, but the Mohammedans ate everything except pork.
The Russians had little besides a black bread and soup. They were given onefourth pound cans of some kind of meat preparation at intervals, much in the same manner as the Japs used American meats. They had the finest cooking arrangement, though, of any. Upon a springless carriage was mounted an iron furnace under a semispherical boiler, water-jacketed. The boiler was fitted with a tightfitting cover, and the whole was very strongly and compactly built. Into this they put all the materials for a soup or stew that they possessed, and nothing came amiss, screwed down the cover, lit the fire, and away went this perambulating soup tureen with its company. When they made camp, all they had to do was "stack arms” and then march past the soup machine, the cook opening a faucet, and each man received his ration of hot, well-cooked, thick soup. The assistant cook in the meantime, was chopping up a loaf of black bread with an ax, and each man got a liberal chunk. I tasted this bread several times, and it did not improve upon acquaintance. It seemed to have been made of equal parts of bran, sand, sawdust, and was sour besides. This was an ideal and an economical way to prepare soldiers' food; but I am afraid soup, three times a day, is too much of a steady diet for the American to adopt. The Russians thrived on this, for they looked hearty and strong.
Altogether, the American force was better fed, both in quantity and quality of the ration, better clothed, and for the winter especially so, and had the best transportation, newspaper correspondents to the contrary notwithstanding.
Capt. James H. Reeves, Fourteenth Cavalry, military attaché to the United States legation at Pekin, China, in his report to the AdjutantGeneral of June 7, 1901, says:
Of the ration and sales stores furnished by the Commissary Department, there is nothing but praise heard from all sides.
In certain shipments of stores, a few staple articles sometimes ran short, due to carelessness on somebody's part, and this caused some little complaining. For several weeks no lard could be obtained from the commissary, and as none could be purchased in the city, some inconvenience resulted. On one or two occasions flour ran out for a short time, and shortages of other minor articles were noticed; but generally speaking, the quantity, quality, and variety of articles furnished attracted the envious attention of all European armies. So far as it has been possible to learn, the commissary of no other nation attempted to furnish more than the components of the ration, and, in the case of the French, this appeared to consist largely of cheap wine. The proximity of the home base of the Japanese army permitted its being plentifully supplied; and from the amount of supplies sent over it would not appear that the Japanese soldier's wants are appreciably less than those of other nations.
On March 28, 1901, Maj. H. J. Gallagher, chief commissary of the China relief expedition, made a report, in compliance with the request of this office, upon the subsistence furnished to the troops of the allied forces by their respective Governments. His report upon this subject is printed as Appendix V of this annual report.
On August 16, 1901, he submitted a report upon the operations of the Subsistence Department in the China relief expedition, as follows:
San FRANCISCO, CAL., August 16, 1901. COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF SUBSISTENCE, U. S. A.,
Washington, D. C. Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Commissary Department in connection with the China relief expedition:
On arriving at Tongku, China, August 21, 1900, it was found that the allied forces had entered Pekin and relieved the besieged legations. About one-half of the United States forces were at Pekin, the other one-half at Tientsin, excepting a small detachment at Tongku. The number of troops present at this time, including marines, approximated 5,000.
Rations and sales stores had been unloaded at Tongku, where they were piled in considerable confusion. A reliable commissary.sergeant and competent assistants were at once placed there. Later, upon application, Lieut. W. S. McNair, of the artillery, was detailed to assist me.
He was sent to Tongku. Under his management, and later that of Captain Bean, system and better care of stores prevailed.
Sending forward stores from Tongku to Tientsin, thence to Pekin, occupied attention until the beginning of November, when all supplies necessary to maintain the force there for six months, under any possible emergency, had been sent forward, and the troops remaining at Tientsin had also been provided for.
About this time I was ordered to Pekin, arriving there November 17. Thereafter there was little to be done outside the ordinary routine of post commissary duty.
The supplying of fresh meat during the early stages of the trouble was done from a refrigerating ship in the harbor off Tongku; later, when confidence was restored, the Chinese brought in for sale beef cattle and sheep of first-rate quality. During the active work of the campaign the troops were on one or two occasions short portions of the ration, due to lack of transportation, but at all other times during their stay in China they had the ration complete and of as good quality as could be had at home. Fresh bread was supplied at Pekin from excellent brick ovens that were constructed under the direction of Capt. F. DeWitt Ramsay, of the Ninth Infantry, whose work while acting as chief commissary before my arrival merited and received high praise from officers serving with him. Sales stores were plentiful in quantity and variety. The enlisted men and members of the American legation were permitted to purchase freely. Beef cattle and sheep were slaughtered daily.
The number of troops was gradually diminished, about 2,000 being left to winter in China.
The following facts regarding the resources and climate of the Tongku-TientsinPekin district of China should be noted, as they would prove useful in case of future expeditions:
RESOURCES FOR SUBSISTENCE.
Under normal conditions, beef, mutton, tea, rice, sugar, black beans (Chinese variety), candles, pepper, salt, potatoes, corn meal, chickens, and eggs can be purchased at Pekin and I'ientsin. At Tientsin also can be purchased quite a number of the articles on the sales list, viz, tobacco, cigars, toilet soaps, towels, aerated waters, and sauces. Fresh fruit is quite abundant.. (The cost of the above-named articles is in some cases more, in other cases less, than in the United States. The average would be about the same.)
In time of trouble troops should have with them rations and necessary sales articles to last until quiet is restored or until a new supply could be provided. No difficulty was found in procuring coolie labor; it is cheap and excellent.
The following articles of the ration can not be obtained in this part of China to good advantage: Flour, bacon, coffee, and soap. A good quality of wheat is grown, but the milling is primitive. Corn and millet are plentiful, and corn meal is much used as an article of food by the Chinese coolie classes. Water is obtained from wells, rivers, and canals, and is quite plentiful. The well water is not bad. The river and canal water is bad for man, but our animals suffered no evil effects from it. Our officers depended upon aerated waters furnished by the Subsistence Department, most of which, of very good quality, was procured from Japan.
On my return to the United States from Manila I paid a visit to Hongkong, Macao, and Shanghai, China; Nagasaki and Kyoto, Japan, and at each place made inquiries that I thought might be useful to the Subsistence Department.
Hongkong has no local supply of fresh meat, beef cattle and mutton being shipped in from the north. The supply of other articles does not exceed the ordinary demand, excepting those articles that the country produces, such as rice, tea, and beans. There are several large American and English firms that could supply with sufficient notice anything an army might require.
Shanghai is a large commercial center, but here the supply of such articles as flour, bacon, and coffee depends upon the demand, and an unusual demand would send prices up and clear the market. There are enterprising firms with great resources in ships and money. There is a small local supply of beef cattle, but most of the supply in both beef and mutton is drawn from the north, and, if time is given, the Chinese dealers can procure plenty of both. From my experience I should say that it would not be safe for an army to land anywhere in China without a two-months' supply of breadstuffs, coffee, cured meat, and a one-month's supply of tinned meat, sugar, beans, and other articles of the ration.
Freezing weather beging about November 1 and ends about March 15. The coldest day in Pekin last winter was 2° F.; the average temperature about 20° F. during the period mentioned. There is no rain from October 1 until May 1. The summer is
about of the same temperature as that of the Middle States. During the months of March and April winds prevail, and the accumulated dust of winter Aies in clouds. All in all the climatic conditions are most favorable, and, excepting during the duststorms, out-of-door life is enjoyable. The Peiho River freezes over about November 15 and remains frozen over until about March 15. This is not a matter of so much importance, now that a railroad is in operation from Tongku to Pekin, as it was before the advent of the railroad and all freighting was done by boat.
TRANSPORTATION. When the allies reached China the railroad had been destroyed by the revolutionists, and recourse to river transportation was necessary. From Tongku to Tientsin boats drawing 7 feet could pass.
At Tientsin all freight had to be transferred to boats drawing not more than 24 feet. It usually took a steam tug and lighter to make the 38 miles from Tongku to Tientsin about twelve hours. The distance from Tientsin to Tungchow is about 95 miles and usually took 5 days, the boats being hauled by coolies who walked along the bank, the rope being fastened to the top of the mast. At nighttime the boats were usually tied up.
From Tungchow to Pekir. is 13 miles, over a rather rough wagon road. An escort wagon could make the trip in four hours. The country from Tongku to Pekin is level; no obstruction to travel would be encountered, excepting canals, which are quite numerous, A detachment of engineers with small pontoon outfit should go with troops. Average width of canals about 50 feet.
I wish to mention the names of the following officers, enlisted men, and civilian employees, who rendered excellent and faithful service in the Subsistence Department: Capt. W. H. Bean, whose presence at Tongku, though of short duration, was of great assistance to me; Lieut. W. S. McNair, of the Artillery, who is a most capable officer in any position; commissary sergt. Stephen F. Burgoyne; civilian clerk Philip P. Paschel.
I regret that upon the breaking up of the China relief expedition a surplus of both sales stores and rations was found to exist. In explanation I would like to state that this was due to lack of reliable knowledge as to the resources of China, and uncertainty, to the very last, as to the number of troops to winter in China; a necessity to provide against any possible emergency, as prolonged field service or possible siege, and to the fact that a shipload of subsistence stores was discharged at Tongku without a scrap of paper being left, as far as I know, showing the quantity and kind of stores put ashore. These stores were intended for Manila, but were unloaded at Tongku without good and sufficient reason. It was impossible for a long time to ascertain by accurate inventory the quantity of various articles in China, they being at Pekin, Tungchow, Tientsin, and Tongku, and on the Peiho River in junks en route to these various places.
I spent ten days in Japar, and from all inquiries made I judge Japan is practically barren of supplies fit for European or American troops, excepting for rice and tea. The supply of native fresh meat is very small, also breadstuffs. The resources are much more limited than those of China.
Hugh J. GALLAGHER,
Captain, Commissary. Concerning the confusion at Tongku and Tientsin which occurred in the receipt, storage, issue of and accountability for the subsistence stores sent in bulk to those places as distribution points for the troops operating in the relief expedition, Major Gallagher, in a certificate submitted to a board of survey convened at Pekin on December 20, 1900, to “investigate discrepancies found to exist between subsistence stores invoiced and received, and to examine into, report upon, and fix the responsibility for the loss and deterioration of certain subsistence stores” for which he was responsible, says as follows:
I arrived in China August 21, 1900, and upon landing at Tongku found quantities of subsistence stores on the wharves. These stores were parts of several shipments which had been hastily unloaded and mixed together in great confusion. Many of the cases were in bad condition. I proceeded to Tientsin the same day, and found the stores at that point in like condition. Storage room was insufficient, and stores
were stacked on the river front or stowed on lighters in the stream. First Lieut. F. M. Savage, Fourteenth Infantry, was in temporary charge of the depot, but had not assumed responsibility for the property. Shipments had been made to the troops advancing to the interior, but had not been invoiced, lists of the amounts forwarded being the only record kept.
At this time the main body of the command was at Pekin, with detachments posted at various points between that place and Tientsin. I found that the troops at the front were insufficiently supplied with rations, and that any attempt at verification or formal transfer at that time would cause serious delay and further deprivation. Under these circumstances I assumed responsibility, and immediately began forwarding stores, nine junkloads leaving the day after my arrival, and from that time on the troops were kept fully supplied.
Only one subcommissary, that at Pekin, had been established up to this time, and it was necessary to supply the detachments along the river and en route from Tongku to Matao (a distance of 120 miles) direct from the Tientsin depot. Shipments were made by junks and lighters. In many instances the stores were reported short upon arrival at destination, or that some of the perishable components, such as dried fruit, potatoes, onions, etc., had been lost by deterioration. In all such cases the loss was promptly made good, although the evidence necessary to cover such loss was not always supplied, nor under the circumstances was it practicable that it could be. The troops had passed through a severe campaign, and it was imperative that the full ration should be issued them.
Action was taken to prevent loss in transit. Guards were placed on each boat and lists of contents furnished those in charge, for which they were held responsible. Under this system losses, which at the start formed a large percentage of the total shipment, were reduced to the minimum by the middle of September.
The work of straightening the accounts and property was commenced when I assumed charge, but was necessarily made secondary to the problem of supplying the troops. On August 22 a commissary-sergeant and civilian employee were detached to take charge of and secure the stores at Tongku. Those at Tientsin were housed as rapidly as space would permit. All stores, whether covered by invoice or not, were taken up and accounted for.
Upon final balance of my papers I find the following discrepancies, viz: Excess (valued at $20,988.46], all of which has been accounted for to the Government; and shortage [valued at $9,139.43].
In view of the above it is evident that, while there were losses in transportation and by deterioration, the discrepancies are mainly due to errors in invoices and shipments which, owing to the manner in which the stores were received, it is now impossible to trace or determine; and further, that such errors were unavoidable, and incident to the supply of troops in active campaign.
Attention is invited to the fact that the money value of the excess is $20,988.46, while that of the shortage amounts to $9,139.43.' Items such as a shortage of 18,000 pounds of coffee can not be attributable to any other cause than mistake in shipment. In a similar way must the excess of 8,015 pounds of maccaroni be attributed to a like error. Other parallel cases will be easily noted. These facts lead to the inevitable belief that in the haste attendant upon the earlier movement of troops from Manila to Taku, mistakes occurred that it is simply impossible to rectify now.
Lieut. F. M. Savage, Fourteenth Infantry, certified as to the shortages of subsistence stores in depot at Tientsin, as follows:
A great many boxes of stores, both sales and issue, have arrived at the storerooms with from two or three packages to two-thirds of the whole contents gone. It has been impossible to check off any one invoice. The stores shipped on different vessels were invoiced separately, but as they were unloaded from different vessels at the same time it was impossible to tell which vessel any stores came from. All stores coming in were checked, but it is impossible to say which vessel the stores short were lost from. I was present during part of the time the stores were loaded on the Indiang and Flintshire at Manila, and saw the reckless way the stores were handled. This was due to the fact that they were handled by soldiers who were not experienced hands at such work, and very often boxes would fall from the slings and be broken open. Before arriving at the storehouse here all the stores were handled from four to eight times, and a great deal of the shortage naturally occurred from this. Owing to the small amount of transportation here, stores had to be left at the railroad depot here for several days. There was not enough help in the country to leave a man with stores when they were left. A guard was kept, but I am quite sure that stores in small quantities were taken from them. All the care possible was taken of stores received, and no stores lost after being received at the depot.