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233. To aid the preliminary Boards the following system of record of the examination is suggested.  Where many candidates are to be examined it becomes a matter of economy of time and ready reference to systematize the examination, and condense the history of each case:








C_ B_














Served 2 yr’s in the ranks

K_ G_














Has had no experience


















































234. In the foregoing record 3 is taken as the maximum in each class of qualification, and it may be seen at a glance what the candidates’ merits are.  The maximum would be given where there was perfection, 2.5 would be “very good,” 2 would be “good,” 1.5 would be “indifferent,” and 1 would be “very indifferent,” and 0 would be “entirely deficient.”

235. This system can be extended to the merest fraction, by keeping a record on the same plan of the answers to questions, giving from 3 to 0, according as the question is answered perfectly, more or less imperfectly, or not at all; then, adding up the result and dividing by the number of questions asked, would give the average of the candidate’s merits on the subject, which would be the result to go upon the examination record.

236. The qualifications, physical, moral, and mental, would determine his fitness to be admitted into service, whilst his merits as to education would determine his rank and the arm of service.  Under the heading of physical would be considered his health, constitution, age, and ability to endure the fatigues and exposures of service.  Moral, would relate to character and standing in society as regards honesty, integrity, and habits.  Mental, would include the natural control of the faculties without reference to training, whether quick of thought, accurate of expression, and facility to communicate his own ideas or comprehend the ideas of others.

237. Education would relate entirely to his training, and the examination should be confined to those things of which the candidate pretended or claimed a knowledge.  Some experience is necessary in conducting examinations to obtain satisfactory results.  The system does not answer all the requirements, as a candidate’s previous history is not always to be had, and the capacity to control men and the natural practicability that often makes amends for a defective education, is not visible on the surface, and not easily brought out except by experience.

238. A candidate’s merits should be estimated in some degree by the opportunities he has had; if they have been limited, and he yet shows a sufficient degree of qualifications, it is fair to presume that he will continue to use the opportunities for his future improvement, which is a more important merit than any other.  On the contrary, one who has had opportunities and has not used them in the past, is not likely to be more acquisitive in the future.  For example, a young man who has been several years in the army, and has not learned anything beyond his own personal routine, will, probably, not acquire anything in the future except what he is forced to do, or perform any duty with zeal.

239. In making up the proceedings of a Board of Examination, if no other method is specified, the same general form should be adopted that has already been given for other Boards.  A tabular statement might be incorporated or appended to the proceedings, giving the marks or figures according to the foregoing form of record.  The report should, however, state definitely by name whom they consider fit for officers, and whom they reject.

240. This duty of examination is an important one, and should be conscientiously performed.  Good officers are absolutely necessary.  There is very little difference between the men of which different armies are composed, the great difference is in the officers belonging to them.  With good officers any troops will fight well, with bad officers no troops are good enough to fight well.



241. THERE are other kinds of Boards authorized by law and Regulations all having the same general mode of procedure and record, but different objects, or duties before them.

242. Boards of Inspectors, to inspect disabled recruits, are authorized and required by Reg. 976.  The object of this Board is to prevent disabled men from entering the service and getting the benefits of soldiers disabled in service.

243. The Superintendent, or Commanding Officer, is required to cause an examination of recruits, and if any are found unfit for service, he must order a Board of Inspectors, composed of himself and the senior medical officer, and, if possible, three senior Regimental officers present. (Reg. 979.)

244. Should the Board reject the recruits, a special report, setting forth the reasons for rejection must be made by the Board.  These proceedings, together with the surgeon’s certificate of disability, will be forwarded by the superintendent, or Commanding Officer of the Post, to the Adjutant-General.

245. The important point for the Board to determine is, whether the disability, or other cause of rejection of a recruit, existed before his enlistment; and whether with proper care and examination it might not have been discovered.  This is necessary with a view to holding the recruiting officer and examining surgeon, responsible for neglects or fraud in enlistments. (Reg. 981.)

246. As in all other cases, the junior member makes up the proceedings under the direction of the Commanding Officer.  The surgeon makes out the certificate of disability on which is endorsed the clothing and prices thereof that has been issued to the recruit, and properly also all other issues as bounty and transportation, &c.  If the recommendation to discharge the recruit is approved, the certificate of disability is returned with the order for the discharge endorsed on it, to be filled up and signed by the Commanding Officer, who will return the same to the Adjutant General’s office. (Reg. 980.)

247. The Act of March 19th, 1862, sec. 2, provides for a Board, variously composed, according to the nature of the command, to fix the price at which sutlers shall sell their goods.  The provisions of this act are somewhat impracticable, and are not generally observed in the service.

248. Other Boards, for a variety of purposes, arising in the course of service, may be directed by military commanders.  Such Boards are usually instructed in orders what they are to do, and how they are to do it, especially if the duty is an unusual one.  In nearly all cases there is little difference in the general form of the reports of Military Boards.

249. The Commanding Officer would order a Board in any case where he is desirous of procuring reliable data upon matters that require his action, and which he, perhaps, may not have the time or experience to ascertain himself.  They are necessary to enable him to act intelligently.  In such cases the responsibility of action rests with the Commanding Officer, as no responsibility can attach to the Board, for the reason that it has no executive power.



250. A COUNCIL of Administration is a name for another Board of officers, authorized in certain specific cases.  There are three kinds of Councils of Administration, viz., Post, Regimental, and Company.

251. COMPANY COUNCIL.—A Company Council of Administration is ordered by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, and is composed of all the officers present with the company.  It is called once in two months, and whenever else he may think proper, to vote upon appropriations out of the Company Fund for the benefit of the enlisted men of the company. (Reg. 205.)

The duty of this council is to determine, how the Company Fund shall be expended, and each company officer has an equal vote as to what purpose the money shall be appropriated.  The money is disbursed by the Captain or Company Commander, as directed by the Council.  Should there be “a tie vote” in the council, the Commanding Officer of the Post or Regiment decides.

252. The Council is called together by an order of the Captain, and the proceedings are recorded in a book by the junior member, and signed by all the members.  A Council of the company officers is also called at the end of April, August, and December, to audit the Company Fund account, and also when another officer takes command of the company, and when the company leaves the Post.  On these occasions the Company Fund account is made up and submitted to the Council by the Commanding Officer of the company, who has the funds in charge; a duplicate accompanies the record, which is approved or disapproved by the Post or Regimental Commander, and then forwarded to the headquarters of the department.  The manner of making up the proceedings, and the form, is given in the “Company Clerk,” (Par. 181.)

253. POST AND REGIMENTAL COUNCIL.—Post and Regimental Councils differ only in name; the duties they perform are precisely the same; the former is called at a Post by the Commanding Officer to attend to duties pertaining to the Post; the latter is always called by the Commanding Officer of a Regiment to attend to Regimental matters. (Reg. 204.)

254. Like the Company Council it is ordered once in two months, the proceedings are recorded in a book by the junior member, and the book submitted to the Commanding Officer for his approval.  Reg. 193 specifies that the Council shall be composed of the three Regimental or Company officers next in rank to the Commanding Officer, if there be but two or one beside himself, then they constitute the council, and if no one but the Commanding Officer is present, then he shall act.  In a Regimental Council there would be no scarcity of officers ordinarily.

255. These proceedings are signed only by the president and recorder, and not all the members as in a Company Council. (Reg. 195.)  The proceedings are submitted to the Commanding Officer of the Post for his approval.  In case of disagreement between the Council and the Commanding Officer, the proceedings must be submitted to the next higher commander, whose decision shall be final.  The action of the Commanding Officer is attached to the proceedings in his own handwriting.  The result of the proceedings is announced in an order for the benefit of all concerned.  This order is also entered in the book, which is then deposited with the Commanding Officer. (Reg. 194.)

256. A Post or Regimental Council is called in the following cases viz.:

In relation to the Post or Regimental fund: To determine the appropriations to be made; to audit the treasurer’s account at the end of April, August, and December, and to inspect the account at other times when ordered, and furnish a record in the book of their proceedings; to determine the amounts due to each company from the unexpended balance of the fund, and the amount due a company when it is ordered away. (Reg. 198 to 203.)

257. In relation to Sutlers: To prescribe the kind and quantity of articles to be kept for sale to the troops; to regulate the prices at which they shall be sold, and see that their list of prices is posted in a conspicuous place; to inspect the sutler’s books, papers, invoices, weights, measures, etc.; to determine the tax that shall be imposed on him; to make temporary appointments of sutlers. (Regs. 196, 198, 213, 214.)

258. In relation to Chaplains: To make appointments of chaplain for the Post; to determine the rate of pay that shall be allowed him; to make the regulations for the post school to be kept by him. (Reg. 196, 209, and 210.)

To fix the rate of charges of laundresses. (Reg. 196.)

To administer on the effects of deceased soldiers. (Reg. 153.)

259. It is the custom to call the Council regularly at the end of the months when muster takes place at which meeting of the Council all the regular business is transacted.  The Council may be called at other times when necessary.  Every four months it is the duty of the Council to audit the post treasurer’s account, also at intermediate times when the treasurer is relieved. (Reg. 201.)

260. The treasurer makes up the account and submits it to the Council, who incorporate it in the proceedings.  The post treasurer is usually a Lieutenant (frequently the Adjutant), detailed to take charge of the funds and disburse them as directed by the Council.  He has charge of the bakery from which a large portion of the fund is derived.  The post garden may also be under his direction and in fact, nearly everything that constitutes a source of revenue to the fund is usually placed under his direction.

261. At each regular settlement of the post treasurer’s account, the unexpended balance of the fund is distributed to the companies, in the ratio of the present for the period during which the amount accrued.  The average is obtained from the number reported present every ten days, on what is usually called the “tri-monthly report.”  When a company leaves the post it is entitled to its share of the post fund up to the time of leaving, which may be determined at the next meeting of the Council, or the Council may be specially summoned to determine it.

262. A book is kept at each post, called “The Council of Administration Book,” in which all the proceedings are recorded and so kept as to enable each succeeding Council to understand what has been the action of previous Councils.  No particular form has been prescribed for this record, but the following is the usual manner in which it is kept:

263. Proceedings of a Council of Administration, convened at Fortress Monroe, Va., in obedience to the following order:


“April 30th, 1865.

“Special Orders

“No. 20.



“A Council of Administration, to consist of the three officers next in rank to the commanding officer will assemble at two o’clock P.M., or as soon thereafter as practicable, to audit the post treasurer’s account, and attend to such other business as may be brought before it.


“Detail for the Council.

“Lieut.-Col. J____ D____, _th U.S. Artillery

“Major L____ M____, _th U.S. Artillery.

“Capt. C____ B____, _th U.S. Artillery.

“By order of Col. J____ R____, _th U.S. Artillery.

            “P____ C____

                        “1st Lieut. _th Artillery, Post Adjutant.



April 3rd, 1865.


“The Council met pursuant to the foregoing order.



“Lieut.-Col. J____ D____, _th U.S. Artillery.

“Major L____ M____, _th U.S. Artillery.

“Capt. C____ B____, _th U.S. Artillery.


“The Council then proceeded to audit the post fund account in the hands of Lieut. K____ G____, _th U.S. Artillery.  The Council finds that there has accrued from various sources as follows:


“From savings of the bake house,  ............................................. $561.25

“Tax on sutler per previous settlements,....................................... $72.60

“Tax on sutler for January and February,...................................... $67.40

“Total,................................................................................... $701.25.74


“The average number of men present for the months of March and April being 420, there is due from the sutler for these months, at eight cents per man, for each month, $66.20.

“The expenses of the bake-house for the months of March and April are:


“Extra-duty pay of baker 61 days, 25 cts. per day,....................... $15.25

“8 pounds of hops, 50 cts. per pound,............................................. $4.00

“5 bushels of salt, 70 cts. per bushel,............................................. $3.50

“Total,.......................................................................................... $22.75


“There has been expended in the months of March and April per resolves of the last Council as follows:


“For the purchase of instruments and music for the band,............. $37.50

“Pay of an assistant to chaplain in the post school, for March and

“April, $10 per month,................................................................. $20.00

“For post library, books, periodicals, and newspapers, .............. $75.00

“Total,........................................................................................ $132.50


“Balance to be distributed among the companies is found to be $546, and divided as follows:


“Company “A,” 75 men,............................................................... $97.50

“Company “C,” 80 men,............................................................. $104.00

“Company “D,” 60 men,............................................................... $78.00

“Company “E,” 76 men,............................................................... $98.80

“Company “F,” 64 men,................................................................ $83.20

“Company “G,” 65 men,............................................................... $84.50


“The Council find the post treasurer’s account entirely correct; the expenditures incurred are in compliance with resolves of the Council, or pertaining to the current expenses of the bake-house, and all substantiated by proper receipts.

“The Council then proceeded to inspect the sutler’s accounts, Mr. ____ .  He has been authorized heretofore, to sell substantial articles at a profit of 25 per cent. on cost, and perishable goods at 50 per cent. on the cost price, which authority is hereby continued.

“An inspection of the list of prices, which was duly posted to public view in the store, and a comparison with the certified invoices of the goods last received show that the sutler has complied with the restriction heretofore placed upon his profits.  A minute inspection confirmed the fact that the assortment of goods kept for sale is in compliance with the action of former Councils, and requires no changes, either in kind or quality of the articles.  His weights and measures we find to be correct.

“The assistant of the chaplain, Private B____, Co. E, _th U.S. Infantry, on duty in the post school, is hereby continued at the same rate of pay per month ($10) as heretofore.

“The authority to charge one dollar per dozen pieces, as heretofore authorized, is hereby continued to laundresses.

“There being no further business before it, the Council adjourned.


                                    “J____ D____

                                                “Lieut.-Col. _th U.S. Artillery, President.

                                    “C____ B____

                                                “Capt. _th U.S. Artillery, Recorder.


            “J____ R____

                        “Col. _th U.S. Artillery,

                                    “Commanding Post.”

264. In the case of the effects of deceased soldiers that are not claimed by heirs or administrators, Regs. 153 and 154 seem to require only a certified statement for which the Adjutant General’s Department has furnished the following form:

“Proceedings of a Council of Administration, Convened at Fort Brown, Texas, pursuant to Orders No. 1, dated Post Headquarters, Fort Brown, Texas, January 2, 1864, consisting of Captain James Keith, Company C, 1st Pennsylvania Volunteers; Captain John Brown, Company D, 1st Pennsylvania Volunteers; and Lieut. William Roe, Company E, 1st Pennsylvania Volunteers—for the purpose of disposing of the effects of the late John Smith, of Company A, 1st Pennsylvania Volunteers:

“The Council found that the effects consisted of the following articles, which were ordered to be sold at auction, which was accordingly done, and the amount set opposite the articles respectively obtained, for which the receipt of the Paymaster is annexed:


“At Auction.

“1 shirt, brought,............................................................................. $1.00

“1 great coat,.................................................................................. $2.50

“1 silver watch,............................................................................ $25.00

“Total,.......................................................................................... $28.50


                                    “JAMES KEITH,

                                                “Capt. Co. C, 1st Penn. Vols., President.

                                    “WILLIAM ROE,

                                                “Lieut. Co. E, 1st Penn. Vols., Recorder.



            “JOHN SANDERS,

                        “Colonel 1st Penn. Vols., Commanding Post.”

265. The Company Commander would ordinarily be a member of the Council, and he would receive the proceeds and turn them over to a paymaster and obtain a receipt in the following form:

“Paymaster’s Receipt.


“Received from Captain John Brown, Company A, 1st Pennsylvania Volunteers at Fort Brown, Texas, January 10, 1864, twenty-eight dollars and fifty cents, the result of the sale of the effects of the late Private John Smith, of Company A, 1st Pennsylvania Volunteers.



            “Paymaster U.S. Army.”

266. Reg. 154 gives the form of endorsement to be made upon the statement.

267. In the cases where the Council appoints a chaplain or sutler, or takes any other action requiring the confirmation of higher authority than the Post or Regiment Commander, a copy of the proceedings is kept in the book, and the original is sent through the intermediate channels to the authority competent to act in the case.

268. Reg. 204 provides that the Regiment fund shall be disposed of in precisely the same way that a Post fund should be, and in making up the proceedings the word Regiment, or Regimental should be substituted for Post.  Custom, however, has created other Regimental funds, that must not be confounded with the revenue obtained from the bake house and sutler.  After the Regimental fund proper has been distributed to companies, it is often voted back by the Company Council to be used for some regimental purposes for the benefit of the men as a Regiment.

269. THE TREASURER of the Post or Regiment is usually the Adjutant, who is required at the end of April, August, and December to make up an account current with the Post or Regimental fund, in the manner shown in the form on the next page, one copy of which is entered in the Council of Administration Book, and the other is forwarded by the Commanding Officer to Department Headquarters. (Reg. 201.)


Lieut. P____ C____, _th U.S. Artillery, Post Treasurer, Fortress Monroe, Va., in Account Current with the Post Fund, during the months of January, February, March, and April, 1865.


From what source derived.




Now Expended.



Jan. 1

Balance on hand, last account, in Sutlers hands,



March 12


Hops and salt per bill,



March 12

Received tax on Sutler for Jan. and Feb.,



April 20


Baker, extra duty pay, 61 days, 25 cts. per day,



April 20

Received from sales of bread and flour from Jan. 12 to April 30,



April 20


Chaplin’s Assistant,



April 20

Due from the Sutler, tax for March and April,



April 20


Musical Instruments,




Total received



April 20


Books, papers, library per bill,




Total expended



April 20



Paid to companies A, C, D, E, F, and G,




Balance carried to next account















Total expended



I certify that the above account is correct and just,

                                             Lieut. P____ C____, _th U.S. Artillery, Post Treasurer.


               Apri 30th, 1865.

270. THE DEPOT FUND accrues at Posts or Depots where there are large numbers of soldiers, “casually at the post,” from the savings of the rations issued to these men.  It is precisely similar in its nature to the Company Fund, and should be expended for the benefit of the men who are at the post, but do not belong to any company or regimental organization stationed there.  It is accounted for separately, but by the same officer, and the same Council, and in the same way, but not so limited in the objects for which it may be appropriated, as the post fund.



271. LIEUTENANTS are selected to perform the staff duties of the Regiment in the capacities of Adjutant, Quartermaster, and Commissary.  Their duties to be given in detail are so extensive and important as to require a separate book.  Only a general outline of their duties will here be given.

272. ADJUTANT.—The Adjutant is the official organ of the Regimental Commander through whom he communicates with the subordinates in the Regiment.  He has charge of the books, records, and papers pertaining to the Regiment.  He superintends the machinery and workings of the Regiment.  He communicates the orders of the commander, and sees that they are obeyed, and that the regular returns and reports are made.  He keeps the roster of the officers, makes the details that are called for from the Regiment, and forms and marches on the guard at guard mounting.

He is required to keep the following books:

            Morning Report book.

            Descriptive book.

            Special Order book.

            General Order book.

            Letter book (of letters sent).

            Endorsement book.


            Index Book (of letters received).

The following returns and reports are required to be forwarded by him after their revision and signature by the Commanding Officer of the Regiment:


            Consolidated Morning Report.

Tri-monthly.—10th, 20th, and last day of the month, viz.:

            Tri-monthly Report of the Regiment.


            Monthly Return of the Regiment.

            Monthly Return of Recruiting.

Bi-monthly.—At the end of February, April, June, August, October, and December, viz.:

            Muster Roll of the Field, Staff, and Band.

            Report of Damaged Arms.

Quarterly.—At the end of March, June, September, and December, viz.:

            Return of Deceased Soldiers.

Quarto-monthly.—At the end of April, August, and December, viz.:

            Account of the Regimental Fund.

Annually.—End of December, viz.:

            Annual Return of Casualties.

            Report of Name and record of Firing of Regimental Prizeman.

273. In addition to the foregoing regular reports and returns, the Adjutant is required to make all the reports and returns, and keep books similar to a Company Commander in case he has a band to take care of and provide for. (Reg. 81.)  He must also be familiar with, and understand the orders, regulations, and laws relative to clothing, rations, and pay for troops and forage for public animals, and the regular and authorized supplies of all kinds for troops.  This involves a knowledge of the forms, object, and time of making, and the destination of the following papers, viz.:

Requisitions for forage, fuel, stationery, straw, and for every kind of property: as arms, accoutrements, ammunition, clothing, camp, and garrison equipage, quartermaster’s property, and all other property that may be authorized to be issued to troops.

Provision returns.

He should have a sufficient knowledge to be able to revise and determine the correctness and disposition of the following company papers as they are received, viz.:

Certificate of disability.

Final statements of soldier’s accounts of pay and clothing.


Description rolls.

Leaves of absence, furloughs, passes, sick furloughs, etc.

Affidavits, certificates, etc.

Inventories of deceased soldiers.

Proceedings of Councils of Administration.

Inventories and inspection reports of public property.

Inventories of public property, and applications for Boards of Survey.

Complaints of soldiers, applications for transfer,

Reports of target practice.

Guard report.

Charges and specifications.

And all letters, correspondence, and reports that are usually sent up from the officers and men of a Regiment in relation to their duties.

274. He should be well informed in the etiquette of service, both in the official and social relations of officers, as many questions in relation thereto will be referred to him.  He should himself bear in mind that he only signs those communications from the Commanding Officer of the Post to his subordinates; and the Commanding Officer must himself sign all communications that require to be sent up to his superiors (Reg. 451).  Art. XXXIV. Reg. requires his special attention and study.

The Adjutant has no right to give an order in the name of his commander in a special and peculiar case.  But in all cases involving a general principle, in which the Adjutant can readily understand what will be the commander’s decision in the case, from decisions already made, or from the nature of the case, he can with perfect propriety assume to give orders in the name of his commander.  He should, however, feel perfectly sure that he will be sustained by his commander.

275. At a Post the Adjutant may exercise a great influence over the comfort and happiness of the command.  In the social relations between officers and their families he can so arrange the duties and pleasures of the Post, as materially to affect all.  He has control of the Band, and the administration of the services of this adjunct of the Regiment or Post will add materially to the comfort and pleasure of officers and men.

276. The Adjutant may, with perfect propriety, constitute himself manager to a greater or less extent, of every affair that requires the co-operation of the various members of the command.  Some one must assume to direct and take responsibility in the matter, and the habit of looking to the Adjutant in all official matters, makes him also the natural director of most matters of a social or convivial character.  A suitableness in all these respects will conduce greatly to the reputation and advancement of the officer, and aid materially in harmonizing a command and preserving friendship among its members.

277. As Post Adjutant there is, in the general principles, no difference in the duties; the word Post takes the place of Regimental in the title of headquarters, and all the reports and returns and papers usually required.  The annexed tabular statements show the papers required from Post and Regimental Headquarters, and their difference in title.  The Commander is responsible for the correctness of the books and papers, although the work devolves upon the Adjutant.

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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2006.

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