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427. The non-commissioned officers direct the men of their section in their duties, and the officer exercises a general superintendence.  Usually the horses are led out of the stables and tied to a picket line, and whilst they are being groomed, the stable police clean out the stalls, and put the forage into the feed boxes.  Each non-commissioned officer in charge of a squad reports to the officer when his horses have been sufficiently groomed, and when they have all reported, the men are required to “stand to horse,” and the officer inspects each squad or section in detail.

428. The non-commissioned officers should be required to groom their own horses.  The First Sergeant, immediately after grooming his horse, goes to his quarters to prepare the morning report and sick-roll.  The extra horses are groomed by the men of the sections or squads to which the horses belong.  The stable police and Quartermaster Sergeant groom their horses after the company is marched back.  The stable, horses, and forage, are under the immediate charge of the Quartermaster Sergeant; he directs the stable police in the cleaning of the stables; superintends the issuing of the forage, and keeps watch of the condition, health, and comfort of the horses.

429. An established system is necessary in the care of the stables, and the property pertaining thereto, over which the Quartermaster Sergeant exercises general supervision.  Each soldier should be required to have always on hand his horse-brush, curry-comb, and cloth for cleaning the horses, and in the field his nose-bag and lariat-rope for feeding purposes.  The equipments of each horse are placed on pegs in the posts or wails, immediately opposite the horse’s stall, or else in the part of the stall on the near side of the horse.  The saddle is placed on the peg; the girth, crupper, breast-strap, and surcingle, placed on the saddle, and the stirrups crossed over, and the blanket placed on the top of all, folded up.  The bridle is hung underneath the saddle on a separate peg.

430. In the field, or on campaign, the stables are in the open air, being a simple picket-line stretched on posts.  The horses should be fed in the nose-bags; the forage is issued by the Quartermaster Sergeant to each man in his nose-bag, and he must feed his horse, and should be required to remain by him until he has eaten his feed, to prevent him from wasting it.  The lariat-rope is used to enable the horse to graze, when grazing is to be had, by driving the iron pin in the ground to hold the horse.  The rope is also used to tie up the hay or grass, when the men are obliged to bring it some distance.  Stable call sounds again in the afternoon before retreat, when the same duties are gone through with as in the morning.

431. When the men’s quarters are separated some distance, the police call may be sounded after stable call, to clean up quarters, otherwise the two calls are sounded at the same hour, and stable and quarters are put in order, all at the same time.  After the quarters are put in order, they should be inspected by an officer, to see that the bunks are in order, the floor swept, and accoutrements in their proper place, when the men are in quarters, and when in camp that the company grounds are clean, and the tents or huts are in proper order.

432. Each company of Artillery and Cavalry has its own stable guard, and the non-commissioned officers and men are detailed and credited on this duty on a separate roster. (Reg. 562.)  The guard usually consists of one non-commissioned officer and three privates.  The Sergeants and Corporals alternate on this duty.  The guard gets its orders through the Quartermaster Sergeant, who has general control of the stable.  The same detail usually goes on stable police the day following its relief from guard.  It is the duty of the guard to see that none of the horses get away, and that none of them are injured in the stable, and to watch against fire, or any other accident.

433. Surgeon’s Call, or Sick Call, sounds usually early in the morning before breakfast call, in order that the surgeon may ascertain who is sick, and who is to be excused from duty, and to enable the First Sergeants to prepare their morning reports, and have them in the Adjutant’s office by nine o’clock in the morning.  Men who are sick and desire medicine give their names to the First Sergeant, and when the Surgeon’s Call sounds, they fall in and are marched to the hospital by a non-commissioned officer, who has the sick-book, and who brings it back to the First Sergeant, in order that he may know who has been put in hospital, or excused from duty, before he makes up his morning report.

434. Breakfast Call, in quarters, sounds usually about seven o’clock, when the company is paraded, and the roll called, and then marched to the mess-room.  In quarters this is easy enough, but the cooking is a much more difficult question in camp, and on the march, and is greatly influenced by the arm of service, and the means of transportation.  Whenever two or three cooks can do all the cooking for the company, it should be done, as it is more economical, both in time and labor, and when more messes are necessary, the fewer the better.

435. Guard Mounting succeeds breakfast, and then the first call sounds, the detail is formed and inspected by the First Sergeant.  This detail is usually notified the evening previous, at retreat parade.  After inspection it is marched to the ground where the guard is usually formed, either by the First Sergeant, or a non-commissioned officer. (Par. 36.)

436. Water Call in the Cavalry or Artillery sounds at some convenient hour in the morning, after the horses have been fed.  The horses are led out, and the entire company is conducted to water and back by a commissioned officer, if possible, in good order, and at a walk.  Fast riding, either to or from water, should be severely punished.  In the long days of summer it is advisable to water immediately after reveille, and before stable call; again about eleven o’clock; and again just previous to stable call in the evening.

437. First Sergeants’ Call should sound regularly once a day, about eleven or twelve o’clock, at which hour the First Sergeants repair to the Adjutant’s office and have the morning-report books returned to them, and receive the details for guard and such other orders as there may be for the different companies.  This call may sound at any time that it is deemed necessary, and is usually the speediest way of communicating with the companies.  The orders thus given to the First Sergeants, if of any importance, should at once be communicated by them to their respective Company Commanders, for their information.  This mode of transmitting orders has in all minor matters been adopted as official. (Reg. 443.)

438. In matters not of every day occurrence, and particularly if important, the order should be given direct to the Company Commander, and it is the Company Commander’s right to have it so.  Post and Regimental Commanders should avoid giving orders direct to the subordinates of a Company Commander, without notifying the latter at the same time.

439. Drill Call is sounded at such hours as may be designated by the Commander of the Company, or other higher authority, and should at least take place twice a day, where there is no good reason for dispensing with drills.  There is a time when drills cease to be instructive, and the men should be made to understand the necessity of keeping them up for exercise, and to preserve the company in marching order.  Favoritism in excusing men from drills should be avoided, as it leads to disaffection; and it is particularly objectionable when it is done in violation of existing orders from higher authority.

440. Dinner Call sounds usually from twelve to one o’clock, and supper just before or just after Retreat.  The same remarks apply to those meals that have been made about breakfast.  The calling of the roll may or may not be dispensed with; in parading the company to be marched to meals, the absentees are not necessarily required to account for their absence, as at the stated roll calls, Reveille, Retreat and Tattoo, although the absentees should be known, particularly those who are absent on duty, and where meals must be kept for them, and it is often convenient to ascertain by a roll call the names of those men for whom the meals must be saved.

441. Retreat Roll Call takes place about sunset the year round.  It may precede the evening parade; but whilst the parade is often dispensed with, the Retreat Roll Call never should be.  The orders are usually published at Retreat, either at parade or after roll call, when the parade is dispensed with.  It is the Captain’s duty to have all orders published to his company, particularly if the Adjutant is prevented from publishing them on parade from some unavoidable cause.

442. In quarters, the daily inspection of arms usually takes place at Retreat; but in campaign, and on the march, the men should be required to fall in with their arms, both at Reveille and Tattoo.  When there is a parade, at Retreat, or at any other time, after the roll is called, the Captain causes the ranks to be opened, and then makes a rapid inspection, to see that the arms and accoutrements are in order, that the men’s clothes are clean, and shoes blacked.

443. Tattoo Roll Call takes place from nine to half-past nine, usually.  It is one of the established roll calls at which all must be present, that are not properly excused.  In quarters the men are not required to fall in with their arms, but on the march, and in campaign, the men should always be required to fall in at Tattoo, and at Reveille, with their arms.

444. Taps are sounded a quarter of an hour after Tattoo, at which time all the lights must be extinguished, and quiet preserved throughout the garrison or camp.  This is a wholesome custom, and should be rigidly enforced.

445. Sunday Morning Inspection is required by Regulations, every Sunday morning, and is generally enforced throughout the Army. (Reg. 304.)  At this inspection, the arms, clothing, bunks, and quarters, are minutely inspected.  The Company Commander should make this inspection, and do it scrupulously.  The form of the inspection is prescribed in Reg., Art. XXX, for a Regiment or Battalion, and can easily be modified for a Company.  It is intended for the Infantry, but the same general principles are applied to Cavalry and Artillery.

446. When Artillery and Cavalry are dismounted, the inspection is conducted in precisely the same way as in the Infantry.  The Battery is always inspected “in Line,” or “in Battery.” Cavalry, when mounted, cannot be minutely inspected.  A superficial inspection may be made on horseback, and for a more rigid inspection, the company may be dismounted.  In the field the inspection should be principally to ascertain that the soldier is ever ready for immediate service.

447. The hours of duty affecting the daily routine are designated by the Commanding Officer of the Post or Regiment, in orders; he is himself required to inspect his command monthly, and to have it mustered every two months.  An indifferent and meddling Commanding Officer of the Post or Regiment, may prove a great annoyance to a Company Commander, but in such a case the latter should apply himself anew to a comprehension of his duties to protect himself against error and injustice.

448. One great secret of becoming a good Company Commander is to stay with the company, and be always present to attend to any matter that may need attention.  An officer who is not at his post, but always visiting or pursuing his own pleasure, will not only incur the ill-will and disrespect of his men, but his affairs will fall behind, his property will be lost, or unaccounted for, and the men become negligent and insubordinate.

449. An important responsibility resting with the Captain is always to know where his men are.  This involves keeping them together, and requiring them to procure the proper permission to absent themselves.  This becomes of the utmost importance in times of danger, and in the presence of the enemy.  If the men know that they will be held rigidly responsible in proportion to the importance of their absence, they will be very careful how they are found with the stragglers and laggards of the Army.

450. This matter, which is the great bane of the Army, is principally within the control of the Captains.  They, better than all others, know their men, and have the power to make them do their duty.  The commander should instruct the men that when danger is nigh, they must remain with and follow their officers, and their absence will be rigidly investigated, and if in the least doubtful in its nature, severely punished.  The rolls should be frequently called, and absentees noted, at such times.  The men should be taught that it is more dangerous to be absent from, than present with, the company.

451. Of course a prerequisite in the officer is courage; he must show that he will shrink from no duty that is rightfully imposed upon him.  He has a hard task before him, if he has not gained the confidence of his men in this respect.  The officer must seek to impress his men that he will ask nothing of them that he would not be willing to do himself, under similar circumstances.

452. When on the march the practice of the commander should be to march in rear of his company, in order that he may see every man that falls out, this will prevent straggling to a very great extent.  In camp the frequent roll calls, and the care with which they are made, are the means of preventing absence; provided, unauthorized absence is always attended with a merited penalty.  Offenses are always found to depend, in their frequency, on the degree of certainty with which their commission is attended with punishment.  If an offender was never permitted to escape, there would be a great reduction in crime.

453. The Captain may attain a great governing influence by his personal attention to their private affairs, whenever solicited by the men.  He, of course, is presumed to be a man of greater experience, education, and information, and his aid and counsel, conscientiously given, will always be appreciated by the men.  But he should avoid being meddlesome in this respect.  The soldier’s private affairs may be as sacred to himself as those of persons in higher position, and no officer has a right to pry into them unsolicited, except in a legitimate way, and a fatherly control should not be assumed as a duty.

454. On the contrary, if the Captain is indifferent to the personal welfare of his men, repulses them rudely when they come to him with a private trouble, and takes no interest in their joys or sorrows he will be rewarded by a want of sympathy, and he will be obeyed as prisoners in a prison obey their keepers.

455. Like everything else, attention to duty, and industry in performing it, will always be rewarded with a proportionate success.  The Army has in all countries, and among all nations, always been a refuge for the idle, incompetent, and dissolute sons of the rich and influential, to the great detriment of the service, and seldom to any good to themselves.  For the simple shoulder-strap is not sufficient to make officers of them, and they will surely fail when the hour of trial comes, although so long as they are untried, they may float along without serious inconvenience.

456. ADMINISTRATION.—Providing the clothing and subsistence, and keeping the accounts of soldiers in order, that they may be paid, and attending to the transportation of the men and their supplies belong under this head.  They involve the keeping of the records of the company, and the pay and clothing accounts of the men; the drawing and distributing of supplies, and the care and accountability of public and company property.  This portion of the Captain’s duty is given in detail in the “Company Clerk,” and a general outline will only be given here.

457. The following books should be kept in each company:

Morning-Report Book.



Descriptive Book.

Clothing Book.

Order Book.

Account Book of Company Fund.

Register of Articles issued to Soldiers.

Record Book of Target Practice.

458. The Captain is responsible for the following reports, returns, rolls, and other papers required, VIZ.:

DAILY.—List of Sick, in the Sick-Book.

            Morning Report, in the Morning-Report Book.

            Details of Men for Guards, Detachments, and Fatigue.

MONTHLY.—Monthly Return.

            Return of Clothing, Camp and Garrison Equipage.

            Return of Quartermaster’s Property.

BI-MONTHLY.—viz.: at the end of February, April, June, August, October, and December:

            Muster Rolls.

            Report of Damaged Arms.

QUARTERLY.—viz.: at the end of March, June, September, and December:

            Return of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores.

            Return of Deceased Soldiers.

            Descriptive List of Men Joined.

            Return of Blanks.

QUARTO-MONTHLY.—viz.: at the end of April, August, and December:

            Return of Company Fund.

ANNUALLY.—Annual Return of Casualties.

459. In addition to the foregoing papers, the following are also required when circumstances render them necessary:

Certificates of Disability.

Final Statements.


Descriptive Rolls.

Furloughs, Passes, Sick-Furloughs, etc.

Affidavits, Certificates, etc.

Inventories of Deceased Soldiers.

Proceedings of Company Council of Administration.

Provision Returns.

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, in fact, everything required by a company.

Inventories for Inspection Reports of Property to be inspected and condemned.

Inventories of Damaged Property for Boards of Survey.

Letters of Transmittal, Complaints of Soldiers, Applications for Transfer, etc.

Returns of Killed, Wounded, and Missing in Action.

Reports of Target Practice.

Charges and Specifications.

460. The foregoing books and papers are under the immediate charge of the First Sergeant, who has generally an assistant selected from the men, and called the Company Clerk, to aid him in preparing these papers and books for the Captain or Company Commander’s inspection and signature.  The Commander of the Company is responsible for the work, and should himself be entirely conversant with all the details.

461. The most important of the foregoing are the Descriptive Book, and the Clothing Book; and the Muster Roll, and Company Monthly Return.  If these are correct, all the others must be right of necessity, or can be made so without difficulty; if they are wrong, however, it may involve an endless trouble and annoyance, for they cannot be wrong without injustice, either to the men or to the government; the men will either not receive all they are entitled to, or the government be defrauded.

462. To be able to account for the property (and it must be borne in mind that all public property, no matter from what source received, must be accounted for), it is necessary first to have the original invoices, if possible, of the property received, and receipts for all the property issued or transferred.  If the property has been lost, destroyed or expended in public service, it is necessary to have, first, the certificate of a disinterested officer; second, the affidavit of a soldier or citizen; and, finally, if none other is to be had, the officer may certify to the facts himself.

463. The public property that ordinarily falls into the hands of a Company Commander, is of four kinds; first, Clothing, Camp and Garrison Equipage; second, Quartermaster’s Property; third, Ordnance Property; fourth, Company Property.  These must all be kept separate on the papers, as they pertain to different Bureaus, and must be accounted for to different officers.  The accountability for Company Property only extends to the immediate commanders, but the others being the property of the United States, must be accounted for to the proper officers of the Bureau to which the property belongs, and by them transmitted to the proper officers of the Treasury Department. (Reg. 1040.)

464. Care should be taken with regard to property worn out and unserviceable, to have it inspected and condemned, at the first possible opportunity, for it cannot be dropped from the returns, until it has been inspected and condemned, and ordered to be dropped. (Reg. 1033.)  The same promptness should extend to the perfection of all papers and records at the proper time, for, if postponed, it invariably complicates their preparation, and increases the labor.

465. Company Property is acquired by purchase with the Company Fund, or by manufacture.  It consists usually of the company desks, mess-chests, tools, utensils, etc., of which the company is the sole owner.  The term Company Property is, however, often applied to the Public Property, and all other property in use and for which the company is responsible.  By a wise administration of the Company Fund, and a judicious application of the labor of the men, the greatest comfort may be attained in the company.

466. In garrison a piece of ground should always be secured for a company garden, where vegetables may be raised, to supply the wants of the company, and even some to be sold to increase the fund.  A cow or two may be kept, and a pig or two can be fattened from the offal from the company kitchen.  Chickens can be raised in many places without any extra expense, and the fund greatly increased thereby.  By these means the company mess may be as perfect as any hotel.

467. Other articles, such as carpenters’, blacksmiths’, and shoemakers’, and other mechanical tools will be found always serviceable in a company; in localities where fish are to be had, a fish net will be found quite an acquisition.  Any kind of implements that will furnish occupation for the mechanics in the company during their leisure hours, and can be used for the benefit of the men in any way, should be provided, according to the means of the company.

468. A Library in a company is a source of great gratification to the men, and schools may be held for the instruction of the uneducated.  A small portable printing press, for printing passes, labels, tickets, etc., might be found exceedingly useful, and is not expensive.  A gymnasium is of sufficient importance in military training to claim the special patronage of the government in several of the European armies.

469. There is no specific amount that a company can save of the rations, for the amount must necessarily vary according to the post or station of the company, and the duty it may be performing.  In garrison, with the aid of a garden, a company of eighty men can easily save from sixty to one hundred dollars per month, and if expended for provisions, it will, of course, increase the saving of rations.

470. The savings or back rations are sometimes denied the men, but it can only be done arbitrarily, for the law authorizes the full issue, and it is always within the power of the Commanding Officer, and the Commissary, either to furnish the full ration or to commute in money such part of the ration as cannot, from some cause, be issued.  The matter of forage and rations requires the personal attention of the officer, otherwise injustice will always be done to some one.

471. The Muster and Pay Roll is much the most important paper, and, to make it correctly, the Descriptive Book and Clothing Book must both be correct.  The men cannot be paid until their pay and clothing accounts are correct, and the Commanding Officer of the company is responsible for the correctness of this roll.  He should adopt the rule to make out the original roll himself, in his own handwriting.

472. The most fruitful cause of discrepancies in the accounts of soldiers arises from their absence from the company, either in Hospital, detached or captured, or from other cause without a record, or if they have one, want of attention in keeping it up during their absence.  If possible, a soldier’s Descriptive Roll and Clothing Account should always accompany him, whenever he is separated from his proper company, and then he can be paid and clothing may be issued to him on it, and his record thus constantly kept with him.

473. It would be well to adopt the French system, and require each soldier to carry a copy of his Descriptive Roll and account, in a small book.  This should also have blank leaves, on which officers can give certificates of meritorious conduct, of battles participated in, and such other memoranda as would be prized by the soldier, and be an inducement for him to preserve and take care of it.  The soldier could then always have his history with him, which would be his protection and safeguard, and greatly facilitate his knowledge of his own affairs.

474. Such a book might be used to defraud the Government, but it is believed to have fewer objections than the system in use.  In time of war it would be particularly beneficial, because so many more soldiers are necessarily separated from their commands, and so much more inconvenience is experienced by the men in consequence of having no record with them.  In such times the soldier is the most interested in preserving his record and having it with him.  There is nothing to prevent Captains from adopting this plan, and providing their men with a correct record to the end of every month.

475. The Monthly Return is the means of furnishing the Adjutant of the Regiment, and through him the War Department, with the history of the company, and it, together with the Muster Roll, constitutes the file to which reference is made for information concerning the company.

476. In campaign the care and transportation of the Company Property and records is a matter of considerable difficulty.  Such articles as it may be desirable to retain should be properly boxed, marked, and placed in store, taking the Quartermaster’s storage receipt for the same; the baggage to accompany the company should be reduced to what is absolutely necessary.

477. All baggage that cannot be conveniently stored, or taken along, should be sold, or disposed of to the best advantage.  When the campaign is over, and there is a prospect of garrison life again for the company, all its comforts may be resumed.

478. The Captain has a responsible duty to perform in the care of his sick, until they can be taken care of by the Medical Department.  He should see that they are provided for and attended to; and even when in Hospital he can add much to their comfort by showing an interest in their condition, and performing such services as cannot readily be done by those who take care of them in the Hospital.

479. In the original organization of a company is where the Captain finds his greatest difficulties, particularly if he is inexperienced in military administration.  All the responsibilities of his position are concentrated in the outset, and all the information he will ever learn of his duties, will never be so much needed as in the commencement.  The first thing is to understand the law, or order under which the company is required to organize.  This will usually give the composition of the company, in general terms if not specifically.

480. Troops called into the service of the United States are usually paid and subsisted from the date of enrollment.  The officer who enrolls the men is governed in his duties by the same rules and regulations generally that apply to recruiting officers.  The men are individually examined, and if pronounced to be fit for soldiers, are sworn into service, and their pay then commences, and they are entitled to clothing, rations, and quarters, from the Government, from that date.

481. The difficult and embarrassing duty for the officer is to provide the clothing and subsistence, especially at points remote from Quartermaster and Commissary Departments, until the men are mustered into the service, and to provide transportation for them to the rendezvous, and he is often required to do this without a previous knowledge of the forms of procedure.

482. Clothing cannot be provided for recruits or volunteers called out, except through requisition previously made through the authority directing the recruiting or enrolling officer, or other officer next in authority over him.  Subsistence, as in the Regular Recruiting Service, may be obtained by making a written contract with some person to subsist the men at an established sum per man per day.  Transportation for the men is provided by giving to the agent of the steamboat, railroad, or other conveyance, a certificate of the number of men, to what command they belong, and the time when transported; in other words sufficient evidence of the service, to enable the transportation agent to obtain payment therefor from the Quartermaster’s Department.

483. In the contract for subsistence, lodging may be included, until the men have drawn their clothing, and have tents or barracks provided them, but the price for boarding, and the price for lodging, must be separately stated. (Reg. 1236.)  If the officer has been provided with Recruiting Funds, or sees fit to advance the money, he can pay the transportation, subsistence and lodging of his men.  He should, however, feel sure of having any advances he may make refunded, before he makes them.

484. The raising of troops for any purpose is so much influenced by the circumstances under which they are called out, that no rules can be laid down to govern strictly in the recruiting of the men.  Sometimes the troops are called out suddenly to meet an emergency; in such a case the military commander makes an application to the governor of the state or territory, for the number of troops, and he raises the men by proclamation, in such way as he may consider best; he usually either calls for volunteers, or calls out the militia.  It is supposed that the men are wanted for the service of the General Government, and in such case dependence is placed upon the subsequent approval of Congress, and an appropriation of money to pay the expenses.

485. Sometimes the call is made by the President of the United States, upon some particular state, or states, in the same way as a governor would do, and like him trusting to Congress for the payment of the expenses.  Strictly speaking, however, troops cannot be called out, except under the consent and provision of Congress.  The laws passed for the purpose generally define how the troops shall be raised, in what numbers, how organized, for what period of time, and for what particular purpose or object.

486. In providing for such troops, the rules, regulations, and laws, governing the Regular Army, are generally followed, and if the law fails to provide specially in the case, the custom in the Regular Army should always be followed.  The organization of new troops is always attended with extraordinary and unusual expense, and the greater caution is therefore necessary on the part of the officers, that all unnecessary expense may be avoided.

487. The officers are apt to overlook the Administrative duties almost entirely, and to think that when the tactics has been acquired, that nothing more important is needed.  Experience, however, soon teaches them that there is a great deal more to learn than the “School of the Company,” and that “drill” alone will not keep the company together; the men must be fed, clothed, and provided for, and that too according to law and regulations, and not in a haphazard sort of way.

488. The efficient Administration of the affairs of a company, greatly facilitates the discipline and government of the company, makes the men content and cheerful in the performance of their duties, and attaches them to their commander.  The men soon find out whether the officers know their duty, and whether they attend to it, and it soon manifests itself in their conduct and deportment, and in the general condition and character of the company; an experienced inspector will soon discover the incompetency of a Company Commander.  The detailed instructions for making out the papers and performing the duties relating thereto are contained in a separate volume, called the “Company Clerk.”  The Captain, above all others, should know, and be able to direct, instruct, and superintend the preparation of these papers.  At the close of the Rebellion, many an officer, who had commanded a company, found himself involved, and his muster-out and final payment delayed, from a want of a few simple hints, contained in this book, on the Administrative duties of the company.

489. The following tabular list will be found useful, showing to whom, by whom, and when the Company Papers are made:


Tabular List of Rolls, Returns, and Reports required from Company Commanders.






To Adjutant General.





Muster Roll of Company.[49]

Every two months.

Within three days thereafter.

Mustering Officer.

333 and 334.

Inventory of Effects of Deceased Soldiers.



Company Commander.


Final Statements of Deceased Soldiers.



Company Commander.


To Quartermaster General.





Duplicate Returns of Clothing, Camp and Garrison Equipage, and Quartermaster’s Property—one with and one without vouchers

End of every month.


Company Commander.

58 Appx.

To the Chief of Ordnance.





Return of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores.

End of every quarter.

Within twenty days thereafter.

Company Commander.


Certificate of Inventory on Return of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores.

Yearly—in June.

Within twenty days thereafter.

Company Commander.


Report of Damaged Arms.

End of every two months.

First day of subsequent month.

Company Commander.


To Regimental Adjutant.





Return of Men Joined Company

End of every quarter.

First day of subsequent month.

Company Commander.

88, 4th Clause.

Return of Deceased Soldiers.

End of every quarter.

First day of subsequent month.

Company Commander.


Return of the Company.

End of every month.

First day of subsequent month.

Company Commander.


Transcript of orders making temporary appointments of Non-commissioned Officers, at posts not Regimental Headquarters.



Company Commander.

74 and 79.

Inventory of Effects of Deceased Soldiers.



Company Commander.


Final Statements of Deceased Soldiers.



Company Commander.


To Post Adjutant.





Morning Report of Company.

Each morning.

Before eight o’clock, A.M.

Company Commander.


Monthly Return of Company (to be returned to Company Commander for file).

End of every month.

First day of subsequent month.

Company Commander.


Return of Company Fund, with Company Council Book.

End of every four months.

First day of subsequent month.

Company Commander.


The same Returns as above are to be made by Officers commanding Bands, or small detachments of troops.

Company Officers, when on Regimental Recruiting Service, make to the ADJUTANT GENERAL, QUARTERMASTER GENERAL, CHIEF OF ORDNANCE, and SUPERINTENDENT (Regimental Commander), the same Reports and Returns as rendered by officers on the General Recruiting Service. (Par. 985, Regulations of 1863.)

When soldiers die possessed of no effects, the fact will be so stated, both upon the Inventory and the Final Statements.

Returns of Deceased Soldiers will be forwarded, even in cases where no deaths have occurred during the quarter.  In such cases, blank forms will be forwarded, properly headed and signed, with a black or red ink line drawn obliquely across the body of the Return from left to right.



490. CAPTAINS are the officers usually selected for Officer of the Day.  At small posts with a limited number of officers, this rule is deviated from, and officers of other grades are also detailed  to perform this duty.  The term is usually applied to the officer in charge for the day of a regimental camp, or small military post.  Field Officers of the Day, are detailed for brigades, and a General Officer of the Day may be detailed in a command composed of one division or more.  Whatever the grade of the officer, the same general principles apply as to the duty to be performed.

491. The Officer of the Day has charge of the camp or garrison of the command in which he has been detailed.  He receives his orders and instructions from the Commanding Officer, and transmits them to his subordinates.  All the guards of the camp or post are under his general direction; all the police parties and fatigue parties, when on duty within the line of the guards, and often fatigue parties sent beyond the lines receive their orders from the Officer of the Day.

492. The Officer of the Day is responsible for the good order, cleanliness, and attention to the daily duties throughout the camp or garrison. (Reg. 577.)  He reports all matters of importance to the Commanding Officer, and receives such orders as he may deem necessary to give, pertaining thereto.  The prisoners in the Guard-house are under the general control of the Officer of the Day, and they can only be properly confined and released by his order or consent.

493. The Adjutant keeps the roster of officers who may be detailed for Officer of the Day.  He notifies the officer of his detail the day previous, and at guard-mounting he must be present to receive the guard after inspection.  If he deems it necessary he may inspect the guard in person, but usually this would not be necessary.

494. He takes his post sufficiently far in front of, and opposite the centre of the guard, to admit of its passage in review, if he so desires.  When the Adjutant has completed his formation of the guard, and the inspection is ended, he closes the ranks of the guard, and causes it to “present arms,” and informs the Officer of the Day: “Sir, the guard is formed.”  The Officer of the Day then directs the Adjutant to “march the guard in review (or by flank) to its post.” (Reg. 381.)

495. After the guard has moved off towards its post, he faces toward the old Officer of the Day, who should have taken post on his right, and a little to the rear, two or three paces distant; the old Officer of Day salutes, with the hand, which should be returned by the new Officer of the Day. (Reg. 383.)  The old Officer of the Day gives to the new such orders as require to be transmitted with regard to the duty, and he generally accompanies the new Officer of the Day, who is required to report at once to the Commanding Officer for orders. (Reg. 403.)  The two then visit the guard, and they usually arrive there before the old guard is relieved.

496. As the Officers of the Day approach, the senior officer of the guard present causes both guards to “present arms,” which salute the senior Officer of the Day returns, and directs the officer to cause his guards to “shoulder arms,” and gives any other orders that he may deem necessary and applicable to both the old and new guards.  The roll of prisoners is then examined in the guard-book, and compared with the prisoners.  The old Officer of the Day releases such prisoners as he may see proper, and the new Officer of the Day gives such directions concerning those that are retained, as he may deem necessary.

497. The old Officer of the Day now makes such remarks on the guard-report of the Officer of the Guard, as he may consider proper, applying usually to the manner in which the guard-duty has been performed, and calling the Commanding Officer’s attention to such changes and corrections as he may consider necessary, and to any errors he may find in the report.  This report he is required to hand in to the Commanding Officer, as soon as he has been relieved. (Reg. 406.)

498. The Officer of the Day visits the guards during the day and night, at such times as he may deem necessary, to ascertain how they perform their duty.  He is required to make the rounds at least once after twelve o’clock at night. (Reg. 405.)  Reg. 428 specifies the manner in which the rounds shall be made.  Reg. 426 directs how the Officer of the Day shall be received in the day-time; and 427 how he shall be received at night.

499. It is the duty of the Officer of the Day to communicate the countersign and parole to the Officer of the Guard, before retreat (Reg. 404), whose duty it is to transmit it to the sentinels, before twilight, or before they begin to challenge. (Reg. 410.)  The Officer of the Day is one of the officers authorized to give orders to sentinels (Reg. 413), but usually he will transmit his orders through the Officer of the Guard.

500. The Officer of the Day directs patrols and special visits of the Officer of the Guard, to particular places, with a view to the preservation of order and vigilance throughout the camp or garrison. (Reg. 586.)  A good system of patrols in a command is one of the best means of preserving order, and apprehending offenders.

501. The Officer of the Day is known by the manner in which he wears his sash.  It is passed over the right shoulder, and tied at the belt, under the left arm, and crosses the body diagonally.  No other officer wears his sash in this way.  The Officer of the Day is considered on duty for the twenty-four hours of his tour, until he is relieved.  Any offense, such as drunkenness, is the more serious when committed by him during his tour of duty.

[49] Three MUSTER AND PAY ROLLS are made out at the same time—two for the paymaster, and one to be retained with the company.

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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2006.

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