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REPORT OF THE INSPECTOR'S DEPARTMENT.

To the Adjutant General.

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS,
INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
BOSTON, Nov. 14, 1889.

SIR : I have the honor to present the annual report of this department of the State military service for the year 1889. All the commands of the militia were during the winter and spring thoroughly inspected, at which the State property was found to be well cared for generally, and, with due allowance for wear, in good condition. A majority of the commands were in good condition; eleven companies and one signal corps were found in fair, and four in hardly fair, condition. Of the eleven mentioned as in fair condition, seven have regained a proper standard by a change of commanders.

It is the experience of this department that the weakness in many companies is due to poor or neglectful officers; and this fact is apparently recognized by regimental commanders, who have in some instances requested that such officers be ordered before the board of examiners. The right to make such request, being sanctioned by law, should be taken advantage of freely for the improvement of the service, and should not be confined to officers of the line.

The four companies that have continued below the standard during the year have been warned by the Adjutant General of the measures that may be taken in case of failure to improve.

The "setting-up" drill in some companies is not properly taught. To be of benefit, this should be carefully explained in detail, showing the action of each movement upon the muscles in their development, and its general effect upon the carriage and appearance of the men. A uniform system for the instruction of recruits should be established and strictly adhered to; no recruit should be allowed to drill or parade in the ranks of his company until fully instructed in the manual, and properly "set

up." As one uninstructed and ungainly soldier will mar the appearance of an entire company otherwise good, the importance of this is obvious.

CAMP DUTY.

The annual encampments required by law were held under the orders of the commander-in-chief, - the First and Second Brigades at State camp ground, First Corps Cadets at Hingham, and Second Corps Cadets at Essex, at which the routine duty was well performed. Cleanliness and discipline generally good; that of the Second Brigade not up to its former standard in some of its commands.

The weather at the encampment of the Second Brigade was rainy and discouraging, many of the company streets being flooded; and owing to this, and the attending discomfort, no severe criticisms should be made.

Guard duty as a rule has not properly advanced, owing, it is believed, to lack of instruction in armories, and in some cases to no instruction whatever. I have again to call attention to the remissness and neglect on the part of lieutenants in this duty, with the suggestion that, at the encampments of the coming year, such officers of infantry be placed under arrest, and competent and painstaking officers detailed in their stead. Much depends upon the character of the guard in actual service, for which this instruction is preparatory.

The indiscriminate issue of passes to encampments of State troops is condemned from a military stand-point. While it is desirable and proper that respectable citizens should have ample facilities to observe the force maintained by and for them, the disorderly and undesirable element should not be permitted to be present, to the annoyance and discomfort of welcome visitors.

The following table shows the attendance at camps, exclusive of bands, and exhibits a good percentage of attendance at this tour of duty. The enlisting of men for the purpose of filling companies to the maximum at tours of duty is not general, but does obtain in some, of which battalion commanders are aware, and should take measures to prevent it. It does not always follow that a company held to the maximum by such means is a good company.

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Reasons for absence were reported by commanding officers as follows: Refusal of employers, 159; on account of business, 90; surgeon's certificate, 76; without leave, 115. Nearly all reported as absent without leave were discharged by order of the commander-in-chief for neglect of duty, a few absences only being satisfactorily explained.

Of the companies in the First Regiment of Infantry, -companies C, G, H and I, - the full enlistment of officers and men performed duty; the smallest company in the command being Company M, with 53 officers and men. The average number in companies, 59:

In the Second Regiment, Company G was the largest, having 59 officers and men; Company H being the smallest, with 47; the average company attendance being 54.

The Fifth Regiment had one company (D) with every man present of a full enlistment, companies C and K having 52 each. Average attendance by companies, 54+.

Sixth Regiment: Companies A, C and F had every member of a full enlistment present; Company M had 47, and the average of company attendance was 55.

Eighth Regiment: Companies G, H, I and K had all present, Company E having but 43. Average attendance of companies, 54+.

Ninth Regiment: Company C had its full complement, the smallest company being Company F, with 44; the average being 53+.

Of the artillery, Battery A had every officer and man present. The balance of artillery and cavalry had good attendance. The mounted arm of the service is credited with the best tour of duty during the seven years it has been my privilege to serve as inspector.

The Ambulance Corps service at camp was well performed, and demonstrated fully its usefulness.

The performance of the Signal Corps was all that could be expected from its limited opportunity and appliances, and it should be supplied by the United States with modern "kits" (the only source from whence they may be obtained), and brought to a higher standard, or else merged into the Ambulance Corps, where more effective service may be rendered.

The camp duty of the Corps of Cadets was well performed in every respect, but the attendance was not what it should have been.

ANNUAL DRILLS.

The usual drills were held during the year, that of the First Brigade (with the exception of Troop F) at Worcester, October 14; Second Brigade at Lynn, October 3; First Corps of Cadets at Hingham, July 15; Second Corps of Cadets at Salem, October 11; and Troop F, Cavalry, at Westford, October 11.

The performance of duty by the First Brigade at Worcester was excellent; the exemplification of street-riot duty, though its first performance, was such as to reflect credit on the entire command; and the conduct of the enlisted men was admirable.

The Second Brigade assembled at noon, October 3, in Lynn: the Eighth Regiment Infantry assembling at Salem, the Ninth Regiment Infantry at Boston; the First Battalion of Cavalry going over the road mounted, with instruction on the march; batteries A and C going by rail.

The exemplification of the street-riot drill by this brigade was well performed, on the whole, and on its next drill an improvement will be noticed. The First Brigade had, at this (the initial performance in the militia) tour of duty, officers who carefully observed the manœuvres of the brigade, and were ready to note and to take advantage of any points gained, for the benefit of their own brigade.

The annual drill of the First Corps of Cadets was performed in the soldierly manner which characterizes this corps, on the day preceding their annual tour of camp duty.

The annual drill of the Second Corps was creditable, as was also that of Troop F, at Westford, on the same day.

The present manner of. assembling the troops in the different sections of the State still commends itself, and should be continued; its practical results are manifest in the rapidity with which the various arms of the service embark and disembark on boats and trains, infantry, cavalry, and the light batteries as well, — all in a quiet and orderly manner, the deportment of the troops en route being especially commendable.

The following is a summary of the annual drills:

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