― 228 ―
The walls on north side of Market street, between Battery and Sansome; on Market opposite Davis; the Baker-Hamilton corner, and corner of Market and Drum streets; Williams building, on Market street.
GEORGE F. DUFFEY,
APRIL 30, 1906.
Please dynamite the walls on the following-named buildings: Concordia Club and Marie Antoinette, both on Van Ness avenue, and the O'Brien building on northwest corner of Polk and Golden Gate avenue.
By order of building committee:
J. A. DENEEN,
By GEO. F. DUFFEY.
HEADQUARTERS RESTORATION OF BUILDINGS COMMITTEE,
San Francisco, April 27, 1906.
Captain COLEMAN, U. S. A.
DEAR SIR: On behalf of the citizens' committee for the reconstruction of buildings in San Francisco, we desire to thank you for the excellent service you have rendered our committee in dynamiting the unsafe walls of buildings on Market street, which imperiled the lives of people passing through this thoroughfare.
We are especially thankful to you for the conservative manner in which you conducted this work, and while there have been some complaints from selfish individuals, we are certain in our minds that every act of yours was absolutely correct.
Thanking you again for your kindness, we remain,
J. A. DENEEN,
Chairman Building Committee.
PRESIDIO, SAN FRANCISCO, CAL., May 10, 1906.
SIR: In response to your request of yesterday for a report of the buildings dynamited by me on April 18, before you assumed command of the squad, I have the honor to submit the following:
Early on the morning of that date I was directed by the post commander to take the kit wagons of the field batteries stationed here, load them with black powder, wire, fuse, etc., and report to the Mayor of San Francisco to assist in blowing up buildings to arrest the fire. I accordingly reported to the Mayor as soon as practicable. The use
― 229 ―
of this powder was naturally not desired, if stick dynamite could be procured, and, as it was learned that there was some of the latter on hand at the discharge camp, Angel Island, this was sent for. Upon its arrival, in conjunction with a battalion fire chief, a fire commissioner (name not recalled), and, I believe, Mr. A. Ruef, I went to Montgomery street and began the destruction of such buildings as were agreeable to these gentlemen. These buildings were never more than three or four doors away from those already in flames, and ran from Clay to California streets, between Sansome and Montgomery. Permission was then obtained from the Mayor to start on the east side of Montgomery street, and, beginning at the corner of that street and Commercial street, the building there was destroyed. But while preparations were being made for the destruction of the adjacent building an independent fire was noticed starting in the cellar of a store east of the subtreasury on Commercial, between Montgomery and Kearney. An attempt was made to put out this fire, but as there was no water to be obtained it was soon seen to be a vain endeavor. A building between the fire and Kearney street was then blown down. Here the supply of stick dynamite gave out, some of that which arrived from Angel Island evidently having been sent to other points of the fire. A number of wagons came up loaded with giant powder—dynamite in granular form—but I hesitated to use this, knowing that its combustion was a matter of flame and that any building destroyed by it would, in addition, be set on fire, as would also result if black powder were used. I was urged as a last resort to use it, however, and consequently I destroyed a building on the west of Kearney at the corner of Clay and also the one adjacent. Both immediately caught on fire, and in the second, which had been a cheap lodging house, bits of bed clothing, etc., which had become ignited at the combustion were thrown across Kearney to the west side, and soon that block was on fire.
This illustrates well the difference in the use of stick dynamite—dynamite with an inert base—and dynamite in granular form, which has an active base. As you assumed charge of the party during the destruction of these latter buildings, this completes my report.
RAYMOND W. BRIGGS,
First Lieutenant, Artillery Corps.
Capt. LE VERT COLEMAN,
Report of Lieut. Col. Lea Febiger, 3d U. S. Infantry.
SAN FRANCISCO, CAL., July 19, 1906.
SIR: I have the honor to report as follows concerning the organization of and work performed by the bureau of consolidated relief stations from its creation on April 29, 1906, to June 30, 1906, when the services of the Army at large ceased in this connection, though I personally was not relieved until July 13, continuing in control nominally with a couple of officers of my staff; this particular phase of relief being thereafter administered by the executive commission of the finance committee of relief and Red Cross funds.
― 230 ―
The bureau was organized in accordance with the provisions of section 1, paragraph II, General Orders, No. 18, current series, Pacific Division, under date of April 29, 1906 (Appendix A). Previous to that time I had been on duty in connection with relief work, by verbal orders of the division commander of April 23, and later in accordance with letter of instructions from the commanding general, Pacific Division, dated April 27, 1906, said duty being performed under the supervision of the depot quartermaster and depot commissary, the particular part assigned to me latterly being the direction of arrangement for food supply stations in this city, south of a line which was the prolongation of Eighteenth street across the peninsula. This duty was taken up by me on the 28th of April, 1906; my headquarters being the office and storehouse of the Mission relief committee, Twenty-fifth and Guerrero streets. Later, upon the inauguration of this particular bureau, which began operations on May 1, my headquarters were at the Hamilton School building, on Geary street, near Scott street.
This preliminary period of relief work was as follows, preceded and following into the formation and operation of this bureau:
At first the duties were those of discovery, to find out what was being done by the citizens at large, in which I was unassisted except by an automobile and chauffeur, the latter afterwards reporting that for the first twelve days we averaged over 100 miles per day, though I was out of the car fully two-thirds of the time interviewing people and inspecting stations. Some days we were on the go from 5 o'clock in the morning until midnight.
During this preliminary work the whole city was frequently traversed, locating supply stations, getting acquainted with those who had assumed charge, either by authority or on their own responsibility, and estimating the needs of the people at large.
I found numerous relief stations were being indiscriminately supplied from various sources, with necessarily great waste and much exaggerated estimates of the numbers of the needy. Some stations would disappear in a night. There was no general organization and no attempted coordination, but the best men in the community came to the front and by energy and hard work prevented any actual suffering from hunger.
On May 1 eleven officers were detailed by the division commander for duty with this bureau. Their names are as follows: Capt. W. W. Harts, Corps of Engineers; Capt. L. S. Sorley, commissary, 14th Infantry; Capt. John F. Madden, 29th Infantry; Capt. R. E. Longan, commissary, 11th Infantry; Capt. W. Mitchell, Signal Corps; Capt. L. W. Oliver, 12th Cavalry; First Lieut. J. R. Pourie, Artillery Corps; Second Lieut. E. S. Adams, 14th Infantry; Second Lieut. Frank B. Kobes, 14th Infantry; Second Lieut. J. L. Benedict, 14th Infantry, and Second Lieut. R. V. Venable, 22d Infantry.
The city having been divided into seven relief sections by the division commander, as set forth in General Orders, No. 18, current series, Pacific Division, a subsequent division was not deemed necessary. Accordingly, with the assistance of these gentlemen the work of organization of the bureau was begun, the following tentative assignments being made: To section 1, Captain Mitchell; to section 2, First Lieutenant Pourie; to section 3, Lieutenant Benedict; to section 4, Captain Harts; to section 5, Captain Oliver; to section 6, Second
― 231 ―
Lieutenant Venable; to section 7, Second Lieut. E. S. Adams; executive officer, Captain Longan; and attached (general duty), Captains Sorley, Madden, and Lieutenant Kobes.
The details of this preliminary organization are given in full in General Circular, No. 1, of this office, appended hereto (B). Briefly, the plan of organization set forth was as follows:
As heretofore referred to, the city was divided into seven relief sections, and an officer placed in charge of each. The methods of procuring food from the depots and distributing it to the destitute were explained, and on May 2, 1906, the bureau began its work along these lines; the system thus inaugurated, with but few minor and unimportant changes, being found to answer all requirements, fulfilling its functions up to the time this bureau ceased its existence.
At this time, May 2, from the records available, it was found that some 313,145 persons were supposed to be receiving relief when the estimation was made on the ration basis. It is perhaps a fact, from enlightenment obtained by later experience, that this is not a correct figure of the actual number of individuals receiving assistance, on account of a considerable amount of hoarding of supplies by unworthy persons and obtaining food stores several times over by the same individual, in a manner called "repeating," and other similar improprieties committed by a considerable number of persons, who availed themselves of the liberality of all concerned to further their own selfish ends. Comparatively speaking, though, this number was small, the majority of individuals presenting themselves showing to a remarkable degree highly commendable qualities in connection with applications for relief. Most demands were of an extremely moderate nature and based on actual needs. Judging from information later obtained, it is thought that the number of persons receiving assistance during this initial period was at least 300,000.
Officers, in addition to the 11 first detailed, now began to report to me for duty, and were assigned in accordance with their rank; the rearrangements incident to this assignment being shown in General Circular, No. 8, appended hereto (C).
The work of supplying refugees in sections and the direction of section chiefs incident thereto became, after this, one purely of routine, the machinery of the bureau being competent in all cases to carry out instructions as soon as the same could be set forth in the form of orders, circulars, or otherwise.
I desire to take this occasion to speak in the highest terms of the officers who assisted me during the initial period above referred to. Captain Longan, as executive officer, was invaluable in organizing and carrying out the office force and devising a system for the handling of requisitions for food supplies and distributing them; Captain Ely, as my chief secretary, in organizing and starting forward the work of the headquarters office; Captain Mitchell, as chief of the first section; Lieutenant Pourie, as chief of the second section; Lieutenant Benedict, as chief of the third section; Captain Harts, as chief of the fourth section; Captain Oliver, as chief of the fifth section; Lieutenant Venable, as chief of the sixth section; Lieutenant Adams, as chief of the seventh section, and Lieutenant Kobes, as my personal aide and immediate assistant. All did their utmost to bring about a system of orderly administration out of a most discouraging state of disorder.
― 232 ―
The method employed in the administration of the work of supplying destitutes from relief stations, now fully inaugurated, was as follows: The chief of bureau, by means of his staff (chief secretary, general inspector, executive officer of distribution and supply, and assistant to the secretary), exercised general control and supervision over the seven chiefs of sections, assuring himself by inspections personally made for the greater part that the work assigned all subordinates was properly performed. Chiefs of sections by appropriate requisitions on the executive officer of distribution and supply made known the wants of their respective territories, this information being consolidated in the headquarters office and appropriate advice being sent the various supply depots located in different parts of the city. These requisitions being filled, caused the chiefs of sections to be furnished the articles in quantity sufficient for adequate distribution from the various stations. Also, at the same time, the statistics deemed necessary were collected from day to day to show the trend of supply and for future reference. Thus the chief of bureau, by reference to the tables easily accessible, was enabled to keep the division commander informed as to increase or reduction of the wants of the population, both in the aggregate and in detail.
The section chiefs were assisted in their labors by a certain number of commissioned officers of the Army, detailed as assistants, by representatives of the National Red Cross, and by volunteer workers in various capacities, most all of these latter being those who had risen to the surface by natural leadership during the strenuous days immediately following the great conflagration. These volunteer assistants were, in a manner, inherited from the period of unsystematic relief work prior to the organization of this bureau, continuing their occupation when the change occurred. To a great extent these served without payment, many expecting none whatever, and those who did being compensated for the time being with either promises or with hope that when more detailed organization was possible their claims would be recognized.
The Red Cross officials, spoken of above, were furnished by the special representative, American National Red Cross (Dr. Edward T. Devine), to assist the section chiefs in any manner possible and were by their society designated civil chairmen of sections.
The necessary clerical force under the control of this bureau was placed under payment from the beginning, it being a self-evident fact that otherwise efficient service could not be hoped for.
With the assistance of the staff described above, the chief of section administered to the people within his territorial boundaries by means of a certain number of relief stations, the greatest number being 122 on May 1, and which were greatly decreased in number until there were but 22 on June 30, the date on which this bureau ceased its existence under military control. The personnel of these various stations consisted of a superintendent and a certain number of assistants drawn entirely from the volunteer workers described above. These officials came directly in touch with the people and administered to their wants well or poorly, dependent upon the personal equation of the individual. I am pleased to say that in the majority of cases station superintendents were found to be satisfactory, faithful, and efficient, though during the two months in which the major operations of the bureau went forward many had to be
― 233 ―
relieved on account of incompetency, inefficiency, and, in some cases, impropriety of conduct, not involving moral turpitude, but showing an unsuitability for the work in hand which demanded removal.
Simultaneously with the work of supplying those who presented themselves with food and other needful articles, a system of card registration was being carried out, wholly within the jurisdiction of the American National Red Cross. Previous to its completion supplies were issued to persons presenting themselves at the stations at certain specified hours and receiving the rations, clothing, and equipage they asked for after each applicant had been interrogated sufficiently to satisfy the official in charge that their wants were real. This method provided for all who were able to present themselves at relief stations and also for those who, being unable to come in person, could be supplied by deputy. The remainder—those unable to either appear in person or send a representative—were almost exclusively confined to the inmates of hospitals and institutions. The wants of this class were filled by issues being made to accredited hospitals and institutions direct from the supply depots, in accordance with the direction of the division commander, as set forth in Circular No. 3 (Appendix D).
A great variety of food stuffs, including delicacies, quantities of milk, fresh meat, and special articles, were within the scope of the list of stores available to be required for and distributed, sufficient not only to keep persons from want, but to enable them to live, in some cases, more luxuriously than they had under normal conditions. So much for the issue and supply of food.
Regarding clothing, household goods, cooking utensils, and kindred general stores, it was deemed advisable in the beginning to establish for these a separate warehouse in the Crocker School (1111 Page street), which was put in operation under the efficient management of Capt. J. J. Bradley, quartermaster, 14th Infantry, who, with the utmost celerity, established a depot akin to a modern department store, from which requisitions for general stores might be speedily filled. However, before the issue of this class of articles could be thoroughly taken up by the chiefs of sections, the matter of issue of this entire class was taken over by the American National Red Cross, at the solicitation of its special representative, and thereafter was conducted as efficiently as possible under the circumstances by the Red Cross representative at section headquarters, heretofore referred to as the civilian chairman.
It will be seen from an inspection of the above scheme of organization that the theoretical wants of any one individual for almost any kind of supplies could be easily gratified. As time elapsed many minor faults developed in the trial of the system by practical use, on account of the involved method of control, in many cases this being so complicated as to be lost in its ramifications between the individual refugee and the controlling official, partly on account of the opportunity given persons of insufficient moral sense to take advantage of the liberality shown to benefit themselves, and by forward conduct to obtain a lion's share to the detriment of those more modest in making their wants known, though in many cases these latter constituted the most worthy class. It was found on investigation that some, taking advantage of the impossibility of rigid inspection, were drawing supplies far in excess of their needs by sending different members of the
― 234 ―
family at various times to one relief station and bearing away what was given them, to similarly obtain in a like manner a duplicate or triplicate allowance from other stations in the same general locality. This unfortunate tendency undoubtedly had the effect to cause subordinate officials, more especially those in direct contact with the destitute body of citizens, to become less willing to heed the requests for assistance from the refugees in general unless supported by some form of proof, and in some few cases this undoubtedly led to a general outcry regarding inefficiency on the part of these officials and favoritism by them. It remains to be said, however, that the most thorough investigation conducted by this bureau, in accordance with instructions of the division commander, led to the discovery of no cases of actual extreme destitution, meaning that which would involve either starvation or actual suffering from exposure; the several cases of poverty brought to light by this investigation being those of a character always existent in a large community and which are usually relieved by the admission of the individual to the poorhouse or home for aged persons without means.
At this time it became more and more apparent to all who were in a position to observe the general aspect of relief work that something must be done to cause a gradual reduction in the number of refugees, which it had been hoped would come naturally on the recovery of the population from the chaotic state brought about by the recent disaster and the return of the people to their former circumstances, which would lead in a natural way to a reduction, constantly increasing in magnitude, of the number of refugees actually requiring assistance to live.
At this time food supplies were distributed as follows:
First.—The ration, as set forth in General Orders, No. 18, referred to above, to all able-bodied destitute persons from the different relief stations throughout the city.
Second.—Articles of special diet, when in the judgment of the station superintendents they were necessary, in the same manner as the ration.
Third.—Hot food at several kitchens, in connection with relief stations throughout the city to all who presented themselves for a meal, prominent among which were five camps, sent fully equipped by the Chamber of Commerce of the city of Los Angeles, under the general supervision of Mr. D. J. Desmond. Of this latter source of food supply there was no supervision of applicants whatever, the meal furnished was generally excellent in quality and variety, and the numbers who applied for this sort of relief gave testimony as to its popularity.
In the meantime, although restaurants, grocery and butcher shops, green grocers' stands, and other places where food stores might be purchased were opening throughout the city, it was noticed that there was little, if any, diminution in the number of persons applying for relief. Storekeepers, on being interrogated, stated that but comparatively few persons presented themselves to purchase their goods, nor did they believe that the general retail trade in food supplies would ever regain its normal functions as long as similar articles might be obtained free of cost from the relief bureau. The aggregate number of rations issued showed very little daily reduction, as should be the case were it a fact that a healthy tone existed in the community,
― 235 ―
as would be shown by a desire to return to a self-supporting basis. To numbers of people, the desire to return to former conditions seemed only to be awakened by a cessation of the present irresponsible spirit brought about by having material wants easily supplied with very little effort on the part of the individual. Some frankly stated that as long as excellent provisions might be obtained for the asking and what money they had would be just as useful in the future as at present, that there was no reason for expending what they had put by for a rainy day until it seemed to be needful, and other statements of a similar tenor.
Many cases of repeating, heretofore referred to, were discovered, and this office was flooded with reports of persons who were taking advantage of present conditions to obtain large stores of food for future use, and were otherwise acting in an unworthy manner in their attitude toward relief work. It is but fair to state here that many of these reports (a large part of which were anonymous) upon investigation were found to be inspired by malice and to be unfounded in fact; but the number of rations issued and the amount of food distributed in proportion to the estimated population made it imperative to render methods of relief, though effective, less attractive to the average citizen. The method to be employed in accomplishing this desirable end was given much thought, and of the many plans suggested and considered the one finally deemed to fulfill all requirements the best was that a system should be inaugurated whereby no raw food whatever should be issued in general, but all persons desiring sustenance should be given a meal, adequate to support life, and no more. This, it was thought, would limit the number of able-bodied persons applying for relief to those actually in need of it. For women, children, and persons who needed more delicate or more nourishing food than was provided for able-bodied persons a more elaborate meal was to be provided, and for those who were unable to go to the place where hot meals were distributed the issue of appropriate articles of raw food was to be continued.
In the above manner, by taking advantage of the saving which always accrues when food is prepared in bulk rather than being cooked over an infinite number of fires, and by making the system of supply considerably less attractive, and thus eliminating all but those who were compelled to seek relief, it was assumed that a given amount of provisions would go much further than by the method employed in general distribution. By means of reducing the components of the ration to bread, meat, and vegetables, and by a system of questions put to each applicant at the relief stations where hot meals were served and where raw food was distributed, as to the ability of each individual to obtain food otherwise, a considerable number of persons were eliminated from the bread line, leaving, however, mixed with the wholly destitute who remained, the untruthful, who still employed this means to satisfy their present wants by rendering appropriate answers to the questions asked them. It was taken under advisement to establish a subordinate bureau to handle hot food, to employ cooks, stewards, waiters, etc., and to conduct cheap restaurants throughout the city, where persons of little means might obtain a nourishing meal and where those without means might be supplied with subsistence, to be paid for from the relief funds, but the more the details of this system were gone into the more it was developed that the proposition to be
― 236 ―
handled was so large that the machinery necessary to conduct it would become so ponderous as to be inoperative, and for that reason it was decided to resort to the contract system to accomplish the end sought. Accordingly, early in May, endeavors were made by solicitation and otherwise to cause persons having experience in catering, or restaurant people, to offer themselves as one of the parties to a contract to furnish hot food, the bureau pledging itself to assist them in every way possible. This step was taken after consultation with the other branches associated with the military arm in relief work, and received their concurrence and likewise the approval of the division commander.
But few persons, however, presented themselves in accordance with the invitation referred to above, and of those but one in the beginning manifested any desire whatever to proceed with the business at hand, further than the oratorical stage; this one being D. J. Desmond, a business man of Los Angeles, engaged in general contracting and construction work, and having considerable experience in feeding large bodies of laborers employed in construction of various kinds, who had been sent, on account of this knowledge, by the Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles to this city shortly after the calamity of April 18 with an outfit for establishing several camps from which meals might be served free, as described heretofore. The services of Mr. Desmond at that time, when he was distributing free hot cooked food, seemed to be much appreciated by the refugees who ate at the tables under his direction. He was of the opinion that he might with profit to himself make a contract to feed large numbers of refugees along the lines outlined above and expressed his willingness to enter into a contract to perform this service, which was accordingly done, the agreement in question being signed on May 14, 1906.
As there were at the Moulder School at this time large quantities of food stuffs, far in excess of present needs, many of them deteriorating, it was deemed advisable to sell to contractors these stores at special prices, appraised by a mixed board of officers and civilians, the money thus derived being available for use in relief work when it was needed (Appendix E shows from of agreement).
The first hot food camp under the Desmond rǵime opened on Lobos Square on May 12, 1906, and this system was rapidly extended throughout the entire city (with the exception of the seventh relief section), as shown in the map herewith (Appendix F).
Some time after Mr. Desmond had begun his operations and had demonstrated the practicability of the plan, one David Nieto entered into agreement with this bureau on May 28 to furnish hot meals, the territory assigned him being several locations within the sixth relief section, and one P. J. Sullivan, who also took a limited contract along the same line on June 19, 1906, applying to but one kitchen.
It was the intention at the time the hot food camp idea first began to crystallize to simultaneously open these depots of hot food supply throughout the city and close the stations from which raw food alone was issued; but the question of obtaining material and mess gear, securing locations and help, made this plan impossible, and in lieu of it one of gradual substitution was employed, a certain number of stations, however, being retained for the issue of raw food to women and children, to sick and aged persons, who could not seek the hot food camps for their sustenance, and to those who needed articles of
― 237 ―
special diet, the necessity for which was certified to by a reputable physician. These classes of persons continued to draw articles of raw food of the kind they needed in the manner heretofore described.
The influence of this contract method of supply of hot food in a gradual way was almost immediately perceptible by the reduction of the number of persons applying for relief—an average of 80 per cent, it was estimated—many declining with indignation to accept assistance in the form offered, and by outcries, more or less pronounced, demonstrating beyond the possibility of a doubt the intense unpopularity of this scheme. Several mass meetings of refugees were held, in which allegations more or less general in character were made concerning the food and personnel of the various camps under control of contractors. In some cases these complaints, on investigation, were found to be based on facts, and where corrective measures were possible they were promptly applied; but, in general, the protest was against the system rather than against the articles of food supplied and inspired by pride and sentiment, which were expected to act as the main factors in elimination. The contractors were assailed in the daily newspapers, and officials in charge of relief work were besought to return to the more popular and general method of issuing raw food. In the meanwhile the number of indigents supplied daily had dropped from 313,145 (as on the 1st of May) to 15,353 on June 30. During this time the maximum number of persons fed in hot food camps in one day throughout the city was 5,714, based on three meal tickets to the individual. Of the number thus eliminated, probably 50 per cent would have dropped out in any event, by reason of becoming self-supporting, the remaining 50 per cent being eliminated on account of the unattractiveness and unpopularity of the method employed, owing to its publicity.
In closing the discussion regarding the hot food camps as a means of supply, it is thought opportune to state that the method employed was purely temporary, inaugurated for the purpose of discovering those really in need and eliminating those who might thus be driven to support themselves, and in that manner saving the work of relief the stigma of having by their liberal treatment pauperized a self-supporting community. It is thought that no other system could have been employed which would have worked so practical a result. It has been conclusively demonstrated by the operation of these hot food camps, and thereby thousands of dollars saved for future relief, that probably 95 per cent of the 15,000 persons now being supported by food relief are absolutely in need of it, those not in need either having withdrawn or having been forced out. An estimated total of 4,036,973 rations were issued in May and June. No data is available to estimate the amount from April 18 to April 30, but 3,900,000 rations, based on the issue of April 30, would be a conservative estimate owing to the necessarily wasteful and extravagant means adopted on the spur of the moment. Tables showing daily issues of raw and cooked food for the months of May and June appended hereto (marked Appendix G and H).
As it was not the intention of the military arm to continue the work of the administration of relief indefinitely, the policy from the beginning had been to withdraw from control at the earliest possible moment, leaving to those to whom the work of continuing to care for destitute people would fall the full and untrammeled authority
― 238 ―
which is the just due of those placed in authority and held responsible for results. In accordance with this policy, on May 25, a great reduction having been effected in the number applying for relief in the manner touched on above, and the machinery of supply being as perfect as it could be under the system authorized, the initial step toward withdrawal was taken by gradual elimination, by means of relieving from duty in the bureau the commissioned officers acting as assistants to chiefs of sections and the vesting of the civilian chairman with more responsible and important duties. Chiefs of sections at about this date were required to confer with their civilian associates in control concerning matters of policy in the section, the personnel of relief stations, and other kindred subjects, affording these officials a rare, good opportunity to become conversant with the duties they would be required to perform when the army had withdrawn its assistance. Later, along the same lines, the entire matter of the personnel of stations, likewise their locations and scope, was turned over to the civilian chairman. This dual control continued without episode worthy of notice until about June 5, when announcement was definitely made that the military authorities would cease their labors in connection with relief on the first of the following month. The scheme of gradual replacement was continued accordingly by severing from further connection with the bureau officers acting as chiefs of section, their duties thereafter being performed by the civilian chairman, who thus remained in complete control. As a result, on July 1 there remained on duty in the bureau only myself, two officers of my staff, and two chiefs of section, these latter remaining on account of the earnest request of the civilian contingent in control therein that these officers be continued in control for a short period for the reason of particular ability to handle the peculiar local conditions which existed and which required more time for the civilian associate to become thoroughly acquainted with. The administration of the bureau continued from day to day under my nominal control until the 13th instant, when I was relieved by paragraph 1, Special Orders, No. 107, headquarters Pacific Division, July 13, 1906.
In the beginning the expenditures of this bureau were satisfied by the depot quartermaster here, this officer also paying debts incurred since July 1. During the intervening period disbursements were made from the relief appropriation by Capt. R. E. Longan, commissary, 11th Infantry, who had been designated as disbursing officer of the bureau.
In conclusion, I wish again to draw to the attention of the division commander the satisfactory, creditable work performed by the officers subordinate to me in their various capacities, who have been on duty in this bureau, particularly the original eleven detailed May 1. To be sure, this was to be expected of them from their training and esprit de corps, but in proportion it was even exceeded by the enlisted men, of whom naturally so much was not expected, and who yet responded in the most praiseworthy manner to every call.
The duties devolving on both officers and men were those not usually encountered in the routine of army life, and required real ability, integrity, and energy, coupled with much judgment and tact in accomplishing them in the highly creditable way they were.
It is further a matter of satisfaction that during the entire administration of this bureau by the army, there has not been known
Back to the Top Next Page of Report