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January 17, 1834.
Of the committee on the militia and the public de
fence on the memorial of the Adjutant-General.
Mr. Fowler from the committee on the militia and the public defence,
That they have had under consideration the memorial from the Adjutant-General relating to the wants and duties of his department, and asking an additional compensation to the officers employed in it.
The committee recommend that the memorial be printed, together with this report.
From a review of the facts stated in the memorial, the committee are of opinion that a further appropriation is necessary to secure the proper discharge of the various duties at present devolved upon that department, and they have instructed their Chairman to prepare a bill accordingly. The committee find, on examination, that the services appertaining to the office of Judge Advocate General, have of late been performed by the Adjutant-General, and they have therefore provided for the discontinuance of the payment of $150, annually made to the former office, which will be an addition of that sum yearly to the treasury.
January 17, 1834.
From the Adjutant-General, requesting an addition
the pay of his department.
To the honorable the Legislature of the State of New-York, in Se
nate and Assembly convened.
The undersigned, holding the office of Adjutant-General of the State of New
York, respectfully submits to the consideration of your honorable body the following memorial, relating to the du ties and wants of his department.
The militia of this State, regularly enrolled and organized, consists of 188,337 men, comprising seven brigades of cavalry, three of herse artillery, nine of artillery, fifty-nine of infantry and four of riflemen.
The number of officers, at present in commission, is about 15,000; and the commissions issued annually from this office vary from six to seven thousand.
All commissions are issued on returns of elections and appointments, made by general officers; and these returns require a careful examination, and frequently a comparison with the records of the office to correct errors and to prevent mistakes.
The correspondence connected with this branch of the departs ment is constantly very considerable, owing to the negligence and unavoidable mistakes of the returning officers.
Every commission is signed and sealed; and the name of the officer, together with his residence, the date of his commission, the name of his corps and the number of his regiment, brigade and [Assem. No. 32.]
division are carefully recorded, in two books, if above the rank of a company officer, and in one book if not. The average duties of this branch of the business during the year, would require the whole time of one person fully qualified to discharge them.
Agreably to the requirements of the law of the United States an annual return of the militia is made to the commander in chief of the State, and an abstract thereof is transmitted to the AdjutantGeneral of the army of the United States, which duties together, occupy the time of the clerk and of the principal for at least one month; and since the first of December, two clerks have been employed on this report, the one constantly and the other during two hours of the day.
The judiciary powers of the militia are vested in courts-martial, of which there are upwards of 350, annually organized for the trial of delinquents: besides a large number of special courts-martial and courts of inquiry, instituted from time to time on direct charges and specifications preferred. It is believed that not less than 20,000 persons are tried before these several tribunals yearly.
In almost all the cases the individuals selected to compose the courts vary from year to year. They enter upon the difficult and responsible duty of adjudicating upon the rights and property of their fellow-citizens, not only without experience and without a competent knowledge of the statutes, but destitute, in many instances, of any written laws to define their duties and to specify their powers. The necessity for some common source from which information may be derived to direct their practice, by defining military usages and explaining the statutes of the State, is severely felt, as well by the courts as the public at large, who are frequently sufferers by means of a want of this information. The correspon
a . dence already kept up by this department, in relation to this subject, is very extensive, but not by any means so much so as the good of the people and the correct administration of the militia laws require.
The consideration of applications for these courts also, and the examination and adjudication upon appeals from their decisions, forms another important and delicate portion of the duties at present assigned wholly to this office.