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(ITS ORGANIZATION, DUTIES, PAY, AND ALLOWANCES).
1775 to 1901.
COMPILED AND ANNOTATED UNDER HE DIRECTION OF
Major-General HENRY C. CORBIN,
RAPHAEL P. THIAN,
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE,
“A good Staff has the inerit of being inore durable than the genius of any one inan."-Jomini.
Traces of a general staff are found first in the Brandenburg (afterwards the Prussian) army in 1655, under the Great Elector, but its functions are supposed to have first been employed in Swedish organizations.
The Russian general staff dates from the time of Peter the Great.
The operations of the general staff of the German army are entirely independent of the minister of war, being directed by the chief, who is responsible only to the Commander in Chief-the Emperor. This status has existed for over seventy years.
In Russia there is no separate direction of the general staff, the chief reporting directly to the war minister.
In Italy the officers of the great general staff are entirely under the chief of the general staff, who reports directly to the war minister.
The chief of the general staff in France is directly under and entirely subordinate to the secretary of war.
In Austria the chief of the general staff is considered as the assistant of the imperial war minister.
In England the adjutant-general's office is once removed from the secretary of state for war through the commander in chief of the army.
The Continental Congress, June 15, 1775, unanimously elected George Washington, esq., "to command all the continental forces, raised or to be raised, for the defense of American liberty," and resolved, July 21, “ that such a body of troops be kept up in the Massachusetts Bay as General Washington shall think necessary, provided they do not exceed 22,000 men.
On assuming this command General Washington found an heterogenous and undisciplined force which, on the call of the Massachusetts committee of safety on the morning after the affair at Lexington and Concord, had assembled at Cambridge in a motley host of full 20,000 men, and immediately took measures to bring order out of confusion. Joseph Reed, of Philadelphia, was chosen by him for the important post of Secretary to the Commander in Chief. Horatio Gates was appointed Adjutant-General, Thomas Mifflin, Quartermaster-General, and Joseph Trumbull
, Commissary-General. Owing to the multiplicity of affairs pressing on the attention of Congress, that body, December 27, 1776, vested General Washington with full and complete power to displace and appoint all officers under the rank of brigadier-general and to fill up vacancies in every department in the American Army.