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permanent appointments shall be made in those departments or corps after the original vacancies created by this act shall have been filled. Such details shall be made from the grade in which the vacancies exist, under such system of examination as the President may from time to time prescribe.
All officers so detailed shall serve for a period of four years, at the expiration of which time they shall return to duty with the line, and officers below the rank of lieutenant-colonel shall not again be eligible for selection in any staff department until they shall have served two years with the line.
That when vacancies shall occur in the position of chief of any staff corps or department the President may appoint to such vacancies, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, officers of the Army at large not below the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and who shall hold office for terms of four years. When a vacancy in the position of chief of any staff corps or department is filled by the appointment of an officer below the rank now provided by law for said office, said chief shall, while so serving, have the same rank, pay, and allowances now provided for the chief of such corps or department. And any officer now holding office in any corps or department who shall hereafter serve as chief of a staff corps or department and shall subsequently be retired, shall be retired with the rank, pay, and allowances authorized by law for the retirement of such corps or department chief: Provided, That so long as there remain in service officers of any staff corps or department holding permanent appointments the chief of such staff corps or department shall be selected from the officers so remaining therein.
SEC. 27. That each position vacated by officers of the line transferred to any department of the staff for tours of service under this act shall be filled by promotion in the line until the total number detailed equals the number authorized for duty in each staff department. Thereafter vacancies caused by details from the line to the staff shall be filled by officers returning from tours of staff duty. If under the operation of this act the number of officers returned to any particular arm of the service at any time exceeds the number authorized by law in any grade, promotions to that grade shall cease until the number has been reduced to that authorized.
Act of March 2, 1901 (31 Stats., ---).
AN ACT making appropriation for the support of the Army for the fiscal year ending
June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and two.
Provided, That appointments to fill original vacancies
in the grade of captain in the
Pay Department may be made from officers of volunteers commissioned since April twenty-first, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight.
THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS.
The earliest records relative to what is now known as the Corps of Engineers are very incomplete, but the journals of the Continental Congress indicate the gradual development of the corps under the peculiar conditions then existing. Thus, on June 16, 1775, the day before the battle of Bunker Hill, one chief engineer and two assistants were authorized for the “Grand Army," and one chief engineer and two assistants “in a separate department."
The first formal establishment of a Corps of Engineers dates from March 11, 1779. The corps was disbanded in November, 1783, but partially revived May 9, 1794, and perfected by the act of March 16, 1802. In the earlier period of its organization the duties now pertaining to the Corps of Engineers were divided between two different branches, but although, as early as July 25,1777, a “geographer and surveyor of the roads” was authorized, the special functions of topographical enginers were not specifically provided for until the act of March 3,1813, authorizing eight topographical engineers and eight assistants. In August, 1818, a separate Topographical Bureau was established in the War Department, under the immediate direction of the Secretary of War and the Chief Engineer. June 21, 1831, the Topographical Bureau was constituted by the Secretary of War a distinct bureau of the War Department; and by the act of July 5, 1838, an independent corps of topographical engineers was created. It was abolished by the act of March 3, 1863, and merged into the Corps of Engineers. June —, 1775.-Col. Richard Gridley (Massachusetts). Aug. 5, 1776.–Col. Rufus Putnam (Massachusetts). July 22, 1777.-Col. (Brig. Gen., Nov. 17, 1777; Maj. Gen., Nov. 16, 1781) Louis du
Portail (France). Feb. 26, 1795.—Lieut. Col. Stephen Rochefontaine (France), commanding corps of
artillerists and engineers. May 7, 1798.—Lieut. Col. Henry Burbeck (Massachusetts), commanding corps of
artillerists and engineers. July 8, 1802.-Lieut. Col. (Col., Feb. 23, 1808) Jonathan Williams (Pennsylvania). July 31, 1812.-Col. Joseph G. Swift ( Massachusetts). Nov. 12, 1818.—Col. Walker K. Armistead (Virginia). June 1, 1821.-Col. Alexander Macomb (New York). May 24, 1828.--Col. Charles Gratiot (Missouri Territory). Dec. 7, 1838.—Col. Joseph G. Totten (Connecticut). Apr. 22, 1864.-Brig. Gen. Richard Delafield (New York). Aug. 8, 1866.—Brig. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys (Pennsylvania). June 30, 1879.—Brig. Gen. Horatio G. Wright (Connecticut). Mar. 6, 1881.—Brig. Gen. John Newton (Virginia). Oct. 11, 1886.-Brig. Gen. James C. Duane (New York). July 6, 1888.-Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Casey (Rhode Island). May 10, 1895.- Brig. Gen. William P. Craighill (Virginia). Feb. 1, 1897.—Brig. Gen. John M. Wilson (Washington Territory).