Statute I
May 30, 1796

An Act to ascertain and fix the Military Establishment of the United States.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the military establishment of the United States, from and after the last day of October next, be composed of the corps of artillerists and engineers, as established by the act, entitled "An act providing for raising and organizing a corps of artillerists and engineers;" two companies of light dragoons, who shall do duty on horse or foot, at the discretion of the President of the United States; and four regiments of infantry, of eight companies each ; the company of dragoons shall consist of one captain, two lieutenants, one cornet, four sergeants, four corporals, one farrier, one saddler, one trumpeter, and fifty-two privates; and shall be armed and accoutred in such manner as the President of the United States may direct.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That each regiment of infantry shall consist of one lieutenant colonel commandant, two majors, one adjutant, one paymaster, one quartermaster, one surgeon, two surgeon's mates, eight captains, eight lieutenants, eight ensigns, two sergeant majors, two quartermaster-sergeants, two senior musicians, thirty-two sergeants, thirty-two corporals, sixteen musicians, and four hundred and sixteen privates : Provided always, that the President of the United States may, in his discretion, appoint an additional number of surgeon's mates, not exceeding ten, and distribute the same, according to the necessity of the service.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That there shall be one major-general, with two aids-de-camp, one brigadier-general, who may choose his brigade-major from the captains or subalterns of the line; which brigade-major shall receive the monthly pay of twenty-four dollars, in addition to his pay in the line, be entitled to four rations of provisions, for his daily subsistence; and whenever forage shall not be furnished by the public, to ten dollars per month in lieu thereof : one quartermaster-general ; one inspector, who shall do the duty of adjutant-general ; and one paymaster-general : and that the adjutants, quartermasters and paymasters of regiments shall be appointed from the subalterns of their respective regiments.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United Stales cause to be arranged, the officers, non-commissioned officers, privates and musicians of the legion of the United States, and light dragoons, in such manner, as to form and complete out of the same, the four regiments aforesaid, and two companies of light dragoons: And the supernumerary officers, privates and musicians shall be considered, from and after the last day of October next, discharged from the service of the United States.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the corps of artillerists and engineers be completed, conformably to the act of the eighth day of May, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four, establishing the same, and prescribing the number and term of enlistments, and the method of organization.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted. That the commissioned officers, who shall be employed in the recruiting service, to keep up, by enlistments, the corps of artillerists, infantry and dragoons aforesaid, shall be entitled to receive, for every able-bodied recruit, duly enlisted and mustered, of at least five feet six inches in height, and not under the age of eighteen, nor above the age of forty-six years, the sum of two dollars. Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That there shall be allowed and paid to each soldier now in the service of the United States, or discharged therefrom, subsequent to the third day of March, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four, who shall re-enlist, for the term of five years, unless sooner discharged, a bounty of sixteen dollars; and to each person not now in the army of the United States, or discharged, as above, who shall hereafter enlist for the term aforesaid, a bounty of fourteen dollars ; but the payment of four dollars of the bounty of each and every man so enlisting, shall be deferred, until he shall have joined the corps, in which he is to serve.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That every non-commissioned officer, private and musician of the artillery and infantry, shall receive, annually, the following articles of uniform clothing, to wit : one hat, one coat, one vest, two pair of woollen, and two pair of linen overalls, four pair of shoes, four shirts, four pair of socks, one blanket, one stock and clasp, and one pair of buckles.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That suitable clothing be provided for the dragoons, adapted to the nature of the service, and conformed, as near as may be, to the value of the clothing, allowed to the infantry and artillery.

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That every non-commissioned officer, private and musician shall receive, daily, the following rations of provisions, to wit: one pound of beef, or three quarters of a pound of pork, one pound of bread or flour, half a gill of rum, brandy or whiskey; and at the rate of one quart' of salt, two quarts of vinegar, two pounds of soap, and one pound of candles, to every hundred rations.

Sec. 11. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That to those in the military service of the United States, who are, or shall be employed on the western frontiers, there shall be allowed, during the time of their being so employed, two ounces of flour or bread, and two ounces of beef or pork, in addition to each of the rations, and half a pint of salt, in addition to every hundred of their rations.

Sec. 1.2. And be it further enacted, That the monthly pay of the officers, non-commissioned officers, musicians and privates, of the military establishment, be as follows: a major-general, one hundred and sixty-six dollars; a brigadier-general, one hundred and four dollars;, quartermaster, inspector, and paymaster-generals, each, in addition to their pay in the line, twenty-five dollars; principal artificer, forty dollars; second artificer, twenty-six dollars; lieutenant-colonel-commandant, seventy-five dollars; major of artillery and of dragoons, fifty-five dollars: major of infantry fifty dollars: paymaster, adjutant and regimental quartermaster, in addition to their pay in the, line, ten dollars; captain, forty dollars; lieutenants, twenty-six dollars; ensigns and cornets, twenty dollars; surgeons, forty-five dollars; surgeon's mates, thirty dollars: sergeant-majors, and quartermaster-sergeants, eight dollars; senior musicians, seven dollars; sergeants, seven dollars; corporals, six dollars: musicians, five dollars: privates, four dollars; artificers allowed to the infantry and artillery, farriers and saddlers to the dragoons, each, nine dollars; matrons and nurses in the hospital, eight dollars.

Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, That the commissioned officers aforesaid, shall be entitled to receive, for their daily subsistence, the following number of rations of provisons: a major-general, fifteen rations; a brigadier-general, twelve rations; a lieutenant-colonel-commandant, six rations; a quartermaster, inspector, and paymaster-generals, each, six rations; and each aid-de-camp shall receive the monthly pay of twenty-four dollars, in addition to his pay in the line, be entitled to four rations of provisions for his daily subsistence; and whenever forage shall not be furnished by the public, to ten dollars per month, in lieu thereof; a captain, three rations ; a lieutenant, ensign, and cornet, each, two rations; a surgeon, three rations; a surgeon's mate, two rations; a principal, and second artificer, each, two rations, or money in lieu thereof, at the option of the said officers, at the posts respectively, where the rations shall become due; and if at such posts, supplies are not furnished by contract, then such allowance, as shall be deemed equitable, having reference to former contracts, and the position of the place in question.

Sec. 14. And be it further enacted. That the officers herein after described shall, whenever forage shall not be furnished by the public, receive at the rate of the following enumerated sums, per month, instead thereof, to wit: a major-general, twenty dollars; a brigadier-general, sixteen dollars ; quartermaster, inspector and paymaster generals, each, twelve dollars; lieutenant-colonel commandant, twelve dollars; major, ten dollars; captain of dragoons, eight dollars; lieutenant and cornet, each, six dollars; surgeon, ten dollars; surgeon's mate, six dollars; principal artificer, paymaster, adjutant and regimental quartermaster, each, six dollars.

Sec. 15. And be it further enacted, That every person, who shall procure or entice a soldier in the service of the United States, to desert, or who shall purchase, from any soldier, his arms, uniform clothing, or any part thereof ; and every captain or commanding officer of any ship or vessel, who shall enter on board such ship or vessel, as one of his crew, knowing him to have deserted, or otherwise carry away any such soldier, or shall refuse to deliver him up to the orders of his commanding officer, shall, upon legal conviction, be fined, at the discretion of the court, in any sum not exceeding three hundred dollars, or be imprisoned, for any term, not exceeding one year.

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That no non-commissioned officer, or private, shall be arrested, or subject to arrest, for any debt under the sum of twenty dollars.

Sec 17. And be it further enacted; That if any non-commissioned officer, musician or private, shall desert from the service of the United States, he shall, in addition to the penalties mentioned in the rules and articles of war, be liable to serve, for and during such a period, as shall, with the time he may have served, previous to his desertion, amount to the full term of his enlistment, and such soldier shall and may be tried and sentenced by a regimental, or garrison court martial, although the term of his enlistment may have elapsed, previous to his being apprehended or tried.

Sec. 18. Arid be it further enacted, That the sentences of general courts martial, in time of peace, extending to the loss of life, the dismission of a commissioned officer; or which shall, either in time of peace or war, respect a general officer, shall, with the whole of the proceedings in such cases, respectively, be laid before the President of the United States; who is hereby authorized to direct the same to be carried into execution, or otherwise, as he shall judge proper.

Sec. 19. And be it further enacted, That if any officer, non-commissioned officer, private or musician aforesaid, shall be wounded or disabled, while in the line of his duty, in public service, he shall be placed on the list of the invalids of the United States, at such rate of pay, and under such regulations, as shall be directed by the President of the United States for the time being: Provided always, that the rate of compensation to be allowed for such wounds or disabilities, to a commissioned officer, shall never exceed for the highest disability, half the monthly pay of such officer, at the time of his being so disabled or wounded ; and that the rate of compensation to non-commissioned officers, privates and musicians, shall never exceed five dollars per month : And provided also, that all inferior disabilities shall entitle the person so disabled, to receive an allowance proportionate to the highest disability.

Sec. 20. And be it further enacted, That the officers, non-commissioned officers, privates and musicians aforesaid, shall be governed by the rules and articles of war, which have been established by the United States in Congress assembled, [except so much of the same as is by this act altered or amended] as far as the same may be applicable to the constitution of the United States ; or by such rules and articles, as may hereafter by law be established.

Sec. 21. And be it further enacted, That every officer, non commissioned officer, private and musician aforesaid, shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation, to wit: "I, A. B. do solemnly swear, or affirm [as the case may be] to bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and to serve them honestly and faithfully, against their enemies or opposers whomsoever, and to observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the rules and articles of war."

Sec. 22. And be it further enacted, That so much of any act or acts, now in force, as comes within the purview of this act, shall be, and the. same is hereby repealed ; saving, nevertheless, such parts thereof, as relate to the enlistments or term of service of any of the troops, which, by this act, are continued on the present military establishment of the United States.

Sec. 23. And be it further enacted, That the general staff, as authorized by this act, shall continue in service until the fourth day of next March, and no longer.

Approved, May 30, 1796.