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Mr. REED, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the

following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 9334)

The Committee on Military Affairs, to which was referred the bill (H. R. 9334) to provide for the study, investigation, and survey, for commemorative purposes, of the battle field of Saratoga, N. Y., having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that it do pass.

The purpose of the bill is set forth in the House report thereon, which is made a part of this report and reads as follows:

The Committee on Military Affairs, to which was referred the bill (H. R. 9334) to provide for the study, investigation, and survey, for commemorative purposes, of the battle field of Saratoga, N. Y., introduced by Mr. Parker, of New York, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that it do pass.

This is a measure which will enable the War Department to survey the battle field of Saratoga, prepare a plan for its commemoration and determine the cost of same. The act of June 11, 1926, to provide for the study and investigation of battle fields in the United States for commemorative purposes, authorizes the Secretary of War to make this survey.

In a report submitted to Congress by the War Department on December 6, 1928, and published as Senate Document No. 187, Seventieth Congress, second session, it was stated that it would cost approximately $4,400 to make a survey of the battle field of Saratoga along the lines necessary for its proper commemoration. The present bill authorizes an appropriation of $4,400 for this purpose. Saratoga and Yorktown stand out as the two great and decisive battles of the American armies in the Revolutionary War. Consequently, this battle and Yorktown were placed by the War Department in the highest class for commemorative purposes at this time.

The Battle of Saratoga had a most profound effect upon the final success of the American Revolution by frustrating the plan for the junction of two powerful British Armies proceeding from north and south. It doomed to failure the project to divide the Colonies. As a complete victory involving the surrender of a British Army of about 6,000 men, all that remained of the army of approximately 10,000 that started from Canada, it restored the confidence and stimulated the morale and fighting spirit of the patriot forces. As a direct result it brought France into the struggle on the American_side, increasing manyfold the chance of ultimate success. It is classed by the British historian Creasy as one of the decisive battles of the world.

Immediately upon receipt of news in France that General Burgoyne had surrendered a British Army to General Gates, the French Government proceeded to arrange an alliance with the United States. With the aid of France, the certainty that the new country would continue to exist as a sovereign State was determined at Yorktown.

England sent to our shores the best generals and troops in her service. She recognized the fact that her foe was of her own blood. Many of her statesmen opposed the use of force in the endeavor of England to retain the Colonies. When it was seen that all attempts to reduce Americans to submission by force of arms failed, it was bitterly regretted by many that no heed had been taken of the conciliatory propositions which were submitted to Parliament by its own members.

The British opened the campaign of 1777 with great vigor. Parliament determined to give to the military service in America such aid as would not fail to put down the rebellion by midsummer.

Such fear as the American troops may have felt of the superior ability of the British soldier was lost after the several battles fought at Saratoga. When Burgoyne was maneuvered into a position from which there was no escape, the feeling in the new Nation was one of equality on the field of battle, with the older mother country.

Lieut. Col. H. L. Landers, of the historical section, Army War College, who is engaged in the study of the Battle of Saratoga, makes the following statement:

“The United States declared its independence on the 4th day of July, 1776. Shortly thereafter the new Nation sent three commissioners to France, Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee, to negotiate with that country for supplies, and to effect an alliance. The French Government professed a real friendship for the commissioners' and wished success to their cause, but until the revolutionists were successful on the field of battle, France would not break with England.

“On the 17th of October, 1777, the army of Lieut. Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered to Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates at Saratoga. A copy of the articles of convention was sent to the commissioners by the American Committee of Foreign Affairs on the 31st of October, 1777. The letter transmitting the articles said, in part:

'We rely on your wisdom and care to make the best and most immediate use of this intelligence, to depress our enemies, and produce essential aid to our cause in Europe.

We are sensible how essential European aid must be to the final establishment and security of American freedom and independence.'

“The news of Burgoyne's surrender reached France by a packet from Boston. It 'apparently occasioned as much general joy in France,' wrote the commissioners, 'as if it had been a victory of their own troops over their own enemies, such is the universal, warm, and sincere good will and attachment to us and our cause in this Nation.'

“The commissioners took this opportunity to urge the ministry to act on the proposed treaty, which had been under consideration so long. A meeting was accordingly arranged for the 12th of December, at which a final accord was reached. As the concurrence of Spain was necessary, a courier was dispatched to that country the following day to obtain its agreement.

On the 6th of February, 1778, two treaties were signed with France. One was a treaty of amity and commerce, the other a treaty of alliance, in which it was stipulated that in case England declared war against France, or occasioned a war by attempts to hinder her commerce with the United States, the two countries would then make common cause of it and join their forces and councils. The great aim of the treaty was declared to be to establish the liberty, sovereignty, and independency, absolute and unlimited, of the United States, as well in matters of government as commerce.'

“From 1778 to 1781 France furnished money, supplies, ships, and men to the United States. With the aid of her fleet, control of the sea was gained by the allied nations in the fall of 1781 and the army of Cornwallis was forced to surrender at Yorktown.

"In all likelihood the war for independence would not have terminated with success to the new Nation had it not been for the assistance given by France. This assistance was given only as a result of the surrender of the British Army at Saratoga.

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“The State of New York already has done much for the preservation of this battle field, having expended practically a quarter of a million dollars in the Saratoga battle field. Beginning with the acquisition of four farms in 1926, it has now acquired 1,400 acres, and has begun an intelligent restoration of the field as it was at the time of the battle.

“This battle field is not properly the possession of any one State. It should belong to the United States and be developed as a national shrine.”

The letter from the Secretary of War on this bill explains the attitude of the War Department and is made a part of this report.

FEBRUARY 17, 1930. Hon. W. FRANK JAMES, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. James: Careful consideration has been given to the bill (H. R. 9334) to provide for the study, investigation, and survey, for commemorative purposes, of the battle field of Saratoga, N. Y., which you transmitted to the War Department under date of January 31, 1930, with a request for information and the views of the department relative thereto.

The applicable provision of existing law on the subject appears in Public, No. 372, Sixty-ninth Congress, entitled "An act to provide for the study and investigation of battle fields in the United States for commemorative purposes," approved June 11, 1926.

In the report of progress made in the study and investigation of battle fields, submitted to Congress on December 6, 1928, and published as Senate Document No. 187, Seventieth Congress, second session, it was recommended that Congress approve the general classification of battle fields as set forth in House of Representatives Report No. 1071, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session; that it indicate which battle fields, if any, it desires to commemorate or survey; and that it authorize the necessary appropriations to carry its wishes into effect. No action has been taken by Congress on this recommendation.

The survey authorized in this bill is in accordance with the above-mentioned classification of battle fields.

This bill authorizes the appropriation of $4,400 for making the survey.

A survey made of a battle field which Congress will not commemorate, or under a classification which will not be acceptable, serves no purpose and is an unjustifiable waste of Government funds. The question as to whether or not any historical event shall be commemorated, and if so, the nature of that commemoration, is matter of public policy which Congress must decide. For the reasons noted the War Department consistently withholds any definite recommendation as to whether or not a particular event should be commemorated. Sincerely yours,

PATRICK J. HURLEY.

Secretary of War. O

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Mr. HARRIS, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the

following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 9154)

The Committee on Military Affairs, to which was referred the bill (H. R. 9154) to provide for the construction of a revetment wall at Fort Moultrie, S. C., having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that it do pass.

The purpose of the bill is set forth in the House report thereon, which is made a part of this report and reads as follows:

The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 9154) to provide for the construction of a revetment wall at Fort Moultrie, S. C., introduced by Mr. McMillan, having considered the same, report thereon with the recommendation that it do pass with the following amendment:

Line 5, strike out the word “five" and insert in lieu thereof “four".

Fort Moultrie is a Regular Army post situated on Sullivans Island, 6 miles from Charleston, S. C. The purpose of this legislation is explained in the letter from the War Department. Your committee feel that the importance of preventing further erosion at that point calls for early enactment of the legislation. The letter from the Secretary of War is as follows:

JANUARY 29, 1930. Hon. W. FRANK JAMES, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. JAMES: Careful consideration has been given to the bill (H. R. 9154) to provide for construction of a revetment wall at Fort Moultrie, S. C., in accordance with telephone request of January 27, 1930, for a report thereon and such views relative thereto as the department might desire to communicate.

There are no applicable provisions of existing law on this subject. The present wooden bulkhead extending along the north shore of Sullivans Island from the western edge of Fort Moultrie Reservation eastward for a distance of about 2,859 feet, was built some time between 1900 and 1906. The bulkhead has all rotted away and the wash from vessels passing up and down the channel, together with spring and storm tides, has washed out considerable ground just inside the position of the old bulkhead. This is a continuing process and the island upon which Fort Moultrie is situated is gradually washing away into the bay.

SR-71-2—VOL 233

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