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Chapter XXXVIII.- An Act for the better regulation of the Ordnance Department. February 8, 1815

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That from and after the passage of this act, the ordnance department shall consist of one colonel, one lieutenant colonel, two majors, ten captains, ten first lieutenants, ten second lieutenants, and ten third lieutenants.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the colonel or senior officer of the ordnance department is authorized to enlist for the service of that department, for five years, as many master armorers, master carriage makers, master blacksmiths, artificers, armorers, carriage makers, blacksmiths, and labourers, as the public service, in his judgment, under the directions of the Secretary for the Department of War, may require.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted,-That it shall be the duty of the colonel of the ordnance department to direct the inspection and proving of all pieces of ordnance, cannon balls, shot, shells, small arms, and side arms, and equipments, procured for the use of the armies of the United States; and to direct the construction of all cannon and carriages, and every implement and apparatus for ordnance, and all ammunition wagons, travelling forges, and artificer's wagons, the inspection and proving of powder, and the preparation of all kinds of ammunition and ordnance stores. And it shall also be the duty of the colonel or senior officer of the ordnance department, to furnish estimates, and under the direction of the Secretary for the Department of War, to make contracts and purchases for procuring the necessary supplies of arms, equipments, ordnance and ordnance stores.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That the colonel of the ordnance department shall organize and attach to regiments, corps, or garrisons, such number of artificers, with proper tools, carriages and apparatus, under such regulations and restrictions relative to their government and number, as, in his judgment, with the approbation of the Secretary for the Department of War, may be considered necessary.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That the colonel of the ordnance department, or senior officer of that department of any district, shall execute all orders of the Secretary for the Department of War, and, in time of war, the orders of any general, or field officer, commanding any army, garrison or detachment, for the supply of all arms, ordnance, ammunition, carriages, forges, and apparatus, for garrison, field or siege service.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That the keepers of all magazines and arsenals shall, quarterly, or oftener if so directed, and in such manner as directed by the colonel of the ordnance department, make correct returns to the colonel or senior officer of the ordnance department, of all ordnance, arms, and ordnance stores, they may have in charge.

SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That the costs of repairs or damages done to arms, equipments, or implements, in the use of the armies of the United States, shall be deducted from the pay of any officer or soldier in whose care or use the said arms, equipments, or implements were, when the said damages occurred: Provided, The said damages were occasioned by the abuse or negligence of the said officer or soldier. And it is hereby made the duty of every officer commanding regiments, corps, garrisons, or detachments, to make, once every two months, or oftener if so directed, a written report to the colonel of the ordnance department, stating all damages to arms, equipments, and implements, belonging to his command, noting those occasioned by negligence or abuse, and naming the officer or soldier by whose negligence or abuse the said damages were occasioned.

SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the colonel of the ordnance department shall make, half yearly, to the War Department, or oftener if the Secretary for that Department shall so direct, a correct report of the officers, and all artificers, and labourers, in his department; also, of all ordnance, arms, military stores, implements, and apparatus, of every description, and in such form as the Secretary for the Department of War shall direct.

SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That to insure system and uniformity in the different public armories, they are hereby placed under the direction of the ordnance department. And the colonel of the ordnance department, under the direction of the Secretary for the Department of War, is hereby authorized to establish depots of arms, ammunition, and ordnance stores, in such parts of the United States, and in such numbers, as may be deemed necessary.

SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That the colonel of the ordnance department, under the direction of the Secretary for the Department of War, is hereby authorized to draw up a system of regulations for the government of the ordnance department, forms of returns and reports, and for the uniformity of manufactures of all arms ordnance, ordnance stores, implements, and apparatus, and for the repairing and better preservation of the same.

SEC. 11. And be it further enacted, That the pay, emoluments, and allowances, for the officers of the ordnance department, shall be the same as the pay, emoluments, and allowances, now allowed to officers of similar grades respectively, in the artillery of the United States. And that the pay of a master armorer shall be thirty dollars per month, and a half rations one per day; of a master carriage maker, thirty dollars per month, and one and a half rations per day; of a master blacksmith, thirty dollars per month, and one and a half rations per day. The pay of armorers, carriage makers, or blacksmiths, each, sixteen dollars per month and one and a half rations per day; the pay of artificers, thirteen dollars per month, and one ration per day; and the pay of labourers, nine dollars per month, and one ration per day; and to all of the said workmen, artificers, and labourers, the same clothing, and other allowances, as are allowed to privates of infantry in the army of the United States, except clothing to the master workmen.

SEC. 12. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States is hereby authorized to continue in the service, under this act, all the officers of the ordnance department in service on the passage of the same, or to transfer them to other corps of the army of the United States.

SEC. 13. And be it further enacted, That the colonel of the ordnance department is hereby allowed, at the rate of one thousand dollars per year, for clerks, and such books and stationery as may be necessary to his department.

SEC. 14. And be it further enacted, That the act passed May the fourteenth, one thousand eight hundred and twelve, entitled " An act for the better regulation of the ordnance department," and the sections of any other acts, coming within the purview of any of the sections of this act, be, and the same are hereby repealed.

APPROVED, February 8, 1815.

By James Madison

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Source of Information

Library of Congress