The Company Clerk
HOW AND WHEN TO MAKE OUT ALL THE RETURNS,
REPORTS, ROLLS, AND OTHER PAPERS, AND
WHAT TO DO WITH THEM.
HOW TO KEEP ALL THE BOOKS, RECORDS, AND ACCOUNTS REQUIRED
IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF A COMPANY, TROOP, OR BATTERY
IN THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES
We have numerous handbooks for military service that tell us what to do, but few, if any, that tell us How TO DO IT; and although there is certainly none better than the Regulations itself upon the subject of administration, yet that it essentially fails to accomplish the object, is apparent in the want of care of public property, the informality and want of method in the keeping of the records, and the total neglect, in most of the regiments, to render the prescribed returns. This neglect is believed to be caused more by the difficulty of finding out how to do what is required, than from any innate carelessness or intent to neglect their duty on the part of officers.
The want of a book to explain these administrative matters more in detail has induced the author to undertake the task so far as relates to the Company. While he has tried to lay down the practice in the Regular service, he does not presume to teach the older officers of the army their duty; but he trusts they will not be too critical on what is very plain to them, but what is certainly very obscure to the young officer when he first enters service. What has here been prescribed for the Regular service is equally applicable for the Volunteer service; and it is mostly for their benefit that the following pages have been undertaken.