Perhaps desertions should be viewed in the light of modern day recruitment methods. Recruits now serve a probation period and if they don't make the grade or they feel the army is not for them they are discharged . A sad sack marking time in some god forsaken outpost ; of course there is going to be a high rate of desertions. Cheers
During the period Oct 1875 till the BLBH, by increasing the standard of qualifications for recruits, the desertion rates reduced significantly. Accepting only about 20% of applicants and an overall dissertation rated for the Army at 7%. This is not back in 1874 when the dissertation rate was 30%. The new recruits arriving to FT Lincoln, October 1875 forward were the higher qualifications standard. Gerry
From the: THE SECRETARY OF WAR War Department, November 20,1876.
REPORT OF THE RECRUITING SERVICE FROM OCTOBER 1, 1875 TO OCTOBER, 1, 1876.
War Department, Adjutant-general's Office, Washington, 1876.
During the past year recruiting has been actively conducted at rendezvous located in many of the principal cities, and recruits have been accepted at a rate sufficient to keep the Army quite up to the authorized strength of 25,000 men. The high standard of qualifications which recruits must attain, together with the great care exercised by recruiting-officers in their selection, have secured for the Army a superior class of men. The records of this office exhibit the fact that less than twenty per cent, of the number of men who have applied at the several rendezvous for enlistment have been accepted; and that the number of desertions during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1876, was only 1,832, whereas during the fiscal years ending June, 1874 and 1875, the numbers of desertions were 4,606 and 2,521 respectively. The hope entertained in a previous report, that the service might be so conducted as to permit of the detention of raw recruits at depots for three or four weeks, with a view to instruction in the first principles of drill and subordination previous to joining companies in the field, has, owing to the demands of the service, only been partially realized. The law approved August 15, 1876, authorized an increase of the strength of the cavalry arm of the service of 2,500 men. In order to effect this increase with the least possible delay, orders were issued reducing somewhat the standard of mounted recruits, establishing additional rendezvous in certain cities, aud suspending certain restrictions in relation to enlistments at military posts within the limits of the Division of the Missouri. On the Pacific coast the recruiting service for organizations in that section is under the supervision of the commanding general Military Division of the Pacific. E. D. TOWNSEND, Adjutant- General.
"Now, Custer, don't be greedy, but wait for us." General Gibbon "No, I will not." Custer, noon, June 22, 1876 passing in review.