President Taft has not yet asked the War Department to detail a chief White House aid to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Maj. Butt. The War Department will not officially recognize the death of Maj. Butt until a period of thirty days have elapsed, when his name will be officially stricken from the army list, his death will be published to the service, his pay will be stopped, and the senior captain in the Quartermaster's Department will be promoted to the vacancy in the list of majors.
Maj. Butt was promoted from captain March 3, 1911, and the vacancy will be filled by the promotion of Capt. Ralph Harrison, of Missouri. When Maj. Butt went on leave six weeks ago, First Lieut. Charles K. Rockwell, of the Engineer Corps, was detailed by President Taft to temporarily take his place. Lieut. Rockwell has performed since Maj. Butt's departure the functions of chief White House aid, and will continue to act in this capacity for perhaps a week or more, until an officer is permanently selected for the place.
The position of chief White House aid is the most important post, perhaps, of all on the White House staff. Maj. Cosby is the senior aid, and as such he is superintendent of public buildings and grounds. Lieut. John W. Timmons, U. S. N., son-in-law of former Vice President Fairbanks, is senior naval aid. He and all the other aids, however, have regular military or naval duties to perform. The chief White House aid has no other duties than to have charge of all White House functions and serve the will of the President or Mrs. Taft.
Maj. Butt was depot quartermaster in Washington when selected in 1908. Under a recent ruling of the War Department, all officers who have been separated from their regular commands or branches of the service for four years have to be returned. Accordingly, "Archie" Butt would have been returned to his regular military duties some time this summer. He probably would have been made chief quartermaster of the Eastern Division, at New York.