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-a general school of instruction for the civil and military servants of the State. It is not a cavalry school, an artillery school, nor in any degree akin to the Ecole d'Etat Major, in which the Staff of the French army is reared. But it is, like its junior, self-supporting, and therefore accessible only to officers, who can afford to pay for the education which they receive there, and support themselves all the while. Nor is this all. We believe that those best acquainted with the institution will be the most forward to acknowledge, that in the matter of practical training for the Staff, a young officer will find little in the instruction which is communicated to him at Sandhurst which, when the exigencies of a campaign arise, he can turn to account. That this state of things is inherent in the nature of the institution we are far from desiring to assert. It is, on the contrary, the mere growth of years of neglect on the part of our highest military authorities; and we are willing to believe that the day is near at hand when an effective remedy will be applied to it. But in the meanwhile the two facts stand prominently before us; first, that this great Empire does not possess a Staff School worthy of the name; and, next, that the highest testimonials from our Staff School, such as it is, carry with them no sure claim, on the part of the recipient, to Staff employment.
IV. Again, the British army is singularly defective in this: that till called upon to take the field in the presence of an enemy, its officers and men have no opportunity of learning more than their duty as members of a regiment. Here and there, as at Gibraltar, at Malta, in Dublin, and perhaps at Portsmouth and Plymouth, two or more battalions of infantry may work together in brigade; and occasionally, as at Dublin, cavalry and artillery being added, some four or five thousand men manœuvre as a division in Phoenix Park. And this is not without its uses. But till the camp was formed two years ago at Chobham, the concentration of a few thousand men into an army had been a thing unheard of in this country for half a century; and even at Chobham little more than the parade movements of a division was attempted. There were no reconnoissances made; no outposts established; no foraging imitated; no fieldworks thrown up; no purveyance, nor any other of the operations of a campaign, enacted even on a small scale. And, above all, there was no pausing from time to time to instruct Staff and other officers in the objects of the various evolutions which they assisted to direct. In a word, ours is a regimental system, and nothing else; and even of that it concerns us to be obliged to acknowledge that our opinion is by no
means in unison with the views expressed by Lord Hardinge and, after him, by Lord Panmure.
V. Down to the very constitution of its battalions and companies, the system of the British army stands in need of revisal. We officer our regiments too exclusively from one class; we too firmly shut the door of admission into that charmed circle against all other classes. Our first commissions are given, without any serious trial of fitness, to the sons of noblemen and gentlemen, of clergymen and officers, who by themselves or through their connexions can command sufficient interest to have their names put down upon the list of the General Commanding in Chief. An examination-or, to speak more correctly, the caricature of an examination-there has been since 1849; but never so constituted as to furnish any safe test of the talents or acquirements of candidates, it has, we understand, since the breaking out of the war, fallen virtually into disuse; and we believe that we speak the language of those best qualified to give an opinion when we add, that it is much to be desired that in its original form at least it may never be revived. Moreover, the young man, after joining his depôt or corps, is put to very little trouble so far as his mind is concerned. He must acquire a knowledge of regimental drill, which seldom occupies more than six weeks, and then his time and his talents are almost entirely at his own disposal. He rises late day after day, spends an hour over his tub and his toilet, devotes another hour to his breakfast and cigar, and at eleven o'clock, weather permitting, parades with his men. This done, unless he be
officer of the day, he may go where he will and do as he pleases till the pleasant sound of the dinner horn bring him to the messtable, and a cigar and a rubber of whist in the ante-room wile away the evening till bed-time.
So living (we speak of our army, be it observed, in times of peace), without an aim, without an object-carrying the same indolent habits with him wherever he may chance to be sent, the youth gradually stiffens into manhood, and at the age of forty or forty-five finds himself a lieutenant-colonel by purchase. As a matter of course, the responsibility and trouble of command (for the command of a regiment is not quite a sinecure) become gradually irksome to him. He is married, too, or proposes to marry, and therefore considers within himself whether it be wise to risk, in colonial service, not only his life, but the eight or ten thousand pounds which he has expended in attaining to rank; and so-just as he was beginning to be useful,-just as the country had a right to expect something from his experience, should the emergencies of war arise, he sells out, and opens a
way for others to go through the same routine and arrive at the same issue.
VI. The internal economy-meaning thereby the domestic state and interior habits of a regiment is very far indeed from what it ought to be in our service. The distance between the officer and non-commissioned officer and private soldier is too great. The former holds no intercourse at all with the latter, except on points of duty; and these are so managed, that they lead to no familiar acquaintance, even with character. An officer
a captain, at all events-can generally tell which of his men is a drunkard and otherwise guilty of irregularities; but which of them is prudent which reckless, which is truthful which a deceiver, which is far-sighted, ingenious, handy at a pinch, or the reverse, he knows no more than if there were no bond of union between them. How, indeed, should the case be otherwise? The captain has nothing whatever to do with the supply of his men's wants, and has, therefore, no means of judging as to their capability of making little go a great way. The clothes which the Government supplies, they put on, and continue to wear for the regulated season; while their bread and meat, furnished by contract, they carry off and prepare for consumption in fixed cooking places, after a fixed method. Whatever instruction the men receive, they receive from non-commissioned officers. All that relates to drill comes to them from the adjutant and sergeant-major through drill corporals. All that they are taught in the manner of cleaning and taking care of their arms and accoutrements, they are taught under the sergeants of rooms by their comrades. It is only upon parade that the wellconducted man has any opportunity of hearing his officers' voices, except when by turns these latter rush through the schools, the barrack-rooms, the hospitals, and the cells, and put the stereotyped question, to which the stereotyped answer is always ready, Any complaints here?' Nor is this all. Though a good deal has undoubtedly been done of late years to encourage in the private soldier better tastes and consequent respect for himself, his condition is still such as to deter all except the humblest or most improvident members of society from enlisting. His labours in time of peace may be light, but his whole existence is one of order and routine. His barrack-room may be weather-tight, but it cuts him off from the remotest chance of privacy. It is truly a comfortless domicile, particularly in winter; at which season a scanty allowance of fuel, and still scantier supply of candles, often force him, against the dictates of his better judgment, to seek for light and warmth in the tap-room of a public-house. Moreover, the soldier's life receives but little gilding from the sun of hope.
In ordinary times, he has nothing to look forward to, except, perhaps, a sergeant's stripes; and the responsibilities of a sergeant's position are so grave and so urgent, that many a good man shrinks from undertaking them; and a commission itself, when at long intervals it falls to one of the throng, merely introduces him to a condition of society for which neither his means nor his manners have fitted him.
The Duke of Wellington, speaking of the army as he knew it, and as in a modified degree it is still known to us all, gave a sound judgment when he pronounced against promoting men from the ranks. The measure adds in no degree to the happiness of the favoured individual, while it gives very little, if vigour to the system on which it is but an excrescence.
Many other points there are which might fairly be objected to in the military system of Great Britain; but it would carry us far beyond the limits of an article were we to marshal them here in array; we must content ourselves, therefore, for the present, by noticing the six charges here enumerated; and the better to carry the attention of the reader along with us, we propose to do so in an order inverse to that in which they have been placed on the record.
I. We have nothing to urge against the manner of keeping regimental accounts which prevails in our service, and the checks which have been invented in order to guard against jobbing in every form. They are, perhaps, unnecessarily minute, at least in the matter of returns; but they render impossible practices which are said to prevail elsewhere. They effectually hinder peculation as well from the public as from individuals. So far our regimental system deserves the full measure of praise which has recently been lavished upon it. But all beyond is a mistake. It produces steadiness on parade, and a general appearance of smartness in the individual soldier; but it fails entirely to prepare him for the real object of his calling—efficiency in a campaign. Our soldiers in time of peace seldom march, even to effect a change of quarters. To convey them by rail is so much more economical than to march them along the highways, that wherever railroads afford the opportunity, they are transported from place to place in second-class carriages. Twice a week during the winter season the custom indeed prevails of making a short promenade a few miles into the country and back again. But the systematic training which gradually brings on a delicate youth to be a stout walker-the drill which without injuring the lungs of the recruit causes him to become day by day more capable of rapid and sustained movementsthis is unknown among us: and the consequence is, that even
our Rifle Brigade, admirable as in many respects we admit it to be, cannot keep pace with a common infantry battalion in the French service, and is left immeasurably behind in the march by the Chasseurs de Vincennes.
It is no exaggeration to state that the power of locomotion possessed by troops doubles their efficiency, and is a more certain. test of superiority than their numbers. The Light Division of the Peninsular Army, from 1807 to 1814, owes its reputation mainly to its power of marching. The great historian of the campaign of Talavera relates how, after having covered sixty-two miles in twenty-six hours, the whole of that splendid corps, leaving only seventeen stragglers behind, marched across the field of battle in hot weather, carrying each man 50lbs. weight upon his back. It was with such troops as these that the Duke of Wellington said he could go anywhere and do anything; but the power of marching which they possessed does not come to men of its own accord. It is the result of incessant training, upon a principle very different from that which forms the groundwork of mere exercises in a barrackyard.
Again we do not attempt to instruct our soldiers in the art of bivouacking, fire-making, or cooking. In the best-managed of our regiments we believe that the men of each company take it by turns to dress their own food and that of their comrades. In regiments not the best, each company has its settled cooks, whom it would be considered injudicious to change. But, after all, such cooks learn nothing more than how to season a mess of broth with salt, and to boil quantities of meat and potatoes in fixed coppers with good coal fires arranged under them. Take these men into the open field, and give them only their messtins, and such sticks as they can gather, and you will find them helpless as children. Their meat will probably be broiled on the ends of their ramrods, and their vegetables, if any happen to be issued to them, either half-boiled or blackened among the embers. As to hutting themselves, few indeed of the lads whom we are now shipping off by scores to the Crimea ever heard that such a process might be necessary. They certainly would not know, were they carried to the edge of a wood, on landing, to what uses poles and twigs are to be turned, or how excellent cooking places may be arranged out of a few large stones and turfs handily put together.
No pains are taken to instruct our soldiers in the use of pickaxe and shovel, and the tools issued to them when they take the field are of the worst description. We teach them to handle their arms, and to throw themselves at the word of com