but it ought not to have been very difficult to correct such errors.
It was easier to take away all administrative authority and all command over the general staff of the army, and the latter course was adopted.
The ancient controversy was up to 1888 no nearer settlement than it was in 1869, though in General Sheridan's time some progress had been made in the persistent efforts to deprive the general-in-chief of the little authority which had been left to General Sherman. General Sheridan had, with his usual gallantry and confidence, renewed the contest, but had been worsted in his first encounter with the Secretary, and then gave up the struggle.
Upon my assignment to the command of the army in 1888, I determined to profit so far as possible by the unsatisfactory experience of Generals Scott, Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan—at least so far as to avoid further attempts to accomplish the impossible, which attempts have usually the result of accomplishing little or nothing.
lishing base lines, and arranging the extremities for the use of angle-measuring instruments, and graduating traverse circles in azimuth.
Systematic artillery instruction and target practice were ordered, and a system of reports suited to the preservation and utilization of all data resulting from the firing.
Thus, for the first time in the history of the country, an effort was made to establish and develop a system of artillery fire control adapted to our fortifications and armament.
In 1888 General Schofield succeeded General Sheridan in command of the army, and in December issued General Orders, No. 108 from the headquarters of the army.
This order extended to all the artillery troops of the army the system of artillery instruction and target practice which had been established in the Division of the Atlantic.
As it had not been found practicable to equip all the artillery posts with the necessary appliances for carrying out the provisions of the order, the eleven principal p
the law Fixing retirement for age
an anecdote of General Grant.
again, in 1888, only two years after Hancock's death, another of our most gallant companions, the matchless Shermilitary affairs, so that there was at least unity in the exercise of military authority.
But in 1888 even that had ceased, and it had been boldly announced some time before that each departmental chs practically complete in the War Department.
Thus it appeared, when I went into the office in 1888, that of my predecessors in command of the army, Scott and Sherman had given up the contest, Sherable ambition I may ever have had to command the army.
My ultimate succession to that command in 1888 was, like all other important events in my personal career, unsought and unexpected.
Hence whatever I did from 1888 to 1895 was only a little extra duty, and I have had no reason to find fault on account of the extra-duty pay which I received, though none of it was in money.
I am inclined to th
that no appropriations were made for several years for any new armament, and hence none for fortifications.
Thus by a trifle were the wheels of a great government blocked for a long time!
Yet that government still survives!
Finally, in the year 1888 an act was passed creating a Board of Ordnance and Fortification, of which the commanding general of the army should be president, and appropriating quite a large sum of money to be expended, under the direct supervision of that board, to commenceany in the world.
Yet that work of so vital importance must be delayed until American genius could also be assured of a chance, at government expense, of developing something better than anybody else in the world had done!
An end was finally, in 1888, put to that dangerous delay by the device, so happily invented by somebody in Congress, of a Board of Ordnance and Fortification.
The board has also served, and will doubtless continue to serve, another very important purpose.
It brings toget