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United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 29
rs as to produce the desired effect. But if that theory had been relied upon in 1861, the Confederate States would have established their independence long before the regular army could be organized w far more vulnerable to attack in rear than those of former times. The sea-coasts of the United States are many thousand miles in extent, and an attack may be made at any one or several of the may to require the navy to take part in the defense. In a country having the situation of the United States, the navy is the aggressive arm of the national military power. Its function is to punish aorth the relative functions of the army and the navy in enforcing the military policy of the United States. The military problem which this country must solve is to provide such means of aggressive g every possible effort to prevent it. In short, unless the government and the people of the United States are willing to prepare in advance for putting into the field at a moment's notice a very lar
Fort Donelson (Tennessee, United States) (search for this): chapter 29
ng a popular government. No man can be fully qualified for the duties of a statesman until he has made a thorough study of the science of war in its broadest sense. He need not go to a military school, much less serve in the army or in the militia. But unless he makes himself thoroughly acquainted with the methods and conditions requisite to success in war, he is liable to do almost infinite damage to his country. For example, the very first success of the Union armies—the capture of Fort Donelson—was quickly followed by a proclamation of thanksgiving and an order to stop recruiting. That one act of statesmanship cost the country untold millions of dollars and many thousands of lives. It was necessary only to take the ordinary military advantage of the popular enthusiasm throughout the country after Grant's first victory to have made the Union armies absolutely irresistible by any force the South could raise and arm at that time. There has been much irrelevant discussion abou
Bull Run, Va. (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 29
hat I would impress upon my countrymen in every possible way is, when war or insurrection comes or is threatened, do not trifle with it. Do not invoke judicial proceedings, or call for 75,000 men; but call for men, and let them come as many as will! If some of them do not get there in time, before it is all over, it will not cost much to send them home again! The services of the Pennsylvania reserve, though ready for the field, were actually, positively refused until after the disaster of Bull Run! The greatest wonder in the history of this wonderful republic is that the government actually survived such a military policy as that! In this connection, it ought to be distinctly understood that the great object of education at West Point and other military schools is not to make high commanders, but to make thorough soldiers, men capable of creating effective armies in the shortest possible time, and of commanding comparatively small bodies of men. If great commanders are ever again
West Point (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 29
there were, exclusive of those who went South, at least 600 officers who, after graduating at West Point, had served several years with their regiments, and were well qualified to drill a regiment a could have been fully supplied with brigade, division, and corps commanders from graduates of West Point who were thoroughly qualified by theoretical education and established character, and many of r. It may possibly happen at any time that there may not be among all the living graduates of West Point one Grant or Sherman or Sheridan, or one Lee or Johnston or Jackson. So much greater the needIn this connection, it ought to be distinctly understood that the great object of education at West Point and other military schools is not to make high commanders, but to make thorough soldiers, men ome to the front in due time. They cannot be selected in advance of actual trial in war. Even West Point, though one of the best schools in the world, can at the most only lay the foundation of a mil
William T. Sherman (search for this): chapter 29
the worst of these blind guides were men supposed to have a very high military education. But if sound military education had been at all general in the country, statesmen would have known by what standard to judge of any one man's fitness for high command. It is true that no amount of military education can supply the place of military genius or create a great commander. It may possibly happen at any time that there may not be among all the living graduates of West Point one Grant or Sherman or Sheridan, or one Lee or Johnston or Jackson. So much greater the need of a well-educated staff and a well-disciplined army. Nobody is wise enough to predict who will prove best able to command a great army. But it is the easiest thing in the world to tell who can best create such an army and command its subdivisions, and this is the work to be done instantly upon the outbreak of war. The selection of commanders for the several armies, and, above all, of a general-in-chief, must of cou
Frederick Dent Grant (search for this): chapter 29
nsable to good citizenship organization of the national guard General Grant without military books measures necessary to the national defery advantage of the popular enthusiasm throughout the country after Grant's first victory to have made the Union armies absolutely irresistibt there may not be among all the living graduates of West Point one Grant or Sherman or Sheridan, or one Lee or Johnston or Jackson. So muche policy of the government more than two years. It was not until Grant took command of all the armies that the true strategic principle gothe general military policy. In this connection, the story told by Grant himself about his military studies is very instructive. When askedoks, and never had any, except the West Point text-books. No doubt Grant might have profited by some additional study, but none at all was f former commanders. The development of great military ability in Grant, as the result of his own experience and independent thought,—that
Joseph E. Johnston (search for this): chapter 29
re men supposed to have a very high military education. But if sound military education had been at all general in the country, statesmen would have known by what standard to judge of any one man's fitness for high command. It is true that no amount of military education can supply the place of military genius or create a great commander. It may possibly happen at any time that there may not be among all the living graduates of West Point one Grant or Sherman or Sheridan, or one Lee or Johnston or Jackson. So much greater the need of a well-educated staff and a well-disciplined army. Nobody is wise enough to predict who will prove best able to command a great army. But it is the easiest thing in the world to tell who can best create such an army and command its subdivisions, and this is the work to be done instantly upon the outbreak of war. The selection of commanders for the several armies, and, above all, of a general-in-chief, must of course be the most difficult; for it is
Robert E. Lee (search for this): chapter 29
guides were men supposed to have a very high military education. But if sound military education had been at all general in the country, statesmen would have known by what standard to judge of any one man's fitness for high command. It is true that no amount of military education can supply the place of military genius or create a great commander. It may possibly happen at any time that there may not be among all the living graduates of West Point one Grant or Sherman or Sheridan, or one Lee or Johnston or Jackson. So much greater the need of a well-educated staff and a well-disciplined army. Nobody is wise enough to predict who will prove best able to command a great army. But it is the easiest thing in the world to tell who can best create such an army and command its subdivisions, and this is the work to be done instantly upon the outbreak of war. The selection of commanders for the several armies, and, above all, of a general-in-chief, must of course be the most difficult;
Winfield Scott (search for this): chapter 29
rogress has been made toward a satisfactory solution. Whatever the outcome may be in respect to preparation for war, certainly the government and the people ought to adopt such a policy as will lead to the best practicable use of the preparations which have actually been made. In this respect the policy adopted by the National Government in 1861 was about as weak as possible, while that of the Confederates was comparatively strong. It is said that this weak policy was due largely to General Scott, and grew out of his distrust of volunteer troops; he having thought it necessary to have a considerable body of regular troops to give steadiness and confidence to the volunteers or militia. This is a very good theory, no doubt, provided the regulars could be provided in advance in such numbers as to produce the desired effect. But if that theory had been relied upon in 1861, the Confederate States would have established their independence long before the regular army could be organi
P. H. Sheridan (search for this): chapter 29
of these blind guides were men supposed to have a very high military education. But if sound military education had been at all general in the country, statesmen would have known by what standard to judge of any one man's fitness for high command. It is true that no amount of military education can supply the place of military genius or create a great commander. It may possibly happen at any time that there may not be among all the living graduates of West Point one Grant or Sherman or Sheridan, or one Lee or Johnston or Jackson. So much greater the need of a well-educated staff and a well-disciplined army. Nobody is wise enough to predict who will prove best able to command a great army. But it is the easiest thing in the world to tell who can best create such an army and command its subdivisions, and this is the work to be done instantly upon the outbreak of war. The selection of commanders for the several armies, and, above all, of a general-in-chief, must of course be the m
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