I believe, nothing equal to it anywhere in this country.
Its methods of developing the reasoning faculties and habits of independent thought are the best ever devised.
West Point training
of the mind is practically perfect.
Its general discipline is excellent and indispensable in the military service.
Even in civil life something like it would be highly beneficial.
In my case that discipline was even more needed than anything else.
The hardest lesson I had to learn was to submit my will and opinions to those of an accidental superior in rank who, I imagined, was my inferior in other things, and it took me many years to learn it. Nothing is more absolutely indispensable to a good soldier than perfect subordination and zealous service to him whom the national will may have made the official superior for the time being.
I now think it one of the most important lessons of my own experience that, while I had no difficulty whatever in securing perfect subordination and obedience in a large public school when I was only seventeen years old, or ever afterward in any body of troops, from a squad of cadets up to an army of men, others did not find it by any means so easy to discipline me. What I needed to learn was not so much how to command as how to obey.
My observation of others has also taught much the same lesson.
Too early independence and exercise of authority seem to beget some degree of disrespect for the authority of others.
I once knew a young majorgen-eral who, in his zeal to prevent what he believed to be the improper application of some public funds, assumed to himself the action which lawfully belonged to the Secretary of War
The question thus raised was considered paramount to that of the proper use of the funds.
The young officer lost his point, and got a well-merited rebuke.
But it is not to be expected that complete military education can be obtained without complete military experience.
The rules of subordination and obedience