an army are so simple that everybody learns them with the utmost ease.
But the relations between the army and its administrative head, and with the civil power, are by no means so simple.
When a too confident soldier rubs up against them, he learns what ‘military’ discipline really means.
It sometimes takes a civilian to ‘teach a soldier his place’ in the government of a republic.
If a soldier desires that his own better judgment shall control military policy, he must take care not to let it become known that the judgment is his. If he can contrive to let that wise policy be invented by the more responsible head, it will surely be adopted.
It should never be suspected by anybody that there is any difference of opinion between the soldier and his civil chief; and nobody, not even the chief, will ever find it out if the soldier does not tell it. The highest quality attributed to Von Moltke
was his ability to make it clearly understood by the Emperor
and by all the world that the Emperor
himself commanded the German army.
My constitutional habit once led me into a very foolish exploit at West Point
A discussion arose as to the possibility of going to New York and back without danger of being caught, and I explained the plan I had worked out by which it could be done.
(I will not explain what the plan was, lest some other foolish boy should try it.) I was promptly challenged to undertake it for a high wager, and that challenge overcame any scruple I may have had. I cared nothing for a brief visit to New York, and had only five dollars in money which Jerome N. Bonaparte
loaned me to pay my way. But I went to the city and back, in perfect safety, between the two roll-calls I had to attend that day. Old Benny Havens
of blessed memory rowed me across the river to Garrison
's, and the Cold Spring
ferryman back to the Point
a few minutes before evening parade.
I walked across the plain in full view of the crowd of officers and ladies, and appeared in