preparation for war at all times, I believe that indispensable preparation can be made in a way vastly more satisfactory than by actual war. And this can be done with only a trifling expenditure of treasure, and at no cost whatever in blood and sorrow, nor in suspension of peaceful pursuits, nor in burdensome debts, nor in enormous disbursements for pensions.
Let the schools of all kinds and all grades teach patriotism, respect for law, obedience to authority, discipline, courage, physical development, and the rudiments of practical military manoeuvers; let the national and State military schools be fostered and perfected, and the volunteer citizen soldiery given material aid proportionate to their patriotic military zeal.
Let the fortifications of the sea-coasts and the fleets of battle-ships and cruisers on the ocean be commensurate with the vast national interests and honor intrusted to their protection and defense; let the standing army be sufficient to discharge the duties which require long and scientific education and training, and to serve as models and instructors for the millions of young citizens: then will the United States
, by being always ready for war, insure to themselves all the blessings of peace, and this at a cost utterly insignificant in comparison with the cost of one great war. It is a source of profound gratification to an old soldier who has long worked toward this great end to know that his country has already, in his short lifetime, come so near this perfect ideal of a peace-loving yet military republic.
Only a few more years of progress in the direction already taken, and the usual prolongation of natural life will yet enable me to witness the realization of this one great object of my earthly ambition.