Supreme Court of the United States
composed of merchants and bankers would be no more of an anomaly than a body of general and staff officers of like composition.
The general policy of our government seems to be based upon a recognition of this self-evident principle.
We have a national military academy and other military schools inferior to none in the world, and well-organized staff departments which are thoroughly efficient in war as well as in peace.
The laws also provide a due proportion of subordinate general officers for the command of geographical departments in time of peace, or of divisions and brigades in the field in time of war. But no provision is made for an actual military commander of the entire army either in peace or in war. During only one single year since the adoption of the Constitution of the United States
has this not been the fact.
In pursuance of a special act of Congress and the orders of President Lincoln
, General Grant
in fact commanded ‘all the armies of the United States
’ during the last year of the Civil War
; but at no other time has there been an actual military commander of the army or armies whose authority as such was recognized by the War Department.
Why, it may be asked, this strange departure from the recognized rule of organization in all governmental and business affairs?
Why provide educated and trained experts for all subordinate positions, and none for the head or chief, vastly the most important of all?
In the first place, it is important to observe that the matter rests absolutely in the hands of the President
: Congress has no power in the matter.
To create by law a military head for the army would be a violation of the essential provision of the Constitution
which makes the President
In the case of General Grant
, Congress fully recognized this fact, saying: ‘Under the direction and during the pleasure of the President
’ he ‘may’ command the