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[480] on the subject, and no other worthy of the name has ever been adopted in its place.

Soon after I was assigned to the command of the Army I submitted, in writing, to President Cleveland my own mature views on the subject. They received some favorable consideration, but no formal action, in view of the near approach of the end of his first term. From that time till near the present the paper was in the personal custody of the Secretary of War. What consideration, if any, it ever received, I was never informed. But it was the guide of my own action, at least, while I was in command of the army. It is now on file in the War Department. It is to be hoped that some future military and administrative geniuses, superior to any of the last hundred years, may be able to solve that difficult problem. I can only say that my own plan worked well enough so long as I helped to work it. How it may be with anybody else, either under my plan or some other, only the future can determine. I so far succeeded that the most intelligent staff officers used to say, ‘For the first time the general actually does command the army.’ They saw only the results, without exactly perceiving the nature of the motive-power.

The way to success in rendering efficient public service does not lie through any assumption of the authority which the nation may have given to another, even if not most wisely, but rather in zealous, faithful, and subordinate efforts to assist that other in doing what the country has imposed upon him.

A soldier may honorably crave, as the dearest object of his life, recognition of his past services by promotion to a higher grade. That is his one reward for all he may have done. But the desire for higher command, greater power, and more unrestrained authority exhibits ambition inconsistent with due military subordination and good citizenship. It is a dangerous ambition in a republic.

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