of the mode in which war has been conducted.
Can this highest duty of the citizen be intelligently performed without military education?
A sovereign individual
regards this as demanding the highest education and the ablest counsel he can possibly obtain.
Can sovereign millions
do it wisely without any education whatever?
I believe no proposition could possibly be plainer than that general military education is indispensable to good citizenship in this country, and especially to all who may be intrusted with high responsibilities in the legislative and executive departments of the National Government
What would be thought of a general of the army who tried to shield himself from censure or punishment behind his ignorance of the law?
Can a legislator be excused because he knows nothing of the art and science of war?
If there is any one offense in this country which ought never, under any circumstances, to be pardoned, it is ignorance in those who are trusted by the people to manage the affairs of their government.
As in the military, so in the civil departments of government, there are few greater crimes than that of seeking and assuming the responsibilities of an office for which the man himself knows he is not fit. It is nearly as great as that committed by the appointing power under similar circumstances.
A system of general military education should of course include elementary training in all the schools, public and private, so that every boy, before he is sixteen years old, would know how to use the rifled musket in ranks, and be familiar with the simple evolutions of a company and battalion.
Young men never forget such training received when they are boys.
The country would have in a few years several millions of fairly well-trained young soldiers, requiring only competent officers and a few days' drill in regimental tactics to make a reliable army for any service this country will probably ever require of her volunteer soldiery.
If it were a question of the invasion