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[521] of a foreign country against a modern veteran army, the case would be different. But for defense against any possible landing of a hostile army on our shores, our available force ought to be so overwhelming in numbers as to far more than compensate for lack of experience. Yet it must not be forgotten that some training is indispensable. No possible advantage in numbers can overcome the disadvantage resulting from total ignorance of tactics and of the use of the modern long-range rifle. Good parents who apprehend evil effects from giving their boys military training ought to reflect that the boys will go, all the same, whether trained or not, when the country is threatened with invasion. Then, if ignorant, they will simply be doomed to fall the victims of skilled marksmen to whose shots they know not how to reply. Possibly the most cruel fate which American parents could prepare for their sons would be to keep then in ignorance of the highest duty their country may call upon them to perform, so that, unable to offer any effective resistance to invasion, they could only die in a hopeless effort to do their duty as citizen soldiers and patriots—or, worse, live only to be driven in disgrace from a field which a little education would have enabled them gloriously to win.

There should be, under State authority, a general enrolment and organization of all the young men who have received military training, and places of rendezvous fixed at convenient centers at or near railway-stations. Officers of all grades up to that of colonel should be appointed in advance, and occasional musters held under State laws, even if military exercises were not attempted.

Our colleges and high schools, besides the military academies of the country, are even now educating a fair percentage of young men to be officers of such an organization of enrolled regiments as that here suggested. This percentage could easily be increased in accordance with the demand. Besides, the retired men of the regiments

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