will come to the front in due time.
They cannot be selected in advance of actual trial in war. Even West Point
, though one of the best schools in the world, can at the most only lay the foundation of a military education.
Each individual must build for himself upon that foundation the superstructure which is to mark his place in the world.
If lie does not build, his monument will hardly appear above the surface of the ground, and will soon be covered out of sight.
It is of vital importance that the necessity of providing for calling into active service a very large army in the shortest possible time be fully understood.
It is assumed that every important seaport will in time be so fortified as to be safe against any unsupported
Modern science has rendered this easy and certain.
Hence a naval attack must necessarily be supported by the landing of a military force upon the open coast, to attack the land defenses in reverse; and such defenses are now far more vulnerable to attack in rear than those of former times.
The sea-coasts of the United States
are many thousand miles in extent, and an attack may be made at any one or several of the many important seaports in these long lines of coast.
No one can anticipate where the blow or blows may fall.
Hence it is necessary to be prepared to resist an attempt to land at any one of those many points which are of such importance as to tempt an enemy to attack them.
The railroad facilities of the country are such that the necessary armies can be moved to all exposed points in time to meet any emergency.
But the armies must be ready to move almost at a moment's notice.
There will be no time to organize, much less to drill, new troops.
Before that could be done, any one or two or three of our largest seaport cities could be captured and destroyed, and the invading forces get back again on their transports, and under the protection of the guns of