with discretionary authority.
That very emergency of 1894 gave examples of officers, not educated at West Point
nor at any other military school, distinguished for gallant and efficient military service in the field, who proved to be perfectly familiar with the principles of constitutional and military law which ought to govern the action of troops under circumstances like those of 1894; while others, distinguished as commanders in the field, seemed strangely ignorant of both constitutional and military laws.
It is also worthy of remark that such necessary legal education did not appear to be universal among the West Point
graduates at that time.
Some men who are not graduates of West Point
are much better qualified for high command than some who are.
Much has been said about a supposed prejudice in the army against officers who have not enjoyed the advantages of education at the military academy.
I aver, emphatically, that I have never seen any evidence of any such feeling, and I do not believe it has ever existed to any appreciable extent.
On the contrary, the general feeling has been that of just and generous consideration for officers who were at first laboring under that disadvantage.
Some of the most popular men in the army have been among those appointed from civil life or from the volunteers.
General Alfred H. Terry
was a fair example of this.
He was a ripe scholar, a thorough lawyer, a very laborious student of the art and science of war,— more so than most West Point
graduates,—and so modest that he hesitated to accept the appointment of brigadier-general in the regular army, although it had been given for so distinguished a service as the capture of Fort Fisher
, on the ground that older officers who had devoted their whole lives to the military service were better entitled to it.
The general feeling in the army has no special reference to West Point
It is a feeling, and a very strong