one, in favor of education
, of qualification in all respects for the service which may be required, of that dignified self-respect and becoming modesty which prevent an officer from desiring a position for which he is not fully qualified, and, above all, that manly delicacy which makes it impossible for an officer to seek
a position which ought to be left to seek him
. As well might a maiden ask a man to marry her, or get some one else to do it for her, as a soldier to seek in the same way a position on the staff of a general or of the President
This is especially true in respect to the position of the ‘commanding general
,’ or general-in-chief, of the army.
The President being, by the Constitution
, commanderin-chief of the army and navy, no law of Congress, even with his own consent, could relieve him from that responsibility.
There is no law, and there could not constitutionally be any law passed, establishing any such office as that of commanding general of the army, and defining the duties and authority attached to it. Such a law would be a clear encroachment upon the constitutional prerogatives of the President
The only constitutional relation in which the so-called ‘commanding general
,’ or ‘general-in-chief
,’ of the army can occupy is that usually called ‘chief of the staff’—the chief military adviser and executive officer of the commander-in-chief
He cannot exercise any command whatever independently of the President
, and the latter must of necessity define and limit his duties.
No other authority can possibly do it. In this regard the President
's power and discretion are limited only by his constitutional obligation to exercise the chief command himself.
He can give his generalin-chief as much authority as he pleases consistently with that obligation.
Hence it is entirely in the discretion of the President
to define and fix the relations which should exist between the general and the Secretary
of War—a very difficult thing to do, no doubt,—at least one which