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[233] and materiel, on the score of expense, there is no necessity for such a thing as a peace footing for organization. The organization of a military or naval establishment is fixed primarily with a view to efficiency in war, and only such slight modifications are introduced in time of peace as are indispensable. So far from this being the case in 1861, the whole administration was arranged on an exactly opposite basis. It was about as unfitted for the conduct of a war as it was possible to be. The organization was that of five bureaus, independent of each other, and only united by a common subordination to the Head of the Department. Now, whatever merits the system of nearly independent bureaus may have in time of peace, it is entirely inadequate as an organization for carrying on war. The direction of military or naval operations must be centralized, not only in the person of the Departmental bead, but in his responsible professional advisers; and to impose this heavy burden upon Chiefs of Bureaus, whose business is with certain specific branches of administration, is to expect men to take in at the same moment the whole field of view and the minutest details of a single part. It is the essence of a good organization that every branch of it should have its own work, and should confine itself to that; and for that, and that alone, it should be held to the fullest responsibility. The province of a Bureau is to furnish a gun, or a hull, or an engine, or a crew, the best possible that can be obtained; and to devolve upon its Chief the duty of planning campaigns is only to divert him from his legitimate business, and would, in the nature of things, result disastrously both to the campaign and the bureau. The general direction of military and naval operations, if we are to accept the testimony of the highest authorities and the evidence of the most successful campaigns, is the work of men bred in the business.

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1861 AD (1)
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