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he inserts the following rule : (Para. 12) “Every staff officer will report to the Secretary of State all cases in which fines are inflicted, and if any man shall feel himself aggrieved he may address the Secretary of State for War on the subject through the staff-officer of his district.”
We can easily imagine what the correspondence under this head will entail.
Whether then the system will work as a whole, has yet to be proved. It is obviously not one likely to encourage that esprit-decorps so essential to success in military operations. It will be, in fact, a mere conglomeration of waifs and strays liable to be scattered to the four winds, as occasion may require its constituent parts to be recalled “ to that branch of the service to which they formerly belonged.” Nominally established under the staff officers of pensioners, the War Office authorities seem to expect and claim the chief command.
Perhaps it is intended ultimately to adopt a Regimental system, particularly in large districts where it would be utterly impossible for the already hard-worked staff officers, however remunerated, to superintend the details of its interior economy: and indeed against this contingency provision has been made by the Act of 1867, in the following terms :-“The Crown may appoint such officers from the full and half-pay lists for the command of the force as may be deemed expedient." That it is so contemplated, we may also deduce from the fact that a circular has lately been addressed to certain field and company officers on half-pay, with the view of enabling the authorities to secure their services in case of need. Officers on the Indian Establishment have likewise been sounded on the point, and no doubt many would gladly avail themselves of so desirable a break in the monotony of foreign service. Of this latter class there are at least 200 “ doing. general-duty-men” at present unemployed.
An unofficered force would indeed be an anomaly, and in the wide field of non-effectives the country has ready to hand a mine of professional knowledge, tact and experience. As for instance, out of the 523 captains absolutely on the half-pay list, there are at least 300 fit and eligible for immediate employment, and utilising their services would relieve the British taxpayer from one of the severest burdens he has to bear in connection with the Army. There is also another consideration which ought to weigh with the authorities in this respect.
In the majority of Regiments of the Line promotion is stag. nant owing to a plethora of officers, no fewer than 700 field and company officers being supernumerary to the fixed establishment. In the rank of captain there are 130, and in that of lieutenant 228, who must be absorbed before vacancies occur for their unfortunate brethren of the non-effective list, and this, although many of the reduced officers of the Cape Mounted and Canadian
Rifles and of the 3rd West India Regiment, disbanded last April, are years senior both in service and position to such supernumeraries in their respective ranks.
"If the public dispense with the services of officers,” said Lord Panmure, before the Purchase Commission, “ they are bound to provide for them," and in 1825, when an augmentation of the Army took place, it is recorded that the Secretary of State issued instructions to the Commander-in-Chief that “ every officer should be taken without exception from the half-pay lists to fill the vacancies.” That the vacant commissions in the Militia will be offered to officers of the Regular Forces, is now certain, and it is to be hoped that a liberal policy will prevail, particularly in the case of officers who have been compulsorily placed on the noneffective roster, and who form as a body a most exiguous class, in granting a permanent rate of pay; such exceptional legislation will however be inapplicable should the Militia be partially embodied as Earl Russell very sensibly suggested lately.
Much has been said and written of late as to the proper proportion of field-guns in an army. It has been officially set down at three per thousand men. As a matter of fact we have in England less than 300 breech-loading guns of which only 180 are fully equipped field-pieces, and in this arm of the Service our Reserves are wholly wanting. In any consideration of army resources, most undoubtedly its artillery should and does occupy paramount attention; it is therefore not to be wondered at, that rather disparaging ideas should be entertained of our ability to place a force of even 60,000 men with their proper complement of field artillery at short notice on a war footing.
Within the last few weeks the wild flames of war threatened to spread across “our silver streak of sea," and complications may still arise to involve this country in a direful conflict both by land and sea. Should such an untoward event be brought about, and a descent on our coasts be contemplated, we would naturally lean more especially upon an efficient and ubiquitous field artillery to repel the invader. Forts and fortifications are all very well in themselves, but it is unlikely that an enemy would choose his landing-place within range of our monster gups of position.
It is, however, to the Citizen-Army that the country will look for renewed confidence and security. Our insular and hitherto uninvaded position suffered us to dispense with the studied precautions of stronger States, and to rely on our naval supremacy and the untried spirit of the nation to deliver us from the consequences of possible disaster and defeat. That our existent Regular Army is neither too large nor too costly for the purposes required of it, is surely an admitted postulate, so long as we have a colony to defend, and an Indian Empire to hold against the world, but in the language of the Royal Commissioners of 1867, “it is to the Militia we must look for the solid and constitutional resources of the country.”
What then, it may be asked, are our views on this momentous question ? and before we reply, it is natural to turn to the most remarkable document bearing on the subject that has appeared in modern times, and which no doubt is already familiar to readers of contemporaneous bistory- Napoleon's vindication. In this humiliating confession, (like his greater uncle's) calmly and critically descriptive of his failure, the requirements of a country desirous of respect and security are clearly laid down. “The successes of Prussia are due to the superiority of numbers; to the rigorous discipline of her army; and to the empire exercised thoughout Germany by the principle of authority.”
We cannot afford to employ half measures, we must, like the Germans, merge our very existence in the supreme good of the State. It is no new principle to assert that every male adult is bound to serve the Crown in defence of the realm ; our domestic security must ever rest on this broad basis of goodwill, and yet money we may possess, men we may enrol, Sniders we may distribute, guns we may manufacture, forts we may erect, fieldartillery we may equip, out of the almost illimitable resources of the kingdom, but all our efforts in this direction will, we venture to say, prove miserably futile and eventuate in the embodiment of a disintegral and unreliable mob, viewing with suspicion the orders of their superiors, biassed by petty considerations of party and place, and a prey to anarchy and discord, without the paramount and indispensable elements of Mobilization and Organiza.
NAVAL HEROES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.
By ROBERT Main.
III.-CHARLES T. THRUSTON.
(Concluded.) After this, the armed peasantry of Gallicia never acted together again in any great force, but divided themselves into small parties, never attacking but when certain of success. Owing to this mode of warfare, the French were never masters of more ground than they actually covered ; and, to distract them still more, Captain Capel resolved on an expedition against Camarinas, their nearest station of any importance, about twenty miles to the northward, Accordingly a party of Marines, with Mr. G. V. Oughton, purser, as a volunteer, were placed under the command of Lieutenant Thruston ; and to this detachment were joined about fourhun dred of his old allies, who, although beaten, were ready to try their chance again under his guidance. The ‘Endymion's' launch, well armed, was at the same time sent along shore, with orders to enter the harbour, make the necessary reconnaissance, and cooperate with the party on shere. The enemy, either learning the superiority of the approaching force, or having orders to that effect, retired. As the inhabitants had been rather conspicuous for their attachment to the French cause, the town was taken possession of in a military manner; the chief personages were put under arrest, und the vessels in the port immediately boarded; among them was an English West Indiaman of considerable value, originally captured by the Spaniards, and afterwards seized by the French. After having completely dismantled two strong batteries, all the British and part of the patriotic force were embarked on board the prizes and carried back in safety to Corcubion. The Spanish vessels, laden chietly with salt fish, were given up to the Junta; the West Indiaman was sent to England for condemnation.
Some division now took place in the councils of the redoubtable statesmen of Corcubion. There were two parties, one of which had lost everything by the late visit of the French, the other had still some property to lose, and could count some relatives not murdered. Those who had lost all were hot for war ; and so in fact were the rest, but with this difference; the ruined party were for beginning again instantly, and with most unwonted energy; the other merely wished to pause and proceed little by little. The former, however, gained the day in the discussion ; and taking advantage of the offer the captain of the 'Endymion' had made, incautiously, but very naturally, at the moment of their greatest extremity, they claimed the fulfilment of his promise to bring the frigate into the inner harbour, abreast of the town. This step, they assured him, must restore confidence to the inhabitants, who would then speedily re-assemble; while an apprehension of the ship's broadside might keep the enemy at a distance. The most serious objection to this proposal was the extreme danger to which Her Majesty's ship must be exposed by entering a narrow harbour, completely commanded by heights, to which she could not elevate her guns, but where an enemy, not resisted by military, inight take up a position at any moment, and thence, by means of artillery, knock her to pieces at their leisure. Added to this, there was a powerful battery at the «entrance of the harbour, sufficient of itself to stop a much larger ship than the 'Endymion. Of course the Spaniards undertook to garrison this port but the captain had seen too much of the distinction which these warriors made, between promise and performance, to think of relying upon such an engagement. Nevertheless, as there would have been some indelicacy in making difficulties dependent upon the chance of danger; and, as it appeared to be of some consequence to shew how truly the English were in earnest in the common cause, it was determined to run the bazard of bringing the ship into harbour. On the 17th April accordingly, the battery at the entrance of the harbour having been disarmed by the summary process of pitching the guns into the sea, a proceeding to which the Spaniards reluctanly consented, the 'En. dymion’ sailed in, and was moored close off the town. On that very day the wind chopped round to the southward, and in the evening it blew very hard, so much so that had they been then assailed by a skilful enemy, possessed of the heights, and furnished with guns and troops enough to prevent our landing, they must either have been sunk at their anchors, or have surrendered at discretion, after the greater number of the crew had been killed. To have beat out again under such a breeze was impossible.
Now that the ship was brought within range of the enemy's shot, it became of consequence to establish something like a proper system on shore, and for this purpose, the indefatigable Thruston, who enjoyed as much of the confidence of the Spaniards as any foreigner could ever hope to gain, and who had by this time become personally acquainted with the useful men amongst them, endeavoured to rally their forces, and once more to muster them in strength.
Shortly, however, the first scene of the recent tragedy was acted over again, the whole harbour was once more covered with boats crowded with the inhabitants flying 'from the town, while all the roads were choked with fugitives as before. No enemy being in sight, Captain Capel felt disposed to ascribe this to some panic, but on sending a boat to inquire, it was found that a peasant had arrived with news of a large French force being again near the town, accompanied by a train of heavy cannon. This sounded disagreeably enough; but still no troops could be seen from the ship; and the inference was that the French were making a sweep round the hill, in order to gain the heights lying between her and the mouth of the harbour, from which their guns might command the passage and cut off all retreat.
Shortly after, a cannon shot fired from the shore, whistled over the heads of the officers, and passing between the masts fell beyond the ship. Before the glasses could be turned to the spot from whence it came, another well-directed gun was fired, but fortunately not from the heights. In the next minute, the whole ridge was bristling and alive with French infantry, marching at double quick time to gain the cliffs overhanging the narrowest part of the harbour, from which position they might have fired on the ship's decks with their musketry as she passed. A similar body of men were proceeding with equal celerity along the opposite, or eastern side of the harbour, accompanied by artillery, who were galloping furiously forward, some to gain the dismantled battery at the entrance, and others to perch themselves