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order one man of his company to attend a parade, and the adjutant cannot insist on the attendance of any for instruction. The rules and regulations framed for the government of the Volunteer Force are a tissue of trumpery technicalities, so arranged that all power is centralized in the War Office, and directions made so difficult to comprehend and carry out that the result should be the resignation of every influential gentleman as a commanding officer, and encouragement of insolence and ignorance in surbordinate ranks. The patriotism of the better classes as officers, and the plain good sense of the rank and file has alone prevented the Volunteer Force becoming a dangerous and dictatorial power in the State, and made it even tolerably efficient. The stuff is good, excellent; but red-tape, suspicion, and civil ideas of military requirements have done their best to render useless, ineffective, and insubordinate as grand a ground-work for an army as ever a State desired.
If we are to be respected by foreign powers. If we are to bear weight in the scale of nations. If we are to be able to enter upon a war, or even to defend ourselves, we must not grudge expense, or be content to remain as we are. Our officers must be of the best for all our services. Their education, their position, their professional knowledge must be such as commands the respect and willing obedience of those under them. The non-commissioned officers and rank and file must be of something better than the world's leavings. Let a regiment of the Line find its reserve in its own county Militia regiment, and let these be brought together in brigades under canvass during some portion of the summer months. To these again attach battalions of Volunteers and make such regulations as shall insure every Volunteer attend. ing being present for at least six consecutive working days. Place the whole force under divisional commanders, and insist on" sham” being no longer possible.
To obviate the loss of time, and the inconvenience to other portions of the brigade by having battalions of ignorant men thrust into their midst, let the War Office come out boldly and demand the attendance of every Volunteer at commanding officer's parade, or adjutant's instruction, and insist that these instructions shall be of certain duration. In other words, insist that company and squad drill, with firings, shall be learned at the head-quarters of corps. Schools of Instruction for officers have been established, and gentlemen are doing well there. It is not too much to demand that those under them should be forced to attend a parade. As we said before, to enter as a Volunteer is perfectly voluntary, but having so entered it can be no hardship for a man to obey regulations however strictly framed.
In conclusion, we may be excused for pointing out the necessity for all staff and field officers passing through a course of instruction in the higher branches of their profession. It is an abso
U. S. Mag. No. 507, FEB., 1871.
lutely vital point that the officer commanding a battalion should thoroughly comprehend the meaning of a brigade movement, and be able to place his regiment in position by the quickest method. It is more a matter of necessity that the officer superintending such movements, whether they be divisional or brigade, should understand every detail connected with it. Thefore such staffofficers, whether on the Divisional or Brigade staff, should have opportunities offered them of learning their profession in all its branches. Adjutant-generals of division, majors of brigade, ad. jutants of Militia and Volunteers (these officers having always to officiate as majors of brigade on field-days) should be attached for a certain time to a particular branch of the Service, and be required to prove their efficiency before a Committee of examina. tion.
To enter into minute details of interior economy is not our purpose ; all we require is efficiency in all the Services. It is unfair to a regiment of Militia or Volunteers and decidedly unsafe to the officers, to allow such a thing to exist as that only the adjutant knows his work. It is rare, but it exists nevertheless. It is bad policy that the chief instructor, the only responsible person in a regiment, the man on whose energy, tact, and knowledge, so much depends should hold a subordinate position. In the Regular Army an adjutant's knowledge or influence is nothing more than that of many other officers; but in the Militia and Volunteer Force it is far otherwise, and being so, he should rank at least with the junior major, and might bear the title of adjutant-major. Some of his duties would be better for being transferred to the sergeant-major.
“Parsimony” has left the Reserve without great-coats, commissariat, or the means of taking the field. “Panic" says these things are necessary.
WORKS OF PEACE.
LIFE-Boat SERVICES IN 1869 and 1870.
Amidst wars and rumours of wars, whilst the two leading Nations of Western Europe are engaged in mortal strife-amidst the groans and cries of tens of thousands of wounded and dying men, and the tears and lamentations of countless numbers of bereaved women and children—from the thoughts of burning towns and villages, of forsaken homes, downtrodden fields, and general desolation, froin the whole sickening spectacle of man engaged in destroying his fellow-man, it is pleasant to turn to the contenplation of any work and labour of love.
War, indeed, calls into exercise heroic virtues, and tender and
compassionate feelings and acts, which have perhaps never been more nobly displayed than during the present fearsul struggle between Germany and France; but still the whole thing savours of blood, and although we may hope that, in the wisdom of God, the present evil is permitted only to bring about, as a result, a greater and progressive good, yet the evil is immediately present, while the good we cannot foresee.
But a few short months ago there were around the Coasts of France, as around our own, life-boats, with able and willing crews, ready at any moment to risk their own lives to save those of others cast away on their shores. Those boats to be sure remain, but like only too many of the brave fellows who formed their crews, and who have since died in defence of their country, they are now but inert and lifeless bodies from which the souls have fled, the crews who gave them life being called away for their country's defence, and being engaged in destroying the lives which, under happier influences they would have risked their own to save, so essentially is the Life-boat Service a work of peace.
Fortunately our own country remains at peace, and its Life-boat work is pursued as assiduously, and with the same success as hitherto. To be sure the income of the Life-boat Institution has been very considerably reduced during the past year, owing to the diversion of funds, which it would otherwise have received, to the aid of the sick and wounded and other victims of the war; but that we may feel sure is only a temporary loss, and when peace is again restored, little doubt can be entertained that the stream of British charity will return to its accustomed channels, once more.
During the past year the Life-boats of the National Life-boat Institution have saved 513 shipwrecked persons, whilst in the stormy yer, 1869, they saved no less than 871.
These noble services of the Life-boats bave varied much in character; many have been during the dark hours of night, others have been by day, but the same glorious result has in nearly every instance followed them, the salvation of imperilled men from a watery grave. It is also a providential fact, and deserving of special record and acknowledgment that, notwithstanding the Lifeboats of the Institution have been manned on all occasions during the past two years by between 12,000 and 13,000 persons, not a single life has been lost from them during that period.
Still it should be remembered that the work of saving shipwrecked persons, even in the best equipped Life-boats, must always be one of danger, and that no little courage and hardihood are required on the part of those who engage in it. By giving their invaluable aid they perform their full share of the duty of allevi. ating and reducing the amount of the misery and evil produced by the storms on our coasts. It remains for those who cannot share the risks and exposure wbich those gallant men incur, to perform
their part in this humane work by enabling the Institution to continue without slackening its great and philanthropic work on behalf of the shipwrecked sailor. The National Life-boat Institution therefore appeals to all benevolent and generous persons in the Kingdom to contribute towards so good a cause. We may add that contributions in aid of the great and important work of the National Life-boat Institution, are received by all the Blinkers throughout the United Kingdoin, and by the Secretary, at the Institution, 14 John Street, Adelphi, London.
Kingdherefore abipwrecked's its great enabling
Bordeaux, January 20. Placed as I am, I cannot profess to give you anything more than comments on events that have passed, as you get much of the news before I do. But I endeavour to furnish you with data for an unbiassed judgment upon them, which I think more important than attempting to supply a chronological history of the war. That is, what passes for its history day by day, and has so often to be “ rectified ” a few days after. The telegrams which crowd the newspapers alike here, in Germany, and in England, are in the very nature of things hardly ever to be relied on, even where there is the honest desire to give “the true truth," as we say here; which, unfortunately, is not always the case with any party. I take account of all that reach me—a very fair proportion of the whole, I believe - and I give you the result of my best consideration of them, aided by the light of good local sources of information My honest impressions of the present state of affairs I state with candour ; but I make no profession of an “absolute neutrality," which I observe in many is a “benevolent neutrality,” that considers France must be in the wrong because she is suffering, and will hold Germany in the right so long as she is successful, but no longer. My wish is to be just to both parties, and so to form some reliable judgment of the probable future.
I am ready to allow, that if we look at the surface of things, and if we could believe France to be thoroughly imbued with the “ peace-at-any-price” policy of your Manchester school, she certainly had better agree to every demand of the new Prussian Emperor, and be humbly thankful to him if he graciously left the lives to his French serfs ; but that is not the policy in favour, and all the persuasions of “benevolent neutrals” will fail to make it acceptable. The Germans may succeed in starving the Parisians, and may themselves live at “ free quarters” in one place, and may rival the atrocities at Magdeburg in another, but they will, I fully believe, be eventually foiled. France is settling
down sternly for years of war and suffering, and unless the Germans contemplate abandoning the Fatherland and colonizing Gaul, as the Franks did some 1400 years ago, they will eventually have to cross the Rhine with terribly diminished pumbers, and will but too probably be met by fierce discontents at home that may bring their blood-stained “Unity” to a calamitous termination.
Having a better supply of foreign journals here than at Tours, I give considerable attention to their various utterances. As it seems to me, the first thing that must strike any really unbiassed reader, if such is to be found, must be the depreciatory tone of the English press, with a few, very few exceptions. That of Germany is only what might be expected, but we certainly thought that the stand we are making against political annihilation would find a favourable response in England. On the contrary, we are told that we are the authors of our own misfortunes, and that we deserve all we have suffered, and all that we may suffer in the future, for our obstinacy in not giving up the German provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. This sounds rather strangely from a nation which got very angry not long ago on being advised to give up Gibraltar to the Spaniards, and which probably would not readily be either persuaded or forced to part with the Channel Islands. Yet the plea of “nationality” is at least as strong in the one case as the other. And as to the accusation that we began the war, there is a suppressio veri which is unworthy of the press that affects to speak for a great people. We were driven to declare war, because Prussia had for years been preparing to attack us.
In spite of all that may be said of our aggressiveness, I think it would be difficult to find any modern French work in any way similar to Prince Frederick Charles' pamphlet - How to Fight the French," and that tbis was not mere words has been fatally proved. You may remember what indignation was caused some five and twenty years ago by the Prince de Joinville's discussion of the invasion of England, and how nearly it brought about a war, and then you may enter into our feelings. That our late Government had not duly prepared us for the struggle, is not our fault. We have already paid a heavy penalty alike for its acts and its omissions, and we hope now to work out our own deliverance. We decline to play into the hands of the enemy by quarrelling among ourselves as to what our future form of Government is to be ; we know that we have quite enough work before us in expelling that enemy, and we are not disheartened at the many successive calamities that have befallen us, and have led our professed “ friends” to declare that it was all over with us. Such was the language of their newspapers at the fall of Sedan, at that of Strasburg, at that of Metz, at that of Rouen ; also when the Army of the Loire disappeared behind Orleans, and
war, and Yasion of Engineon by the Princ