The Results of Two Years' Democratic Rule in the Country (Classic Reprint)

The Results of Two Years' Democratic Rule in the Country (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Results of Two Years' Democratic Rule in the Country

The Secretary of War has not confined himself, however, simply to increasing the numerical force of the army; filling up its ranks, keep ing its officers at their posts, raising the wages of the soldier, and awakening his pride of character by Opening before him the way for promotion to the highest commands. All this can be and yet if an army be not disciplined to the highest improvement of military science, its equipment may prove, in the hour of battle, but decoration for its slaughter.

By the introduction of light infantry or ri?e tactics into our sys tem of military instruction for the army and militia, Col. Davis has supplied a want long felt, and placed within the reach of our troops an efficiency equal to the best instructed troops in Europe. On this subject I can only speak as military men tell me; but it seems that although the ri?e has always been emphatically the American weapon - attested in the Revolution, and in every war since - from a habit of looking to the warlike system of Europe, we have slighted ri?e tactics in our text-book instructions. Moved to it no doubt by his own experience in the command of a ri?e regiment in the battle of Buena Vista, Col. Davis has introduced into our military discipline a system of ri?e tactics, combining the advantages of the light infantry of Europe, and the suggestions of our own service in swamps, and over mountains and plains. To the militia of the country this Bue na Vista drill, I am told, is much better suited than the drill now used, because of the intelligence and individuality of action it re quires - accuracy in its movement being more dependent upon these qualities, than upon long training in the facings and wheelings of the soldier.

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