“Now, it (the Russian army) is no longer able to escape from the concentric fires of our batteries; for, not being protected by masonry scarps, it is obliged constantly to keep united strong reserves, in order to repulse the assault with which it is at every instant menaced’”
With regard to the subjects discussed in this chapter it will, perhaps, be sufficient to remark that the Mexican war incontestably proved the value of the West Point Military Academy; for the superior efficiency of properly-educated officers over those who had been appointed from civil life without any knowledge of the profession they were called upon to practice, fully satisfied the country of the importance of that institution, and even silenced the clamors of the few who refused to be convinced.
The recent abortive attempt to give efficiency to our navy by means of a retired list, has, it is feared, destroyed for a time all hopes of introducing this very necessary measure into our military service; although it is very certain that without this we can never have our system of promotion placed upon an effective and satisfactory basis, which shall give efficiency to the army by rewarding merit, while it prevents injustice by closing the avenues of political favoritism.
The Mexican war also most abundantly proved that our objections to the system of military appointment were well founded, and it is hoped that the more recent abuses of that system will call public attention to the necessity of a change; for if military office continue to be conferred for partisan services, it will soon destroy the integrity as well as the efficiency of our army.
Figs. 1, 2, 3.—Used to illustrate the strategic relations of the armies A and B.
Fig. 4.—Line of operations directed against the extremity of the enemy’s line of defence, as was done by Napoleon in the Marengo campaign.
Fig. 5.—Napoleon’s plan of campaign in 1800, for the army of the Rhine, and the army of reserve.
Fig. 6 shows the plan adopted by Napoleon in the campaign of 1800, to preserve his communications.
Fig. 7 illustrates the same thing in the campaign of 1806.
Fig. 8.—Interior and central line of operations.
Fig. 9 represents a camp of a grand division of an army. The distance from the front row of tents to the line of camp-guards should be from 350 to 400 feet; thence to the line of posts, from 150 to 200 feet; thence to the line of sentinels, from 100 to 200 feet. In many cases, the line of posts between the camp-guards and sentinels may be dispensed with. The distance between battalions will be from 50 to 100 feet; and the same between squadrons and batteries.
Fig. 10.—Details of encampment for a battalion of infantry. The width of company streets will depend upon the strength of a company, and will be so arranged that the front of the camp shall not exceed the length of the battalion, when drawn up in line of battle. This width will be from 50 to 100 feet. The distance between the tents of each row will be 2 or 3 feet; the distance between the tents of one company and those of another, from 4 to 6 feet.