Elements of Military Art and Science eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 413 pages of information about Elements of Military Art and Science.
losing the battle of Brandywine, was of this character.  He hastily recrossed the Schuylkill with the professed intention of seeking the enemy and renewing the combat, which was apparently prevented only by a heavy and incessant fall of rain.  A rumor was now raised that the enemy, while refusing his left wing, was rapidly advancing upon his right, to intercept our passage of the river, and thus gain possession of Philadelphia.  This report justified a retreat, which drew from the General repeated assurances, that in quitting his present position and giving to his march a retrograde direction, it was not his object to avoid, but to follow and to fight the enemy.  This movement, though no battle ensued, had the effect of restoring the confidence as well of the people as of the army.[11]

[Footnote 11:  There are innumerable works in almost every language on elementary tactics; very few persons, however, care to read any thing further than the manuals used in our own service.  Our system of infantry, cavalry, and artillery tactics is generally taken from the French; and also the course of engineer instruction, so far as matured, for sappers, miners, and pontoniers, is based on the French manuals for the varied duties of this arm.

On Grand Tactics, or Tactics of Battles, the military and historical writings of General Jomini abound in most valuable instructions.  Napoleon’s memoirs, and the writings of Rocquancourt, Hoyer, Decker, Okouneff, Roguiat, Jocquinot-de-Presle, Guibert, Duhesme, Gassendi, Warnery, Baron Bohan, Lindneau, Maiseroy, Miller, and Ternay, are considered as being among the best authorities.]

CHAPTER VI.

MILITARY POLITY AND THE MEANS OF NATIONAL DEFENCE.

Military Polity.—­In deciding upon a resort to arms, statesmen are guided by certain general rules which have been tacitly adopted in the intercourse of nations:  so also both statesmen and generals are bound by rules similarly adopted for the conduct of hostile forces while actually engaged in military operations.

In all differences between nations, each state has a right to decide for itself upon the nature of its means of redress for injuries received.  Previous to declaring open and public war, it may resort to some other forcible means of redress, short of actual war.  These are:—­

1st.  Laying an embargo upon the property of the offending nation.

2d.  Taking forcible possession of the territory or property in dispute.

3d.  Resorting to some direct measure of retaliation.

4th.  Making reprisals upon the persons and things of the offending nation.

It is not the present purpose to discuss these several means of redress, nor even to enter into any examination of the rights and laws of public war, when actually declared; it is intended to consider here merely such military combinations as are resorted to by the state in preparation for defence, or in carrying on the actual operations of a war.

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Elements of Military Art and Science from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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