« ForrigeFortsett »
to protect commerce; the one-third of it would be 6 millions; the two-thirds of this, 4 millions; allowing one million a year for repairs, &c. there would remain three millions a year for building vessels. This, in the course of five years, would amount to 15 milions—a sum suffi. cient to build 25 sail of the line, 25 large frigates, and 25 large sloops of war.
Corps of marines are particularly requisite for the defence of our extensive sea-coast. These corps should be instructed in the discipline of both infantry and artillery corps.
They should be well trained to the service of defending sea-coasts, harbours, rivers, &c. against a naval force; and to act in floating batteries, gun-boats, &c.; to manage machines for the destruction of vessels of war, or for the defence of harbours and shipping, &c.; and to serve on board of vessels of war. They might be organized on the following principles. A company to consist of eight bands of twenty-two privates, two corpo. rals, and one sergeant each : the commissioned officers of the company to be one captain, two first lieutenants, two second lieutenants, and two third lieutenants.
From among the lieutenants, there should be selected for each company, with some additional compensation, a marine engineer, whose duty it should be, to construct batteries and works for the defence of places against an attack from sea; and to superintend the construction and operation of all kinds of floating batteries and machines used in the defence of harbours, or to annoy hostile vessels. From among the same, should also be selected, a master of orddance, whose duty it should be, to instruct the men in the practice of gunnery, and in the works of the laboratory ; also, to superintend and take care of the cannon, mortars, and howitzers attached to the corps, and the ordnance stores. Twelve companies of marines to form a regiment. The officers of the regiment to be one colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, two majors, one chief marine ena gineer, and one chief master of ordnance—these two last to have the brevet rank and emoluments of a major, and to be selected from the officers of the corps. Such regi. ments doing duty as infantry or artillery, to have the same regimental staff as those corps have. Six such re giments, making a force of about fourteen thousand men,
should be assigned to the defence of the sea-coast, and to supply the vessels of war with marines, and one for the frontier lakes. It would be well for the purpose of keeping up a proper spirit of emulation in the corps, that two of the commanders of regiments should have the rank and emoluments of brigadier-general, and two of majorgeneral
The establishment of naval schools is of great importance to the country, and particularly requires the attention of government. A great deal of scientific knowledge, of a very abstruse nature, is absolutely necessary for naval officers. This knowledge is of too much importance in their profession, to be left to their own discretion to acquire it. It should be made a necessary qualification to obtain an appointment.
P. S, December 31, 1813. Intelligence received from Europe, of the great depredations committed by some of our swift sailing sloops of war, on the commerce of England, demonstrates in a very forcible manner, the superiority of vessels of this description, in the annoyance of our enemy's trade.
Ships of the line and frigates are better calculated for defence from the depredations of the enemy's squadrons on our coasts. This is the great object that should principally be had in view with these vessels, and for which they are indispensible. But the expence in equipping these large vessels is by much greater, in proportion to their utility, as compared with fast sailing sloops of war, when employed to distress the trade of an enemy. This will evince to those whom it may concern, the necessity of increasing the establishment of vessels of the latter description.
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