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Military Correspondence. neither beneticial to the mental or corporeal system. By being taught to write, a sailor might transact and comprehend his own little worldly interests ; 'might acquaint his relatives of his welfare; and although writing in the course of naval discipline and service is not so necessary as iu the military line, yet I should suppose that a man writing a good band might be found very useful.
In the military profession so essentially necessary is education considered, that schools are established in every regiment; and if a recruit can read and write, it is a great recommendation to him, and the advantages of education may be of infinite service to his future advancement in the army.
For the above reasons I conceive it cruel not to open the door of education to every description of inhabitants of this and other countries, through which they may acquire fame, honour, rank, and wealth, if in the possession of abilities and perseverance. We have seen men, who, from the humblest rank in life, have risen to wealth and power, from their talents having been cultivated. Would it not then be harsh in the extreme to prevent, by a pertinacious obstinate adherence to erroneous and miserable opinions, the chance of such attainments. I hope and trust more liberal sentiments will govern us, and that we shall behold the rising generation enjoving all the advantages of liberal and praiseworthy education. This letter more particularly relates to the navy ; but as I consider that honourable body to constitute one part of the military strength of Great Britain, there cannot be any impropriety in addressing these sentiments to the Editor of a useful military work.
St. PHILIP. May 1, 1912.
MILITARY RENI A R K S.
SIR,–The formation of Local Militias appears to me a measure equally praise-worthy, as was the establishment of volunteer corps throughout Great Britain. If conducted with attention, it would be a nursery for the old militia, and for the line. It might also create in the country a military ambition, which, under the present times, is most particularly to be desired, and be of infinite service to the state, in the event of internal commotions. But an alteration must be made in the discipline of these regiments before we can expect such salutary effects.
As the men balintted for the Local Militia are in general :nechavicks, and persovs em loyed in agriculture and tard labour, it
was expected by many that the fatigues of oue and twenty days manual exercise would be sinilar to that ouine of days employment in their ordinary avocations. The idea, however, is extremely erroneous. The stiff positions
Military Correspondence. of soldiers, and the regular manæuvre, are felt by such individuals at first as extremely irksome; and as it is necessary that some pains should be taken to give them an inclination for a military life, these circumstances should be fully considered.
Drills, parades, field-days, marches, countermarches, from morning till night, supporting a fire-lock, and galled by belts, are sufficient to create a disgust in husbandmen to military pursuits. I would therefore recommend, that whenever possible, these regiments should be paraded with regiments of the line, and that their exercise should be at first merely sufficient to instruct them in the necessary maneuvre. It would give the Local Militia man an opportunity of observing temperate and regular discipline—the most perfect harmony and good will,-Officers studying the happiness, comfort, and ease of the men, and they looking up to their officers with regard and respect. A mode of discipline so light, judicious, effectual, and uvoppressive, would administer to the Local Militia a military ardour, and, according to General Stewart, “ will, hy degrees, mould the untractable passions of men into habits, in many respects, repugnant to the feelings of ordinary life." It would also be very serviceable to the officers, some of whom, from having been in the militia, or unhappily in the line, though but ensigns or cornets, perhaps forty years back, harrass and disgust their men by unnecessary fatigue. As long as we see and hear of commanding officers drilling these men for six hours, swearing, scolding, and galloping about the field after their few ideas, and the meus' patience exhausted, in being rendered a tool for others to lay their own blunders on, we cannot expect much perfection in the Local Militia, or a military enthusiasm established throughout the country.
Besides, the generality of Local Militia Officers being iguorant of regular and proper discipline, by which the men are unnecessarily overdrilled, I must lament that the non-commissioned officers add to the dislike which the extreme fatigue occasions. In general they are a set of ignorant, blustering coxcombs, without that suavity of manners so necessary to conciliate. It canuot be supposed, that if the old militias have any good non-commissioned officers, they will part with them.
Much atteution should therefore be observed by commanding officers to the conduct of the non-commissioned officers, to the comforts of the men, and to prevent them being unnecessarily drilled; and they should strive to excite an emulation in the minds of all for military pursuits.
If the Local Militia were made to assemble in large bodies, two or three regiments together, and then under the command of the general or inspecting field officer of the district exercised together, much benefit might result.
Sr. Philip. May 5, 1812
SIR,--Much inconvenience arises, no doubt, to officers of militia, from a variety of causes, and also great detriment to the service; these causes originate in the fundamental establishment of these regiments.
I shall first state the inconvenience that is occssioned to field-officers of militia. In general regiments of militia have three field officers, some have four. The colonels, from the rank they hold in the service, bring exempt from the ordinary duties of field-officers, are, for the most part, absent from their regiments, consequently the command devolves upon the lieutenant-colonel, and, occasionally, on other field-officers. These gentlemen are men of landed property, and have therefore business of importance to their individual interest, which may claim their attention or presence ; their minds and time being thus engaged, it is not possible for them to bestow that close application which may be expected from them, on their military capacities. This inconvenience is particularly felt when regiments are stationed at a great distance from their respective counties; the English, the Irish, or the Scotch county militias, stationed at the extremities of the island, or the first in Ireland and Scotland : and as the interchange of the militias may be justly considered as a permameut measure, this inconvenience will increase. In order to remely such an obstruction to the service, it should be a regulation in the militia, that one Lieutenant-Colonel and one Major must be continually present with their regiments. If this was adopted, the service would not suffer from the absence of the Colonel, more than regionents of the line experience froin the absence of theirs. His als-ence may be unavoidable ; most Colonels of militia holding seats in parliament, or being gentlemen of great landed property, and their rank and interest add to the respectability and support of the regiment, though they may not take the command one month in the year.
The perseverance with which numerous militia officers regularly perform their duties, in many places where regiments are stationed, as at the sea-ports, French prisons, &c. &c. and where vigilant guards are required, entitle them to every commendation.
The militia are rapidly improving, and acquire a strong military character. It is a most honourable, a most respectable, and, Ifairly may add, an effective home force; but some step should be taken to detain two field officers continually with each regiment; and for this purpose it might be necessary to have two Lieutenant-Colonels and two Majors on the establishment of every regiment. This augmentation would be very beneficial, if the situations were given to half-pay officers of the regulars. From this line of conduct a good cfiect night result. The militia officers and men would feel an additional confidence, in being VOL. IV. No, 20.
commanded by men enured to service ; it would increase the discipline of the militia, and the number of good officers in the army: it would encourage the officers of the line regiments, by giving them a higher rank, and be a reward for service : but, as the establishment of the militia mess differs widely from that of the line, some little addition, if it should be thought necessary, might be given to the officer from the line, to place him on a par with the general opulence of militia field officers.
The distress occasioned to the public service by the resignation of some field officers, who, by experience, had gained a fair knowledge of the military profession, bus who, from public or private motives, resigned, when their brave soldiers volunteered their services to Ireland, I cannot too much lament. Young officers have thereby succeeded to the command of regiments, stationed where the nature of the service requires men of experience. This is an additional reason for increasing the number of field officers. One rash or unfortunate error may decide the lives, the liberty of thousands ; and as we behold young volatile gentlemen, perhaps emerging from the university, or from Eaton school, placed at the head of regiments embarking on a service quite new to them, and a probability exists of their being engaged in situations of hazardous importance, where conciliatory measures can be the only successful ones, the necessity of having old experienced officers to superiutend them does not adınit of a doubt. One military error decides the fate of a battle; and one rash act may not be blotted out by ten thousand good ones.
The interchange of the militias must be considered as a measure fraught with real advantages to Great Britain and Ireland. happy to observe the noble spirit which some distinguished characters exhibited, in offering their services; and I have nota doubt that it will meet with the encouragement of the landed and mercantile interest of the country. The more firmly the union is cemented, the more secure the British empire will be from invasion : if we concede to the just rights of Ireland, this measure will lead to and establish a connection amongst all classes, whereby the interest of the two kingdens will be united. Should the demands of Ireland be attended to ; were she to possess the same advantages in our army and navy as ourselves, and a decent concession be made on both sides, Ireland will become happy in herself, beneficial to the empire, and no longer a precarionis tenure to Great Britain. There has been certainly a very rapid improvement throughout Ireland; and as long as the enemy cau be kept from her shore, and internal tranquillity maintained, that improvement will advance*.
The village of Nidden, or Kenniard town, belonging almost in toto to the Marquis of Lansdowne, is a proof of this remark. The efforts of that distinguished nebleman towards the civilazatiop of the natives, deserve the highest commendation,
Military Correspondence. It might be advantageous to the militia service, and I have heard many officers approve, that the pay of every field officer who should be absent from his regiment more than one month in the year, should be stopped for the benefit of the mess, during the extra absence he might require for private business, Field officers in general would not objeot to this proposition.
Sr. Philip. May 6, 1812.
LETTER III. On the strength of the British Army, and the practicability of raising
a'much larger force.
IT appears from the returns laid before Parliament, that the average* of our regular force for the last nine years, is one hundred and eighty,
Regulars. Militia. 1804 ist January, 136,490 85,519 1805
163,573 74,653 1807
204,177 67,677 1809
81,577 1810 25th January, 213,914 72,487 181)
210,926 84,439 1811 25th December, 218,949 77,159 In the above numbers are included both foreign cavalry and foreign infantry. Oo the 25th January, 1910, the former amounted to 3459, the latter 34,20); together 37,600. On the 25th January, 1810, the Royal Artillery was as follows:
Artillery Drivers.... 5,795
. 15,416 Invalid Do..
Return of the effective strength of the Regular and Militia Forces, on the 25th of June, 1811, and the 25th of December, 1811, specifying the number serving abroad at each period.
At home on the 25th of June, 1811.
Regulars 13,575 | 2,591 | 3,844 | 47,442 | 2,192 1 61,144 | 77,424 | 146,568
Abroad on the 25th of June, 1811. 10,196 | 1,140 | 3,350 | 99,076 | 34,851 | 147,613 | | 147,613
Total. 23,771 | 3,731 | 6,694 | 145,518 / 37,043 | 216,757 1 77,424 | 294,181
At home on the 25th December, 1811. 12,050 | 1,865 | 3,748 | 45,501 | 2,745 | 66,909 1 77,159 | 143,068
Abroad on the 25th December, 1911. 21,719 | 2,136 | 3,130 | 99,735 / 36,820 | 153,040 | | 153,040
Total. 13,769 4,001 | 6,078 | 145,236 | 39,065 | 218,949 1 77,159 | 296,108