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failing strength, or incapacity, had compelled these elderly gentlemen to retire from active service,
Again it is said of us on the Continent that our literature is barren of works on military subjects, and that if by chance an English officer desire to instruct himself in the principles of his profession, he must seek among French or German authors for that which he cannot find nearer home. Up to a date comparatively recent this charge was perfectly just. Forty years ago we had nothing which could in any sense of the term be called a military literature, — nothing, that is to say, which could stand a moment's comparison with the literature which produced the French account of the wars of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, with Frederic's memoirs of his own campaigns, or even with the Reveries of Marshal Saxe. Indeed the only English work of which we entertain any recollection as setting up the slightest claim to consideration at the date of which we are speaking, is Sir Robert Wilson's account of the Expedition to Egypt. And the great success which attended that ill-written and most confused story proves how very little the English mind was then disciplined to understand what military works ought to be. But great changes have occurred since 1803, and greater still seem, in this respect, to be in progress. Among Wellington's pupils there were many on whom the experience of war, as they had taken part in it, made a lasting impression. These began to describe in writing, after the return of peace, some of the scenes through which they had passed ; thus creating and minis
1 tering to a taste for military reading which has never since died out. The first impulse in that direction was given, if we mistake not, by two works to which we referred in a recent article, “The Campaigns of the British Army at Washington and New Orleans, and “The Subaltern.' These were soon followed by the late Major Moyle Sherer's pleasant accounts of service in Spain, in India, and elsewhere ; by Captain Hamilton's excellent novel, Cyril Thornton,' the chief interest of which lies in a vivid description of scenes in the Peninsula ; and by a flight of similar stories, some good, some bad, some indifferent, yet all bearing upon the same point, and all greeted with more or less of public favour. At last a professional monthly periodical was
. established, of which a gallant Major on half-pay, and shorn of a limb, was long the conductor. Thus the public mind of England may be said to have been educated by degrees up to the appreciation of a literature higher in its pretensions, of which some portion, we may add, already existed, though in a state of comparative neglect. To this class belonged Captain, afterwards General Pasley's able treatise · On the Military Policy of England,'—a work concerning which a general belief prevailed that it told the truth too plainly and was stopped through the interference of the Government. What ground there might be for the rumour, which was circulated so early as 1808, is more than we can say; but this at least is certain, that the treatise never advanced beyond a single volume, which, though valuable for what it told and suggestive of much more, professed to be the mere introduction of what never saw the light. And so also we may express ourselves concerning the earliest of Sir Howard Douglas's Essays, which, little read when they first appeared, were accepted in the end, not in England only but all over the world, as works of authority on the subjects of which they severally treat; especially that on Naval Gunnery, which forms the standard manual in England and America, and which has been translated into most of the languages of Europe. By and by appeared Lord Londonderry's Narratives of his own Campaigns in Portugal and in the North of Europe with the allied armies; and, though last not least, taking a place far above them all, the late Sir William Napier's masterly History of the War in the Peninsula and the South of France. When we add to these Lord Burghersh's pleasant Sketches, Captain Siborne's History and the Story of the Battle of Waterloo, as it is told in the · Home and Colonial Library,' we have surely said enough to vindicate the army of England from the charge of being for the last half century without a literature of its own. But have we even now exhausted the subject? Far from it. The "Wellington Despatches,' the grandest monument to his own fame which a soldier and statesman ever raised, would of themselves place us, even if they stood alone, in the foremost rank as writers on military subjects; and there is more to be proud of in connection with this subject than even these. The late General Mitchel might entertain singular views of the character of Napoleon as a commander, but his History of the fall of that extraordinary man is no common book. Neither may we speak, except with respect and admiration, of. The Military Opinions of Sir John Burgoyne,' himself one of the last links which bind the new army to the old ; a soldier, too, full of honour as of years, and still directing with all the vigour of early manhood the Engineer department of the service. Lastly, the late General Cathcart's • Commentary on the Leipsic Campaign’ is a very valuable work; and in the “ Aides Mémoires, filled entirely by contributions from officers, chiefly of the Royal Engineers, we have a series of Essays on professional subjects of the very highest order of merit. The little work of General Cust, Annals of the Wars,' is a praiseworthy attempt to provide the common soldier with an entertaining narrative of events bearing on his profession.
It appears, then, to us that so far as professional literature is concerned, England by no means deserves to take her place behind 2 m 2
any of her Continental neighbours. We wish that we could say as much in regard to other matters which, looking to the present state of the world, and to the prospects which it seems to open, are infinitely more important. Not that we have been wholly idle in regard to them. The Crimean war, if it gave us nothing else, gave us our camps at Aldershott and the Curragh of Kildare. These are not, perhaps, what they ought to be, nor even what they might be made without any great addition to the public expenditure--and parliamentary parsimony is an idol which demands very costly sacrifices—but at least they bring regiments together; and it is something, when an army takes the field, that the battalions and squadrons composing it have been accustomed to work, at a common field-day, not only singly, but in brigades and divisions. Beyond this we are afraid that little is or can ever be taught in places where the officers high in command are no longer young-where there is no rapid circulation of corps through the school of mimic warfare, and the same manæuvres are in consequence practised day after day with the same men and on the same ground. Let us be grateful, however, for what we have got, while we beseech the heads of the army to look a little more closely than they appear to do into the drill of the troops, and especially into the pace at which they march. There was a time when a British column outmarched both a Prussian and a French. We are afraid that, while we adhere to the good old step which went successfully from the Douro to the Garonne-a little accelerated, we believe, but not much—both Prussians and French will have so changed theirs, that if ever we come again to operate either with or against them, we shall find ourselves behind time, and suffer accordingly. But the Crimean war has done more for us than set up our camps at Aldershott and the Curragh. We owe to that campaign, at least in part, the impulse which has been given towards an improved system of educational instruction at our various military colleges; and, above all, the restoration, to a state of greatly increased efficiency, of the old Staff School, or Senior Department at Sandhurst. We say that we owe these latter improvements only in part to the Crimean campaign, because, long before the breach with Russia, our War Office had been put
in possession of the outlines of a plan similar to that on which the Government at last consented to act, only more comprehensive, and therefore, in our opinion, better. Again, however, let us be thankful for what we have got. If the Staff School had existed, as it might have done, in 1848, with its offshoots similar to those with which the Prussian army is familiar, it is possible that the army which sailed in 1854 for Gallipoli might have been better officered than it was in the Quartermaster-General's department,
and that the seven miles of impassable road might either have had no existence, or been remedied without the despatch of navvies from England to construct a railway. It did not exist in 1848; but we have it now, and with it a degree of encouragement to professional and technical literature which is very satisfactory. Without doubt the seed thus sown will in due time bear fruit. The gallant Prince at the head of the army is alive to its value, and we, in our humble way, will do our best to foster it to maturity.
The works, of which the titles stand at the head of this article, constitute only a portion--and not a very extensive one-of the literary efforts which have received their stimulus from the causes just referred to. Some of them, as, for example, Colonel MacDougall's Theory of War,' and his Campaigns of Hannibal,' saw the light too soon. They came out while the public appetite was as yet untrained to distinguish between really nutritious food and food which only tickles the palate. The first would have been different from what it is had the accomplished author held his hand, and waited till he saw more clearly what was wanted. The last might have appeared as a general contribution to history, but no thought would have been entertained of making it a class-book anywhere.* General Smith's treatise on the Drill and Manæuvring of Cavalry compared with Horse Artillery is, on the contrary, a purely technical essay, showing that the gallant writer has paid great attention to his subject, and is able to drop hints and make suggestions which are well worth attending to. In like manner, we may say of Captain Tendy's Military Surveying, that though not always very lucid, it possesses much solid merit, and may be advantageously read by officers already well versed in mathematics, and therefore prepared to apply to practical purposes the rules which he lays down for them. We take a far higher flight when we follow Captain Chesney through his interesting and instructive history of the late campaigns in Virginia and Maryland. Here narrative and commentary run side by side, so that, while the civilian is carried away by the interest which the story possesses, the military student stops from time to time to consider what the real causes were of each success or failure as it occurred. The late campaigns in Virginia and Maryland were, however, beset with peculiarities which distinguish them from all other campaigns. They were waged by troops only very partially disciplined, and
• Modern Warfare as influenced by Modern Artillery,' by the same author, is however a work far in advance of its predecessors. In its own line it is excellent, but it does not handle the larger questions with which a treatise on the art of war is concerned, nor does it aim at doing so. It ought, however, to be in every military library and in the hands of all practical soldiers. It is worthy of observation that this work strongly advocated the adoption of breech-loaders by our army.
upon a theatre geographically different from any upon which, in Europe at least, armies are ever likely to manauvre. We cannot therefore accept them as offering, in their details, a fair ground of general instruction. They are valuable as bringing prominently into light exceptional incidents in war; but it is impossible to learn from them anything more. Hence, while acknowledging our obligations to the accomplished author for the ability with which he has told his tale, we are constrained to turn elsewhere in search of some work which, complete in itself, shall deal systematically with a subject second in point of importance to none, and to which the signs of the times and the progress of events demand that we should turn our serious attention. And, happily, we need not search long or look far before finding it.
We ventured a short time ago to insinuate that, whatever shortcomings might be discernible among the chiefs of the Crimean ariny, the corps and regiments composing it could boast of more than one field officer of whom the highest professional expectations might be justly formed. To Colonel Edward Bruce Hamley, the author of the work which we are now about to notice, not hesitate to assign a foremost place in that gallant band. His career, now extending over two-and-twenty years, has from first to last been one of rare distinction,
As a student in the Military Academy he carried everything before him; winning his commission, at a time when the ordinary course extended over three years, in fifteen months, or thereabouts. The technicalities of his own branch of the profession he mastered with ease; and, finding ample leisure for private study, he used it wisely. A keen sportsman and a bold rider, he soon began to show that he could handle the pen as well as the gun and the sword; and while yet a very young man, a subaltern, we believe, or a Second Captain, he made a literary reputation for himself; first, by two capital novels—•Ensign Faunce' and Lady Lee's Widowhood,'-and next, by a succession of brilliant critiques and other papers in Blackwood's Magazine.' When the Russian war broke out he was selected by the Commandant of Artillery to serve upon his own staff, and he obtained thereby peculiar opportunities of observing all that was done and intended, and made excellent use of them. His narrative of the campaign, which, on its first appearance, commanded a large share of public attention, is still read with interest, and will continue to be read after Mr. Kinglake's more elaborate History shall have been completed. Meanwhile his personal services in the field attracted, as they deserved, the notice of the military authorities, and his promotion was rapid. He landed at Gallipoli a Captain of Artillery, he returned to England at the close