Imatges de pÓgina

tion for professional talents, experience, industry, economy, and exemplary habits, and to have the pay and emoluments of mounted dragoons, with 50 per cent. additional pay, while actually employed as engineers, superintendents, or operatives, upon the location or construction of the work.

15. Location of the proposed railroads.

The location must embace the nearest and best routes, commencing within the two central States of Tennessee and Kentucky, and extending to the seven grand divisions of the seaboard and northern frontier, as above suggested; to be ascertained, particularly through the mountainous regions, by a series of topographical surveys, and finally decided on and established by a board to consist of a general and four to six field officers, upon whose decision the major general commanding upon this service should have power to act: to approve or disapprove the decision of the board, upon the same principles that the President is authorized by the Constitution of the United States to approve or disapprove an act of Congress.

These surveys will produce an immense mass of mineral, geological, and topographical information, of great value to the States and the Union, and of indispensable utility to every member of the army and militia of the nation who aspires to that employment in the national defence which leads to the true fame of a citizen soldier-information tending to develop the military and physical resources of every State and district preparatory to a state of war, and of essential benefit to the people of every class during a state of peace.

16. Operations in the final construction of the work.

Each one of the proposed routes to be placed in charge of a colonel, who will superintend the construction of the work; and for the prompt and convenient accomplishment of every part of the work, each route will be subdivided into ten sections, and each section placed under the immediate superintendence of a captain, to be assisted by the whole of the subaltern officers, non-commissioned officers, artificers, and privates of the company, with as many volunteer artificers and other operatives as will be sufficient to insure the completion of each section in from four to five years after the location of the work, which may be accomplished in one year; so that when one section of sixty miles in extent is completed, the whole work will be quite or nearly finished, with the exception of that which is unavoidably located over a mountainous country. The completion of the mountainous sections may be hastened by such increased means as the exigencies of the service shall demand. The simple process of carrying on such a work necessarily increases the means and facilities of its progress and speedy accomplishment. Thousands of our young men, ignorant of every operation upon the work, will soon become able operatives. To the regular army we should have the power to add every scientific mechanic, artificer, and able-bodied willing laborer, to be employed as volunteers, principally within the limits of the States where the sections of the railroads on which they are to be employed, respectively, are located and constructed, so that the services of all may be near their places of residence. We shall thus call into action and usefulness that class of American genius which would otherwise, to a great exter', languish and fall into the whirlpools of vice or imbecility for want of employment and judicious direction—that genius which is found in the learned professions, in all the walks of fashionable life, in the pursuits of agriculture, commerce, and the mechanic arts, as well as in the haunts of dissipation and idleness ; whose votaries may indeed often too truly say, “We are idle because no man hath given us employment.” By these idlers, whose amployment would save them from misery and ruin, and render them valuable citizens, and enable them to render their country invulnerable in war and enrich it in peace-aided by the enterprising young men which every section of the republic is capable of affording for the proposed great work, and arming with the irresistible weapons of industry and enterprise necessary to enable them, in obedience to the sublime mandate of Holy Writ, “ to replenish the earth and subdue it,” and render it fruitful, that it may multiply the benefits and blessings which it is capable of yielding to man—the proposed work will be speedily accomplished.

17. The hidden wealth which the progress of the work will disclose, added to the vast supplies of materials for construction, for transportation, and for food and raiment for the operatives upon the work, and for commerce-supplies, a considerable part of which every year waste away among the interior sections of the western and middle States for want of a cheap conveyance to good markets, such as the proposed railroad will afford—will contribute much towards the completion and final profitable employment of the work; supplies that would every year be augmented by new improvements and by encouraged industry, until they would far surpass the immediate wants of the great and increasing influx of population and operatives upon the public works and frontier; and, on the completion of the work, these constantly increasing supplies would be poured into the improved channels of cheap transportation and profitable commerce, gradually swelling the profits of both, as the millions of tributary rills and rivulets expand the mighty river into whose bosom they pour their liquid treasures. It is believed, moreover, that the construction of the proposed railroad through the southern, western, and Atlantic States would not fail to create the means for the speedy completion of all the lateral branches required for every State and seaport, by multiplying among us experienced engineers and scientific mechanics, with habits of industry and enterprise; giving to all classes of the community profitable employment, calculated to render them independent in their domestic affairs, respectable and happy in peace, and formidable in war, while the money expended would be kept in a healtful state of circulation among the farmers, merchants, and mechanics of our interior settlements, in place of its being carried off to enrich foreign merchants, or to form every year at home a new bone of contention between the votaries of the spirit of party, such as go all lengths for party men, regardless of the true interests and honor of the republic. And when, during a state of war with nations surpassing us in naval strength, we find ourselves compelled to abandon the ocean, and be deprived of our foreign commerce—the inevitable consequence of a war with any of the strong powers of Europe, without first supplying ourselves with a fleet of steamships of war, as well as floating batteries and the proposed railroads—these roads, even while occasionally employed in the transportation of troops from the central States to the south, will take return cargoes of southern products, such as sugar, cotton, oranges, and lemons, from the southern to the middle and northern States, from whence they will bring return cargoes of the numerous products and manufactured articles of the northern and central States needed in the south-an interior commercial intercourse by which the privations of our foreign commerce would be remedied, and many of the evils of war removed, and all others greatly mitigated. Indeed, the completion of the proposed railroads and floating batterries your memorialist believes would soon effectually prevent the recurrence of war, so long as the United States shall see fit to confine their views and national policy to the magnanimous principle of defensive war; as the proposed means of national defence would give a degree of available strength, both physical and moral, that would rer er the peril of an attack a perpetual source of terror to our evil-disposed neighbors, and consequently moral strength and security to our beloved country.

18. It is proper in a state of peace to prepare for war. The wisest statesmen in all civilized nations have acted upon the principle here suggested. It is time for us to inquire what would be the consequence of our receiving the unexpected visit of a large fleet of steamships, armed as the French fleet lately in the harbor of Vera Cruz were, bringing in the mouths of their cannon an unexpected declaration of war. Much as we may rely on the unsurpassed chivalry of our volunteer corps, such a visit could not but be attended with incalculable mischief, without the means of defence here proposed-means of defence which will enable us to march by land from Tennessee and Kentucky to Buffalo, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah, St. Augustine, Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans, or Texas, from 200,000 to 500,000 men in the short period of three days' time! This rapid movement would have been very desirable, as it would have saved millions of money and thousands of valuable lives in our former wars, and would have been very essential to our security against a land and naval attack when we had no reason to apprehend an invasion by fleets propelled by steam power. But now that we know many of the most warlike nations of Europe are busily occupied in the work of preparing steamships of war, we have no longer a choice in the issue whether we must or must not prepare the means here proposed for defence against the improved elements of destruction which we know our neighbors hold in readiness to employ against us. We must lay aside our old obsolete military books of the last century, such as we have borrowed from England and France, and we must profit by the lights by which the present age, the present year is illuminated, and prepare to defend ourselves by the agency of this mighty power, by which the invading foe will inevitably attack us.

19. Ancient and modern history is replete with evidences of the wisest of governments having promptly availed themselves of the use of every description of weapon deemed to be most formidable in war, as well as of every kind of power applicable to the purposes of rapidly wielding armies and munitions of war, as soon as practicable after their discovery. We need only advert here to some few discoveries which, trifling as the first and third may seem, were deemed sufficient at the time of their discovery to merit the attention of men and monarchs of profound wisdom and genius.

1st. When the commanders of the armies of King David reported to that veteran monarch that they had sustained heavy losses in their operations against the Philistines, in consequence of their having employed in battle the bow and arrow, David promptly gave orders to his commanders to avail themselves of the discovery of this then formidable weapon, and make themselves and their men acquainted with the use of it, "so as to place them on an equal footing with their enemy.”—(See the “ History of the Bible.") · 2d. When in the fourteenth century an obscure monk of Germany discovered gunpowder, with some of its uses in war, all the other nations of Europe that were blessed with wise rulers hastened to avail themselves of the discovery -a discovery which ere long induced all the civilized world to change their unwieldly weapons of war for fire-arms; gradually laying aside their war chariots armed with scythes, their battering-rams, with their coat of mail, and most of their personal armor.

3d. The use of wheel carriages on improved roads added more than twentyfive per cent to the efficiency of an army, by enabling it to march one-fourth further in a given time, and by carrying with it a more ample supply of artillery, ammunition, and subsistence, prolonging the period of active operations, and occasionally taking the enemy by surprise, as, by the increased celerity of his movements, Napoleon took the enemies of France by surprise in his first campaign into Italy.

4th. All civilized nations speedily availed themselves of the discovery of the magnetic needle, with the inventions and improvements in ship-building, the use of sails, &c. Many of the discoveries here alluded to, however, though they contributed to facilitate the movement of troops and munitions of war, excited little or no interest at the time of their discovery compared with that of the application of steam power to ships and other vessels, and to vehicles of land transportation on railroads. In these last discoveries we may well be allowed to speak in the language of poetry, and say that

Steam power was almighty in its birth ;":

while gunpowder, fire-arms, wheel carriages, and all former improvements in marine structures, though partially known and in use for centuries past, have exhibited little or nothing beyond their now apparent state of infancy until within the last and present century. Even now no civilized nation can boast of any discovery or improvement in fire-arms, gun-carriages, or in naval architecture in anywise calculated to be of any peculiar advantage to any one nation over another nation; while these developments of steam, with floating batteries and railroads, are calculated to render a nation, in the position which we occupy, at least ten times more formidable in a war of self-defence than in an offensive war against nations of equal numerical strength, and provided with the means here proposed. All the discoveries above referred to in the science of war have, however, contributed much to ameliorate the condition of nations and of armies in their conflicts and controversies, and greatly to lessen the evils of war. The greater the improvement in this awful and sublime science, the less calamitous and the more humane have been the results of military operations, wherever the contending parties were equally acquainted with the progressive improvements, and had equal or nearly equal means of profiting by them. If these propositions are correct, (and history proves them to be strictly true,) where, it may be asked, where must our improvements in the science of war, dependent on steam power, terminate? The wise and the good who have long cherished the prospect of a blessed millenium will readily answer the question.

20. Your memorialist had long cherished the hope that some patriotic statesman of military mind would be found at the head of the War Department, able and willing to bring the subject of his system of national defence before the President of the United States and the national legislature; and in this hope he has freely and frankly submitted to several of the heads of that department his views upon the subject at different periods during nearly seventeen years past, until he received from Mr. Secretary Cass the most irrefragable evidence that the official communications and reports of your memorialist were either misunderstood, disregarded, or disapproved. Nevertheless, assured as he has constantly been of the practicability, propriety, and necessity of such a system of national defence, and deeming it to be a matter of discorery, invention, and improvement in the art of war, which should be discussed with the same freedom as any other discovery in the useful arts, your memorialist, as the author and inventor of the proposed system, has addressed himself freely to private as well as public men of several different nations and of all parties, and has received in return, from men of the highest attainments and unimpeached and unimpeachable patriotism, full and cordial concurrence in his every view hitherto presented in favor of his system of national defence here set forth and explained. Far from being discouraged at the opposition of three honorable Secretaries for ten years in succession, he has learned from that opposition that the War Departient of the United States republic is rather a theatre of executive actions upon political matters already settled, enacted, or ordered, than upon new discoreries, inventions, or improvements in any branch of the art of war. He could not but persevere, therefore, in his humble efforts to render his country some good service in peace, as he had done in war; convinced as he is that his system soars above the pestilential atmosphere of the evil spirit of party, as it is a system of national defence designed to impart benefits and diffuse blessings alike throughout every State and Territory of the republic and upon all parties.

The oath of office taken by your memorialist, requiring him to serve the United States, (not a party,) requires him to act and speak in accordance with the rules and articles of war. He has always held himself ready to risk his life, his bread, and his fortune, for his country; and he has the happiness of knowing that he has risked his life for her often-hundreds of times. His oath of office does not restrain him from speaking frankly and truly in the vindication of his motives, his conduct, his honor, and his system of national defence. To withhold his views upon an occasion of this kind, indeed, would be virtually a violation of his oath of office, which requires him, as a primary duty to serve the United States honestly and faithfully against their enemies or opposers whomsoever ; and he could not conscientiously comply with this oath, without submitting to the national legislature every section and every paragraph contained in this memorial. He feels conscious that he is right. His enemies will not hesitate to admit that he is either right or wrong. If any member of the national legislature believes him to be wrong, he entreats that member to institute any, the most rigid, scrutiny into the whole of the views here presented by your memorialist. He thus respectfully solicits his friends, and fearlessly challenges his enemies, to put him in the wrong, by proving his system of national defence to be either unnecessary or impracticable. But if he is deemed to be right in the foregoing views, showing that his system is indispensably necessary, and that its accomplishment is practicable, at the expense and within the period of time here suggested, surely no time should be lost in carrying into execution this system of national defence. As it regards the treatment he has received from the last three heads of the department of war, personally, he has nothing to say; having, ever since he entered the public service, acted upon the principle that

“The real patriot bears his private wrongs

Rather than right them at the public cost' Your memorialist desires no greater triumph over his weak or wicked calumniators, nor any other atonement for past injuries, than the triumph of truth that must result from a full and perfect examination of his past life and services; and more especially a critical comparatire review of his services in Canada (approved by a Madison )—and his services in Florida (condemned by a Jackson)—and more especially of his system of national defence, approved by a Seward, a Cannon, a White, and a Lumpkin, compared with the services and system of the party men opposed to your memorialist.

21. The discovery, by Oliver Evans, of that development of steam power by which the locomotive and other vehicles of land transportation are propelled upon the railroad, and by which the movement of large armies, which may be hastened from twenty-six miles, (the day's march of Napoleon,) to three hundred miles in one day; and the discovery, by Robert Fulton, of that kindred development of steam power, by which our rivers and lakes have been covered with floating palaces and warehouses, surpassing in the velocity of their movement anything before seen upon our waters—making an easy conquest of the previously unsubdued current of the mighty Mississippi, and now proudly encountering in triumph the mountain wave of ocean; as these discoveries were the result of previously known developments of steam power, in its application to mill and other labor-saving machinery, suggesting to Evans and Fulton the great principle upon which their success was known to depend; so it must be obvious to every man of military mind, and to every scientific mechanic, that the discoveries of these two great public benefactors must necessarily form the basis of the system of national defence which your memorialist here offers to Congress. Oliver Evans and Robert Fulton were, until a few years before their death, denounced by thousands of learned theorists as eccentric visionary men. The same class of censors have honored your memorialist with similar epithets. He has had the satisfaction, however, to learn from some of those who thus denounced him that they have since seen their error, and are now among the true believers in the feasibility, value, and importance of his system. He adverts to this fact, here, only to justify or excuse what he deems it to be his duty to say in his own vindication, and in reference to his own past public services; because

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