Imatges de pàgina

9. Shall we be told by the advocates of our obsolete systems of national defence that the risk of health and comfort is too great to have the youth of our country educated upon our floating batteries at the entrance of our harbors, or at the mouths of our rivers, where the swell of the sea and the turbid waters of our overflowing Mississippi and other rivers may too sensibly affect the nerves and disturb the meditations of the students on whom the defence and fate of the republic must soon depend? Will our opponents point to the United States Military Academy, and contend that the graduates of that institution are the better for the serene stillness, quiet, and comfort of the interior position of that institution? We may answer, no! no! The only great defect to be found in that institution consists in the quiet and almost exclusively sedentary mode of living which has long marked the character of that otherwise admirable institution; a mode of living which contributes too much to sacrifice the vigor of constitution necessary to a real hard-duty soldier, to the attainment of that literature and science, with the social habits and enjoyments more befitting a country gentleman of afiluent fortune, than a thoroughbred soldier, statesman, or man of business:

“The life of fame is ACTION understood ;

That action must be virtuous, great and good.” Habits of action, of mind and body, should be formed in childhood, or at least before the seal of manhood is fixed upon the student. Why is the seaman placed on duty on board the ship-of-war at the age of twelve to sixteen, and required to perform his practical labors from the moment he takes his first lessons in the theoretical duties of his profession? It is to facilitate his attainments of both in the shortest possible time, and to the greatest possible extent of perfection. His health and habits are perfected upon the precise element, and in e.rposures to the climates and weather, to which his duties will call him, and often confine him during a state of war. Why is the law student required to attend the courts, and the medical student the hospitals, while attending to the theory of the profession? It is because, even in these learned professions, where much more depends upon books, or theory, than in the profession of arms, all experienced men unite in the opinion that great benefit to the student results from combining practice with theory. The watchmaker, shoemaker, carpenter, and blacksmith, always put their students or apprentices to work at the earliest possible period of their instruction; often, indeed, before they are able to wield many of the tools of their trade. With these facts before our eyes, added to the custom which has obtained in many of the enlightened States of Europe, and which we are apparently disposed to rivet upon our own land of freedom and invention, it would seem impossible to resist the conviction that the science of war is indeed in its infancy. Of all the sciences and arts, there are none where the union of theory and practice, in all the duties of preparation for the great dernier results, are so much altogether necessary and proper, as in the science of war and the duties of an army; and yet, wonderful to tell, there is no trade or profession, reduced to separate and distinct rules of science and art, in which theory is so much relied on, or practice so much neglected, as in the art of war, as it regards military operations on land, or in the attack and defence of seaports.

ART. II. So much for floating batteries, and their uses in peace and in war. Let us now proceed to consider the all-important kindred measure of railroads for co-operating with the proposed floating batteries, and perfecting the promised system of national defence.

10. We propose the immediate location and construction of seven railroads, to extend from the two central States of Tennessee and Kentucky to the seven grand divisions of the national frontier, as suggested by a plan embraced in the accompanying diagram, viz:

First. One principal railroad from Lexington, Kentucky, to Buffalo or Plattsburg, New York, with branches to Detroit, Albany, and Boston.

Second. One principal railroad from Knoxville, 'l'ennessee, to Norfolk, Virginia, or Baltimore, Maryland, with branches to Richmond, Virginia, and Newbern, North Carolina.

Third. One principal railroad from Memphis, Tennessee, to Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, with branches to Milledgeville, Georgia, and East Florida.

Fourth. One principal railroad from Louisville, Kentucky, to Mobile, Alabama, with a branch to Pensacola, Florida.

Fifth. One principal railroad from Lexington, Kentucky, via Nashville, to New Orleans.

Sirth. One principal railroad from Memphis, Tennessee, to the Sabine ridge, with branches to Fort Towson and Fort Gibson, Arkansas.

Serenth. One principal railroad from Louisville, Kentucky, or Albany, Indiana, to St. Louis, Missouri, and thence to the Missouri river, north of the mouth of the Big Platte; with branches from Albany, Indiana, to Chicago, and from the north west angle of the State of Missouri to the upper crossing of the river Des Moines.

11. These seven great arteries or principal railroads here enumerated will each be from 500 to 700 miles in length, (averaging 600 miles,) making altogether a distance of 4,200 miles; and the average cost of locating and constructing them is estimated at $15,000 per mile; amounting, altogether, to the sum of 864,000,000, provided they are located and constructed by the army of the Cnited States—the railroads to be of the most substantial kind, each having a double track. The whole work to be completed by the authority and at the expense of the United States; provided that, on its final completion, it shall revert to the States, in their sovereign and individual capacity; each State to retain forever the right of property in and to all of such section or sections of the said railroads, with all their appurtenances, lying or being within the territorial limits of such States, respectively, upon the simple condition that all troops, whether regulars or volunteers, in the service of the United States, with their munitions of war, together with the mail, shall be transported forever upon these railroads free of expense to the United States.

12. Without attempting to enumerate all the benefits to be derived from the proposed railroads in peace as well as in war-benefits which are for the most part too generally known to require any particular notice here, and others, certainly of very great value, can only be conjectured, inasmuch as they are to some extent incisible, and to be developed, principally, it is believed, by the excavations necessary to complete the graduation of the basis of the work through the vast regions of mineral wealth over which its various lines will extend, where accident has hitherto led to the discovery of a sprinkling of gold, with millions of acres of the richest iron and lead ore and coal, together with copper and other valuable minerals,) your memorialist will here concisely advert to the principal benefits which the military aspect of the proposed work promises, and conclude with a notice of such advantages as must immediately result to the army, to the sereral States, and the UNION, from the organization and employment of the national regulars and volunteers as operatives upon the work.

13. The principal advantages to be derived from the proposed railroads in a military point of riew.

In a state of war they will enable us to transport the military men and munitions of war of the two central States of the Union, and of all the interior districts of the twenty-four border States, to the seven grand divisions of the national frontier, without animal power, in one-tenth part of the time, and at one-tenth part of the expense that the movement would cost in the present state

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of our bad roads. The proposed railroads would thus enable us to obtain more useful service in war from ten thousand men, by the increased rapidity and safety of their movement to the point of attack chosen by the invading foe, than without railroads we could obtain from an army of one hundred thousand men marched upon our common roads; as, in addition to the saving of time, which in war is power, and health, and life, and money, we shall save our citizen soldiers from what they usually deem the most irksome and insupportable aftlictions and privations attending their tours of military service; we shall save them from long and tedious marches, and from the still more trying scenes of a longcontinued delay in camp, and the consequent painful separation from wife, children, friends, and business. On the contrary, after being assembled and prepared for action, we shall fly to meet the invading foe at the rate of 250 or 300 miles in 24 hours—taking with us every desirable necessary of life for the preservation of health, activity, and personal prowess, so that when we meet the enemy we shall enjoy every desirable advantage in every conflict, in inost of which we cannot but be successful; and in place of the usual campaign of three, six, or twelve months of distressing service, we may reasonably calculate on being conveyed, with every desirable supply from the central States to the frontier, in the short space of fifty or si: ty hours' time, and of meeting and beating the invading foe, and returning to our homes in a few days, or at most a few weeks more.

Hence the great utility of the proposed railroads in a state of war; and then, on the return of peace, when our sixty millions of dollars worth of fortifications, and armories, and arsenals, and ships-of-war, are worse than useless for any of the purposes of peace, and a great and constant expense to repair and replenish them in order to hold them ready for another war; then our railroads, taking, as they must take, precisely the direction that the commerce of our country takes, from the seaboard to the central western States, will, when turned to commercial purposes, produce a revenue to the States that own them that will be more than sufficient to replace, in seven years' time, every dollar expended in their construction, and forever thereafter produce a revenue sufficient for the support of all the State governments, and to pay for the education of every orphan child in America. The proposed railroads will do more—they will form ligaments of union more powerful than bulwarks of adamant, or chains of iron or gold, to bind the States together in perpetual union. In designating the military men of the central States of Tennessee and Kentucky as the disposable force of the nation, we have reference to the fact that this force is rendered disposable by the central position of these two States —they having no frontier to defend; while the forces of all the other twentyfour States are rendered local forces, and not disposable, by reason of their being all border States—the boundary of each extending to the frontier; and, therefore, having no frontier of their own to defend, they are thus rendered local, not disposable.

14. Organization of the regular forces and operatives to be intrusted with the location and construction of the work.

One major general; one adjutant general, with seven assistants; two brigadier generals; seven surgeons, with twenty-eight assistant surgeons; and twentyeight chief artificers or scientific mechanics; seven regiments, each regiment to consist of one colonel, two lieutenant colonels, four majors, one adjutant, and one quartermaster, two sergeant majors, and two quartermaster sergeants, with ten companies; each company to consist of one captain, two first lieutenants, two second lieutenants, and two cadets, with one quartermaster sergeant, one orderly sergeant, four sergeants, four corporals, two musicians, ten artificers, and eighty private soldiers. The general, field, and staff officers, with the captains and first lieutenants, to be taken from the officers of the engineers, topographical engineers, artillery, and infantry now in service; officers of established reputation for professional talents, experience, industry, economy, and exemplary habits, and to have the pay and einoluments 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 inforination, 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 liinits of the States where the sections of the railroads on which they are to be emploved, 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 lite, 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 froin 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

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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 wealthi 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 scaport, 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 tlie proposed railroads—these roads, even while occasionally employed in the transportation of troops from the central States to the south, will take retun 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 bai. terries your memorialist believes would soon effectually prevent the recurrence of war, so long as the United States shall see fit to contine 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 render 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 har. bor 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

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