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    I have followed with little interruption the long tale of hostilities which opened with the declaration of war with Spain and closed with the Peace of Fontainebleau; for despite the brief truce made by the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, the armies of England and France were eternally in collision either in the far east or the far west, so that to all intent the struggle resolved itself into one long war. Little though she knew it, England, when she entered wantonly and with a light heart upon the attack on the Spanish Main, had really set herself to wrestle with the French for the empire of the world. For nearly seventeen years she waited for the man who would carry her victorious through the contest; and at last he appeared. The instant change which came over the spirit of the nation when he assumed command has already been shown in the narrative of the operations. It remains only to study more closely the conduct of the war in the departments at home, and to trace the progress, not only in the organisation and training of the various branches of the Army, but also in the general administration.

    The war with Spain opened, as will be remembered, while the nation had not yet ceased to rail at the iniquity of a standing Army, when the ascendency of the civilian element at the War Office was overpowering, and when the attitude of the ordinary citizen towards the soldier was unfriendly even to aggression. These evils, as may be guessed, did not pass away at once, even though the obnoxious red-coats were embarked or embarking for[562] foreign service. In 1741 there was a general refusal of innkeepers to supply soldiers with food and forage, owing to the dearth caused by a winter of extraordinary severity. Such refusal was not unreasonable; and it was proposed to meet the difficulty by a new clause in the Mutiny Act. It will hardly be believed that one member of the House of Commons made this suggestion a pretext for urging that the Mutiny Act should be dispensed with altogether, his argument being that if the system of billets should break down it would be necessary to build barracks, which would result in the subjection of the country to military government.[402] Two years later again[403] advantage was taken of an address to the King respecting his hired Hessian troops, to insert words, designed evidently for purposes of insult only, referring to, the burthensome and useless army at home. Nor did such amenities end even after the warning of 1745, for the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, which left the air still electric with war, was no sooner signed than the old foolish arguments against a standing Army reappeared in the House of Lords, propped by such stable epigrams as "To a free state an army is like drams to a constitution." Yet the full measure of the intoxicant which was distilled for the ruin of the nation was a niggardly draught of nineteen thousand men. These childish outbursts continued until 1754, when they ceased, at any rate until the close of the war, having served their mischievous purpose in keeping alive old animosities which common patriotism and common sense would have buried without ceremony. The ill-will of publicans and of municipalities continued likewise unabated for a few years,[404] but rapidly dwindled away before more generous feelings; and unreasonable complaints from this quarter almost disappear from the correspondence of the War Office after Dettingen.

    The War Office itself was slower to mend its ways. [563]The Secretary-at-War was quite equal to such petty jobbery as procuring the promotion of sergeants and corporals; but for all other purposes the Office showed itself at first to be utterly and hopelessly inefficient. Glimpses of maladministration have already been seen in the account of the expedition to Carthagena; but the blindness and ignorance of the officials became still more patent when Lord Stair's force was despatched to the Netherlands. The Office had not been at the pains to keep even its records in order. Not a soul seems to have known what were the rules as to allowances for forage, baggage, and the like, for troops embarking on active service; and the officials were obliged to apply to old officers who had served with Marlborough to gather precedents on such purely departmental matters as these.[405] From such beginnings it is not difficult to judge of that which must have come after.

    The Office of Ordnance also was at the outset as badly disorganised as the War Office. Its shortcomings have already been shown in the matter of the train sent out to Carthagena; but even a year after the departure of Cathcart it seems to have made no improvement. Transports destined for the West Indies in 1741 were obliged to put in at Cork because the water shipped at Spithead was undrinkable, and the provisions supplied for the men unfit to eat.[406] Stair, again, was despatched to the Netherlands without artillery or engineers, a deficiency which brought his force into immense contempt with the French; and when he asked for siege-guns he found that all England could afford him was but twenty twenty-four pounders.[407] Small arms again were so scarce that, when the king rearmed the infantry, it was necessary to purchase ten thousand muskets and bayonets [564]abroad.[408] In Scotland again the inquiries of Hawley and Handasyde revealed not less flagrant neglect.[409] But this was by no means all. The general condition of the national defences both at home and abroad was most alarming; and the result was that at the opening of 1743 there was a regular panic among all the seaports, great and small, on the coast of England. Frantic applications poured into the Office of Ordnance for guns, carriages, and ammunition. It seems to have been the custom for the minor ports to erect batteries at their own expense, and to apply to the Government for their armament; so that the blame for these shortcomings must rest in part upon local authorities. But there is no such excuse for carelessness in respect of regular strongholds, such as Pendennis Castle, where forty-six guns were found to be in charge of a master-gunner ninety years of age, aided by a single assistant. It was not until 1756, when ministers should have been looking after Minorca, that the Government suddenly took the alarm and threw up lines of defence at Chatham, Portsea, and Plymouth Dock.[410]

    Colonial stations, for which the British Government was responsible, were in little better order. Newfoundland was in a deplorable condition,[411] and Gibraltar even worse; nor could all the representations of officers procure attention for them. As late as in May 1757, even after the actual fall of Minorca, Governor Lord Tyrawley wrote furiously of the state of affairs at the Rock. There had been total stagnation for many [565]years; letters had not been answered; requests often repeated had remained unheeded. The guns mounted on the fortress were too short, the spare carriages were too few, the palisades better fitted for hen-coops than for fortifications; in fact the defences were reduced to dangerous weakness by years of systematic neglect.[412] At St. Kitts, again, the Thirty-eighth Foot, which for years had formed the standing garrison, was in a miserable condition; not forty per cent of the men were fit for service; their clothing was in rags; they had neither hats nor shoes nor cartridge-boxes nor swords.[413] Nor were the self-governing colonies more careful than the mother country. Wealthy West Indian Islands, notwithstanding the incessant warnings of their governors, found themselves at the outbreak of the war in dangerous want of arms and ammunition; and there was a rush of all the colonies both in the West Indies and in America for guns and stores, which ought to have been ready in their own magazines.[414] British carelessness, aggravated by the evil example of factious politicians in the mother country, and by the spectacle of such a creature as Newcastle in high place, had well-nigh stripped the empire of its defences.

    As to the Army itself, enough has been said in the account of the operations to show how unstable, despite the abundance of individual heroism, were the foundations upon which it rested. The interference of civilian administrators and of irresponsible politicians with military discipline had wrought mischief untold. Officers could not be brought to do duty with their regiments. Stair found the difficulty insuperable; so also did Hawley; so even did Cumberland in Scotland; while in the garrison of Minorca the evil transcended all bounds. Thus both the personnel and matriel of the Army were nearly ruined, the former by persistent [566]jobbery and meddling on the part of civil officials, the latter by the equally persistent carping of factious critics in the House of Commons, which forbade the presentation of estimates for necessary works. The military system was in fact a chaos; and it was only by the strenuous efforts of two men, who strangely enough abominated each other, that this chaos was reduced to order.

    The first of these two was Cumberland. Though in many respects a martinet of a narrow type, and no great commander in the field, Cumberland was an able man, a strong man, and an administrator. He it was who first took the Army seriously in hand and set himself to reduce it to discipline. He began during his first campaign by teaching the officers that they must obey. Hitherto it seems that they had taken the field as if they were going to a picnic, after the fashion of the French, travelling comfortably if not luxuriously, and neglecting all duties except that of displaying gallantry in action. Cumberland quickly put a stop to this. The number of wheeled carriages, even for general officers, was strictly limited, and two only, one for the colonel and one for the sutler, were allowed in each regiment; while in order to reduce baggage still further, it was ordered that no officer under the rank of brigadier-general should appear either in camp or in quarters, on or off duty, except in his regimental coat, old or new.[415] Such orders may appear ludicrous at the present day, but they point to a tightening of the reins of discipline that was very sorely needed. Cumberland, too, was impatient of useless officers. He disliked the system of purchase[416] and chafed at the retention of old colonels, some so unfit for duty as to be confined in a mad-house, whose permanent presence on the active list prevented the [567]advancement of deserving officers.[417] His own selections were not always fortunate, as witness Hawley and Braddock, but he was fully alive to the merit of such men as Ligonier, Wolfe, and Conway, to whom, though not of his school, he gladly gave promotion.

    But it is after the close of the first war, when the Duke had returned to be Commander-in-Chief in time of peace, that his work is seen to greatest advantage. The whole tone of the War Office is changed. The Secretary-at-War almost reverts to his old position of clerk to the Commander-in-Chief. Military authority is predominant in military matters, and "Secretary-at-War's leave of absence" becomes a thing of the past. The functionary, who not many years before was ready to perpetrate a job for any officer with vote or interest, suddenly develops virtuous scruples and objects to the once familiar phrase, as he never grants leave without the King's signature.[418] But it is less by isolated examples, such as this, than by a general alteration in the methods of transacting business, that the Duke's hand may be traced. There is no longer the indiscriminate correspondence with every rank of officer; but due regard is paid to the rights of superior officers as channels of communication and discipline, and to the authority of the Commander-in-Chief as the supreme motive power. In fact, a work of great and beneficial reform is seen to accomplish itself imperceptibly through the will and influence of a single strong man; and Cumberland's services herein have never received the recognition that they deserve. The Duke, indeed, with all his foibles and prejudices was no ordinary man; and it is no surprise to one who has followed his administrative work to find that Horace Walpole ranked him with his father, Sir Robert Walpole, with Granville, Mansfield, and Pitt as one of the five great men that he had known. It is no disparagement of other members [568]of the Royal Family to say that he was the ablest man which it has produced during the two centuries of its reign in England.

    The other man who raised the tone of the Army beyond estimation was of course Pitt. His share in the work, however, was very different in its nature from Cumberland's; though, without the preliminary reforms of Cumberland, his influence could hardly have been so successful as it was. Pitt's instincts respecting military administration, as distinct from the statesman's choice of a theatre of war, were thoroughly sound. He was for allowing officers to do their work, and for backing them loyally as they did it. Thus when in 1750 George Townsend, afterwards Wolfe's brigadier, proposed a clause in the Mutiny Bill to prevent non-commissioned officers or privates from being punished except by sentence of court-martial, Pitt crushed him with words which deserve to be remembered. "We," he said, "have no business with the conduct of the Army, nor with their complaints one against another. If we give ear to any such complaint we shall either destroy all discipline, or the House will be despised of officers and detested of soldiers." Cumberland himself would have asked for no severer criticism than this; and yet Pitt, though perhaps unconsciously, was probably more obnoxious in his military even than in his political views to Cumberland. The Duke, as has been repeatedly illustrated, was a soldier of the rigidest German type. "He was as angry," to use Walpole's happy phrase, "at an officer's infringing the minutest precept of the military rubric as at his deserting his post, and was as intent on establishing the form of spatterdashes and cockades as on taking a town or securing an advantageous situation." In other words, he lacked that sense of proportion in matters of discipline which distinguishes the disciplinarian from the martinet. Now, despite the influence of Cumberland, there was growing up in the Army a school of officers quite as strict as he was in needful matters of discipline, but less rigid, less narrow,[569] and more humaneofficers who looked upon their men not as marionettes to be dressed and undressed, used up and thrown away, but as human flesh and blood, with good feelings that could be played on, good understandings that could be instructed, self-respect that needed only to be cultivated, and high instincts that waited only to be evoked. Such an officer, as his regimental orders can prove, was Wolfe, who contrived to turn even the work of road-making in Scotland to excellent disciplinary account; and indeed I am disposed to think that this same road-making, first begun under the direction of the mild and gentle Wade, had much to do with the foundation of the new school. The officers were brought very much more into contact with their men off parade, being obliged to supervise them while at work and to enjoin on them conciliatory bearing and behaviour towards the inhabitants; and the men, on their side, were happy and well-conducted, for they were kept constantly employed and received a welcome addition to their pay. It must be remembered that the gulf fixed between officer and man at that time was much wider than at present. Nowadays it is nothing for the subalterns of the smartest regiment of cavalry to pull off their coats and work with their men at the unshipping of horses from a transport; then it was almost painful to men to see their officers lay their hand to any but officer's work. A sergeant of Murray's garrison at Quebec describes the labours of his officers when hauling up the guns almost with tears. Such things were not seemly for gentlemen to do. But beyond all doubt the new school introduced a healthier feeling between officers and men, having the courage to utter its sentiments in print. "Never beat your men," says an officer's manual of the year 1760; "it is unmanly. I have too often seen a brave, honest old soldier banged and battered at the caprice of an arrogant officer." And then follows a protest against picketting, tying neck and heels, the wooden horse and other punishments of torture, which were never inflicted by[570] court-martial, but by the authority of officers only.[419] Such teaching was not in accordance with the system of Cumberland as expounded by himself or by his favourites Braddock and Hawley.

    Yet it was to officers of this new school that Pitt, when he could have his way, preferred to entrust his work, partly perhaps on account of their youth and vigour, but more probably owing to their freedom from the fetters of pipeclay. Amherst, though he maintained an excellent tone among his troops, was hardly a perfect representative of the school, but Howe and Wolfe were pre-eminently of it, as were likewise such of Wolfe's pupils as Monckton and Murray. India seems spontaneously to have produced men who commanded in virtue of personal ascendency, though the only training of Lawrence, Forde, and Coote had been that of regimental officers. Still these men, though appointed by sheer force of circumstances and by no nomination of Pitt's, served to confirm the correctness of his judgment.

    By giving scope to this new stamp of officer Pitt rendered the Army signal service, apart from the spirit which he infused into it, as into every body of Englishmen, of energy and adventure. He was too good a master for men to be willing to return to him, unless they had fulfilled their mission or exhausted every effort to fulfil it. It is possible even that the raids on the French coast, which are a blot on his fame as a minister of war, might have been more successful (though they could never have been profitable) could he have appointed commanders of his own choice. But in truth the work of Pitt as a designer of campaigns and operations of war was by no means flawless. He had skill in thinking out how a body of men could be passed rapidly on from enterprise to enterprise, as from Guadeloupe to Canada, from Canada back to Martinique, from Martinique to Havanna, and from Havanna, as[571] he hoped, to Louisiana. But he never made sufficient allowance for the waste of men in the process, nor, apparently, for the loss of life entailed by maintaining large garrisons in tropical territory. In some respects, too, the military administration was little better in his day than in Newcastle's. Notwithstanding the warning given by the terrible losses of the troops during the occupation of Louisburg, no proper care was taken to provide them with special clothing in subsequent winters in Canada; while the arrangements for the hospitals in Germany were so deficient that few of the invalids of the campaign of 1760 ever rejoined their regiments.[420] Hodgson, again, before starting for Belleisle, complained bitterly of his want of officers and of the inadequacy of the preparations made by the Office of Ordnance. These abuses were, it is true, due to the shortcomings of departments only, and therefore must not be charged against a minister who bore the burden, not only of the direction of the war, but of foreign affairs also on his shoulders; but it is, I think, a reproach to Pitt's military administration that he did not appreciate the importance of husbanding the lives of his troops. The British soldier, to put the matter in its least sentimental and most brutally practical light, has always been a most expensive article; no prodigality can be more ruinous than the careless squandering of his life, no economy so false as the grudging of his comfort. But this failing in Pitt, serious though it be, is far outweighed by the profound policy which converted the militia into an efficient force for defence against invasion, thus liberating the regular army for purposes of conquest; and by the military insight which kept King Frederick subsidised, and Prince Ferdinand's army afoot as auxiliary to Frederick, thus turning the whole war in Europe into a diversion in England's favour. Nor was this policy wholly selfish, for loudly though the Prussians still complain of the withdrawal of Pitt's subsidies by Bute, Pitt remained in office long enough to tide Frederick[572] over the deadliest of his peril, and so to establish the corner-stone of the present German Empire. Yet even these achievements pale before the mighty genius and the lofty enthusiasm which called the English-speaking people to arms on both sides the Atlantic to wrest from France the possession of the world. The minister of war is swallowed up in the statesman of the Empire.

    The next subject of inquiry is the manner of raising that Army, large beyond precedent in English history, which was accumulated by the end of the war. It will be remembered that the regiments of cavalry rose to thirty-two, and that in the infantry of the Line the numbered regiments were one hundred and twenty-four, besides two corps of Highlanders (which for some reason were known by titles of a different kind) and the brigade of Guards, making altogether a total little short of one hundred and fifty battalions. To provide recruits for such a force on the ordinary terms was impossible; and the struggle with France had hardly begun before recourse was made to the system of short service. In the session of 1743-44 was passed the first of a series of Recruiting Acts on the model of those which had been passed under Queen Anne. The bounty offered to volunteers was four pounds, while parish-officers were empowered to impress unemployed men, for each of which they received a reward of one pound and the parish of three pounds. The standard for recruits was fixed at five feet five inches; and it was enacted that every volunteer or enlisted man should be entitled to his discharge at the end of three years. In the following session the Act was somewhat altered. The bounty to volunteers was abolished; the gift to the parish was reduced to two pounds; the standard was lowered by one inch, and the term of service was extended to five years. But as yet of course the real drain on the supply of Englishmen was not begun.

    After the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle an effort was made in the House of Commons to establish the principle of short service in time of peace. In February 1750[573] Mr. Thomas Pitt, a kinsman of the Great Commoner, brought forward a bill to enact that soldiers should henceforward be enlisted for ten years, and that the price of discharge should be fixed at three pounds. The scheme was opposed on the ground that men would always claim discharge after receiving their new clothing, and so defraud the colonel; that the country would be filled with idle vagabonds; and that the Pretender's adherents would take advantage of the measure to obtain military training, which would later be turned against England herself. One speaker, who supported the bill, thought ten years too long a term; and Colonel Henry Conway, an officer of much promise, while approving the principle contended that the bill as it stood would be useless, since no man would enlist for service in Ireland or the Colonies without a bounty, nor accept smaller bounty than the cost of his discharge. More than one member who took part in the debate deplored the system of enlisting men for life, which by depriving them of hope made them idle and disorderly; but all agreed that the limitation of the term of service must inevitably lead to increased expense, since it would entail the need of a larger number of recruits. The expense of recruiting fell at that time of course on the officers, pay being allowed for a few fictitious men on the muster-rolls, and the proceeds turned into a recruiting fund. While this practice lasted, it was futile to speak of enlisting more recruits, for the officers simply could not afford it. It was useless to urge, as Conway and Oglethorpe did, that the expense of recruiting at ordinary times should be borne not by the regiment but by the public; for this would have meant an augmentation in the military estimates which was not to be thought of for a moment. So after a useful debate the bill was defeated by one hundred and fifty-four to ninety-two.[421]

    On the renewal of the war a Recruiting Act identical with that of 1744-45 was passed; but in the following year (1756-57) a bounty of three pounds was again[574] offered to volunteers, who were also allowed to take service for three years only. With this latter Act the measures sanctioned by Parliament came to an end, and though this particular enactment was passed, as usual, for one year only, I conceive that it must have been renewed annually to the close of the war.[422] There were of course the usual abuses in the enforcement of these Acts, abuses which rose to a grave height towards the end of the war. The country was so much exhausted in 1762 that the standard was reduced to five feet two inches,[423] by which time men made a regular living by hanging about the recruiting officers, ready to accompany them before a justice and to swear that some hapless creature had taken the King's bounty.[424] Practically there was impressment for the army as for the navy; and indeed as early as in 1744 the newspapers speak openly of a general press made in Southwark for the Army and marines, with the satisfactory result of a haul of two hundred men.[425] Nor was impressment without its usual romantic consequences. On one of the ships of Admiral Boscawen's squadron in 1748 was a marine named James Gray, who was duly landed with the rest for the siege of Pondicherry. In the course of the siege Gray had the misfortune to be wounded, apparently by splinters, receiving six wounds in one leg, five in the other and a bullet in the groin. This last hurt the injured marine did not submit to the doctors, contriving to extract the bullet without assistance, and so to make a good recovery. In due time Gray returned to England; and then there came a petition to the Duke of Cumberland setting forth that James Gray was in a reality a woman named Hannah Snell. Her sweetheart had been impressed, so she had enlisted and followed [575]him to India, braving all the misery of the voyage and the hardships of the siege to be with him; but all had been to no purpose, for the sweetheart had died, leaving her alone, maimed, friendless and penniless. It is satisfactory to learn that Cumberland at once obtained for her a pension of thirty pounds a year from the King's own bounty.[426]

    It should be remembered, meanwhile, that since the Highlands had been thrown open, the old recruiting grounds had been considerably enlarged, and that the prospect of bearing arms had attracted great numbers of Highlanders to the ranks. Exclusive of the Forty-second there were at least a dozen Highland battalions on the list in 1762. Irish Catholics again were admitted to the Army, at any rate in America, and distinguished themselves particularly in the Twenty-eighth Regiment at Quebec, where Wolfe himself charged at their head.[427] But to what other shifts the Government may have resorted I have unfortunately been unable to discover. It is more than probable that several corps were formed under peculiar conditions of service. At least one whole regiment of Highlanders, the Duke of Sutherland's, was raised explicitly for three years only or till the close of the war;[428] and the same principle was doubtless extended to other cases. Private enterprise also came to the help of the country. Very early in the war a society was formed in London to promote the enlistment of marines; and after Minden the Common Council of London opened subscriptions to encourage recruiting, and promised to admit men so enlisted to trade within the city forthwith, if discharged with a good character on the close of the war.[429] Then again there were regiments like Hale's and Granby's [576]Light Dragoons which were raised by patriotic officers without cost to the country; and it is probable that these were not solitary examples. Similar advantages of economy seem to have dictated the creation in 1760 and the following years of innumerable independent companies, which after a few months of isolated existence were sorted together into regiments. The history of this system is exceedingly obscure, but it appears to have amounted practically to the offer of a commission to every man who could or would raise a hundred recruits. It was adopted amid considerable difference of opinion, and was not a success, the men so enlisted being generally unfit to carry a musket.[430] Speaking broadly, it may be asserted that during this war the ranks were filled by compulsion far more than by attraction, and by compulsion so ruthless that recruits would resort to self-mutilation to escape service.

    An interesting experiment in the inner organisation of the recruiting service was instituted by advice of Lord Stair, namely the formation of two extra companies of infantry and one extra troop of cavalry for all regiments on active service. The object was to maintain a depot at home to refill all vacancies in the ranks abroad, and so to obviate the necessity of sending back recruiting officers from abroad to England. The plan did not at first commend itself to the King, and Stair was obliged to urge it repeatedly before he could obtain for it a trial; but the suggestion seems to have been approved by Cumberland, and to have been put into practice for a time, though the additional companies were presently amalgamated into distinct regiments.[431] Therewith the whole system of the feeding [577]of regiments abroad fell back on the old plan of drafting; and during the Seven Years' War regiments at home, particularly the dragoons,[432] were raised to a considerable strength to serve simply as recruiting depots for regiments abroad. From a regimental standpoint the story of the war is one of drafting, drafting, drafting, with of course all the vices that had been condemned by Marlborough attendant on the practice. The garrisons of captured places suffered terribly from this evil, particularly in the West Indies, where service was still abominated by the men. There was no such reluctance to go to the East Indies, where there was some prospect of spoil; and men and officers gladly took advantage of the opportunity afforded to them not only to go to India, but to stay there in the Company's service after their regiments had been recalled.[433] But the West Indies were held in horror and loathing. It became more and more the practice to pardon deserters and bad characters on their accepting service in that unpopular quarter, though even so there were men who preferred to take a thousand lashes.[434] As the operations in the West Indies grew wider of extent, resort was made as usual to drafting; whereupon the colonels, to whom it fell to supply the drafts, of course seized the opportunity to rid themselves of their worst men, heedless of the unhappy corps to which they consigned them.[435] The [578]government of a captured island in the Antilles on such terms was no very enviable post.

    But the British Isles were by no means the only recruiting ground of the Army during this long struggle. Braddock as early as in 1755 was ordered to fill up his regiments with recruits from America; and the system, as has already been seen, was carried farther and farther as the war progressed. There were at first considerable difficulties, which the British Government attempted to meet by proclaiming that two hundred acres of land should be granted free of rent for ten years to all recruits, after the close of the war.[436] It should seem, however, that this temptation was of small effect, for the Americans enjoyed all the British prejudice against a red-coat, and at first drew little distinction between a soldier and a negro. The Sixtieth in particular found great obstruction to recruiting in Pennsylvania; the lawyers, justices, and people at large being violently opposed to enlistment[437] even for short terms of three or four years. Violent controversies raged over the recruiting of indented servants, the "white servants" or white slaves to which I have already referred; their owners pleading not without reason that, having paid for the passage of these men, they were entitled to consider them as their own property, or, to use their own phrase, as "bought servants." This difficulty was settled by providing for compensation to the owners for loss of such men; but even so the most serious obstacles remained unremoved. In New Jersey, for instance, the justices would persuade recruits not to be attested, or would grant warrants against them for fictitious debts and throw them into gaol until the regiment that sought them had marched away. Finally in 1760 Amherst wrote that, though his battalions were seven thousand men below the proper strength, he could obtain no recruits owing to the vast bounty [579]offered by the provincial authorities to their own troops. These facts should not be forgotten in view of the far greater contest between mother country and colonies which lies close ahead of us. The colonists boasted constantly, and not without just cause, of the sacrifices which they had made throughout the war; but they overlooked the incessant difficulties which they threw in the way of the King's commanders.[438]

    Intimately connected with the subject of recruiting is the general condition of the private soldier. There was little or no alteration in his pay or allowances during the period under review; and such changes as there were tended if anything rather to his disadvantage. It appears that the War Office had not yet learned that the rigid rules applicable to service at home were impossible of enforcement abroad, and either through blindness or ignorance insisted that all additional burdens, imposed by differences of climate and remoteness from civilisation, must be borne by the soldier. The mutiny roused at Louisburg by excessive stoppages from the pay of the men has already been related; but so dangerous a warning even as this produced no result, for the grievance remained unredressed and led to a second mutiny of the troops in Canada in 1763.[439] The meanness of the Government in respect of such matters was indescribable. It would not even supply extra blankets for the garrison of Quebec, but decided that the price must be deducted from each soldier's pay, and this although recruits were already hardly obtainable for garrisons abroad.[440] Not an official, notwithstanding the repeated representations of military officers, seems to have been capable of devising a new system to cover new conditions. The old formul? were stretched and stretched again till they became a mere confusion of [580]rents and patches, barely sufficient to cover the nakedness of maladministration.

    It is true that the Government was not wholly to blame; it was rather that spirit of carping and meddlesome criticism in the Commons which in these days has led to what is called legislation by reference, with the result that few Acts of Parliament are intelligible without a complete body of the Statutes of the past century to elucidate them. In mortal dread of distasteful discussion of the military estimates, the civil authorities clothed every possible grant of money in the garment of pay for so many men, and made it over to regimental officers to do their best or worst with it. Hence arose a chaos of strange terms which are the bewilderment and despair of every student. The mysteries of the "recruiting-fund" have already been laid bare, and the veil which shrouds the "widow's man" has likewise been lifted; but the list is unfortunately far longer than this. As though widow's men were not sufficient, there were also "contingent men," fictitious men kept on the rolls of every company that their pay might discharge the contingent expenses of the captain.[441] Then there was an item known as "grass-money," an allowance of similar nature, but of so complicated a description that it can be shown only in tabulated form.[442] [581]There were also curious devices whereby the foot-soldier likewise was provided with certain necessary portions of his equipment. Then there was yet another source of regimental income called the stock-purse, which applied originally to dragoons only, and was made up partly from the recruiting fund, partly from the vacant pay of men when the troop was below its established strength, and partly from the value of cast horses. The fund so collected was placed in the hands of the[582] agent, to defray contingent expenses and current cost of recruiting. As all horses were cast at the age of fourteen, and as four horses, at a price not exceeding twenty guineas apiece, were replaced every year irrespective of those lost by death or accident, it may be imagined that a stroke of bad luck might reduce a troop to ruin. All this, however, was part of the system which made the Army pay for itself, and was therefore preserved in defiance of the trouble and confusion to which it inevitably led. It may now be understood why officers who loved their regiments frequently bequeathed large sums of money to the regimental funds, to enable their successors to secure good recruits and to uphold the fair name of the corps.

    Thus it is sufficiently evident that the Army, notwithstanding the wild ravings in Parliament, did far more for itself than the country did for it; though there are signs that as an institution it was gradually finding acceptance with the nation. In 1740 the nickname of "lobster" for a soldier, which thirty or forty years[583] ago was common enough, first made its appearance, curiously enough with the Christian name of Thomas prefixed to it.[443] Then in the same year Parliament called for and printed a return of the officers of the Army, which was continued yearly and ripened into the annual Army List.[444] Another change also helped to give regiments a surer identity in the popular mind, namely the substitution of a number for the colonel's name for the distinction of corps from corps. This reform crept in during July 1753;[445] but it was many years before the colonel's name was altogether discarded, while the numbers did not find a place on the buttons until 1767. Then, to pass to minuter matters, sufficient deference was paid to the popular love of military music to relieve the colonels in part of the burden of hiring bandsmen, who, in some regiments at any rate, were after 1749 enlisted as soldiers and placed under military discipline.[446] In the cavalry, where the trumpeters supplied six or eight men more or less skilled in the playing of a wind-instrument, the issue of horns and bassoons to these sufficed more cheaply to form a band of music;[447] but the main burden of supporting a band has always lain, as it still lies, upon the officers. Private enterprise, which thus forced military musicians upon the country, strove also to impose another modern fashion, but without success. After his march to Fort Duqusne General Forbes caused a medal to be struck, of extremely florid design, and authorised such of his officers as might desire it to wear the same in gold suspended from their necks by a blue ribbon.[448] The hint, however, was not taken at [584]home,possibly the fame of it never reached official ears,and though a medal might have increased the flow of recruits and reconciled men to service beyond sea, not one was issued. Ferdinand of Brunswick received the Garter, and Amherst the red ribbon of the Bath, but nothing was done to commemorate for lesser men the share that they had taken in the conquest of an empire.

    I turn now to consideration of the military progress in the three combatant branches of the Army. In the Cavalry an early change, which has been perpetuated by certain regimental titles to the present day, was the conversion of the three senior regiments of Horse into Dragoons, with the names which they still retain of the First, Second, and Third Dragoon Guards. This was done in December 1746 and was apparently part of a general scheme of economy; for at precisely the same time the Third and Fourth troops of the Life Guards were disbanded, and two troops only reserved, together with two troops of Horse Grenadier Guards.[449] But there seems also to have been somewhat of a craze for dragoons at the moment,[450] first because their pay was small, and secondly, because Frederick the Great, in imitation of the Austrians, had made greater mobility the rule for all cavalry. In truth the old distinctions between Horse and Dragoons were disappearing fast and becoming very much a question of names. The French indeed still made it a rule not to place dragoons in the line of battle; but the horse in their army was distinguished by being heavily clad in defensive armour. [585]Ligonier, who loved the cavalry above all arms, boldly advised the disregard of all fanciful differences, and the issue of defensive armour to the British dragoons; but his recommendation remained unnoticed for twelve years, when, in a true spirit of pedantry, cuirasses and iron skull-caps were given in 1758 to the Blues and in 1760 to the Third and Fourth Horse, or to give them their present names, the Sixth and Seventh Dragoon Guards.[451] Another defect noted by Ligonier in the organisation of the cavalry was the extreme weakness of the British squadrons as compared with the French; for remedy of which he purposed to raise the strength of troops of horse to fifty and of dragoons to seventy-five troopers. Such a reform would have been valuable as a return to Cromwell's system of making the units strong enough to provide full employment for the officers; but the authorities settled the question in a far more simple fashion by ordaining that three troops, instead of two as heretofore, should be the strength of a squadron on service.[452] The country has waited long for Ligonier's suggestion to be adopted, and it is only within very recent years, if now, that it has at last grasped the soundness of the principle.

    More important as a step forward was the institution of Light Dragoons, begun, as has been told, by the establishment first of light troops and later of complete light regiments. The example in this case came from a corps formed during the Scottish rebellion of 1745, the Duke of Kingston's Light Dragoons, which did so good service that, though disbanded after Culloden, it was at once reformed as the Duke of Cumberland's own. As such it distinguished itself greatly at Lauffeld, and Cumberland pleaded hard that it might be spared after the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle; [586]but with the usual blindness it was disbanded, and thus a regiment of quite unusual value and promise was sacrificed.[453] Happily the Fifteenth Light Dragoons made a most brilliant beginning for the new branch of the cavalry, and assured its success. The light dragoons were distinguished by wearing a helmet of lacquered copper or leather, and were armed with carbine, bayonet, pistol, and sword, carrying also entrenching tools in their holsters. Their horses are described as of the nag or hunter kind, standing from fourteen hands three inches to fifteen hands one inch; and their saddlery was lighter than that of the ordinary dragoon. Being intended for employment as irregular troops they were known from the first in England as hussars;[454] but though they received special training in horsemanship and in firing, even at a gallop, from the saddle, they had little or no instruction in the duties of reconnaissance, which were the peculiar function of the hussar. Nothing could be more characteristic of the difference between the true and the false light cavalry than the behaviour of the Fifteenth at Emsdorff, who charged through and through the French infantry without hesitation, while the Prussian hussars, never coming to close quarters, lost not a man nor a horse. Fortunately it was not the true hussar that was most sorely needed on that day.

    For the rest, before the opening of the war the old system of man?uvre by turning every horse in his own ground had given place to that by wheeling of small divisions, although the ranks were still formed three deep. It does not appear that the drill introduced by Frederick the Great for field-movements was adopted either in whole or in part, though possibly it may have been practised by individual colonels. Shock-action our cavalry did not need to learn from Frederick, [587]having learned it already of Marlborough; but our squadrons seem as usual to have been prone to their besetting sin of unwillingness to rally after a successful charge. It was this wild galloping forward that wrecked Ligonier's heroic regiments at Lauffeld. On the other hand, Granby's squadrons, for all their leader's impetuosity, seem to have been well in hand at Warburg, and to have done their work with spirit and yet subject to control. But a trot of two hours before coming into action had probably rubbed the keen edge off both horses and men.

    Passing next to the Artillery we approach the most remarkable development observable during this period in the whole Army. Notwithstanding the early disgraces at Carthagena and the shortcomings of the Office of Ordnance, the gunners after 1741 are found to raise the reputation of their corps steadily in all parts of the world. Their place as yet was still on the left of the line, yielding precedence to the whole of the rest of the Army, but they were entitling themselves to a higher station. This sudden change is doubtless in great measure attributable to the foundation of the Academy at Woolwich, with an allowance at first of two hundred pounds, which after a few months was increased to a thousand pounds, a year.[455] In 1744 the forty gentlemen cadets were formed into a single company, and their pay was raised from one shilling to sixteenpence a day; their number also was increased to forty-eight, and from thenceforth the cadet-company stood as the senior company of the corps.[456] The growth of the Royal Regiment in numbers in itself is remarkable. In 1741 it possessed but three marching companies, but from that year onwards it was constantly increased by one, two, or four companies, until in 1757 it consisted of twenty-four companies in two battalions and in 1761 of thirty-one companies in three battalions, or close on thirty-two hundred of all ranks. Finally, in 1760, a warrant [588]was issued for the formation of a distinct regiment of Royal Irish Artillery.

    At first the gunners are seen at work principally with the battalion guns, light three-pounders or six-pounders, which though attached to the infantry were served by artillerymen;[457] but they are always distinguished, whether at Fontenoy or before Trichinopoly, by the rapidity and accuracy of their fire. In Germany, however, we find the guns before Minden scientifically concentrated and handled in large masses by the skill of the Count of Lippe-Bckeburg; and there the British batteries win the admiration of the most critical artillerists in Europe, and their officers the special praise of Ferdinand of Brunswick himself. The influence of the Academy had told early; but it is a still more significant fact that British Artillery officers, not obtaining their commissions by purchase, did not rise to command without knowledge of their work. The variety of guns issued for the field was very great, and though three-pounders seem to have given place in the Seven Years' War to light six-pounders as the lightest ordnance employed,[458] yet there were also heavy six-pounders, light and heavy twelve-pounders, howitzers and twenty-four pounders. It was probably the light six-pounders that amazed the whole army at Warburg by advancing at the gallop, a feat which was the more remarkable since drivers and horses were still hired, and not part and parcel of the corps as at present.[459] Finally, Mauvillon bears witness that the British guns were kept far the cleanest and in the most perfect order of any in the whole Allied army.

    Of the Engineers it is impossible to speak as favourably; [589]indeed it is almost an extreme assumption to assert their existence except in name. A school of engineering was founded in 1741; and the small establishment of engineers as fixed in 1717 having been largely increased in 1756 was finally reorganised with a strength of sixty-one officers in 1759.[460] There seem to have been no men, except a strong company of miners, which, however, was borne on the strength of the Royal Artillery.[461] The results of the school were singularly small compared with those of the Academy at Woolwich. Wentworth possessed one efficient engineer at Carthagena, but Stair had not even one in the Low Countries, and was obliged to engage Dutch and Austrian officers;[462] while the engineers employed with Boscawen at Pondicherry, Abercromby at Ticonderoga, and Hodgson at Belleisle were all alike inefficient. The fact is less remarkable when it is remembered that the sea obviates the necessity for the fortification of inland towns in England. In truth the French engineers, in respect both of the skill of the officers and the organisation of the men, seem to have stood far above the rest of Europe,[463] while the British probably stood lowest of all.

    Lastly we come to the Infantry. Attention has already been called to the reforms initiated by Howe, Washington, Forbes, Bouquet, and Amherst, which, though still too much advanced to receive welcome at home, were to be realised by Sir John Moore forty years later. The great characteristic of the British infantry throughout the war is the excellence of their fire-discipline and the deadly accuracy of their fire. It is curious, therefore, to read in the most popular military handbook of the time[464] that it was precisely in the matter of fire-discipline that the British were reckoned defective, so defective that they were accounted inferior to the Dutch and were obliged to [590]comfort themselves with the reflection that the Dutch were naturally more phlegmatic of temperament. The author is careful to point out that Dutch superiority lay in discipline only, so it is reasonable to infer that the British improved rapidly in this respect during the war. And such indeed is the conclusion to be drawn from the study of the various actions. At Dettingen the fire though deadly was unsteady; at Fontenoy it was nearly perfect; at Minden, where the British stood motionless until the French cavalry was within ten paces, it was quite admirable; at Quebec it was simply superlative. It is commonly supposed that this improvement was due to the adoption of Prussian methods, but I can find no ground for the assumption. The Prussian manual and firing exercise did indeed find its way to the First Guards in 1756;[465] and there still exists record of a petition from some aged pensioners against the cruelty of an ensign who drilled them every day through the winter in the Prussian exercise, though they had hardly clothes to cover their nakedness;[466] but this has no bearing on the action of Fontenoy in 1745. The truth is that in the matter of attack the British had nothing to learn from the Prussians, either in the cavalry or the infantry. Marlborough had taught them the superiority of shock-action and platoon-fire long before Frederick the Great was born; and all that the Prussian school had to teach, apart from this and from the discipline which went to its perfect execution, was the precision of march learned from pendulum and pace-stick, and certain undeniable improvements in the man?uvre of a regiment or battalion. It has been suggested, indeed,[467] that a Prussian column at Fontenoy might have man?uvred its way to victory by sheer perfection of drill and discipline; but this begs the question whether they would have preserved their order as admirably as the British during [591]the advance. Certainly it is hardly conceivable that even Prussian regiments could have behaved more perfectly under very heavy fire and in the presence of an overwhelming force of cavalry than the six British battalions at Minden.

    But the most important changes in the infantry were akin to those in the cavalry. The first was the practice of massing the grenadiers of the army into battalions, which though forbidden by the King as an Austrian innovation when first proposed by Stair,[468] was ultimately adopted both in America and in Germany. The next was the introduction of light troops for the work of skirmishing and for such rapid movements and special duties as were committed in the cavalry to hussars. In the British Army the first representatives of this class of infantry were the Highlanders, who for this reason were armed with short muskets or carbines and were drawn up outside the line in the formal order of battle. Stair[469] had begged for Highlanders in their native dress as early as in 1742, and to his influence probably was due their presence at Fontenoy. During the Seven Years' War, as has been seen, they were employed in every quarter of the globe and did excellent service. Amherst, however, and Wolfe after him, were not content with Highlanders only, but formed those bodies of marksmen, often armed with rifles, which prepared the way for the Light Companies and the complete corps of Light Infantry and Riflemen that were to follow at a later day. Indeed, there was actually a regiment (which during its short life took precedence as ninetieth of the Line) that was called Morgan's Light Infantry. This was probably an imitation from some continental model; but the British had found a far better model for their own purposes in America.

    In truth, though there were lessons which the [592]British might learn with profit from foreign nations, both as to what they should imitate and what they should avoid, the best of their instruction was that which they gained from their own hard experience in lands remote from Europe. The influence of King Frederick the Great was perverted in great measure for ill to the Army. The King and Cumberland had both of them a passion for minute details of dress, facings, lace, buttons, cockades, and the like, and were dear lovers of the tight clothing and inelasticity of movement which characterised the Prussian school. There can be no doubt, on the other hand, that strict insistence on cleanliness and smartness is indispensable, and that correctness and uniformity of dress are valuable aids to discipline and to esprit de corps. Such little distinctions as that the coats of Horse should be lapelled to the skirt and of Dragoons to the waist, while those of Light Dragoons should be without lapels of any kind, are harmless in themselves, and give men a pride and an interest in their branch of the service; but the powdering of hair, the docking of the old-fashioned serviceable coats, and the straitening of every article of raiment were no gain to efficiency, no improvement to health, and in the eyes of Englishmen, at first, no embellishment as to appearance.[470] Had the King turned his thoughts to diminishing the weight on a soldier's back,[471] [593]or devising suitable equipment for tropical climates, he might have saved lives untold; but many years were still to elapse before such simple matters as these were to receive due notice. The beautiful accuracy of drill enjoined by Frederick was turned to good account by the British on many fields in Europe and in India; but his excellent discipline on active service both on and off duty was by no means so faithfully copied, as Ferdinand of Brunswick found out to his cost.[472] Yet at any rate the British had an example of the worst that they must eschew in the armies of the French. Therein "there was no discipline, no subordination, no order on the march, in the camp or even in the battlefield. The very subalterns had their mistresses with them, and officers often left their men to accompany them on the march in their carriages. Everything that could contribute to the luxury of the officers was found in the French camp At one time there were twelve thousand waggons accompanying Soubise's army which belonged to sutlers and shopkeepers, though the army was not fifty thousand strong Balls were given in camp and officers often left their posts to dance a minuet. They laughed at the orders of their leaders and only obeyed when it suited them."[473] From such folly and disgrace as this Cumberland's attachment to the stricter models of Germany delivered the Army; but its best lessons came not from Germany but from America, not from Frederick the Great but from Howe, Washington, Wolfe, Bouquet, and Amherst.

    The End
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