Jennings C. (Jennings Cropper) Wise.

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THE CALL
OF THE REPUBLIC

JENNINGS C.WISE




THE CALL OF THE REPUBLIC



THE CALL of
The REPUBLIC

A National Army and
Universal Military Service

BY

JENNINGS C. WISE

AUTHOR OF
"EMPIRE AND ARMAMENT," "THE LONG ARM OF LEE," ETC.



"Me thinkes it were meete that any one, be-
fore he come to be a captayne, should have
bene a soldiour."



"Where'er thy Navy spreads her canvas wings,
Homage to thee, and peace to all, she brings."

WALLER.



NEW YORK

E. P. DUTTON & CO.

681 FIFTH AVENUE



COPYRIGHT, 1917,
E. P. BUTTON & Co.






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PREFACE

Not long ago, in the cover illustration of a
great popular weekly, Uncle Sam was repre-
sented holding in his hands a flint-lock musket
and closely examining its ancient mechanism.
The expression on his face was a puzzled one,
for he seemed not only to be unfamiliar
with the obsolete piece, but impatient with it.
It seemed as if his mind had fully grasped the
danger * of depending upon a weapon so
thoroughly antiquated and inadequate to his
pressing needs. The picture was a good one,
and I could not but wonder if the cartoonist
himself understood the fullness of its signifi-
cance. This reflection led me on to further cog-
itation and I determined to answer, in a very
thorough way, the question that arose in my
mind. That question was, not how shall he
defend himself, but with what weapon will
Uncle Sam henceforth oppose his foes?

The observations that follow in this book
comprise the answer. The author promises his
readers that pacifism and pacific principles will



PREFACE

not be dwelt upon. The most effective system
of national military preparedness alone will be
considered.

Not long ago I visited Vicksburg and com-
pleted a tour of the defensive lines of the city.
East of the city there runs a semicircular ridge
from the river on the North back to the river on
the South a great, natural rampart, along the
crest of which was the Confederate position.
Upon examining this line I saw that it was not
the science of men alone that had defended
Vicksburg, but that in the memorable siege Na-
ture had played no small part, for the artillery
of Grant was powerless against that massive
work she had thrown up. And then I contem-
plated how impotent even Nature was to-day to
defend against the modern science of war, for
I knew that the great guns of Europe could
raze the rampart which she had thrown about
Vicksburg almost as easily as they could de-
stroy one erected by mortal hands. This
thought led my mind to dwell upon other de-
fensive works of Nature those oceans that
separate America from Europe and Asia which
time has rendered as obsolete for defense as the
moats of medieval fortresses.

"Only the law of change is changeless," I
said to myself, and looking up, read in endur-

vi



PREFACE

ing bronze over the portal of the superb monu-
ment which the generous State of Illinois had
erected to the memory of its soldiers, these
words :

"We have but little to do to preserve peace,
happiness and prosperity at home, and the re-
spect of the nations. Our experience ought to
teach us the necessity of the first, our power
secures the latter. U. S. GRANT."

And here too there was change; Grant con-
scientiously could not write those words to-day,
for Nature has withdrawn her aid from us, and
we have failed utterly to develop an artificial
power capable of overcoming the resulting
weakness of our position. We have failed to
see the warning in Jeremiah: "Arise, get up
unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth with-
out care, saith the Lord, which have neither
gates nor bars, which dwell alone. And their
camels shall be a booty and the multitude of
their cattle a spoil ... I will bring their ca-
lamity from all sides. "

If this work shall contribute in some small
measure, however little, to bring to the nation
that vision without which our people will per-
ish, it will not have been written in vain.

J. C. W.



vu



FOKEWOKD

BY MAJOR GENERAL LEONARD WOOD, U. S. A.

Colonel Jennings S. Wise is especially well
qualified to present to the public the question
of universal service both from the standpoint
of a student of military history, in which field
he has done much and most excellent work, and
also from the standpoint of a trained and ex-
perienced soldier. Colonel Wise is a graduate
of Virginia Military Institute and for a long
time was connected with that institution in vari-
ous capacities. He has also had experience in
the field. He has written extensively and very
ably on military subjects and appreciates the
danger and folly of further dependence for na-
tional defense upon the haphazard system of
the past, a system which has stamped itself
upon our military policy and has resulted in
great and unnecessary sacrifice of life arid
treasure in our wars and military operations.

He brings out very clearly the new conditions
of organization, involving all the resources of
a nation, which characterize modern prepared-

ix



FOREWORD

ness, and presents in a most convincing manner
the reasons for universal training and service.
He makes clear the unwisdom and danger of
further delay in meeting conditions which,
whether they be fortunate or unfortunate, ex-
ist and form a part of the great world life of
the day, conditions which make war possible
and at times inevitable for all nations who have
convictions and a sense of right, nations whose
people believe that at times it is better to break
the peace than to break the faith. This condi-
tion of possible war we must be prepared to
meet and meet promptly if we wish to continue
our existence as a nation. It is a book which
all Americans can read with profit and one
which, if heeded, will add much to national well
being and security.




J <^^r^^f



Headquarters Eastern Department,
Governor's Island, N. Y.,
March 7, 1917.



CONTENTS

THE CALL OF THE REPUBLIC . 1



CHAI



I. INTRODUCTORY 5

II. THE ANCIENT MEDIEVAL MILITARY SYS-
TEMS 16

III. ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE MOD-

ERN NATIONAL ARMY 25

IV. MILITARY SERVICE IN ITS MOST DEMO-

CRATIC FORM 35

V. THE ENGLISH IDEAL OF VOLUNTARY SER-
VICE 40

VI. THE INHERITED AMERICAN IDEAL ... 50

VII. THE AMERICAN MILITARY SYSTEM . . 64

VIII. THE IDEAL MILITARY INSTITUTION . . 96

IX. THE FEAR OF MILITARISM UNREASON-
ABLE 120

BIBLIOGRAPHY 139



THE CALL OF THE REPUBLIC






THE CALL OF THE REPUBLIC



Awake freemen awake!

If not for self, for country's sake

Let your unclouded eyes

Penetrate the specious guise

Of that false schism

Adroitly styled Pacificism.

Know ye the truth

The iron of the rudest State

Can still decide the fate

Of any realm

That casts aside its mail and helm.

While ruled the world ly Mars

And his perpetual wars,

No race may long secure release

From strife, nor purchase peace.



2.



Awake freemen awake!

Let not these shallow pratings shake

1



T3E OAI/L 'OP THE REPUBLIC



faith in steely or dull
your sight with hope, or lull
You into fatuous dreams.
Still on earth is might
The final arbiter of right.
When all about are sown the dragon's teeth,
Why twine ye now the olwe wreath?



3.



Awake freemen awake!

Tour own security ye must make;

Nor hope to ransom health

With that unequaled wealth

Te have amassed,

Unless your gold is cast

In finely tempered arms,

And your youthful brawn

Is universally drawn

Upon to wield them in the strife

Of international life.



Awake freemen awake!
Fear not upon yourselves to take
The burden of the State's defense
In freedom find the recompense
For manhood's sacrifice.
2



THE CALL OF THE REPUBLIC

Let every citizen a warrior be,

And every soldier, free

When trained, remain a citizen:

Give no man choice to shirk

The nation's sternest work.

The unvarying price

Of peace is blood and toil:

In these for flag and home and soil

Prepare the race to pay

As in the past again to-day!



5.



Awake freemen awake!

With peace at stake

And liberty, will ye slumber

On forever, unconscious under

This spell of lies and sloth f

Go forth

Like men. Abandon sordid ease!

Gird on the sword, and seize

Each in his hand a spear.

Be every citizen a volunteer

At heart.

Do each his part.



Awake freemen awake!
The world's foundations quake!
3



THE CALL OF THE REPUBLIC

When all is lost

Too late to count the cost,

Or then appease

The insatiate maw

Of war.

'Tis now the Republic calls

In time of peace for strong-armed men.

The need is great no false alarms

Are these.

Te are but servile thralls

Of ease

Who fail to answer when

The nation's trumpet sounds to arms!

J. C. W.



CHAPTEE I

IBTTBODUCTORY

THE object of the author in writing this
book was to place before his readers in
simple and collected form, side by side, the facts
connected with the development of the national
army system which exists in all European
countries, and those which explain the origin
and persistence of the volunteer mercenary
army system which is retained in the United
States alone.

A close analysis of those facts has been at-
tempted whenever such a course would empha-
size the unwarranted nature of the American
prejudice against a peace army, and the illogi-
cal retention by the American people of the
mercenary system in the mistaken belief that
universal compulsory service is an undemo-
cratic institution. It has been attempted to
show that such a system is not only highly
democratic in conception and in its practical

5



THE CALL OF THE REPUBLIC

working, but that the cherished volunteer mer-
cenary system is undemocratic both in origin
and effect.

The claims asserted in favor of universal
compulsory military service as the only proper
basis of a truly national army may seem sub-
ject to general condemnation on the ground that
the more efficient an army, the more likely it
is to be misused. This is a purely pacifist argu-
ment with which this study has nothing to do.
Commencing our study with the assumption
that an army is necessary, our purpose is solely
that of determining the best system for its or-
ganization and maintenance. Because high-
powered locomotives are given to derailment on
occasions, we must not revert to the use of
stage coaches and canal boats for transporta-
tion purposes. Neither should we employ ob-
solete and inefficient means for defense because
the highly improbable prostitution of a popular
military institution, adequate to our national
needs, would be more harmful in its conse-
quences than the abuse and misapplication of an
inadequate system of defense.

Where a national conviction rests upon a
basis of ignorance and prejudice, it cannot
prove very resistant to the undermining proc-

6



INTRODUCTORY

ess of logic. Castles do not stand firmly upon
foundations of sand. A false philosophy must
crumble beneath the battering ram of truth, and
it remains to the statesmen, publicists and schol-
ars of America to direct their irresistible blows
upon the popular prejudice of the American
people which has become so firmly entrenched
in their minds.

Our military men have long since seen the
light of truth. They have vainly sought to
shed that light upon their fellow citizens. The
very prejudice which they have sought to dis-
sipate has itself been the principal obstacle to
their success. Civilians are not receptive of
advice from soldiers their viewpoint is totally
different from that of the military man. They
will act upon the counsel of an editor or an
orator, be he the veriest tyro in his knowledge,
but not upon that of a faithful soldier in any
matter which involves the popular interest.
Thus have they frequently subjected. themselves
to the hard necessity of being constrained by
force in crises to heed the superior wisdom of
military men in military matters.

It is as much the duty of statesmen to perfect
their knowledge of the correct principles of
national defense as it is that of military chief -

7



THE CALL OF THE REPUBLIC

tains. The persistent neglect of this duty by
the popular leaders of America is the reason for
the lack of sympathy existing between the
people and the army. The estrangement is
due entirely to a lack of community of thought
among their representatives. Our soldiers re-
gard a knowledge of civics as part of their
education few of our so-called statesmen
trouble themselves with a scientific solution of
the problem of national defense. The latter
prefer to accept their ancient Bill of Bights as
the leading text of defensive science. Thus
they fail to progress, and adhere rigidly to a
false conclusion based on a correct principle.
That principle is as true to-day as when enunci-
ated by the English people in 1688 the people
must comprise their own defense. The infer-
ence that when efficiently organized they con-
stitute a threat to their own security is utterly
false. The standing armies that were so justly
feared by our British forefathers were not
comprised of the body politic; they were not
comprised of the national aggregates and im-
bued with a nationalistic spirit of patriotism;
they were constituted either by un-national mer-
cenaries, or by citizens denationalized in inter-
est under the mercenary system of their em-

8



INTRODUCTORY

ployment. And then we must remember that
the undisciplined citizens of to-day are in no
sense comparable as soldiers with the miles or
militiaman of early days when all men were
trained in the use of arms in the school of neces-
sity, or were familiar with their use. The
ancient militia very much more nearly ap-
proached the organized soldiery in military ca-
pacity than do the citizens of to-day. Formerly
the difference between them was in no sense
physical; the hard-working yokel was fre-
quently superior in physical constitution to the
indolent and luxurious man-at-arms. The dif-
ference was solely one of organization from
which disciplined action resulted. To-day the
difference lies in a complete unfamiliarity on
the part of the militiaman with arms, wood-
craft, field conditions, and in his inferior physi-
cal development as well.

In view of the foregoing comparative analy-
sis we should be better prepared to separate
the wheat from the tares that have grown up
in our political philosophy.

As we pursue our study we shall see that the
institution of a national army based on univer-
sal compulsory military service accords well
with the system of citizen soldiery favored by

9



THE CALL OF THE REPUBLIC

the Bill of Rights, and that of the two national
and volunteer the mercenary army which we
now maintain in time of peace is the more
closely related to the standing army condemned
in that great popular writ. And the conclu-
sion will not seem forced that in order to pre-
serve the defense of the country to the citizens
as their exclusive right under the constitution,
it will be necessary to establish a true relation
between the citizen soldiery of to-day and the
militia of the eighteenth century. This, in
view of the deterioration of civilians in mili-
tary capacity, by reason of a complete revolu-
tion in the social and economic conditions sur-
rounding them, can only be accomplished by
subjecting portions of them at a time to organ-
ized training in time of peace. Government
must do that which nature formerly did. The
altered conditions necessitate a change of
method in order to insure the old results. Gov-
ernment can only render the universal liability
to military service of American citizens effec-
tive, by preparing them to meet their obliga-
tions. When universal training is given the en-
tire body of the freemen of a nation by annual
drafts, in time of peace, not under the com-
pulsion of national spirit, but under the com-

10



INTRODUCTORY

pulsion of constitutional law, the system is that
of universal compulsory service, and the re-
sulting efficient and democratic army is known
as a National Army representative of the mili-
tary institution in its noblest form. It is such
an army that the United States must have.

At this time, when all men's minds dwell upon
the problem of insuring their national security,
whether by defensive armaments or by the
methods proposed by the pacifists, it is well to
consider that system of defense which has been
universally adopted as best, except by the
United States. This is the system of compul-
sory military service under which military ser-
vice is justly deemed an obligatory right of the
citizen or subject.

Whether a man be regarded as the vassal of
his sovereign, as in Russia, and other absolutist
States, whether he be deemed a mere creature
of the State or political atom, as in Germany
and Austria-Hungary, or whether government
is viewed as the agent of the people, as in the
United States and other democracies, it is con T
ceded that in return for the allegiance and sup-
port of the citizen or subject, the State owes him
protection for his life and property, at home
and abroad. The claim of his right to pursue

11



THE CALL OF THE EEPUBLIC

happiness may be denied his right to protec-
tion is always acceded. The idea was strik-
ingly expressed by the great democrat, Cal-
houn, when he declared that " Government is
Protection," a declaration couched in terms
alike acceptable to Tzar and President, King
and peasant, Pope and Puritan, the rich and
the pauper, the learned and the ignorant. And
here it may be said that no State, however lib-
eral, however harsh its government may have
been, has long survived when the principle,
so aptly expressed by Calhoun, has failed to
be regarded by those in power as a funda-
mental concept of government.

But while that principle has ever been firmly
engrafted upon successful governments, what-
ever their nature, the systems by which na-
tional protection has been secured, have varied.
Beginning with the ancient democratic con-
cept that with manhood suffrage went hand
in hand the manhood obligation of military ser-
vice, the protective system degenerated into one
which imposed no obligation upon the freeman,
leaving the national defense to the ruler and
his hireling soldiery, reenforced betimes by
levies of unwilling conscripts from among his
subjects.

12



INTEODUCTOEY

The period in which the mercenary and con-
scriptive system was in vogue was a degenerate
one, and of the prevailing degeneracy of the
times, the system was itself the best evidence.
It could only have been generally tolerated un-
der a careless regard for the national welfare,
or by reason of a complete misconception of the
nobility of personal service in defense of home
and country.

It is not necessary to accept the philosophy
of Treitschke in toto in order to concede the
accuracy of some of his conclusions. Espe-
cially sound were his views on national de-
fense. Wrote he :

"Under ordinary circumstances the right to
bear arms must always be looked upon as the
privilege of a free man. It was only during
the last period of the Roman Empire that the
system of keeping mercenaries was adopted.
And, as mercenary troops consisted, except for
their officers, of the lowest dregs of society,
the idea soon became prevalent that military
service was a disgrace, and the free citizen be-
gan to show himself anxious not to take part in
it. This conception of the mercenary system
has gone on perpetuating itself through the

13



THE CALL OF THE REPUBLIC

ages, and its after effects have been strik-
ingly demonstrated even in our own day.
Our century has been called on to witness,
in the formation of the national and civil
guards, the most immoral and unreasonable de-
velopments of which the military system is
capable. The citizens imagined themselves too
good to bear arms against the enemies of their
country, but they were not averse to playing
as soldiers at home, and even to being able to
defend their purse if it should happen to be in
danger. ' '

Treitschke's strictures are always harsh, and
often, as in this instance, only too true, for the
release of the able-bodied citizen in peace time
from his inherent obligation to his State and
his weaker fellows, by the substitution of a
permanent mercenary force for the citizen
soldiery, has invariably tended to lower his re-
spect for his military obligations and, there-
fore, to render him less willing to make a sacri-
fice for his country when his services are im-
peratively needed. From being regarded as a
privilege, the right of bearing arms soon be-
comes, under the vicious mercenary system, a
burden upon the citizen. By that system his

14



INTRODUCTORY

patriotism is deadened Ms love of country is
weakened along with his good right arm. And
so writes Treitschke:

"The right to bear arms will ever remain
the honorary privilege of the free man. All
noble minds have more or less recognized the
truth that 'The God who created iron did not
wish men to be thralls.' And it is the task of
all reasonable political systems to keep this
idea in honor/'



15



CHAPTER H

THE ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL MILITARY SYSTEMS



JL



development of the system of com-
pulsory military service in Europe must
be traced from its origin among the democratic
peoples of ancient times. In tracing the history
of the system one must be forcefully impressed
by the fact that its roots were bedded in the
soil of democracy and that it has ever been re-
garded in Europe as a distinctly popular insti-
tution as opposed to the mercenary system of
service. One must also be struck by the fact
that in countries with an autocratic form of
government, universal compulsory military ser-
vice has been regarded as a popular institution,
and that in England and America, which coun-
tries have ever boasted a comparatively free
government, the institution of a national army
has been deemed to be the instrument of au-
tocracy.

In Egypt, whence came no small measure of
16



MEDIEVAL MILITARY SYSTEMS

the culture of ancient Europe, military service
was conferred as a privilege upon a certain
class, and a property qualification was imposed
upon every man intrusted with the defense of
his country. Even the common soldier must
possess not less than six acres of land, which
served for the support of his family, and which
were free from taxation.

In Greece the soldiers were also chiefly free
citizens, who were early trained to arms and,
after attaining a prescribed age, were subject
to actual service in war. Those who had
reached the age of forty were released from
service, except in cases of very urgent danger.
Some were also wholly or temporarily exempted
on account of their office or employment.
Originally the warriors maintained themselves,
and every free citizen deemed it a dishonor to
serve for pay. But the tendency of the soldiers
to claim the right of pillage led to the system
of stated remuneration.

Rome admitted no soldiers to her army un-
der seventeen years of age, and all men be-
tween seventeen and forty-five years were en-
rolled among the class of younger men, and
were held liable to service, while those over
forty-five were ranked among the elder men

17



THE CALL OF THE REPUBLIC

and exempted from military duty. The legal
term of service varied among the arms from
ten to sixteen years. In protracted wars four
years were sometimes added to the customary
term, and under the Emperors twenty years
of service was required. Enrolled citizens for-
feited their property and liberty for failure to
respond to the call to arms. Persons without
property were not enrolled as soldiers, for, hav-
ing nothing to lose, they were accounted devoid
of patriotism. As all soldiers were Eoman
citizens and free born, military service was
held in high esteem, and soldiers were accorded
peculiar rights and privileges. Until about 400
B. C. soldiers received no pay. From that time
on pay was given and gradually increased.

The prevailing conceptions of military ser-
vice in Egypt, Greece and Rome were distinctly
democratic. Nowhere is to be found a sugges-
tion of the idea that military service is degrad-
ing and beneath the dignity of a freeman, or to
be shunned by the citizen. The ancients jeal-
ously prized their military institutions as pecu-
liarly worthy of the citizens ' favor and respect.
They saw in the military service of their coun-
try an exemplification of patriotism a mani-
festation of civic sincerity by personal sacrifice

18



MEDIEVAL MILITARY SYSTEMS

on the part of the citizens, and not content with


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Online LibraryJennings C. (Jennings Cropper) WiseThe call of the republic, a national army and universal military service → online text (page 1 of 7)