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(Concluded from page 240.) ^^ ^^^^^^ ^^ ^y^^ malady, which will

M. T, .« ^^T>T-k/-kivT u«. r«^ :« *>e a considerable step towards the reme-
AJOR GORDON haying, m , Every line in Homer demonstmie*
tl^efivepi«:edingsecto^^^^^ -^^ y^^^^ ^„j benefit of union, and
mOBstratedtheelementeof md^vidud ^jg^ ^^e,"^ ^nd the various modes of
defence, he now details h»s pan of forming, organizine, and moving armies,
ntendmg th^ saencetotheus^^^

Uttahons.. Thi« furnishes ^ep^^^^^^^ ,,j.^^ j^^^j^ ^„d ruggwl materials,
tamty of mvestigatiiigtheongm and ^hich must have been inu^actabtefean;
defect of the established exercises, in ^^j^^^ y^^^^^^ ^ ^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^J

IMS sixth section. compressed in his harmonious retutn.

• ** It cannot be unpleasant to review xhe rank and merits of the officers and

some small portion of those flowery their men, are so strongly depicted, that

fidds which are sown with golden grain, jt is imiSosSible for his majesty to err in

It will not be unprofitable to pay a his choice of them. AVith a glance he

Kbort visit to the father of the estabhsh-> ^^ select that particular -omcer and

ed exercises. corps, the most qualified for any partt-

** You will be sure to find him al- cular duty. He, by this return, has his

1WV8 at home, and, like the divinity, army in bis hand, and can dispose U to

<fiffased over cA-ery part of those prince- the utmost advantage. Are any mftdetn

ly domains he hath bequeathed to po- returns comparable to Horner's, eithef*

sterity. in beauty, accuracy, or in the magnitude

" Spiritus intus alit, tolamque infusa per and importance of the information con-

aftus tained ? Can you, with sueh a model

Mens agjut molem, et magno se cor- "before your eyes, find it difficult to make

pore miscet." jeneid vl. out a return of the strength of a few bat-

„ r^ ^^„ .^„l talions? and to observe whether or not

t • A cZ A TJJilh. - their formation is according to order—

Inspnes, and feeds, and anunates the ^^^^^^^^ ^j^^ p^^p^^ ^j^^^^^^^j^ ^^j^^^^.

whole. , and echcllon are preserved— the wheels

Iliis active mmd mfus d through aU the .^^^ j^st-the formations into line tfue^

tT^\ ^^ -1 ^ %k ♦!.- ^:«Kf^ &<^- ^c. But unluckily he has left no
Uoitcs and mmgles with the mighty ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^ of engaging your

"^^^' DRYDBN. troops in close action ; no mode of^ de-

" Posterity cannot be sufficiently fence or offence ; no system of making
intefiil to Pisistratas. The divine thrusts, cuts, and guaVds. He had no
works of Homer were either neglected, practice of that kind ; hence 70U have'
iffsnnein detached fragmenjts, to the no returns of that kind. Your returns
^eproacn of the period of 350 years af- and remarks must be confined to the
tcr their composition. The royal genius movements, which are only preliminary
Wrangcd them in the order you now read steps, subservient to action. The move*
Aem. This, with innumerable other ments go no farther ; they enter not into
siodlar circumstances, proves the tardi-i the science of attack or defence. They
tiessof the human mmd in improve- cease most unluckily in the crisis of ac-
nient,«however delighted it may be itx tion : your exercises cease at the crisii


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isi On iht Sciena of Defence Jer ih Saiord mid BagmH.

which calls the loudett fear science and diflfeienee is, that, innead of pi^, jm
dexterity. level vour firelocks ; ioslead of il^iiiia ,

- •* Had Homa", the fether of the esto- you form in ihiee ranks ; histnd of k«i*
Wished exercises, existed here, at this mg yqur three tanks t^^p^* yoo cas
moment, how ei>raptured wonld he be, en^a^ only one of them, wlitkt the »
in witnessing thai divine enthusiasm, matning two, your centre and ica^iaDka,
which animates every bosom, from one are idle, with arms Dorted.r
extremity of the empire to the other. " The pikes of the front rank 0f dit
Now might he exclaim, phalanx wei* thus pmtendcd tto cukiia

** •»« . *u ^11 j*^ ^A» ^ •u^.. before it ; the pikes of the second Eaak

*'To count them all demands a thou- ^^ ^|,/fj^^j b^ eight cubits;

A *v . rSIT' . A .A «,««ri«i. those of the third by sii; tliose of thr

A throat of trass, and ^^^^^^^^ r^^ih r^nk rt^chS! h^i tnbit» hd^

'^"S»*- tike front; the pikes of the filth mk

" his style of marching the pha- exceeded the front rank by two cubits.
)anses, in quick and slow time,. has ne- As in their closest order, thcr had two
Tct heen parallelctl. His idea was, that men in their front, that is, doutile die
Ihcy should move in a perfect line,, with- number in the same sptace, moie thiB
outopeningjfloating, doubling* or pass- an v other troops, not similariy fotnscd,
ing ; that in every cadenccd step they could have, and as, from their con»tnie»
«houM strike the ground, making it re- lion, they could produce the fix* Ibie-
••und, and as it were groan and burn most ranks to the ch»ge, coaseq%icntl;
beneath their feet. The vigour of bis their adv^vntage in numbers was ii»-
marching is far beyond the power of any sistible, being ten to one. As the elevca
translation, as in the lines, ranks adjusted behind the fifth tmok,

Oi rap, i«rav, wru re T.pi X^av xyere in fact idle, and unable, fioni their
Ttxira vgaoiro- situation, to jKurtake in the chai:g^. it*

i, ...» ye^ji'o ^^ ^^^^ supposed to be of use, m

Taixi virss-ovxxi^s. pressing upon thTfivt foremost wnksj

ILIAD, hb.u 1./60. Snhou3i Vouunon aense might have
^ He prescribes no invariable order of pointed out that nothing couki more in-
battle, knowing that it must be adjusted pede the exertions of the froni, thananj
to the circumstances of time and pmcc, pressure upon them from behind : and
&c. &:c. ^ althou(^ the necessity of reforming die

" At one time, he jtranges his ca- idle ranks into such order as might ^^9
valry, that is the ch^ots, on the wings, them an opportunity of co-opcratm^
Pressed in three or more ranks, accord- seems obvious ; yet all attempts of thia
ing to their strength and the nature of kind were discountenanced, as being rc-
ihc ground, 8cc. The light armed troops pii«rnant to the long-established n^of
amd the archers, composing the front, iations, and the custom of the armr*
were generally adjusted in eight ranks. Such was Homer's construction of uut
The heavy armed infantry composed his nhalanx, which was so greedily adopted
second line, l^is phalanx was a solid by Euaminondas, Philip, &c.
column, whose estabushed order was •• Upon another occasion, he fcnaM
sixteen deep. his chariots in the front, tlfe light troops

** It was practised to take three kinds and the tveakesf in the centre, and tbt
6f order, one open, and two kinds of hexivy armed infantry, the gfOLi bulwark
close order : the closest was teriiied Con- of wat, forms his' third hnc. Thh U
stijMLtion. It was precisely simihir to the order in the fourth book of his Iliad ^
that of his majesty's forces, when the and whatever you may tliink of this or'
ranks arc locked up, and the elboivs dcr, it will be impossible for you to sup-
touch. The phalanx thus formtd, le- press vour admiration of that great law
tclled their pikes, which were fourteen whicn he prescribes in regard to maich-
cubits long, {parallel to the horizon, and ing the forces. Have the ^{oodness to
presented their left sides to the front in peruse the tliirtcen lines IjeRmning with
the charge. . ITiis position has been the 2g7tli, and ending witti tlie 30Qth
transmitted, and is equally practised by verse, inclusive, of this book. Tbo
ill the troops in Eurojx:. The only precept for marching with precision in

tiic line, is not onlv laid down, but en<
. • WearesQcry to we this enthusiasm dc- forced also Uy the highest rewards and
dining very ikst. U is our best security. put.islimeuts. Obedieuee to the law i»

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OniAi Sdenee ^ Defence jht the SUftrd and Scofohet. 43 J

^t mdiifti Hyr enftffofcd by ponisfameftt, in By laws lik« these immottal cojiquent
tfae fbttomng words : onade^

And earth's proud tyrants low in ashei
Oi & ft atr^f airft «y ty^eo^ itsf ap- laid."

jbta^, Urjixi, ^ ^* It M evident from dreiy litie in Ho*

Eyys/ ocehxtritjj, •"*'» ^^^ ^^ ^ ^^^ * ^^^^^> " consisted

^^ * in his excess of accuracy in dressing and

^* Thai h> • Whosoever shall go out o* mafching the forces square to the fronts
te line, repel him with your sp^r;* If a single man stood on parade with
literail]^, * Whatsoever man shall come any part of his face or person half an
from his own chariots to other chariots, inch out of the line, he consideted the
extend the spear,*— that is, • whoever whole line deranged. The modems
shall bieak the line of dress, to advance have adopted his ideas a^ to dressing,
or retire from his own to another line. But the officers having taken their posts,
allijnc him with your spear.* The re- he would permit no changing of their po-
maining part of these thirteen lines, ntions; he would not permit the captam^
prfceding and subsequent tp the above for example, on the nght, to change to
ouotation, must be grateful to you, in the left, and from that to the right, four
the elegant version of Mr. Pope." times in the course of a few minutes.

Hence we see that our author ii " \"^\^<^*«^ ^ ^« P'«^j?i3 of Ho-
dissatisfied with the tranalation of the ^^^' ^^^^^? f Macedon reformed his
30(5th and part of the 307th lines, by m^»^^> ^^ subverted the liberties of
Mr. Pope, Or. Clarke, and Cowper, g^^??- Xcnophon, who viras perhaps
kc. from his rivinir us a translation ***^ ^*^*«»^ ^f the ancient generals and
so widely diflferSnt from theirs. Ihe T^"^^^' ^^9^. ^^ l^is mUtary ideas fron^
strength ofreason seems to be in his ^^^^' With a handful, never exi
favour. - '' Sed non nostrum est tan- ce«dmg 13,000 men, he surmounted
tas componere lites." every difficulty of nvers. mountains, and

superior and surrounding enemies, and
" 1. The Arrmgaiufa, effected his famous retreat, after a march

•^TTie horse and chariots to tKe front <# wj^^j iSf^!u« ..i^ -^ i v ««

Tt.efoot(festrengthofwar)herang^d S^fc m^^^^^^^^^^

^.middle s^ce suspected troops sup- S^'^^^^^^^^

Eaclos^^both, nor lea the pow. to ^^^fe^^^^S X^

y* ' means of Homer, which he carefully

" t. The DresM k Line, placed under his pillow every night^

^y* , , , • ^ Alexander readily accomplished v/hat

^ He gives command to curb the fiery his father had so ably projected: But,

steed, notwithstanding the strength of the pha-'

Nor cause confusion, nor the ranks ex- lanx, yet it had many imperfection^
t» I. ^ , ' * , , [which are unfortunately transmitted to

Before the rest let none too rashly us]. For example, the individuals, so
., "^' ,.„ , . . formidable in the phalanx, could do

No strength, nor skill, but just m tune notbmg when separated, singly, or in

betry*dj little detachments. These Objection*

llicch^gc once made, nowamortum did not escape the sagacity of*^ Xeno-
t, , . r^ '^'"j. „ . ,_ , ^^ l*oft and Polybius. Smce the phalanx

But fight or fall J a firm embod/d was impenetrable, &c. in front, why

t»in." was it defeated by the Romans f Bc-

'* 3. n. Hmaurt in consequence ofObedi* "^T'x ^^^^ W*"'' '" ^^'' ^^"^ ^1"?^

encetothacllws. and places of action are vanous and m-

' definite:, there is, however, but one

*^ Oar mat forefathers held this pru- time and place, one determinate mode

dent course, of action, suited to tHe phalanx, which

Thus ruVd their ardouf, tbus prestrv'd if it obtain it must be victorious.

tktir force, • << It fe^uires a pUto, fred.from all

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834 On the Science <if Defence for the Sword datf Baytmt.

obstructions of ditches, breaks, tfnd
obliquities, hills, and rivers, &c. It is
difficult to find twenty stadia in extent
free from such obstacles. If such a
place were found, and the phalanx post-
ed therein, instead of approaching, the
eneniy may readily avoid it, direct their
route through the country, and plunder
the cities, &c. As nothing is more
easy than to avoid the places favouRible
to It, so the places which aie unfavour*
able cannot be avoided.

*< If iu Banks and rear were attacked,
even in a plain, it^nnot defend itself,
without the operation of countermarch-
ing the front to the rear, &c. But this
movement is too slow and dangerous in
the crisis of act 10 u. The soldiers have
not been individually instructed, and
therefore when separated, in advancing
or retreating, tlicy are easily defeated by
men trained in tHe science of defence.
On tlie contrary, the Roman soldier is
instructed and littcd equallv for all times
and places. He can exert nis powers as
well when separated from as when
united to his comjMiny. The confusion
of one or two u\aniples, or even cohorts,
docs not affect those remaining.

*• The movements of the legion arc
short and simple ; those of the phalanx
slow and complex. It cannot mave a
hundred yards in a line, without halting
and dressing. (We have often seen this
case illustrated in Hvde Park, the Cam-
pus Martins of the (juards.) The Ro-
man order was equallv adapted to march-
ing and fighting. Their rear was in-
vincible. It consisted of the Reserve,
orTriarii. This veteran body had only
to face to the right about, ana to present
the most formidable front to the ene-
my. The Roman order of march was
often a formidable order of battle, ' cjua-
drato ordine incedebant \' that is, m a
square or parallelogram. Th^had no
occasion for either wheeling, nling, or
countermarching, to form this figure.
Three sides of it were truly formidable.
The rear was composed of the Triarii :
the front, not the strongest side, was
composed of the Hastati : the Principes
composed the flanks, or the right and
left faces of the square. As is observed
by Sallust, in his description of the mar^h
of Metellus, ' Transvorsis Principiis,'
•The Principes in the flanks/ The
Principes usually formed the second line
of the legion.

*' The general thus had nothing to do

but to halt his men, and to free Ihoi
outwards, and they were in complete oi*
der to defend eveiy side of the sqoave.
This wal the cose of MeteUsa, who was
wav-Iaid and surrounded by Jugortha.
We add, that he abl? extricated hb a»«
my from the brink of destruction, in the
dnerU of Numidia, by the ditpoe' ~
and discipline displayea upon thai i

Oar author, af^er his atricttxres oo
the phalanx, and shewing die neces-
sity of reforming it, extols the general
military maxiitis of Homer, as appli-
cabte to all orders, and parttcalarlf
calculated to inspire men with an ei>-
thusiasm to conquer or die gloriously
for their country.

As the modem hn])roveraeDts \n
tiie art miliary are principally coo-
fined to the invention and Modtion ci
missile weapons, and fi;un-powder, and
to the reformation of the supcrfluons
ranks, with which the phalanx, as
well as the Persian order, were enciun'
bered, our author investi^tes the
cause of this great reformation, and
ascribes the merit and credit of it,
very justly, as we think, to his favour*
ite author Acnophon.

It is obvious that he has supplied'
Xeuophon with some judicious ooser-
vations, which are applicable to the'
present times and to tlie British army,
&c. He has also ascribed to Vege-
tius and Polybilis, and even to Homer,
some of his own ideas, thinking, no
donbt, that the remarks would have
more weight and authority, coming
from those dii^ified and venerable
fountains of antiquity. If, as we sns*
pect, he has experienced the want of
attention to a system of the greatest
magnitude, it is laudable in him to
calf in the aid of authorities, who,
like him, had many difficulties and
prejudices to encountec, before they
could rouse their countrymen to a just
sense of their military duty :

^'Quafcenus, heu nefas!
Virtu tern incolumem edimus,
Sublatam ex oculis qwerimus invidi.**-

• HOR.

" TJje military question, which hai
been so much discussed, from the davi
of Cyrus to this moment, relates to the
best order of battle.

''What is the greatest number of

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Oh tH^ Science cfDefince for the Sword and Bayonet. 335

lanks thtft can co-operate, so as to pro- the process of tinier this orderfaas been

duoe the peatest enect, by their united reduced to ten, to eight, to six, to five,

exertions in fifing, and in charging the to four, and finally to the established

cormy? This Question seems to have order of three ranks.

been decided by Xenophon, above 2000 *' These are now arranged like the

}Tars ago. three foremost ranks of tlic phalanx.

*• The circumstance is found in the They are better armed, as the firelock

iocih book of his Cyropedia. On the anned with the bayonet combines the

day before the battle of Thy^bra, Aras- properties of fire and sword.

pas baring returned to Cyrus, with the " Have the goodness to examine the

necessary information, as had been pre- Grecian formation, and their evolutions,

concerted, stated, that the whole of which are detailed in fifty-three section^, .

CnEsus*s forces, horse and foot, were by C. JElianus, and you witl find the

formed thirty deep, excepting the £gyp- modem movements analogous to those

tians, whose invariable order was one o£ the Greeks. The posiuons, lacings,

hundred deep ^ that they were drawn up and wheelings forwards, (they rejected

in solid columns or squares ; that the the mode virhich we use of wheeling

«de of each square was one hundred ; backwards, as unnatural,) are similar.

that the Egyptians, notwithstanding Tdc mode of marching, countermarch-

tbeir depth, occonied forty stadia in ing, halting, and drcssmg square to the

front; that the ph^n was to encircle front, the opcnmg and closin^^ the ranks,

Cyrus, &c. the marching in line, column, ' and

*'The usual order of Cyrus was echellon, and the various cliauges of

twenty- four deep ; but the night before position, &c. are similar to those now

the battle, he ordered his forces to be established by regulation.

drawn up the next morning in battle *' A modem translator has given us

array, only twelve deep, and to march two hundred aixl eleven sections, on tlie

and fight in this thin, weak order. This science of ipovements. But there is not

sudden innovation excited fear and a single section devoted to the purpose

astonishment in the minds of all his of instructing the battalions in tlie most

veteran generals. Prompted by their essential of ail requisites, that is, in ihe

seal for the honour of his majesty's arms, art of destroying the enemy in close ac-

ooe of them, in the name of all, repre- tion.

scnted his fears, that the sudden intro- " By the movements, men are brought
duction of this new order, which was so to face the enemy : by dexierity in the
contrary to experience, and the rules so manual, they can loa<} and fire. The ex«
lon^ established for ihearmy, and par- istms practice goes no farther.
iSciilarlyat such a moment as the pte- *'Now, as the firelock u an hand
scot, must eventually provtj ruinous to weapon, iis well as a missile, surely the
his majesty's service. powers of it as a lever merit some little

" Cyras replied, that he considered attention.** He should have sa:d the
that to be the best order which would greatest attention.

produce the greatest number of men to ** Is it possitile that any precision ia
act again>>t the enemy ; that any forma- marching square to the front, or dexte-
tion which precluded more tfian one rity in j>riming, loading, and firing, or
half of the forces from partaking of the in fixing and unfixing bayonets, aiid in
j^oiy of aiding their friends, and of de- coming to the position prescribed for
Mroying the enemy, must be radically the charge, can give any idea of the use
^ious J that the order of twenty four of tlie weapon in close action ?
deep was of that kind, and therefore he " Do you imagine tliat a rigid adhc<
haa changed it ; that he did not fear the rence to certain rules is necessary iti the
CQeqiy on account of their depth ; on movements, and in the dexterous use of
the contrary, he only regretted tJhat their the hands, even in boxing, whilst all
formation was not 10,000 deep, tor in rules and regulations for the defence of
that case, said he, you would nave the your existence, with the hand-weapon,
frwer enemies to contend with. are idle and chemerical? * Risum te-

*' Succeeding generals having been neatis?*
|hns efilightened by Xenophon, began *' This was not the opinion of his
V> reflect whether the order of twelve majesty, when he most Graciously con-
deep n^ight qot admit some further re- descended to approve the expcrmicnu
dociioQ. ' Accordingly, you ^c tliat in exhibited before nim«.

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136 On the Science of De/knce faft ike Sword and BagtmBi.

' - His majesty did not think it con- all difficulty is »«rm^nted The «me
«)nant to hir Justice, goodui^ss, and gamut which enabkd you to play oa*e
Sm, to plung. hiArave soldiers ^^^'^^^^^^^^^
into close action, unprepared to make a on the viohnccUo
sin'^le thrust or parade; to rec^uire that He then gives directions for cooio-
Ihey should play in concert" — we add, ^dating the front and centre rank iota
In a very solemn concert—" before they Qne inesistibJc rank, and for reducing
had learned the gamut." this consolidated rank into it» fnnMT

^ The royal approbation, we think order of two ranks, &c.
with the author, was founded in jus- He says that it is not of much im.
tioc and propriety ; and we wish it to portance whether the right or left side
ha' e the^tect which it ought to have fee presented in the chaise. He ra-
on this occasion. ther inclines to present the right, ai

Our author contraste his exercise the stronger side,
with tlie established one, in plate „ j^ -^ obvious that tjie fiont awl
1 2. centre ranks maybe a« easily consoli-

" Yon see the man standirtg erect, up- dated on guard, with tlie left in front,
on a narrow base. His firelock is not ^ ^.j^j^ ^ht right side presented, acctuA-
rxtended to cover any part of his per- ing to the practice of ine phalanx, which
son ; it is interposed between him and ^y^s not taught to make thrusts and [»-
the man on his right. He is not exer- ^^des. The phalanx was justified i^
ciscd to open his legs, and to sink upon presenting tlie left side, as it was pro-
them in a martial attitude, nor to collect tected by the shield. But as you (b
and direct his force. He is imaorant of ^^^ ^g^ {^^ shield, to present die 1^
the art of making thrusts and parades, sj^e, and plunge into close action, witk-
He knows nothing of the use and ap- <,ut any idea of the fort or toible, seeni
plication of the powers of the weapon, lobe an enterprise of valour surpassing
He has never heard of the fort and jj^^t of Achilles, who refused to ke
foible. . the enemy without his shield.

«* This art is withheld, as if it were a « As the right hand, whether froio

tccret of Bona Dea, or of the Elusinian ^g^ q^ otherwise, is more dexterous thw

mysteries, too sacred to be revealed to the left, it seems fitter for seizing and ap.

his mijcstv's subjects and soldiers. plying the fort, and direcdng the ihnut

" Seeing the position of one, you see ^^ j^^g g^me rime, it may be proper to

that of every man in the ranks. The practise with the left in front also; >?

iinnt is the only rank that can share m ^j^jg ^\\\ render the man ambidexter,

the charge. But science and practice are equally iar

- " But are not the other two ranks ^ispensible m either case,

present, and squared to the front, with «< i^ the estabhshed charge, thew

arms ported, and prepared to supply the gj^je is presented. If the enemy pwej

places of the men who may fall in the ^^^ ^q charge in the same wav, and u

• front? Yes : but your centre rank can- y^^^ charge with your right in front, you

not partake in the charge. It cannot must have a most decisive advanta«,

reach the enemy, and much less can your §^ ^\^^ \2, }*ot your firelock, &c. wui

icar rank; hence these two ranks carry y^ placed on the mside of his left snu,

Iheir arms ported : besides, any efforts thereby his whole body is open to W

from the hinder ranks with firelocks, m Yout fort is applied to his foiWe. You

aid of the front, would only impede the ^^^^ ^pon ^ broad, whijst he stand^

natural exertions of the front," &c. &c. yp^n a narrow base. You seijc aod

Maior Gordon having shewed the bmd down his [oiUt, by your ,^

deKfth/establisbed%xercises in hand: your left holds ite extwof

Online LibraryUnited States. Supreme CourtThe Universal magazine, Volume 4 → online text (page 60 of 108)