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service, that, at the present day, no such thing as different arınories and arsenals then in operation a separate and distinct Ordnance Department is and being constructed, and it was contended with known to them, unless, indeed, we consider that much reason and propriety that the duties of the they have no Artillery, except in name ; for under department would be more satisfactorily, more the head of “ Ordnance Department," is to be found regularly, and more economically performed by the “ Royal Regiment of Artillery," and nothing this system than by that requiring the superintenelse. In fact it is there considered, as it should be dents to change with the periodical details. For with us, that the two are inseparable ; the effect of these reasons and some others of minor importance, a division upon our service being to deprive the this increase, or, rather, organization of the OrdArtillery officer of all means of practical informa-nance Department, was made in 1832, which protion connected with his profession. The system in vided a chief of the department to be stationed the British service, which was introduced into ours in Washington City,—thirteen officers remaining in 1821, and abolished in 1838, is the only one by to command and superintend the different armories which information, essential and necessary, can be and arsenals located throughout the country, and to imparted to, and gained by officers of Artillery, and attend to the practical instruction of such subalwithout which they are utterly useless and unne- terns of artillery as should be periodically detailed cessary. The theoretical portion of this educa- to assist them. The favoritisin attending the aption is gained, it is true, at the Military Academy, pointment of these officers, and the great injustice bat practice and experience are as necessary to done a large portion of the Army at the time of make artillerists as engineers, and no system of their appointment, has been so frequently and so theoretical instruction can ever make an officer pro- ably exposed to the country, that I deem it unneficient in either. With this wise and necessary cessary to enter on that subject, not believing there object in view, the practical education of our Ar- is an individual to be found, knowing the circumtillery officers, otherwise unattainable, the act of stances, who has not unconditionally condemned the 1821 consolidated the ordnance and Artillery, and acts by which such monstrous injustice and oppresprovided for the detail of officers from the latter sion was practised towards a large portion of the for ordnance duties; which system, with a few mo- Army. There being but thirteen and scarcely difications, was kept up with the most beneficial any two from the same section of country, it was results until the Staff mania raged with such vio- no difficult task for these favored sons of the relepce and fatality in 1838. With the four super- public to arrange among themselves the different Bumerary Captains of Artillery our ordnance du- posts they would occupy; and knowing their posities were so performed from 1821 to 1832, as to dis- tions were permanent, a system of expenditures seminate useful and practical information through- was commenced under the general appropriations out the Artillery arm,-a constant detail of from“ for arsenals,” which has drained the treasury of fiteen to twenty subalterns of that arm being kept many hundred thousands for the sole benefit of on ordnance duty, and periodical changes being these officers,—not the slightest necessity having made, to allow all its subalterns the benefit of in- ever existed for many enormous expenditures made struction and experience, as well as the advantages by them, nor the smallest beneficial result accrued of comfortable posts, agreeable positions, and light to the government, unless we consider as such, the and pleasant duties. But, as the population of our erection of splendid buildings for these gentlemen country advanced, its means increased, and our to live in, and the grading and laying out of magnifortifications multiplied in number; strong argu-ficent pleasure grounds for the enjoyment of their ments were urged for increasing our ordnance mechanics and laborers. In the erection of the corps, and separating its permanent officers from splendid residences which each of these gentlemen the Artillery. In 1832 these arguments prevailed, has superintended for himself, an instance is not to not without some reason, and a separate and dis- be found where any one has confined himself to tinct department was organized, comprising four-less than double the allowance of quarters granted teen officers, the grade of Captain being the lowest. by the regulations, and in many instances, when It was not conceived at that time that it was in troops have been temporarily crowded together, contemplation by the department to call for another officers attached to them have been compelled to inerease in a few years, and thereby to drive the Ar- live in most uncomfortable, nay, almost immoral tillery from its legitimate duties, thus erecting for proximity, when, within their view, officers of this itself a separate and independent department of the favored department have been allowed to occupy Army,—independent even of the Commanding Gen- double and treble the allowance granted them by eral,-or this move, behind which so much was regulations, because they belonged to a separate concealed, would have been opposed and success-department and could not be interfered with. This fully opposed.
is rather a wide departure from our motto, "a colThe fourteen officers appointed to this newly lection of armed men, obliged to obey one man," organized department were supposed to be neces- but still it is a fact, daily exhibited, and an abuse sary for the permanent command and control of the 'which is hourly increasing. Heavy expenditures have also been made for fixtures and arrangements | Army, and this in the face of an order from the War about these quarters for the private convenience Department, issued but a few months before, diand comforts of their occupants, which are rarely recting this same subaltern of ordnance to be placed to be found in the residences of the most opulent under some discreet and severe commanding officer citizens in their vicinity. In some instances good, for past aggravated, military offences. The avowed substantial and comfortable dwellings have been reason for this outrage was, that there was not condemned and torn down because they did not room for the Artillery and ordnance both, and that suit the taste and convenience of the officer occu- the former must give way as it was an ordnance pying them, and splendid new edifices have been post; yet it is known that four companies of troops erected in their stead. I need only instance one have been accommodated there at the same time, prominent example, that of Springfield, Mass., and and at the date of this occurrence there were only the sentiments of its citizens as expressed at regu- twenty-five men of the Ordnance Department. lar meetings held for the purpose, and their views A better reason suggested as the cause of the act as contained in the public journals of the place is to be found in the fact that the snbaltero of within a few months past ;--though every arsenal in ordnance is the son of the acting chief of the dethe country might be particularly instanced as an partment. The Commanding General of the Arroy example of extravagance and waste, were such de- opposed it, and pronounced his opinion that such tails necessary. If their expenditures were only an outrage had never before been perpetrated upon confined to the erection and decoration of houses in the Army, and in the face of his remonstrance the which to reside, so much attention would not be Secretary of War was influenced to sanction it, drawn to the subject, but beautifully laid-out lawns, and to continue the company of troops occupying parks and promenades surrounded by stone walls hired quarters at a heavy expense to the governand iron railings, with grass plats and flower gar- ment, in violation of the rank and rights of an dens enclosed with choice fences are by no means officer of nearly thirty years service, to the great rare sights at arsenals, where one would suppose prejudice of the public interest and against the workshops for the conversion of wood and iron into most pointed remonstrance of the whole commuthe implements of war would be more appropriate nity in the vicinity of the post. ornaments and certainly not less appropriate appen- But what renders this case the more flagrant is dages. It undoubtedly never was the intention of the fact, that a “hired guard” was employed at the government to stint its officers in the allowance this same arsenal at a heavy expense to the gorernof quarters and other necessary fixtures about a ment; and though this company was disposable and post to enable them to live decently and comforta- ordered there for the purpose, it was found necesbly, but it never was contemplated that a certain sary to retain that non-descript species of soldiery branch of the service was to be set aside as the in government employ, to afford an excuse for er: aristocracy of the Army and every thing, even the cluding the company from its proper
and legitimate treasury of the country, be made subservient to quarters, and thereby to confer the command of the the comfort, convenience and gratification of its post on one declared unfit for it by an order issued members. Yet such has been the case with the to the Army but a few months previous. This Ordnance Department, and no stronger proof can" hired guard" was brought into the service at a be wanted than an inspection of the armories and heavy expense during the Florida war, when a arsenals occupied by them, and a comparison of company of troops could not be spared for the purthose places with the stinted and almost untenable pose, but so soon as the war was over, in fact allowances of the kind granted to officers of the before that, the citizens frequently applied to the line of the Army at most of the military posts department for a company of the regular Army to occupied by troops. Another and odious distinc- protect the property stored in their vicinity, and tion is made between the comforts and conveniences which without protection was more dangerous than allowed to the enlisted men of the ordnance with otherwise. It was supposed, and very reasonably its hired mechanics and laborers, and to the regularly too, that this “ hired guard” would at once be disenlisted soldier of the Army. An example is now charged upon the arrival of regular troops, bat fresh in my memory of an outrage of this kind such was not the result, and we have loud comcommitted on a company of Artillery, commanded plaints made at the intrusion of a company by one of the senior Captains of our service, which Artillery into the limits of an “Ordnance post built was forced to vacate its quarters upon the plea with Ordnance funds." The presence of this that they were necessary for hired men of the Ord- " hired guard,” suddenly converted into “Ordnance nance Department, and to rent an old farm house men,” is strongly urged as a reason for the immesome three miles from the military post. The diate withdrawal of the company on the ground that effect of this move was to give the command of there was not room for both. In this the glit and the arsenal to a subaltern of the Ordnance Depart- oily act of the courtier was too much for the strong ment who was probably not born when the Captain remonstrance of the Commanding General, joined, of this company was first commissioned in our'as he was, by the almost unanimous voice of ibe
citizens in the vicinity of the post; and he finds however, has not been the effect of the law, for himself in a short time mortified by the order of the Army Register now shows nineteen Lieutenants the Secretary of War undoing what had been in this department-seven supernumerary Brevet done, and committing an outrage upon him and the Second Lieutenants, one more than the number of Army by elevating one of his subordinates above Second Lieutenants, having been attached to the him in importance and influence for the furtherance department, in violation of the provisions of two of family arrangements. Having effected the acts of Congress passed in 1812 and 1838. object in view by retaining these hired men, it will The Colonel and chief of the department is kept be supposed they were discharged, but such was on a sort of " special duty," the nature of which no not the case, and we find that as soon as the com- one can understand, and it is shrewdly suspected pany was removed beyond the limits of the post, that no better reason is known for it than a desire the guard is again necessary to perforın the very to make room for a more ambitious though less deduty this company was not permitted to do. This siring aspirant. At our arsenals and armories state of affairs existed for several months to the these ordnance officers are to be found in numbers detriment of the service, and at a heavy cost to the varying from one to six, depending on the position government, during which time the citizens in the and its advantages. In addition to the thirty-five vicinity were not blind to the injustice done this commissioned officers in the department, we have Feteran captain and his company, nor were they a corps of fifteen storekeepers to assist them in the silent as to the cost of it to the government, and discharge of their duties, and to relieve them from the folly and absurdity of the act. Memorials to the property responsibility and other disagreeable the President and their delegation in Congress parts of it. One of these storekeepers is to be found soon placed the matter in such a light that some at every post where large supplies of property are measures were necessary to appease the indigna- on hand, -upon him all the pecuniary responsition of an outraged people, and orders were pre- bility for this property rests, and yet the late Secrepared for the restoration of the company to its legiti- tary of War commended these ordnance gentlemate position. But as this would place the com- men to the favor of the government on account of mand in the hands of the able head of that company, the heavy responsibility under which they rested. taking it from the undeserving but favored subal. There are about fifteen positions in our country tern, who was for years a Second Lieutenant in the occupied as important ordnance depôts, including sarne regiment, and during the same time his out- arsenals and armories, with some eight or ten other raged senior was a Captain at the head of his com- unimportant positions, preserved only on account pany, by some unaccountable interference at the of the value of the public buildings thereon and war office, and still more unaccountable success, not because they are of any use for ordnance purthis order was suppressed and in its stead one was poses; and yet we have thirty-five officers besides issued dismembering the company of this Captain, fifteen storekeepers to attend to the duties at these sending him with one half of it to a post three hun- posts. At not one of them, unless it be the arsedred miles distant, and placing the other half with nal at Watervliet, N. Y., is there a necessity for a subaltern under the immediate command and more than one officer, yet we find but very few of orders of this Lieutenant of ordnance. This move them with less than two and even three. The was made at an expense of hundreds, with a cer- duties at these posts are nominally to superintend tainty of destroying the discipline and efficiency of mechanics and artizans engaged in the fabrication the company-in violation of the most sacred mili- of the implements and munitions of war, but when tary rank and rights of its Captain-to the preju- we consider the very large proportion of those dice of the public interests, against the remon- articles supplied to our government by contract, it strance of the Commanding General of the Army is difficult to imagine the occupation to be found and the combined efforts and protest of the citizens for these meritorious officers and their mechanics in the vicinity of the post,--and for what reasons ? and laborers, unless we advert to the splendid and One fact exists,—the Lieutenant of ordnance, son princely buildings which they occupy, and the magof the acting chief of the department, succeeded nificent pleasure grounds surrounding them, ornato the command of these troops, and thereby re- mented in a style and with a studied taste and eleceived a considerable increase to his pay. gance far superior to any thing in private life to be
The greatest increase which this department found in their vicinity. A slight glance at all these received, and the one most fatal to the interest things will show us the occupation of the ten, fifof the Army, was that of 1838, when Congress teen and twenty “ artificers," "mechanics” and appears to have been affected with a Staff fever." laborers” hired at every arsenal and depôt occuThe section of that bill, as it first passed, added pied by the department. Congress makes a large two Majors and twenty Lieutenants to the num- appropriation annually " for arsenals,” without ber of officers then in the department, but by specifying in what way, or for what purposes the the suplementary act passed two days after, the money is to be expended : it seldom falls short number of Lieutenants was limited to twelve ; such,' of $100,000, and sometimes exceeds double that amount, the whole of which is employed in deco- a number of guns, but they must have an ordnance rating fine residences, and laying out pleasure officer to superintend it, a grateful relief, it's true, grounds, or " for grading public grounds, and set- from the scientific operation of raising from five to ting out shade trees," as I find one item of the eight thousand pounds of metal to an elevation of appropriation specifies.
six feet and placing it on a carriage, but it may Follow an Army into the field when an enemy be questioned whether a Second Lieutenant of the is to be met, or pursued-when hardships are to Ordnance Department by virtue of such an apbe endured and danger to be faced, and where will pointment is more competent to discharge this your Ordnance gentlemen be found ? Examine duty than a veteran who has superintended the their fine buildings, pleasure grounds and flower mounting and dismounting of more guns than this gardens, and there you will find them enjoying unfledged protege of the government has numberthemselves in sweet repose, expatiating most ed days in his life. I will venture that any nonlearnedly on the errors of the Commanding Gene- commissioned officer in our service will take the ral in making such and such a movement, and lay- same number of men and mount double the numing down on paper a very pretty plan by which ber of guns in the same time, and do it better than they would have done the work had they been per- any one who can be selected from this scientific mitted to manage it. This was most strikingly corps,—and I doubt whether any claims would be exemplified during the Florida war, at no time of set up to scientific honors for accomplishing soch which were there more than three ordnance officers a feat. It must be borne in mind, however, that in the country—in the field they never were— this mounting and dismounting of guns is a mere though two thirds of the line of the Army were cloak under which to cover a trip of pleasure for then engaged in active operations. Yet these some selected favorities of the department, who gentlemen could at any time have furnished a plan wish to make tours through particular sections of to finish the war by one campaign! And these are the country, and who see no more of the mounting the modest gentlemen who, living in their carpeted of guns than if that were not their business. It parlors, promenading in their pleasure grounds, is remembered that about the time the Hon. J. C. and occasionally looking into their workshops, as Spencer issued an order in 1842, changing the much from curiosity as a sense of duty, claim allowances for transportation to officers, some two for themselves, in contradistinction to the line of or three of these gentlemen were on tours through the Army, the appellation of Scientific ! and there the country, but no sooner was that order out, on ground a claim for cavalry pay and allowances, which changed these travelling allowances from which an infatuated Congress granted, much to an emolument into a slight burden, than the necesthe surprise of every one and to the serious injury sity which had existed for their superintendence of of the Army, which has had to bear up under the this scientific duty ceased, and they suddenly winged burden of heavy expense thus incurred, and the their way to Washington,-since which, they have abuse consequent to it. Upon what grounds they not been heard of; yet our guns have not ceased to presume to appropriate to themselves the title of be mounted and dismounted. Now, that the original scientific it puzzles one to know, especially when allowances for transportation are restored at the he is acquainted with their performances and the instance and by the intercession of the Staf Deresults of their labors, and is not entirely ignorant partments in Washington, we may expect soon te of the reputation enjoyed, and justly enjoyed, by hear of other missions connected with this imporsome of them during a four years trial in scientific tant service. Some officers of the Staff hare studies at the Military Academy. Nothing can made large sums by these travelling emoluments, more feebly test their claim to this title than an and I suppose the Ordnance Department could see examination of the results of their labors. Those no reasons for not dividing the spoils, especially who have had to use their scientific productions in as they are the victors, having not only declared target practice, and in the field before an enemy, but maintained their independence of the Comwill never consent to darken the annals of sci- manding General of the Army. ence by admitting the authors of these works as Upon what just and equitable principle these sciworthy members of so sacred a class.
entific (?) gentlemen were placed on an equality Nothing so clearly proves the uselessness of and with cavalry officers as to pay and allowances bas the want of necessity for these highly paid, fed, never yet been explained ; nor has the country and pampered officers of ordnance than the fact ever learned the necessity which existed for furthat something for them to do seems to be the most nishing each of these officers at government es: difficult question the department has to settle ; and pense with forage for one, two, three, four, or fire tours of inspection, buards, and even details for horses, according to his rank, when the duties which pleasure trips in Europe at public expense are be- they have to perform confine them entirely to the coming the regular duties of the Ordnance Depart- limits of their offices and workshops. It is no ment. The commanding officers of our fortifica- doubt very convenient and a great pleasure to these tions can not be permitted 10 mount or dismount' gentlemen of the “bomb-shell” to be able to call
And so may pass gay Pleasure's train
That heart unheeded by,
C. M. A.
TRIFLES LIGHT AS AIR.
BY A. B. MEEK.
ON A MOCKING-BIRD KILLED BY A CAT.
for their horse, or their buggy for the purpose of taking a ride around their pleasure grounds, or visiting the cities in their vicinity, but why should the government be saddled with the expense ? The true state of the case is, that two thirds of the officers of the department are unnecessary, and thousands of dollars annually expended for their private benefit in ornamenting and enriching their habitations and pleasure-grounds might be saved to the treasury by dispensing with those who expend them. By this, the harmony and efficiency of the Army would be restored—the practical instruction and improvement of our Artillery arm, bow neglected, would be revived,—and the welfare of the whole service be advanced instead of the private interests of a few individual members.
If it shall ever become necessary for our country to resort to arms, and our Army is brought into action, the sad and culpable neglect which has existed and still exists, and grows worse in regard to our Artillery, will prove most disastrous. We shall Dot then be able to secure the services of one of these scientific gentlemen to remount and dismount our guns disabled by an enemy's shot ; nor shall we have them always at our elbows to supply munitions of war prepared for service; the Artillery will be looked to, and very properly, for that, and yet its members are deprived of every means and opportunity by which to gain the necessary information. And this injury is inflicted upon the service by a system which saddles the government with an annual expenditure of at least $100,000, to support an Ordnance Department. By keeping a portion of our Artillery constantly at arsenals of construction, the greater part of the expense for hired and enlisted men could be dispensed with, and the most valuable information disseminated throoghout the Army without cost and with the most beneficial results. But this probably would not comport with the dignity and independence of the ordnance corps and its scientific members, who might feel contaminated by an association with men, many of whom they looked up to before accident and intrigue placed them in their present comfortable, but, from being assailable, most unenviable positions.
Weep for the feathered minstrel gone,
The woodland wit, the poet wild, The troubadour of silver tone,
Euterpe's winged and frolic child !His song is hushed, his gay laugh done,
His bright eye motionless and dim ; No more his fair wings glint the sun;
The Loved of Beauty,-weep for him!
From honeysuckle groves he came,
From wooing eyes, to gaze on hers; To syllable in song her name,
And shame her doller worshippers : And not in vain his ardent love,
He won the lady's homage deep, She prized her bird all beaux above;
But he is dead,-then for him weep!
Ah yes ! how oft in shade and sun,
I've seen her with the winged bard play, Forgetful of the human one,
Who envious gazed his soul away !And oh! what tones that bird would breathe
When playing with her cherry lips ! As who would not !--yet mourn his death,
For 'twas a sudden, sad eclipse !
One mild and rosy summer eve,
When revelling in light and song, With but one tone that seemed to grieve
His beauteous mistress absent long, As through the room his voice he flung,
In tones would craze a Malibran, The parlor-tiger on him sprung,
The rippling waves on yonder stream,
How joyously they flow! And smile beneath the sun's glad beam,
While all is cold and dark below.
Across the brow of care,
That pines in silent, lone despair.
Some fairy bark may glide,
In Ocean's caves beneath the tide!
And WILLIE was “a ruined man!"
Yet bright his life! her smiles by day
Were more than flowers or song to him, And through the night his amorous lay
Around her dreaming couch would swim : And oh! what glimpses met his eye,
of charms but dreamed by other swains !--If I such beauty could espy,
Grimalkin too might end my pains ! Yet mourn for him!-Ye rival baris
In gushing strains of sorrow weep! His fate,-alas! like CHATELARD's,
Ye should in long remembrance keep: For had he never shaped his breath
In amorous odes 'round Beauty's shrine, He had not met his cruel death,
Nor filled this cat-a-logue of mine!