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Since the foundation of the Republic, war has existed as follows: Revolutionary War War of 1812-14...

.24 years Mexican War

2 years Florida War

7 years Civil War

4 years War with Spain and Philippine

Rebellion Not to mention numerous Indian wars and internal disturbances requiring the use of troops.

We have struggled through these wars and have emerged generally successfully, but in none of them has there been any evidence of well-thought-out preparations or the application of a sound military policy. Our people remember only the success and forget entirely the great and unnecessary cost in blood and treasure in which our defective method of conducting these wars resulted. By faulty methods I mean that

we have generally conducted war as a confederacy instead of as a nation. We have permitted altogether too much interference by States. Too many officers have been appointed by the Governors of States. New regiments have been raised oftentimes in order that new officers might be appointed and political patronage increased, whereas the old regiments should have been filled up, as they had acquired experience, some traditions and esprit, and were much more valuable than new regiments. This is seen in the Civil War in case of the Wisconsin organizations. Wisconsin had the good sense to veteranize her regiments, and the result is seen when one remembers the term "Iron Brigade” applied to a Wisconsin brigade.

Then again we have had frequently the intervention of civilians, either through the activities of the Secretary of War or of the civil arms of the Government. There

has been a general lack of a sense of individual responsibility for military service. Reliance on volunteer enlistments has continued, and has been one of the gravest sources of danger to the Republic. The experience of the Revolution should have taught us that it is not safe in a real war to depend upon volunteers. There is an enthusiastic response by a certain proportion of the best element in the early days of war, but this response cannot be counted upon to continue throughout a long war involving severe strains


the population, nor is it right or just to throw the burden of military service upon a portion of the population. It is a universal obligation and the country will never be secure or safe until it is recognized as such and measures are taken to develop military preparation on a basis of universal military obligation.

To return to the Revolution, in 1774

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