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consideration, appears to me a debasing punctilio. Would it not be more preferable to both parties, if a regular annual stipend was allotted for such charges, and at the same time shew consideration for the feelings of men, who, from their situation alone, are highly honorable, and should be treated as such.
In the preceding remarks I am fully supported by the opinions of several officers whom I have consulted thereupon, and by General Stewart, who, in his very able pamphlet, observes, “ Many of the " allowances which Regimental Officers receive in the field, and in * Barracks, and under the heads of non-effective and contingency, “ arise from sources so numerous, and so petty, that they only tend " to multiply accounts both at the Regiment and the War Office: " means might be adopted with benefit to the officers and economy " to the 'state, for consolidating the greater part of them, and for « issuing the whole under one head of pay or allowance.” On the subject of War Office Accompts the arrear into which they have accumulated is very distressing to individuals interested in them. According to the present minute mode of examination, their settlement cannot be completed under a period of many years, and by the opinion of the Commissioners of Military Inquiry, “The ex"pense of such an examination must consequently be great, and
it suggests the serious consideration whether the benefits of it Kwould be proportionate to the labour and expense.” And in the event of disallowances to a large amount being made, whether “The prospect of the recovering of them can justify the expense " of the examination.” It is therefore worthy of attention, if a cursory examination by experienced individuals would not be the mnost preferable, and the least expensive mode to the public.
I have the honor to be, with every respect, l'argomenti
: Yours, &c. , 2.0
SHARP SHOOTERS. Pri : Folyo
APLAN for bringing into the service a description of men hitherto. unnoticed in a military capacity, was very lately put into my hands by an old and experienced veteran. He had submitted it to high
authority some years back, but, as it very generally happens, he was considered too insignificant, not being supported by friends with interest, and his opinions consequently disregarded, perhaps never read.
I must observe, that having duly considered what he advances, I cannot but think, that as we are in want of soldiers, we should profit by the services of all, who can, and are inclined to become such; and I shall not fear contradiction when I assert, that there are at this moment thousands of active, able, and clever men, who, being under the standard size, are rejected from serving either in the Regulars or Militia. These men would make three or four very excellent regiments of active Sharp Shooters; and at such a moment as the present, would render infinite service to the opera. tions of our brave countrymen in the Peninsula.
The veteran I have herein alluded to, made an offer to raise and discipline any number of such men, in a few months, and at a very trifling expence, viz. at sixteen pounds per man, including every charge but their subsistence, have them ready to enter into the field. His plan was as follows:
That all the Recruiting Parties throughout the kingdom should receive orders to enlist such young, straight, active fellows, as from their height, are under the standard for the line; at a bounty of five guineas per man. That, they should be sent to a Depót, and there armed, clothed, and disciplined, from whence detachments to any amount might be sent to our armies on foreign stations.
Clothing.--A dark green jacket with black buttons, green or brown pantaloons, half boots or gaiters, lwo flannel shirts and two pair of flannel socks. Black cap. A dark knapsack to contain a blanket. No ornaments.
Arms.-A rifle gun and long bayonet, a very small axe or hatchet *, black belt, bullet pouch and powder horn.
Discipline.—Instead of erect positions, the man to be instructed to stoop, and in that form advance or retreat; to take proper posilions so as to be hid; to load and fire in every position; to march in quick and double-quick time; to form in divisions; to file; to extend their front and decrease it; to be subject to the same Mutiny Act, &c. as other regiments.
• The hatchet is to be used either to cut down branches of trees, or to cut up rurf to cover themselves.
I am convinced that a corps of such men, as described in this plan, would be a valuable acquisition to a division of infantry. They are of a proper description for Sharp Shooters; they would be readily hid; would effectually cover the advance of an army, or protect its flanks and rear, with much less loss, and more effect, than our present rifle corps. I mean not to disparage or take from that gallant body of men any share of the credit, that is so justly due to them; they are not to be surpassed in courage, resolution, or in good conduct. They have performed every thing that could be done by rifle men of their description; but, that corps is not composed of little active men ; the brave fellows in it, are more adapted for the Regular Battalions, Grenadiers, Light Infantry or Battalion men. Is it reason to expect that an able-bodied man, six feet high, is fit to be a rifle man? can he reduce his size? can he readily conceal bimself, or can he retire rapidly unobserved? Is he stronger or more active, than a well set, short nervous fellow of five feet?
The nature of the rifle service points out the propriety of having for it men, who expose the smallest front; who, being low in stature, can more readily steal on the enemy or retreat unobserved; who can be hid by the smallest matter : a stone, a sod, a bush, would cover their.
position, and the enemy would be fired on imperceptibly. ! Had the veteran, who first suggested this idea, been allowed to
carry it into execution, he would have received, long before this time, the thanks of the country. Such a measure ought to be adopted; as there can be no doubt that men of this description might be employed with infinite benefit to the service, and moderate expense to the state; and as the armies of our enemy superabound with Tirailleurs, we must possess similar troops to oppose them with effect. It is easy to discover, that this is not a parade corps, and, that the discipline necessary to establish it fit for service, will require a very little time to accomplish.) *** you ! "
Corps might also be formed of these men to act as Rifle Militia; it would enable the counties to furnish an addition to their presenta quotas with great facility, and thus augment the volunteering into the line. The Corps should be organized into Companies, of one . Captain, three Subalterns, six Serjeants and one hundred Rank and Fue
I shall be much gratified if you will insert these remarks in the Military Panorama. I am, Sir, with sincere wishes for the prosperity of the Military Panorama, your obedient servant,
A FRIEND TO THE SERVICE.
ON THE FREQUENCY OF SOLDIERS MARRIAGES, AND
CHILDREN OF PRIVATE SOLDIERS. Sir, THROUGH the medium of your Panorama, which, if I may judge from the Prospectus, promises to afford many benefits to the military profession, permit me to claim the attention of the army to the subject of Soldiers' Children and Marriages. There exists an unfortunate clash in these matters between the civil power, military exigency, and the service of the country, which I shall endeavour to point out, and at the same time propose a remedy for the evil.
Women in the lower orders of society are apt to swear children to soldiers often when they are not the fathers, and the soldier is imprisoned to satisfy the parish. In the first instance, is it reasonable to expect a soldier, out of his one shilling per diem, can remu. nerate the parish officers in the charge they may make? What is the consequence the soldier lays in jail--the government loses the services of a man they have given at the least twenty pounds to obtain-and the army loses the soldier.
A woman will swear a child to a soldier because he cannot escape but, by desertion. Is it not therefore harsh and ridiculous to imprison the man to defray expenses the parish may never incur, when, by so doing both the service and country are injured ?-Would it not be much more adviseable to punish the woman?Make it understood that soldiers will not be esteemed responsible, . · and thus a finish will be put to this injudicious practice.
Are not the generality of women who cohabit with the soldiery, loose and disorderly? To me, therefore, there does not appear a shadow of reason for this outrage to the interests of government. Again suppose, as is often the case, the soldier is obliged to marry the girl : what a catalogue of evils does this produce ! and amongst others, and not the least, an additional expense to the government, and also to the very parish which compelled them to marry; for it is more than probable that the man will leave her, and perhaps with
a family of children; if not, a woman is added to the burthen of a regiment, which they are always most solicitous to avoid.
A recent instance occurred, where a soldier was taken up by the civil power on a charge of bastardy. He could not procure bail, twenty pounds being demanded : he was committed to the county prison, where he was two days confined in a cell, so cold and damp, that the poor man lost his hearing. His friends were refused admittance to him, nor would the jailor allow victuals to be sent him by them.—The effect of this conduct is, that the man will never recover his former health, and of course his discharge from the service must be granted.
There is no doubt that a certain number of respectable wives of soldiers are very necessary in a regiment, but the uncontrouled power of soldiers marrying when they please, is productive of a variety of evils. Many marry wherever they may go, and there are instances, by no means uncommon, of soldiers having three and four wives, with children by each, which become burthensome to the parish, and expensive to the state. To obviate this mischief, a clause might be introduced in the mutiny act, to oblige soldiers who may wish to marry, first to procure from the commanding officer a certificate of his consent : this certificate his wife, on all occasions, must produce with her marriage certificate, to empower her to receive the benefits allowed by parishes. A clause of this nature i would prevent numerous improper marriages, which, as they now take place, prove the source of much inconvenience and misery, and it would strike at the root of those forced marriages, the inconsiderate object of parish officers.
When regiments embark for foreign service, the wives and children are left at the place of embarkation; perhaps many of their friends and homes, if they have any, are in distant parts. In general, they are unthinking creatures; the money given them on their husband embarking, is exhausted in a day or two, and they are often forced to beg their way horne. Ignorance prevents them from ascertaining the right method of obtaining relief from the different parishes; they may have lost the certificates and passes ; they are therefore treated as impostors, and distress completes their portion of sorrow.
A further reason to prevent soldiers from marrying whenever it, may suit their inclinations, may be adduced.