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law as was necessary to general military economy, and the practice of the Military Courts: if he will do me the honor to acquaint me how it will reach him, I shall con amore for the subject, feel great satisfaction in presenting him with a copy, and still more to have his remarks on those parts which he should find inefficient ou service. And though the volume certainly cannot boast of being authorized by government, yet I am at liberty to say, that it has been submitted to many ministers and generals, without any censure, and with some approbation; the introduction of whose letters would submit to the charge of Sheridan's 'puff oblique, a work which has not required even a common advertisement to exhaust its first edition.
The witty remarks of " a British Officer” on his fundamental causes of complaint on the long duration of Courts Martial, excites in me, Sir, a wonder as to the causes requiring such protracted sittings, in respect to which I would be thankful for the public to be satisfied, as also with regard to
The conduct of appointments to Courts Martial in the Peninsula generally;
Whether all prisoners are at present removed from the army for trial to Lisbon ?
What are the apparent causes of such numerous crimes ? and their nature?
And what the ordinary decisions on them ?
The fact, with respect to the French Judge-Advocate, is remarkably striking, as regards the appointment of deputies in that im. portant branch of the service. Yet it matters little whether he be French or English, if he knows not his duties. The French Juge Militaire has, indced, a very different code to encounter from his own*; but what can be more heterogeneous than the case I described to you in my letter, (vol. i. p. 468,) of a Paymaster holding in defiance of the king's regulations, at least five separate occupations, and adding to these the strange contrast in character, that of becoming porter-dealer and Deputy-Judge-Advocate, with no other view tlian the mere paltry gain. Indeed, this becoming liberality of government is, perhaps, the worst feature in the matter; since, if it were not allowed, no officer would be selected from
• It is nevertheles curious, and tbe numerous processes and tribunals would seem so entirely to preclude the possibility of injustice, that I have thought it right to give it to the English reader in a translation nearly finished ; fas est ab hoste doceri.
interest, and the allowance is certainly superabundant if the choice is to be made from the regiment. Indeed, in the appointments of Judge-Advocate to the extended regimental Courts Martial, I regret to perceive, in all that have come to my knowledge, neither Paymaster or Adjutant, the latter of whom has, from time immemorial, been deemed the legitimate substitute, without any new appointment or pay. - The respect with which your Correspondent has inspired me, Sir, will immediately induce me to farther consider the subject which “A British Officer” thinks has not obtained my mature consideration. As to the question, however, Is a man guilty or not of an assault who rebukes another, and does not seriously hurt him it admits of a prompt and certain decision, under the prescriptions of the common or the military law. An assault at common law, to which it is most directed, is an extensive crime, and may be committed by offering a blow, or by terrifying speech; it involves two wrongs, one against the individual, and another against the public; and may therefore both be prosecuted by an action for damage, and by indictment; but by it “rebuke” would hardly, in any case, amount to assault: perhaps it would to scandal; but this not being of the same nature, could not be found, though a duellist acquitted of murder is found guilty of manslaughter. In the military law, however, it is expressly provided for (Art. of War, $ 7. art. 1.) in these terms, “No, of. ficer, non-commissioned officer or soldier, shall use any reproachful or provoking speeches or gestures to another, upon pain, if an officer, of being put in arrest; or, if a non-commissioned officer or soldier, of being imprisoned, and asking pardon of the party of. fended, in presence of his superior officer.” And in respect to a superior officer, it comes closer; (Art. of War, $ 2, art, 5.) since any officer, non-commissioned officer, or soldier, who shall even lift up any weapon against him, being in the execution of his office, shall suffer death, or other punishment.” But charges of this kind seem to come best, and have frequently been punished *, under the sweeping description of conduct “ scandalous and infamous,” and “contrary to good order and military discipline.” And in such a case, nothing seems to me more probable, than that
* I do not occupy your pages with quoting many cases to which I could easily refer; some are doubtless in the memory of every one.
a court might justly find a prisoner guilty in part, in this way, not guilty of scandalous or infamous conduct, but of having used certain improper or provoking expressions, of rebuking, &c.
In truth, Sir, I am, although “ fond of depositions and defence, as far as they tend to elucidate, or, in the language of Blackstone, “ to investigate truth at any rate,” (and sometimes deriving a profit from them) an enemy to multiplied Courts Martial; since the ut. most of my reading, and it at least has not been a little, and what experience an observant life has given me, have always shewn me, that the army frequently requiring them, had something in it radically wrong, and generally to be traced to its Commanders; I therefore desire to prevent them, as far as I am able, and when they occur, endeavour to measure their punishments, and preserve the letter and spirit of Military Law. Let the military force of the country, I say, preserve, if its Commanders will, their distinctions of rank and dress, their brevets and embroidery-it matters not whether a man of honour wear fringe or tags, or is to the right or left, in front or rear; but let them be uniform in their military affections and energies ; let them, as far as human infirmity will allow, view the army as their family, and every comrade as a brother, and no man will mistake for a mere profession of gain, an army formed on principles of patriotic virtue-whose universal parole is, “ God and our Country.” I have the honor to be, &c.
Robert Scott, Lieutenant.
MAPS OF GERMANY AND AMERICA. Sir, CONSIDERING how much the country is indebted to every one who adds to its geographical knowledge, standing in the situation of Editor of the Military Panorama, you will be very deficient if you do not render the thanks of the army to His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, for the pains he has taken, and the aid he has afforded, in behalf of the excellent Map of Germany recently published by that intelligent geographer, Mr. Arrowsmith-it was a great desideratum. Another of the American Continent is as much so. Materials are not wanting, but patronage. Considering the prominent situation which that country now occupies, I cannot forbear expressing my hopes, that the attention of another member of the Royal Family, who well knows, and is much in. terested in that country, may be exerted on this occasion. G.C.
Note. The officers of the army are under the greatest obligations to the Duke of Cambridge for His Royal Highness's indefatigable exertions, whenever an opportunity has offered for benefiting the service. G. C. may rest assured, that the attention of His Royal Highness tbe Duke of Kent, to whom, I suppose, his letter also al. ludes, will be employed on every occasion that promises advantages to society, and more particularly to the Military profession.
ON THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT. Sir, THE subject to which I wish to call the attention of the public is, the Medical Department of the Army, a subject which it is the duty of every individual to inquire into; for, although it may not be their own lot to fall under its control, yet a father's, son's, or brother's existence, may depend upon its duties being performed in the most attentive and skilful manner. · In 1804, inore particularly, the late Board found a very considerable difficulty in procuring Medical gentlemen to enter into the army; in fact, the number that was required could never be procured. In consequence of which, the pay of the Army Surgeons, and Assistant Surgeons was increased, agreeably to the accounts which they have published: Another encouragement, as they were pleased to term it, was also held out; viz. Every Regimental Surgeon of our regular forces, after thirty years' service, on full pay, shall have the unqualified right of retiring on half pay, at the rate of fifteen shillings per diem, subject to the usual deductions. Thirty years' service on full pay! This might answer, indeed, if there was war ad infinitum ; but where a medical officer is not allowed to enter into the service until he is 22 years of age, and when the short period to which a man's life is confined, together with the hazards of war, and the great probability of his being put upon half pay during 30 years, the length of such a period must be next to an impossibility to attain. Again; the Surgeons of the Forces, who are considered to rank one degree superior to the Regimental Surgeons, are allowed 15 shillings a day; yet after 20 and 30 years service, they are only to derive the same advantages as Regimental Surgeons. These regulations, as one may well suppose, have only partly succeeded in inducing medical men to enter into the service.
Tlie medical profession is pursued chiefly by the younger sons of gentlemen, who are, perhaps, independent in regard to themselves; and, although they may not have a sufficiency for the whole of their family, are yet able to give that kind of education
to such as may follow this profession, and to introduce them into those connexions which the present regulations are not capable of inducing them to prefer. There are very few medical gentlemen who have abilities, but who can, by their own exertions, procure a much greater income than that allowed by government, both with satisfaction and comfort in their own country, without any hazard of foreign climes; or being, perhaps, laid upon the shelf, at the whim and caprice of a single individual. The quarters also of the junior medical officers are not by any uneans sufficient. Even in the West Indies, (without noticing other places,) a proof of it occurred, when an Assistant Surgeon was doubled up, in one room, with an Ensign, of 17 years of age, and obliged to put up with all his noise and boyish tricks, at a time when there were 50 or 60 men under the Assistant Surgeon’s care. This is not a solitary instance; for as they rank as Subalterns in the line, when they are first appointed to a regiment, they can only choose their quarters according to the date of their commission in the regiment. In the guards and dragoons they rank also as subalterns; but then they choose their quarters after the junior Lieutenant, and so progressively upwards; why this distinction is allowed, I could never learn—but so I understand it is. If the Medical Board wish for men of respectability, let them act with liberality. Government might also interfere; and with the view of improving the situation of medical officers, (army and navy,) cause another body of men to perform a duty which has long been required, both in a public and moral view; I mean in the extirpation of quacks: men who prescribe, and vend medicines, who have as little knowledge of physic, as the drugs they sell have of them. This Augean stable belongs properly to the College of Physicians. It is their censors who ought to cleanse it. If they will not do it, let government, as I have said before, interfere and put them down. I need not suppose here that a peace will take place, because that inevitably must happen, and happen when it will, it is equally evident that a number of Medical Officers must retire upon half-pay; the Surgeons upon 6s. and the Assistants upon 3s. per day, both liable to the usual deductions. Here then are these gentlemen, regularly educated, have served their king and country in all climates, and, to the utmost of their power, have given up every comfort for the good of the service, retiring upon these sums, whilst the others, who have been and still are injuring and preying upon the very vitals of their countrymen, keeping their country houses and gay equipages, and this because they