BLTC Press Titles

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The Characters of Theophrastus


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle

Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle


by Jean Roemer


The following pages were originally designed as lectures for a number of gentlemen, who, at the outbreak of the war, formed into a company, for the purpose of preparing themselves for the cavalry service, and who honored us with an invitation to direct their studies and exercises.

The vast proportions which the war has since assumed, the large increase of our cavalry, the general interest felt in whatever relates to the army, and, above all, the conviction which late events have forced upon the people, that henceforth they must no longer be unprepared for war, have induced us to modify our original plan, and present the subject in such a form as will render it more accessible, and interesting, we hope, to readers in general, as well as instructive to those who may have occasion to study it with professional interest or especial care.

The details of service are now prescribed in all armies by means of regulations, and these are so carefully framed, that, from the private soldier to the colonel of the regiment, all may

find therein their duties clearly specified and stated with the utmost precision ; notwithstanding this, however, for the young officer who has suddenly left his peaceful pursuits to hasten to the defence of his country, and thus has scarcely had time to learn more than the merely theoretical parts of his profession, it must be exceedingly difficult to understand and appreciate the value of the prescribed movements, without some explanation of their practical utility and application on the field of battle.

It is in reference to this and other matters connected with the service that we have prepared the present volume, which is designed to exhibit in brief outline the leading principles of the art of war, and as much of military institutions as will enable any one, intrusted with the organization or management of cavalry, to discharge his duties correctly and intelligently; while it may also awaken a desire for further information, by referring to the several authors who have treated the subject at length, and of whose works we have endeavored here, in a small compass, to reproduce the substance.

To perform this task adequately would require talents to which we may lay no claim ; it is only the urgent importance of the subject at the present moment, that has emboldened us to undertake what at other times we should certainly have left to some abler pen. For this reason, and in consideration of our endeavor to be useful to the many patriotic soldiers now in the field, by making them acquainted with what has been best said and written on the subject, we venture to hope that our attempt may not be unfavorably received, and that it will meet with the kind criticism of those whose long experience and superior abilities render them proper judges of its merit.




Cavalry in European armies—Statistics—Cavalry in Crimea—Cavalry in Lombanly—Lombardy no country for Cavalry—Napoleon's campaign of 1796—He requires more Cavalry for Germany—His opinion on its relative proportion in an army—His foresight of late events in Jtaly—The rifled gun—Its effects as stated by an eye-witness—Exaggerated accounts —Official report of the battle of Solferino—Austrian and Franco-Sardinian Cavalry engagements—Cavalry considered more indispensable than ever— Its proportion to Infantry—Circumstances which modify this proportion— Difficulty of training mounted troops—Danger of employing untrained Cavalry.

.National defence—Washington on militia—Military institutions—They are the great safeguard of nations—Various military systems—That of Louis XIV the basis of all modern systems—Considerations on which they are founded—Mere patriotism no security against foreign invasion— A standing army indispensable—It cannot become an instrument of despotism, if raised by National Conscription—Military service obligatory on all citizens—Principles for determining the effective force of a national standing army—The Minimum—The Maximum—Practical working of the system —Necessity of keeping up Cavalry at all times.

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