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were abundantly capable in their respective departments. Jared Mansfield, especially, the teacher of natural philosophy, had won such reputation in mathematical studies that he received his commission as a captain of engineers from Mr. Jefferson for the very purpose of becoming a teacher at West Point, which he did by appointment in 1802, although in reality he did not perform his duties regularly, and then only for one year, having been, in 1808, appointed by President Jefferson to the responsible post of Surveyor-General of the North-western territory. Such instruction as was given was received by Cadet Partridge in 1806, and in July of that year, he was transferred to the Corps of Engineers, and in October, commissioned as first lieutenant. In November, 1806, he was appointed assistant professor of mathematics, Fedinand R. Hassler, a little later, having been made Professor in place of Capt. Barron, retired. From Prof. Hassler, he received great help in his mathematical studies, as he afterwards repeatedly acknowledged. In 1808, Prof. Partridge was called to act in place of the Superintendent in the absence of Col. Williams, and continued to do so, with brief intervals, until January, 1815, when he was appointed to the office which he filled till March, 1816. In 1809, Mr. Hassler resigned the professorship of mathematics, and the instruction before given by him devolved on his assistant, Mr. Partridge. In 1810, he succeeded, after repeated applications to the Secretary of War, in obtaining two field pieces, for practical instruction of the Cadets as Artillerists.
In 1812, the Academy was re-organized, and was made to consist of the Corps of Engincers and the following Professors, in addition to the teachers of the French language and drawing, viz.: "one professor of natural and experimental philosophy; one professor of mathematics; and one professor of the art of engineering; each professor to have an assistant taken from the most prominent of the Officers or Cadets.” The number of Cadets was increased to two hundred and fifty, and were directed to be arranged into companies of non-commissioned officers and privates, according to the directions of the commandant of Engineers, and be officered from that corps, “for the purposes of military instruction, in all the duties of a private, non-commissioned officer, and officer, and to be encamped at least three months of each year, and taught all the duties incident to a regular camp.” The age of admission was fixed, the minimum at fourteen, and maximum at twenty-one, and preliminary knowledge to be well versed in reading, writing, and arithmetic. It was further provided that any Cadet who shall receive a regular degree from the Academical Staff, after going through all the classes, shall be considered among the candidates for a commission in any corps, according to the duties he may be judged competent to perform. The sum of $25,000 was appropriated towards the buildings, library, implements, &c. On this broad basis the Academy was progressively enlarged to its present capabilities of usefulness.
Under the new arrangement of 1812, Mr. Partridge was appointed professor of mathematics, with the pay and emoluments of a major, which appointment was soon after, at the request of the Secretary of War, exchanged for that of professor of engineering, it being found more difficult to fill the latter post than the former. The duties of this professorship he continued to discharge from September 1, 1813, till December 31, 1816.
In 1808, Capt. Partridge was ordered by Col. Williams to take charge of the internal direction and control of the Military Academy as Superintendent, which duties hie discharged until January 3, 1815, when, by regulations of that date, he was made the perinanent Superintendent, which post he held till November 25th, 1816, and was finally relieved on the 13th of January, 1817.
By the regulation of Javuary 3, 1815, the commandant of the Corps of Engineers was constituted Inspector of the Academy, and made responsible for instruction, and to report to the Department of War. Out of this appointment, and the instructions relating thereto, grew a difference of opinion, which resulted in the final withdrawal of Capt. Partridge from the institution, the resignation of his commission in the military service of the United States, and his subsequent devotion to the dissemination by lectures and personal efforts of the views which he had formed of the education required by the American citizen, and the establishment of institutions in which these views could be carried out. .
After resigning his commission in the military service of the United States, Capt. Partridge was engaged, in the summer of 1818, as military instructor to a volunteer corps, and in giving a course of lectures on fortifications and other branches of military science to a class of officers and citizens in the city of New York. The views which he then presented on the best means of national defense were in advance of the “piping times of peace” in 1818, but have been since demanded to be eminently sound and practical by the terrible experience of 1861–1862.
His chief reliance for national defense was in the military habits of the great body of the American people-organized into suitable militia departments corresponding in the main to the limits of the several states, officered by men of the right capacity, scientific
education, and military training. The officers were required to assemble annually at stated periods, either in camps or rendezvous, at some central point in the department, to receive instruction from a few competent teachers of the military art. We give the plan in his own language as published at the time. ·
I. Let the United States be divided into military departments, say thirty in number; each of those departments to be wholly comprised within the same state, whenever this can be done.
II. To each of those departments let there be attached a military instructor, (under the authority of the United States,) who should receive the pay and emoluments of a colonel of infantry, and have the brevet-rank of a brigadiergeneral. These instructors to be gentlemen of established character and reputation, and who have received a regular scientific military education.
III. Let the officers of each brigade of militia in the United States be required to assemble annually at stated periods, either in camp or rendezvous, at some central point in the brigade, there to remain six days, for the purpose of military instruction. Let each instructor attend in succession at the several camps or places of rendezvous in his department, and devote himself assiduously to the instruction of the officers there assembled. One portion of the day might be devoted to practical drills, and field evolutions-also to the turning off, mounting, and relieving guards and sentinels, while the remainder could be most usefully employed in explaining and illustrating the principles of tactics generally, of artillery, of permanent and field fortification, the duties of troops in camp and in garrison, and such other branches as time and circumstances might permit, by means of familiar explanatory lectures.
IV. Let each officer receive from the government a reasonable allowance for his expenses while attending the instruction, and also while going to, and returning from, the camp or rendezvous.
Some of the principal advantages that would result from the adoption of the foregoing plan, I conceive would be as follows, viz. :
1. The same system of tactics and discipline would pervade the whole mass of the militia—the instructors being imperatively required to adhere to one system. This would be a very important advantage.
2. By this means the country, in the course of a few years, would be furnished with a well organized military force, of at least one million of men, composed of the best materials in the world for soldiers; the whole of which, the officers having been regularly and correctly instructed, might be rendered, in the course of a few weeks, after being called into service, perfectly competent to the efficient discharge of all the duties of the field. This assertion is not founded upon conjecture. An experience of nearly fifteen years in military instruction, has convinced me, that any of our regiments of militia, in their present state of discipline, if brought into the field and placed under competent officers, could, by three weeks instruction, be prepared for discharging all the duties of regular troops. The instruction, then, in time of peace, of the officers, becomes an object of great importance ;-that of the privates is of secondary consideration. There is no difficulty in making soldiers, when officers understand their duty, and are disposed to perform it.
It may perhaps be objected to the foregoing plan, that the time proposed for the officers to remain in camp or rendezvous, is too limited to admit of their deriving much advantage therefrom. In answer to this I will observe, that a due share of experience in this species of instruction, has fully convinced me, that they would acquire more correct military information in six days, under a competent and systematic instructor, than they usually acquire under the present system, during the whole period from eighteen to forty-five years of age; and that, after attending two or three similar courses, the great body of them would be perfectly competent to the correct, efficient, and useful discharge of all the duties of the field. From the best calculation I have been able to make. I feel confident, that the whole necessary expense of carrying this plan into full and extective operation, would not exceed six hundred thousand dollars—it would probably fall short of that sum. Whether the expense, then, is to be considered as disproportionate to the object in view, and therefore to constitute a barrier to its accomplishment, must be decided by the sound discretion of the representatives of the people. It appears to me, however, to bear no greater ratio to it, than does a grain of sand to the globe we inhabit. The cultivation of military science must also be viewed as of the first importance in a system of military defense for our country. The plan already detailed, is calculated for the general dissemination of practical military information throughout the community, but is not adapted to the investigation of principles. This can only be done at seminaries, where it constitutes a branch of regular attention and study; and where theory and practice can, in due proportion, be combined. At those seminaries would be formed our military instructors, our engineers, and our generals; and from those, as from so many foci, would all the improvements in the military art be diffused throughout the country.
In the lectures delivered in 1818, Capt. Partridge, in view of the inevitable disintegration by frost and moisture, and the improvements in the science of attack, anticipated the insufficiency of permanent fortifications-of works of masonry, no matter how expensively or strongly constructed—to the defense of our principal harbors against the attacks of a foreign foe; his reliance was on the general diffusion of military science and training amongst the militia, on an efficient navy, and the following plan of marine defense.
I. At the most important and exposed points on our seaboard, let one or two principal works of the most permanent kind be erected: these works to be kept in perfect repair, to be plentifully supplied with all the munitions of war, and the guns and carriages well secured from the weather by means of pent houses.
II. In the vicinity of all the most exposed and vulnerable points on the sea. board, let spacious and permanent arsenals be constructed, in which, let there be deposited ample supplies of cannon, mortars, gun carriages, materials for platforms, and other munitions of war, where they would remain perfectly safe from the weather.
III. In case of war or threatened invasion, let temporary works, either of earth, or of wood, be constructed at all the most vulnerable points, which could be readily furnished with cannon, gun carriages, platforms, and all the necessary implements and munitions from the arsenals in their vicinity.
6. As soon as peace is restored, these works should be dismantled, and all their apparatus returned to the arsenals from whence it was taken. In case of future emergencies, they could be restored, or others of the same descriptions constructed in their places, which could be supplied from the arsenals in the manner above stated. The efficacy in marine defense, of works of the above description, I presume will not be doubted by any scientific military man. Should any one, however, be disposed to doubt it, I would beg leave to refer him to the defense of Fort Moultrir, in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, when attacked by the British shipping, during the Revolutionary war, and also to the defense made by the small fort at Stonington, Connecticut, when attacked in a similar manner during the last war.
By adopting this system, I think the following advantages would result:
1. A more secure defense would be obtained. By knowing the description of force we had to encounter, we should be enabled to construct our temporary works in a manner the best calculated to repel it; and as the gun carriages, platforms, and implements, when taken from the arsenals. would be sound and in perfect order, we might reasonably calculate these works would make a more vigorous resistance than permanent ones, which, with their apparatus, are in a state of partial dilapidation and decay.
2. The system would be much less expensive than the one by permanent fortification. Those temporary works could ordinarily be constructed by the troops with very little, if any, additional expense; but in case of pressing emergency, the zeal and patriotism of the people might be relied upon with safety, to supply any amount of labor that might be necessary, as was the case at New York in 1814. As it is not proposed they should be retained as military stations in time of peace, the expense of keeping them in repair would be nothing
In the early part of 1819, Capt. Partridge was engaged in the exploring survey of the North Eastern boundary, under the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent. While on this survey he determined from barometrical and thermometrical observations of the altitudes of the Highlands dividing the rivers which flow northerly into the St. Lawrence, from those which flow southerly into the Atlantic ocean; he also made a profile of the country between several points on the St. Lawrence, and corresponding position in the state of Maine.
In 1820, Capt. Partridge resigned his position in this survey, for the purpose of carrying into practical effect a plan of education, which had occupied much of his attention since 1810, and which in its main features was, doubtless, suggested by his experience at Hanover, and West Point, and was calculated to supply certain deficiencies which he and others had already noticed in our American colleges and higher seminaries of learning. His views both of the deficiencies and their remedies were set forth in a lecture delivered at this time, which was subsequently printed. After defining “education in its most perfect state to be the preparing a youth in the best possible manner for the correct discharge of the duties of any station in which he may be placed,” in this lecture he proceeds to characterize the existing plan of instruction.
1. It is not sufficiently practical, nor properly adapted to the various duties an American citizen may be called upon to discharge. Those of our youth who are destined for a liberal education, as it is called, are usually put, at an early age, to the study of the Latin and Greek languages, combining therewith a very slight attention to their own language, the elements of arithmetic, &c.; and after having devoted several years in this way, they are prepared to become members of a college or university.
Here they spend four years for the purpose of acquiring a knowledge of the higher branches of learning; after which, they receive their diplomas, and are supposed to be prepared to enter on the duties of active life. But, I would ask, is this actually the case? Are they prepared in the best possible manner to discharge correctly the duties of any station in which fortune or inclination may place them? Have they been instructed in the science of government generally, and more especially in the principles of our excellent Constitution, and thereby prepared to sit in the legislative councils of the nation? Has their attention been sufficiently directed to those great and important branches of national industry and sources of national wealth--agriculture, commerce, and