Lancaster Intelligencer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania on February 20, 1813 · 2
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Lancaster Intelligencer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania · 2

Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 20, 1813
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From the Aurora. A Sketch of the Progress of Military Discipline. No. I We have been requested, from 2 or 3 respectable quarters, to give some views cf the progress and nature of Military Discipline in the U. S. To do this completely, it would be first necessary to inquire into the nature of Discipline itself, to show its progress in Europe, and to trace it thence to the U. S. This would occupy too much space, and it would, instead of an object of utility, be a matter of mere curiosity. We shall, however, take it up in a different order: We shall give a Sketch of Military Discipline as it was on the commencement of the Revolution; but we shall make it subservient to an illustration of what Discipline consists of, and wherein past and present defects consist. It is not to our present purpose to go ifito a review of the exercises of the period, when the matchlock and pike were the arms of Infantry ; nor to follow the absurd exercises in which the perfection of Military Discipline consisted in tossing the musket, in the air, and catching it in a particular position ; or when the poise firelock consisted in catching the firelock by the handle, and holding it at full arms' length from the body in an erect position. There was as much difficulty in getting rid of this preposterous trumpery, better adapted to make Men merry, than to render them skilful in military action, as there has been to prevail upon the great mass of our Militia Officers, and of some of our Regular Officers, too, to look for Discipline any where else, than in the mutilated Book, called Steuben's Regula- . mm , 2 : 1 lions; wlncn, mere are ivien so senousiy silly, at the present day and hour, as to hold forth as containing the means of Military Instruction and Discipline, fit to eombat against Troops who have adopted the modern improvements in the art of War. Let it not be imagined, that what is here said is meant, directly or indirectly, to take from the reputation or the merit of the deceased Veteran. Not a single leaf in the wreath which entwined his brow would we disconcert. And it was not his fault, that the portly and perfect edifice which he, and the Committee of Officers associated with him, had prepared, was mercilessly hewed down to the mishapen and mutilated form of the Tract which has been received, ever since the Revolution, as a perfect System. When the American Revolution commenced, the state of military knowledge was the same i England and in America. The systems which had been successively introduced, by Bland, Phipps, and Wolf, into the Regiments which they had commanded, had never been uniformly adopted by the British Army in general ; and the modes of Discipline were as various, as the capacities and taste of their several Commanders. There were some of the grey-wiged Gentry then, as there are now, who damned all innovations, and who had rather be shot through the thorax, in the old Discipline (as it was called) than gain a victory in the new style. All those Officers, Bland and Wolf particularly, were objects of reproach to all the old Standers; and even some of Wolfs Survivors were so much offended by his innovations, as to impute his fall before Quebec to his encroachments upon the good ancient method of poising the firelock at arms' length. Before the middle of the last century, the celebrated Frederick, of Prussia, had, by his military parades at Potzdam, excited a spirit of emulation in Germany and France. The exclusion of Strangers from those parades, where Frederick had formed his habits to command, and developed the theory of those evolutions by which he triumphed at Prague, Rosbach, and Leuthen, had excited the" greatest curiosity among the Military Youth of the European Continent. In England, where they are more disposed to borrow than to acknowledge their debts, in military science; their insular situation, the success of their Navy, and the depression of France in 1763, had tended to render military studies unfashionable, as promoting no field of enterprise to reward the pursuit of Arms. The conquest of Canada had a like effect in the U. S. And it was not until Gen. Gage let loose his Myrmidons, that the necessity of military study was conceived. The state of military knowledge may be conceived, by attending to the fact, that Sergeants and Corporals who possessed no other knowledge than the mere mounting of guard, or the Manual Exercise, were considered as possessing all the skill which was then required ; and many of them were promoted, during the War, to rank in the Army. In England, trie only part of the Prussian Discipline which was discovered, was what has ever since prevailed ; that is, the art of setting up the Recruit and dressing him in buckram; putting his feet in the stocks, to make him turn out his toes in an angle of 60 degrees, and so fixing his arms to his sides, in marching, that they should be as immovable, as if nailed to the shoulder, or that the arm and shoulder were only a solid immovable bone. Queues of solid wood, covered with tape, to which the hair of the head was tied so tight, as to render it difficult for the unfortunate Soldier to shut his eyes, completed the system of English Discipline, ludicrously said to be an imitation of the Prussian Discipline. As we imported all our ideas of propriety and wisdom, in all other things, from the Mother Country, it was natural enough that we should have imported these improvements on the Art Military ; and that they were considered capable of producing such miraculous effects on Soldiers, that every thing must fall before them. The battle of Bunker-hill, however, proved that a body of Men, in lank hair, and without wooden tails to their heads, and who had never bad their toes in the stocks, could resist Men so disciplined. In fact, with the exception of a few Regiments, such as the 17th, or Cornwallis', the 33d, and a few others, whose Officers possessed more talent, and understood better in what Military Discipline consisted, the British Regulars, even the Royal Guards, were not bettr disciplined that our Militia. There was the same misapprehension and belief, that it was all a mystery; that none but a happy few, who were, like the Potts, born Soldiers, could become Masters in the Art of War, or could ever aspire to the due comprehension of it. The American Revolution presented a noble field for the Soldier of Fortune ; and Germany and France poured thousands of her ablest and most enterprising Officers upon our shores. The Continental Troops were, like the British, whom they imitated, as variously taught ; for, as there was no established standard in England, neither was there here ; and in this state the additional variance of Prussian, Polish, German, and French Officers, from the modes of each other, added to the discordance. The first Officer who introduced, with success, an uniformity of any kind, was the French General Conway, while he acted as Inspector of the Army. He was a Man profoundly skilled in all that appertained to War, and carried his military passion to a degree of fastidiousness, which was not well adapted to the situation of the times and People among whom he was placed. Nothing short of the most perfect military ordination would satisfy him. He produced some good effects; but he rendered himself unpopular, as well by the strictness of his Discipline, as the severity of his strictures on all whose military conduct came under his observation ; and he at length retired from the service. He died Governor of Mauritius, 1792 or 1793. The discordance of various modes of Discipline was particularly felt in marches, and in the dispositions for the order of Battle. Dr. Franklin was instructed to apply to the King of Prussia, for a Military System. A bon mot is related, that he replied, I am too old to go to America.' Baron Hertzberg signified, by a letter to Dr. Franklin, that the Baron Steuben was well qualified. The want of system was however felt, and a Committee of Officers was appointed to prepare a Military System, and Baron Steuben was the presiding Officer of that Committee. Major L' Enfant, at present living a monument of public neglect and ingratitude, was one of that Committee ; and is, we believe, the only Survivor. That Committee prepared, after great labor and assiduity, a very ample system, embracing all the military knowledge of the period ; and it occupied 2 folio volumes in manuscript. Whether it was want of comprehension, or economy, which prevailed over those who had to decide upon this important Work, we cannot determine : But it is certain that, with a truly barbarous blindness, this complete system was hacked and hewed down, into the headless, armless, legless, and mutilated shape it now bears; and as it has been ever since preserved, and represented to the Country as a perfect system in itself; and competent to all the uses of War! The Work at large, we understand, perished in the memorable conflagration of the War-office, along with many other precious documents. It will be perceived, from these facts, that the little Book, called Steuben's Regulations,' was only an abstract, adopted for a temporary expedient; not to communicate knowledge, but to render Discipline in some points accordant. It has been observed, with too much melancholy truth, that nothing could so forcibly demonstrate the incompetency of Military Men, and the general igiiorance j of what Military Discipline consists of, as j the notions which have been held forth, j and continue to be held forth, concerning the i ract ot Steuben. When in the Revolution there were numerous Officers from Europe, already prepared by skill and study to command, Steuben's Tract might answer well enough; because, what was not to be found in that book, was to be found in their experience; and it was only in a few evolutions or manoeuvres that the manner of execution of 2 Corps, however different, could interfere with eaeh other; that Corps only having the advantage which executed them over the shortest space and in the shortest time. The disadvantage was, that the quick-moving Corps, on important occasions, were compeled to await the tardy evolutions of others. The evolutions of the column, the march by Guides of alignment, and passing the defile, were alone described: It was left to the skill of the Officers, commanding Brigades and Regiments, to make such dispositions as were required, in the manner with which they were best acquainted. The small Detachment landed by D'Es-taign, at Rhodeisland, and the Regiments of French Regulars which were sent to aid in the Contest, contributed more than any other means to produce that Discipline and emulation which, at the siege of Yorktown, was so exemplary and suc cessful, The knowledge possessed by skilful Men, at that time, supplied in some degree the want of an uniform and competent System ; and it was very fortunate for the U. S. that the same discordance prevailed between the British themselves, and their Hessian Allies. In fact, Steuben's Tract is constructed in that way, which implies that a great body of particular knowledge is required by the Officer, and which must be procured from some other source, since that does not furnish it. A splendid hot-pressed Edition of Macklin's Celebrated Bible. Joseph Delaplaine, and Murray, Draper, Fair- man, & Co. PROTOSE TO PUBLISH BY SUBSCRIPTION, A splendid' hot-pressed Edition of the HOLY BIBLE, IM ROYAL QUARTO. To be Embellished with 200 Engravings, from Pictures and Designs by the most eminent Foreign and American Artists. The whole of the Engravings to be executed under the stiperintendance of Murray, Draper, Fairman, & Company. TO THE PUBLIC. THE Bible, being incomparably the most valuable of Books, cannot be too widely diffused among Mankind; and is, beyond all other Works, entitled to appear in a magnificent style. Although the sacredness and importance of the matter it contains cannot be enhanced, by the elegance of the manner in which it is recorded it may, notwithstanding, be rendered more captivating, and thereby more deeply impressive in its effects on the minds of those by whom it is consulted. These sentiments, being in their nature almost self-evident, will not, it ia believed, be doubted by any Professor of the Christian Religion. On the other hand, the support they will receive, cannot fail to be extensive and weighty ; for they will meet with an Advocate in the breast of every one acquainted with the worth of the Sacred Volume. Nor have these sentiments been hitherto only conceived and cherished by the friends of Holy Writ, merely under the character of an abstract truth. On sundry occasions, they have assumed the form and exercised the influence of a practical principle. In other countries, Artists have felt them, an enlightened Public have given them their sanction, even Monarchs themselves have adopted and patronised them ; and they have thus become a source of national advance ment in piety and taste. Hence it is, that, among other superb Editions, the world is in possession of Macilin's Bible, which is justly regarded as the most correct and beautiful specimen of typography that has ever issued from the Press in any country. No other Work has been heretofore deemed worthy of appearing under an exterior so exquisitely ornamented. Enriched by every excellence, and decorated by everv elegance which the Press, the Pencil, and the Graver can bestow, it maybe properly valued as a combination of rare talents, in which taste and fancy are happily united with classical knowledge and refined judgment, and will forever remain a splendid monument of the state of the arts in Europe, at the close of the 18th Century. Having spoken of Macklin's Edition of the Bible in terms of such high and unqualified admiration, it might be thought, perhaps, presumptive in the present Editors, to allege that theirs will rival it in elegance. They will be permited, however, to observe, that they have selected that magnificent Work as their model, and that they will sedulously endeavor to profit by its beauties; nor are they without a hope that the Copy will be, in all respects, equal if not superior to the Original. They venture, at least, to assert, with confidence, that the difference, in point of execution, whether graphical or typographical, will bear no proportion to the difference in price. The British Edition, being in imperial crown quarto, contains 3000 pagei, and 180 engravings, and costs 500 dollars; whereas the proposed American Edition, being nearly of the same dimensions, and containing 2000 pages, and 200 Engravings, will be delivered to its Patrons at 175 dollars. The Editors will further observe, that their Edition of the Bible will he American; for every thing appertaining to it will he of domestic origin; the production of Citizens of the U. S. The types, which will be of the newest and most approved pattern, will be cast for the special purpose, by the ablest Artists in the city of Philadelphia. The Ink and Paper will also be of superior quality; and all the Engravings will be executed in our own Country. For the accomplishment of this latter object, the most distinguished American Artists will be employed; and, that they may have every opportunity and encouragement to execute the Work in a masterly style, nothing reasonable shall be denied them, either on the score of compensation or time. That nothing may be wanting to render the proposed Edition of the Scriptures as elegant, and, at the same time, as useful as possible, it will be printed with the most scrupulous regard to correctness and accuracy, and will be hot-pressed. With these arrangement,, which shall be all carried into effect with diligence and fidelity, the Editors flatter themselves that they be able to lay before the Public a performance, which will marit the denomination of a National Work t a Work which, among the various motives contributing to its encouragement, may enlist in its favor a spirit of Patriotism. It would be superfluous to attempt to illustrate or enforce, by means of argument, what every one already feels and acknowledges, as a, practical truth. From this consideration, the Editors will not dwell on the pleasure and advantage which enlightened Christians derive; from examining correct Prints and Paintings,, founded on well-selected passages from the Holy Scriptures. It is through this medimr. that the various personages, mentioned in the Sacred Writings, whether they be held forth a Patterns to be imitated, or as objects to excite our abhorrence of vice, are most impressively represented to our view ; and it is in this wav that the human mind is most forcibly carried back to former ages, and made to dwell with the clearest perception and the liveliest interest on those memorable and important 6cenes and transactions, which relate to the high and holy purposes of Man's Salvation. There is yet another ground on which the Editors venture to hope, that the Work they have in view will meet with patronRge, in consideration of the Engravings it will contain. It is the encouragement it will offer to an important department of the fine Ai ts in our own Country. Allusion is here made to the arts of designing and engravirg. For these elegant studies, which are so happily calculated to refine the taste, correct the morals, and elevate he sentiments and character of a Nation, there appears to exist a peculiar talent among the People of the U. S. EDITORS. CONDITIONS I. The Bible will be published in 50 Numbers (royal quarto) hot-pressed; to be neatly and substantially put up in boards. Each number to contain about 40 pages of letter-press. II. it will ne embellished with 200 Prints, from Pictures and Designs by the most eminent foreign and American Artists. The whole of the Engravings will be executed in this Coun-i. in the best style. Before the Prints, suiia-ble jiaper will be placed, to secure them from injury. III. A Number will be published every weeks, till the whole is complete. IV. The price for each Number will be g3 50, payable on its delivery. V. The Work will be comprised in 5 Volumes; 10 Numbers to constitute a Volume. VI. The first Number will be put to Press as soon as a sufficient patronage is obtained to warrant it. Macklin's Bible was published in London in 70 Numbers, and contains 180 Engravings. The proposed American Edition will contain 200 Engravings. This additional number, of 20 Prints, which will be given in the American Edition, the Editors have conoeived the propriety of offering, in order to afford an opportunity to our most celebrated Painters, in this Country, of displaying their abilities in historical painting. These additional Prints will be executed, therefore, from original Painting, by American Artists, founded on particular parts of Holy Writ. This Bible will be printed in 50 Numbers; a Number to be published every 6 weeks; a form of publishing which was adopted by Macklin, and which the present Editors have thought proper to follow, in order to enable all Classes of Society to possess it : For it will be readily perceived, that it will be within the means of every person to pay the small sum of 3 dollars and 50 cents, at such distant periods. The Names of the Patrons will be printed with the Work. In sending the Work to distant Subscribers, the utmost care and attention will be paid to pack it in such a manner as to prevent injury by rubing. fXj As the Editors have resolved to print no more than the number of Copies actually subscribed for, the Subscription must be closed, therefore, positively, when the first Number is put to Press. Those at a distance, who wish to obtain this Work, will please to forward their Subscriptions, and they will be attended to. The Editors think it proper to state, that the Engravings will be under the stiperintendance of, and executed by, Murray, Draper, Fairman, & Co. ; with the assistance of William S. Le-ney, Alexander Lawson, David Edwin, John Vallance, Cornelius Tiebout, Benjamin Tanner, Francis Kearny, Peter Maverick, John Boyd, William Kneass, and other distinguished American Artists. The whole of the Paper will be made at the Brandvwine papermill, by Messrs. Thomas Gilpin Si Co. The typographical part will be executed by William Broivn, who prints the American Edition of the New Edinburg Encyclopaedia, for Parker and Delaplaine. No pains will be spared, nor attentions wanting, on the partf Mr. Brown, to execute I he Work in the most correct manner and masterly style. The Types will be made for the special pur. pose, in Philadelphia, by Messrs. Binney W Ro-naldson, who will use their best endeavors to exhibit the most elegant letters and approved pattern. Those who may wish to have the Work bound in volumes, in a uniform manner and style, are informed that Mr. William W. Potter has engaged to bestow uncommon attention to this object, and pledges himself to equal London binding, in strength and elegance 5jr" Subscriptions received at the Intelligencer Bookstore. Feb. 20. James Buchanan, HAVING completed the study of the Law, under the direction of James Hopkins, Esquire, intends practising in this borough. He has taken an office in East Kingstreet, two doors above Mr. Duchman's Inn, and nearly opposite to the Farmers' Bank. Lancaster, Feb. 20, 1813 4a JUST RECEIVED (Price, 8 Do'lais) Bradley's Map of the U. S. Exhibiting the Postroads, the Situations, Con,, flexions, and Distances of the Postofrkes, SUgeroads, Counties, and principal Rivers.

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