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EXPLANATION OF THE SEVERAL SYSTEMS OF DISCIPLINE OF DIFF
ALL THE MODERN IMPROVEMENTS IN THE
1.ATE LIEUTENANT colo Ner. IN THE ARMY of THE UNITED STATEs,
An army without discipline is but a mob in uniform, more dangerou’ to itself than to
PHIL. II) ELPHI.1:
*RINTED AND PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM IDU ANF,
so. 98, MARKET stre ET,
DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, TO WIT:
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the Tenth day of August, in the Thirty Fifth year of the Independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1810, William Duane of the said district, hath deposited in this office, the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wjt: " A Mili. "tary Dictionary; or, Explanation of the several systems of discipline of different
"kinds of Troops, Infantry, Artillery, and Cavalry; the Principles of Fortification, " and all the Modern Improvements in the Science of Tactics : comprizing the Pocket Gunner, or Lita tle Bombardier; the Military Regulations of the United States; the Weights, Measures,
and Monies " of all Nations; the Technical Terms and Phrases of the Art of War in the French language. Parti
cularly adapted to the use of the Military institutions of the United States: by William Duane, late lieutenant colonel in the army of the United States, and author of the American Military Library. " An army without discipline is but a mob in uniform, more dangerous to itself than to its enemy.
Should any one from ignorance not perceive the immense advantages that arise from a good disci
pline, it will be sufficient to observe the alterations that have happened in Europe since the year 1700. • Saxe. I am fully
convinced that the tactics of Frederic II. the causes of his superiority, of his system * of battles and lines, and of his most skilful movements have been wholly misunderstood to the present " time, and that the actions of this great man have been attributed to maxims diametrically opposite to “his real principles. Jomini....1808."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, intituled" an Act for the encourage. ment
of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein
mentioned.” And also
to the Act, entitled - an Act supplementary to an Act, entitled an Act for the enconragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts
, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical
and other prints." D. CALDWELL, Clerk of the District of Pennsylvania.
WHEN the editor first undertook to prepare a MILITARY LIBRARY for ge. neral use, he was stimulated thereto by perceiving the total decay of military information, and the gross errors, in particulars the most simple and essential, which every where had superceded or obstructed useful knowlege. War at the mo. ment seemed to be impending. There was no organization of the militia, nor any system established, excepting an incomplete elementary hand book, formed dur. ing the revolution, and adapted to fix those who had already some military ex. perience of the first evolutions of a battalion, in a common method.
This book, no way calculated to teach the initiatory exercises, nor to give an idea of the combined maneuvres of larger bodies; nor any method of instruction, nor the duties of any other body than an infantry battalion, was im. properly dignified with the name of a system. The most elevated in power as well as the most subordinate in military or militia duty, adopted this false notion of a system, without enquiring further than that it was established. When such a tract was held forth as sufficient by the authority of law and by the silent indifference of those who knew or ought to know better, it is not at all surprizing that every other object of military study was neglected, since every other was announced to be superfluous.
This state of general indifference or unacquaintance with the business of war, gave rise to the American Military Library; in which the editor intend. ed originally to have comprehended a vocabulary of military terms; and had made so much progress in its preparation, as to discover that it would make a large book, and that any thing short of a minute and comprehensive Dictionary, would be leaving the undertaking still incomplete. The general want of knowlege on the subject, the inaccuracy of the notions which prevailed, and above all the great revolutions which modern times had produced in the whole economy and ordination of military science, decided the editor upon the necessity of rendering the undertaking as complete as practicable, by giving to the public a competent book of reference, so necessary to study in the acquisition of every species of knowlege.
After some numbers of the Library had been published, the French Military Dictionary of 1768, and the English Military Dictionary of major James, fell into the editor's hands. These works rendered much of what had been already done superfluous, though not entirely useless; the French work had been antiquated long before the revolution, by the changes which took place in the French establishment in 1788 and 1791, and still more by the total renovation which it underwent during the revolution. The English Dictionary labored under difficulties of another nature ; adapted to England alone, the military system of England, called by the name of Dundas, which was only a modification of the Prussian system of Saldern, and the French system formed in imitation of the Prussian after the seven years war, must necessarily be to a British officer the standard of a work published for the British army; accordingly, although major James, both from his fine understanding and experience, was well acquainted with the defects of that system, he was still under the necessity of making it his standard.
In undertaking to give a work to the American people, the publication of either the French or English Dictionary, though it might equally profit the bookseller, would be only imposing upon the public, instead of giving the best information and the most recent and approved principles and improvements in the art of war: it was necessary therefore almost to re-write, and to augment to a vast bulk the quantity of information. The whole has been, therefore, mo