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Emoluments of Staff Officers.
cepts the appointment, and probably remains abroad, in the active exercise of his professional duties, till the army to which he belongs is" broken up, when he finds himself a half pay major, with the brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel, while the majors of his former regiment, which has remained at home, are become lieutenant colonels, and some of the captains majors, to all of whom he must be junior, if replaced in his regiment. In his staff situation he has at least saved nothing, if he has not incurred debts; and he may probably have to dance attendance many a weary day at the Horse Guards, and spend the little cash he has remaining before he can obtain even the full pay of major, accompanied, perhaps, with the trite remark, that he has been a "fortunate man to be so long employed on the staff:" and such he is counted by the bulk of mankind, and even of the army, who are unacquainted with his situation!
Admitting, as I have already done, the propriety of having effective field officers present with their regiments, and yet objecting to individual injustice, I may perhaps be expected to suggest a remedy for the evil on either hand; nor does it appear to me very difficult.
1st. Either by adopting the French system of an etat-major, exclusive of regimental rank, of which the officers should be paid and promoted in proportion to the importance of the duties with which they are charged, and not be liable to reduction
2dly, By letting the officers employed on the staff retain their relative situations in their regiments, and be deemed supernumeraries while so employed: or,
3dly, By fixing a rate of half pay for staff situations, sufficient to indemnify officers for giving up their full pay regimental commissions, and letting them receive only a consolidated allowance adequate to their station, and the duties they have to perform.
The junior ranks of the staff should continue to be taken from and sent back to their regiments as at present, for many reasons; but among others, as an inducement to all officers to qualify themselves for staff situations.
If it be considered that rank No. 1 is usually held by general officers on the staff as such, in addition to those situations, and that they are most frequently lieutenant-colonels of regiments on full pay, it will be found that a reduction is made in their full pay, and not an increase :—
Emoluments of Staff Officers.
a reduction, however, to which all would gladly submit, for the sake of the permanent provision. Ranks Nos. 2 and 3 are taken at the full pay of their situations, with an addition nearly equivalent to their regimental pay; on a conviction that they cannot, with less, support their consequence, or provide themselves with the requisite horses and appoint
In concluding this very hasty sketch (which I recommend to the mature deliberation of such as have power and inclination to improve our military system), I have only further to observe, that whether my reflections on the subject be just or not, it will be universally acknowledged that some change is requisite, when I state the fact within my own knowledge, that a Field Officer employed as an assistant in either of the beforementioned departments, has at present more pay than his superior officer, the Deputy, if on half pay, although the latter has superior duties, and much greater responsibility. I am, Sir, your's, &c.
ON FOREIGNERS IN THE BRITISH SERVICE.
SIR,-During the present Session of Parliament, a great deal has been said about the great number of foreigners now in British pay, and of foreign officers lately introduced into regiments of the line, and of some of them (holding the rank of general in the service) commanding districts in England and Ireland; of the impropriety and injustice of appointing foreigners to British regiments, in giving them commands at home, I think there can be but one opinion, and I am convinced the voice of the country is completely against it, as well as that of the army, which must indeed consider itself as far sunk in the estimation of government which resorts to foreigners for that protection the sons of Albion can no longer afford. Look at the heroes of Maida, of Corunna, Vimiera, Talavera, Busaco, and Barossa. Ask of them if Britain has not officers, native-born officers, who are deserving of commands, and then say whether it is fair to introduce into the service whole legions of foreigu officers (while at this moment there are sixteen hundred applications for commissions in the line), and to appoint foreigners to district commands at home, to give them the command of regiments of militia, and to subject gentlemen of family and fortune to their orders; it is quite impossible that this can be good policy; why are not rather general-officers, who have lost their health in foreign service, and require change of cli-` mate, why are not their actual and long services rewarded with home commands, in preference to Germans, whose services to Britain cannot. have exceeded a few years.
Of late many thousand deserters from the French armies, composed of Swiss, Germans, and Poles, have been received into the ranks of our foreign regiments; these men may be good soldiers, but are they to he
On Foreigners in the British Service.
trusted, and immediately put in charge of an advanced post. I should think the expedient a dangerous one. I would indeed accept of them as soldiers, but let the battalion of the 60th regiment, raised for colonial service only, be increased; let these men, under British officers, or at least a proportion of them British, be sent to garrison our West India colonies; let them relieve the British regiments now serving there, and which have served some of them for ten or twelve years (surely too long a period), and which now cannot be relieved so long as the war in the Peninsula continues, unless some plan of this sort is resorted to. Increase this regiment, or any other, with six additional battalions, and you can withdraw nearly all the British regiments now in the West Indies, leaving only one regimeut in Martinique, another in Guadaloupe, and one or two in Jamaica; these troops would, no doubt, mostly return skeletons ; but in twelve or eighteen months they would be filled up and fit for service, as many of them are favourite corps, viz. the Royals, 15th, 16th, 18th, 25th, 54th, 55th, 63d, 64th, 90th, 96th, &c.
I cannot but think it hardfor the corps above mentioned to be stationed for so many years on distant and inactive commands (laying the unhealthiness of the climate out of the question), as a soldier goes wherever ordered; but it is surely not fair to keep them there for a larger period than six or seven years; yet at the present moment many of them can have no prospect of being relieved, so long as we have all our disposable force in Spain, Portugal, and Sicily. I would therefore add six or more additional battalions to the 60th Regiment, composed of men of different nations, who have recently deserted from the enemy, the officers to be composed of foreigners partly, if you please, as the other battalions, but into no other British regiment ought any foreigner, not educated in England, to be introduced.
The 5th battalion of the 60th is now serving in Portugal with distinguished reputation, and if increased and kept efficient by drafts from the German Legion of both men and officers as they are required, that corps, the German Legion, might be gradually reduced to a proper establishment; at present, the only resource for filling up its ranks, and the men cannot be sent out of Europe, according to the agreement entered into on their leaving Hanover, is by receiving deserters from the enemy; these men I would transfer to the colonies, but at the same time I would keep one battalion always at home for recruiting, and which should in its turn go to the West Indies, and another come home; every battalion also to have a depot in England, and the officers to take the duty by turns. THE SOLDIER'S FRIEND
N. B. I also think the West India regiments, which have been seen very useful, might be increased to the number raised last war, viz. twelve, thereby rendering the services of two or three European corps
April 10, 1812.
Operations of Sir David Baird's Division.
CONTINUATIOn of the operations of SIR DAVID BAIRD.
Further particulars of the conduct of the Spaniards in the retreat of Sir David Baird's army, their customs, &c.—Continued from our last.
IN my last communication I referred to some paragraphs contained in the letters of officers of rank and experience:-the following has since particularly struck my attention.
"How much I lament the miserable changes made in our cavalry; a fine regiment was rendered unfit for service. The horse so appropriate, so exactly suited for the light dragoon service, is thrown aside, to make room for wretched, half-blooded animals; the useful, elegant uniform of the light cavalry done away, and all the gaudy frippery of fancy collected together, to disguise and disfigure the light dragoon. Mustachios, enormous whiskers, and, in short, every species of bombast, are substituted, and man and horse completely disfigured. This destructive fancy has spread itself like a pestilential meteor, and many regiments have abandoned good sense to adopt it. Three of these regiments, misnamed hussars, with the Lieutenant-General parade of hussar staff drapery, were destined to the service of Spain. They were embarked in confusion and discord: two of the regiments remained on board the horse transports three weeks, and one ten days; yet that this species of service might be conducted, as it would seem, in a destructive manner, the horses of one of the regiments which had remained three weeks in the hot hold of a horse transport, were cast headlong into the water, swam to the shore, and left to dry. After only continuing four days to recover from the voyage, they were, with a brigade of horse artillery, ordered to commence their march. And what followed? Ill provided with forage, and the little they obtained not of
NOTES made while the army was advancing The Archbishop, who certainly is a very hospitable priest, and bears himself with much attention and liberality.to the officers of the English forces, besides keeping two of them constantly in his house, gave a dinner to some of the generals, their suite, and other officers. The introduction of some rich wines, lavishly bestowed, enlivened the feast, which lasted from five o'clock to nine, when coffee was distributed in a separate room.-The company were numerous, consisting of officers, priests, and the chief persons of the town. This Archbishop certainly has only the exterior of a high-priest, for a greater bon vivant, or lascivious character, I ever met with in any shape. He las a sister of a similar disposition, particularly coarse in her manners and expressions, I was informed this high church-man had been the Queen's confessor,—had introduced Godoy and his brother to her, and was a convenient personage to ail, for certain little performances of his, similar to that of Gil Blas to the Prince of Asturias. VOL. IV. NO. 20.
Operations of Sir David Baird's Division.
the same quality which the horses had been accustomed to, they dropped, and numbers died on the road. Their own officers, after ridiculing the ridiculous metamorphoses of the English light dragoon,—after lamenting the loss of the useful helmet, declared numbers of their squadrons unfit for service, at the time they arrived where they were to be employed, and where their services were required.”
He had the second Order of Knighthood conferred on him, and was made an archbishop. I must say he is a liberal man, and seems to like good living &c. The following is the Bill of Fare of the dinner alluded to, which is curious :—
The dining room is generally very large, but, like the general run of rooms, extremely ill-fitted up.-A door of very clumsy pannels, with a lock, or rather latch, of which we have nothing so clumsy in England. The door is generally whitewashed, as is all the room. Small, old-fashioned, gilt-framed looking-glasses are hung up, but so high that that they are only ornamental, or some religious pictures, painted and framed, equally bad. The chairs are of the kind formerly used in England,-clumsy and uneasy. The beauffett or cupboard is of a piece with the rest.