« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
WAR AND ITS APPLIANCES.
Is it, o man, with such discordant noises,
With such accursed instruments as these,
ARMIES, ARMS AND ARMOR. Julius Cæsar invaded Britain, 55 B, C. French Revolution, 1789; Reign of Terror, 1793. Bunker Hill and Lexington were fought in 1775. A rifle ball moves at one thousand miles per hour. War was declared with Great Britain June 19, 1812. War has cost France six million lives in this century. The mercantile and armed navies of the world have 1,693,000 seamen.
Flint-lock muskets came into use about 1692; percussion caps in 1820.
The first fire-arms were rude hand cannon, made at Perugia, Italy, in 1346.
Franc-tireurs was the name of the French sharp-shooters in the war of 1870-71.
“Bravest of the Brave,” was the title given to Marshal Ney at Fried. land, 1807.
A battalion is the unit of commaud in infantry; a regiment is the administration unit.
Juvenal says that even those who do not wish to kill a man are willing to have that power.
Crécy, Poictiers, and Agincourt were won with the long-bow, then England's favorite war weapon.
Ishmael is mentioned as an archer, Gen. xxi, 20, and probably among the first known warriors.
The proportion of men capable of bearing arms is estimated at twenty-five per cent of the population.
The officers of the Swedish navy are considered as military officers, and in full dress are obliged to wear spurs.
The first steam vessel to engage in a naval battle was operated by the Spanish in the Don Carlos civil war of 1836.
It was Washington who said that to be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
Hetman was a title formerly borne by a general of Cossack troops; it was an elective rank, but gave absolute authority.
The military chest is a technical name for the money and negotiable securities carried with an army, and intended to defray the current expenses.
The Seven Weeks' War is the term sometimes applied to the AustroPrussian war of 1866, which lasted from the middle of June till the end of July.
The form of breech-loading needle gun, adopted by the French army in 1866, was the invention of one Alphonse Chassepot, and was named in his honor.
When Louis XI. asked Marshal de Trivulce what was needed to make war, the answer came: “Three things, Sire; money, more money, always money."
The victors' share in property captured from the vanquished is called booty. It is generally a military term, the word prize being more commonly used in the navy.
In 1040 the Church forbid warriors from all combat between Wednesday of Passion Week and the following Monday, this interval hence being called the “Truce of God.”
When a power maintains an armed force, and prepares itself for war on the outbreak of hostilities between other powers, it is said to assume an attitude of "armed neutrality."
According to Napoleon, the proportions of an army should be seventy per cent infantry, seventeen per cent cavalry, and thirteen per cent between artillery, engineers and train.
Spahi is the Turkish form of the Persian word Sipahi (from which we get Sepoy), and was the term for the irregular cavalry of the Turkish armies before the reorganization of 1836.
A sabretache is a leather case for carrying letters, etc. It is usually attached to the sword-belt of hussars and of most mounted officers. In the latter case it is often highly ornamented.
In the military language of the middle ages the term cap-a-pié was applied to a knight or soldier armed at all points, or from head to foot, with armor for defence and weapons for attack.
The word cartel means variously a challenge and a written agreement between belligerents for an exchange of prisoners. Cartel ship is a vessel commissioned to convey exchanged prisoners.
Belgium is called the “cock pit” of Europe because it has been the site of more European battles than any other country, e.g.: Oudenarde, Ramillies, Foutenoy, Fleurus, Jemappes, Ligny, Quatre Bras, Waterloo, etc.
A countersign is a watchword used in military affairs to prevent unauthorized persons passing a line of sentries whose orders are to stop any one unable to give it. It is changed by the commanding officer every day.
The greatest number of war prisoners at one time at Andersonville was 33,006. The number of escapes was 328. The total number of deaths was 12, 462, about one-third of which took place in the stockade and twothirds in the hospital.
The “Victoria Cross,” which we often read of having been conferred upon some British soldier for conspicuous bravery, is of the Maltese form, made from Russian cannon captured at Sebastopol.
A court-martial is a court for the trial of all persons subject to military law or to the regulations of the navy. It is composed, according to circumstances, of a certain number of officers of the service involved.
Sealed orders in the navy are orders which are delivered to the commanding officer of a ship or squadron sealed up, and only to be opened after the ship or squadron has put to sea and proceeded to a certain point previously designated.
Suits of a uniform color and pattery for soldiers in the British army date from 1674, when the foot guards were clad in gray. The introduction of a regular uniform for sailors dates from 1748, when the “blue jacket" become customary.
The cockpit in the ship of war is the compartment in the lower part of the ship where the wounded are attended to during action. The surgery and the dispensary which contains the medicine chests for the ship's company adjoin the cockpit.
What we call the Mexican war (June 4, 1845 to February 2, 1848), was between the United States and Mexico. The Americans captured the city of Mexico September 14, 1847. The treaty of peace was signed Feburary 2, and ratified May 19, 1848.
At the close of the Franco-German war the Germans took from the French 7,234 pieces of cannon, including 3,485 field pieces and 3,300 fortress guns.
At the battle of Waterloo the Britishi artillery fired 9, 467 rounds, or one for every Frenchman killed.
The temporary suspension of hostilities between two armies or two nations at war, by mutual agreement, constitutes an armistice. It takes place sometimes when both are exhausted, and at other times when an endeavor form a treaty of peace is bei made.
While the nominal pay of a British private is one shilling a day, or twenty-four cents, he really does not receive much more than half that in actual cash. Deductions are charged to his account for extra supplies of rations and for washing, which bring the net amount down to about $1 a week.
There is a gun in the British navy, a twenty-two-ton Armstrong, which hurls a solid shot a distance of twelve miles, the highest point in the arc described by the shot being seventeen thousand feet above the earth's surface. The discharge of the gun cannot be heard at the place where the ball strikes.
Armed bands of peasants are called guerrillas in Spain. The insurrections of Jack Cade, Wat Tyler, and Robert Kett would be so called in Spain. From 1808 to 1814 guerrillas were regularly organized against the French, and the names of Empecivado, the Pastor Merino, and Mina, as leaders, are well known.
Antietam is a narrow but deep river in Maryland, United States, falling into the Potomac, seven miles above Harper's Ferry. On its banks, near Sharpsburg, was fought a bloody battle between the Union troops under McClellan, and the Confederate army under Lee, in which the former remained master of the field, though at a loss of nearly thirteen thousand men.
The Gaelic word claymore, meaning "the great sword,” is properly used of the old Celtic one-handed, two-edged long sword, often engraved on ancient tombstones, with the guards pointing downwards. The name is now commonly given, but inaccurately, to the basket-hilted sword of the officers of Highland regiments.
The Seven Days' Battles is the designation of a series of fierce engagements (June 25 to July 1, 1862), which took place in the neighborhood of Richmond, Va., between the Federals, under McClellan, and the Confederates, commanded by Lee, resulting in the retreat of the former to Harrison's Landing on the James River.
By the naval term “boarding” is understood an attack upon one vessel by another in which a company of armed men from the one forces its way on board the other. In the days of ironclads, boarding of war vessels is less frequent than of old. A “boarding net” is a framework of stout rope-netting placed so as to obstruct boarders.
Cartouch was formerly a name for a portable wooden case for holding cannon balls or musket bullets. A gun cartouch now means merely a waterproof canvas case for holding the cartridges of a field battery, one to each ammunition box. The cartridge box carried by the soldiers used to be called a cartouch in England, and still is in France.
The simultaneous discharge of all the guns on one side of a ship of war is termed a broadside. The fighting power of a ship used to be estimated by the weight of all the shot and shell that could be fired off at once from one side or half of the ship. Thus, the broadside of the old-fashioned “Duke of Wellington" 131-gun war steanier, amounted to 2,400 pounds.
The military term Uhlans was a name originally given to light cavalry armed and clothed in semi-oriental fashion. A body of Uhlans was formed for the French army by Marshal Saxe. But the word is now familiar as a term for the Prussian light cavalry armed with the lance, who gained glory by their dash, bravery and swiftness of movement during the Franco-German war.
The casus belli, occasion for war, is the reason alleged by one power for going to war with another. It is quite impossible to reduce these causes or reasons to any definite code; enough that in 1870 King Wil. helm's cold-shoulder to M. Benedetti was a casus belli between France and Germany, and that in 1847 the burning of a Jew's bedstead at Athens was all but one between France and Britain.
In the French and some other continental armies, the vivandière is a female attendant in a regiment, who sells spirits and other comforts, ministers to the sick, marches with the corps, and contrives to be a universal favorite. From the Algerian campaigns onward the vivandière wore a modified (short-petticoated) form of the regimental uniform; but this arrangement has been forbidden by government.
The calumet or "peace-pipe" of the North American Indians, is a tobacco pipe having a stem of reed or painted wood about two feet and a half long, decorated with feathers, with a large bowl, usually of red soapstone. After a treaty has been signed, the Indians fill the calumet with the best tobacco, and present it to the representatives of the party with whom they have been entering into alliance, themselves smoking out of it afterwards. The presentation of it to strangers is a mark of hospitality and to refuse it would be considered an act of hostility.
The European soldiery called Landwehr ("Land-defence") is a military force in the German and Anstrian empires, forming an army reserve, but not always retained under arms. Its members, although care is taken that they are sufficiently exercised, spend most of their time in civil pursuits during peace, and are called out for military service only in times of war or of commotion.
The battle of Lissa was the last great sea fight in history and the only one wherein armor-clad vessels have opposed other similar vessels in any number. It was fought on July 20, 1866, between the Austrians, under Admiral Tegethoff, and the Italians, under Admiral Persano. Each side had twenty-three vessels, but eleven of the Italian feet were armorclad, while the Austrians mustered only seven armor-clads.
Infernal machines are contrivances made to resemble ordinary harmless objects, but charged with some dangerous explosive. An innocentlooking box or similar receptacle is partly filled with dynamite or other explosive, the rest of the space being occupied by some mechanical arrangement, mostly clockwork, which moves inaudibly, and is generally so contrived that, when it has run down at the end of a predetermined number of hours or days, it shall cause the explosive substance to explode.
The Wars of the Roses is the name given to the wars between the house of York and that of Lancaster. It began with the battle of St. Albans, May 23, 1455, and ended with the battle of Bosworth Field, August 22, 1483. A white rose formed the badge of the House of York, and a red rose was the cognizance of the House of Lancaster. The political effects of the war were—1) the ruin of the ancient baronage, and (2) the growth of monarchical power, being relieved of the baronial check.
The boomerang is a wooden missile used by the aborigines of Australia in hunting and in war. It is so constructed that the missile slowly ascends into the air, whirling round and round, and describing a curved line of progress till it reaches a considerable height, when it begins to retrograde, and finally, if thrown with sufficient force, falls eight or ten yards behind the thrower, or it may fall near him. Colloquially a boomerang is a story told for a political purpose, which, being proved false, reacts upon its originator.
The mace, a thick, heavy club or staff, about five feet long, surmounted by a metal head, frequently spiked, was used by knights and warlike churchmen in the middle ages, The ornamental maces of parliament, the universities, and city corporations, borne as an ensign of authority, may be traced to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when princes armed their guards with spikeless maces as the handiest against the sudden attacks of the assassins. The need passed away, but the maces remained as symbols of rank.
An indefinite but interesting locality is the Wilderness, a region in Virginia, two miles south of the Rapidan, covered with dense thicket, and memorable for the dreadful two days' battle fought in its depths by Grant and Lee, May 5-6, 1864. The Union loss was eighteen thousand, the Confederate eleven thousand, and the desperate fighting utterly without advantage to either side. The name Wilderness Campaign has been given to all the movements of Grant's overland march to Richmond, and including the battles of Spotsylvania Courthouse and Cold Harbor,