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THE WAR IN THE EAST.

GENERAL NEWS. I

THE MURDER OF A SURGEON IN…

SENTENCE ON LIEUT. AUSTIN,

[No title]

IEFFECTS OF RAPID PROMOTION.

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EFFECTS OF RAPID PROMOTION. It will be sten from t1-,e following article that our oft- repeated remonstrances have at last obtained the assent of this professional journal—always the last to advocate any reform:—It has been written that war makes sol- diers. Peace may give us the men, and we may clothe and drill them, but it is only in the field that their mettle is tried, and that experience obtained which makes them serviceable to their country. No doubt a seasoned officer is worth a score who have had no experience of the rugged edge of the service. The Duke of Wellington always naturally preferred the' man of one campaign to the mere recruit. It ma}' be, however, that war °may carry away the greater part of the good and tried soldiers, and so neutralize all the benefits arising out of a little hardship and a few combats. Some regiments may be all the better for service, and many more may be com- pletely decimated. Looking at the state of the regi- ments in the Crimea, no man in his senses can come to any other conclusion than that they are gradually reach- ing an alarming point of demoralization, from which there is no escape under the system of rapid promotion sanctioned from a mistaken sense of justice. There are now upwards of 400 line lieutenants in the Crimea who have had but one year of full pay service Very many of them are within two or three of the top of the regi- mental list, and must, in the circumstances in which they are placed, become captains in less than a year. There are very many captains of only three, four, five, and six years' full pay service, and some of two years. Now, it is very right to let gentlemen reap some of the fruits of warfare in a rapid promotion, resulting from the casual- ties in the ranks above them and, if their good fortune were not pregnant with, danger to the service, no one would grudge them the attainment of the highest posi- tions. We ask, however, in all soberness, whether the crowding many regiments with boys, is not a certain method of uprooting discipline, of destroying character, and creating a world of dissatisfaction in the nume- rous corps which have not been employed in tho Crimea, and which, consequently, are filled with officers, whose full pay service is in the proportion of five years to one of the lucky survivors of the conflict before Sebastopol ? The main argument against promotion by purchase has been, that it enables the young to leap over the heads of the old, superseding experience and service by incompetency. But of what avail would be the abolition of the system if every youth, whose regiment happens to be nearly cut up, while he, perhaps, was away on leave, or still at the depot, is to run up the ladder of preferment to the super- cession of much. older and more useful men in other corps? While the fortunate regiments (as they face- tiously call the greatest sufferers from the fire of an enemy) are all encamped together, the mischief is not immediately apparent, excepting in the looseness of disci- pline. How will it be when a regiment, returned from the Crimea, is in the same garrison with one that has but just returned from the Cape or India ? Why, that lieu- tenants of 13 and 14 years' standing will find themselves subordinate to boys of three and four years' service. Put the case that tha 87th were quartered with the 23d, 62d, or the 63d no fewer than 15 lieutenants of the 87th would find themselves junior in rank to men who have not half of their full pay service; and so with other regiments. Place the 59th in juxta position with the 57th or the 64th in the same cantonment with the 77th-nothing but heartburning and mortification would result from the contrast. We repeat: give a fair share of recompense to the gallantry which has confronted the enemy and endured the trying effects of trench duty in a hostile climate and under privation but for the sake of common justice and discipline, let us have a few- transfers from unlucky regiments to the corps which have been deprived of so many of their best officers. Lord Hardinge will be able to find many excellent ex- cuses for the promotion of officers out of their regiments in the colonies and India, into Crimean corps. To some of them the step will be a proper compliment to the memory of a relative slain in action; to others it will be twice blessed—a compensation for tardy promotion, and a benefit to a regiment needing the presence of a few more experienced soldiers.- United Service Gazette.

DR. DAVEGX

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