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July 25,1861 9 30 650 400
imperfectly equipped. March, 1862 92 520 12,!i00 11,000
fully equipped and in readiness for actual
Well may General Barry and the officers of the Ordnance Department, who had, as it were, to create the means of meeting the heavy requisitions upon them, be proud of such a record. It is one of the most striking exponents of the resources of the nation which the war has produced.
Of this force thirty batteries were regulars and sixty-two volunteers. The latter had to be instructed not only in the duties of a soldier, but in the theory and practice of their special arm. Defective guns and materiel furnished by the States had to be withdrawn, and replaced by the more serviceable ordnance with which the regular batteries were being armed. Boards of examination were organized, and the officers thoroughly examined. Incompetency was set aside, zeal and efficiency rewarded by promotion.
"Although,"says General Barry," there was much to be improved," yet "many of the volunteer batteries evinced such zeal and intelligence, and availed themselves so industriously of the instructions of the regular officers, their commanders, and of the example of the regular battery, their associate, that they made rapid progress, and finally attained a degree of profk-iency highly creditable."
At the siege of Yorktown, as has already been stated, only 0110 of the fifteen batteries was permitted to open fire on the enemy's works. This was armed with one hundred- and two hundredpounder rifled guns, and it is remarkable that this is the first time the practicability of placing, handling, and serving these guns in siege - operations, and their value at the long range of two and a half to three miles, were fully demonstrated. These guns, as also the thirteen-inch seacoast mortars, which were placed in peti
tion ready for use, were giants when compared with the French and English pigmies which were used at Scbastopol.
General Barry, as well as General Barnard, complains of the want of rank of his officers. With the immense artillery force that accompanied the Army of the Potomac to the Peninsula, consisting of sixty batteries of three hundred and forty-three guns, he had only ten field-officers, "a number obviously insufficient, and which impaired to a great degree the efficiency of the arm, in consequence of the want of rank and official influence of the commanders of corps and divisional artillery. As this faulty organization can only be suitably corrected by legislative action, it is earnestly hoped that the attention of the proper authorities may be at an early day invited to it."
When the report of General McClellan is published, the services of the artillery of the Army of the Potomac will doubtless fill a conspicuous place. These services were rendered to the commanders of divisions and corps, giving them an historic name, and in their reports we may expect the artillery to be honorably mentioned. General Barry says, in conclusion,—" Special detailed reports have been made and transmitted by me of the general artillery operations at the siege of Yorktown, — and 'by their immediate commanders, of the services of the fieldbatteries at the Battles of Williamsburg, Hanover Court-House, and those severely contested ones comprised in the operations before Richmond. To those several reports I respectfully refer the Commanding General for details of services as creditable to the artillery of the United States as they are honorable to the gallant officers and brave and patient enlisted men, who, (with but few exceptions,) struggling through difficulties, overcoming obstacles, and bearing themselves nobly on the field of battle, stood faithfully to their guns, performing their various duties with a steadiness, a devotion, and a gallantry worthy the. highest commendatioi."
REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.
Menial Hygiene. By L Ray, M. D. Boston: Ticknor & Fields.
Dr. Ray, as many of our readers may know, is a physician eminent in the speciality of mental disorders. He is at present the head of the Butler Hospital for the Insane in Providence, Rhode Island. The four first chapters of his book, chiefly relating to matters which may be observed outside of a hospital, come under our notice. The fifth and last division, addressed to the limited number of persons who arc conscious of tendencies to insanity, has no place in an unprofessional review.
This little treatise upon "Mental Hygiene" carries its own evidence as the work of a disciplined mind, content to labor patiently among the materials of exact knowledge, and gradually to approximate laws in the spirit of scientific investigation. Mental phenomena are analyzed by Dr. Ray as material substances are analyzed by the chemist,—though, from the nature of the cnsc, with far less certainty in results. Yet there is scarcely anything of practical moment in the book which may not be found in the popular writings of other prominent men, — such, for example, as Brodie, Holland, Moore, Marcel, and Herbert Spencer. We say this in no disparagement; there is no second-hand flavor about these cautious sentences. Dr. Ray has investigated for himself, and his conclusions arc all the more valuable from coinciding with those of other accurate observers. It is agreeable to chronicle a contrast to that flux of quasimedical literature put forth by men who have no title (save, perhaps, a legal one) to affix the M. D. so pertinaciously displayed. For there has lately been no lack of books of quotations, clumsily put together and without inverted commas, designed to puffsomc patent panacea, the exclusive property of the compiler, or of volumes whose claim to originality lay in the bold attempt to work off a life-stock of irrelevant anecdotes, the miscellaneous accumulations of a country-practitioner. Such authors—by courtesy so called—are possibly well-meaning amateurst but can never
be mistaken for scientists. We thank Dr. Ray for a book which, as a popular medical treatise, is really creditable to our literature.
Yet, mixed with much admirable counsel hereafter to be noticed, there are impressions given in this volume to which we cannot assent. And our chief objection might be translated into vulgar, but expressive parlance, by saying, that, in generalizing about society, the writer does not always seem able to sink the influences of the shop. We have been faintly reminded of the professional bias of Mr. Bob Sawyer, when he persuaded himself that the company in general would be better for a blood-letting. We respectfully submit that we are not quite so mad as—;for the interests of science, no doubt — Dr. Ray would have us. The doctrine, that, do what he will, the spiritual welfare of man is in fearful jeopardy, is held by many religionists: we are loath to believe that his mental soundness is in no less peril. Yet a susceptible person will find it hard to put aside this book without an uncomfortable consciousness, that, if not already beside himself, the chances of his becoming so are desperately against him. For what practicable escape is offered from this impending doom? Shall we leave off work and devote ourselves to health? Idleness is a potent cause of derangement. Shall we engage in the hard and monotonous duties of an active calling? Paralysis and other organic lesions use up professional brains with a frequency which is positively startling. Shall we cultivate our imagination and make statues or verses? The frenzy of artists and poets is proverbial. At least, then, we may give our life-effort to some grand principle which shall redeem society from its misery and sin * Quite impossible! The contemplation of one idea, however noble, is sure to produce a morbid condition of the mind and distort its healthy proportions. Still there is a last refuge. By fresh air and vigorous exercise a man may surely keep his wits. We will labor steadily upon the. soil, and never raise our thoughts from the clod we are turning! Even here the Doctor is too quick for us, and cries, "Checkmate!" with the fact that the Hodges of England and the agriculturists of Berkshire have a great and special gift at lunacy.
Of course, the preceding paragraph is very loosely written. We cheerfully admit that it might be impossible to quote from the book any single proposition to which, taken in a certain sense, a reasonable man would object. Nevertheless, there is a total impression derived from it which we cannot feel to be true. There is no sufficient allowance for the fact that what is most spirited and beautiful and worthy in modern society comes from that diversity of human pursuits which necessitates the concentration of individual energy into narrow channels. Neither to balance his mind in perfect equilibrium, nor to keep his body in highest condition, is the first duty of man upon earth. The Christian requirement of self-sacrifice often commands him to risk both in service to his neighbor. Besides, as we shall presently show, men of equal capacity in other branches of human inquiry do not agree with what seems to be Dr. Bay's estimate of the highest sanity. When we are warned to avoid " men of striking mental peculiarities," (our author advancing the proposition that such association is not entirely harmless to the most hardy intellect,)— when we are called upon to ostracize those who think that their short lives on earth can be most useful to others by exclusive devotion to some great principle or regenerating idea,— the thoughtful reader will question the instruction. The adjectives "extreme" and "fanatical" have, during the but twenty years, been applied to most valuable men of various parties and beliefs ; they have been so applied by masses of conventionally respectable and not insincere citizens. But that the persons thus stigmatized have, on the whole, advanced the interests of civilization, freedom, and morality, we fervently believe.
It is in a very different direction that keenest observers have seen the real peril of modern society. De Tocqueville has solemnly warned our Democracy of that over-faith in public opinion which tends to become a species of religion of which the Majority is the prophet. John Stuart Mill has emphasized his conviction that the boldest individuality is of the utmost importance to social well-being, and has urged its direct encouragement as peculiarly
the duty of the present time. Herbert Spencer has written most eloquent warnings on the danger of perverting certain generalizations upon society into a law for the private citizen. He has declared that the wye man will regard the truth that is in him not as adventitious, not as something that may be made subordinate to the calculations of policy, but as the supreme authority to which all his actions should bend. He has shown us that the most useful citi zeus play their appointed part in the world by endeavoring to get embodied in fact their present idealisms: knowing that if they can get done the things aimed at, well; if not, well also, though not so well. Now our complaint is, that Dr. Ray generalizes upon the limited class of facts which has come under his professional observation. There may be a feeble folk who have gone mad over Mr. Phillips's speeches or Mrs. Doll's lectures. This is not the place to discuss the methods or ends of either of these conspicuous persons. But shall we make nothing of the possible numbers of young men, plunging headlong at the prizes of society after the manner which Dr. Ray so intelligently deprecates, who have waked to a new standard of success by seeing one with talents which could gain their coveted distinctions passing them by to pursue, in uncompromising honesty of conviction, his solitary way? Shall we not consider the city-bred girls, confmed in circles where the vulgar glitter of wealth wns mitigated only by the feeblest dBettauteism,—spirited young women, falling into a morbid condition, whose pitiableness Dr. Ray has well illustrated, — who have yet been strengthened to possess their souls in health and steadiness by a voice without pleading in their behalf the right to choose their own work and command their own lives 1 When we are warned against those who come to regard it "as a sacred duty to vindicate the claims of abstract benevolence at all hazards, even though it lead through seas of blood and fire," our adviser is either basing his counsel upon the very flattest truism, or else intends to indorse a popular cry against men who claim to have founded their convictions on investigation the most thorough and conscientious. Take the vote of the wealth and education of Europe to-o.-v, and Abraham Lincoln will be pronounced a fanatic vindicating the claims of abstract benevolence "through seas of blood and fire." Go back into the ]>ast, and consult one Festus, a highly respectable Romnn governor, and we shall learn that Paul was beside himself, nay, positively mad, with his much learning. Wo repeat that it is for the infinite advantage of society that exceptional men are impelled to precipitate their power into very narrow channels. The most eminent helpers of civilization have been penetrated by their single mission,— they have known that in concentration and courage lay their highest usefulness. Let us not judge men who are other than these. We will not question the importance of a Goethe, with his scientific amusements, stage-plays, ducal companionships, and art of taking good care of himself; but we cannot deny at least an equal sanity to the "fanatic " Milton, who deemed it disgraceful to pursue his own gratification while his countrymen were contending against oppression, who was content to sacrifice eight in Liberty's defence, and to live an "extreme" protester against the profligacies of power and place.
But we linger too long from the solid instruction of this book. Dr. Ray considers the existence of insanity or remarkable eccentricity in a previous generation a prolific source of mental unsoundness. He addresses words of most solemn warning to those who have not yet formed the most important connection in life. A brain free from all congenital tendencies to disease results from a rigid' compliance with the laws of parentage. The intermarriage of those related by blood is no uncommon cause of mental deterioration. Dr. Ray thinks that the facts collected in France and America upon this point are much more conclusive than a recent Westminster reviewer will allow. We are told that in this country the mmgling of common blood in marriage is more frequent than is generally supposed, and that, of all agencies which have to do with the prevalence of insanity and idiocy, this is probably the most potent. A vigorous body is of course an important condition to high mental health, and what is said upon this head is tersely written and very sensible. We are told that "those much-enduring men and women who encountered the privations of the colonial tiir .-s have been succeeded by a race incapable of toil and exposure, whom the windsot heaven cannot visit too roughly
without leaving behind the seeds of dissolution." Here and elsewhere Dr. Ray cites the passion for light and notional literature as a proof of our degeneracy. We have certainly nothing to say in behalf of that quality of ir.sdern character produced by the indolent reading of sensational writing. Still it may be questioned whether the enormous supply of bad books has not increased the demand for good ones, — just as quacks make practice for physicians. The readers of the Ledger stories have learned to demand a weekly instalment of the good sense and sobriety of Mr. Everett. And we are disposed to accept the view of a late American publisher, who declared that as a businesstransaction he could not do better than subscribe to the diffusion of spasmodic literature, since it directly promoted the sale of the best authors in whose works he dealt. The craving for an intense and exciting literature Dr. Ray attributes to "feverish pulse, disturbed digestion, and irritable nerves." No doubt he is right,— within limits. But may not a healthy laborer find in the startling effects of the younger Cobb refreshment as precisely adapted to idealize his life, and divert his thoughts from a hard day's work, as that for which the college-professor seeks a tragedy of Sophocles or a romance of Hawthorne?
The chapter treating of "Mental Hygiene as affected by Physical Influences" begins with such warnings against vitiated air as all intelligent people read and believe,— yet not so vitally as to compel corporations to reform their halls and conveyances. The remarks upon diet have a very practical tendency. Dr. Ray, while declining to commit himself to any theory, is very emphatic in his leanings towards what is called vegetarianism. He questions the popular impression that hard-working men require much larger quantities of animal food than those whose employments are of a sedentary character. Although confessing that we lack statisties from which to establish the relative working-powers of animal and vegetable substances, Dr. Ray declares that the few observations which have met his notice are in favor of a diet chiefly vegetable. The late Henry Colman was satisfied that no men did more work or showed better health than the Scotch farm-laborers, whose diet was almost entirely oatmeal. In the California mines no class of persons better endure hardships or accomplish greater results than the Chinese, who live principally on vegetable food. It is also noticed, aa pertinent to the point, that the standard of health is probably much higher among the people just named than among our NewEngland laborers. Dr. Ray sums up by saying that "there is no necessity for believing that the supply required by the waste of material which physical exercise produces cannot be as effectually furnished by vegetable as by animal substances." This is strong testimony from a physician of standing and authority. Not otherwise have asserted various reform-doctors who are not supposed to move in the first medical circles. The value of any approximate decision of the vegetarian question can hardly be overestimated. There are thousands of families of very moderate means who strain every nerve to feed their children upon beef and mutton, — and this with the tacit approval, or by the positive advice, of physicians in good repute. Can our children be brought up equally well upon potatoes and hasty-pudding? May the two or three hundred dollars thus annually saved be better spent in a trip to the country or a visit to the sea-side? He would be a benefactor to his countrymen who could affirmatively answer these questions from observations, statisties, and arguments which commanded the assent of all intelligent men.
Dr. Kay forcibly exhibits the radical faults of our common systems of education. He exposes the vulgar fallacy, that the growth and discipline of the mind are tested by the amount of task-work it can be made to accomplish. The efficiency of • given course of training is indicated by the power and endurance which it imparts,— not by such pyroteclmy as may be let off before an examining committee. The amount of labor in the shape of schoolexercises habitually imposed on the young (trains the mind far beyond the highest degree of healthy endurance. This is shown by illustrations which our limits compel us to omit: they are worthy to be pondered by every conscientious parent and teacher Sn t'le land. Our national neglect of a right home-education brings Dr. Ray to a train of remarks which sustains what we were led to say in noticing Jean Paul's "Levant" a few months ago. "How many of
this generation," writes our author, "complete their childhood, scarcely feeling the dominion of any will but their own, and obeying no higher law than the caprice of the moment 1 Instead of the firm, but gentle sway that quietly represses or moderates every outbreak of temper, that checks the impatience of desire, that requires and encourages self-denial, and turns the performance of duty into pleasure,— they experience only the feeble and fitful rule that yields to the slightest opposition, and rather stimulates than represses the selfish manifestations of our nature." The criticism is just. It is to parents, rather than to children, that our educational energies should now address themselves. For what school-polish can imitate the lustre of a youth home-reared under the authority of a wise and commanding love? But our adult-instruction must go deeper than a recommendation of the best scheme of household discipline the wit of man can devise. Be the government as rigid as it may, the children will imitate the worst portions of the characters disclosed in the family. The selfish and worldly at heart will find it wellnigh impossible to endow their children with high motives of action.
We cordially indorse what is said of those harpy-defilers of knowledge known as juvenile books. A limited use of the works of Abbott, Edgeworth, Sedgwick, and a very few others may certainly be permitted. But the common practice of removing every occasion for effort from the path of the young — of boning and spicing the mental aliment of our fathers for the palates of our sons — would be a ridiculous folly, if it were not a grievous one. Suitable reading for an average boy of ten years may be found in the best authors. 'For it is well observed by Dr. Kay, that, if the lad does not perceive the full significance of Shnkspcare's thoughts or the deepest harmony of Spenser's verse, if he does not wholly appreciate the keen sagacity of Gibbon or the quiet charm of Prescott, he will, nevertheless, catch glimpses of the high upper sphere in which a poet moves, and fix in his mind lusting images of purity and loveliness, or he will learn on good authority the facts of history, and feel somewhat of its grandeur and dignity. To the sort of reading which naturally succeeds the I'cter-Parley dilutions