I do not believe any other method will call forth the facts and information, which are now lost. Honor and reputation are the stimuli to intellectual labor, as they are to military daring. The alone can overcome the inertia of fatigue and the indifference consequent upon constant observation of the scenes of military practice and the exhaustion of uninterrupted labor. A series of thoroughly reported cases in all that is now wanting to enable us to present the world with the most perfect system of military surgery that has appeared, and make our observation and experience the point of departure and the standard of comparison for the future.
I earnestly recommend that an effort be made to bring the staff and the profession in closer harmony. The profession is the mother of the staff and its professional judge. I would recommend a standing committee, to be appointed by the National Medical Association and the medical department of the Army, to take cognizance of the mutual relations of the staff and the profession, to urge memorials upon Congress, and to draft and present resolutions in the association. In this connection, I would urge upon academies of medicine and State societies to take particular pains to find out the merits of the medical officers coming from their respective districts, and adopt suitable measures to express their approbation for those who have done honor to themselves and the profession by extraordinary ability and distinguished service. A very admirable author remarks on the efficacy of praise:
No one can deny that animals and men in particular are keenly susceptible to praise. Nor is it a less commonplace truism that the desire of approbation is at the root of those actions to which the interest of the societies they are held to benefit or adorn has conceded the character of virtue and sought to stimulate by the promise of renown. We are much more inclined to resort to its contrary, and niggards of praise are prodigals of censure.
These remarks are particularly applicable to the relations of the staff with the Government, and the professional and non-professional public. Rebuke and censure have been unsparingly bestowed; praise, honor, and renown withheld or sparingly doled with un unwilling hand and an ungracious expression. To return to the point to which we have briefly alluded, the most important of all reforms, however, is in the state and condition of the common soldier. It is of absolute importance that line and company officer be taught to take an interest in the physical well-being of their men; that the load that the soldier is required to carry be lightened; that the length and rapidity of marches be diminished; that regularity and quality of food be secured, and sufficient time for rest and recuperation afforded. The average capability and endurance are gauged by the strongest man in the command, and the rapidity with which the horse of the commanding officer can walk, made the standard for the marching of the soldier, overloaded with knapsack, musket, ammunition, and rations, and frequently intrenching tools superadded. A system which will secure to the soldier the highest physical development of which he is capable will render forced marches easy of accomplishment when they become necessary. Troops in a high state of health and strength can endure occasional drafts upon their endurance without detriment.
The advantages in a military point of view are obvious. I offer it as my deliberate opinion, based on three years of the most ample experience, that the rapidity and length of marches, and the load which the soldier carries, have more to do with depleting our armies