There every person having occasion to learn the history of any soldier could at once obtain all the information. From those records the Pension Office could be guarded from frauds, the Pay Department from mistakes, and the Medical Department, from imposition. The keepers of all these records of detail at the regiment would relieve the War Office of the continual pressure for information as to the personnel of the Army; an inquiry could be at once answered by referring the applicant to the regimental records. Now, then, the battalion in the field either through service or in action, loses, say, 200 men, killed, wounded or disabled. From the field hospital of the army those wounded and sick, as soon as they are able to be removed, should be sent to the hospital of the regiment. There the surgeon would have an interest to see that his hospital was kept as clean as possible; he would be responsible for the health of 2,400 men only, and his pride would be in the smallest number sick. Convalescents could be put to light duty in the home battalion, hardened for the exposure in the field when in the judgment of the surgeon and colonel they were fit for duty. There then would be no occasion to allow the sick officer or soldier to go home on furlough, from whence, as a rule, he rarely returns. Our present means of transportation by rail or steamer would enable us to do this with much greater facility and less expense than is the present system of transportation to general hospitals as returning transports could take home the sick that would go to it from the regiment. Now the interest of a surgeon of a general hospital is to have as many patients as possible. He is made the commander of a post. His hospital fund depends upon the number of his inmates. His boast to his associates is the number of beds he runs. His importance is commensurate with the number of sick he has. The presentround him every inducement known to man not to do his duty, and having adapted the means to the end we afind the result that some do not do their duty and return the sick as soon as recovered. The wonder should be that so many do their duty so well; it is a high praise of their integrity. Therefore commissions are established to examine hospitals and rout out the men who should be sent to their regiments.
At the home night be the burial place of the regiment, where those not gloriously lying on the battle-field they had ennobled with their blood might lie side by side with their comrades with whom they had stood shoulder to shoulder in life. Fewer ties are closer than the companionship of a soldier's life. Next to sleeping in the tomb of his fathers the soldier would prefer to be buried with his fellows. Upon the returns of the lieutenant- colonel of the depletion of his battalion to the minimum, 600 men, 200 men, with the proper officers, the oldest and best instructed, could be at once forwarded to the field to take the place of the disabled and thus the force in the field be always kept up. By such means the army in the field would be continually kept full, so that if in the judgment of the War Office or the commanding general a certain army was necessary for a given result, at the moment that result was about being obtained the general would not find himself with less than half the force required for that purpose, and obliged to wait, a now, until his force is filled up with uninstructed men raised by draft, or by the worst of all possible systems, by means of bounties and substitution. To fill the home battalion recruiting should be continually going on. The recruits could then be forwarded without loss of time or loss of a man to their regiment, there to be instructed before they went into the field. By