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12. 63rd Foot.
84-04 13. 53rd
83.86 14 Rifle Brigade, 4th Battalion.
83.76 15. 86th Foot.
82:54 16. Grenadier Guards, 2nd Battalion. 81.57 17. 41st Foot.
81.11 To which we may add as ranging nearly up to that mark, the following regiments.
21st Fusiliers, 1st. Battalion. 80.74
78.85 98th Foot.
78.83 The great majority of the regiments stand, as last year, in the very satisfactory position of the Figure of Merit from 78-85 to 50·02, which seems to show that about one-half of the regiments could "bag" their enemy, at any distance, when required. These regi. ments are as follows :1. 16th Depôt Battalion.
78.85 2. 98th Foot.
78.83 3. 1st Foot, 2nd Battalion.
77.78 4. 8th Depôt Battalion.
77.23 5. 45th Foot.
77.08 6. 64th Foot.
76.59 7. 100th Foot.
76-31 8. 85th Light Infantry,
74.75 9. 24th Foot, 1st Battalion.
71.89 10. 59th
71.86 11. 38th
71.08 12. 14th Depôt Battalion.
. 70.97 13. 3rd Foot, 2nd Battalion.
70.81 14. 5th Depôt Battalion.
70.58 15. 13th Light Infantry, 1st Battalion. 70-55 16. 7th Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion.
70-42 17. 29th Foot.
70-18 18. 22nd Foot, 2nd Battalion.
70.13 19. 11th 1st
69•66 20. 23rd Fusiliers, 2nd
69.56 21. 73rd Foot.
69:48 22. 24th 2nd Battalion.
69.03 23. 37th
67.54 24. Scots Fusilier Guards, 1st Battalion. 67-07 25. 4th Depôt Battalion.
66-51 26. 22nd
66•26 27. 92nd Highlanders.
66.23 28. 78th
66.04 29. 19th Foot, 1st Battalion.
65.58 30. 3rd Depôt Battalion.
65.28 31. 31st Foot.
32. 15th Foot, 1st Battalion.
64.31 33. 12th 2nd
63.08 34. 13th Light Infantry, 2nd Battalion.
62.99 35. 69th Foot.
62.14 39. 6th Depôt Battalion.
62.06 40. 16th Foot, 1st Battalion.
61.98 41. 3rd
61.62 42. 62nd
61.42 43. 15th 2nd Battalion.
61.27 44. 2nd
60.46 45. Ist Depôt Battalion.
59.87 46. 83rd Foot.
59.30 47. Royal Engineers.
59.27 48. 91st Highlanders.
58.96 49. 10th Foot, 1st Battalion.
58.68 50. 11th Depôt Battalion,
58.25 51. 89th Foot.
57.36 52. 14th 1st Battalion.
57.21 53. 17th 2nd
57.18 54. 60th Rifles, 1st Battalion.
56.49 55. 39th Foot.
56:33 56. 25th 1st Battalion.
55.52 57. 32nd Light Infantry.
55:49 58. 75th Foot
55.26 59. 45th
55.00 60. 22nd 1st Battalion.
54:32 61. 36th
54.28 62. 18th 1st Battalion.
54:16 63. 5th Fusiliers,
53.90 64. 10th Foot, 2nd Battalion.
53.68 65. 54th
53:30 66. 60th Rixes, 2nd Battalion
53.27 67. 35th Foot.
53.26 68. 48th
52.96 69. 61st
52:43 70. 28th
52.12 71. 77th
51.72 72. 16th 2nd Battalion.
51.25 73. 8th
50.91 74. 4th
50.83 75. 9th
50.30 76. 6th
50.23 77. 2nd Depôt Battalion.
50.02 The remainder of the regiments score from that down to 14:34 points—which is that of the 3rd West India Regiment (right wing,) the lowest of all-practising on the old system.
The best shooting company in the army during the year is the left flank company of the 2nd Batialion of Scots Fusilier Guards, its figure of merit being 147.78.
The best shots in the army in the yearly course of practice for 1864-5, are Private Ainos Wolfern, 4th Battalion Rifle Brigade, who scored 106 points with the Whitworth rifle, in the first and second classes ; and Co our-Sergeant John McDowell, 2nd Battalion 16th Foot, who scored 90 points with the Enfield rifle in the first and second classes.
The best judge of distance is Private E. Ellis, Depôt 53rd Foot, who obtained 26 points in the first class. In the 32nd company Royal Engineers, 1st Battalion 1st Foot, 56th Foot, and 4th Battalion 60th Rifles, there are men who have obtained a higher score than Private Ellis; but as such men did so by being exercised within the distances prescribed for the third class, when executing the third period, oftener than the regulations authorised (for, by no other means could they obtain the scores recorded against their names in the annual returns,) the position of best judge of distance is assigned to Private Ellis.
Seven thousand and nine hundred men of the several Regiments of cavalry, armed with the rifle carbine, have been exercised out of a strength per annual returns rendered, exclusive of recruits, and not including the household cavalry--of 10,160. The figure of merit of the shooting of the cavalry at 300 yards is nearly 26 points, and the percentage of men in the first and third classes in judging distance is 42 of the former and eight of the latter. The following is the order of merit in the cavalry :1. 1st Dragoon Guards.
34:03 2. 7th
31.02 3. 2nd
30.17 4. Lahore Light Horse.
30-02 5. 10th Hussars.
29.95 6. 15th
29.00 7. 21st
28.40 8. 7th
28.26 9. 6th Dragoons.
27.76 10. 11th Hussars.
27.52 11. 4th Dragoon Guards.
27.47 12. 19th Hussars.
25.41 13. Cape Mounted Rifles.
25.02 14. 20th Hussars.
24.85 15. 6th Dragoon Guards.
24:36 16. Cavalry Depôt, Canterbury.
24.20 17. 5th Dragoon Guards.
24:00 18. 1st Dragoons.
23:54 19. 14th Hussars.
22.83 20. 2nd Dragoons.
22:31 21. 18th Hussars.
22:03 22. 3rd Dragoon Guards.
Now, for cavalry, we submit that the above figures of merit are very satisfactory. Whilst the adoption of rifled arms for mounted troops infers an inportant necessity for instruction in handling them, and whilst it would be absurd as well as useless to place an improved weapon in hands unable to use it to the best advantage, we must remember that there will always be peculiar difficulties to be overcome by the cavalry soldier in applying the rules of musketry; and the difficulty of habituating his horse to the report of the rifle is not the least. His firing, therefore, strictly depends upon his individual exertion, and it becomes the complement of his training. If it be important that the cavalry should know how to manage their horses at all their rates of movement, it is equally essential to complete their training as soldiers, by teaching them how to handle their carbine and pistol with skill and precision. Before the African war the utility of fire-arms in the hands of cavalry might be doubted ; but the experience of the last thirty years has changed our ideas on this subject, and the officers who served in the Algerian war have acknowledged that fire-arms in the hands of cavalry were not restricted as some pretended, to the office of signalling the approach of the enemy. It is not supposed that cavalry skirmishers, whatever proficiency they may acquire, can ever rival those of the infantry. The conditions of the fight are too dissimilar to admit of such an idea ; but between skirmisbers of the same arm, the advantage will be always with those who, by progressive practice, shall acquire the greatest proficiency in the use of the rifle.
Musketry instruction in the cavalry is not intended to lead to any radical change—such as the employment of a “mixed cavalry," having the double character of a troop of horse and foot soldiers. The principles on which the organisation of cavalry is founded remain unalterable; the only object is to enhance its power, to increase its efficiency as cavalry. The French carry out the instruction of their cavalry in musketry to a much further extent than we do-firing on horseback at all the rates—but doubtless in time we shall attempt something of the sort,_always bearing in mind, however, that relative efficiency with the weapon is all that can be required or expected in the given circumstances.
Ninety-six thousand men of the infantry, including the Royal Engineers, have been exercised out of a strength per annual returns rendered, exclusive of recruits, of 111,882.
Of the number instructed, nearly one fourth passed into the first class in shooting, under the highest test, and 79 per cent passed into the first class in judging distance, leaving only 2 per cent in the third class.
The non-exercised men, after deducting all cases that are satisfactorily accounted for, are numerous—being equal to nearly 12 per cent of the strength of the infantry. The results of the rapid file-firing are bad, and those of the skirmishing practices are only moderate. The general “figure of merit” of the Infantry is only 49.35 points ; but then it really seems to mean that half its shots would be effective - which will tell a different tale of firing to that of the olden time, when, we are assured, 3000 cartridges had to be expended to disable only one man, as at the Battle of Salamanca ; or, elsewhere, as others say: 10,000 shots for each man killed or hit, whilst Colonel Schlimbach, of the Prussian artillery, an officer of great experience, and whose statistical calculations extend over a long series of engagements during the wars of Napoleon, avers that, on the average, a man's own weight in lead, and ten times his weight in iron, were consumed for each individual placed hors de combat!
Even in modern times--at the Battle of Solferino, the French fired fifteen millions of cartridges to shoot only 10,000 Austrians, at the most ;—which shows that it took 1,500 bullets to kill or wound one man, and this quantity represents a weight of 200 lbs.
The rifles with which the annual course of practice was executed by the different branches of the service are as follows:
In the Cavalry,Westley Richards, Sharp's, and Terry's breech-loading rifle carbines, and the East India pattern Enfield and interchangeable muzzle-loading rifle carbīnes.
In the Royal Engineers,-Lancaster's elliptical bore rifle.
In the Rifle Battalions,-Whitworth, the short Enfield, pattern 1856, and naval pattern 1858, rifles.
In the Battalion of Guards and Line,—the long Enfield rifle, pattern 1853.
Such is the “practice” of the British Army. The points scored by an individual
, a section, a company, or a battalion, are ascertained to a decimal. There is no possibility of vain boasting, for all is reduced to what is termed the “figure of merit” in every Regiment. By that we must stand or fall. By that the Government and the country can
discover annually, and proclaim, so to speak, the war-power of the nation. By that Foreign Governments will know how to estimate our power of defence or attack, and "inly ruminate the danger ;" whilst we may, indeed, be permitted to "pluck comfort from its looks."
The most ancient mode of propelling boats through the water by hand labour was probably by means of oars of nearly the same shape, and worked in the same manner, as those in use at the present time. And to all appearance there is no likelihood of a change, for although many savage tribes work their canoes and other narrow boats with hand paddles, and attain great speed with them, yet seamen of civilized nations, whose boats are mostly of