Having therefore no foreign establishments, either colonial or military, the ships of war of the United States, in war, will be like land birds, unable to fly far from their own shores. To provide resting places for them, where they can coal and repair, would be one of the first duties of a government proposing to itself the development of the power of the nation at sea.
There has been a constant struggle on the part of the military element to keep the end- fighting, or readiness to fight-superior to mere administrative considerations. The military man, having to do the fighting, considers that the chief necessity; the administrator equally naturally tends to think the smooth running of the machine the most admirable quality.
The surer of himself an admiral is, the finer the tactical development of his fleet, the better his captains, the more reluctant must he necessarily be to enter into a melee with equal forces, in which all these advantages will be thrown away, chance reign supreme, and his fleet be place on terms of equality with an assemblage of ships which have never before acted together.