Still they went on, swept past the infantry columns, and fell upon a brigade of French chasseurs.

At Balaklava 670 British horsemen were launched against an entire wing of the Russian army. The brigade, at first in two lines, the 11th Hussars, 17th Lancers, and 13th Light Dragoons, followed by the 4th Light Dragoons and 8th Hussars, advanced down a gradual descent of three-quarters of a mile; the Russian guns vomiting shell and shot upon them, one battery bearing on their right, another on their left, and all the intermediate ground covered with riflemen. The guns were charged and forced through, the forces drawn up in rear were overpowered. They then had to turn, and, retiring up hill, ran through the same gauntlet. In the Sikh war, at the battle of Ferozeshah, the 3d Light Dragoons charged the enemy's entrenchments at a point defended by some of their heaviest batteries. When within 250 yards the regiment moved at speed under a destructive fire of grape and musketry, and pressing forward at the charge entered the enemy's camp and captured the whole of the batteries.

Cavalry attacks have been made with success after dark, and the advantage, of course, is gained of obviating opposing fire. Prince Kraft mentions that after the battle of Mars-la-Tour, the cavalry division, re-enforced by the divisional cavalry, rode forward to complete the advantages gained. It was almost night, and fault has been found with making the attack in the dark. If the ground is well known a night attack may be advisable. While criticising it, we have to think of the feelings of a half-defeated army about to bivouac being attacked by unknown forces in the dark. In this case, at Vionville, the enemy did not wait for a second, but withdrew, and abandoned the whole field of battle. Prince Kraft quotes the attack of Blücher at Gross-Gorchen and a cavalry attack at Loon. During the first Egyptian campaign the Life Guards made an attack by moonlight at Kassassin.

I have now, I think, touched lightly on some important cavalry duties on a campaign. In some points perhaps these remarks may appear contradictory. How to combine keeping cavalry in reserve for any great action it may be called upon to perform, while using it unsparingly to assist on the battle field, if the necessity arises. It may, however, be noticed that, much as they may be criticised, few cavalry commanders have been severely blamed when they have thought it best to take the bolder course. To insure to cavalry the power of carrying out its duties successfully in war, organization and practice in peace is most essential. Infantry may suddenly be increased without much deranging its action in the field, but cavalry cannot be hurried into an increased augmentation. In tactics simplicity in every evolution and rapidity in execution are the most important principles. This simplicity of drill, I think, might be assisted if our squadrons were divided into four divisions, zuges, or pelotons. When squadrons have 48 files in the front rank there might be four of these, while weak regiments with 36 files could drill equally as well with three divisions.

This system, introduced by the late Gen. Valentine Baker into the English service for a time, and now used by all European countries, was found to work well.

I think the whistle could be carried with advantage by all cavalry officers. For advanced work attention can be drawn by it without being heard at a distance like a bugle. In movements the commanding officers would find it useful to call the attention of leaders to himself, especially in extended or échelon formation. I have omitted to make much mention of the action of horse artillery combined with cavalry, as it seems beyond the limits of this paper; but it is one to which the cavalry officer's attention requires to be brought most strongly to bear. I would also have wished to have made some remarks on the many advantages to be obtained by having mounted infantry attached to cavalry. I understand that this force would be under the orders of the cavalry general, and if so, I think a cavalry division well found in horse artillery, with mounted infantry, whether conveyed on horses, or, where the cavalry admitted of it, on cars, and accompanied by machine guns on wheels, could act in such an independent manner as to enable it to penetrate far ahead into an enemy's country, or threaten his communications, and be absent from its main body for many days or weeks.

As regards the English cavalry, I think it may be said, without boasting, that the material is excellent. The men are of the best physique, recruited from a good class, and plenty of them to be had. The non-commissioned officers are intelligent and always ready for instruction; the riding compares favorably with cavalry of other nations, certainly far better than any I have ever seen abroad, either German, Russian, or French, and among all foreign countries we have the reputation of being the best horsemen in the world, which at all events has a good moral effect. Our horses are undoubtedly first-rate, having more quality and greater speed than foreigners. We have in our officers the exact stuff we want. Their very sports and amusements start them with all the makings of cavalry soldiers. But the quickness of eye, the self-confidence and readiness that these sports and games may give, require nowadays more than ever something beyond this to produce the trained cavalry leader. Cavalry is an arm of opportunity, and above all others depends greatly on its leaders, but with the chances now available of reading, in every detail, the campaigns of the past, if taken advantage of, as is now daily becoming more common, we should produce in the future the best and most accomplished cavalry officers that this country or any other has ever seen.

As there appeared to be a unanimity of opinion on the lecture, there was no discussion, and the proceedings closed with a vote of thanks to the lecturer. - Broad Arrow.

[1] A lecture lately delivered at the Aldershot Military Society's library.