By Ian Clarence Hope
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Extra info for A Scientific Way of War: Antebellum Military Science, West Point, and the Origins of American Military Thought
10 None of the early colonies maintained permanent bodies of troops. The wooden defenses of the first settlements were instead manned by a “watch” consisting of a number of male citizens who stood guard at village entrances and atop the fortified blockhouse that became a feature in most new plantations. 11 The trainbands were the original militia, formed into companies within each town, officered by elected men. Their mandate was purely protec20 early national military science tive, to watch and to defend the commons in the event of an attack.
Stephen Rochefontaine, assumed command of the garrison at West Point in 1796 and began teaching Vauban’s science of fortifications to selected young officers. Cadets and officers alike did not receive Rochefontaine well, and when a fire destroyed much of the school’s infrastructure in April 1796, instruction tapered off and stopped after only a few months. Another four years passed before opportunity came again to establish a proper military school. S. Army during the Quasi-War, and voiced dissatisfaction with progress of the First System and the poor state of officer training.
Edward Winslow described the exercise of arms in front of Native guests during the first Thanksgiving Day in 1620. 2 This is not to suggest that the colonial plantations were military exercises. The carriage of arms and the performance of drill during village muster were defensive measures to counter the threat of raids by European foes and Indians. . ”3 In the Christian idea of their day, appropriations of new farming and grazing land and subjugation of the Indians, even by the use of armed force, were natural and correct and did not warrant the name war.