COMMANDER W. V. PRATT, U. S. Navy.—I am familiar with this article, having read it with great interest when it was first produced at the War College. The writer has a clear conception of tactics. It is not an attempt to decry the value of columns. It is an effort to show that for battle, sound Principles, flexibility, loyalty to and understanding of the end in view must supplant hazy or false conception of principles, too much rigidity, loyalty to forms rather than spirit and failure to thoroughly appreciate the end to be gained.
Column is but the expression of that method which brings most guns to bear in the shortest time, in the simplest way, on the most vulnerable parts of the enemy. When column can do this it is good. When it cannot it should be applied only to such units as may do it.