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William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, I. The Army of the Potomac in history. (search)
e the like; and which, vital in all its parts, died only with its annihilation. Of this drama there will be no other hero than the Army of the Potomac itself; for it would seem that in this war of the People it was decreed there should arise no imperial presence to become the central figure and cynosure of men's eyes Napoleon, in an outburst of haughty eloquence, exclaims that in the great armies of history the Commander was every thing. It was not, says he, the Roman army that conquered Gaul, but Caesar; it was not the Carthaginian army that made Rome tremble at her gates, but Hannibal; it was not the Macedonian army that marched to the Indus, but Alexander; it was not the Prussian army that defended Prussia for seven years against the three most powerful States of Europe, but Frederick. This proud apotheosis has no application for the Army of the Potomac. And one must think —seeing it never had a great, and generally had mediocre commanders—it was that it might be said, that w