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 my captains and lieutenants, and very well represented too; yet it has cost much labor to bring them to any uniformity in their drill. There is no need of this; for the prescribed “Tactics” approach perfection; it is never left discretionary in what place an officer shall stand, or in what words he shall give his order. All variation . would seem to imply negligence. Yet even West Point occasionally varies from the “Tactics,” --as, for instance, in requiring the line officers to face down the line, when each is giving the order to his company. In our strictest Massachusetts regiments this is not done. It needs an artist's eye to make a perfect drill-master. Yet the small points are not merely a matter of punctilio; for, the more perfectly a battalion is drilled on the parade-ground, the more quietly it can be handled in action. Moreover, the great need of uniformity is this: that, in the field, soldiers of different companies, and even of different regiments, are liable to be intermingled, and a diversity of orders may throw everything into confusion. Confusion means Bull Run. I wished my men at the review to-day; for, amidst all the rattling and noise of artillery and the galloping of cavalry, there was only one infantry movement that we have not practised, and that was done by only one regiment, and apparently considered quite a novelty, though it is easily taught,--forming square by Casey's method: forward on centre. It is really just as easy to drill a regiment as a company,--perhaps easier, because one has more time to think; but it is just as essential to be sharp and decisive, perfectly clear-headed, and to put life into the men. A regiment seems small when one has learned how to handle it, a mere handful of men; and I have no doubt
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