former cannot be deceived or imposed upon by a reputation made to order by politicians, editors, and army-correspondents.
The judgment of the army is like the judgment of experts in a patentcase, or of nautical men in an insurance-case.
The consequences of incapacity are too serious to permit any delusion or mystification on the subject.
And the value of this favorable judgment is enhanced by the high standard of intelligence in our army, by the fact that the rank and file, in general, is made up of men who read, write, think, and discuss their civil and military leaders.
They know, by personal experience, his skill, judgment, and wisdom.
It is beyond question that General McClellan
is an accomplished officer, well read in his profession, and master of such knowledge of the art of war as can be learned from books.
And many of those who deny to him the praise of rapid and brilliant execution in the field admit his merit in that department of the art of war which is called strategy, as distinguished from tactics.
“Strategy,” says Jomini
, “is the art of properly directing masses upon the theatre of war, whether for the invasion of a country or for the defence of one's own.”
It includes the choice of a fixed base of operations, of zones and lines of operations, of strategic lines, and of vital geographical points to occupy offensively or to cover defensively; or, in popular language, it is the planning and laying out beforehand of a campaign.
It supposes an intimate knowledge