Without doubt, this is a correct judgment in the long run; but in particular cases the rule could not always be applied without injustice.
was defeated by Scipio
, and Napoleon
was defeated by the Duke
; but it does not follow that Scipio
was a greater general than Hannibal
, or the Duke
was taken by a series of rapid and daring movements, and Richmond
has not yet been taken; and thus the inference is drawn that, had the latter city been assailed in the same way as the former was, it too would have fallen, as Mexico
did. But those who reason thus forget the sharp lesson we learned at Bull Run
,--a disastrous battle forced upon the army by a popular sentiment which ignorantly clamored for the dash and rapidity which accomplished such brilliant results in the Valley of Mexico
won the battle of Aboukir by a very daring and dangerous plan of attack, which had the good fortune to be successful.
, in his preface to the last edition of “The two Admirals
,” says that had he attacked an American fleet in the same way he would have had occasion to repent the boldness of the experiment; but then Nelson
, who, like all great commanders, was a man of correct observation and sound judgment, would probably not have tried such an experiment with an American fleet.
To Lieutenant McClellan
his year of active service in Mexico
was of great value in his professional training; for it was a period crowded with rich opportunities for putting into practice the knowledge