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Next day the battle began again, but, of course, in circumstances unfavorable to the Federals. The two roads leading to Williamsburg were crowded with troops. Upon that to the left from Lee's Mill were the divisions of Hooker and Kearney, belonging to Heintzelman's corps; but they were separated from each other by an enormous multitude of wagons loaded down with baggage and for the most part fast in the mud. Upon that to the right, two other divisions were moving forward with still greater difficulty. Such was the condition of the ground that the cannon sank over the axle into the mud. This medley of men and baggage thrown pellmell into narrow and flooded roads had fallen into considerable disorder. In the United States there is no such thing as a corps of the general staff: The American system of “every man for himself” individually applied by the officers and soldiers of each corps to one another, is also applied by the corps themselves to their reciprocal relations. There is no special branch of the service whose duty it is to regulate, centralize, and direct the movements of the army. In such a case as this of which we are speaking, we should have seen the general staff officers of a French army taking care that nothing should impede the advance of the troops, stopping a file of wagons here and ordering it out of the road to clear the way, sending on a detail of men there to repair the roadway or to draw a cannon out of the mire, in order to communicate to every corps-commander the orders of the general-in-chief.

Here, nothing of the sort is done. The functions of the adjutant-general are limited to the transmission of the orders of the general. He has nothing to do with seeing that they are executed. The general has no one to bear his orders but aides-de-camp, who have the best intentions in the world, and are excellent at repeating mechanically a verbal order, but to whom nobody pays much attention if they undertake to exercise any initiative

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