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[208] cure him; when, in his soul, he knows that tooth has to come out? This is what I think of our good people (honest, doubtless) who would burden us with these poor, poor nigs, and these nerveless, stupid Germans. As soldiers in the field the Germans are nearly useless; our experience is, they have no native courage to compare with Americans. Then they do not understand a word that is said to them — these new ones. So it has proved with the Massachusetts 20th (which has a perfection of discipline not at all the rule). Under the severe eyes of their officers the German recruits have done tolerably in simple line, mixed with the old men; but they produced confusion at the Wilderness, by their ignorance of the language; and, only the other day, Patten told me he could not do a thing with them on the skirmish line, because they could not understand. By the Lord! I wish these gentlemen who would overwhelm us with Germans, negroes, and the offscourings of great cities, could only see — only see--a Rebel regiment, in all their rags and squalor. If they had eyes they would know that these men are like wolf-hounds, and not to be beaten by turnspits. Look at our “Dutch” heavy artillery: we no more think of trusting them than so many babies. Send bog-trotters, if you please, for Paddy will fight — no one is braver. It should be known, that ill-disciplined, or cowardly, or demoralized troops may be useful behind walls, but in open campaigning they literally are worse than useless; they give way at the first fire and expose the whole line to be flanked. At the Wilderness the 6th Corps would have been stronger without Ricketts's division; at Spotsylvania the whole army would have been stronger without Mott's division. Howland1 has influence in recruiting; impress upon him, therefore, that

1 His brother-in-law.

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