previous next
was titanic for the times; and during the four years of the Civil War there were mustered under the Union Flag over two and three quarter millions1 of men. This was a far greater proportional drain on the American youth of that day than the drafts for our recent armies. Nevertheless, in no battle of that war was an army of much over 100,000 men engaged. But one must remember that Napoleon had less than 75,000 men at Waterloo, and that the eighteen miles or so of intrenched line before Petersburg could, in 1865, justly be considered vast.

Five years later the Franco-Prussian War taught us to think of battles on a larger scale; while the opening of the century saw Russia and Japan fighting along battle-lines of sixty miles, with armies of half a million. To-day the white races of the world lie panting from a struggle in which armies of millions have wrestled along battle-lines stretching across the Continent of Europe.

Small as they were in the light of our recent experiences, the battles of our fathers might have furnished valuable military instruction for Europe. As Lyman says, it was shown that an army could dig itself in in a few hours, and completely intrench itself in three days. Had the French war office profited by this lesson, and, instead of building what proved useless fortifications, established an intrenched line along the Belgium frontier, there would be to-day, in all probability, no devastated France.

1 This includes re-enlistments and 90-day men.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Europe (2)
Waterloo (Arkansas, United States) (1)
Russia (Russia) (1)
Japan (Japan) (1)
France (France) (1)
Boston (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Napoleon (1)
Europe Lyman (1)
George R. Agassiz (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
September 15th, 1922 AD (1)
1865 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: