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
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.
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.