previous next

[597] living or dead, who can claim such good fortune. Napier says: “The greatest masters of the art may err; he who wars walks in a mist, through which the keenest eyes cannot always discern the right path.” Turenne exclaims: “Speak to me of a general who has made no mistakes in war, and you speak of one who has seldom made war.”

General Hood charges as a fault that General Johnston abandoned territory which he ought to have defended. Similar objections were made by the King of Spain to Soult's plan of the campaign of Talavcea, to which the Duke of Dalmatia replied: “Under present circumstances, we cannot avoid the sacrifices of some territory. . . . This will not be distressing as it may appear, because the moment we have beaten and dispersed the enemy's masses we shall recover all our ground. .. . . I conceive it impossible to finish this war by detachments. It is large masses only, the strongest that you can form, that will succeed.”

Had all the scattered forces in Mississippi and Alabama been concentrated upon Sherman's rear when he was one hundred and forty miles in the interior, and his communications been thoroughly cut, what to-day would have been our condition? “All our ground recovered,” Sherman's army destroyed, and Johnston's ready to raise the siege of Richmond or cross the Ohio.

Again, it is alleged that the mountainous country of Northern Georgia offered great advantages, which were abandoned. Napier says: “Here it may be well to notice an error relative to the strength of mountain-defiles, common enough even among men who, with some experience, have taken a contracted view of their profession. From such persons it is usual to hear of narrow passes in which the greatest multitudes may be resisted. Now, without stopping to prove that local strength is nothing if the flanks can be turned by other roads, we may be certain that there are few positions so difficult as to render superior numbers of no avail. Where one man can climb, another can, and a good and numerous infantry crowning the acclivities on the right and left of a disputed pass will soon oblige the defenders ”

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.
Mississippi (Mississippi, United States) (1)
Georgia (Georgia, United States) (1)
Dalmatia (Croatia) (1)
Alabama (Alabama, 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.
William T. Sherman (2)
Napier (2)
J. E. Johnston (2)
Turenne (1)
Soult (1)
J. B. Hood (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: