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“ [598] to retreat or fight upon equal terms. If this takes place at any point of an extended front of defiles, such as those of the Sierra Morena, the dangerous consequences to the whole of the beaten army are obvious. Hence such pases should only be considered as fixed points around which an army should operate freely in defense of more expanded positions; for defiles are doors, the keys of which are the summits of the hills around them. A bridge is a defile, yet troops are posted not in the middle, but behind a bridge, to defend the passage.”

Peach-tree Creek offered every advantage which deep rivers and mountain-passes could afford. It was impassable for an army, except at a few points. Johnston expected to fall upon the heads of the enemy's columns as they issued from these crossings, and crush them before they could form. From General Hood's report of his own operations, it seems they were allowed time not only to form, but intrench before they were attacked.

What is called General Johnston's defensive policy is severely criticised. Fewer men are lost by fighting than by retreating, etc.

General Hood does not seem to consider sufficiently the worth of an army, nor the consequences which follow the destruction of one. Napoleon said that the very first duty which a general owed to his country was to preserve his army. After the battles of Ocana and Alba de Tormes, in which Ariazaga lost his army, he was defended upon the ground that the campaign was undertaken by the directions of his government. Napier repudiates such defense. He says:

Ariazaga obeyed the orders of his government! No general is bound to obey orders (at least without remonstrance) which involves the safety of his army; so that he should sacrifice every thing but victory, and many great commanders have sacrificed even victory rather than appear to undervalue this vital principle. ...

Sir Arthur Wellesley absolutely refused to cooperate in this short and violent campaign. He remained a quiet spectator of events at the most critical period of the war;


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