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[85] to the beginning of spring, the condition of the country south of the Potomac and east of the Blue Ridge would have made them extremely difficult-indeed, almost impossible. The quantity of rain that fell, and of snow, always melting quickly, made a depth of mud rarely equaled.

The Confederate troops fought bravely and well wherever they encountered those of the United States, in 1861. At Bethel, under Magruder and D. H. Hill; at Oakhill, under Price and McCulloch; on the Gauley, under Floyd; on the Greenbrier, under H. R. Jackson; on Santa Rosa Island, under R. H. Anderson; at Belmont, under Polk and Pillow; on the Alleghany, under Edward Johnson, and at Chastenallah, under McIntosh. On all these occasions they were superior to their adversaries, from greater zeal and more familiarity with the use of fire-arms. The thorough system of instruction introduced into the United States army gradually established equality in the use of fire-arms, and our greater zeal finally encountered better discipline.

Had the Confederate troops in Arkansas been united under a competent, or even a merely respectable commander, their fighting would have been effective, and valuable to the Southern cause. I might have gained the powerful state of Missouri to the Confederacy, and brought sixty thousand of its martial inhabitants into the Southern armies. Such an accession to the Southern Confederacy might, and probably would, have made the northern and eastern borders of that State the seat of war, instead of Mississippi and Tennessee.

Among the measures to hold Tennessee and gain

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