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[435] Much that I have said to the first class is equally applicable to this.

Men who engage in battle expecting to be whipped, are very certain to be whipped. The reason is plain; they fight without object and without spirit — their thoughts more occupied in finding apologies for running than the achievement of victory. Now, I can conceive of but these four things which can induce a rational being to expect defeat in battle:

1st. Superiority in numbers opposed to him.

2d. Superiority in arms.

3d. Superiority in valor.

4th. Superiority in generalship.

Let us consider these matters in their order:

1. Superiority in Numbers.--This is the bugbear that made cowards of us for thirty years before we seceded, which seems to have turned the heads of half the nation, civil and military, within the last two months, and which seems likely to make us destroy ourselves to keep the Yankees from destroying us.

I have already bestowed a few remarks upon this head; let us consider it a little more in detail. To give the instances in which brave men conquered twice and thrice their numbers would be to write a book. Take a few cases from our own history. At Big Bethel one thousand three hundred confederates put to confusion and flight four thousand Federals. At the battle of Blackburn's Ford (Bull Run) one brigade whipped twice its number. At the first battle of Manassas thirty-eight thousand completely routed seventy-five thousand. It is said the Yankees fight better now than they did then; and that the Western Federals fight better than the Eastern. This may be true, but it would be a harmless truth if we did not fight worse. We whipped Western troops at Chickamauga, and we would have whipped them again at Mission Ridge if a brigade or more of our men had not played the coward.

Even in the rout which these men led off, Cleburne's gallant band arrested the whole Federal army, when they were probably four to one against him. This I regard as by far the most brilliant feat of the war. To have stood his ground would have been creditable to him and his men, but in the midst of confusion and flight to have formed his men in an advantageous position, and to have maintained it against repeated assaults of overwhelming numbers, and to have defeated them, entitles him to a monument as high as Lookout, and to each of his men one as high as Mission Ridge. I hope he will preserve with peculiar care the name of every man that stood by him in that memorable conflict.1

Here, then, we have an illustration from the same battle-field, of the difference between running from superior numbers and fighting them bravely. Cleburne demonstrated, under every discouragement, that Western troops, even in the exultation of victory, may be whipped by inferior numbers, when possessed of superior valor. Let the renegades remember this, and retrieve their credit by fighting gallantly in their next battle.

There are other considerations which it seems to me should divest numbers of their terrors to reflecting troops; at least so far as to raise them above cowardly conduct.

These truths all will admit; the more men in the army, the more unwieldy and sluggish does it, become, the more difficult is it to make them effective in action, the more on the sick-list, the more killed by a given number of shots, the more transportation and provisions do they require, and the more unlikely that they will have a commander capable of directing their movements skilfully and usefully. These are most serious drawbacks to a large army, especially when far away from home. They will, of themselves, exhaust it in time. A small army, then, has every advantage of a large one, except in the single matter of numbers. They are more immediately under the eye of their commander, more readily concentrated, more prompt in reaching the points of attack, lose fewer in battle, and in retreat (orderly retreat I mean) are absolutely unapproachable by their cumbersome foe. These facts are of themselves sufficient to account for the many victories which inferior numbers have gained over superior. Let us suppose that Grant commands a hundred thousand men, and Johnston but fifty thousand. There are twenty positions between Dalton and Atlanta which Johnston may occupy, with the certainty of whipping Grant, if his men will fight bravely. (It is to be hoped he has examined all these positions.) Should he be driven from one of these positions after hard fighting, his losses, compared with those of the enemy, will be about as one to five. And so of all the other positions. But there is one view of the subject which should quiet all fears of the soldier on the score of numbers, and it is this: that it is absolutely impossible for Grant to conquer Johnston in the case supposed, because it is absolutely impossible for him to force Johnston into a fight upon ground of his own choosing. Upon the whole, then, there is no great cause of alarm to the soldier in the numbers opposed to him. The Fabian policy avoids defeat at least.

2. Superiority in Arms.--Except in artillery, I know of no advantage the enemy have of us in arms — certainly none to be feared. Of artillery I have already spoken, and shown that they are the least formidable implements of war of any that are used. For the destruction of fortifications, ships, and towns, cannon are useful; but for field service they are the most inconvenient, cumbersome, inefficient, expensive, worthless engines of war that ever were invented. A man told me he had been in six battles, and he had never seen a man killed by a cannon or bomb in his life. Another told me that he had belonged to an artillery corps for two years; that in that time they had broken down four teams of horses, and been brought into action but once, in which he had no reason to believe that they

1 If the papers speak the truth, according to Bragg, Bates and his small brigade are entitled to all the credit that I have given to Cleburne and his men. If so, let the names be changed and the honors stand.

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