Statistics of losses in battles do not furnish an unfailing test of courage.
Mistakes of officers, unavoidable surprises—these, now and then, occasion losses that soldiers did not knowingly face, and there are sometimes other reasons why the carnage in a particular command in this battle or that does not with accuracy indicate steadfast bravery.
Such statistics, however, as all military experts agree, do tell a graphic story, when exceptional instances are not selected.
, in his Bird's-eye view of our Civil War,
exhibits statistics showing the percentage of losses in the most notable battles fought since 1745, and from them deduces this conclusion, ‘It thus appears that in ability to stand heavy pounding, since Napoleon
's Waterloo campaign, the American
has shown himself preeminent.’
would have been justified in going much further.
itself, the most famous of the world's battles, does not show such fighting as Americans
did at Sharpsburg
, or Chickamauga
In Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War,
by Lieutenant-Colonel G. F. R. Henderson
, a British military expert, is a complete list of killed and wounded in great battles from 1704 to 1882, inclusive.
, 1807, there has been no great battle in which the losses of the victor—the punishment he withstood to gain his victory—equal the twenty-seven per cent. of the Confederates
in their victory at Chickamauga
tables give the losses of both sides in each