ever to surpass this.
Such blind devotion might be safely calculated on at any sacrifice of truth, or of common sense.
He has arrived at that point at which nothing that sustains his own side seems too hard for his credulity.
He shrinks from no absurdity, however monstrious.
Let us see, on the other hand, in what spirit he deals with the first serious reverse of the Confederate
“The capture of Donelson
,” he says, with a glow of rapturous exultations, “was a great and glorious success for the Federals
The material results were considerable.
The capitulation delivered into the hands of Grant
fourteen thousand six hundred and twenty-three prisoners, sixty-five cannons, seventeen thousand muskets — that is to say, an entire army with all its materiel
. * * * * * * * * * * * * The moral effect was immense.
The remembrance of Bull Run
was blotted out by a victory much more hotly contested, and the results of which were otherwise of importance.
In short, after the scenes which had just been witnessed in Floyd
's tent, and on the banks of the Cumberland
, the Confederates
could no longer taunt their enemies with the panic of the 21st of July; the game was henceforth even between them.”
That is to say, the case of a garrison beleagured by land and water by a force four times their own, after having not only repulsed repeated assaults, with heavy loss to the besiegers, but even defeated and driven them from important positions in the field, thus well nigh forcing a passage, sword in hand, through the masses that environed them, at length surrendering to overwhelming numbers, is precisely parallel to that of an invading army, thoroughly beaten, routed, and driven in utter confusion and panic from the field, as were the Federals
at the first battle of Manassas
To state this proposition is sufficient.
Such wild and reckless license of assertion deserves no serious reply.
There is one suggestion, however, which the Count
would do well to give heed to. It is very dangerous for historians of his order to deal much in figures.
In the case before us, for instance, he has himself stated the Confederate
force at fifteen thousand men. He then informs us that about three thousand made their escape with Generals Floyd
, and that the Confederates
had about the same number of men disabled as their adversaries, whose loss in killed he gives as four hundred and twenty-five.
Allowing the proportion of killed to have been nearly the same on both sides, by what new rule of arithmetic may we ask do thirty-four