‘accident’ or ‘chance’ in war. The ‘fortune of war’ was, upon the whole, always in my favor, in spite of adverse accidents; yet I have always acted upon the principle that the highest duty of a commander is to anticipate and provide for every possible contingency of war, so as to eliminate what is called chance.
refer in their narratives to the earnest desire of their commander-in-chief, President Davis
, that the army they in succession commanded should undertake an aggressive campaign.
demonstrated that, under the circumstances existing while he was in command, such an undertaking could not possibly have been successful.
tried it under far more favorable circumstances, and yet he failed, as had every former like attempt of the Confederate armies.
The result in every case was costly failure, and in the last overwhelming defeat.
How much greater would have been the military strength of the South
if those losses had been avoided, and how much greater would have been her moral strength if she had maintained from the start a firm, consistent, and humane defensive policy!
How long would the conservative people of the North
have sustained the ‘invasion’ of States where the people were fighting only to ‘defend their homes and families’?
Did not the South
throw away a great moral advantage when it waged aggressive war upon the North
No doubt it was necessary at first, from the secession point of view, to ‘fire the Southern
heart’ by attacking Fort Sumter
And, also from that point of view, that attack was fully justifiable because that fort was in ‘Confederate’ territory.
The invasions of Maryland
were far different, and much more so were the relentless guerrilla war waged in the border States, attended with horrible massacres like that of Lawrence, Kansas
, which, though no one charges them to the government or generals of the South
, were unavoidable incidents