otherwise he could not. To illustrate what he meant, Grant
said to me that when he was coming East to accept that commission he determined that he would not be ‘McClellanized.’
The personal observation, experience, and emotions of an individual soldier may perhaps be interesting to the reader.
I have never been a lover of war or strife, and have never been disposed to seek a fight or quarrel.
But when once engaged in or challenged to battle all the combativeness in human nature is at once aroused.
It is then difficult, if not morally impossible, to decline the challenge.
At all events, that question is not even thought of at times.
One of the most difficult lessons a commander has to learn is when to offer or accept battle, and when to refrain or decline—that is, to be complete master of his own natural combativeness.
That courage which is the highest quality of a private or a subordinate officer may become extremely dangerous in a commander, unless dominated by that higher moral courage which is undisturbed by excitement or passion.
probably possessed this higher quality in a greater degree than any other commander of our time.
also possessed it in a very high degree.
it was the more remarkable because he was naturally impulsive, and often manifested this trait, especially in minor matters.
He acquired the power of absolute self-command in battle.
this quality appeared to be perfectly natural, as it did with Grant
Since I had to fight, I sometimes regretted that I could not have a chance with a musket in the ranks (behind a good parapet and ‘head-log,’ of course!), for I was a remarkably good shot in my youth.
But I never had a chance to fire a shot in battle except once, and that was with my artillery at Fredericktown, Missouri
, where not an officer or man in the battery had any idea how to