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Chapter XXIX

  • Lessons of the Civil War
  • -- weakness of the military policy at the outbreak of the rebellion -- a poor use of the educated soldiers of the army -- military wisdom shown by the Confederate authorities -- Territorial strategy -- General military education indispensable to good citizenship -- organization of the national guard -- General Grant without military books -- measures necessary to the national defense.


in my opinion, the most important of all the lessons taught by the Civil War is the necessity of using in the most effective manner the means at the disposal of the government when war breaks out. The necessity for adequate preparation is a different question, which has been much discussed, and in regard to which some progress has been made toward a satisfactory solution. Whatever the outcome may be in respect to preparation for war, certainly the government and the people ought to adopt such a policy as will lead to the best practicable use of the preparations which have actually been made.

In this respect the policy adopted by the National Government in 1861 was about as weak as possible, while that of the Confederates was comparatively strong. It is said that this weak policy was due largely to General Scott, and grew out of his distrust of volunteer troops; he having thought it necessary to have a considerable body of regular troops to give steadiness and confidence to the volunteers or militia. This is a very good theory, no

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Winfield Scott (1)
Frederick Dent Grant (1)
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1861 AD (1)
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