manifested by any soldier in the field, though I did know a very few cases of officers of considerable rank, who thought they ought to have had more rank, who went to the rear and said something about failure in the field.
I believe now that it required only some real
emergency, such, for instance, as the capture of Washington
in July, 1863, to call forth the power of the North
and crush the rebellion in six months. If any man thinks a great disaster would have disheartened the North
, he knows nothing of the people of our country.
It was the slow waste of enormous resources and of latent military strength that at length made many even of the stoutest hearts begin to feel despondent.
I do not believe there was any time when the people would not have responded with unanimity and enthusiasm to an appeal to put forth all their strength and end the rebellion at a single blow.
The one lesson of reason and experience that I would impress upon my countrymen in every possible way is, when war or insurrection comes or is threatened, do not trifle with it. Do not invoke judicial proceedings, or call for 75,000 men; but call for men
, and let them come as many as will!
If some of them do not get there in time, before it is all over, it will not cost much to send them home again!
The services of the Pennsylvania
reserve, though ready for the field, were actually, positively refused until after the disaster of Bull Run
The greatest wonder in the history of this wonderful republic is that the government actually survived such a military policy as that!
In this connection, it ought to be distinctly understood that the great object of education at West Point
and other military schools is not to make high commanders, but to make thorough soldiers, men capable of creating effective armies in the shortest possible time, and of commanding comparatively small bodies of men. If great commanders are ever again required in this country, they