Jests and banters had been exchanged across the picket lines.
Some of them made jokes about losing their legs, and ‘how funny they felt’ after recovering from the effects of chloroform, and found that a limb had been taken off; and every one knew
, that, ‘with fair play, the Army of the Potomac could whip the world.’
Such was the spirit of our wounded men. There was no grumbling, no fault-finding; nor was there any appearance of personal hatred towards the soldiers in the rebel army.
was their idol; they believed in him, and trusted him, and wished for no other commander.
The unfavorable criticisms which had been made upon him found no response in their bosoms.
What qualities of mind or of personal address there were in General McClellan
to inspire love and confidence in the breasts of his soldiers we know not, as he, of all the great army commanders, is the only one whom we never saw; but that he possessed this power, which is one of the greatest and most necessary in a great officer, we have no doubt.
The evidence of it was presented to us every day. Next to McClellan
, in the popular affection of the soldiers, was General Hooker
They loved to call him ‘Fighting Joe;’ and men who served in his corps felt themselves as especially honored, and many, we doubt not, would freely have sacrificed their lives for him personally.
It was curious and interesting to hear these men converse about their officers, many of whom they freely criticised in a manner not at all complimentary; but those whom they believed in, whom they knew to be brave, and who took good care of their men, they spoke of in words of warm affection.
The men who served in North Carolina
were equally warm in their attachment to these officers.
They had led them to victory; and, whatever was said in their praise, they felt they were entitled to a share of it. They called General Burnside
‘Old Burnsie;’ and many were the stories of his kindness when he visited them in their hospitals, or received returned prisoners in a flag-of-truce boat, and shook them by the hands, and inquired after their health, and saw that they had good quarters, and were properly cared for. Many anecdotes are told by the winter firesides about these officers by the soldiers