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‘ [269] Potomac, and lose it by drunken officers. We are satisfied that God alone can prevent it. If the battle soon to transpire near Manassas is lost, we shall be satisfied that whiskey whipped our men.’

Another correspondent writes from Centreville to the Central Presbyterian: ‘There is an appalling amount of drunkenness in our army. Not, I believe, so much among the common soldiers as with the officers, high as well as low. Too many of our generals, and colonels, and majors, and captains, lieutenants and surgeons (I am tempted to say especially the surgeons) are notorious drunkards. During the bad weather of winter, the army lying idle, the temptation to excessive drink is a hundredfold greater than in the summer months.’

Another correspondent writes of the condition of things at this period:

A general officer fell from his horse while reviewing his troops, and lay drunk in his quarters for weeks, without losing his command. “ I speak that which I do know, and testify to that whereof I have seen,” in reference to this matter; for many a weary hour did I pace the sentinel's beat in front of those headquarters, my only orders being “to prevent any one from disturbing the general” —i. e., in his drunken slumbers.

I remember one night, about 2 o'clock, I was impatiently pacing my beat with a feeling of profound disgust that my bright anticipations of “the pomp and circumstance of glorious war” had degenerated into the mean avocation of guarding a drunken general, when there came along a huge six-footer, belonging to an artillery company, who had aboard enough “apple-jack” to make him merry. When he drew near he yelled out an invitation to the general to come out and take a drink with him. I rushed up, musket in hand, commanded him to be silent, and threatened to call the sergeant of the guard and send him to the guard-house, if he repeated the offence. He proceeded to argue the case with me, saying that he had in his canteen some of the best “apple-jack” that had ever been produced, and that I knew, as well as he did, that if “General——” ever got a taste of that, he would not allow the man that brought it to be molested. Seeing that I was inexorable, he sadly said: “Now, sentinel, I leave it to you if this is not a hard case. A brigadier-general, with all his high responsibilities, gets drunk on duty, falls off his horse, and lies drunk in his quarters with a sentinel to keep ”

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