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[139] were in the whole army 14 batteries losing each 15 or more, of which the 5th Mass. Battery (Captain Phillips) ranked third, losing 19; and the 9th (Captain Bigelow) twelfth, losing 15. Perhaps, however, the truest test of hard fighting is to compare the number of killed and mortally wounded with the total enrolment. Fox gives a list of 23 full regiments (nearly all infantry) losing 15 per cent. or more upon their total enrolment. At the head of these stands the 2d Wisconsin, with 19.7 per cent.; third in rank comes the 57th Mass. Infantry, with 19.1 per cent.; and sixteenth comes the 22d Mass. Infantry, with 15.5 per cent. All these figures are admitted by the compiler to be in some degree approximate, as it is often impossible to state with precise accuracy the total enlistment of regiments of long service. In the case of the 57th Mass., for instance, a number of names have been properly excluded which were added by consolidation of the 49th at the very close of the war.1 It must always be remembered, however, that, as has already been suggested, a high rate of mortality, even in battle, is not always and necessarily to the glory of a regiment, since while it may sometimes proceed from the daring of officers and men, it may sometimes come quite as much from carelessness or want of discipline. Yet on the whole the record of lives lost will always be popularly accepted as the test of distinguished service. On the same principle, it is to be noticed that all the monuments and memorials erected for soldiers are built to celebrate the dead, not the survivors.2

All military historians agree, moreover, that the mere comparison of losses is one of the most superficial grounds of comparison between military commands. The first duty of an officer is to sacrifice his troops where it is necessary; his second, to guard them against needless sacrifice. His skill and foresight and the discipline and coolness of the troops whom he commands will often save them from losses which poor officers and insufficient discipline would incur. The losses suffered at Bull Run, for instance, were not those of an army but of a mob in uniform, as yet undisciplined; or, as Governor Andrew said,

1 Fox, p. 9. Other Massachusetts percentages above 10 per cent. were as follows: 2d Mass., 14.3; 15th, 14.01; 28th, 14; 21st and 58th, 13.4 each; 20th, 13.1; 37th, 12.7; 9th and 12th, 12.6 each; 56th, 12; 25th, 11.7; 16th, 11.2; 10th, 11; 34th and 36th, 10.3 each.

2 The late Dr. J. G. Palfrey, whose two sons had distinguished themselves in the Civil War, but had survived it, always pointed out—and with some justice—this omission in the Harvard Memorial Hall.

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