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 regiment vindicated this, for it did its full share, especially in those two important engagements at Brandy Station and Aldie, which, in Sheridan's phrase, ‘made the Federal cavalry’1 and proved it to be henceforward not merely the equal but the superior of the Confederate. The Massachusetts field artillery also held its own conspicuously well, though always somewhat handicapped by the fact that it was not, like that of some other States, allowed to possess a regimental organization, so that the best and bravest officers, though often, like Capt. A. P. Martin, having a brigade command, could not rise above the linear rank and pay of captain, even if brevetted, as in his case, to a brigadier-generalship.2 During the Red River campaign, Col. W. J. Landram (19th Kentucky) wrote of an engagement at Sabine Cross Roads: ‘It is proper to say that Captain Nims's battery [the 2d Mass.] displayed through the whole fight an example of coolness and true courage unsurpassed in the annals of history.’3 The war was also marked by a great self-education in military methods, and the creation of an extremely energetic and efficient veteran force out of that aggregation of town meetings of which Governor Andrew spoke. The art of entrenching, for instance, which scarcely existed at the battle of Shiloh,4 was brought to such perfection as made it almost a matter of instinct with veteran soldiers to entrench themselves wherever they halted over night, in the enemy's country.5 At the outset there were curious superstitions or at least rumors among raw recruits as of ‘masked batteries’ and a certain ‘Black Horse Cavalry’ which haunted the imagination and inspired real terror. So thoroughly were these fears removed that there was for a long time a disbelief as to the existence of torpedoes in the Southern rivers, and some valuable lives were sacrificed through
4 General Sherman asserts that there were at this battle ‘the usual entrenchments’ (Personal Memoirs, I, 180); but this meant, practically, that there were scarcely any. See Century War Book, I, 481, 487.
5 ‘That great change in the tactics of the two armies by which it was to become almost impossible to get a fair fight anywhere in the open ground; which was to create a system of rapid, effective entrenchment, such as previously had not been dreamed of by soldiers, and had formed no part of the theory of military operations; which was to make the sanguinary struggles of 1864 and 1865 nothing but a series of assaults upon fortified lines, the troops covering themselves everywhere, spontaneously and instinctively, the moment they came into line in front of the enemy’ (Walker's 2d Army Corps, p. 386.) As to the imitation of these methods in the German army, see Ohio Loyal Legion sketches, I, 325. As to the Confederates learning to entrench first, see Eyland's Evolution of a Life, p. 251.
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