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[13] Mr. Seymour should have defeated General Wadsworth by a majority of more than ten thousand.

General Wadsworth's term of service in Washington lasted for nine months. A friend who saw him constantly at that time says that he felt more deeply and more painfully the disasters of the country than almost any one he met. He suggested certain movements to the President which were disapproved by more experienced military minds; but they showed, at any rate, his personal courage and his restless patriotism. He constantly applied for more active duty, and in December, 1862, the government ordered him to report to Major-General Reynolds, then in command of the First Corps. General Reynolds gave him his First Division, and this he led, with great gallantry, at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

The experience of the last four years has proved the truth of the assertion of military men, that war is a science which must be studied like any other, and that civilians cannot be extemporized into generals. It must be confessed, however, that the genius of some civilians eminently fits them for command; and a campaign or two may supply the want of early professional study. As I have already stated, Wadsworth seems to have been one of these natural soldiers. He manifested decided ability in conducting the retreat of his troops at Chancellorsville. After effecting a difficult crossing of the river, he was ordered to recross. It was intended that this should have been done in the night, but the order did not reach him until after daylight. He got three or four regiments over without being observed, owing to the cover of earthworks; but the enemy soon after saw the movement, and opened upon him with shot and shell. One bridge had been taken up the day before. The remaining one was lost three times during the recrossing. General Reynolds ordered the movement to be suspended as impracticable, but Wadsworth convinced him it was not, and completed it with a loss of only about twenty killed and wounded, and the same number of artillery horses. He remained until the last regiment crossed, preceding only the skirmishers and pickets.

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