or mounted infantry, known in Napoleon
's wars as the voltigeurs, was used as our cavalry was, for none had sabers or carbines; and in a great war this is an efficient and indispensable arm of the service, as was soon realized.
Under Lieut. Geo. Cook
's system of tactics, ‘the fourth man held the horses’—one man keeping four horses quiet in position to be mounted—while three-fourths of the command attacked and fought with long-range rifles.
Such troops could move great distances by night or day, strengthen or mask flanking movements, and resist flanking movements of the enemy, which annoy beyond endurance.
Merely as cavalry, fighting on horseback, which we never did, the criticisms of the President
and General Hindman
But fortifying passes in the mountains and points along a frontier of hundreds of miles, which could be avoided or surrounded, was a reminiscence.
was the ‘chief engineer
’ whose system had become universal, and with pick and shovel the army carried the passes and the everlasting mountains along with it as it moved.
Any other system requires garrisons and supplies of food and munitions, becoming (except on the seaboard) mere traps to their defenders.
, and men were taking a new lesson in the art of war. The men, forced from their fields and workshops, could not be expected to fight like veterans.
The officers who knew war as depicted in the fanciful pictures of illustrated works, had only vague ideas of its ‘pride and pomp and circumstance.’
These last it possesses, but not in the guise of the toy prints.
A baffled enemy with his hosts overthrown, retreating in blood and terror from fields and hamlets of a land which bears marks of his ruthless hand, are its ‘circumstance;’ vindicated honor, its true ‘pride.’
To the soldier who stands for these, whatever his clime, ambition becomes a ‘virtue’ and realizes the ‘pomp of glorious war.’