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[407] Government. Admitting that there were sufficient reasons, unknown to us, for rejecting summarily a plan apparently so feasible, and fraught possibly with such favorable results for the Southern Confederacy, it cannot be denied, unless some new light be thrown on the subject, that General Beauregard, for his views and pressing action in the matter, deserves all the credit which Colonel Roman claims for that eminent personage.

The experience of history teaches us that in a war of two nations of unequal strength and resources, the weaker one can save herself only by being constantly on the offensive, if possible. This is so demonstrable a fact, that it might be taken as a basis for a principle or rule of action in such circumstances. Nothing is more exhaustive of national vitality and prosperity than war, because war is organized and scientific destruction. Therefore, between two belligerants, the chances of final triumph are in favor of the stronger, and the ratio of those chances is in proportion to the duration of the conflict. It has been said by a great captain that, ‘in the end, victory always favors the big battalions.’ Several instances, however, are on record where the weaker in the field crushed a much more powerful enemy than himself by a well-concerted multiplicity and rapidy of attacks and startling manoeuvres, inspired by genius and executed with a boldness that struck the world with admiration. To cripple severely an adversary at the onset is to secure a strong card out of the pack. A duel between two nations is like a duel between two individuals. A man who never wielded a sword, when put in front of a master of the art of fencing, is lost, if he waits for the deadly thrust of his adversary, who will strike with a gladiatorial accuracy that will not be parried by the untrained and unskillful hand of mere courage. The only chance for his almost defenceless combatant is, as soon as steel touches steel, to take the initiative, and by the precipitation of lightning-like strokes, aimed at the breast of his adversary, to risk at once the possibility of a lucky hit. It will be, perhaps, as one to fifty; but one chance on the offensive is better than none on the defensive.

Without going back very far into the annals of mankind, we will mention, as an illustration of the wise and recommendable policy of aggression under certain circumstances, the seven years war of Prussia, with a population of five millions, against France, Austria, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and the Germanic Body, with a population of more than one hundred millions. Frederic never thought of rooting himself in strong positions to wait for the assaults of his multitudinous enemies. With the bound of a tiger, he never failed to

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