exhibiting the comparative numbers and losses of the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia in the more important engagements of the last two years of the war:
These figures are monumental.
They constitute a monument to the Army of Northern Virginia as much superior to brass or stone as spirit is to matter or reason is to sense.
Yet, while these figures are conceded, their significance is met and their force evaded by an assumption that these soldiers lacked endurance and fortitude and a contrast is attempted to be drawn between their brilliant dash and the more steady and enduring valor of the Northern
If this charge—a lack of fortitude—could be sustained, it would detract much from the character of the Southern
soldier, for, as Napoleon
said: ‘The first qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation; courage is only the second.’
Let us submit this question to the test of admitted facts, and see if the charge be just.
Let us take the matter of equipment.
Let us compare that of General McClellan
with that of General Johnston
in the Summer of 1862. The Prince de Joinville
, who accompanied McClellan
, says that ‘But for the lack of women, their army might have been mistaken for an armed emigration
, rather than a march of soldiers,’ so thorough and elaborate was the equipment.
The Confederates, on the other hand, had soiled and