a truce, and the gross neglect of his gallant dead consequent upon this unsoldier-like course, were characteristic of the man who has proclaimed that Wade Hampton
's troops burned Columbia
, and that his did not, and who announces that ‘the honor of military men is very different from the honor of politicians
In pleasing contrast with Sherman
's conduct of this battle was that of his antagonist, Brigadier General Stephen D. Lee
. Twenty years younger than Sherman
, he was yet a soldier of tried experience, and was fresh from the Army of Northern Virginia, that school of war commanded by the great master of the art, and had borne a conspicuous part in all of its great battles.
was now commanding for the first time on a field where all was committed to the hazard of battle.
The odds against him were fearful—near ten to one—and it was not possible to perceive that the advantages of position were so strongly in his favor as to compensate for his unequal numbers.
A commander of less experience and nerve than Lee
might have posted the centre of his army on
the bluff instead of in the road at its base.
perceived that if his line were on the bluff, there would be a dead angle along its front of such extent that the enemy would be safe from fire a long way off, and could carry his position by escalade.
Therefore he resolved to receive the attack at the base of the bluff, and to depend on the markmanship of his troops and their tried courage, animated by his example, for his sole defence.
never, during the battle, showed himself in its front, but remained with his reserves, which he never brought up, Lee
's presence was constantly seen and felt along his whole line.
Never did commander show himself in battle more freely to friend and foe, and never was such exposure justified by richer results.
The remarkable brevity of General Sherman
's references (in his report to the Joint Committee
on the Conduct of the War
) to operations extending over a campaign of three months, is explained by the failure to accomplish results and by the necessity for suppressio veri
‘From December 25th, 1862, to January 1st, 1863, made repeated attacks on the bluffs between Vicksburg
and Haines's Bluff, but failed.’
The above paragraph contains one statement of fact only, viz: in the last two words.
The rest of it is full of the author's characteristic mistakes.
It should have read ‘made an attack on the bluff, etc., but failed.’
If any other attack besides that I have above described