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[315] some of the necessary elements of this great character. And let us begin with its humbler virtues, its more lowly labors. If we take the commander merely on his administrative side, what treasurers of energy, forecast, and watchfulness do we not see him expending in the prosaic work of providing the means of subsistence for his army! He is always confronted on a vast scale with man's elemental and primitive want—his daily bread. The matter is so vital that he can never commit it entirely to the staff. The control of the whole subject must be ever in his own grasp.

Then, he must have not only an intimate knowledge of the geography and resources of the theatre of war as maps and books give them, but an instinct for topography and an unerring faculty for finding the way by night or day through forest and field, usually to be met with only in men who pass their whole lives in the open air. To this add a complete acquaintance with all parts of army work and organization—a very genius for detail, an artillerist's eye for distance, and an engineer's judgment and inventiveness, with a wide and critical comprehension of all the great campaigns of history. But he must possess a still higher knowledge. He must know human nature, he must be wise in his judgment and selection of his own agents, and especially must he be skilled to read his adversary's mind and character. Upon this varied and profound knowledge will depend the success of those large plans embracing the whole theatre of war which soldiers call strategy.

Now, combine all these elements, conceive of them as expanded into genius, and you may form some idea of the merely intellectual equipment of a great commander. But he might have all this and be fit only to be a chief of staff.

The business of war is with men; the business of a general is to lead men in that most wonderful of human organizations, an army—on that dread arena, the field of battle. And now come into play the qualities of heart and soul. Consecrated to his high office, a general ought to be morally the best, the most just, the most generous, the most patriotic man among his countrymen. He must not only be their greatest leader—he must know how to make every man in his army believe him to be their greatest leader. And mere belief is not enough. There must be in him a power to call forth an enthusiastic and passionate devotion. Of all careers a military life makes the heaviest demand on the self-effacement and self-sacrifice of those who are to follow and obey. Love and enthusiasm for a leader are the only forces powerful enough to raise men to this heroic pitch.

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