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[206] was never taken by surprise, his army never panicked or even confused, its discipline, its esprit du corps, its morale and its confidencein him maintained until the very hour his sword fell from his hand at the command of his Government—at the same time inflicting a loss upon his antagonist of four times that of his own.

Referring to the defensive or Fabian policy of General Johnson during this campaign, and in regard to which there was and is a diversity of opinion both North and South, but concerning which your speaker does not deem it appropriate on this solemn occasion to express any opinion; yet he does not deem it inappropriate to say that it seems but fair to the voiceless dead to remark that General Johnson appeared to be profoundly impressed at this period of the war with the momentous fact that the available resources of the Confederacy, both in men and material, were practically exhausted and alarmingly growing less; that our armies were daily diminishing by death, from disease and casualties in battle, and without any means by which to recruit them. It therefore appeared to be a matter of the supremest importance to husband his resources in every regard, and more especially in respect to the lives of his men. And hence the policy pursued by him at that juncture of the struggle seemed to be imperatively demanded by the situation, and that the offensive policy was warranted only when an obvious advantage was presented, such as appeared to be presented when Sherman's army was divided in crossing the Oustenaula river, and, believing which, Johnson issued his battle order and formed his lines for an offensive movement, but which plan he suddenly abandoned, as he states, upon the representations of Generals Hood and Polk, two of his lieutenant-generals, and ordered a retrograde movement, ‘a movement,’ he adds in his report, ‘that I have ever since regretted.’

If, therefore, we would justly consider the wisdom and propriety of his policy, they ought to be viewed in the light of the facts we have mentioned, as also in the significant light of subsequent events.

In the especial matter of logistics, or that branch of the military art which includes the moving and supplying of armies, General Johnston was, in my judgment, without a parallel in either of the great contending armies. Those who served under him well remember that harmonious system, that masterly method, and that freedom from confusion with which he handled and swayed a large army, whether moving it on the general march or marshalling it on the field in ‘battle's magnificently stern array.’ Each command moved to its designated place on the march or in the line of battle with the methodical

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R. D. Johnson (3)
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Joseph E. Johnston (1)
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