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[346] the Department of the West; a geographical department, including the States of Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and parts of Louisiana, Georgia and North Carolina. Had the reality of this command been delivered to Johnston, it would have been the very arena for the employment of his large gifts. The vision which is competent to survey and manage the whole landscape of war, and direct the grand movements and general arrangements of campaigns is known as strategy. Of this great faculty Johnston was the master.

The world's mad game is not played blind fold. The genius of war, like other genius, is not the mere gift of luck, but the consummation of a profound attention to details and all the forces of supremacy. The game, in which the greatest intellects are matched for the greatest stakes, must be an intellectual game. The successful general, who succeeds against disproportionate numbers and resources, is not a military gambler, but the closest of all close calculators. His greatness is that when he does stand upon reality he knows it, and is not to be terrified out of it or the daring which it justifies. This is the application of the great saying of the Roman orator, ‘A man of courage is also full of faith.’ Genius has its own way of dealing with the impossible, but it is not a senseless way, nor ever really reckless.

Johnston went to the West, not to do brilliant things for their own sake, but to win the cause of which he was the soldier. Accustomed as he ever was to ride in the van of danger, his bruises of battle shining like stars upon him, he was the man of all others to be heeded, when he counselled caution. His whole life was that glorious thing—fair combat through strife to victory. With an unshrinking devotion equal to any task, he proposed to his own courageous intellect that system of the offensive-defensive, which once before in the world's annals was the salvation, and the sole salvation, of the bravest and most determined people on its face. The greatest of all warlike races rescued itself from destruction, and the world's future empire from a rival, by slowly learning that victories may be won by avoiding no less than by seeking battle; that a march or manoeuvre at the right time, is more potent than a battle at the wrong time; that to seize a position which will threaten the adverse army the instant it does move, may far exceed the value of an attack upon it, if it does not; that the circuit of a large and politic strategy is wider and higher, and makes its demands upon an intellectual grasp more subtle and more vivid, than the mere rapture of pitched battle. This

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Joseph E. Johnston (3)
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