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[335] and sound common sense supplied to a very large extent his unfortunate want of military education.

When all the disadvantages under which the South fought are duly considered, it is wonderful what her soldiers achieved. But soldiers who believe in themselves and have absolute faith in their leaders are very difficult to beat in war, where success depends so largely upon the firm inner conviction of military superiority over your enemy. Victories gained over him early in a war engender that feeling of self-confidence which is, in fact, the twin brother of success. Little by little this feeling grew in the force under Forrest, and he knew well how to foster it among the wild and restless spirits who followed him.

‘So much the weight of one brave man can do.’

His military career teaches us that the genius which makes men great soldiers is not to be measured by any competitive examination in the science or art of war, much less in the ordinary subjects comprised in the education of a gentleman. The reputation of a schoolboy depends greatly upon his knowledge of books, but that of a general upon what he has done when holding independent command in the field. And it is thus we must judge Forrest's claim to military fame. ‘In war,’ said Napoleon, ‘men are nothing; a man is everything.’ And it would be difficult to find a stronger corroboration of this maxim than is to be found in the history of General Forrest's operations.

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N. B. Forrest (3)
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