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[242] massed in long line with open ground ahead is impregnable against front assault.

Skeptics would be disabused had they seen McClellan's sixty guns at Malvern Hill's plateau, repulse time and again, the flower of our infantry—the finest, in my belief, the world has ever seen.

I fully concur in the views you express in the editorial of the 7th of February, as to the superiority of the Southern soldier over the Northern. To an ordinary intelligence an enlistment of 700,000 men, all told, half fed, half clothed, practically unpaid and poorly furnished in all appointments of war, holding at bay for four years an enlistment of 2,700,000 men, with above conditions exactly reversed, ought to furnish mathematical demonstration of the superiority of the Southern soldier over the Northern. The philosophic reasons for this fact are not so easy to fathom.

I have written the above to throw some additional light on a disaster which was not well understood in current accounts, and which was always a source of irritation to General Johnson.

There was no sturdier, truer, braver division commander than General Edward Johnson, commonly known as “Old Alleghany.”


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