sides of my parentage of English stock, who came to this country about 1640, that the Southern army, composed almost entirely of Americans, were able, under the ablest American chieftains, to defeat so often the overwhelming hosts of the North, which were composed largely of foreigners to our soil; in fact, the majority were mercenaries whom large bounties induced to enlist, while the stayat-home patriots, whose money bought them, body and boots, “to go off and get killed, instead of their own precious selves, said let the war go on.”
Another Federal officer, writing after the battle of Chancellorsville
Their artillery horses are poor, starved frames of beasts, tied to their carriages and caissons with odds and ends of rope and strips of rawhide; their supply and ammunition trains look like a congregation of all the crippled California emigrant trains that ever escaped off the desert out of the clutches of the rampaging Comanche Indians; the men are ill-dressed, ill-equipped and ill-provided—a set of ragamuffins that a man would be ashamed to be seen among even when he is a prisoner and can't help it; and yet they have beaten us fairly, beaten us all to pieces, beaten us so easily that we are objects of contempt even to their commonest private soldiers, with no shirts to hang out the holes of their pantaloons, and cartridge boxes tied around their waists with strands of rope.
Mr. Theodore Roosevelt
, of New York, in his life of Benton
The world has never seen better soldiers than those who followed Lee, and their leader will undoubtedly rank as, without any exception, the very greatest of all great captains that the English speaking peoples have brought forth; and this, although the last and chief of his antagonists, may himself claim to stand as the full equal of Marlborough and Wellington.
And last, but not least, General Grant
, to whom Mr. Roosevelt
referred above, speaks of these soldiers in his Memoirs as ‘the men who had fought so bravely, so gallantly and so long for the cause which they believed in.’
I might add a thousand similar commendations from those who fought us, but 1 cannot consume more of your time.
If you have not done so, I advise you by all means to procure and read The Recollections of a Private
, by a Northern soldier named Wilkinson