possess great moral courage, under circumstances or in situations when they feel and appreciate their own ignorance.
All men lack nerve when they don't know what to do, and know that they don't. In emergencies, certainly, knowledge is power, and the lack of it weakness.
This was the secret of Butler
's inefficiency, and this was undoubtedly the cause of what now seemed the timidity of the government.
But civilians in high place have at all times been bad counsellors in time of war; and even soldiers of great technical and scientific acquirements often prove themselves lacking in the quality of audacity, so indispensable for success in the field.
It is not only the daring that sees and seizes critical moments in battle, and which all admit to be among the first requisites of a commander; there is also quite as necessary a certain faculty, based, it is true, upon knowledge and coolness combined, but the essence of which, after all, is courage.
This must not only flash across an emergency, but must be apparent and persistent in anxious moments, when adverse advice is pressed by those entitled to offer it, when contrary judgments are formed by competent critics, when nothing but the convictions of his own mind and the firmness of his own determination, and, still more, the passion of his own nature for advance and aggression against difficulty and absolute danger, can sustain him who is to decide.
He must take risks, he must advance sometimes when he seems unprepared, he must leave possibilities in his rear, he must proceed in ignorance of what may occur, not only not knowing what the enemy may do, but not caring, determined to do himself, and so control the enemy's plans and compel