previous next

[600] this fatal influence. They had been stirred up in all the Northern States by the progress of the abolition sentiment, of which Mr. Lincoln's proclamation emancipating the slaves had been the interpreter, and found an echo in the army, where this sentiment was probably not then entertained by the majority. To these quarrels must be added the weariness and discontent growing out of inaction amid the sufferings entailed by a severe winter. The old soldiers who had made the campaign of the peninsula could not ponder without bitterness over the fact that, after having seen the spires of Richmond six months before, they were further than ever from attaining the object of their efforts. The new comers had learned to know the war in its most tragic aspect, and the enthusiasm which had called them to arms had considerably cooled off. Hence, desertions into the interior, that ulcer of the American armies in the North as well as the South, which had already developed itself in an alarming manner since the arrival of the army at Falmouth, attained frightful proportions after the battle of Fredericksburg. The day when Hooker superseded Burnside in the command, as we shall presently show, he stated that two thousand nine hundred and twenty-two officers and eighty-one thousand nine hundred and sixty-four soldiers were absent from their corps either with or without leave. The army had not been paid for six months; the soldiers who had enlisted in the service of their country under the conviction that their families would be supported by it, as they had been promised, were daily receiving letters from them stating their destitution and the distress which had resulted from their helpless condition. Their friends and relatives, therefore, did all in their power to assist them in escaping. Packages containing citizens' clothes, intended as disguises for deserters, were sent to the army under the name of provisions. As to the generals, they nearly all criticised the plans of campaign attributed to Burnside, some openly, others within the circle of their intimate friends. The general-in-chief, in fact, either not noticing or not wishing to notice what was passing around him, was absorbed in strategic combinations, in which he hoped to find the means of obtaining a signal revenge. The dry season still continued, and soon after his defeat he set himself ardently to work to prepare for a new movement. This time he

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Falmouth, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Burnside (2)
Lincoln (1)
Hooker (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: