Table of Contents:
Gen. Scott's friends, before the battle of Manassas, that he never suffered a defeat The Lieutenant-General has been very successful in making the public forgot the facts of history. The very first action he was ever engaged in he was defeated. This was the attack on Queenstown Heights, which ended disastrously, a great many being killed and wounded, and Scott himself made prisoner of war. In the bloody battles of Chippewa and Lundy's Lane both sides claimed the victory. The Seminole war in Florida was placed in his hands, and all the resources of the Government at his disposal, and he managed it so badly that he was ordered home and deprived of his command. Old ‘"Rough and Ready,"’ then plain Col Taylor, with limited means and resources, conquered gloriously where Scott had failed, and taught the Indians of Florida to respect American valor. It is, therefore, a sheer falsification of history to pretend that Gen. Scott has never known defeat. He was successful in the late war at Fort George, Fort Erie, the descent upon York, and the capture of Fort Matilda; he was badly beaten and made prisoner at Queenstown; totally unsuccessful in managing the Florida war, and again fortunate in Mexico; showing that his military life, like that of many other Generals, has been one of alternate triumphs and reverses. The Mexican victories, which gave him his chief eclat, were due more to Gen. Taylor's triumphant campaign on the Rio Grande, and to Gen. Lee's engineering skill on the Vera Cruz line, than to his own talents. Old Zack broke the spirit of the Mexicans at Palo Alto, Resaca, Monterey, and finally at Buena Vista, where the flower of the Mexican Army, under Santa Anna, was smashed to powder, and thoroughly demoralized. After that battle, the Mexicans, cowed, dispirited, deprived of their choicest troops and military supplies, gave way readily before the splendid column of Scott, composed in great part of Old Zack's regulars, whom, with his usual magnanimity, the Lieutenant-General had despoiled Taylor of on the eve of the battle of Buena Vista, and commanded by such officers as Beauregard, Lee, Johnson and others. Nevertheless, old ‘"Fuss and Feathers"’ managed to scramble off with a vast share of glory from the Mexican war, and became Lieutenant-General, which never consoled him, however, for the election of Taylor to the Presidency, or for his own defeat when running for that office! Of late years, it has been fashionable with the Lieutenant-General, whom his devotees describe as the great General of the age, compared with whom Napoleon and Washington were small potatoes, and Marshal Pelissier, old General Hess and Count Todleben, mere farthing rushlights, to play the part of the Great Pacificator. He has been solicitous to have it understood that Mars is capable of being pacific and beneficent; that terrific and annihilating as Wingfield is, when fairly roused, yet the very consciousness of his awful powers of destructiveness makes him most reluctant to put them in exercise. Consequently, on various occasions, he has gone about the country, now to Maine and now to California, like an amiable lion, with an olive branch in his mouth, trying to induce people not to shed each other's gore. We have heard nothing of his exploits in this way since the present conflict commenced. He has not once sought to smooth the ‘"wrinkled front of grim visaged war,"’ since he discovered that pacific counsels would endanger his salary. Virginia is his mother, It is true, and she has loaded him with more laurels than he ever deserved; but, like a spoiled child, who forgets ninety-nine favors, when he is refused the hundredth, Scott never forgave Virginia for declining to vote for him for the Presidency. That grudge never ceased to rankle in his aspiring heart.--The Presidency had been his day and night dream for years, and to think that old Zachary Taylor, a subordinate officer, should have that prize in the lottery thrown at his head, without an effort for it on his part, and that Pierce, a volunteer subordinate in the same war, should beat Scott in a Presidential campaign, and receive the vote of Virginia besides, was too much for his philosophy. It is disappointed ambition and wounded vanity that have impelled him to harden his heart against Virginia, and to make her once peaceful plains and beautiful valleys run red with the blood of his former companions, comrades and friends. We rejoice that this military impostor and personal ingrate is about to receive the reward due to a long career of selfishness, falsehood and treason. The announcement from Washington that he is virtually displaced by McClellan, will be sweet music to all Southern ears. In the South, no one is more despised and execrated than Wingfield Scott, and the North, which has used him only to reap the fruits of his treason, has at last discovered that he is a humbug. The newspapers and telegraphs which a month ago were burthened with his name, now scarcely ever refer to Gen. Scott. It is Gen. McClellan who orders this and that; it is all McClellan, and will continue to be, until McClellan shall venture upon a Manassas, when he, too, we predict, will be laid up in dignified retirement with the late Commander-in-Chief of ‘"the Grand Army."’
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.