Regulars and volunteers.
--We have endeavored to assuage, as for as possible, the natural impatience of the public under the inaction of our troops for the last three months. We have great confidence in the military judgement of our Generals
, and none whatever in our own. We do not profess to understand the science of war, and we are quite willing, in the language of a late illustrious President
of the United States
, to ‘"leave military matters to military men."’ But we do profess to know the spirit and character of Southern volunteers, for that is a subject which requires no military education to understand — upon which every Southern man is quite as competent to form an opinion as any General in the world, and more than most, because most Generals
are accustomed mostly to camp life, and to the command of regular soldiers.
We have no hesitation, therefore, in saying that our Generals
can never make regulars of volunteers, and that if they could, they would render them less valuable and efficient than they are now. Garibalett's last campaign in Italy
, and the present war, have demonstrated that gentlemen are more than a match for regulars wherever they are found, and that blood and spirit are worth all the muscle and mechanism in the world.
In the battle of the 21st, the regulars of the United States Army were smashed to pieces by raw Southern troops, and the heaviest batteries in the service taken from regulars by young gentlemen who had just left their homes.
In the battle of Springfield
, a regiment of Louisiana volunteers made a bayonet charge upon a regiment of United States regulars--the old 2d infantry, and scattered them like chaff before the whirlwind.
The same spectacle was lately exhibited at Leesburg
, and always will be whenever our Generals
, give full play to the favore
of the Southern
But they must not destroy the keen edge of their valor by cramping them in the straight jackets of a regular army, and wearing them out by inaction, and dispiriting them by failing to appreciate their magnificent daring.
We dare say that a Northern army is improved by making regulars of volunteers, but the Southern
spirit and temperament are entirely different; their strength lies in their lofty courage and the moral power of their cause; they are fighting for their homes, altars, wives, and children — for all that can fire the souls of men to superhuman exertions — and our Generals
should only seek to train and direct this electric bolt, and hurl it forth as hot and heavily as possible; not endeavor to harness the lightning and thunder, and tame them to move with the slow and steady gait of a team of mules.