We stated, on Saturday, that the troops with which it is designed that this officer shall take the field are rapidly enrolling themselves — Subsequent information enables be to confirm what we then stated.
The name of Floyd
has been found a powerful spell to conjure with, and those who are authorized are using it with decided effect.
It is proper that it should be The only fault that has been laid to his charge as an officer, so far as we have been enabled to understand his case, is that he fought too bard, and thereby saved a portion of his command when according to the r of tactics as understood at West Point
be ought to have surrendered the whole.
This is something like the charge against the British
army, which English
v ity f ly attributed to Napoleon
that they did not know when they were whipped, but with true insular obstinacy, gained battles by continuing to fight on, long after, according to every role of science, they ought to have considered themselves irre bly defeated.
The public, unable to appreciate the niceties of military logic, have very naturally come to a different conclusion.
They value success, 1st it be obtained as it may, and they think more highly of the man who saves a portion of his command against all this, than they think of the man who surrenders it all, in strict obedience to the doctrine taught at military s ocs
The Confederate Government made a great mistake with regard to the western part of Virginia
at the very beginning of this contest If they had, at the outset, appointed Floyd
a full General, assigned the whole country west of the Blue Ridge
to his command, and empowered and enabled him to call out the whole body of mountaineers, we have not the slightest doubt that at this moment the State of Virginia
would have been an unit, without a Yankee nearer than the other side of the Ohio river
We say nothing against the lowland Generals
that were sent into that country.
They were brave men and true patriots all But they were out of their sphere in the mountains, and so were the troops that went with them.
They were brave and devoted soldiers-- more so; and if they had been left to defend their own soil, they would have done it against any force that could have been brought against them.
But, like their leaders, they were out of place in the made of the mountains.
They were unused to the hardships which a campaign in the mountains entails above every other species of campaign.
Their constitutions gave way, their spirits broke down, they crowded the hospitals, they died by scores, and the consequence was a complete and disastrous failure.
At the same time the young man of the mountains were brought to the lowlands into a climate and country strange to them and trying to their constitutions and they, too, paid the p ty of the Government
It should not have been so. The Highlander
should have been left among his mountains, and the lowlander should have remained at home.
A chief in whom they all had confidence should have been given to the men of the mountains, and beyond all doubt they would have rallied around him. We are justified in holding this opinion by the history of mountainous countries in all ages and every part of the world.
A city contemporary remarked, a few weeks ago, that the inhabitants of such countries are always clansmen.
This is certainly true, whether predicated of the half-savage Scottish Highlander a century and a half age and the wild Albanian
of the present day, or of the highly civilized population that inhabit the mountains of Virginia
With regard to the latter, no man from the lower country can avoid being struck with the wide acquaintance ship which they all have with each other, from Abingdon
In the lower counties men of one county seldom know many persons living two counties from them.
Over the mountains, everybody seems to know something of any person or any family that may be mentioned, provided they live anywhere within the region indicated.
The most extensive relationships, probably on this continent, exist over there.
A stranger is some times disposed to think that all the inhabitants are of kin to each other.
These are the characteristics, as they are the inducements to clanships, and it is not, therefore, in the least wonderful that the men of the mountains prefer following to battle a man of their own — It is like the Campbell following the banner of McCallum More, or the Graham
rallying around the standard of Montrose
, or the McDonalds grasping their chichis and drawing their claymores at the bidding of the Lord
of the isles.
Of all the men in the mountains Floyd
is the man whom the mountaineers would most willingly follow.
A man of large brain and great personal courage, he has already shown his aptitude for command.
His connexions are among the most extensive and the most respectable in all the mountains.
He has a hereditary claim to respect, derived from a long line of forefathers, many of whom in their day distinguished themselves in the service of their country.
The influence derived from these sources, and supported by the personal qualities properly appertaining to a born soldier, ought never to have been overlooked in the distribution of military honors and rank.
But in addition to all these, Floyd
possesses one qualification invaluable to a country situated as ours is at present.
He knows the resources of Virginia
thoroughly — they have been his study for years.
He is acquainted with every foot of her soil, and can tell what it is capable of yielding to the public service.
He known, moreover, how to bring out these resources, and to make them most available.
We are glad to hear of the success with which Gen. Floyd
has met. We feel easier about Western Virginia
than we have felt since the invasion of 1861.