A change Indeed.
The readers of the Dispatch
will recollect that about five months ago, when the little Napoleon
had just begun to date his blustering bulletins from the Peninsula
, the wonderful genius that site on the tripod of the New York Herald
predicted, with inimitable complacency that he would rival one of the most famous exploits of the great Napoleon
, by making of Richmond
a second Ulm
, and capturing or destroying all the forces assembled for its defence, Nothing, he seemed to think, could be more easy or more certain of accomplishment.
The little Napoleon
had but to march upon Richmond
, to surround it with his invincible legions, and to call upon its defenders to march out and lay down their arms at the feet of the terrible Yankees
Then was to begins the punishment of the daring ‘"rebels,"’ who had ventured to defy the power and spurn the offers of the magnanimous Abraham
Then the hanging was to commence — not to be exercised indiscriminately upon all offenders, but with a wise discrimination.
Selections were to be made for the rope, with a view to cut off the heads of the ‘"conspiracy,"’ it being presumed that the members would remain quiet when the head was gone.
Then the forfeiture of estates was to begin, and the Yankees
were to buy out the whole Southern States, as property forfeited for treason.
We ventured at the time to express a doubt as to the possibility of carrying out this humane programme.
We could see no resemblance between the movements of the great and the little Napoleon
We did not think, moreover, even though the smaller of the Napoleons were imbued with all the genius of the greater, his army was quite equal to that which captured Ulm
, and which Thiers
tells us was the finest the Emperor
We could not be made to believe that Sickles
was as daring a leader as Ney
as thorough a soldier as Davoust
as skillful a tactician as Soult
as great a strategist as Lannes, or Cooke
such ‘"a bold dragoon"’ as Murat
.--All these the great Napoleon
had with him at Ulm
, each of them a tool in the hand of the master- workman, exactly adapted to execute the especial piece of work to which he might assign it. With less than all of them — not withstanding the high qualities of his almost unrivalled army — we did not believe he could have captured Ulm
, and as the little Napoleon
had them not, and as, moreover, Richmond
was harder to take than Ulm
, we did not conceive that he would take Richmond
, especially as we had no Mack
We think even the Herald
prophet will hardly deny that we came nearer the mark than he did. So far from proving an Ulm. Richmond
turned out to be much more like a Leipsic to the little Napoleon
So far from cutting to pieces two-thirds of our army and shutting up and taking the remainder, he himself narrowly escaped being taken, with his entire force.
So far from defeating us in eight distinct engagements, as the French
defeated the Austrians before they enclosed them in Ulm
, he himself was beaten in eight pitched battles before this city; and so far from entering Richmond
in triumph, as Napoleon
, he fled to the protection of his gunboats, and sneaked away like a thief in the night, after he had lost two thirds of his army.
And now where is the little Napoleon
Has he struck any great blow to redeem the immeasurable disasters of his campaign before Richmond
? On the contrary, he has just suffered a disaster greater than any of those he suffered in that.
Instead of taking our whole army, he has had 12,000 of his best troops captured by us. Instead of repeating the disaster of Ulm
to us, he has himself suffered a disaster almost as great as that of Ulm
, one hundred and fifty miles off. On one and the same day he has had an army of 12,000 men taken, and has himself been beaten for the tenth time, in a pitched battle.
After all his falsifications of its prophecies, the Herald
still clings to the Little Napoleon.
And it is right.
He is beyond question the best General the Yankees
have, if there be any best
where all are so incomparably bad. Perhaps it would be more proper to say he is the least indifferent among them.
He is certainly not so bad as the lying braggart and blackguard Pope
, or the almost equally mendacious Halleck
, or Buell
, or Butler
have not only no General, but it seems to us they have no materials out of which a General can be made.
A generation devoted to money getting can hardly possess many of the heroic virtues, and among a people where the heroic virtues do not exist, the material for forming Generals
cannot be found.
The military academy at West Point
has furnished the South
with a number of Generals
, worthy to rank with those of any service in the world.
The camp of Gen. Lee
, at this moment, presents an array of names second to none which have been known to the world, since the days of Napoleon
and his Marshals.
We will not attempt to enumerate, for the number is so great that some of them would be sure to escape our memory, and it would be invidious not to name all, for all — each in his separate sphere — deserve to be named.
The same school, on the other hand, has given to the Yankees
no name greater than that of McClellan
, the hero of a dozen defeats, and only one victory