previous next

How the Gailed Jade does Wincel

We recollect, when a boy, to have heard the clown in a circus utter the following witticism: Clown.--Master, did you know I had been a soldier? Master.--No. 1 Not It C. --But I was a soldier, though, and I fit at the battle of Water Gruel, (probably Waterloo.) M.--Ah! and what exploit did you perform? C — I made three French soldiers run. M.--Ah! how did you contrive to do that? C — Why, I ran first, and every one of them took after me.

We were forcibly reminded of this witticism by the following commentary of the New York Tribune upon the accounts of the operations in Spotsylvania given by some of the Richmond press:

‘ "We elsewhere, from Richmond papers of the 18th and 19th some interesting news which has not before reached us. We fear that cal readers may not put full faith in some of the statements but then the high-toned chivalry of the South would not condescend to its, not even to keep up the spirit of their fighting white trash — of course not. According to these accounts the several con of Lee, and Grant have been a series of unbroken successes for the Confederate arms; the Northern troops have been several times successfully enacted, guns and prisoners taken, while their attacks have in every instance been "heavily repulsed with loss" The authors of this good news have singularly forgotten to state that Lee has whipped Grant all the way from the Rapidan to the North side; we in the North cell such movements retreats, but then we are only ignorant mudeillis and one southerner is equal to five Yankees, (in lying, we admit) Bend Butler has been driven to his den on the James; Sherman has beer "repulsed with heave loss" ever so many times, and hers is another emission — they do not say that Johnston has whipped Sherman forward from Chickamauga to Rome. Then they have glorious news from the West Gen. Banks has been surrounded and his whole army has surrendered and the story about Steele's surrender is also true in the mains and rebel has been cantankerously showed up in West Virginia, and would have been quite captured, but his cavalry absurdly interfered, and so the captured did not amount to much."

’ "We of the North," it seems, "call such movements" as those of Gen. Lee "retreats." Let us see what those movements were.--On the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th, Grant tried to drive Lee before him at the Wilderness. Having lost 35,000 men, according to Yankee statements, and utterly failed, he ran off by his left towards Spotsylvania Court House, and Lee ran after him. Taking a shorter cut, Lee got to the Court-House first, and Grant found him there in position and ready to contest his advance. On the 10th, 11th, and 12th he tried to break through Lee's lines, and drive him off the field; but in this he failed egregiously, his troops having been slaughtered on the 12th in such a fashion that he has never since been able to bring them to the scratch. On the 13th, being still in front of Lee, he beat up for volunteers to assault his lines, and obtained about 6,000; but these heroes having advanced within two hundred yards of the Confederate lines, suddenly remembered the 13th, and fled ingloriously. As long as Grant remained in front of Lee, Lee stood his ground, delaying him to come on, which he did not dare to do. At last Grant, after trying for more than a week to bring his men up to the fighting point, a second time made Lee run by repeating the experiment which had succeeded so well at the Wilderness — that is, he ran off himself, and Lee ran after him. Again Lee took a short cut, and got to the Junction before he did. There he stood for five days, waiting for Grant "to fight it out on this line," and Grant was willing to try the experiment; but his men again refused to come up to the scratch. A third time Grant made Lee run by running first himself, and drawing Lee after him.

"We of the North," says the Tribune, "call this a retreat." We of the South, says the Dispatch, call it no such thing. We contend that that party which leaves the ground last, and in rear of the other party, does not retreat, and such were the facts in the case. As for the reports about Banke's surrender, they came from the Yankees, and were lies of course, and if Sigel was not whipped it is difficult to say why he ran away and burned the bridge over the Shenandoah behind him. Perhaps they do not call such moves retreats in the North, because the retreating party was not behind the victorious party, as Lee was behind Grant!

But the Tribune ought to have allowances made for its bad humor. It has had much to try its temper since this campaign begun, and is in a fair way to have a great deal more. We tremble for its equanimity, should Grant file off to the White House after all his lying and boasting, and assume the line of McClellan, the man whom the Tribune especially abhors after having lost half his army in the vain effort to take Richmond by the Northern line.

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.
Lee Run (West Virginia, United States) (2)
Waterloo, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)
Spottsylvania (Virginia, United States) (1)
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.
Gen Lee (14)
Gen Grant (11)
Gen Sherman (2)
Steele (1)
Gen Sigel (1)
McClellan (1)
Johnston (1)
Gen Butler (1)
Gen Banks (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
13th (1)
10th (1)
5th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: