The danger of raiding.
The great danger of raiding is demoralization from a surfeit of supplies.
The active movements of a body of cavalry on an expedition into the enemy's country to obtain supplies are quite fatiguing, and induce a sufficiently strong desire for repose and relaxation.
In addition to this, if there be anything like excessive indulgence in eating and drinking, it may be well supposed that the inclination to drop the inconvenient discipline of the camp for a season is almost irresistible.
Nothing but the most persevering watchfulness and rigor of superior officers can prevent a relapse of this sort.
No command of the kind can resign itself in this manner to ease without peril.
This has been proved so often by actual results that it is surprising that any officer should want another lesson to teach him the chief danger in a raiding expedition.
Yet we are called upon, every now and then, to record still another lesson for all who have charge of such enterprises.--Are we never to have an end of "disgraceful surprises?" If men will not, or cannot, be prevented from excessive indulgence, cannot officers, knowing their great responsibilities, themselves enforce enough of order and watchfulness to avoid such discreditable and disastrous surprises?
It is no consolation to us that the enemy occasionally meets with the same misfortune.
The enemy's misfortune are valuable to us only as we avoid the like.