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[436] had killed a single man. They fear cannon, then, simply because men cease to reason when they engage in battle, and surrender themselves to their instinctive impulses.

3. Superiority in Valor.--This the Yankees have never shown, and never will show, until our troops become the biggest of fools and the meanest of cowards.

4. Superiority of Generalship.--Certainly there is no cause for fear from this source, as yet.

Reason down your fears then, soldiers; but if you cannot, fight them out.

chapter III:

In all that I have said to you, or mean to say to you, I suppose you fight against superior numbers. I have endeavored to demonstrate to you that there is not near the danger in meeting superior numbers in the field that is generally supposed. In a conflict of one thousand against two thousand, the first of unyielding valor, and the second of common soldiery, which is likely to conquer? Every man in the world will answer: “The first.” Is not this an unquestionable truth? Why, then, will not reasonable beings reduce it to practice in the war? “Because,” it will be answered, “men cannot screw themselves up to unyielding valor.” True, but with a man of common-sense, it should require but very little screwing to do that which will insure him victory, or no valor. When I was a boy, about thirteen years of age, my father lived fourteen miles from Augusta. On the road to the city, there was one point where a man had been murdered, and another where a woman had been killed, and stories were rife in the neighborhood of terrific sights seen at these places at night. I do not suppose that a house full of gold could have induced me to pass them alone at night. One day my father remarked, in my presence: “I never allowed my children to be frightened with foolish stories about ghosts, etc. There is my----, who, if necessary, would go from here to Augusta at midnight, with no more fear than I would feel at doing so.” “Mercy on me!” thought I; “how little my father knows of his----!” But the remark had a magical effect upon me. It set me to thinking of the folly of my fears, the glory I should have in verifying my father's opinion of me, and the shame that I should feel at his discovering that he had over-estimated me, and I began to entertain a timid desire to prove my heroism. Not long after this I was belated, and had to pass one of these places at night, and alone. I was awfully alarmed as I approached the spot, but I determined to go slowly by it. When I reached it my fears rapidly subsided; “and now,” thought I, “if I can only tell, when I get home, that I stopped and searched for ghosts and blue-lights, and listened for groanings, etc., what an honor it will be for me!” I did so, and thenceforward became a tolerably brave boy.

Now, if such inducements as these could make a timid boy act the hero, why should not love of country, the glory of victory, and the shame of defeat, make even cowards act the hero? But I am departing from the subjects proposed for this article. I come now to speak of actual operations in the field.

If ten thousand engage twenty thousand, the labor of fighting is about equal on both sides. The human constitution can only endure a certain amount of labor and fatigue, and at this point the belligerents must stop. All other things being equal, then, if the ten thousand hold on to this point, they cannot possibly be conquered; and it's a hundred to one, that the twenty thousand yield the contest before they reach the point of exhaustion.

Charge of Bayonets.--If the soldier forgets all else that I have written or may write, let him not forget what I say upon this head. It has been said that in all Bonaparte's battles there were but three instances of a fight with bayonets. With these exceptions, whenever he or his adversaries brought the battle to a hand-to-hand fight, one or the other party invariably gave way. Now he fought every nation in Europe, and, with one exception, always with inferior numbers. The Turks he fought in Egypt and Syria--a barbarous people. At Acre, he fought the Turks, assisted by the English. I do not remember that his troops ever recoiled from a charge of bayonets. Be that as it may, we all know that up to his Russian campaign, his battles were little else than one unbroken series of victories. I have inquired of a number of our officers and soldiers whether they ever witnessed a fight with bayonets during the war, and I have not found the man who has seen such a thing. And yet I have heard of a hundred, if not five hundred, charges being made during the war. In all these charges, then, one or the other party must have given way. Now what is the conclusion from all this? Why, that whether you fight with civilized or barbarous nations, or with civilized and barbarous mixed, with royalists or republicans, with equal or unequal numbers, (the disproportion not being very great,) you have only to stand firm in a bayonet-fight, to assure you of victory. There is nothing in war more certain than this. When the battle, then, comes to a cross of bayonets, whatever may be your alarms, see it through, and your triumph is sure.

Charging up to the Cannon's Mouth.--This is considered the very acme of heroism. Well, now, there is not the one tenth part of the danger in it that is generally supposed. The reason is plain. Cannon cannot be constantly adjusted to an ever-approaching object. Many of you know how wildly they shoot, until the gunner, by a number of experimental shots, “gets the range,” as it is called, even of a stationary object. But that range is lost with every approach of the object to the cannon. None but the most expert riflemen could hit a squirrel rapidly descending a tree. Now, the movement of a cannon to hit an approaching regiment must be like that of the rifleman's gun, constantly lowering, but with a variable velocity, as the regiment approaches more or less rapidly. If the regiment oblique a little from the first line of approach, the cannon

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