Politicians and soldiers.
The Northern journals are in full chase after the politicians who have mounted epaulette and become great soldiers.
We are inclined to the opinion that they saddle upon these ambitious gentry too much of the responsibility of their misfortunes in the field.
That the war itself is their work is a sin which they can never stone for; but the war has been carried on generally under the direction and supervision of educated officers.
It is not probable that even General Butler
is ass enough to make any important movement without the aid and guidance of the accomplished officers of the regular army by whom he is accompanied, and we observe that General Patterson
, in reply to the criticisms of the Northern
press, appeals to the regular officers of his staff as the real directors of his military movements.--The grand movement from Washington
, which was the grandest disaster of all, was entirely controlled and regulated by the highest regular officers of the United States
Their combined skill and experience, having at command the whole military and financial resources of the United States Government, were embarked in that movement, and we know its result.
At the same time, we are far from justifying the practice of putting men in positions for which they are not prepared by education and habits.
The thing is only defended by its advocates on the ground substantially that it is a sham; that the figure dressed up as Major-General
is a mere figure of straw, and that the real General is some unpretending but thorough-bred soldier, who is constantly at his elbow and gives him all the points.
Upon this ground, if no other, the whole system should be abolished.
All shams are ridiculous; and when the life and honor of large bodies of men, and perhaps a whole country, are involved, are detestable.
Nor do we understand how any man of true ambition can covet a position in which he appears to the world to be what he is not, and gains laurels which belong to other heroes.
At the same time, it must be admitted that there are men who have never been regularly educated as soldiers who possess far more military genius and aptitude than many of the graduates of military schools.
was an example of this kind; and, if we are not mistaken, B McCu is another.
But these are exceptions; and, as a general rule, we should as soon think of putting a civilian in command of a man-of-war as of an army.