The Army of Tennessee.
We have lately published several accounts from intelligent sources which concur in the statement that the Yankee
accounts of the misfortunes of that army have been grossly exaggerated; that it has suffered only an inconsiderable loss in numbers, not half that inflicted upon the enemy; that it has still an abundance of artillery, and that the alleged demoralization in the ranks exists only in Yankee organizations.
If it be true, as stated by the Columbus Sun
, that the vigilant Beauregard
has gone on to take command of that army in person, and that the eminent soldier, Johnston
, will confront General Sherman
, the situation in the West and South is by no means discouraging.
The Southern public ought, by this time, to be able to attach the proper value to Yankee statements.
They ought to know that a rigid adherence to facts is not one of their weaknesses. --We once knew an inmate of the hospital for the insane in Staunton
who had his reason upon all other points except a morbid fear of telling something that was not so. This monomania extended to the most minute and timid matters.--It was a sad infirmity, no doubt, and it is lamentable to think that he may not be wholly rational to this day. Dr. Stribling
has performed many remarkable cures in his time, but this malady is so unusual, so unprecedented among mankind, that it may have baffled even his proverbial skill.
Certainly, no Yankee letter- writer is likely to be sent to a lunatic asylum for such a disease.
We sometimes question the propriety of transferring to Confederate newspapers Yankee accounts of military affairs.
Unhappily, they are often the only accounts that can be promptly obtained.
It is, for example, nearly two months since the battle of Nashville
, and now, for the first time, we begin to get Confederate accounts of that transaction.
What dejection, what discouragement, what painful suspense and uncertainty would have been avoided, if we could have heard six weeks ago what we hear now!
A great disappointment, a great misfortune at the best, but not the irreparable calamity that so many imagined.
The Army of Tennessee, under such leaders as Johnston
, will still, with the blessing of God, retrieve its laurels.
There is no reliance on Yankee accounts of the condition of Confederate armies.
Such accounts, and all others, from Yankee sources, when transferred to Confederate columns, should be read as so many Gulliver
's Travels and adventures of Munchausen
But a lie when put in type seems to have a stronger fascination.
We are prone to believe a thing when in print, that we would have no faith in, in manuscript or by word of mouth.
We should be careful how we put confidence in all we read.
The Devil may, after all, have had something to do with Dr. Faustus
The Army of Tennessee, under proper leadership, will yet vindicate its claims to the gratitude and admiration of the country.
Its patient endurance of years of toil, peril and adversity, entitles it to as profound respect as the most brilliant successes in the field.
To be a soldier under generals whose banners are always bathed in the sunshine of victory is a happy fortune; but it affords no such test of constancy and fortitude as the steady and persistent struggle against adverse billows which the Army of Tennessee has made.
That with discord among officers, changing of generals, incompetent leadership, and consequent defeat and disaster, that army, if composed of any ordinary materials, would long since have been annihilated.
But it seems to have as many lives as a cat. It rises, like Antæus, refreshed from its contact with the earth.
It moves forward or it falls back, but it never disappears.
It has the muscle and the nerve of a giant, but it needs a head upon its brawny shoulders.
Even without a head it has an inextinguishable vitality.
What might not such energies accomplish under the development and direction of a Lee, a Johnston, a Beauregard?