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regretted that he did not follow in the footsteps of the renowned Roman by holding on to the mountains of Georgia. In the long course of years, during which Fabius Maximus commanded at intervals the Roman Legions, he could never be induced to quit the mountainous regions, and accept the gage of battle with Hannibal upon the plai moved out upon the plains of Georgia, he bid adieu forever to even a shadow of right to the claim of having pursued the policy so persistently carried out by Fabius Maximus. Had he clung to the mountains and refused to surrender them to General Sherman, vast indeed might have been the results achieved, and far greater his title eir empire, which had been shaken by so many tempests. Since General Johnston failed to practice the art of war in accordance with the principles either of Fabius Maximus or of Scipio Africanus, and since he fought not a single general battle during the entire war of Secession, what just claim has he to generalship? A man may
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 3: (search)
y of English, but none so interesting as himself and his wife. January 2, 1837.—. . . . In the evening we went for a short time to the Princess Massimo's. We brought letters to her, but did not deliver them until lately, because they have been in great affliction, on account of the dangerous illness of one of the family. She is a Princess of Saxony, own cousin to the unfortunate Louis XVI., and married to the head of that ancient house which has sometimes claimed to be descended from Fabius Maximus. When she is well, and her family happy, she receives the world one or two evenings every week, but now her doors are shut. She is old enough to have a good many grandchildren, and we found her living quite in the Roman style. We passed up the grand, cold, stone staircases, always found in their palaces, through a long suite of ill-lighted, cheerless apartments, and at last found the Princess, with two rather fine-looking daughters, sitting round a table, the old Prince playing card
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 17: (search)
arrass it somewhat, and Queen Christina, Dowager-Queen of Spain. with the ceremonies attending such a personage everywhere, embarrasses it still more this year. Above all, it costs too much. Three balls, therefore, are as much as anybody gave last winter, or will give this year. The rest is made up of tea and talk, ices and sideboard refreshments, which at Count Lutzow's and the Marquis Spinola's are very agreeable once a week, and pretty dull at the Roman Princesses of the race of Fabius Maximus. At all the other palazzos—and in sundry other places—a half-hour or an hour may be spent pleasantly, whenever the inmates are not out visiting, a fact politely intimated by shutting half of the porte-cochere. I go pretty often in this way, especially to the Borgheses', One evening in conversation with the Dowager-Princess Borghese, the fact was noticed that in his three visits to Europe, Mr. Ticknor had met members of five generations of the family of the Princess, who was nee la R
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 30. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Why we failed to win. (search)
the troops would return as they always did. In some other parts of the Confederacy this was not the case. Some of the most noted commanders in the West retreated, never to revisit the positions which they had abandoned, and the people came to understand that this abandonment was final. This constant retreating was not always necessitated by attacks and defeat at the hands of a superior force of the enemy, but was in obedience to a fixed plan of strategy named from the Roman general, Fabius Maximus, who in his campaigns against Hannibal made it a rule to avoid battle and always to retreat. Hannibal defeated all the troops he ever met, but Fabius, by eluding battle with the great Carthaginian, succeeded in a campaign that lasted thirteen years in wearing out his enemy, which could get no recruits or reinforcements from Carthage across the Mediterranean. Whether the great Federal armies could have been worn out and eventually ruined by a systematic course of retreat and evasion
he proposition and the inference, and if both were true, it has nothing to do with this question, which presents a case altogether different from any of these three. The Romans did not act purely on the defensive against Pyrrhus. They fought him almost as soon as he landed at Tarentum, and with so much obstinacy that, though he claimed the victory, he said another such would ruin him. They fought him a second time, and he withdrew from Italy, assigning some other cause for his retreat. Fabius Maximus is always quoted as the great authority in favor of defensive war. He was appointed Dictator immediately after the battle of Thrasymene, when, to use the strong language of Dr, Arnold, "Rome was bleeding at every pore."--He knew it was vain to contend with Hannibal in the field. He felt that he was not his equal, as indeed who except Napoleon, ever was? He knew that his militia could not contend with the heavy armed African veterans of the great Carthaginian General, or the Roman caval
attles when they will not read about anything else. Much more, then, will they read about the events of war, now that we are in the midst of war. We hope, therefore, we shall be excused for running briefly over a few of the campaigns which are celebrated in history as remarkable defensive campaigns. It will be seen that there is, strictly speaking, no such thing as a campaign purely defensive, but that in every campaign the party defending sometimes takes the initiative. We begin with Fabius Maximus, who gave name to what is called the Fabian system — a system, by the by, greatly misunderstood. Fabius was appointed Pro-Dictator immediately after the bloody defeat of the Roman army at Thrasymene. The system which he adopted was probably the only one that could have saved the republic; but it was not a purely defensive system — that is, he did not always wait to be attacked. On the contrary, although he harassed his enemy — and that enemy, be it recollected, was Hannibal — by a se