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Baron de Jomini, Summary of the Art of War, or a New Analytical Compend of the Principle Combinations of Strategy, of Grand Tactics and of Military Policy. (ed. Major O. F. Winship , Assistant Adjutant General , U. S. A., Lieut. E. E. McLean , 1st Infantry, U. S. A.) 378 0 Browse Search
Hon. J. L. M. Curry , LL.D., William Robertson Garrett , A. M. , Ph.D., Confederate Military History, a library of Confederate States Military History: Volume 1.1, Legal Justification of the South in secession, The South as a factor in the territorial expansion of the United States (ed. Clement Anselm Evans) 106 0 Browse Search
Emil Schalk, A. O., The Art of War written expressly for and dedicated to the U.S. Volunteer Army. 104 0 Browse Search
The Daily Dispatch: September 19, 1864., [Electronic resource] 66 0 Browse Search
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac 46 0 Browse Search
John Esten Cooke, Wearing of the Gray: Being Personal Portraits, Scenes, and Adventures of War. 36 0 Browse Search
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 5. (ed. Frank Moore) 32 0 Browse Search
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure) 28 0 Browse Search
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 9. (ed. Frank Moore) 26 0 Browse Search
The Photographic History of The Civil War: in ten volumes, Thousands of Scenes Photographed 1861-65, with Text by many Special Authorities, Volume 1: The Opening Battles. (ed. Francis Trevelyan Miller) 26 0 Browse Search
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Browsing named entities in William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac. You can also browse the collection for Napoleon or search for Napoleon in all documents.

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William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, I. The Army of the Potomac in history. (search)
n. Of this drama there will be no other hero than the Army of the Potomac itself; for it would seem that in this war of the People it was decreed there should arise no imperial presence to become the central figure and cynosure of men's eyes Napoleon, in an outburst of haughty eloquence, exclaims that in the great armies of history the Commander was every thing. It was not, says he, the Roman army that conquered Gaul, but Caesar; it was not the Carthaginian army that made Rome tremble at hets belly, the actual condition did not permit of carrying out the admonition to make war support war. In the densely populated countries of Europe, it is easy, from the resources of the country, to subsist an army of a hundred thousand men; and Napoleon, while operating in the basins of the Rhine and Danube, and in the rich granaries of Belgium, Italy, and Swabia, constantly supported by requisitions much greater numbers. But in proportion as the population becomes thin, the productive forces
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 2 (search)
t the facility of the tactical defence of highlands renders it necessary for the assailant to seek to dislodge the enemy by manoeuvres rather than direct attack: in other words, he should manoeuvre offensively while he fights defensively; or, as Napoleon sums up the theory in one pregnant sentence, the genius of mountain warfare consists in occupying camp on the flanks or on the rear of the enemy, so as to leave him only the alternative of evacuating his position without fighting, or of issuing knew generalship and grand war; had himself plucked laurels on the field of battle before the present generation of men was born; and long years ago, in Europe, had discussed the highest principles of the military art with the great marshals of Napoleon. But all this only served to separate him and his views and plans the more hopelessly from those with whom he had to deal. He was opposed to what he called a little war by piecemeal. He was averse to fighting at all in Virginia, which he did
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 3 (search)
igades of four regiments each, and the brigades had been somewhat disciplined and instructed, formed divisions of three brigades each. McClellan: Report, p. 11. But, in armies of above sixty thousand men, it has been common, since the time of Napoleon, to create from the assemblage of two or more divisions the higher unit of the corps d'armee. As a theoretical principle of organization, General McClellan was in favor of the formation of corps; but he wished to defer its practical application ity of his obtaining a cordial support in its execution, he should have considered with himself whether he could follow the wishes of his superiors by operating against the enemy at Manassas; and if not, he should have resigned. A general, says Napoleon, in one of his fine rulings regarding what may be called the ethics of war, is culpable who undertakes the execution of a plan which he considers faulty. It is his duty to represent his reasons, to insist upon a change of plan; in short, to giv
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 4 (search)
ericksburg on the Rappahannock. It need hardly be said that this arrangement, the like of which has not been seen since Napoleon scandalized the Austrians by destroying in succession half a dozen of their armies distributed after precisely this fashonfusion. Thus, when all was lost, Sumner's soldierly promptitude saved the day, as Moreau, flying to the assistance of Napoleon when hard pressed by the Austrians in Italy, chained victory to the standards of the French. O Moreau! exclaimed that th bank would, therefore, have been to risk his army without an assured line of retreat. This is something which even Napoleon was unwilling to do. Discussing the lines of conduct open to him after crossing the Alps into Italy, he says: Of these t risk of fighting without having a certain retreat, Fort Bard not being then taken. Gour-gaud and Montholon: Memoirs of Napoleon, vol. i., p. 276. The second project, that of making a counter-move on Richmond, would have been correct and at the
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, V. Pope's campaign in Northern Virginia. August, 1862. (search)
ition. But there still remained a gap on Birney's right, caused by the retirement of Stevens' division. This Birney pointed out to Kearney, and that gallant soldier, dashing forward to reconnoitre the ground, unwittingly rode into the enemy's lines and was killed. In his death, the army lost the living ideal of a soldier—a preux chevalier, in whom there were mixed the qualities of chivalry and gallantry as strong as ever beat beneath the mailed coat of an olden knight. Like Desaix, whom Napoleon characterized as the man most worthy to be his lieutenant, Kearney died opposing a heroic breast to disaster. On the following day, September 2d, the army was, by order of General Halleck, drawn back within the lines of Washington, and Lee, abandoning direct pursuit, began to turn his eyes towards the north of the Potomac. Within the fortifications of Washington the army now rested from the labors, fatigues, and privations of this trying campaign, in which, from the Rapidan to the fr
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 6 (search)
. Here his ability to plan campaigns and form large strategic combinations, which was remarkable, would have had full scope; and he would have been considerate and helpful to those in the field. But his power as a tactician was much inferior to his talent as a strategist, and he executed less boldly than he conceived: not appearing to know well those counters with which a commander must work-time, place, and circumstance. Yet he was improving in this regard, and was like Turenne, of whom Napoleon said that he was the only example of a general who grew bolder as he grew older. To General McClellan personally it was a misfortune that he became so prominent a figure at the commencement of the contest; for it was inevitable that the first leaders should be sacrificed to the nation's ignorance of war. Taking this into account, estimating both what he accomplished and what he failed to accomplish, in the actual circumstances of his performance, I have endeavored in the critique of his
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 7 (search)
I had learned to trust. The plan of attacking the rebel stronghold directly in front would, it was feared, prove a most hazardous enterprise. It was doubted that the co-operation of the right and left could be effective. The chess-board, said Napoleon, in 1813, is dreadfully confused (embrouille). There is but I that see through it. We all felt the application of the first part of this saying to our case. But did we feel equally confident that there was in our case an I that saw through itty on the part of officers. Yet, if there be one characteristic of that period more remarkable than another, it is the absence of these things. And, in this regard, it strikingly contrasts with the common experience of nations at war; for even Napoleon, wielding imperial power, found it next to impossible to subordinate the individual wills of his lieutenants. It is not unlikely that General Burnside himself had the same suspicion; for, though he did not put it forth, yet it is hardly to be su
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 9 (search)
many memorable illustrations of the marvellous results that may be accomplished by nations that, forced to the defensive by the superiority of the assailant, are yet able at the opportune moment to assume the offensive, and inflict blows as well as receive them. It was by acting on this principle that Frederick the Great, in that everlasting model of a defensive campaign, the Seven Years War, was able to make head against the seemingly overwhelming combination brought against him; and that Napoleon, in 1814, in that other bright exemplar of the defence of a country by boldly taking the offensive, was able to confront the invading Allies, and at length make them pay so dearly for the capture of his capital. Such was the principle of action early adopted by the Confederate leaders; and the course of this narrative has already set forth the bold and successful manner in which it was more than once carried out. It was in accordance with this policy that General Johnston, after falling
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 10 (search)
g the Confederate right, and advancing quickly towards Orange Courthouse by the plank and turnpike roads that connect that place with Fredericksburg, he might be able to interpose between the two hostile bodies under Ewell and Hill, and destroy them in detail. This plan, different from the kind of operations ordinarily attempted in Virginia, was well suited to the circumstances. It was based upon a precise mathematical calculation of the elements of time and space, of the kind for which Napoleon was so famous, and depended absolutely for its success on a rigorous execution of all the foreordained movements in the foreordained time and way. Thus planning, Meade attempted the bold coup d'essaye of cutting entirely loose from his base of supplies, and, providing his troops with ten days rations, he left his trains on the north side of the Rapidan, relying on the meditated success to open up new lines of communication. The movement was begun at dawn of the 26th of November, and the
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 11 (search)
ral Grant's military talent. The country had long ago awaked from its early dream of a coming Napoleon, and there was no danger of its cherishing any such delusion respecting General Grant; but it sal Forwarts; and as Blucher, in the great campaign in France, that ended in the capitulation of Napoleon, would hear of nothing but marching straight on Paris, so Grant, his eyes fixed immovably on Rin military art is too well established to require that it should be fortified by authority; but Napoleon, in a criticism on the conduct of Turenne in the campaign of 1655, sets forth the action of thalarly that in which he has fortified and intrenched himself.—Montholon and Gourgaud: Memoirs of Napoleon, vol. III., p. 95. Moreover, this was the means by which, eventually, after a heavy waste of lmes shown a fondness for the employment of brute masses in direct attacks, as was the case with Napoleon in 1812, in a partial eclipse of his genius. In 1812, a decided taste for direct attacks began
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