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Napoleon himself. The Army of the Potomac, which was immediately under him, was ten times larger than any army that had ever been under the command of one man upon the soil of the United States since the Revolution; and the difficulty of commanding armies increases in much more than a direct ratio with their numbers,--or, in other words, it does not follow that among ten men fit to command ten thousand men there will always be found one fit to command a hundred thousand. Even the Duke of Wellington never led an army of a hundred thousand men. Napoleon was of the opinion that he and the Archduke Charles were the only men in Europe who could manoeuvre one hundred thousand men: he considered it a very difficult thing. --General Heintzelman. (Report on the Conduct of the War, Part I. p. 118.) His position was thus in itself one of great responsibility; but there were extrinsic elements which added to its burdens. The American people are easily elated and easily depressed, and t
enemy; but, on the other band, it cost us no loss of life. We got it at last without bloodshed. But suppose General McClellan had assaulted it early in April, as now he is blamed by many for not having done, and, after the frightful carnage which must have been the result of such an attempt,--after thousands of the flower of our population had been mowed down by a tempest of iron hail, as grass falls before the mower's scythe,--the attack had been at last unsuccessful, as was the Duke of Wellington's upon Burgos: what would have been the public feeling,--bearing in mind always that the judgment of the Chief Engineer, General Barnard, was against an assault? Would. not such a storm of indignation have been raised against General McClellan as would have compelled his sacrifice at the hands of an Administration not inclined — perhaps not able — to resist that sweeping power of public opinion which moves and rages with more than the force of winds and waters pent ? Many of Lord Welli
There was a time — and the period lasted for years — in which every whig statesman in England felt bound to call in question the military genius of the Duke of Wellington, Lord Brougham says that some very eminent statesmen constantly and greatly misjudged the Duke of Wellington till the publication of his Despatches, when theWellington till the publication of his Despatches, when they at once, and in the strongest terms, declared how grievously they had erred.--Slatesmen of the Time of George III., II. p. 355. and just so the Bourbons and their followers constantly denied the military greatness of Bonaparte. But General McClellan has been so unjustly treated and so unscrupulously slandered that something m The popular mind is always eager for results in war, and ignorant of the conditions essential to success. Without citing any further examples, Washington and Wellington, This spirit of faction, however, was not confined to one side. There was a ministerial person at this time, who, in his dread of the opposition, wrote to L
William F. Fox, Lt. Col. U. S. V., Regimental Losses in the American Civil War, 1861-1865: A Treatise on the extent and nature of the mortuary losses in the Union regiments, with full and exhaustive statistics compiled from the official records on file in the state military bureaus and at Washington, Chapter 5: casualties compared with those of European wars — loss in each arm of the service — deaths from disease — classification of deaths by causes. (search)
by Union regiments as present for duty, and the number reported by them as taken into action, the estimate of the Comte de Paris may be assumed to be substantially correct. It is very doubtful if Meade had over 82,000 men on the field, including the Sixth Corps, which was in reserve. Historians vary as to the numbers engaged at Waterloo. the Confederates, 70,000 men, and 250 guns. General Lee had about 60,000 men at Gettysburg, present in action. His cavalry were absent. At Waterloo, Wellington's army lost 23,185; at Gettysburg, Meade's army lost 23,003. The loss of the French at Waterloo has never been officially announced, but has been estimated at 26,300; the Confederate loss at Gettysburg, as officially reported by the Confederate Surgeon-General, was 20,448, to which must be added 7,077 wounded and unwounded prisoners whose names were omitted from his lists, but whose names appear on the records at Washington. In short, the battles of Waterloo and Gettysburg were fought wi
Colonel Theodore Lyman, With Grant and Meade from the Wilderness to Appomattox (ed. George R. Agassiz), IV. Cold Harbor (search)
s were too familiar with the officers, having known them before. However, perfection does not exist anywhere, and we should be thankful for the manifold virtues our soldiers do pre-eminently possess. I see much to make me more contented in reading Napier, before referred to. After the taking of Badajos, the English allowed their own wounded to lie two days in the breach, without an attempt to carry them off.. This is the nation that now gives us very good lectures on humanity. As to old Wellington, I suspect he was about as savage an old brute as would be easy to find. August 8, 1864 What do you think of filling up with Germans? you ask. Now, what do you think of a man who has the toothache — a werry, werry big molar!--and who has not the courage to march up and have it out, but tries to persuade himself that he can buy some patent pain-killer that will cure him; when, in his soul, he knows that tooth has to come out? This is what I think of our good people (honest, doubtless)
General Joseph E. Johnston, Narrative of Military Operations During the Civil War, Chapter 11 (search)
turn the left was promptly met and defeated by Cheatham's reserve-Vaughn's brigade. After maintaining the contest for three-quarters of an hour, until more of their best soldiers lay dead and wounded than the number of British veterans that fell in General Jackson's celebrated battle of New Orleans, the foremost dead lying against our breastworks, they retired-unsuccessful-because they had encountered intrenched infantry unsurpassed by that of Napoleon's Old Guard, or that which followed Wellington into France, out of Spain. Our losses were: In Hardee's corps. Killed.Wounded.Missing.Total Cheatham's Division267594195 Cleburne's Division2911 Walker's DivisionKilled or taken80 286 In Loring's corps. Killed.Wounded.Missing.Total Featherston's Division813122 French's Division179277186 Walthall's Division622--28 522 The comparatively severe loss in French's division was accounted for by its position — on the descending crest of the end of Kenesaw — where it was e
General Joseph E. Johnston, Narrative of Military Operations During the Civil War, Report of Hon. L. T. Wigfall in the Senate of the Confederate States, march 18, 1865. (search)
ed. It is to be regretted that General Hood has permitted himself to become the advocate of that policy, for which he was in no way responsible. History is always repeating itself! The Portuguese Government, in 1810, became impatient of Wellington's delays. Fortunately for the country over which they ruled, he was not under their control. In a dispatch of 7th September, he says: It appears that the government have lately discovered that we are all wrong; that they have become impatienthave been safe; and, having the power now in my hands, I will not lose the only chance which remains of saving the cause by paying the smallest attention to the senseless suggestions of the Portuguese Government. It was in this campaign that Wellington established, beyond all question, his reputation as a soldier, and that by declining battle he destroyed the army of Massena and saved Portugal. For adopting a similar policy, Johnston was removed from his command. The result shows the wisdom
and Blucher at Waterloo. Every Frenchman knows that if Grouchy had not been culpably negligent, Blucher would never have been able to come to the assistance of Wellington, who in that case would have been beaten hollow. The theory is very natural, since it interposes an if as a shield against the dishonor of defeat, but there isuired by the enemy was foreseen. It is the same as if Blucher, instead of arriving at Waterloo at 4 o'clock on the afternoon of the 18th June, 1815, had joined Wellington the day before, and Napoleon had known that he had two enemies to contend against instead of one--a circumstance which would have made all the difference. In t living we had a great rebellion in Ireland, where battles were fought and scaffolds well furnished with victims. Even within the last thirty years the Duke of Wellington regarded that country as one that required to be held with a large garrison, and ruled over by a mitigated form of martial law. Do the recurring disasters of ha
extended over a space of several miles, and the commanding officers themselves were unable for some days to make a full and accurate report of them. During my residence in London, I had several very interesting conversations with the Duke of Wellington on the subject of the battle of Waterloo. One of them took place in the ball-room at Devonshire House, as we stood watching the dancers. He informed me that he had lately received a letter from a person about to write an account of the great bof the more prominent personages on the floor. Much less can any individual observation extend to the detailed movements of numerous bodies of men extended over several miles. If such was the modest reserve with which so consummate a chief as Wellington habitually spoke of his personal knowledge of the details of the great event of his life — the memorable engagement fought under his own orders — how little can be expected of the most intelligent and active spectator, who necessarily occupies
Doc. 117.-General Patterson's movement. Charlestown, Va., Thursday, July 18, 1861. The army, under Gen. Patterson, has been rivalling the celebrated King of the French. With twenty thousand men he marched to Bunker Hill, and then — marched back again. What it all means Heaven only knows. I think it would puzzle the spirits of Caesar, Saxe, Napoleon, Wellington, and all the departed heroes, to make it out. The reason currently assigned is that the enemy had been largely reinforced, and had strongly intrenched himself at Winchester, expecting the attack. The old story. It is said he had over 20,000 men and 22 cannon. I don't believe it, for the simple reason that like all the other reports of the same kind which have invariably turned out to be false, it rests entirely upon public rumor. Our scouts and pickets were never sent sufficiently near to ascertain the truth. But another significant fact about which there is no doubt is, that the enemy had felled trees and pl
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