etreated, 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 on the part of the Confederate forces does not appear, as it was not carried out to a conclusion.
They saw their homes given up to the possession of the e