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The art and science of War. Wilmington, N. C., December 20, 1864. To the Editor of the Richmond Dispatch; Notwithstanding we have now been engaged in this great contest for nearly four years, and have had experience unrivalled in history, there is no subject so little or so imperfectly understood as that of war! The struggle was commenced with the mistaken and unfortunate idea that generals were born and not made — military knowledge unnecessary; that Bowie-knives, pikes, revolvers and brave men would alone gain battles and give us liberty and independence. The absurdity of such ideas has been proved by a terrible and sad experience. An army not in good discipline, well drilled, and commanded by competent officers, is still but the shadow of an army, incapable of executing great enterprises or of gaining permanent results. Of this the history of war contains abundant proof; and yet, in our own army, we see the elementary branches of the profession grossly neglected.