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Washington (search for this): chapter 6
great army shall move or a great fleet shall sail on a fixed future day, unless he be endowed with the gift of prophecy. And the 22d day of February was named for the combined movement, it may be presumed, simply because it was the birthday of Washington. Thus a sort of melodramatic grace was attempted to be thrown over the stern aspect of war, and the corps of fine writers who were in attendance upon the army were furnished with a theme for a sensation paragraph. It is melancholy to think thost decisive results. I do not wish to waste life in useless battles, but prefer to strike at the heart. He next proceeds to state that two bases of operation presented themselves for the advance of the Army of the Potomac,--first, that of Washington, its present position, involving a direct attack upon the intrenched positions of the enemy at Centreville, Manassas, &c., or else a movement to turn one or both of those positions, or a combination of the two plans. The relative force of the
Washington (search for this): chapter 7
e — on wagons, at the rate of ten to a battalion. But for the absence of women, we might have been taken for an armed emigration rather than for soldiers on the march. On May 16, we reached White House, a fine building, once the property of Washington, and now of his descendants, the Lee family. The head of this family, General Lee, was one of the chief officers of the Confederate Army; one of his nephews was in the Federal ranks. General McClellan, always careful to insist upon respect fos of the fate of the regiment at Front Royal, burnt their tents and destroyed a quantity of arms. The contagion of panic spread to Catlett's Station, where was General Duryea with four regiments. He hastened to Centreville, and telegraphed to Washington for help. The rumors were swelled and magnified on their way to the capital: the authorities there were thrown into a most unnecessary fright, and telegraphic despatches, pale with the hue of fear, were sent on the wings of lightning all over
Washington (search for this): chapter 10
recipitate advance may now be perceived. The general-in-chief, in his testimony before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, says, In respect to General McClellan's going too fast, or too far from Washington, there can be found no such telegram from me to him. He has mistaken the meaning of the telegrams I sent him. I telegraphed him that he was going too far, not from Washington, but from the Potomac, leaving General Lee the opportunity to come down the Potomac and get between him and Washington. I thought General McClellan should keep more on the Potomac, and press forward his left rather than his right, so as the more readily to relieve Harper's Ferry. As I can find no telegram from the general-in-chief recommending me to keep my left flank nearer the Potomac, I am compelled to believe that when he gave this testimony he had forgotten the purport of the telegrams above quoted, and had also ceased to remember the fact, well known to him at the time, that my left, from the tim
Washington (search for this): chapter 11
ustice to General McClellan, and that it may be understood that he was not at all open to the charge of disobedience of orders, it should be stated that the President's peremptory instructions of October 6, to cross the Potomac and give battle to the enemy or drive him south, were never distinctly repeated. From the moment of receiving them, General McClellan set himself diligently at work to get his army in condition to obey them; and from day to day, almost from hour to hour, he sent to Washington reports of his condition and progress. His telegraphic despatches between September 6 and November 7, mostly addressed to the general-in-chief, were one hundred and fifty-eight in number; and no stronger proof can be adduced of his attention to his duties, and of his earnest desire that the Government should be fully informed alike of the state of his own army, and of the movements of the enemy as far as he could learn them. As the orders to cross the river were not renewed, General McCl
Washington (search for this): chapter 14
the shores of Ontario and Lake George, on the islands of the Caribbean and in South America. Louisburgh, Quebec, Duquesne, the Moro, and Porto Bello, attest the valor of the provincial troops; and in that school were educated such soldiers as Washington, Putnam, Lee, Montgomery, and Gates. These, and men like Greene, Knox, Wayne, and Steuben, were the fathers of our permanent army; and under them our troops acquired that discipline and steadiness which enabled them to meet upon equal terms, and often to defeat, the tried veterans of England. The study of the history of the Revolution, and a perusal of the despatches of Washington, will convince the most skeptical of the value of the permanent army in achieving our independence and establishing the civil edifice which we are now fighting to preserve. The War of 1812 found the army on a footing far from adequate to the emergency; but it was rapidly increased, and of the new generation of soldiers many proved equal to the requireme
ancestors first participated as Americans in the large operations of civilized armies. American regiments then fought on the banks of the St. Lawrence and the Ohio, on the shores of Ontario and Lake George, on the islands of the Caribbean and in South America. Louisburgh, Quebec, Duquesne, the Moro, and Porto Bello, attest the valor of the provincial troops; and in that school were educated such soldiers as Washington, Putnam, Lee, Montgomery, and Gates. These, and men like Greene, Knox, Wayne, and Steuben, were the fathers of our permanent army; and under them our troops acquired that discipline and steadiness which enabled them to meet upon equal terms, and often to defeat, the tried veterans of England. The study of the history of the Revolution, and a perusal of the despatches of Washington, will convince the most skeptical of the value of the permanent army in achieving our independence and establishing the civil edifice which we are now fighting to preserve. The War of 1
o, both in the full vigor of manhood and intellect,--men who have proved their ability and chivalry on many a field in Mexico and in this civil war,--gallant gentlemen, of whom their country had much to hope, had it pleased God to spare their lives. Lyon fell in the prime of life, leading his little army against superior numbers, his brief career affording a brilliant example of patriotism and ability. The impetuous Kearney, and such brave generals as Richardson, Williams, Terrill, Stevens, Weed, strong, Saunders, and Hayes, lost their lives while in the midst of a career of usefulness. Young Bayard, so like the most renowned of his name, that knight above fear and above reproach, was cut off too early for his country, and that excellent staff-officer, Colonel Garesche, fell while gallantly doing his duty. No regiments can spare such gallant, devoted, and able commanders as Rossell, Davis, Gove, Simmons, Bailey, Putnam, and Kingsbury,--all of whom fell in the thickest of the comb
Wellington (search for this): chapter 2
is the great general. Without doubt, this is a correct judgment in the long run; but in particular cases the rule could not always be applied without injustice. Hannibal was defeated by Scipio at Zama, and Napoleon was defeated by the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo; but it does not follow that Scipio was a greater general than Hannibal, or the Duke of Wellington than Napoleon. Mexico was taken by a series of rapid and daring movements, and Richmond has not yet been taken; and thus the inferenWellington than Napoleon. Mexico was taken by a series of rapid and daring movements, and Richmond has not yet been taken; and thus the inference is drawn that, had the latter city been assailed in the same way as the former was, it too would have fallen, as Mexico did. But those who reason thus forget the sharp lesson we learned at Bull Run,--a disastrous battle forced upon the army by a popular sentiment which ignorantly clamored for the dash and rapidity which accomplished such brilliant results in the Valley of Mexico. Nelson won the battle of Aboukir by a very daring and dangerous plan of attack, which had the good fortune to be
Wellington (search for this): chapter 3
zed without a touch of arrogance, and yet with a manly decision of tone which reveals a sound military judgment and thorough military training. It merits can be fully perceived only by a professional reader; bat the general reader cannot fail to recognize in it the marks which show the writer to be a man of vigorous understanding and excellent powers of observation, as well as an accomplished officer. The style is simple, perspicuous, and direct, the style of Washington, Collingwood, and Wellington;--in other words, that good style which a man of sense will always write who has something to say and writes on without thinking about his style at all. As the work. from the nature of its contents, can never have been generally read, two extracts from this portion of the volume are hero appended,--enough, it is believed, to justify the commendation which has been bestowed upon it. The first is a brief criticism of the defences of Sebastopol:-- From the preceding hasty and imperfect ac
Wellington (search for this): chapter 5
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
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