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Americans as fighters. [from the Richmond times, January 17, 1892.]

Statistics show them to be the most stubborn in the world.

General Boynton has recently published a paper about the battle of Chickamauga, which he claims as a Federal victory, because that battle was fought for the occupancy of Chattanooga, and our army did not occupy Chattanooga. [387]

In this able paper he quotes some interesting statistics published by General Wheeler, which show the great mortality of the battles of the war between the States, and the comparative light losses of the battles of Europe during the past two hundred years.

While our losses in battle were thirty, forty, and sometimes over fifty per cent., the losses in killed and wounded in the great battles of Europe were from two to ten per cent., and in one case fourteen per cent.

At Waterloo, Wellington commanded the allied armies—viz.: 43,000 Bavarians; Blucher's corps, 30,000; Bulow's corps, over 30,000; British troops, 24,000; total, 127,000. Wellington's total killed and wounded were about 12,000. The battle lasted about seven hours, and was decided by Blucher. In the battle of Chickamauga our army, reported by Bragg at 46,000, lost 18,000 in killed and wounded. It raged during two days. The Federal army lost as heavily, including about 4,000 prisoners reported as ‘missing.’ Our army forced the Federal army along its whole front, all save Thomas's corps, in rout.

Bragg considered the exhausted condition of his army too great to justify his pursuit of his beaten enemy, but Forrest did not find his division too exhausted to pursue, as he did, to the very works of Chattanooga and Armstrong, who was with him, says Forrest sent urgently to Bragg to follow up his victory. Forrest did not see his horses for three days, and bore his lion's share of that fierce battle. He always believed that by prompt pursuit our army might have occupied Chattanooga and captured a large part of Rosecranz's army. It is believed that the Union troops from the West were harder fighters than those opposed to the Armies of Northern Virginia, and results show there was no inferiority in our armies fighting beyond the Alleghanies to those of Virginia.

When Johnston was superceded by Hood his army was in superb condition, hardened by almost daily combat with an army more than twice its force. It was equal to any army that ever fought on any field. Its general officers were unequaled. Hardee was its senior corps commander, Stephen D. Lee and A. P. Stewart were the lieutenant-generals, and among the division and brigade commanders was an extraordinary array of able men, John C. Breckinridge, Frank Cheathamn, Cleburne, Stevenson, John C. Brown, Walthall, Loring, Hindman, Wheeler, Porter, were there—and to-day assembled in the Senate are Morgan, Gibson, Cockrell, Eustace, Berry, Walthall [388] and George, who were of that great army, and with them the noble war governor of Tennessee, Isham C. Harris.

No such assemblage of men of intellect ever before controlled any army. Unfortunately Forrest, Frank Armstrong and Bud Jackson were not with Johnston then, or Sherman would never have made his cruel raid as he did.

A striking proof of the greater tenacity of American troops is found in the fact that both sides held their ground in our battles two, three and more days.

No European battle lasted more than one day except the one of Marlborough's, which was won on the second day.

In the battle of Corinth, the First Division, Army of the West, went into action October 2d at ten A. M., with four thousand seven hundred rifles, fought all day; next day at ten A. M, stormed the town and worked with the Missouri division under General Martin Green. Being unsupported by the Third division, they were driven out with terrible loss. Next day the army retreated. The First division being in front was unexpectedly headed at the Hatchie bridge by General Ord with eight thousand men. The remnant, then about one thousand two hundred Texans and Arkansians, held that crossing from ten A. M. to three P. M., defeated every effort of Ord to cross and inflicted great loss. The enemy ceased to try the crossing, and the First division was ordered to retire and follow the army. They had fought almost incessantly three days; were hungry and weary, but were game to the last.

When General Van Dorn sent Colonel Barry, of Columbus, in command of a large burial party to General Rosecranz, he declined to admit them, but wrote to Van Dorn to this effect: ‘You may well understand why I cannot admit your burial party, but you may be sure that every attention and care shall be bestowed upon your wounded, and every respect paid to your dead, especially to those who fell so bravely as the men of your First division.’

That gallant and high-toned commander buried Colonel William B. Rodgers, of the Second Texas, Moore's brigade, with the honors of war, and caused his grave to be neatly enclosed and marked. For years it stood on the brink of the ditch of battery Robinet where he fell.

One of the most remarkable illustrations in the history of wars of tenacity and constancy of troops is found in the great battles between Lee and Grant. For weeks the Army of Northern Virginia inflicted [389] exceeded 80,000 men killed and wounded. More than 20,000 sleep in the great cemetery at Fredericksburg. Yet Grant held his army to its work until he gained his final base of operations upon the James.

Metz was the strongest fortress in the world. It was garrisoned by a great army. Yet in a few weeks it surrendered with its army, and destroyed the cause of France.

In the great war between the States, Fort Sumter was captured in one day by us. It was occupied by the First South Carolina Regiment. For more than four years that garrison held it under an incessant bombardment and many assaults. They repulsed every assault. They defeated every attack of the ironclad fleets of the United States. During the last two years more than 46,000 projectiles of the heavy artillery were thrown into the fort. For one week of that defence every gun was dismounted, and the whole fort was reduced to a mass of bricks and mortar; but those gallant men, who ever refused to be relieved by any other troops, reconstructed their fort, put up sand bags and the debris better than it ever had been, remounted their guns, and began again to work upon their enemy. Their flag in the four years was cut down more than thirty times, but it was instantly restored by some gallant fellow who sprung upon the parapet, restored it again, and waved his hat to the enemy.

After more than four years, the last hope of the Confederacy being dead forever, these men, under orders of their chief, lowered their torn banner and left their example to mankind.

In view of these facts Europe should pause before making war upon us, and we should halt before ever again we make war upon each other.

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