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his purpose of success. He reënlisted for three They had not known each other before; henceyears as readily as he had enlisted for three forth they would meet with a better undermonths. It did not occur to him that he could standing. You-all 'll git licked next time," do otherwise. The only thing that caused him the Confederates insisted; and the Federals thought was the question of adjusting his home smiled, and said, “ Not much, Mary Ann." affairs to a longer absence. He had kissed his When they came together again at Shiloh, mother, or wife, or sweetheart good-bye expect- where there were no fortifications to divide ing to return in time to cultivate his corn-crop them, and where Thermopylæ was repeated and exchange work with his neighbors as usual a dozen times over, they learned a like lesson during the wheat harvest. Now he must send of mutual respect for bravery that never back word that unforeseen circumstances flinched, and enterprise that never wearied. delayed him, and that they would have to get The same is to be said as to Corinth, Perryalong somehow without him. If the farm could ville, and Stone's River. It was through these be rented on shares, or managed with hired severe experiences that the soldiers of the labor, and if his creditors would wait for their West, contending with foemen worthy of money until the next pay-day, he would be their steel
, became thoroughly inured to the content. The war might last the whole three hardship and peril of their new vocation. At years, though he hardly thought it could; but the opening of the third year of the war it would end all right — that he knew; and were veterans. They moved invincibly upon he must see it through, of course. Thus he Vicksburg, and made its capture their celebratalked and wrote — not in a lofty and star-span- tion of the Fourth of July. Then ensued the gled style, but calmly, simply, manfully. And startling tragedy of Chickamauga, relieved in that mood he went forward, prepared for from utter mortification only by the tenacious any test, equal to every emergency. It was his and splendid valor of George H. Thomas. way. He wore a blue uniform that never fitted After Chickamauga — what? That was the him, and followed a flag instead of a plow; query that the soldiers discussed with eager inbut he did not stop to consider what the change terest around the camp-fires in Tennessee and implied from a sentimental point of view. Per- Mississippi. The general belief among them haps it was because he did not care.
was that Grant would be selected to retrieve In short, the qualities of faith, of resolution, the disaster, and so they were not surprised and of self-control which distinguished Gen- when he was sent to Chattanooga. They eral Grant were peculiar also to the potential wondered, however, why such a step was not battalions of the West that he commanded. His sooner taken, and why Rosecrans was left becalculations and their capabilities were in per- leagured for a whole month when there were fect accord. That was first conclusively dem- so many troops doing indifferent service elseonstrated at Fort Donelson, where the first where. Some of them contended, moreover, substantial Union victory was achieved, and that if Grant had been ordered to join and where the South first began to rectify its dis- supersede Rosecrans immediately after the fall paraging notions of Northern pluck and stead- of Vicksburg the Chickamauga calamity would fastness. It is from Fort Donelson, in reality, have been prevented. that the story of the war properly dates. The The men in the ranks were much given to prior fighting had all been desultory, experi- speculations of this kind. They could not know mental, and ineffective; but there a blow was what unseen complications their commanders struck that had vital significance. It was no had to deal with, nor what sinister influences longer to be fancied that the military instinct sometimes frustrated the best-laid plans; and was a sectional monopoly, and that the Union so they were privileged to esteem their personal could be saved only by sending five men against opinions as highly as they pleased. That was one. The big-fisted, hairy-breasted Westerners one of the advantages of being a private. had not yet learned to keep step with tactical Curiously enough, they often anticipated imprecision, nor to handle their weapons in an portant events as accurately as if they had been entirely graceful fashion ; but they went where advised of the carefully concealed moving they were ordered, and they knew how to “get causes, which goes to show — does it not ? the bulge," as they called it. On the other that there is a certain degree of reciprocity behand, it was evident that the boasted knight- tween military science and unscientific comhood of the enemy was not merely “dubbed mon sense. They had views concerning the with unhacked rapier and on carpet con- relative merits of the different generals too, sideration,” but had a solid basis of deter- derived from close observation, and not always mination and intrepidity. These were the incorrect, by any means. Their prime favorite thoughts of the soldiers of the two armies at all times was Grant. Their feeling towards as they fraternized, after the surrender, in the him was not exactly one of affection, but rather cabins on that bleak and memorable hilltop. one of implicit trust, which was better than
affection, in the sense that reason is preferable in private life as intelligent and successful busito emotion. He never made speeches to them, ness men. It was ascertained early in the war and never solicited their admiration in any form that one might be very brave and adventurous of parade; but the humblest of them could and yet not be the right kind of man to hold always reach him with their petitions, and he a commission, there were so many other duhad a quiet way of simplifying things that was ties for him to fulfill besides that of waving his very pleasing. Sherman had their approbation, sword in the bloody vicissitudes of battle. The with a difference. He was “ bully,” they would constant care and active perseverance required say, but over-demonstrative. Thomas they to insure comfort, to maintain discipline, and honored profoundly. Halleck impressed them to promote efficiency were quite as important as a man who thought the war was being prose- as obligations of a more shining order. It was cuted for the sole purpose of giving lessons in not an easy task to adapt the Western soldier to strategy. McPherson delighted them; and so those rigid but indispensable rules which often did Logan, after they found him out; and Blair seemed to be only arbitrary devices for trying and Dodge. They would have liked Sheridan his patience and subduing his energy. He more if he had been less severe.
could not see for a long time what so much They assumed a right of criticism towards drilling had to do with putting down the retheir regimental and company officers that was bellion, or how the Union was being saved by almost as free as that exercised by the average compelling him to observe a given neatness in voter with regard to political officials. In some his apparel and to do his eating and sleepinstances they did injustice, no doubt; but, ing according to an invariable time-table. generally speaking, their estimates were saga- But experience gradually enlightened him in cious and proper. They had no patience with this respect, and towards the last he came pretense of any description, and they were to be quite proud of his martial education, quick to detect it. Thus, if a colonel invested though he never forgot how irksome and prohis headquarters with unnecessary pomp and voking the process of learning had been. When formality, as a colonel was occasionally known the war was almost ended, one was heard to to do, they would nudge one another in pass- say on being aroused from a comfortable snooze, ing and exchange looks and comments that “ The first thing I'm goin' to do after I git home rarely failed to produce a change. On one oc- is to hire a man to come and beat the reveille casion a lieutenant-colonel, riding out to battle, under my window every morning for a month, forfeited the esteem of his regiment by holding so I can poke my head out and tell him to a picture of his wife in his hand and gazing go — to — thunder.” fixedly upon it; but he afterwards restored him- There were some officers who, like their men, self to favor by a daring act that cost him two were restive under the restraint and routine ugly wounds. Another officer of the same rank, which necessity imposed upon them. They on a toilsome march, gained a cheer by alight- were unable, in particular, to appreciate the ing from his horse and giving his place in the value of the minute records they had to keep, saddle to a limping soldier; but when the major and the many reports they had to make; they at his side did the same thing there was no had not enlisted, they would protest, for service response. The first had performed a kindness of that mild and sedentary character. One of without prompting, while the second was a them went so far at one time as to refuse flatly mere imitator. It was by such distinctions that to prepare an additional copy of one of his officers were notified of the sharp watch that returns. “I've furnished a duplicate and a was being kept upon them, and admonished triplicate and a quadruplicate," he declared, that they were mortal as well as those who “and I won't send any more - not another wore no shoulder-straps. Now and then the d-dplicate.” He changed his mind, however, instruction took a more amusing turn, as when when ordered under arrest. “ I s'pose I 'll have a captain, noted for his conceit, undertook to to do it," he grimly observed," or the war can't lecture his company upon the necessity of in- go on.” Many a company commander squared creased respect for officers, and was checked his tangled accounts and preserved his reputaby a droll fellow who said, with a grin and an tion by placing “lost in action ” opposite the extravagant salute, “ Cap., I used to know you list of articles for which he had no vouchers. when you made harness.”
The deception did not signify that the property At first the idea prevailed that the best men had been misappropriated, but only that the for officers were those who had figured as mar- bookkeeping was irregular. Those who made shals in civic processions, or as captains in money dishonestly during the war were others wolf-hunts, or as leaders in the sham warfare than soldiers. The men who did the fighting of the militia ; but, as a rule, such selections did not do the stealing. In all history, it may proved to be disappointing. The most satisfac- truly be said, there was never another army that tory officers were those who had won esteem had so many opportunities for plunder and yet
pursued its way with so much integrity. There profanity was usually of that robust and peculiar was devastation where it marched, but solely quality which Emerson guarantees to have a because war at best exacts devastation as a “fructifying” effect. There was always room penalty. At times more Federal troops were left for a laugh, if indeed the oath did not preemployed in protecting the property of the pare the way for the laugh. The chaplains Southern people than in carrying on the work strove diligently for a season to correct this of fighting the Southern army. That was a undevout tendency; but in course of time they mistake, as experience proved, and it was practically gave it up, on the hypothesis, it abandoned after a while; but it had its origin may be assumed, that it was better to tolerate in principle, and illustrated a point of character. a certain kind of profanity than to enlarge the
The Western soldier watched eagerly for sick-list by repressing it. There is some reason pay-day, however. He was not in the service to suspect that some of them had an eye to on account of the wages, but nevertheless he personal success. Those chaplains were most wanted his money when it was due. That was popular who did least preaching, and devoted one of the links that connected him with home, their time mainly to works which helped to with family, with happiness. He liked to fold promote the comfort and welfare of the soldiers. up the crisp new bills and put them in a letter Not a few of them thus endeared themselves to the woman who wrote him so cheerfully to the ranks as they could never have done by about herself and the children, in spite of the the best of strictly spiritual service; and occaconstant lump in her throat, and the burden sionally, too, they won admiration by acts of of suspense that made even her dreams a source military sense and courage, like that of the one of agony. It was his habit to think a great who, being ordered to burn the transportation deal more about those whom he had left be- and supplies that he had charge of in the rear hind him than about those with whom he was of the Federal lines at the battle of Corinth, in daily association, or about himself and his said, “No, sir; the boys are not whipped yet," adventures. If he happened to be in the rear, and thus saved what the panic-stricken comhe was curious to know what was going on at mander would have foolishly destroyed. the front; and the approach of a battle, with It was lucky for the soldiers of the West its hidden possibilities of gain or loss, absorbed that to their gift of humor was added the his attention for the time. But it was news even more important attribute of large and from home that had the largest place in his capable feet; for they had much marching to mind; and often a very little matter thus re- do, and were thus fitted to do it in a proper lated would stir him deeply—as when he would manner
. They were always glad when an order read on the margin of his wife's last letter a came for such an experience. It suited them babyish scrawl saying, “ Dear papa, come back best to be moving; not only because that as soon as you can to me and mamma.” That “ looked like business," as they said, but also had coaxed a smile from mamma, he knew; because it implied change of scene, duty, and ah, yes, and afterwards she had gone off by diet. If the march lasted only a day, and had herself to cry, poor, dear woman! Then he nothing but swamp-water and mosquitoes at would wish that the bugles might blow, or the the end of it, still it was a welcome relief; and drums beat, or the guns crack on the picket when it was prolonged for weeks, and led to a line. He was a soldier "for three years or great battle, like the march of Sherman's forces during the war," and he must not let himself from Memphis to Chattanooga in the autumn grow homesick. Some, alas, did fall victims to of 1863, it became a supreme gratification. that insidious and pathetic influence. They had That notable expedition afforded the troops a no disease that the doctors could discover, and rare chance to look upon the homes of the yet they died — died of the maladie du pays. South in a continuous and leisurely way, and
These examples of death produced by morbid to learn how the war had affected them. The longing might easily have been more numerous picture was sad enough in some respects; in if the soldiers as a class had not been blessed others it was merely unpleasant; in yet others with that indefatigable sense of humor which it was ludicrous. The Western soldier did not a modern philosopher has declared to be the allow any of it to surprise him, unless it was next best thing to an abiding faith in Providence. the presence of so much chicken and honey They insisted upon seeing the comic side of their where there were so many signs of general distoils and misfortunes, and were even able some-tress and decay. That seemed to him anomtimes to invent a ludicrous side when in reality alous, and he took care to leave no cause for none existed. If melancholy sought to enter a like wonder on the part of anybody who should camp it was apt to be halted and turned back visit that region after him. As for the rest, it by a dry joke from the first sentinel it encoun- was only what he had expected. It was the tered. There was grumbling in plenty, and it logic of things; and that was all there was to did not always stop short of profanity ; but the be said about it.
To be with the advance guard of the vation of the right to profit by it as they might column, or with the roaming scouts and for- choose. There should have been some genuine agers, was to see army life in its most enjoy- Unionists among them, according to popular able aspect. The novelty of it was unfailing, report, but on that march of forty days the with just sufficient peril to keep one thought- soldiers came across only one, as they believed. ful of his cartridges. If the people had enter- She wore a large pink sun-bonnet and a welltained a conception of Yankee soldiers as crea- starched white dress, and stood at a wood-pile tures of low-browed ferocity and rapacity, they in a stooping posture, with her back to a party were speedily undeceived. A better-natured of advancing foragers. The sergeant of the order of invaders never marched into any squad stole up behind her, put an arm quickly country. They were disposed to make them around her waist, and kissed her. Then he selves agreeable, so far as duty permitted, and waited to be condemned. But instead of reto effect their “cramping,” as they named the senting the assault, she lifted a radiant face and procedure by which they obtained necessary said in a soft, appreciative tone, “You 'll find supplies, with as little offense as possible. They me right yer ev'ry day a-pickin' up chips." liked to sit on the doorsteps and chat with the The Federal commanders had cause repeatwomen, and fumble at the toes of the babies, edly to attribute the failure of their schemes and have the negro urchins dance for them and hopes to the vigilance of the non-comto the juba-patting of a presumptive Uncle batants of the South, especially the women. It Tom. It was very pleasant to them to hear was almost impossible to execute any movea feminine voice again, if it did drawl its ment that depended upon the mystification of words and cut curious antics of pronunciation. the enemy. A voluntary and comprehensive The fact appeared very plainly that the South- system of spying and reporting existed which ern women were true to the cause for which kept the Confederate authorities so well advised the Southern men were fighting; and their that they could rarely be taken unawares. By blue-coated visitors really admired their fidel- common consent those of both sexes who were ity while dutifully pretending to find it very at home watched continually in every direction shocking and lamentable. Their eyes snapped for those signs by which the intentions of an and their cheeks flamed very prettily as they army are foreshadowed and the opposite side talked of Chickamauga, and ironically pitied made acquainted with valuable facts. From the poor Federals whom Bragg had “done the day that a Federal regiment crossed the got” surrounded at Chattanooga. They could Ohio River, it was never exempt from this sort not know — though they must have sus- of surveillance; and the most innocent-looking pected — that they were then entertaining the old man, or meek-visaged woman, or wondervery men who were to aid in delivering that ing child was a possible bearer of important beleaguered army, and inflicting a defeat upon secrets to the nearest Confederate headquarBragg from which he would never recover. ters. There was no way to escape such an
Many of these fair secessionists, with all agency of mischief. The only thing that could their haughtiness and vindictiveness, were capa- be done in that connection was to deal sumble of pleading for the privilege of Rahab to marily with all spies whose acts were definitely bind scarlet lines in their windows against appre- covered by the laws of war. One such, with a hended dangers. They knew how to be exceed- pass signed by General Bragg and other coningly polite and flattering when they wanted victing documents on his person, was captured, guards placed about their dwellings or their pal- tried by court-martial, and sentenced to be try residue of cows, sheep, and pigs saved from hanged. At the last moment, when sitting upon confiscation. Sometimes such negotiations led his coffin, with the gallows directly before him, to episodes of marked romantic interest, in he was offered an unconditional pardon if he which the soldiers tasted nectar with their would reveal the whereabouts of a certain bacon and hard-tack, and made vows wholly prominent character under whose orders he unauthorized by the army regulations, thus at- had been immediately acting. He drew himtesting the loyalty of human nature to love in self up, his hands tied behind him,- he was a war as in peace. In some instances, too, these slight, boyish, handsome fellow,—and anperformances contained an element of treach- swered scornfully, “Would you betray a friend? ery, and furnished prisoners to lurking bands I'd rather die a thousand deaths !” That was of Confederate cavalry. In other words, it as much as he cared to say. With a quick was not safe to assume that because the daugh- but firm step he ascended the scaffold and ters of the South were willing to incline their made good his fatal declaration. It was an ears to Federal love-making, they could not odd coincidence, many of the soldiers remarked, play the wooers false for a military advantage. that his name was Dávis.
a Their hearts were well under control in that It is to be presumed that the Confederate particular. They accepted homage with a reser- spies notified Bragg promptly of every step
that Sherman took during that forty days of those sorrowful opportunities. And when journey, and thus enabled him to divine in due they died, they did it as if with a feeling that season that the objective point in the case was death was not a thing that they could afford Chattanooga. But Sherman's soldiers had no to make a fuss about. “ Boys,” said one, “the means of forecasting their destination. They doctor was mistaken; I can't live - I've got thought one day that it might be one place, to go.” The words were hardly spoken when and another day another place. It was certain, he ceased to breathe. Said another, “ Turn me at least, that they were not making such a long over, some of you, so I can see the colors”; march merely "to take the kinks out of their and when they turned him over he was dead. legs and hunt up a little poultry," as their Still another raised his hand as though it commander was said to have observed. There belonged to somebody else and with his own was hard work to be done somewhere, they fingers closed his eyes for the grave. Thus it were satisfied; but what it was or where it was was that they talked and acted on Missionary they did not really know until they were ferried Ridge. It was the way they had talked hastily over the Tennessee River by night and and acted when at home; and they saw no halted in the baleful shadow of Missionary reason to do differently because they were in Ridge. Then they understood. The enemy Tennessee instead of Illinois, or Iowa, or was to be forced from the strongest position Kansas, or Minnesota. They realized, as they that he had yet held, and Grant had sent for often quaintly remarked, that the Government them — waited for them — to insure the suc- did not provide against accidents to its soldiers. cess of the undertaking. They were very proud Certain things were to be taken for granted. of that, and they were anxious to begin the If they should fortunately escape, very well; assault. It was past noon when the last of if not, then still very well. Such was their their artillery crossed the river. At i o'clock philosophy; and in a considerable measure it they moved forward. A drizzling rain was fall- was also their religion. ing, and as they mounted the hill a fantastic In this brilliant and tremendous campaign drapery of mist involved them. They looked against Bragg, the Western soldier touched above only to see the low-lying clouds that hid elbows with the soldier of the East, and from the summit of the ridge, as similar clouds con- that time on, more or less, they marched and cealed Lookout Mountain, where Hooker's fought together. The conjunction furnished a men were also ascending. From the clouds curious and suggestive study. The two types of came crash of cannon and peal of musketry to men differed materially, and comparison was dispute their right to be there. The haze and not only easy, but inevitable ; in fact, the comthe smoke met, mingled, and blotted out the parisons made themselves. It was evident that heavens; it was as if night had suddenly inter- the Eastern soldier was not fortified by the same vened, and a new sky in which the stars were serene and immovable belief in victory that made by the bursting shells. Then, after a time, supported his Western comrade. He had grit it grew lighter. It was not yet sundown, and and pride to match the best, but he admitted they stood upon the top of the hill. There they the possibility of failure, and was regardful of rested for the next day's struggle.
lines of retreat and partial to intrenchments. The situation was not conducive to sleep, The idea of a campaign conducted without and the boys longed for the morning to come scrupulous regard for the art of war as taught that they might go on. They got an early by books did not meet his approval. He prestart, with bright weather to encourage them, ferred to be so led that no disrespect should and advanced rapidly to the next hill and to be shown to the opinions of Cæsar. Battles the main ridge, gaining a position at length had been won, he conceded, by simply getting that meant victory if they could hold it. And within fighting range of the enemy and staythey did hold it. They were there for that ing there until success happened; but he purpose, and Grant was watching them from doubted the excellence of such achievements, Orchard Knob. It was so awfully hot at times and held that it was better to be patient and do that they had to fall back a little; and then things scientifically. He thought the rebellion they would advance again, driving the enemy might ultimately be overcome if the North before them, and pushing on still farther than would stand sufficient drafting, and he feared they had been before. Column after column that Mr. Lincoln had some bad advisers who was hurled upon them, as Grant had antici- were inducing him so to complicate matters pated; it was a part of the plan for them to in a political way as to discourage an amicacontend against heavy odds, and they did it ble settlement of the contest. These views with their accustomed courage and faith. In were expressed in confident, not to say dogthe pauses of the battle they would look about matic, terms. The Eastern soldier took himthem for chances to serve wounded comrades, self and his cogitations seriously, so much so or to identify dead ones — and there were plenty that at times he was a bit tiresome. But then