208 Southern Historical Society Papers.
regiments as they were organized. We had nothing of the kind. Few even of our officers had ever seen a well drilled regiment. The wonder is how well and quickly they learned what they did. But they did learn with great facility the elementary and essential movements from line into column, and from column into line.
Few regiments could go through a respectable dress-parade, and with all their picketing they knew very little about the niceties of guard -mounting. But few in the army ever went through the cere- monies of the "Grand Rounds." Soldiers treated officers with respect — if they deserved it — but they never thought of giving a military salute, nor would they have known how to make one if ihey had. They took off their hats to Lee, and shouted for Jack- son ; but few officers ever knew the ceremonies of turning out the guard for the commanding officer. There was no time to learn these things. It was this absence of all ceremonial that struck foreign officers and our own officers who had been in the regular army. After the close of the Franco- Prussian war I saw this shrewd observation in a letter from Berlin. The writer said that there were many martinets in the Prussian service to whom war was an annoy • ing interruption to the serious business of army life. One may become just a little too professional a soldier, too much imbued with the technology of the camp and parade ground, rather than with the bivouac and battlefield. To such a one the Confederate army was but a sorry sight. *
- Since the delivery of this address, it has been suggested that these
observations in regard to the lack of attention to the minutics of drill are too general — " that to apply the statement universally would do great in- justice to the numerous el^ves of the Virginia Military Institute— the so- called West Point of the South — some of whom were to be found among the officers of every Virginia regiment, and not a few from other States, who estimated these matters as highly as any Prussian martinet, and who spent the late fall and winter of 1861 in industriously and successfully drilling officers and men in every nicety of the art-military." — [Letter in Charleston Sunday News, October 31, signed K.]
No doubt it would have been unjust and untrue to have said tliat there were no regiments in the Confederate service trained and drilled in these things; but I think still that the observation is generally true, as I have made it — that is. that there were few regiments which were so drilled.
Besides the graduates of llie Virginia Military bistitute there were also the graduates of the .South Carolina Military Academy, who did for some South Carolina regiments what those of the Virginia Military bistitute did for the Virginia troops; and in the regiment to which 1 had the honor to