Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/393

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

Americans as Fighters.

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 Chicka- mauga 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 Vir- ginia, 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When Johnston was superceded by Hood his army was in superb condition, hardened by almost daily combat with an army more than twice its force.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 lieu- tenant-generals, and among the division and brigade commanders was an extraordinary array of able men, John C. Breckinridge, Frank Cheatham, Cleburne, Stevenson, John C. Brown, Walthall, Lor- ing, Hindman, Wheeler, Porter, were there and to-day assembled in the Senate are Morgan, Gibson, Cockrell, Eustace, Berry, Wai-