The following, although written by a Union officer, ought to be
in every school history of the South, so that the children of the
men who fought the South’s battles should know the odds they contended
against. In an article which appeared first in the Century Magazine
and afterwards in the third volume of "Battles and Leaders
of the Civil War," Union General Buell said: "It required
a naval fleet and 15,000 troops to advance against a weak fort,
manned by less than 100 men, at Fort Henry; 35,000, with naval cooperation,
to overcome 12,000 at Donelson; 60,000 to secure a victory over
40,000 at Pittsburg Landing (Shiloh); 120,000 to enforce the retreat
of 65,000 intrenched, after a month’s fighting and maneuvering at
Corinth; 100,000 repelled by 80,000 in the first Peninsular campaign
against Richmond; 70,000, with a powerful naval force, to inspire
the campaign which lasted nine months, against 40,000 at Vicksburg;
90,000 to barely withstand the assault of 70,000 at Gettysburg;
115,000 sustaining a frightful repulse from 60,000 at Fredericksburg:
100,000 attacked and defeated by 50,000 at Chancellorsville; 85,000
held in check two days by 40,000 at Antietam; 43,000 retaining the
field uncertainly against 38,000 at Stone River (Murfreesboro);
70,000 defeated at Chickamauga, and beleaguered by 70,000 at Chattanooga;
80,000 merely to break the investing line of 45,000 at Chattanooga,
and 100,000 to press back 50,000 increased at last to 70,000 from
Chattanooga to Atlanta, a distance of 120 miles, and then let go
an operation which is commemorated at festive reunions by the standing
toast of "One hundred days under fire;" 50,000 to defeat
the investing line of 30,000 at Nashville; and, finally, 120,000
to overcome 60,000 with exhaustion after a struggle of a year in

In some of the battles thus enumerated by General Buell, the
odds were even greater than he states them. To illustrate the
implicit confidence with which the Southern soldiers followed
their leaders, he draws the following comparison: "At Cold
Harbor the Northern troops, who had proven their indomitable qualities
by losses nearly equal to the whole of their opponent, when ordered
to another sacrifice, even under such a soldier as Hancock, answered
the demand as one man—a silent and solid inertia. At Gettysburg
Pickett, when waiting for the signal which Longstreet dreaded
to repeat, for the hopeless but immortal charge against Cemetery
Hill, saluted and said, as he turned to his ready column: "shall
move forward, sir."

General Buell then speaks of another influence which nerved the
hearts of the Confederate soldiers to valorous deeds: "Nor
must we give slight importance to the influence of the Southern
women, who in agony of heart girded the sword upon their loved
ones and bade them go. It was to be expected that these various
influences would give a confidence to leadership that would lead
to bold adventure and leave its mark upon the contest."

The writer of these words, which do so much honest justice to
the soldiers of the South, was Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, the
man whose timely arrival at Shiloh saved General Grant’s army
from utter annihilation and capture of what remained. Grant’s
army was crouched under the banks of the Tennessee River, and
would have been captured or killed had not Buell arrived as soon
as he did. He is about the only Northern general who has had the
honesty to tell the real truth in regard to the numbers engaged
on each side during the war.

Confederate Veteran, Vol. IX, No. 12 Nashville, Tenn., December,

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