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constantly with their troops. Wonderfully well equipped too, at this period of the war, were both officers and men. Their clothing was substantial and fitted easily, their arms were good, and the military arrangements were as perfect as money alone could make them. It was remarkable to me how rapidly the new recruits fell into the habits of military service. I have seen a Pennsylvanian regiment, raised chiefly from the mechanics of Philadelphia, which, six weeks after its formation, was, in my eyes, equal to the average of our best-trained volunteer corps, as far as marching and drill-exercise went. Indeed, I often asked myself what it was that made the Northern volunteer troops look, as a rule, so much more soldier-like than our own. I suppose the reason is, that across the Atlantic there was actual war, and that at home there was at most only a parade. I have no doubt that, in the event of civil war or invasion, England would raise a million volunteers as rapidly as America has done—more rapidly she could not; and that, when fighting had once begun, there would only be too much of grim earnestness about our soldiering; but it is no want of patriotism to say that the American volunteers looked to me more business-like than our own. At the scene of war itself there was no playing at soldiering. No gaudy uniforms or crack companies, no distinction of classes. From every part of the North ; from the ports of New York and Boston ; from the homesteads of New England; from the mines of Pennsylvania and the factories of Pittsburgh; from the shores of the great lakes; from the Mississippi valley; and from the far-away Texan prairies, these men had come to fight for the Union. It is idle to talk of their being attracted by the pay alone. Large as it is, the pay of thirteen dollars a month is only two dollars more than the ordinary pay of privates in the Federal army during peace times. Thirteen shillings a week is poor pay for a labouring man in America, even with board, especially during this war, when the wages of unskilled labour amounted to from twenty to thirty shillings a week. It is false, moreover, to assert, as the opponents of the North are fond of doing, that the Federal armies were composed exclusively, or even principally, of foreigners. In the North, the proportion of foreign immigrants to native-born Americans is about thirty per cent., and the same proportions were observed in the Federal volunteer army. Judging from my own observation, I should say that the per-centage of foreigners amongst the privates of the army of the Potomac was barely ten per cent. But, in the West, which is almost peopled with Germans, foreigners are, probably, in the majority. The bulk of the native volunteers consisted of men who had given up good situations in order to enlist, and who had families to support at home; and for such men the additional pay was not an adequate inducement to incur the dangers and hardships of war. Of course, wherever there is an army, the scum of the population will
always be gathered together; but the average morale and character of the couple of hundred thousand troops collected round Washington was extremely good. There was very little outward drunkenness, and less brawling about the streets than if half a dozen English militia regiments had been quartered there. The number of papers purchased daily by the common soldiers, and the amount of letters which they sent through the military post, was astonishing to a foreigner, though less strange when you considered that every man in that army, with the exception of a few recent immigrants, could both read and write. The ministers, also, of the different sects, who went out on the Sundays to preach to the troops, found no difficulty in obtaining large and attentive audiences.
The general impression left upon me by my observations of the army of the Potomac was a very favourable one. All day, and every day while I resided at Washington, the scene before my eyes was one of war. An endless military panorama seemed to be unrolling itself ceaselessly. Sometimes it was a line of artillery struggling and floundering onwards through the mud-sometimes it was a company of wild Texan cavalry, rattling past, with the jingle of their belts and spurs. Sometimes it was a long train of sutlers' waggons, ambulance vans, or forage-carts, drawn by the shaggy Pennsylvanian mules. Orderlies innumerable galloped up and down, patrols without end passed along the pavements, and at every window and doorstep and street corner you saw soldiers standing. You had to go far away from Washington to leave the war behind you. If you went up to any high point in the city whence you could look over the surrounding country, every hill-side seemed covered with camps. The white tents caught your eye on all sides; and across the river, where the dense brushwood obscured the prospect, the great army of the Potomac stretched miles away, right up to the advanced posts of the Confederates, south of the far-famed Manassas. The numbers were so vast that it was hard to realize them. During one week fifty thousand men were embarked from Washington, and yet the town and neighbourhood still swarmed with troops and camps, as it seemed, undiminished in number. And here, remember, I saw only one portion of the gigantic army. Along a line of two thousand miles or so, from the Potomac down to New Mexico, there were at that time Federal armies fighting their way southwards. At Fortress Monroe too, Ship Island, Mobile, and at every accessible point along the Atlantic seaboard, expeditions numbered by tens of thousands were stationed, waiting for the signal to advance. At this time the muster-roll of the Federal army numbered 672,000 men, or, at least, that number were drawing pay daily from the Treasury, though a large allowance must be made for absentees and non-effectives.
what its effect, seen in fact, and not portrayed by feeble description, must be upon a nation unused to war. The wonder to me is, that the American people were not more intoxicated with the consciousness of their new-born strength. Still the military passionthe lust of war—is a plant of rapid growth, and that, when the war is over, the nation will lay down their arms at once, and return to the arts of peace, is a thing more to be hoped for than expected. I recollect at the time reading an article in an English periodical of high repute, wherein the writer characterized as an acknowledged fact, the essentially blackguardly nature of the whole American war; and amidst some very clever discussion about the essence of a gentleman, paused to point a pungent paragraph by a sneer at the Federal army. Children play with lucifer-matches amongst powder-barrels, and, probably, the class of writers of whom this gentleman is a type, have not the faintest notion that, by words like these, they are sowing the seeds of war. Still, for the credit of their own country, I wish they would remember that power and strength and will, however misapplied, are never essentially blackguardly, and that there is something in an army of half a million men raised in six months' time, worth thinking about as well as sneering at.
How bitterly Americans feel this sort of ill-natured comment from English critics, it is hard for anybody who has not lived in the country to appreciate. I