The always-excellent blog Dead Confederates quotes from a term paper, written in 1932 by a U.S. Army cavalry officer, Major George S. Patton Jr. and submitted to the Army War College. In it, the future World War II general writes about the nature of future wars and muses on wars past, including the Civil War. And if you want to read Patton’s thoughts on these matters, then by all means, click on the links! But I was interested in this [I’ve added a few links]:
It’s worth recalling that, though he was born in California, Major Patton was a Virginian by family history, a former cadet of the Virginia Military Institute, and the namesake of his grandfather, a Confederate officer mortally wounded at the Third Battle of Winchester. When Patton was a child, one of his father’s closest friends, and a frequent visitor to the Patton household, was John S. Mosby, one of the most famous cavarlymen of the war. Patton’s “Confed cred,” as it were, is unassailable, and his admiration for the soldiers of the Confederacy is unquestioned. But at the same time, [in the term paper] neither he nor his source, Henderson, fall into the ideology of the Lost Cause, that the South [was defeated because it] was simply overwhelmed by force of numbers, its nobility and morale intact. Rather, they argue that a lack of discipline, in both armies, was temporarily offset by gung-ho enthusiasm and esprit, that finally came to full flower in the Union army — “investing the war with the dignity of a crusade” — just as it began to falter in the Confederate ranks.
* Take note that I have not simply disregarded, but altogether flipped off, the first rule of punny headlines: they must make sense!