North America - Volume 2 By Anthony Trollope 




















































































































































 -   They did not look like
soldiers; but I regarded them as men earnestly intent on a work
which they believed - Page 210
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They Did Not Look Like Soldiers; But I Regarded Them As Men Earnestly Intent On A Work Which They Believed To Be Right.

Afterward when I saw them in their camps, amid all the pomps and circumstances of glorious war, positively converted into troops, armed with real rifles and doing actual military service, I believed the same of them - but cannot say that I then liked them so well.

Good motives had brought them there. They were the same men, or men of the same class, that I had seen before. They were doing just that which I knew they would have to do. But still I found that the more I saw of them, the more I lost of that respect for them which I had once felt. I think it was their dirt that chiefly operated upon me. Then, too, they had hitherto done nothing, and they seemed to be so terribly intent upon their rations! The great boast of this army was that they eat meat twice a day, and that their daily supply of bread was more than they could consume.

When I had been two or three weeks in Washington, I went over to the army of the Potomac and spent a few days with some of the officers. I had on previous occasions ridden about the camps, and had seen a review at which General McClellan trotted up and down the lines with all his numerous staff at his heels. I have always believed reviews to be absurdly useless as regards the purpose for which they are avowedly got up - that, namely, of military inspection.

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