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
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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