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By Bruce Catton

A desirable learn of the 1st sleek battle and its influence on American tradition.

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Discipline or no discipline, enough men would respond to that sort of leadership to put up an excellent fight. From whatever source he got his battle morale, the Civil War soldier somehow learned how to handle himself under fire. Sometimes he had to learn the hard way, for he was often thrown into action almost totally untrained. Perhaps the best illustration of this is the battle of Shiloh, where two green armies ran into each other head-on and fought for two days. It is almost impossible nowadays to understand how pathetically unready for battle were most of die men who were pushed into the great fight at Shiloh.

Was not the support of the German community essential, particularly in such a state as Missouri ? Was it not necessary to carry along the War Democrats ? McClernand was of no great account as a general, but he personally recruited thousands of. the men with whom the Mississippi valley was opened. The support of Blair and Logan was beyond price (and, just incidentally, those two men turned into first-rate soldiers to boot). To win the war the Northern government had to get and keep the support of any number of separate groups, factions, and classes.

More than 52,000 simply paid their commutation fees. The rest hired substitutes. This created the fantastic institution of the substitute broker —the man who, for a fee, would find a substitute for any man who wished to hire one. Some of these brokers may have been relatively honest men, though I have seen nothing in any contemporary account to make me think so; most of them operated on the level of the worst waterfront crimps in the days of the Shanghai passage. During World War II there was a common gag: the army 44 The Politics of War doesn't examine your eyes—it just counts them.

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