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Excerpt from Recollections of a Private: A Story of the Army of the Potomac
The Army of the Potomac was the people in arms. It mirrored the diversified Opinions and occupations of a free and intelligent democracy. The force that called it together was the spirit that made a government of the people possible. Its ranks were largely filled with youth, who had no love for war, but who had left their pleasant homes, and the pursuits of peace, that the government they loved might not perish. To the large numbers of patriotic young men in the ranks is to be attributed much of its hopeful spirit. Thus it was that, though baf ed by bloody and disheartening reverses, though it changed its commanders often, it never lost its discipline, its heroic spirit, or its confidence in final success. Its private soldiers were often as intelligent critics of military movements as were their superiors.
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