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Misfortune will certainly fall upon the land where the wealth of the tax-gatherer or the greedy gambler in stocks stands, in public estimation, above the uniform of the brave man who sacrifices his life, health, or fortune in the defense of his country.

Officers should feel a conviction that resignation, bravery, and faithful attention to duty are virtues without which no glory is possible, no army is respectable, and that firmness amid reverses is more honorable than enthusiasm in success.

It is not well to create a too great contempt for the enemy, lest the morale of the soldier should be shaken if he encounter an obstinate resistance.

It would seem to be easy to convince brave men that death comes more surely to those who fly in disorder than to those who remain together and present a firm front to the enemy, or who rally promptly when their lines have been for the instant broken.

Courage should be recompensed and honored, the different grades in rank respected, and discipline should exist in the sentiments and convictions rather than in external forms only.


An army without discipline is but a mob in uniform, more dangerous to itself than to its enemy. Should any one from ignorance not perceive the immense advantages that arise from a good discipline, it will be sufficient to observe the alterations that have happened in Europe since the year 1700. v Saxe.

If the first duty of a state is its own security, the second is the security of neighboring states whose existence is necessary for its own preservation.

Jomini's "Life of Napoleon."

A good general, a well-organized system, good instruction, and severe discipline, aided by effective establishments, will always make good troops, independently of the cause for which they fight. At the same time, a love of country, a spirit of enthusiasm, a sense of national honor, will operate upon young soldiers with advantage.

The officer who obeys, whatever may be the nature or extent of his command, will always stand excused executing implicitly the orders which have been given to him.

Every means should be taken to attach the soldier to his colors. This is best accomplished by showing consideration and respect to the old soldier.

The first qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only the second; hardship, poverty, and want are the best schools for a soldier.

Troops, whether halted, or encamped, or on the march, should be always in favorable position, possessing the essentials required for a field of battle.

Some men are so physically and morally constituted as to see everything through a highly-colored medium. They raise up a picture in the mind on every slight occasion, and give to every trivial occurrence a dramatic interest. But whatever knowledge, or talent, or courage, or other good qualities such men may possess, nature has not formed them for the command of armies or the direction of great military operations.

Napoleon's "Maxims of War"

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Page last modified: 16-07-2017 17:47:06 ZULU