That task is done, the bound are free,
We may remember the peculiar burdens that come upon the commander-in-chief through his position at the rear of the armies he is directing. The rear of a battle is, even in the time of victory, a place of demoralising influence. It takes a man of strong nerve not to lose heart when the only people with whom he is in immediate contact are those who through disability or discouragement are making their way to the rear. The sutlers, the teamsters, the wounded men, the panic-struck (and with the best of soldiers certain groups do lose heart from time to time, men who in another action when started right are ready to take their full share of the fighting)â€”these are the groups that in any action are streaming to the rear. It is impossible not to be affected by the undermining of their spirits and of their hopefulness. If the battle is going wrongly, if in addition to those who are properly making their way to the rear, there come also bodies of troops pushed out of their position who have lost heart and who have lost faith in their commanders, the pressure towards demoralisation is almost irresistible.
FACSIMILE OF GETTYSBURG ADDRESS.
Finally, there came the trifling success at South Mountain and the drawn battle of Antietam. Lee's army was permitted to recross the Potomac with all its trains and even with the captured prisoners, and McClellan lay waiting through the weeks for something to turn up.