Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Front Matter >> Dedication Page

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Dedication Page

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription .
well for my sake as its own ; and, yourself a soldier, famous as a military critic, you will probably find frequent provocation to a savage military review, while going over my experiences and studies in partisan warfare. But you must remember.that
our rangers of the Revolution were no West-Pointers. But
they were Pointers, nevertheless, and could set as well as set-to. If they wallopped the enemy without first satisfying them-
selves that the operation was selon les regles, still, it must be admitted, that the thing was done ; and we must not be too
strict, when the end has been gained, in asking after the fashion of the performance. That our backwoods boys bungled frequently in winning their victories, may afford a surly fire-side satisfaction to the beaten party ; as the Austrians are said to have consoled themselves, after their successive defeats, at the hands of Napoleon, by the reflection that, according to all the laws of war, to say nothing of the Great Frederick, he should have been drubbed., on every one of these occasions, out of his regimental breeches. We may leave our enemies this satisfaction surely. For my part, I could never find much consolation, with my eyes utterly darkened by the awkward
usage of a rough and tumble operator, in the conviction that I had, nevertheless, all the science to myself. The laws of war are, no doubt, very admirable and wholesome provisions ; but
I confess, with other politicians, that I prefer the spoils. Our
rangers knew but little of the one, but they had an instinctive, appreciation of the other; and contrived to get them, by hook and by crook, at periods when Science herself had no measures to offer. " Mellichampe" will help to show some of the processes by which they worked, awkwardly preferring the spoils to the laws of war ; and when you put on your critical military