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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/75

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LETTER VII.

THE CHIEF OF STAFF IDEA.

San Antonio, Texas, May 20, 1911.

My Dear Boy:—Let me tell you something about a wonderfully effective human machine, the Confederate Army. I sit facing a Confederate monument which depicts a self-reliant son of the Southland, the type of man real railway training helps to perpetuate. Hard by is a shrine to valor, the Alamo, a reminder of the duty of altruism which an individual owes to his fellows.

Fifty years ago two great armies were organized to fight to a practical, working conclusion some of the indefinite compromises of the Federal Constitution. Each army was supported by the intelligent spirit of an aroused people. Each sought in its organization and operation to give the most effective expression to that spirit. Jefferson Davis and his advisers sought to profit by the experience of the old United States Army and to avoid inherent weaknesses in its organization. So the Confederate Congress created the grades of general and of lieutenant general, in order that a

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