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Military Maxims From US Grant’s Memoires
• Timeless lessons from a
leader in the American
Civil War
• Composed by
Chaplain Daniel Haas
CHAPTER III.
• One of my superstitions had always been
when I started to go any where, or to do anything,
not to turn back, or stop until the thing intended
was accomplished.
CHAPTER IV.
• Bad habits—if not restrained by law or public opinion—
spread more rapidly and universally than good ones
CHAPTER IV.
• Experience proves that the man who obstructs a war
in which his nation is engaged, no matter whether right or
wrong, occupies no enviable place in life or history.
CHAPTER V.
• and there were white men in Texas
whom I would not have cared to meet in a secluded place.
CHAPTER V.
• There are always more of them before they are counted.
CHAPTER VII.
• A great many men, when they smell battle afar off, chafe to
get into the fray.
CHAPTER VII.
• I have known a few men who were always aching for a fight
when there was no enemy near,
who were as good as their word when the battle did come.
But the number of such men is small.
CHAPTER IX.
• Some commanders can move troops so as to get the
maximum distance out of them without fatigue,
while others can wear them out in a few days
without accomplishing so much.
CHAPTER XI.
• It is always, however, in order to follow a retreating foe,
unless stopped or otherwise directed.
CHAPTER XII.
• But my later experience has taught me two lessons:
first, that things are seen plainer
after the events have occurred;
second, that the most confident critics are generally those
who know the least about the matter criticised.
CHAPTER XVI.
• Nevertheless, if a sect sets up its laws as binding above the
State laws, wherever the two come in conflict this claim must
be resisted and suppressed at whatever cost.
CHAPTER XVI.
• We could not and ought not to be rigidly bound by the rules
laid down under circumstances so different for emergencies
so utterly unanticipated.
CHAPTER XVI.
• It is preposterous to suppose that the people of one
generation can lay down the best and only rules of
government for all who are to come after them, and under
unforeseen contingencies.
CHAPTER XVI.
• We forgive them for entertaining such notions,
but forbid their practice.
CHAPTER XVIII.
• I do not believe that the officers of the regiment ever
discovered that I had never studied the tactics that I used.
CHAPTER XXX.
• Two commanders on the same field are always one too many
CHAPTER XXXI.
• War at all times, whether a civil war between sections of a
common country or between nations, ought to be avoided,
if possible with honor. But, once entered into, it is too much
for human nature to tolerate an enemy within their ranks to
give aid and comfort to the armies of the opposing section or
nation.
CHAPTER XXXIII.
• crossing a stream in the presence of an enemy
is always difficult.
CHAPTER XXXIII.
• in positions of great responsibility every one should do his
duty to the best of his ability where assigned by competent
authority, without application or the use of influence to
change his position.
CHAPTER XXXIV.
• While a battle is raging one can see his enemy mowed down
by the thousand, or the ten thousand, with great
composure; but after the battle these scenes are distressing,
and one is naturally disposed to do as much to alleviate the
suffering of an enemy as a friend.
CHAPTER XXXIX.
• I knew from experience that it was more difficult to
command two generals desiring to be leaders than it was to
command one army officered intelligently and with
subordination.
CHAPTER XL.
• It would be bad to be defeated in two decisive battles fought
the same day, but it would not be bad to win them.
CHAPTER XLVI.
• The worst excuse a soldier can make for declining service is
that he once ranked the commander he is ordered to report
to.
CHAPTER LIII.
• Artillery is very useful when it can be brought into action,
but it is a very burdensome luxury where it cannot be used.
CHAPTER LVII.
• misfortunes never come singly.
CHAPTER LIX.
• Differences of opinion must exist between the best of friends
as to policies in war, and of judgment as to men's fitness.
The officer who has the command, however, should be
allowed to judge of the fitness of the officers under him,
unless he is very manifestly wrong.
CHAPTER LIX.
• European armies know very little what they are fighting for,
and care less.
CONCLUSION.
• We must conclude, therefore, that wars are not always evils
unmixed with some good.

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Military Maxims From US Grant's Memoires

  • 1. Military Maxims From US Grant’s Memoires • Timeless lessons from a leader in the American Civil War • Composed by Chaplain Daniel Haas
  • 2. CHAPTER III. • One of my superstitions had always been when I started to go any where, or to do anything, not to turn back, or stop until the thing intended was accomplished.
  • 3. CHAPTER IV. • Bad habits—if not restrained by law or public opinion— spread more rapidly and universally than good ones
  • 4. CHAPTER IV. • Experience proves that the man who obstructs a war in which his nation is engaged, no matter whether right or wrong, occupies no enviable place in life or history.
  • 5. CHAPTER V. • and there were white men in Texas whom I would not have cared to meet in a secluded place.
  • 6. CHAPTER V. • There are always more of them before they are counted.
  • 7. CHAPTER VII. • A great many men, when they smell battle afar off, chafe to get into the fray.
  • 8. CHAPTER VII. • I have known a few men who were always aching for a fight when there was no enemy near, who were as good as their word when the battle did come. But the number of such men is small.
  • 9. CHAPTER IX. • Some commanders can move troops so as to get the maximum distance out of them without fatigue, while others can wear them out in a few days without accomplishing so much.
  • 10. CHAPTER XI. • It is always, however, in order to follow a retreating foe, unless stopped or otherwise directed.
  • 11. CHAPTER XII. • But my later experience has taught me two lessons: first, that things are seen plainer after the events have occurred; second, that the most confident critics are generally those who know the least about the matter criticised.
  • 12. CHAPTER XVI. • Nevertheless, if a sect sets up its laws as binding above the State laws, wherever the two come in conflict this claim must be resisted and suppressed at whatever cost.
  • 13. CHAPTER XVI. • We could not and ought not to be rigidly bound by the rules laid down under circumstances so different for emergencies so utterly unanticipated.
  • 14. CHAPTER XVI. • It is preposterous to suppose that the people of one generation can lay down the best and only rules of government for all who are to come after them, and under unforeseen contingencies.
  • 15. CHAPTER XVI. • We forgive them for entertaining such notions, but forbid their practice.
  • 16. CHAPTER XVIII. • I do not believe that the officers of the regiment ever discovered that I had never studied the tactics that I used.
  • 17. CHAPTER XXX. • Two commanders on the same field are always one too many
  • 18. CHAPTER XXXI. • War at all times, whether a civil war between sections of a common country or between nations, ought to be avoided, if possible with honor. But, once entered into, it is too much for human nature to tolerate an enemy within their ranks to give aid and comfort to the armies of the opposing section or nation.
  • 19. CHAPTER XXXIII. • crossing a stream in the presence of an enemy is always difficult.
  • 20. CHAPTER XXXIII. • in positions of great responsibility every one should do his duty to the best of his ability where assigned by competent authority, without application or the use of influence to change his position.
  • 21. CHAPTER XXXIV. • While a battle is raging one can see his enemy mowed down by the thousand, or the ten thousand, with great composure; but after the battle these scenes are distressing, and one is naturally disposed to do as much to alleviate the suffering of an enemy as a friend.
  • 22. CHAPTER XXXIX. • I knew from experience that it was more difficult to command two generals desiring to be leaders than it was to command one army officered intelligently and with subordination.
  • 23. CHAPTER XL. • It would be bad to be defeated in two decisive battles fought the same day, but it would not be bad to win them.
  • 24. CHAPTER XLVI. • The worst excuse a soldier can make for declining service is that he once ranked the commander he is ordered to report to.
  • 25. CHAPTER LIII. • Artillery is very useful when it can be brought into action, but it is a very burdensome luxury where it cannot be used.
  • 26. CHAPTER LVII. • misfortunes never come singly.
  • 27. CHAPTER LIX. • Differences of opinion must exist between the best of friends as to policies in war, and of judgment as to men's fitness. The officer who has the command, however, should be allowed to judge of the fitness of the officers under him, unless he is very manifestly wrong.
  • 28. CHAPTER LIX. • European armies know very little what they are fighting for, and care less.
  • 29. CONCLUSION. • We must conclude, therefore, that wars are not always evils unmixed with some good.