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is willing to do things just so well that they will pass without censure from his superiors, caring himself only for pay-day and poker, such a scale of operations is cramping and dwarfing. To a man who is trying to do everything in the best possible way, who is studying his profession and accumulating experience against the day of larger things, nothing is more instructive, enlarging, and strengthening, if not pursued too long. It followed that the outbreak of the war found Hancock singularly well equipped for the responsibilities and duties that were to devolve upon him. What he knew of infantry and could do with infantry let Williamsburg and Fredericksburg and Gettysburg and the Salient at Spottsylvania testify. While he was not a master of the science of logistics, like Meade and Humphreys, he could conduct a long march over bad roads, with artillery and trains, better, in my humble judgment, than any other officer of the war, Federal or Confederate. In the supply of troops, Hancock, as the result of thorough training and downright hard work, achieved almost the highest possible success. Of the uses of cavalry and artillery he knew enough—first, not to think that he knew everything, or to lead him to interfere in the conduct of those charged with these highly specialized services; and, secondly, to recognize good work whenever and by whomsoever done. General David M. Gregg, the capable commander

of the Second Cavalry Division, on one occasion remarked to me that there was no other officer of high rank in the Army of the Potomac under whom it was so agreeable to serve as under General Hancock. Finally, Hancock's experience before the war had made him a perfect master of the Regulations, of the procedure proper to every department of the army and to every occasion of the service, and of the forms of military correspondence and record. A master, I say, not a slave; for, while no man understood better the beneficial uses of red tape, no one knew better how to cut red tape when the occasion required. An essayist—Lord Macaulay, I think—in satirizing the employment in the English language of certain Latin terms, asks us to imagine a Roman Consul seated in a back office in Bordeaux, a goose-quill over his ear, making out invoices for the skippers of merchant vessels. But the union of martial and civic functions need not be ludicrous. It would be hard to believe that Scipio at Zama looked one inch more the commander than Hancock at Fredericksburg or Gettysburg, or bore himself more knightly and heroically in danger and hardship, in weariness and wounds; yet Hancock was perhaps the greatest hand at “papers” the army

ever knew. It is usual to make flings at this sort

of thing, and to express contempt for regulations and red tape. But it is more likely that a mill or factory or railroad will be well manage


counts and correspondence are always in arrears, in confusion, in error, than that a brigade or division or corps will be well administered under the same conditions. The need of order and system is even greater in the latter case. This Hancock perfectly understood. He deemed it no less important a part of his duty to study the state of his command through the morning reports and the monthly returns than on parade or review ; and he knew that he could administer a tonic to a sickly regiment through the order-book and the letter-book not less effectually than at Sunday morning inspection. In addition to all his other qualifications for command, Hancock enjoyed the advantages of a person at once singularly agreeable and singularly imposing. Now at the prime of life, in his thirtyeighth year, a perfect blond, standing six feet high, powerfully formed yet easy and graceful in his movements, with handsome features, strong yet without a trace of ferocity or even of habitual severity, authority was stamped upon him as upon few of the sons of men. He had, too, the consciousness of a fine presence, never sinking into dandyism but keeping him always up to the mark in dress and bearing. It was impossible for him to degenerate into slouchiness or slovenliness under the most trying conditions. Just as a dash of puppyism is an excellent quality in a junior officer, so a shade of physical self-consciousness in an officer of

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high rank is certain to give a tone, not only to his own carriage and demeanor, but to the troops he may command, which the history of war shows to be a valuable corrective to certain tendencies toward deterioration from long-continued service in the field. Always stately and majestic yet never forbidding, except in some tremendous explosion of wrath ; well dressed, well mounted ; a soldier better deserving the appellation “The Superb" never led the march or rode along the line of battle. Only one habit marred Hancock's otherwise invariable dignity and impressiveness under all circumstances—in his tent, among the camps, on review ; on the march, whether in advance or retreat; in battle, whether in attack or defense. This was an extravagant indulgence, at times, in harsh and profane speech. A soldier is not likely to be altogether out of sympathy with the witty justice who defined swearing as “the unnecessary use of profane language.” Whatever may be the occasions of civil life, no one who knows much of the tremendous exigencies of campaign and battle will judge very harshly of some extra vehemence of language on the part of a commander who feels that the lives of his men, and perhaps the destinies of his country, hang upon movements which he sees in danger of being defeated by the stupidity, the heedlessness, or the indolence of subordinates. Nor will the men of the late war, however scrupulous themselves in

speech, assert that they held in higher respect any officer who never made use of profane language than they did many who sometimes indulged in it. Yet the traditions of the regular army of the United States upon this subject were distinctly bad. The camp-fire and mess-room tales regarding the extravagant profanity of a few generals had set a fashion among the officers coming into prominence at the outbreak of the Rebellion which caused a great amount, not merely of very unnecessary, but of very silly and weak swearing. With many it amounted to an affectation, and that among some of the most meritorious, honorable, and generally courteous commanders in the service. However this might make the unthinking laugh and spice the stories of the camp, it made the judicious grieve, for it unquestionably was carried so far at times as to impair the proper authority and influence of some excellent officers. I do not mean to intimate that Hancock was “a sinner above all the rest.” But he was not free from the habit of the army in this respect, and indulged in much use of language that was less impressive than a grave rebuke would have been. It remains to speak of but one more trait of Hancock's character before we proceed to tell of his actual entrance upon the War of the Rebellion. I refer to his abounding, unfailing hospitality. In her affectionate Reminiscences of General Hancock, his wife relates that while they were living at Fort

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