The note introducing this post is here.
June 17, 1964:
The attack this afternoon was a fiasco of the worst kind: I trust it will be the last attempt at this most absurd way of attacking entrenchments by a general advance in line. It has been tried so ofen now and with such fearful losses that even the stupidest private now knows that it cannot succeed, and the natural consequence follows: the men will not try it. The very sight of a bank of fresh earth now brings them to a dead halt.
June 26, 1864:
I found that the loss of this army since we left Culpeper Court House is very generally set down at 90,000; a perfectly fearful amount. Gibbon says that the Second Corps has lost thirteen brigade commanders.
August 2, 1864:
Burnside made no arrangement for his column to get out of his own works! Nor did any of his subordinates think of it. ... no arrangements having been made ... the men could not get through without breaking ranks or marching by the flank. Imagine an assaulting column with a frontage of four men!
Where was the common sense of the division and brigade officers who commanded the assaulting column, that they did not themselves see that such a matter was provided for? Surely such a lot of fools did not deserve to succeed...
- A Diary of Battle: The Personal Journals of Charles S. Wainwright, 1861-1865.