The author finishes out Chapter two with a portrait of the Vermonters paying a heavy price in the Battle of Cedar Creek. Me are dying on both sides to capture a flag. Somewhere the Duck is plotting to burn the flag.
We often talk about leadership and Charisma. We can talk of General Herkimer cooly smoking a pipe udner a tree in Oriskany wounded giving tactical directions that turned a rout intovictory. Even Benedict Arnold was a great leader and fierce in combat at Saratoga. He also saved the day in the Oriskany campaign with the clever use of the mentally ill. I am not sure how the folks in Brussels would view the use of the mentally challenged today.
In the Battle of Cedar Creek the Conefederates surprised the Union and the army was in retreat routed. However Sheridan was several miles down the road and personaly rallied his reserves and the routed men onto the field of battle. The image of Sheridan astride his black horse waving his hat and inspiring his men to follow me is a moving image of a bygone era.
It is true Patton led from the front but this maybe the product of another era. Istant fast communication means the leader may be thousands of miles away. Is it now up to the junior officers to fill the Sheridan type role.
The authors use of the Shenadoah campaign preceding the back drop of the raid in St Albans is multilayered.
1 We know where the men who would have defended St Albans were. 2 The author juxtaposes the tactics of Sheridan on a much larger scale with that of the raiders.
Do we have a bias where small units operating in a similar matter to Sheridan are percieved as terrorists. Does the bank heists and the use of a foreign nations territory and staging area and refuge change things. How far should a country go in hot pursuit across a border?