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A letter home from the Father General...

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A letter home from the Father General...

Post  Father General on Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:04 am

A letter home from the Father General (before he was the Father General).
Published from Musings of the Father General 2nd ed. republished 1911, from London, England, with permission.



Dear Grandfather,

By now you have surely read the papers which proclaim the defeat of this corps as though a grave scandal had been committed. I personally doubt such to be the case, so you may rest assured.

I know every man in this command fought courageously and well. I also know the cause of defeat, which I assign solely to our generals whom I suspect lack faith in Providence.

You would find it infuriating, Grandfather, to see how these otherwise distinguished men behave. They spend their time pouring over maps, debating strategy and tactics, obsessed with trivialities such as terrain and facts.

I learned, quite correctly in seminary, that the only thing that matters is faith in the Divine Will of Providence. Once you have that armor, you may face the greatest giant. Yea, as David slew Goliath, what need have we of armor of any sort when we have Providence on our side?

You see, I lay the blame for this failure squarely on the commanding generals because they should have pitched directly into the enemy at first sight. Indeed, this was my impulse, yet I was restrained and compelled to occupy an undignified position in a glade rather than attack.

I truly believe that had we attacked them directly, in a withering fury of unrestrained aggression, they should have been repulsed. Nay, surrendered!

The enemy would have been put off balance, surprised. At West Point I was taught that such surprise is key to any victory. Were my professors false? I know there is a reason I left the army for seminary afterwards. The army is filled with fools whose profession is self-promotion, not victory, which only comes through Providence.

Anyway, despite the slanderous papers, we have withdrawn in good order. Every brigade appears intact and the men are in good spirits for a defeated army. I think we can give them another go at a moment’s notice, and turn defeat to victory, following some badly needed prayers. The enemy are all cowards, as you must know.

I hope things are going well on the plantation. You are very fortunate to occupy that place and it is my prayerful hope that Ma and Pa can be convinced to relocate there away from the Mississippi which I suspect the enemy covets. I’d like them to remain out of harm’s way, and I can think of no safer place to pass the war in peace than on the plantation outside Atlanta.

I remain your loving Grandson,

Reverend Col., Matthew Neal
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Father General

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