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Philip Dru: Administrator

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<SPAN name="XXI"></SPAN> <h1 align="center" style="margin-top: 2em;font-variant: small-caps">Chapter XXI</h1> <h2 align="center" style="margin-top: 2em;font-variant: small-caps">Upon the Eve of Battle</h2> <p>Neither side seemed anxious to bring matters to a conclusion, for both Newton and Dru required time to put their respective armies in fit condition before risking a conflict. By the middle of July, Dru had more than four hundred thousand men under his command, but his greatest difficulty was to properly officer and equip them. The bulk of the regular army officers had remained with the Government forces, though there were some notable exceptions. Among those offering their services to Dru was Jack Strawn. He resigned from the regular army with many regrets and misgivings, but his devotion to Philip made it impossible for him to do otherwise. And then there was Gloria whom he loved dearly, and who made him feel that there was a higher duty than mere professional regularity.</p> <p>None of Dru&#8217;s generals had been tried out in battle and, indeed, he himself had not. It was much the same with the Government forces, for there had been no war since that with Spain in the nineties, and that was an affair so small that it afforded but little training for either officers or men.</p> <p>Dru had it in mind to make the one battle decisive, if that were possible of accomplishment, for he did not want to weaken and distract the country by such a conflict as that of 1861 to 1865.</p> <p>The Government forces numbered six hundred thousand men under arms, but one hundred thousand of these were widely scattered in order to hold certain sections of the country in line.</p> <p>On the first of September General Dru began to move towards the enemy. He wanted to get nearer Washington and the northern seaboard cities, so that if successful he would be within striking distance of them before the enemy could recover.</p> <p>He had in mind the places he preferred the battle to occur, and he used all his skill in bringing about the desired result. As he moved slowly but steadily towards General Newton, he was careful not to tax the strength of his troops, but he desired to give them the experience in marching they needed, and also to harden them.</p> <p>The civilized nations of the world had agreed not to use in war aeroplanes or any sort of air craft either as engines of destruction or for scouting purposes. This decision had been brought about by the International Peace Societies and by the self-evident impossibility of using them without enormous loss of life. Therefore none were being used by either the Government or insurgent forces.</p> <p>General Newton thought that Dru was planning to attack him at a point about twenty miles west of Buffalo, where he had his army stretched from the Lake eastward, and where he had thrown up entrenchments and otherwise prepared for battle.</p> <p>But Dru had no thought of attacking then or there, but moved slowly and orderly on until the two armies were less than twenty miles apart due north and south from one another.</p> <p>When he continued marching eastward and began to draw away from General Newton, the latter for the first time realized that he himself would be compelled to pursue and attack, for the reason that he could not let Dru march upon New York and the other unprotected seaboard cities. He saw, too, that he had been outgeneraled, and that he should have thrown his line across Dru&#8217;s path and given battle at a point of his own choosing.</p> <p>The situation was a most unusual one even in the complex history of warfare, because in case of defeat the loser would be forced to retreat into the enemies&#8217; country. It all the more surely emphasized the fact that one great battle would determine the war. General Dru knew from the first what must follow his movement in marching by General Newton, and since he had now reached the ground that he had long chosen as the place where he wished the battle to occur, he halted and arranged his troops in formation for the expected attack.</p> <p>There was a curious feeling of exultation and confidence throughout the insurgent army, for Dru had conducted every move in the great game with masterly skill, and no man was ever more the idol of his troops, or of the people whose cause he was the champion.</p> <p>It was told at every camp fire in his army how he had won the last medal that had been given by the War Department and for which General Newton had been a contestant, and not one of his men doubted that as a military genius, Newton in no way measured up to Dru. It was plain that Newton had been outmaneuvered and that the advantage lay with the insurgent forces.</p> <p>The day before the expected battle, General Dru issued a stirring address, which was placed in the hands of each soldier, and which concluded as follows:--&#8220;It is now certain that there will be but one battle, and its result lies with you. If you fight as I know you will fight, you surely will be successful, and you soon will be able to return to your homes and to your families, carrying with you the assurance that you have won what will be perhaps the most important victory that has ever been achieved. It is my belief that human liberty has never more surely hung upon the outcome of any conflict than it does upon this, and I have faith that when you are once ordered to advance, you will never turn back. If you will each make a resolution to conquer or die, you will not only conquer, but our death list will not be nearly so heavy as if you at any time falter.&#8221;</p> <p>This address was received with enthusiasm, and comrade declared to comrade that there would be no turning back when once called upon to advance, and it was a compact that in honor could not be broken. This, then, was the situation upon the eve of the mighty conflict.</p>
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