Ulysses S. Grant quote about battle from Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant - The distant rear of an army engaged in battle is not the best place from which to judge correctly what is going on in front.
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The distant rear of an army engaged in battle is not the best place from which to judge correctly what is going on in front.
 Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (1885). copy citation

Context

“If he had come in by the front instead of through the stragglers in the rear, he would have thought and felt differently. Could he have come through the Confederate rear, he would have witnessed there a scene similar to that at our own. The distant rear of an army engaged in battle is not the best place from which to judge correctly what is going on in front. Later in the war, while occupying the country between the Tennessee and the Mississippi, I learned that the panic in the Confederate lines had not differed much from that within our own. Some of the country people estimated the stragglers from Johnston's army as high as 20,000.” source

Meaning and analysis

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