U.S. Troops

“As they travelled more or less along with us, and always camped close, one had an opportunity of observing United States troops a little. I can say but little for them; they were a medley of French, English, Germans, and Irish, the last predominating, and with few native Americans among them. As a rule the army is recruited from the riff-raff of foreigners, too stupid or too indolent to get on by industry; whether from this character of the men, or because the army is thought a poor means of advancement in life, or for both reasons, great contempt is felt for soldiers in the States; if one appears in a town he is watched like a dog given to stealing, and treated like a dog; this, almost necessarily, renders the men worse, and so the ball keeps rolling—action and reaction . . .”