Hey, Doc. Glad to see you're posting again, especially since college football is here again.
I've often pondered the exact question you posed. Where does this courage come from? Javal, I think, explained where a lot of it came from. But what about the courage of the people making the decisions for the frontal attacks? As a lot of us armchair generals like to discuss strategies and "what ifs", very, very, few of us have had to make the decisions to send men to what will surely be certain death to many people, forever changing the course of history.
Another thing that I think about is when, at Shiloh for example, when talking about Fallen Timbers, we read about a small skirmish that totaled only about 200 casualties as if it is insignificant. Is a casualty at Fallen Timbers any less significant than a casualty at Shiloh just because it wasn't at a "sexy" battle? Probably not to the soldiers family.
Sorry to ramble. I guess this thread made me think again about the courage of most all soldiers (like the first 20 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan") and how it is so easy to dissect their actions from the comfort of our chairs in front of our computers.
Take the comparison a step further... what would be the public reaction to a "skirmish" that cost 200 casulties in Iraq or Afghanistan...