Troops like sugar soaked in water

From Shelby Foote’s The Civil War: Fort Sumter to Perryville (347):

[At the Battle of Shiloh,] Governor Harris, still a volunteer aide, sensed this feeling of futility in the soldiers. Shortly after 2 o’clock, he expressed his fear of a collapse to the chief of staff, who agreed and went to Beauregard with the question: “General, do you not think our troops are very much in the condition of a lump of sugar thoroughly soaked with water – preserving its original shape, though ready to dissolve? Would it not be judicious to get away with what we have?”