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F. P. BLAIR-SCOTT-PATTERSON.
midst, even though he had to travel Fourth, at latest. That we had ample in an ambulance. Moving slowly, force to do this, is now beyond doubt; steadily, cautiously forward, our army for the Rebels, gathering all their should have been reënforced by two strength from the Shenandoah on the or three fresh regiments each day, one side to the James on the other, being exercised in field maneuvers at were barely able, on the 21st-three every opportunity. On or before the weeks after we should have been be1st day of July, this array, one hun-fore Richmond—to beat a third of dred thousand strong, should have our regiments that might and should been before Richmond, not then for- have confronted them. tified to any serious extent, and should II. The flagrant disobedience and have replaced the Stars and Stripes defection of Gen. Patterson,ao 'unacon the steeples of that city by the countable on any hypothesis consistent with the possession, on his part, of oughly acquainted by their confeder, courage, common sense, and loyalty. ates, left by Davis, Floyd, etc., in our
were free from the Confederate bayonets, they gave a majority of votes against Secession. The same was the case in Tennessee. Any such plan as that which The Times says is Gen. Scott's plan of carrying on the war would leave the unarmed Union men of the Border States and of the Southern States at the mercy of the armies of the Confederate States. It would leave the 25,000 majority in East Tennessee, the vast majority in Missouri, and everywhere else, at the mercy of the Rebels.
“I say, further, that, if we remain idle for such a period of time, doing nothing upon the borders of these revolted States, however great an army we might possess, we should, by so doing, proclaim to the world that we were unable to enter those States and put down Rebellion; and the governments of Europe would make it a pretext for acknowledging the independence of those States.
'It is manifest, therefore, that such important political considerations must enter largely into any plan of campaign; and no plan is admissible which, by its delays, destroys the business of the country, leaves the Union men of the Border States and their property a prey to the Rebels, and gives a pretext to foreign Powers to interfere for the purpose of forcing our blockade."
That the policy of 'wait and get ready,' involved, in fact, a virtual admission of the independence of the Confederacy, while enabling the Rebels to crush out the last vestiges of Unionism in the South, as also to cover all the important points with impregnable fortifications, erected in good part by slave labor, is too obvious to need enforcement. It was the policy of all who wished to save the Union by surrendering at discretion to the Rebels, bidding them do what they pleased with the Constitution, the Government, the territories, so that they would but consent to endure us as fellow-countrymen.
28 That Gen. Scott, though loyal and Unionloving, was always in favor of buying off the Rebellion by compromises and concessions, and averse to what was most unjustly termed 'coër
cion' and 'invasion,' is no secret. How eagerly he jumped upon the "finality' platform when nominated for President, in 1852, and ordered a grand salute of one hundred guns in honor of the passage of Mr. Guthrie's Compromise propositions in the “Peace Conference" of 1861, are matters of record. That he sought to have Fort Sumter evacuated, a month later, as a “military necessity," is well known. Two
Two or three weeks thereafter, on the very morning that the Rebels opened fire on Sumter, The National Intelligencer,
April 12th, contained the following, which was widely understood to have been inspired, if not directly written, by him:
“There is a general and almost universal desire that no coërcive measures should be resort. ed to, so as to induce actual collision of arms between the States that say they have seceded and the Government of the United States, until all peaceful remedies have been exhausted, yet:
“Great confidence is inspired by an exhibition of the actual strength and power of the Government. It gratifies national pride to have the consciousness that the Government is in possession of power, and that, when it is not exercised, it may receive the credit of forbearance. There would be an objection that this attribute of power should be directed, at the present moment, to any specific end; even though that end should be the execution of the laws. But nothing can be more evident than that universal satisfaction is felt and security inspired by the knowledge that the power of the Government is ready, at a moment's notice, to be applied and used."
Pollard, in his "Southern History," blandly says:
"The best service which the army of the Shenandoah could render was to prevent the defeat of that of the Potomac. To be able to do this, it was necessary for Gen. Johnston to defeat Gen. Patterson, or to elude him. The latter course was the more speedy and certain, and was, therefore, adopted. Evading the enemy by the disposition of the advance guard under Col boasted that he had received, should be everywhere displayed, Gen. Patter
III. The failure of Gen. Scott to service, with everything that took send forward with Gen. McDowell a place or was meditated "? on our side force adequate to provide against all and so were able to anticipate and contingencies. The fact that 20,000 baffle every movement of our arvolunteers remained idle and useless, mies.* Thus, a military map or plan throughout that eventful Sunday, in of the region directly west of Washand immediately around Washing- ington had been completed for use ton—Scott having obstinately resist at the War Department barely two ed entreaties that they should be dis- days before our advance reached Cenpatched to the front-insisting that terville; but, the movement being McDowell had “men enough”—that rapid, the Rebels left here many arhe needed no cavalry, etc.-of itself ticles in their hasty flight, and, among attests strongly the imbecility and them, a copy of this map, which was lack of purpose that then presided supposed to be unknown to all but a over our military councils."
few of our highest officers. It was IV. The Rebels were kept thor- so throughout. Washington swarmed
Stuart, our army moved through Ashley's Gap to Thus, while the Rebels concentrated, from Piedmont, a station of the Manassas Gap railroad. Richmond on the south to Winchester on the Hence, the infantry were to be transported by north, all their available strength upon Manassas, the railway, while the cavalry and artillery were
and had it in hand before the close of the battle, ordered to continue their march. Gen. Johnston reached Manassas about noon on the 20th, pre
McDowell had but little more than a third of our ceded by the 7th and 8th Georgia regiments and corresponding forces wherewith to oppose it by Jackson's brigade, consisting of the 2d, 4th, he acting on the offensive. In other words, we 5th, 27th, and 33d Virginia regiments. He was
fought with 35,000 men, a battle in which we accompanied by Gen. Bee, with the 4th Alaba
might and should have had 75,000. ma, the 2d, and two companies of the 11th Mississippi. The president of the railroad had as- 32 Mr. Julius Bing, a German by birth but sured him that the remaining troops should arrive British by naturalization, who was on the battleduring the day.”
field as a spectator, and was there taken prison30 Patterson was à Breckinridge Democrat of
er, and conducted next morning to Beauregard's the extreme pro-Slavery type-of that type whose head-quarters, whence he was sent to Richmond, views were expressed by The Pennsylvanian and who seems to have had the faculty of making (see page 428). When, on the reception of the
himself agreeable to either side, stated, after his tidings of Fort Sumter's surrender, a great pop
return, that among the men he met at Beaureular uprising took place in Philadelphia, as in
gard's head-quarters, at the Junction, was Col. other cities, and immense crowds paraded the Jordan, formerly of our War Department, who streets, demanding that the flag of the Union
“Before the attack at Bull Run, a cipher disson's was one of the mansions at which this pub-patch from some well-informed person within lic exaction of an avowal of sympathy with the our lines, giving full details of our movements, outraged symbol of our Union was longest and including the particulars of the plan of battle,
the time at which operations would commence, most sturdily resisted.
and the number of our troops.” 31 W. H. Russell, writing from Washington to The London Times on the 19th, two days before
38 A correspondent of The New York Tribune, the battle-doubtless obtaining his information
in his account of the battle, says: from authentic sources--thus states the disposi- "A remarkable fact to be considered is, that tion of our forces at that moment:
the enemy seemed perfectly acquainted with our
plans. The feint of Col. Richardson availed Under McDowell, at Fairfax and Centerville 80,000 Under Patterson, on the Shenandoah .
nothing, since the Rebel force had nearly all Under Mansfield, in and about Washington . 16,000 been withdrawn from that position. Our comUnder Butler, at and near Fortress Monroe 11,000 bined attack was thoroughly met, and at the Under Banks, in and near Baltimore
very points where partial surprises had been anTotal
CAUSES OF OUR DEFEAT-SHORT ENLISTMENTS.
with traitors, many of them holding | After the mischief was done, Runofficial positions of the gravest re- yon's division was ordered forward sponsibility; and whatever it was
and whatever it was from Fairfax-of course, to no purimportant to Beauregard to know he pose. But it should, at least, have speedily ascertained. To cross the been promptly employed to block Potomac, a little below or above our completely with its bayonets the camps, was never difficult; and, once roads leading to Washington, sternly across, trusty messengers knew where arresting the flight of the panicto find fleet horses and sure guides to stricken fugitives, and gathering them take them to the Rebel lines. The up into something which should bear Confederate chiefs knew which among once more the semblance of an army. our officers meant them any harm, VI. The original call of President and which might be confidently trust- Lincoln on the States, for 75,000 ed never to take them at disadvan- militia to serve three months, was a tage. They evidently had no more deplorable error. It resulted natuapprehension that Patterson would rally from that obstinate infatuation obstruct or countervail the march which would believe, in defiance of of Johnston to Manassas than that all history and probability, that an Breckinridge or Burnett would do aristocratic conspiracy of thirty years' them mortal harm in Congress. standing, culminating in a rebellion
V. The fall, very early in the action, based on an artificial property valued of Gen. David Hunter, 34 command at Four Thousand Millions of Doling the 2d or leading division, was lars, and wielding the resources of most untimely and unfortunate. He ten or twelve States, having nearly was so seriously wounded that he was ten millions of people, was to be put necessarily borne from the field. down in sixty or ninety days by some Gen. Heintzelman, commanding the process equivalent to reading the 3d division, was also wounded; not Riot Act to an excited mob, and as severely, but so as to disable him. sending a squad of police to disperse Gen. McDowell either had control it. Hence, the many prisoners of war of Runyon's division, guarding his taken with arms in their hands, in line of communication, or he had not. West Virginia and Missouri, had, up If he had, he should have ordered the to this time, been quite commonly bulk of it to advance that morning permitted to go at large on taking an on Centerville, so as to have had it oaths of fidelity to the Constitution well in hand to precipitate on the foe --a process which, in their view, was at the decisive moment; or, if he about as significant and imposing as was so hampered by Scott that he taking a glass of cider. The Gova was not at liberty to do this, he ernment had only to call for any numshould have refused to attack, and ber of men it required, to serve duresigned the command of the army, ring the pleasure of Congress, or till rather than fight a battle so fottered. the overthrow of the Rebellion, and
34 Colonel of the 3d cavalry in the regular ser- list of prisoners taken by us--not even of those vice.
paroled -- was kept at the War Department; 35 Colonel in the regular service.
hence, we fell deplorably behind in our account 36 For the first year of the war, no regular current with the Rebels.
they could have been had at once. there would be no serious fighting; Regiments were pressed upon it from that the Rebels were not in earnest; all sides; and the hotels of Washing- that there would be a promenade, a ton were crowded by keen competi- frolic, and, ultimately, a compromise, tors for the coveted privilege of rais- which would send every one home, ing more batteries and fresh bat- unharmed and exultant, to receive talions. None asked for shorter terms from admiring, cheering thousands to serve, or would have then hesi- the guerdon of his valor. Hence, tated to enlist for the war. It was some regiments were very badly offientirely proper to call out the organ- cered, and others gave way and scatized and uniformed militia as minute- tered, or fled, just when they were most men to defend Washington and pro- needed. tect the public property until volun- IX. Col. D.J. Miles, a Marylander, teers could be raised; but no single commanding the 5th (reserve) diviregiment should have been organized sion, was drunk throughout the action, or enlisted, during that springtide of and playing the buffoon; riding about National enthusiasm, for any term to attract observation, with two hats short of the duration of the war. on his head, one within the other.
VII. It is impossible not to per- As, however, he was pretty certainly ceive that the Rebel troops were bet- a traitor, and was not ordered to adter handled, during the conflict, than vance, it is hardly probable that his
Gen. McDowell, who does not drunkenness did any serious damage, appear to have actively participated save as it disgusted and disheartened in any
former battle but that of Bue- those whose lives were in his hands. na Vista, where he served as Aid to Gen. Wool, seems to have had very No one who did not share in the little control over the movements of sad experience will be able to realize his forces after the beginning of the the consternation which the news of conflict. Gov. Sprague, who fought this discomfiture--grossly exaggerthrough the day as brigadier with the ated-diffused over the loyal portion 2d Rhode Island, whose Colonel, Slo- of our country. Only the tidings cum, and Major, Ballou, were both which had reached Washington up left dead on the battle-field, observed to 4 o'clock-all presaging certain to one who asked him, near the close of and decisive victory--were permitted the fight, what were his orders, that he to go north by telegraph that day and had been fighting all day without any evening; so that, on Monday mornIn short, our army was projected like ing, when the crowd of fugitives from a bolt, not wielded like a sword. our grand army was pouring into
VIII. Although our army, before | Washington, a heedless, harmless, fighting on that disastrous day, was worthless mob, the loyal States were largely composed of the bravest and exulting over accounts of a decisive truest patriots in the Union, it con- triumph. But a few hours brought tained, also, much indifferent material. different advices; and these were as Many, in the general stagnation and much worse than the truth as the dearth of employment, had volun- former had been better: our army teered under a firm conviction that had been utterly destroyed---cut to
EXTENT AND RESULTS OF OUR DISCOMFITURE.
pieces, with a loss of twenty-five to with their tales of impregnable inthirty thousand men, beside all its trenchments and masked batteries, of artillery and munitions, and Wash- regiments slaughtered, brigades utington lay at the mercy of the enemy, terly cut to pieces, etc., making out who were soon to advance to the cap- their miserable selves to be about all ture and sack of our great commer- that was left of the army. That these cial cities. Never before had so black
men were allowed thus to straggle a day as that black Monday lowered into Washington, instead of being upon the loyal hearts of the North ; peremptorily stopped at the bridges, and the leaden, weeping skies reflected and sent back to the encampments of and hightened, while they seemed to their several regiments, is only to be sympathize with, the general gloom. accounted for on the hypothesis that It would have been easy, with ordi- the reason of our military magnates nary effort and care, to have gathered had been temporarily dethroned, so and remanded to their camps or forts as to divest them of all moral responaround Alexandria or Arlington, all sibility. the wretched stragglers to whom fear had lent wings, and who, throwing The consequences of this defeat away their arms and equipments, and were sufficiently serious. Our 75,000 abandoning all semblance of military three months' men, whose term of enorder or discipline, had rushed to the listment, for the most part, expired capital to hide therein their shame within the three weeks following the behind a cloud of exaggerations and battle, generally made haste to quit falsehoods. The still effective bat- the service and seek their several fireteries, the solid battalions, that were sides at the earliest possible moment." then wending their way slowly back Our armies were thus depleted with to their old encampments along the a rapidity rarely equaled; and the south bank of the Potomac, depressed Government, which, throughout the but unshaken, dauntless and utterly preceding month, had been defending unassailed, were unseen and unheard itself as best it could against imporfrom ; while the panic-stricken racers | tunities and entreaties to be allowed filled and distended the general ear to furnish a regiment here or a bat
37 Gen. MeDowell, in his official report, in giv- | night. It was granted: and, the next morning, ing his reasons for fighting as and when he did,
when the army moved forward into battle, these
troops moved to the rear to the sound of the enemy's says:
"I could not, as I have said more early, push “In the next few days, day by day, I should on faster, nor could I delay. A large and the
have lost ten thousand of the best armed, drilled, best part of my forces were three months' yolun
officered, and disciplined troops in the army. In teers, whose term of service was about to expire,
other words, every day, which added to the but who were sent forward as having long strength of the enemy, made us weaker. enough to serve for the purpose of the expedition. On the eve of the battle, the 4th Penn
It should here be added, that a member of the sylvania regiment of volunteers, and the battery of volunteer artillery of the New York 8th mili
New York battery aforesaid, who was most tia, whose term of service expired, insisted on earnest and active in opposing Gen. McDowell's their discharge. I wrote to the regiment, ex- request, and insisting on an immediate discharge, pressing å request for them to remain a short
was, at the ensuing election, in full view of all time; and the Hon. Secretary of War, who was
the facts, chosen Sheriff of the city of Newat the time on the ground, tried to induce the
York-probably the most lucrative office filled battery to remain at least five days. But in vain. They insisted on their discharga that by popular election in the country.