was fully alive to the need of meeting this popular demand.
The special session of Congress was soon to begin, and to it the new administration must look, not only to ratify what had been done, but to authorize a large increase of the military force, and heavy loans for coming expenses of the war. On June 29, therefore, he called his cabinet and principal military officers to a council of war at the Executive Mansion
, to discuss a more formidable campaign than had yet been planned.
was opposed to such an undertaking at that time.
He preferred waiting until autumn, meanwhile organizing and drilling a large army, with which to move down the Mississippi
and end the war with a final battle at New Orleans
Aside from the obvious military objections to this course, such a procrastination, in the present irritation of the public temper, was not to be thought of; and the old general gracefully waived his preference and contributed his best judgment to the perfecting of an immediate campaign into Virginia
The Confederate forces in Virginia
had been gathered by the orders of General Lee
into a defensive position at Manassas Junction
; where a railroad from Richmond
and another from Harper's Ferry
Here General Beauregard
, who had organized and conducted the Sumter
bombardment, had command of a total of about twenty-five thousand men which he was drilling.
was fortified with some slight field-works and fifteen heavy guns, supported by a garrison of two thousand; while the main body was camped in a line of seven miles' length behind Bull Run
, a winding, sluggish stream flowing southeasterly toward the Potomac
The distance was about thirty-two miles southwest of Washington
Another Confederate force of about ten thousand, under General J. E.