made to comply with its directions, and the general-in-chief
was day by day informed of the progress that was making, and of the reasons why the desired advance was delayed.
These reasons are set forth in full in General McClellan
's Report, and are substantiated by the testimony of the chief quartermasters Colonel Ingalls
, and of other officers.
The army was wholly deficient in cavalry, and a large part of our troops Were in want of shoes, clothing, blankets, knapsacks, and shelter-tents.
It should be borne in mind that the presence of the Confederates
, and the imperative necessity of driving them out, had made excessive demands upon the strength and endurance of the Army of the Potomac.
It was one of those cases in which nervous energy is called upon to do the work of muscular strength: for a while the claim is answered, but sooner or later the time of reaction must come.
After the battle of Antietam
a natural exhaustion followed the unnatural excitement which had been kept up for a fortnight previous.
Had the army been furnished with clothing and supplies, a rest of some days would still have been required before a forward movement would have been expedient or even safe; but, in consequence of the deficiencies above mentioned, a yet further delay was compelled.
The order to cross the Potomac
was dated on the 6th of October, as has been seen, but the movement did not begin till the 26th; and during the intermediate period the Administration and General McClellan
were fairly at issue.
The case on