forthwith by the formation of a new military department of Washington and of north-eastern Virginia
, which Gen. George B. McClellan
was summoned, by telegraph, from that of Western Virginia
to preside over.
This change was officially announced on the 25th of July; on which day Gen. McClellan
arrived at Philadelphia
, and there received a most enthusiastic ovation.
He proceeded next morning to Washington
found the army intrusted with the defense of the capital reduced, by defeat, desertions, and the mustering out of most of the three-months' men, to 50,000 infantry, 1,000 cavalry, and 650 artillery, with 30 field-guns.
The city was protected, on the Virginia
side of the Potomac
, by hastily-constructed but substantial earthworks, on which some heavy guns were mounted.
But, if the Rebels
had chosen to ford the Potomac
a few miles above, either Washington
lay at their mercy, provided they could defeat this army in the open field.
They did not, however, see fit to risk so bold a movement; though military critics believe that, for the two weeks succeeding their victory at Bull Run
, it might have been attempted with reasonable prospect of success.
They could probably have thrown across the river a force nearly or quite equal in numbers to that which defended Washington
, whereof at least 5,000 would necessarily have been retained in the earthworks on the Virginia
side; while the prestige of their recent victory, and the consequent demoralization of our troops, secured to the Rebels
decided advantages, which each succeeding week was morally certain to diminish.
They did not, however, attempt to cross the Potomac
in force, nor even to provoke another battle on its south bank; but, having advanced their lines, soon after their victory, to Munson's Hill, a few miles from Alexandria
, they only remained there until a night attack had been planned on our side; when, promptly forewarned by traitors, they hastily withdrew to Fairfax
It does not appear that the main body of their army ever deliberately took position this side of Centerville
by ordering the officers and men of his army out of Washington
, where too many, especially of the former, had hitherto been indulged in idling away their time, to the neglect of their duties and the damage of their morals.
Col. Andrew Porter
, of the 16th regulars, was appointed Provost Marshal
to carry this order into effect.
The organization of the Army into brigades was soon afterward2
effected; and these brigades were ultimately3
formed into divisions.
But the formation of army corps was, for some reason, postponed and delayed, until finally4
it was peremptorily directed by the President
Meantime, the patient, loyal, earnest North, soon recovering from the shock of its astounding discomfiture, had been soberly but resolutely raising new regiments and new batteries for a more determined and more energetic prosecution of the struggle forced upon it by slaveholding treason.
Every State, county, and township, addressed itself zealously to the work of recruiting and equipping; so that,