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[60] neither wish nor opinion on the subject, that ever came to my knowledge. Considering the relative strength of the belligerents on the field, the Southern people could not reasonably have expected greater results from their victory than those accomplished: the defeat of the invasion of Virginia, and the preservation of the capital of the Confederacy.

All the military conditions, we knew, forbade an attempt on Washington. The Confederate army was more disorganized by victory than that of the United States by defeat. The Southern volunteers believed that the objects of the war had been accomplished by their victory, and that they had achieved all that their country required of them. Many, therefore, in ignorance of their military obligations, left the army — not to return. Some hastened home to exhibit the trophies picked up on the field; others left their regiments without ceremony to attend to wounded friends, frequently accompanying them to hospitals in distant towns. Such were the reports of general and staff officers, and railroad officials. Exaggerated ideas of the victory, prevailing among our troops, cost us more men than the Federal army lost by defeat.

Besides this condition of our army, the reasons for the course condemned by the non-combatant military critics were:

The unfitness of our raw troops for marching, or assailing intrenchments.

The want of the necessary supplies of food and ammunition, and means of transporting them. Until near the 10th of August, we never had rations for more than two days, and sometimes none; nor half enough ammunition for a battle.

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