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[105] delays in the preparations for our change of position, in the following passages of letters: February 22d: “.... The condition of the country is even worse than I described it to be, and rain is falling fast. I fear that field artillery near the Potomac cannot be removed soon.” .... February 23d: “In the present condition of the country, the orders you have given me cannot be executed promptly, if at all. Well-mounted officers from the neighborhood of Dumfries report that they could ride no faster than at the rate of twelve miles in six hours and a half.” .... February 25th: “. . ... They” (the roads) “are not now practicable for field artillery with our teams of four horses.... The accumulation of subsistence stores at Manassas is now a great evil. The commissary-general was requested, more than once, to suspend those supplies. A very extensive meat-packing establishment near Thoroughfare is also a great encumbrance. .... . The vast quantities of personal property in our camps is a still greater one. Much of both kinds of property must be sacrificed in the contemplated movement.” .... February 28th:
I regret to be unable to make a favorable report of the progress of our preparations to execute your plan. .... As I remarked to you orally,1 the measure must be attended with great sacrifice of property, and perhaps much suffering “.... March 3d:” Your orders for moving cannot be executed now, on account of the condition of roads and streams ... It is evident that a large quantity of it “(public property)” must be sacrificed.... In conversation with you,2

1 In the “consultation,” February 20th.

2 February 20th.

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Dumfries, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)

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