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[89] and nearly doubled our own in number; second, the onus of the attack rested entirely upon us, and the natural and scientific defences of the rebels made their position almost impregnable; third, many of our leaders displayed a lamentable want of military knowledge. There was little real generalship in the field. There was no one mind of the Napoleonic order, at once centralizing and comprehending the entire movement of the day. There was no one to organize our regiments in strong, swift-moving columns, and hurl them powerfully against the foe. Nor were the generals of division more competent to their work. They exhibited personal bravery, but advantages gained were not secured; important points were abandoned as soon as carried; and a reckless, fatiguing pursuit preferred, until Beauregard and Davis, who commanded in person, led us on to positions thoroughly available for the attack of their final reinforcements. As for us, no one had thought of providing that reserve absolutely necessary to the sealing and completion of a battle's successes.

It is the last conflict of the day that decides the victory and defeat. We had no cavalry to rout our retreating foe. Our artillery was not rendered efficient in the afternoon. Gen. Tyler neglected to guard his rear, and to check the pushing forward of his trains. As for the colonels, many of those who were not wounded or killed in the engagement exhibited not merely inefficiency, but the pusillanimity which I have before recorded. To conclude: Before we can force our way through a country as well adapted for strategic defence as the fastnesses of the Piedmontese, the defiles of Switzerland, or the almost unconquerable wilds in which Schamyl so long held the Russians at bay — before we can possess and advance beyond the scientific intrenchments with which the skill of disloyal officers has made those Virginia forests so fearfully and mysteriously deathful to our patriotic soldiery, we must discover the executive leader whose genius shall oppose new modes of subduing a novel, and thus far successful, method of warfare, and whose alert action shall carry his devices into resistless effect.

N. Y. World, July 23.

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