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“ [305] impregnable against the fire of heavy artillery, their absence in this case did not detract from the strength of the Washington defenses as against my force, as I had none but light field-guns with me. As against me, therefore, these defenses may be said to have fully reached the maximum degree of strength of which earth-works are susceptible. With such works, defended by 14,000 or 15,000 men, already on the front threatened, and with the facilities for moving other troops with rapidity, and under cover, to any point that might be assailed, the proposition that I could have carried them by an assault immediately on my arrival in their front, if my strength had been double what it was, would argue a degree of panic and demoralization on the part of the defenders of the “National Capital” not at all traceable to the fact of their being” raw troops “or” veteran reserves, “disabled by wounds from active field duty. With such works to protect them even” hundred days men, “who knew how to load and fire a gun, ought to have been capable of rendering very efficient service; and I can conceive of no reason why” quartermaster's men, “” teamsters, “and” citizen volunteers “should not have been capable of resisting an assault made by an attacking force that had to move over abattis, across ditches, and over infantry parapets, when they were so effectually shielded by the works behind which they were ensconced, unless, indeed, they were as thoroughly demoralized as the intensely loyal athlete of whom the writer in The Republican speaks, and who excused himself first because he had lost his front teeth, and then had heart disease, and finally got off by taking medicine to make himself sick. All this pretense about” hundred days men, “” raw and inexperienced troops, “&c., can but recall to our recollection the excuses made at the time for the defeat at first Manassas, or Bull Run, as our opponents called it, founded upon the fancied existence of innumerable” masked batteries “and legions of” Black Horse Cavalry “which the invaders encountered — in imagination — in an army nearly all of which had not had the advantage of so much as the half of a” hundred days “service. As to the” veteran reserves, “they were merely disabled from active service in the field by their wounds, and were, or ought to have been, as capable of efficient service in the trenches as any troops whatever, as they must be supposed to have been thoroughly trained. The idea, therefore, that I could have entered Washington by a vigorous assault on the works on my arrival is without any well-grounded foundation. It took several hours to bring my infantry into line, as it was moving by flank on a narrow road, with the trains and artillery interspersed at intervals on the line of march for the purposes of protection, one division being in ”

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Bull Run, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)

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