be called a pursuit.
The fact is, the pursuit ordered by General Beauregard
, at the close of the battle,1
having been stopped at about 6.30 P. M., in consequence of the false alarm referred to in the preceding chapter, no movement that night could have met with a successful result.
It should have been instantly and vigorously made, ‘on the very heels of the flying enemy;’ and, even then, it could not have been kept up long under the circumstances.
At pages 359, 360, of the first volume of his work, Mr. Davis
says: ‘On the night of the 22d I held a second conference with Generals Johnston
, . . . and propounded to them the inquiry as to what more it was practicable to do. They concurred as to their inability to cross the Potomac
; and to the further inquiry as to an advance to the south side of the Potomac
, General Beauregard
promptly stated that there were strong fortifications there, occupied by garrisons which had not been in the battle, and were therefore not affected by the panic which had seized the defeated army.
He declared those fortifications as having wide, deep ditches, with palisades, which would prevent the escalade of the works.
Turning to General Johnston
, he said, “They have spared no expense.”
Here, truth compels us to state that, in all this matter, Mr. Davis
's memory is again unqualifiedly at fault.
could not have spoken as he is represented to have done, for the simple reason that all the information then in his possession, whether received by means of his underground railroad or otherwise, led him to the strong belief that Washington
was, at that time, entirely unprotected; that the works on the south side of the Potomac
were barely commenced, except Fort Runnyon, which was still incomplete, and armed with but a few guns; as appeared by a sketch of it, received in the usual mysterious way from within the enemy's lines.
G—, to whose tact and intelligence was due most of the secret knowledge of the condition of affairs at and around the Federal
capital, had assured General Beauregard
, many a time, that no obstacle existed to prevent a successful advance on our part, and that nothing was dreaded more by those high in authority at Washington
More than once, after the battle of Manassas