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[122] victory. We ought at this moment to be in or about Washington, but we are perfectly anchored here, and God only knows when we will be able to advance; without these means we can neither advance nor retreat. The mobility of an army, which constitutes the great strength of modern armies, does not certainly form an element of ours, for we seem to be rooted to this spot.

Cannot something be done towards furnishing us more expeditiously and regularly with food and transportation?

It seems to me that if the States had been called upon to furnish their quota of wagons per regiment in the field, one of these evils could have been obviated.

From all accounts, Washington could have been taken up to the 24th instant, by twenty thousand men! Only think of the brilliant results we have lost by the two causes referred to!

Again, we must have a few more field-officers from the old service, otherwise our regiments will get worsted sooner or later.

In haste, yours truly,


On the 1st of August he forwarded the following telegram to Colonel A. C. Myers, Assistant Quartermaster-General:

Several of my brigades are entirely destitute of transportation; no advance can be made until procured. Can you not send me about one hundred wagons?


Congress becoming alarmed—and justly so—at such a state of affairs, upon information communicated to it by members of the Military Committee, instituted an investigation, which, besides very much incensing the heads of the two departments implicated, also aroused the displeasure of the President, who gave expression to his irritation in the following letter:

My dear Sir,—Enclosed I transmit copies of a resolution of inquiry and the reply to it. You will perceive that the answer was made in view of the telegram which I enclosed to you, that being the only information then before me. Since that time it has been communicated to me that your letter to Hon. Mr. Miles, on the wants of your army, and the consequences thereof, was read to the Congress, and hence the inquiry instituted. Permit me to request that you will return the telegram to me, which I enclosed to show you the form in which the matter came before me.

Some excitement has been created by your letter; the Quartermaster and the Commissary General both feel that they have been unjustly arraigned. As for myself, I can only say that I have endeavored to anticipate wants, and any failure which has occurred from imperfect knowledge might have been best avoided by timely requisitions and estimates.


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