previous next

[123]

I think you are unjust to yourself in putting your failure to pursue the enemy to Washington to the account of short supplies of subsistence and transportation. Under the circumstances of our army, and in the absence of the knowledge since acquired, if, indeed, the statements be true, it would have been extremely hazardous to have done more than was performed. You will not fail to remember that, so far from knowing that the enemy was routed, a large part of our forces was moved by you, in the night of the 21st, to repel a supposed attack on our right, and that the next day's operations did not fully reveal what has since been reported of the enemy's panic.

Enough was done for glory, and the measure of duty was full; let us rather show the untaught that their desires are unreasonable, than, by dwelling on possibilities recently developed, give form and substance to the criticisms always easy to those who judge after the event.

With sincere esteem, I am, your friend,


The foregoing letter shows, among other things, how completely the reiterated suggestions and remonstrances and requisitions of General Beauregard concerning the necessity of supplies and transportation, had slipped President Davis's memory. We refrain from fatiguing the attention of the reader, by again placing before him the evidence and correspondence given on this subject in a preceding chapter (Chapter VI.). It is enough to say that, from the 3d of June, just after his arrival at Manassas, to the time when President Davis penned the letter given above, General Beauregard had never ceased calling his attention and that of the War Department to the vital importance of these two matters. How President Davis could possibly plead ‘imperfect knowledge,’ and complain of want ‘of timely requisitions and estimates,’ is more than we can understand; and we have sought in vain, in his book, for any satisfactory explanation of the matter. But General Beauregard's answer to the President dispenses with the necessity for further comment:

Manassas, Va., August 10th, 1861.
Dear Sir,—Your letter of the 4th instant has been received, but my endless occupations have prevented me from acknowledging it immediately, as I should have done.

I regret exceedingly to hear that Colonel Miles read my letter of the 29th to Congress. It was written only for the purpose of expediting matters, if possible, and immediately after having been informed that one brigade and two or more regiments were without food, and had been so for twenty-four hours. I had before been informed that we were short of provisions; but I never supposed it would be permitted to go to the extent referred to. Some time before the battle of the 21st ultimo I had endeavored to remedy the impending


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Manassas, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Jefferson Davis (4)
G. T. Beauregard (3)
William P. Miles (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
21st (2)
August 10th, 1861 AD (1)
June 3rd (1)
4th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: