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[124] evil by ordering Major Fowle, the acting Commissary-General here, to provide a certain number of rations, by purchasing in the surrounding counties, which drew from the Commissary-General of the army a letter so discourteous to me that the want of time alone prevented me from enclosing it to you for your consideration.

With regard to making timely requisitions on the Quartermaster and Commissary Department, not knowing what number of troops the War Department intended at any time to concentrate here, it was impossible to make proper requisitions until after the arrival of those troops.

I will here remark, that troops arriving at this place have often been a day or more without food in the cars, and I have had several times to order issues of provisions here to troops on their way to Winchester, for the same cause. I accuse no one, I state facts.

I am fully aware that you have done more than could be expected of you for this army, and that it is utterly impossible you should be able to direct each one of the bureaus of the War Department, but the facts referred to show a deficiency somewhere, which ought to be remedied, otherwise we will, sooner or later, be liable to the same unfortunate results.

My experience here teaches me that, after issuing an order, I have to inquire whether it has been carried into effect; this is especially the case with the newly arrived troops.

With regard to my remarks about marching on to Washington, you must have misunderstood them, for I never stated that we could have pursued the enemy on the evening of the 21st, or even on the 22d. I wrote: “The want of food and transportation has made us lose all the fruits of our victory. We ought at this time, the 29th of July, to be in or about Washington, and, from all accounts, Washington could have been taken up to the 24th inst. (July), by twenty thousand men.”

Every news from there confirms me still more in that opinion. For several days (about one week) after the battle, I could not put my new regiments in position for want of transportation. I do not say this to injure my friend Colonel Myers, but to benefit the service. We have, no doubt, by our success here, achieved “glory” for our country, but I am fighting for something more real and tangible, i. e., to save our homes and firesides from our Northern invaders, and to maintain our freedom and independence as a nation. After that task shall have been accomplished, as I feel that I am only fit for private life, I shall retire to my home, if my means will permit, never again to leave it, unless called upon to repel again the same or another foe.

With much respect, I remain,

Sincerely your friend,


The same surprise and want of knowledge expressed by President Davis, concerning the deficiency of these two departments, was also manifested—strange to say—by the QuartermasterGen-eral himself. His communication to General Beauregard, dated

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