previous next
[125] August 1st, establishes the almost incredible fact that the head of one of the most important of our departments did not know the state of its affairs. This was but additional evidence of improvidence and mismanagement. There was this difference, however, between Colonel Myers and Colonel Northrop; the former was ever ready to correct an error when in his power to do so, the latter would not allow his errors to be pointed out, and, still less, discussed. In Colonel Myers's letter to General Beauregard, above referred to, he writes: ‘I never, until day before yesterday, have heard one word of this deficiency; then, the knowledge came to me through a despatch from General J. E. Johnston, to the Adjutant-General. I took immediate steps to collect, at Manassas, as much transportation as I suppose you will require. . . . The military operations and manoeuvres of your army are never divulged, and it is utterly impossible for me to know how to anticipate your wants. . . . We have had, so far, too many heads, which I can say to you, and which means, we have had no head at all. You should write me often, if only a line, when anything is required, and you shall be provided if possible.’

The only conclusion to be drawn from this is, that General Beauregard's demands and requisitions made to the War Department were totally disregarded, and never reached the office of the Quartermaster-General. We now give General Beauregard's answer to Colonel Myers:

Manassas, Va., August 5th, 1861.
Dear Colonel,—Your favor of the 1st has been received. My surprise was as great as yours to find that you had not been informed of our want of transportation, which has so crippled us, together with the want of provisions, that we have been anchored here since the battle, not being able to send a few regiments three or four miles from their former positions. Major Cabell says that, “Knowing your inability to comply with his former requisitions for wagons, etc., he thought it was useless to make new ones upon you, hence he was trying to get them from around here.” Be that as it may, the result was, that about fifteen thousand men were sent me by the War Department, without one solitary wagon. Before the arrival of these troops, we had, per regiment, only about twelve wagons of the meanest description, being country wagons, that break down whenever they come to a bad part of the road. General Johnston's command had only about seven wagons per regiment on arriving here. This state of things cannot and ought not to last longer.

I am perfectly willing to fight, but my troops must be provided with all the means necessary to constitute an army. I must be prepared to advance


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.
A. C. Myers (3)
G. T. Beauregard (3)
L. B. Northrop (1)
Joseph E. Johnston (1)
J. E. Johnston (1)
William L. Cabell (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.
August 5th, 1861 AD (1)
August 1st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: