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[127] exerted himself, and, in a reasonable measure, satisfied many of the exigencies of the hour. But Colonel Northrop was less open to conviction. This officer, whose want of administrative capacity was obvious to all—the President alone excepted—could not be induced to pursue any other than the inefficient, improvident course he had, thus far, so persistently followed. This fact is again brought to notice by the following extract from another communication from General Beauregard to President Davis:

Headquarters 1ST corps army of the Potomac, Manassas, Va., August 23d, 1861.
To His Excellency, President Jefferson Davis, etc., etc.:
Dear Sir,—I have the honor to enclose you herewith a copy of the statement of provisions, etc., remaining on hand at this point and available, on the 21st instant, for the army of the Potomac, by which it will be seen that little improvement has taken place in that respect, since I last had the honor of addressing your Excellency on the subject, on the 10th instant; and that we are still as unprepared to advance or retreat, in consequence thereof, as at that period. A serious accident to the railroads, from here to Richmond, would place this army in quite a critical condition, so far as its subsistence is concerned.

For the active operations that we may be called upon shortly to make in this vicinity, with Camp Pickens as a pivot d'action (centre of movement), it ought to be provided with at least fifteen or twenty days provisions on hand; otherwise, to prevent the enemy from taking possession of our lines of communication, we would have to abandon this place and fall back, as our forces could not be provided with means of subsistence. I regret to say that we could not now march from here with even three days rations. I earnestly and solicitously call your attention to this important subject. Without an ample supply of provisions we will be perfectly powerless.

I hope you will do me the justice to believe that these facts are brought to your Excellency's attention, without regard whatsoever to individuals. I look only to the success of our cause, regardless of friends or foes.

* * * * * * * * *

I remain, dear Sir, respectfully,

Your obedient servant and friend,

The most effective mode of remedying these evils was, as General Beauregard and many other leading men of the country had pointed out and suggested, forthwith to remove Colonel Northrop from a position he was so inadequate to fill. But this the administration would not do. In spite of the pressure of public opinion, brought to bear against the Commissary-General, whose honesty none doubted, but whose incapacity all knew, the President persistently

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