which, the army at or near Fairfax Court-House was to be raised to an effective force of sixty thousand men. Not sixty thousand additional men, but an increase of such a number of ‘seasoned soldiers’ as would make up a total of sixty thousand.
The Virginia army consisted, at that time, of about forty thousand men. General Smith
thought that fifty thousand, that is to say, only ten thousand more than we then had—would be sufficient to undertake the forward movement.
gave it as their opinion that sixty thousand would be needed; in other words, twenty thousand additional troops.
This being the case—as we have it vouched for by the three generals—where did Mr. Davis
discover and how can he assert, that ‘the lowest estimate made by any of them was about twice the number there present for duty
which—if this were true, as it is not—would have brought up ‘the force required for the contemplated advance into Maryland
’ to eighty thousand men and no less.
This assertion shows how unsafe and untrustworthy Mr. Davis
's memory is, and it explains, satisfactorily, we think, why it was that he would not give a place in his book to that ‘secret report,’ as he is pleased to call it.
If, as late as October, 1861, Mr. Davis
had no arms to furnish to recruits, he had, unquestionably, at the different points designated by the three generals, troops already armed and equipped, already disciplined and drilled.
These, had he been willing to favor the plan submitted to him, he could, in less than three weeks time, have transported to the borders of Virginia
, to reinforce the army said, by those who knew it best, to be ‘in the finest fighting condition.’
He was asked for such troops as could then be found in the peninsula around Yorktown
, in Western Virginia
, at Pensacola
, at Mobile
, at Charleston
, at New Orleans; points from which about twenty-five thousand men—five thousand more than were needed —could have been withdrawn without unnecessarily exposing the positions they occupied.
These were the ‘seasoned soldiers’ the three generals wanted.
They neither called for nor desired raw recruits, raised to bear the arms Mr. Davis
might possibly receive from Europe
, and which he was hoping for, ‘barring the dangers of the sea.’
Recruits of that kind, however well armed,