4. It could not be expected that any success obtainable on the battle-field could enable our forces to carry the fortifications on the Potomac, garrisoned and within supporting distance of fresh troops; nor, after the actual battle and victory, did the generals on the field propose an advance on the capital; nor does it appear that they have since believed themselves in a condition to attempt such a movement.Had the concentration been made, McDowell's forces would have been captured, with his munitions and transportation, leaving the works at Washington substantially unoccupied; and Mr. Davis had no authority for supposing that a supporting force was in reach. The whole history of the time shows that, after Mc-Dowell's defeat, Washington was at our mercy, had we advanced upon it. That we did not do so was in no way due to General Beauregard or to his plans. The concluding words in Mr. Davis's fourth objection, to wit— ‘nor does it appear that they (Generals Johnston and Beauregard) have since believed themselves in a condition to attempt such a movement,’ are an extraordinary assertion when it is considered that, not many weeks before this endorsement was written, the President had visited our army headquarters, at Fairfax Court-House, and had there been urged by Generals Johnston, G. W. Smith, and Beauregard, to make a concentration of our forces readily available, for an offensive movement upon the rear of Washington, the material for which was most minutely pointed out to him.1 This second proposed concentration and forward movement was then entirely practicable, and the failure to make it at that time was one of the fatally false courses which characterized Mr. Davis's control of the military resources of the Confederate people, by which he habitually neutralized the great advantage that we had in the possession of the interior lines. The following are the concluding words of the endorsement:
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1 See Chapter XI., p. 142, and Appendix to the same chapter.
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