enough to carry our combined forces into the city of Washington
We do not say that President Davis
was opposed to the advance of our forces on Washington
, or that he purposely prevented such an advance, and the investment and consequent capitulation of the Federal
capital which must have resulted from it; but we do say that, had he not persistently overlooked the just demands of General Beauregard
for transportation and subsistence, not only after but before the battle of Manassas
, and had he not as persistently approved the narrowness of views and improvident methods of notoriously incompetent officials, whose shortcomings were so often brought to his knowledge, the Federal
capital could have been captured by our victorious forces as early as the 24th of July. General Beauregard
stated this as his conviction, in letters to Representative Miles
, and to Mr. Davis
himself, when the latter called him to account for having been the cause of a congressional investigation on the deplorable condition of our army, and its inability either to advance or retreat.
From New Orleans, March, 1876, in answer to the Hon. John C. Ferriss
, of Tennessee
, who wished to be informed upon this point, General Beauregard
explained how it was that no advance was made on Washington
We commend to the serious attention of the reader the following passage from his letter: ‘Our only proper operation was to pass the Potomac
above, into Maryland
, at or about Edwards's Ferry, and march upon the rear of Washington
With the hope of undertaking such a movement, I had caused a reconnoisance of the country and shore (south of the Potomac
) in that quarter to be made in the month of June; but the necessary transportation even for the ammunition essential to such a movement had not been provided for my forces, notwithstanding my application for it during more than a month beforehand; nor was there twenty-four hours food at Manassas, for the troops brought together for that battle
The fact is, that some commands were without food for forty hours after the battle.
It is unnecessary to dwell further upon these events.
The thought of what could have been accomplished, but was not, and of the reasons for our failure, will continue to be for us the subject of lasting regret.
Our army did not follow up the victory of Manassas