previous next
[208] 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.’1 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,

1 The italics are ours.

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.
Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Maryland (Maryland, 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.
G. T. Beauregard (3)
Jefferson Davis (2)
William Porcher Miles (1)
John C. Ferriss (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.
March, 1876 AD (1)
July 24th (1)
June (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: