acquainted with the resources of that region, were directed to draw all their supplies of forage, grain, and provisions from the fertile country stretching from Manassas
to the Potomac
, as far northwest as Leesburg
, so as to exhaust that district first, and compel the enemy to carry their own supplies in their advance against our forces.
This system, which would have left all the region in rear of us with resources untouched, to meet the contingency of a forced withdrawal from Manassas
, was most strenuously opposed by the Commissary-General
, Colonel Northrop
In a letter, singularly ill-tempered and discourteous, that functionary arraigned General Beauregard
for ‘thwarting’ his plans for maintaining the army, and went so far as to prohibit Captain Fowle
from obeying the orders of his commanding general.
Through this vagary the provisions drawn from the vicinity of Manassas
and the neighboring counties of Loudon
, after being carried, directly, from General Beauregard
's department to Richmond
, were thence returned to the chief commissary
of the army of Manassas
, for distribution to the troops, and as there were hardly enough cars to transport the men, guns, ammunition, and other material to the army of the Potomac and the army of the Shenandoah, which received its ordnance supplies by the same railroad, the result was that the troops at Manassas
never had more than two or three days supplies on hand, even when they numbered no more than fifteen thousand men. This almost incredible mismanagement, so hurtful to the morale
and efficiency of the army, was persisted in, notwithstanding General Beauregard
's earnest remonstrances, and embarrassed and clogged the conduct of the whole campaign.
, finding that the army could not be supplied from Richmond
, was compelled to resort to the system ordered by General Beauregard
; whereupon he was summarily superseded, and Colonel R. B. Lee
appointed in his stead.
This last officer, it may be added, possessed undoubted merit, and by his previous rank in the commissariat of the United States army, was entitled to the position of Commissary-General
of the Confederate States
With such facts before us, and others that we shall have occasion to notice further on, the following eulogy of Colonel Northrop
, by Mr. Davis
, seems unwarranted and altogether out of place: ‘To the able officer then at the head of the Commissariat ’