The Black Republican press on the battle of Manassas.
The few Northern papers that come into our hands show that, with all their ingenuity and mendacity, they cannot disguise the disastrous reverse to their arms.
The New York Herald is said to have reported a loss of 20,000 killed, and the utter demoralization of the grand army!
While the first part of this statement is an exaggeration of the fact, it is gratifying to know that it was sent to Europe
by the steamer sailing immediately afterward.
The following is from the Philadelphia Ledger of July 23d:
Disaster to our arms.
Never has the continent exhibited the sight it did on Sunday last.
Never were assembled on this side of the globe two such hostile forces, and never has the Republic
met with a reverse to its arms so dispiriting in its effect.
Not that the rebel commander, if he had been enterprising and bold enough to pursue his advantage, might have made it much more disastrous and demoralizing to our forces, but the disappointment which follows from the repulse of an army which had gone forth so confidently to victory, has a most depressing and stunning effect upon the public mind.
It seems scarcely to be realized that an army so carefully prepared, so numerous, so well appointed, and so spirited, could march on to anything but victory.
And victory, too, seemed almost secured — already within grasp, when a movement — an accident it may be — wrested it from our troops, and turned the well-earned laurels of our troops into worthless weeds, and compelled them to leave the field to their almost beaten foe.
It is said that the panic which seized the troops was communicated by a sudden flight of teamsters and civilians, members of Congress, and others, out as spectators of the fight.
This may have helped the panic, but the real cause is probably deeper than that.
Our army has been hastily formed, and men are in high position as officers who have never seen service of any kind, raw as their troops, and almost as inexperienced.
Such officers have not the confidence of their men, and have not the qualities in themselves to secure it. The men lacking confidence in the ability of their officers, fight under disadvantage, for they know not what trap they may be running into.
While exhibiting the highest daring and courage, a trifle may strike them with panic, and panic is demoralization to the whole army for the time being, and certain defeat.
Now is not the time to criticise the military operations, the strategy and the manœuvres of the Commander-in-Chief
These may have been skillful or otherwise; future facts will show their true character.
But one great mistake on our part has been in underrating the power of resistance of the Rebels
, their resources and their courage.
They have been preparing for many months for this contest.
They have an abundance of small arms, immense amount of cannon; their troops at Manassas
amounted to 90,000 men, with the railroad trains in their rear continually at work pouring in fresh troops during the whole progress of the fight.
They therefore outnumbered nearly two to one (!!) the Federal
force, chose their own ground, and had every foot of it that our army was expected to pass over, strongly fortified.
As their courage, it must be remembered that they are of our own race, not physically perhaps as strong, but equally intelligent, and what is of greater importance, longer under training to give firmness to their courage and assurance to their skill, besides being officered with some of the best military talent in the army and navy.
With such a foe as this, it is not advisable to rush on without adequate preparation, and without a force equal to any emergency required Ignorant presumption may cry out impatiently, "On to Richmond
!" but there must be means at hand greater than the resistance, or the pathway to Richmond
will be lined with the graves of our soldiers.
Congress has authorized a force of half a million of men. Let that number of troops be raised, properly officered, and this disgrace to our arms will be wiped out, and the integrity of the Union
Origin of the panic.
--The following is an account of the inauguration of the panic which has operated so disastrously to our troops.
It receives unusual interest from subsequent events.
All our military operations went on swimmingly, and Col. Alexander
was about erecting a pontoon across Bull Run
; the enemy were seemingly in retreat and their batteries being unmasked one after another, when a terrific consternation broke out among the teamsters, who had incautiously advanced immediately after the body of the army, and lined the Warrenton
Their consternation was shared in by numerous civilians who were on the ground, and for a time it seemed as if the whole army was in retreat.
Many baggage wagons were emptied of their contents and the horses galloped across the open field.
All the fences were torn down to allow them a more rapid retreat.
For a time a perfect panic prevailed, which communicated itself to the vicinity of Centreville
, and every available conveyance was seized upon by agitated civilians.
The wounded soldiers on the roadside cried for assistance, but the alarm was so great that numbers were passed by.
Several similar alarms occurred on previous occasions, when a change of batteries rendered the retirement of the artillery on our part, and it is most probable that the alarms were owing to the fact.
The reserve force at Centreville
was immediately brought up and marched in double-quick step.
When our courier left at half-past 4 o'clock P. M., it was in the midst of this excitement.
Two new masked batteries had been opened by the rebels on the left flank, and that portion of the division had its lines broken and demanded immediate reinforcements.
The right was in good order.
The battery erected on the hill side, directly opposite the main battery of the enemy, was doing good execution, and additional guns were being mounted.
On his arrival at Fairfax Court-House, our courier was overtaken by the Government
passengers, who reported that our army was a full retreat toward Centreville
They were followed by less agitated parties, who stated that the report of the retreat was owing to the fact that the alarm among the teamsters and communicated itself to the volunteers, and communicated itself to the volunteers, and even in some instances to the regulars, and the lines were thus broken, and that a retirement of our forces across Bull Run
was endured necessary.
passed at the same time in a vehicle, wounded.
' battery was also reported as lost.
Crowds of carriages and baggage wagons came rushing down the road.
The telegraph office was closed against all private business, and in an hour the alarm was communicated all along the road to Washington
--Lieutenant Colonel Fowler
, of the New York Fourteenth Regiment, is among the killed.
, of the Fifth Massachusetts, is among the wounded.
, of the 71st New York, is badly wounded.
and Major Lorgier
, of the New York Fire Zonaves
, are not killed, but are badly wounded.
--The Rhode Island
Sattery was taken by the rebels at the bridge cross Bull Run
, where their retreat was cut off, all the horses being killed.
The Seventy-first New York loses about half of their men.
; Capt. Gordon
, Co. Eleventh Massachusetts; Capt Foy
, Co. Second Rhode Island; Col Slecure, 2d ; Col. Colcum
, Twenty-second New York; Col. Wilcox
, 1st Michigan.
Wounded — The Colonel
of the New York around Col. Farnham
, of the Fire Zouaves
; Col. Hunter
, Col. Corcoran
, Col. Clark
, of the Eleventh Massachusetts; Capt Rickets
; of the Artillery.
Two New York Regiments have gone over to Virginia
It was the remnant of the Fire Zouaves
that were attacked by the Black
Horse Cavalry, and repulsed them, leaving but six of them to return.
This gallant regiment now numbers but a couple of hundred.
The lowest estimate of the Federal
loss is 5,000 killed.
Fourth was not in the battle, having left for home on the morning of the battle — their time having expired.
The enemy before now might, perhaps, have more to boast of if they had followed up their advantage last night.