In vain did McDowell
plead for a little more time.
It could not be granted.
If our troops were green and inexperienced, it was urged, so were the Rebels
It is said that because he saw fit to review a body of eight regiments he was charged with attempting to make a show
, so impatient was public sentiment to have rebellion put down.
So having done no more than to arrange his regiments in brigades, without giving them any discipline as such, without an organized artillery, without a commissariat, without even a staff to aid him, McDowell
, dividing his force, of about 35,000 men, into five divisions, put four of them in motion from the Virginia bank of the Potomac
against the enemy, and the result was---Bull Run
, a battle in which brigade commanders did not know their commands and soldiers did not know their generals.
In reality, the battle was one of regiments, rather than of brigades, the regiments fighting more or less independently.
But better things were in store.
, while comparatively disastrous as a battle-field, was a grand success to the North
in other respects.
It sobered, for a time at least, the hasty reckless spirits who believed that the South
would not fight, and who were so unceasingly thorning the President
to immediate decisive action.
They were not satisfied, it is true, but they were less importunate, and manifested a willingness to let the authorities have a short breathing spell, which was at once given to better preparation for the future.
All eyes seemed now to turn, by common agreement, to General George B. McClellan
, to lead to victory, who was young, who had served with distinction in the Mexican War
, had studied European
warfare in the Crimea, and, above all, had just finished a successful campaign in West Virginia
He took command of the forces in and around Washington
July 27, 1861, a command which then numbered about fifty thousand infantry, one thousand cavalry, and six hundred and fifty artillerymen, with nine field batteries, such as they