The point made against the Government
is that Washington
could and would have been taken, if the President
, Secretary of War
, and the heads of the Quarter-master
and Commissary Departments had furnished sufficient transportation and supplies, though it is admitted that Mr. Davis
left the question of an advance entirely to his generals.
Now in regard to transportation, we had an abundance of wagons to carry all the ammunition needed, and for gathering in provisions, and if the bridges on the railroad had not been burned, we might have moved our depot to Alexandria
as we moved, provided we could have advanced to that point, as the enemy had repaired the railroad to Fairfax Station, and had not interfered with it on his retreat.
The burning of the bridges on the railroad did not impede the progress of the enemy before the battle, as he did not march on it and Bull Run
was fordable anywhere.
That burning could only have served the purpose of obstructing the use of the railroad by the enemy in the event of our defeat, which with his means of reconstruction would have been but a very few days, and it did not obstruct our movements for a much longer time.
At the time of the battle, the county of Loudoun
on the Virginia
side of the Potomac
, and the whole State of Maryland
, were teeming with supplies, and we could have readily procured all the transportation needed from the citizens, if we had not taken it from the enemy, which would probably have been the case if an advance had been practicable otherwise.
Certain it is, that in 1862, after the second battle of Manassas
, when the enemy's army had been defeated, not routed, and was still vastly superior in number and equipment to our own, we did not hesitate a moment about supplies, though our army was without rations and Fairfax
had been nearly exhausted of their grain and cattle; but taking only transportation for the ammunition and the cooking utensils, and sending