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[66] loss. But the raw levies are not likely to be fit for much for months to come, and it is difficult to see how they will be fit for any thing until they get proper officers. Some of the so-called regiments which have recently come in are mere mobs, without proper equipments, uniform, or arms; others are in these respects much better, marching well and looking like soldiers, but still no better than the troops who were beaten. It is not courage (need it be said?) which is wanting — it is officers; and without them men are worth little or nothing. The men of some regiments fought well; others did not. There was little or no difference between the privates of the one and those of the other; there was probably a marked distinction between the officers. The West Point cadets will all be used up by the increase of the regular army of the United States to 40,000 men, just agreed upon by Congress, after some disputes between the Senate and the House of Representatives; and the bulk of the officers with military experience and education are provided for already.

The President is not exempt from the fate of the unfortunate in all republics, but he has yet a good deal of the future to draw upon, and the people are amused by changes among the military commanders and by threats and promises, for which they will all have to pay before the quarrel is adjusted. It is so generally asserted that Gen. Scott did not approve the advance, for which his plans were not matured, (and it is so probable, too,) that it may be believed by those who have not the greatest faith in the firmness of his character, and who think he might be induced to give orders for the execution of ill-conceived and hasty projects, or at all events, to precipitate operations without the necessary conditions of success. It is certain the country was becoming fretful and impatient, and that men like Mr. Wilson, Chairman of the Military Committee of the Senate, were loud in their complaints of the delays and inactivity of the army and of its chief, and of the pretensions of the regular officers. The schism which must always exist between professionals and quacks, between regular soldiers and volunteers, has been greatly widened by the action on Sunday. The volunteers indulge in severe reflections on the generalship of the commanders, the regulars speak with contemptuous bitterness of the inefficiency and cowardice of the volunteer officers. The former talk learnedly of the art of war, and of the cruelty of being led like sheep to the slaughter. The latter, without detracting from the courage of the men, inveigh against those who directed their regiments on the field; and the volunteer privates are glad to add their testimony against many of the officers, whose pride in uniforms and gold lace did not permit them to soil them in the smoke of gunpowder. It is remarkable that so much hankering after military reputation should be accompanied, in some instances at least, by an absence of any military spirit. The tone in which some officers speak of being “whipped” is almost boastful and exultant. Last night I heard one declaring he thought it was a good thing they were beaten, as it would put an end to the fighting; “he was quite sure none of his men would ever face the Confederates again.” Another was of opinion that it was lucky they had not advanced much further, as in that case they could not have escaped so well. And so on. It would be, I am certain, as unjust to the bulk of the officers to suppose they entertain such sentiments as these, as it would be in the last degree untrue to say that their men were destitute of courage, and were not ready to fight any enemy, if fairly disciplined and properly led; but the expression of these things is indicative of the want of proper esprit militaire, and it should be reprehended by those who wish to establish the loyalty of the volunteer army. No doubt the American papers will furnish detailed lists of killed and wounded, if you have any fancy to publish them, and columns of letters from the soldiers, and pages of incidents of the battle which may be consulted by the curious; but there is a concurrence of testimony to the good conduct of Blenker's Germans, the 69th Irish, and the 79th Scotch. Capt. Meagher, indeed, I am told, yielded to the universal panic, and was seen on foot at Centreville making the best of his way towards Fort Corcoran, with exclamations which implied that for the moment he recognized the Southern Confederacy as highly belligerent. Col. Corcoran, conspicuous by his great stature, being a man of 6 1/2 feet in height, was an object of attraction to the enemy, and is lying dangerously, if not mortally, wounded. The Rhode Island regiment has been, however, the most favored by the voice of praise, though many competitors are now putting in claims for at least equal honor.

There are various statements in reference to the conduct of the regular cavalry and infantry. The regular officers admit that at one time the cavalry gave way, but they did not break or fly; they were rallied, drew up in line again, and showed front to the enemy. The regular officers declare that it was the infantry which saved the retreat, covering it steadily in conjunction with the Germans; and the losses of the United States Marines argue that they had a large share of the enemy's fire. The artillery who lost their guns speak, as artillery will do under the circumstances, of the infantry which deserted them; and the general officers, who must after all be the best judges, bear strong testimony to the good services and general steadiness of the regulars engaged in the action. When the statements in the American papers are compared with the facts, I am aware it will be necessary to rely a little on “character,” in asking faith for what I report. There was not a bayonet charge made by the Federalist infantry during the day ; there was not a charge of any kind made by the Confederate cavalry upon any regiment of their enemy until the

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