8.-Northern press on the battle.
Let no man to-day whisper the thought of abating a jot of our vast undertaking.
Taught by one reverse, the nation will rise above its misfortune and press on in its just and holy cause.
The people who have poured out their blood and treasure so freely will be kindled to new efforts.
Even the army which is now recruiting its strength and renewing its courage on the banks of the Potomac
, will burn for a chance to strike one more blow for the honor lost at Manassas
The colors have only been shot away from their staff; to-day they shall be nailed to the mast, from which they shall float forever; and the day shall soon come when they shall be borne in triumph by a victorious host from the Potomac
to the James
, and thence on to the gulf.
Our present misfortune will disclose to all the true secret of our weakness, and will teach all that the advance for which some have so long clamored is not to be accomplished at a single effort.
With a full knowledge on all hands of the nature of our undertaking, and with such further preparation as must now be made for this grand enterprise, we can doubt its final success as little as we can doubt the justice of the cause in which it is undertaken, or the wisdom of the Providence
which rules all things for our good.--Boston Daily Advertiser
It is our duty, as it is our wish, to derive from the calamity every lesson it is fitted to inculcate and enforce.
It must necessarily tend to bring all things connected with this controversy down to a much more serious standard.
We are now fully engaged in a war, and with men who, it is evident, can and will fight.
To conduct this war to a peaceful
termination, which is the end of every war, so as to save our own honor and to preserve the Government
of the country, a much higher and more manly tone of principle and sentiment is to be encouraged, than has actuated too many of those who have so confidently assumed to be the leaders of public opinion and feeling.
Fanatical partisanship will not serve the public welfare.
But we see no reason to despond of the great cause of the country.
Any defeat, and especially such a defeat, at the beginning is prejudicial to the right cause, and encouraging to the wrong.
But it has neither exhausted our strength, nor our confidence in a good cause.
The day of disaster is of all others that in which lessons for our future guidance are to be learned and contemplated, and it will be our own fault if we do not find in this unexpected turn of affairs wiser and juster means of accomplishing those ends, which alone honorable and truly patriotic men have in view.--Boston Courier
In the valor of our outnumbered and exposed troops, we see assurances which immeasurably overshadow the incidental mishap which followed.
The Capital is saved.
Our determined soldiers, made wiser and more eager by the sacrifice of their brethren, are rushing forward by thousands and tens of thousands.
We still have our gallant and competent leaders, who will set an immortal seal of vengeance on this transient success of the conspirators.
Let us, then, calmly review all the events of the one day of trial.
Our duties are paramount, and, thanks to heaven, our hopes still go hand in hand with them.--Boston Journal
The public should not feel uneasy about the final result.
A great fight has been made, and the enemy taught the beauties of war, although it has cost many valuable lives.
All their masked batteries have not been taken, to be sure, and our brave soldiers have fallen back to their intrenchments, having satisfied themselves that impatience will not win battles, or enthusiasm carry fortified camps, after long and tedious marches.--Boston Herald
It was confidently expected that when the standard of the law was raised, and our precious citizen soldiery were consigned to the care of the constituted authorities, a force so mighty would meet the enemy that serious disaster to our troops should be impossible; and the material for an army seemed to be such that, however anxious, three months ago, the country were for the safety of the Capital
, the opinion became general and fixed that a defeat now was out of the question.
But, all along, here at the North
, there has been a continuous depreciation of the numbers, the resources, and the quality of the Confederate army; and the press that have kept on this strain, especially the sensation press of New York, have been insanely urging a forward movement to Richmond
This has been seconded by pressure of politicians at Washington
Accomplished military men have shook their heads at all this, but they have constantly said things were going on splendidly, and the right result would come if the people would not be impatient and would let the veteran general alone.
This has not been the case.
The forward movement was precipitated.
The result is before the astounded country.
Dearly bought is the experience, made up of Pelion on Ossa
of the horrible, and all that remains is to profit by the awful lesson.--Boston Post
After driving the rebel armies three miles beyond Bull's Run
, our troops have been compelled to fall back.
This is occasioned by the junction of General Johnston
's army of twenty thousand men with Beauregard
's main army.
This gave the rebels between eighty-five and ninety thousand men to oppose our troops, which number less than fifty thousand.
The rebel force was too great to withstand, and General McDowell
has fallen back upon his intrenchments at Alexandria
The junction of Johnston
it was General Patterson
's business to prevent.
It is not right to blame a commander without knowing all the circumstances which controlled his actions, and we must remember that all blame of subordinates falls at last upon the commander-in-chief
Nevertheless it is impossible not to see that the army corps of Patterson
has not performed its very important share in the general attack, and that in this way only is the temporary retreat of our main army brought about.
Meantime, in the general anxiety, we must remember that the strong fortifications which General Scott
wisely erected opposite Washington
will give our troops a rallying point, where they will make a stand.--N. Y. Evening Post
This defeat will in no degree weaken the Northern
country or the Northern
people,--but on the contrary, will arouse them to unparalleled exertions and call forth their full strength.
It is very true that it will highly encourage the Southern
people also,--but the North
has not yet begun to put forth its strength, while the South
is strained to the utmost.--N. Y. Express
What the losses of the insurgents were on this occasion, we have not yet been advised; but it is likely they were very serious, if not as great as those of the Federal
It is possible that, instead of remaining much longer there, they may retreat at once to the Junction
, as they did after the Great Bethel affair.
But the conduct and spirit of our men, we feel certain, will not suffer from the fact of their making a retreat under the circumstances.
Fresh accessions will be made to their numbers, and, with their present knowledge of the ground, they will return with fresh energy and determination to the work of putting down the rebellion.
And the people at large will rally with still greater devotion to the Government
, and the Union
In the Revolution, our troops were terribly cut up on Brooklyn Heights
; yet that calamity proved the salvation of the country, since it developed the masterly Fabian
system of tactics subsequently pursued by Washington
.--N. Y. Commercial Advertiser
To the brave man defeat is only an argument for new effort.
Our banner, which has been trailing in the dust, must be lifted up towards the stars.
Overwhelming numbers have repulsed our army, after it had conquered an equal force entrenched behind earthworks and masked batteries.
Our retreating columns have fallen back to Alexandria
, leaving hundreds of our brave fellows on the soil where they fell so heroically.
But why recount the disasters of yesterday?
What is to be done?
The capital must again be defended.
The ground which has been lost, must be regained.
Victory must follow on the heels of defeat.
Not an inch more must be yielded.
The ranks must be filled up. The fifty thousand must be made a hundred thousand.
For every regiment that has been broken up, two must appear straightway.
Let no man lisp the word discouragement.
Let us begin to-day.
Let not an hour be lost.
Let the Government
say when and whence it wants men, and they shall be forthcoming.
Such at least is the spirit of Rhode Island
“What if the day be lost?
All is not lost.”
It cannot be lost while we have confidence in the justice of our cause, and faith in Heaven.
We seek not for the mere prestige of victory; we are warring not to decide the skill of rival generals, and the comparative prowess of Northern and Southern soldiery; we are seeking (with sword, it is true) to win back the blessings of peace in a Constitutional Union.--New Bedford Mercury
The disaster at Manassas Junction
, while it will inspire the most profound regret and disappointment, will not cause the abatement of one jot of heart or hope as to the final result.
If it shall put a stop to the idle gasconade and depreciation of the rebel power, in which we have all been too prone to indulge, we shall have bought the lesson dearly it is true, but it is worth learning at almost any price.--Salem Gazette
It is idle to seek to disguise that we have met with a great disaster, but one for which, under all the circumstances, we should not have been totally unprepared, and which only proves that even our soldiers cannot achieve impossibilities.
We have paid an awful penalty for the error of underrating the strength of our enemy, and attempting, with too small a number of men, to drive him from his stronghold.
We have suffered our zeal to outrun our discretion; and in deference to the strong popular sentiment which demanded an early capture of Richmond
, the forward movement against that city was commenced before we had consolidated a sufficient force to render its downfall certain.--Philadelphia Press
, July 23.