We were almost as much disorganized by our victory as the Federals by their defeat,and it was conceded by everybody that disorganization and the moral deterrent effect of “fortifications” were mainly responsible for the Confederates not pressing their victory to the logical conclusion of occupying the capital. The stream of fugitives crowding across Long Bridge and Aqueduct Bridge after the disaster of Bull Run, July 21st, announced to the people of Washington, to the people of the North, and to the people of the world the initiation of a mighty struggle. The echo rang southward, where the cry immediately was taken up, “On to Washington.” in the North the echo was, “On to the defense of Washington.” Despair in the North was replaced by a dogged determination to prosecute the war to the bitter end, and a few weeks' delay on the part of the Confederates sounded the doom of their chances to take the capital, for every energy of the North was bent, first, to organizing for its defense, and, second, to taking the field in an offensive movement against the Confederates. General Scott, who had fought in two wars against foreign foes, was bowed down with age, and the tremendous energy necessary to cope with so appalling a situation had left him; so he asked to be relieved by a younger man. All
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.