Mr. Russell's third letter.
battle of Manassas.
[Correspondence of the London Times]
Washington, July 29, 1861.
On this day week the Confederates
could have marched into the Capital
of the United States
They took no immediate steps to follow up their unexpected success.
To this moment their movements have betrayed no fixity of purpose or settled plan to pursue an aggressive war, or even ‘"to liberate Maryland
if they have the means of doing so."’
And, indeed, their success was, as I suspected, not known to them in its full proportions, and their loss, combined, perhaps, with the condition of their army, as much as a political and prudential motives, actuating their leaders, may have had a fair share in producing the state of inactivity with which the Federalists have no reason to be dissatisfied.
The "Special correspondent" attempts a diplomatic view of our Union position.
Let us look around, now that the smoke of battle has cleared away, and try to examine the condition of the ground.
First as regards foreign relations:
The personal good feeling and perfect understanding which exist between the representatives of the great European Powers directly interested in America
, are founded on an appreciation of the exact demands of the interests they represent, and on the necessities of a common honorable policy England
, having a vast commerce directly involved in the contest, bas naturally been the first to provide for its safety in American waters, and has also felt it desirable, in the face of the desperate counsels which have been given on this side of the Atlantic
, to furnish a trifling reinforcement to her small military establishment in Canada
The fleet at present in observation is neither powerful nor offensively disposed, and no exception can be taken to the mode in which it has acted by the most sensitive American, although attempts have been made to arouse vulgar prejudices by erroneous statements respecting the views and declarations of Admiral Milne
The authoritative assertions on that subject in some of the journals here are destitute of authority, except that of the writer.
What is of more consequence, perhaps, in respect to the preservation of friendly relations between England
and the United States
, is the fact that a great change has come over the views of the members, or member of the Cabinet
who was supposed to seek the reconstruction of the Union
in a war with Great Britain
, and that the most favorable disposition is evinced to cultivate our good graces, not by any sacrifice of principles, but by the adoption of a to eat once calm, just and dignified.
which will be appreciated by the Foreign Office.
It is not probable, either, that we shall hear much more about the immediate annexation of Canada
, and the fury of 750,000 ‘"better than French
"’ soldiers with which we were threatened will be for a time averted.
The Morrill tariff as a cause of Embroilment
But if there are such pleasant changes in the diplomatic and press world.
there is nothing at all like them in commercial relations.
In the Senate it is proposed to clap a round tenner cent.
on all the duties to be levied under the Morrill tariff, and Mr. Simmons
, the father of this wicked little bit of political economy, declares he will thereby raise $45,000,000 of additional revenue.
The House of Representatives, on the contrary, propose to raise revenue by taxes on coffee, tea, sugar, pepper, spices and articles of the sort, not of necessity nor of luxury, but in the intermediate position; so that every one who uses them now will continue to do so, notwithstanding the tax, and no one will be the worse for it. On these plane it is probable there will be a conference between the two branches of the Legislature, in which the contending systems may be adjusted or amalgamated.
The income tax to be adopted will give some $40,000,000, according to the calculations of the designers, and the people fondly believe it will be removed as soon as the war is over.
The Mercantile interests of France and Russia--Opinions of Ministers of both these Countries.
If the increase of ten per cent on the Morrill tariff be actually passed, it is difficult to see how France
can continue to regard with friendly feelings such a direct attack on her great article of exportation.
is accustomed to hear these things from the United States
, but France
cannot afford any meddling or mischief in her wine trade and her tobacco monopoly.
, the energetic and able representative of our ally, is said to entertain strong notions that the contest now waging cannot terminate in the success of the North
in what it proposes to itself.
, the Russian Minister
, who has lived long in America
, knows her statesmen and the genius of her people and institutions, and is a man of sagacity and vigorous intellect, is believed to hold the same views.
Perhaps the only minister who has really been neutral, observing faithfully all engagements to actually existing Powers, and sedulously avoiding all occasion of offence or irritability to an irritable people, rendered more than usually so by the evil days which have fallen upon them, is the discreet and loyal nobleman who represents Great Britain
, and who is the only one threatened with a withdrawal of passports and all sorts of pains and penalties for the presumed hostility of his Government to the United States
The North on the defensive.
The world sees that the North
has not treated the Southerners as rebels — we will not say it has not dared to do so. But the Federalists have treated the Confederate
up to this moment as belligerents.
Rebels are hanged, imprisoned, and shot at discretion.
Their flags are not received; the exchange of prisoners with rebels is ridiculous.
A regular ‘ "blockade"’ of rebel ports is quite anomalous.
It remains to be seen, after Mr. Davis
' recent hints, what the Government
dares to do in the case of the ‘"pirates" ’ whom is cruisers caught in the act, red handed, of privateering policy Meantime the arm raised to chastise and subdue has been struck down, and the attitude of the North
is just now defensive.
There will be on the part of the one people whom the American
press has most insulted and abused every disposition to give fair play and to listen to the call for ‘ "time"’ But the quarrel must have its limits — the time must be fixed, and the sponge must be thrown up if one or other of the combatants cannot ‘"come up" ’ to it; nor does it seem a case in which any amount of ‘"judicious bottle holding"’ can prolong the fight Now, at the present moment the North
is less able to go into the contest than she was a month ago. She has suffered a defeat, she has lost morale
Besides killed, wounded and prisoners, cannon, arms, baggage, she has lost an army of three-months' men, who have marched away to their homes at the very moment the capital was in the greatest danger.
Up to this period the reinforcements received do not bring up the Federalists to the strength they had before the fight.
No one can or will tell how many have strayed away and gone off from their regiments since they returned to the camps here, but the actual number of men who have come here are less than those who have gone away home by fully 3,000 rank and file.
And the change has been by no means for the better.
The three months men at least had been three months under arms.
They were probably at least as martial and as ready to fight as most of their people Just as they are most required and likely not to be quite unserviceable, they retice to receive ill-deserved and ridiculous ovatioris, as though they had been glorious conquerors and patriots, instead of being broken and routed fugitives, who marched off from Washington
when it might be expected the enemy were advancing against it; In their place come loving who have not find even the three months training, and who are not as well equipped, so far as I can see, as their predecessors, to face men who are elated with
success' and the prestige of the first battle gained, and to be associated with regiments cowed, probably.
and certainly, in some insterces, demoralized, by defeat.
The artillery men who cut the traces of their horses from caisson and carriage at least knew more about guns than the men who will be put to the new field batteries which the Government
are getting up as fast as they can; and the muskets, of the best description, left on the field or taken, cannot be replaced for long time to come.
In fact, much of this army must be reorganized in face of an enemy.
That enemy is either incompetent or artful; it is quite certain he is not actuated by clemency or a generous pity.
Engineers are hard at work strengthening the position on the south bank of the river; but forts do not constitute safety.
Without stout hearts behind their lines and breast works, abattis and redoubts avail nothing.
A grand plan of attack on Washington Mapped out.
It must be that the Confederates
are deficient in the means of transport, or in actual force to make an attack which is so obvious, if they desire to show the North
it is not possible to subdue them.
The corps which went from Winchester
is put by the federalists at 40,000.
Let us take it at half that number.
are said to have had 60,000 at Manassas
, including, I presume, the forces between it and Richmond
Divide that again.
There were certainly 20,000 between Monroe
, the Court
(?) and Richmond
, of whom 10,000 could be spared, and on the western side of the capital of the Confederate States
there was available at least another corps of 10,000, which could have been readily strengthened by 10,000 or 15,000 more from the South
in case of a supreme effort.
There seems no reason, not connected with transport, equipment, or discipline, why the Confederates
should not have been able last week to take the field with 65,000 men, in two corps; one quite strong enough to menace the force on the right bank of the Potomac
, and to hold it in check, or to prevent it going over to the other side; the other to cross into Maryland
, which is now in parts only kept quiet by force, and to advance down or Washing on from the west and north.
In the event of success the political advantages would be very great at home and abroad, and there would be a new base of operations gained close to the enemy's lines, while the advantages of holding the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay
would be much neutralized and finally destroyed.
The Navy-Yard would fall into the enemy's hands.
would probably soon follow.
would be condemned to greater isolation.
itself would be in imminent danger should the Confederates
attempt greater aggression.
But, for one, General Beauregard
will consent to no pian of operations in which success is not rendered as certain as may be by all possible preparations, and he might not favor a proposal which would lead to dividing an army into two parts, with a river between them and an enemy on each side.
, which are the true bases of operations against Richmond
, have been weakened to reinforce the army covering Washington
and Harper's Ferry
, and yet I doubt if there are on the South
bank of the Potomac
at this moment 40,000 men all along the lines, who could move out and offer an enemy battle, leaving any adequate guards in the trenches and garrisons in the lets-du-pont
The cavalry of the Southern army.
The Confederates, as you were informed from the South
, have enlisted men to serve for the war, and take no others.
The staple of their army will undergo no change, and as it grows older it ought to get better, unless it be beaten.
You will pardon me for referring to a remark in one of my previous letter, that there might be fierce skirmishes, and every sanguinary engagements, between the two armies, but that these would be followed by no decisive results, owing to the want of cavalry — Strange to say though the panic and very diseredi table rout was caused, by alarms of and might have been prevented by the presence of cavalry no steps are taken to remedy that great deficiency.
The volunteers who were at Manassas
will never stand the man on horse-back again, and I believe the Confederates
are quite aware of advantage, though they why have m to r the loss of many gentlemen who fell during the day.
Military Enumerations North and South.
The Northern papers are increasing the am of butter in proportion as they de and the losses of their loaves, and they do not appear to perceive that the smaller the ter were the le could be the layer of the former — for it is no credit to an army to lose its guns, abandon its positions, throw away its muskets, leave its wounded in the hands of the enemy, and some thirty and odd miles from front of Centreville
, not merely to Arlington
, but to Washington
, without any cause at all; for without loss there was no cause of retreat, and therefore no excuse for panic and rout.
Again, they say there was only a portion of their army engaged.
The greater sh mef those who were novengaged to true, their.
But before the battle, when Mr. Dowell
's force was enumerated in terrorem
at 50,000, it was said fifteen regiments had subsequently joined.
Now it is averred only 15,000, or 18,000, or 20,000 were in action.--What on earth were the rest about?
And I am obliged to say that Mr. Davis
' statements are quite as starling; far, while he declares the enemy were 35,000 strong, he astonishes us by asserting that of all his host only 15,000 took part in the battle.
As to losses, of course it is beyond anything but imagination to give an estimate.
Regiments reported to have been annihilated have turned up quite hale and hearty, neat as imported on the day of marching home; and fond parents, wives and relatives will be spared many pangs and a great deal of mourning.
I think my estimate of killed and wounded was nearly correct.
The prisoners may amount to more than 900 or 1,000, but the Federalists have lost more heavily than the totals under these heads would show, perhaps.
It would be rather ridiculous to call it either a hard fought, bloody, or a glorious field; but it is an important one; it was a most trying one to the Federalists, who were badly fed and hard worked in a waterless country, on a July day, for twelve hours; they were exposed to the demoralizing effects of long continued artillery fire.
In spite of their want of discipline and the very unaccountable rout, the Federalists at first showed alacrity, but after a time they became torpid and difficult to handle.
No one questions the general bravery of Americans
, native or adopted, on either side; but a defeat is rendered worse than ridiculous by attempts to turn it into a triumph.
Det the unfortunate brave rest content with the sympathy they deserve, and shun the ovations which are the one of the conqueror.
Praise and flattery cannot retake a gun, nor save a standard, nor win a battle — even if it be from vox populi
Army and financial measures of the Washington Cabinet.
The Government in some measure lot the world she what they think of the charges made against the officers of the army in reference to the late battle.
Here is an order just published.
here gives the order July 25) of Adjutant General Thomas
, United States Army, directing that volunteer officers shall undergo an examination, as well as the reconstruction of the military districts in Virginia
, and Pennsylvania
He then continues — Yesterday a bill was passed by the House of Representatives imposing a tax on carriages of from $1 to $50; gold watches, $1; silver watches
, 50c; excise on spirituous liquors, 5 per gallon; and on fermented liquors, 60 per barrel, or 2 a gallon.
All incomes over $600 per annum, three per cent, including money at interest, &c.--Every interest in the country is also taxed, including a tax on the net income of the banks, but not on their currency or bank circulation.
Landed estates are like wise taxed, and if it be accepted by the there branches of the Legislature, the people of the North
will begin to feel that fighting is an expensive luxury, particularly if it be unsuccessful.
It will be weeks before we have done hearing and seeing accounts of Bell Run
, or, as it may be better called, of Manassas
, unless some other action intervenes, as is very likely indeed.
, not findnig any advantage in occupying a point in front of Harper's Ferry
, on the Virginia
side, has, it is affirmed, with drawn all his troops to a position in Maryland
, which commands the passages from the Ferry
; and Gen. Butler
, at Fortress Monroe
, feels himself compelled to abandon his advanced works at Hampton
, which I described hurriedly the other day, and to retire to the cover of the guns of the place.
is quite impregnable to the enemy, for they have not the means of undertaking a regular reign.
If they get heavy guns and mortars, however, they can certainly make the anterior unpleasant, and should they open trenches the Americans
may have a Sebastopol in rattan near Old Point
Meantimes the command of Col. Phalps
, at Newport News, consisting of four regiments, is threatened by the enemy.
His camp is intrenched and furnished with a few howivvers and field pieces, and heavy guns on the river face.
I heard him apply to General Butler
, when I was there, for horses and harness for his guns, as if he wanted to move them.
is a grim, sour, stern soldier of the old Puritan
type, and it attacked he will defend his camp to the last.
Should he be beaten, the Confederates
will have both sides of James river
Relative value of the officers Slain of both sides.
The more closely the consequences of Manassas
are investigated, the more serious they seem to be. It must be granted that the Confederates
feel their losses more severely than the North
and officers are men of mark, and even of privates killed or wounded one sees notices implying that they belong to good families and are well-known people.
The O 's and Macs and Vons, (few of the latter,) the Corcorans.
Camerons and Bruggers, prisoners, wounded or killed, are of less consequence to the social system of the North
than the Hamptons, Prestons and Mannings
are to the South
If Mr. Davis
and a few of the leaders were to fall in battle there, would be less chance of the South
continuing its struggle with the same heart and confidence; but if all the Cabinet
were to go tomorrow from Washington
, the spirit of the Northern States
would not be diminished one iota.
Announcements of the victory.
From the South
, as yet, we have only a few scattered details of the fight and of its results; but it can be seen that there was no very great exultation over the victory.
The following interesting extracts from the Richmond Enquirer, of July 23, will furnish a good idea of the manner in which the news was received:
gives here the dispatch of President Davis
to Mrs. Davis
, announcing the triumph; also his official report to Adjutant General Cooper
, the speech of Mr. Memminger
in Congress announcing the news, with the resolutions passed by that body on the occasion]
He then adds — It will be observed when Mr. Davis
telegraphed to his wife he spoke of a dearly bought victory and a close pursuit.
Of the latter there are no evidences; many troops remained till next morning in Centreville
, not four miles from the scene of the fight, and General Schenck
's report states he withdrew his men in good order at his leisure.
It will be seen, too, that all which has been said of the enemy outflanking the Federalists' left is rubbish, and that the males contest was, as I stated, on the right of the line.
returned by train to Richmond
on the 23d a conqueror.
The Medical Appliances and surgeons of the army.
The ‘"luxury of ambulances"’ is a new and curious ground of complaint, and I suspect that there were not many articles of the kind in the rear of the Confederate army.
of this subject, I must remark that one class of officers in the federal army did their duty nobly — the surgeons remained on the field when all others were retising or had left.
One is reported killed; six are prisoners in the hands of the enemy, engaged in attending the wounded of both sides — an in valuable aid to the scanty medical staff of the Confederates
There is no reason to believe the treatment of wounded or prisoners was what it was reported to have been.
There may have been some isolated acts of atrocity in the heart of battle or pursuit, and it is only too likely that a building in which wounded men were placed was set fire to by a shell, but it is only justice to the Confederate
authorities to say that they seem to have done all they could for those who fell into their hands.
Much irritation has been created by the false statements circulated on this subject, and the soldiers on guard over Confederate prisoners here would not permit them to receive some little luxuries which had been ordered by sympathizing inhabitants, on the ground that they did not deserve them after the treatment given by their friends to the Federalists.
Treason Exists in every Department of the Federal Government — what me Russell saw in the United States Post-Office.
And as I have used the word ‘"sympathizers,"’ let me add the expression of my belief that there is scarcely a department king or low, of the public service of the United States
in which there is not ‘"treason"’--I mean the aiding and abetting the enemy by information and advice.
It is openly talked in society — its work is evident on all sides.
I went into the private department of the Post-Office the other day, and sound there a gentleman basely engaged in sorting letters at a desk.
The last time I saw him was at dinner with the Commissioners
of the Confederate States
, and I was rather surprised to see him now in the sanction of the Post-Office, within a few feet of Mr. Blair
, of the sangre azal of abolitionism.
Said he, ‘"I am just looking over the letters here to pick out some ar Southern friends, and I forward them to their owners an I find them;"’ and if the excellent and acute gentleman did not also forward any little scraps of news he could collect, I am in error.
Again, a series of maps prepared with great care, for the use of General McDowell
's staff, are given out to be photographed, and are so scarce that superior officers cannot get them.
Nevertheless, one is found in a tent of a Confederate officer, in the advance of Fairfax Court-House, which must have been sent to him as soon as it was ready.
It is also asserted that General Beauregard
knew beforehand of McDowell
's advance; but the Confederates
left in such haste that much credence cannot be given to the statement that the enemy were fully informed of the fact any considerable length of time beforehand.
The "on to Richmond" Cry of the abolition press and their Shaky Denials of it — Revelations of the "letter Villain," fresh from General Scott's dinner table.
The battle having been duly fought and lost, the Federalists are employing their minds to find out why it was fought at all.
The convulsions into which the New York press has been thrown by the inquiry, resemble those produced on a dead frog by the wire of Galvani
‘"Who cried 'On to Richmond
?" ’ ‘"Not I, 'pon my honor.
It was shouted out by some one in my house, but I don't know who. I never gave him authority.
I won't shout anything any more."’
‘"Who urged General Scott
to fight the battle, and never gave anybody any peace till he was ordered to do it?"’ ‘"Nobody!"’ ‘"It was that other fellow. "’ ‘"Please, sir. it wasn't me"’
‘"I never approved it."’
‘"I'll never say a word to a soldier again."’
knows I didn't."’
It is really a most curious study.
I begin to think that the best possible instructors may sometimes be in the wrong at this side of the Atlantic
The Tribune declares that General Scott
, being absolute master of the situation, is responsible for the battle.
But the New York Times gives a statement of what took place before the battle at the General
's table, which, therefore, is probably published with his sanction, as it is impossible to suppose a gentleman would print it without express permission, from which it would certainly appear that the veteran Commander
was not, as I hinted, a free agent in the matter.
Here is the statement:
here furnishes Raymond
's Washington letter to the New York Times, commencing with; ‘"General Scott
, it is said, discussed the whole subject of this war in all its parts, and with the utmost clearness and accuracy.
He had a distinct and well defined opinion on every point connected with it, and stated what his plan would be for bringing it to a close it the management of it had been left in his hands,"’ &c.]
Can the Government meet a reaction?--General McClellan at work.
It remains to be seen if the plans of General Scott
can now be followed.
The reaction along the Mississippi
will be great, and Major General Fremont
, with great respect for his courage and enterprise, is not the man, I fear, to conduct large columns successfully.
is anything but safe.
is menaced, and my friends at Memphis
seem to be stirring from their rest under their General.
I regret that I cannot give any more interesting or important intelligence, bl I have not been able to go out for the last two days to the camps, as is common with many people in Washington
I was suffering a little from the weather — thunderstorms, rains, bad odors, which produce the usual results in garrisons and ill-drained cities.
However, it is some consolation that there is nothing of consequence doing.
There was an alarm the night before last.--Some foolish people got the loan of a steamer and a big gun, and went down the river with them.
When they were opposite one of the enemy's batteries, some three our four miles away, they fired their big gun, and ‘"Oh'd," ’ no doubt, at the shot as it plashed short in the water, the enemy treating them with a proper silent contempt all the while.
Having done this, they returned in the evening and amused themselves by firing away no hard as they could just below the Long Bridge
— I believe without ball — and it may be imagined there was some commotion, as the reports shook doors and windows.
is doing his best to get things into order, and the outskirts of the city and the streets are quieter at night; but there is rough work with Zoueve, and others in Alexandria
— houses burnt, people spot and such like sports of certain sorts of ‘ "citizen soldiery."’ They will soon he shouting ‘"Money or blood,"’ if not kept in order and paid — These men form a marked exception to the general behavior of many regiments.