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abominable facts” came in the way, and Manhattan's powers of prophecy were scattered to the four winds by the result of Scampers’ Day, at Bulls Run. But Manhattan was no ways abashed, not he, honest man. “ The Federal army fought splendidly, they fought like tigers, they were victorious !”-oh, fie! “but they were betrayed by imbecile generals, &c., &c., &c., and so they ran away.” Again, his figures have been rather oscillating for some days, but he seems to have at last settled down tolerably to 100,000 troops, in or near the field of battle, and about 400 killed, and 400 wounded. A precious army it must have been to run, on suffering so unheard of a per-centage of loss! Again, he ventures to sneer at the pusillanimity of the Confederate generals, at not improving their victory by marching straight on Washington. He knows as well as I do, that the Federal army fought with Sharp's rifles, Colt's revolvers, and rifled cannon; of all which munitions of war the Confederates were wholly in want. And the veriest tyro in military matters would see the absurdity of leaving a strong fortified position with undisciplined troops, to take up an open position, where the rail would bring in converging lines the whole Northern population upon them. General Beauregard knows his business better. He picked up a good deal he wanted, much more than the slaughter of these gallant invaders—which they threw away without stint, - arms, baggage, and cannon; those field-pieces which were the boast and pride of the New Yorkers. Alas! for the vanity of human aspirations. He even goes on to say Davis the rebel could have been the head of a strong military government, that the Northern States are so yearning for a King Stork for those loud croakers. “If,” says Manhattan, " he had known he was victor, and followed our scared soldiers to Washington” (upon my word, Jeff. Davis ought to be very much obliged to him for the hint), “he could have taken Philadelphia and New York; so great and universal was the panic, that he could have even plundered Wall Street, and laid the city in ashes; and then nine-tenths of the people holding to the democratic doctrine to the victors belong the spoils,' he would have been allowed the Presidency he would have so gallantly won.” What an exuberant imagination all this evidences; why, it beats the Richmond prophecy hollow! However, his imagination leads him into a most shameless and heartless fabrication, that the Confederates “cut the throats of the wounded, and also cut off, as trophies, noses, ears, and lips." In the name of
common humanity let this horrible accusation be probed to the bottom.
In England we had the courage to sift the same terrible charge against the Sepoy fiends in the Mutiny, and though I remember one case fairly, if not quite, authenticated, I never heard of more. Can it then be true that Southern members of a common stock would so treat their fellow brethren ? Manhattan must answer for this. But, after all, it is not worth one's while to sully one's hands with such people. Let us look at the position of affairs as they stand. Western Virginia is still occupied by a strong force, which, however, has retreated to Harper's Ferry. The centre of the frontier line is Columbia, with Washington as its quasi citadel. On the right of the Confederate forces is Fort Munroe, with a strong garrison under General Butler. It is clear therefore, that, unless he can detach sufficient bodies to rout the armies on his two flanks, General Beauregard cannot advance safely from his fortified lines. He has everything to gain by time. Some gentleman wrote in the Times “that drunkenness and insubordination prevailed to a fearful extent among the demoralised Federal army, but that a few days would see all rectified. They must have a receipt in those parts which the Iron Duke and Sir John Moore, and a hundred others, would have given something to know, when they had to reorganise a broken and retreating body. Beauregard has got to drill his troops, clothe them, arm them; and he means to do it effectually. What chances are there of the gallant Seward and Co., whose names now stink in the nostrils of their quondam friends, being able to force him into a successful engagement before he is ready ? On land and sea they are spending nearer three million dollars a day than two. Their generals, who bloomed so suddenly from senators into brigadiers-general, have gone like the potatoes. I do not hear of any great anxiety to take up their loan. Sure I am, John Bull will certainly resent an attack on his pocket. He has suffered enough already, as George Colman sang :
Once to be done his anger did not touch,
But when a second time they tried the treason,
It made him crusty, sir, and with good reason ;
Nor do I think much of the tremendous offers of more troops, who march away the morning of battle because “ their time was up;” or if they stayed, and their time was not up, in another sense of the word, ran like the gallant Captain T. F. Meagher of the Sword did at the battle of the cabbages, immortalised by Thackeray in his “ Three Pore Waits.” It was reserved for Northern America to furnish the first instance of an army organised, we presume, to defend their country, imitating the conduct of a ser
vant whose hiring was out, refusing to assist his · master in putting out a fire in the house he had lived in. Why, the Free Lances of Italy, ruffians and bandits as they were, would have scorned such special pleading. They might have demanded every stiver of their pay before they drew their swords, and would have got it, too; but to sneak along the road home, while the ranks of their comrades were being mowed down within hearing, would have been too much for their stomach. No, depend upon it, the Northerners would not like to put their hands into the lobster's claw a second time in a hurry; and as the Southerners have always disavowed any intention of invading the North, as earnestly as they have sworn to exterminate an army that desecrates their own soil, Beauregard is not likely to give them a chance without due preparation.
In the meantime quiet people are murmuring What is to be the end of all this? and, like most