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James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
 
Page 37
 
 
army with the greatest ease but that they could attack them and march into Washington, over them or with them, whenever they pleased.” 1  45
  The popular cry “On to Richmond” was dinned in the President’s ears until he yielded to the opinion, that the Union army force a battle in eastern Virginia. A victory would maintain the unanimity of feeling that had prevailed since the firing on Sumter; it would be the earnest of a short war. With a short war in prospect patriotism would continue at its present high beat and such dissensions as might issue in an opposition party would not arise. Moreover, the good will of Europe would be preserved. Europe was now in sympathy with the President’s assertion of the national authority, but it would be well to let her perceive that the United States government, to which she sent her envoys, had the stronger battalions. Furthermore, if the excellent men, who had volunteered for three months, were to be used at all in active service, they must soon take the field, as their term of enlistment was fast drawing to a close. Having taken all these considerations into account, the President called a number of generals in council with his Cabinet. McDowell, a graduate of West Point, a staff-officer during the Mexican war, and the present commander of the troops on the Virginia side of the Potomac, said that he would move against Beauregard, who had a force of 21,900 behind the stream called Bull Run, provided that Joseph E. Johnston, who was in the Shenandoah valley with 9000, could be prevented from joining Beauregard. General Scott, who felt that the army was in no condition to fight a battle in Virginia but who had deferred to the President’s wish, said, “If Johnston joins Beauregard he shall have Patterson on his heels.” Patterson with 18,000 to 22,000 was depended
 
Note 1. Russell, July 13, 403, 404. The italics are mine. [back]
 

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