AN ABSURDITY EXPOSED.
The absurdity of the allegation that anything this paper has said, influenced General Scott to fight the battle of Bull’s Run, is so glaring that it scarcely deserves a notice at our hands. It is very doubtful whether he ever saw a copy of the Chicago TRIBUNE. Those most intimate with him state that he scarcely ever looks in a newspaper.
It is not at all probable, that the march of the army from Arlington Heights, to Centerville was hindered or quickened a day or an hour, by the comments, pro or con, of all the newspapers in the Union. The advance was not ordered until the Lieut. General was ready and gave the word. The army moved in the force and in the exact order, in which he directed. The reverse it suffered was caused by encountering superior numbers ; by the arrival of Gen. Johnston with 20,000 fresh troops at the crisis of the fight ; by the failure of Gen. Patterson to follow after and prevent the junction of Johnston’s column with Beauregard’s army ; by a panic breaking out in the rear of our army ; and by other causes altogether foreign to the newspaper comments and opinions uttered previously to the battle.
If newspaper articles can be traced the defeat of our army, then the censure must fall on the heads of those papers which advocated delay and inaction until the enemy had concentrated his whole force behind the strongly fortified lines of Manassas, and not on those who recommended the policy of seizing that important position during last May, before the rebels had occupied it in strength. The Times, Post and Journalare impaled on the points of their own programme, and the “blood of the slaughtered soldiers” be upon their heads. If Manassas had been occupied last May, as military men at Washington concur in saying it might easily have been, the battle of Bull’s Run would never have been fought, and the disaster to our arms not suffered.