clothing or food, of luxury or necessity. Here a long yellow-haired, bare-footed son of the South claimed as prizes a tooth-brush, a box of candles, a quantity of lobster salad, a barrel of coffee; while there another, whose butternut colored homespun hung around him in tatters, crammed himself with lobster salad, sardines, potted game and sweetmeats, and washed them down with Rhenish wine."
It is said that our friend, General Trimble, was very indignant at this sacking of the stores he had captured the night before and had guarded until our division came up. But, my comrades, his troops had been there several hours before us, and we were not present to see the stores they had rifled, and to grudge them the supper they had eaten. However that may be, I know I forgave the fellow who, in flat disobedience of my positive order, came up from the rear with a Westphalia ham, hard tack, and a bottle of wine, and shared them with me.
General Gordon, continuing his account, says:
"Nor was the outer man neglected. From piles of new clothing the soldiers of Jackson arrayed themselves in the blue uniforms of the Federals. The naked were clad, the bare-footed where shod, the sick and wounded were provided with comforts and luxuries, to which they had long been strangers."
But in this he is mistaken, and while I do not wish to be critical upon our leaders, I have always thought that this was an instance in which the real weakness of our army organization exhibited itself. We held possession of Manassas for nearly twenty four hours—all of Wednesday, from daylight until dark—and we had captured there two miles of burdened cars, laden with clothing, shoes, oats and corn, and there were there horses, wagons and ambulances, besides the contents of the sutler's stores; but so far from these things having been distributed, our brigade, you recollect, was left that night to cover the burning of these stores while Jackson, with the rest of our corps, moved to the neighborhood of the position on which we were the next afternoon to meet the enemy and there contend with him for three days.Now, had we had an active, efficient and well organized quarter-master staff, why could not these supplies of clothing and shoes have been distributed amongst us? No enemy was pressing us from early in the morning for the rest of the day, and the details, which were ordered in the afternoon, too late for the purpose, might have effectually distributed the much-needed shoes to our bare-footed men. Late in the afternoon I was ordered to send all the men of the First,