“Lee’s army ought not to have got away so easily, but should have been pushed to the wall, and fought without mercy every day.” –Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill.

[September 20]

General Lee conducted his retreat with much skill, crossing the Potomac, and saving all his material with little or no loss. Our victory, considering the immense interests at stake, is certainly of the very utmost importance. The invading hosts have quickly been driven back to their piney forests, lifting an immense load from the hearts of the loyal North, but for all that our movements have been very supine. Lee’s army ought not to have got away so easily, but should have been pushed to the wall, and fought without mercy every day. From experience, however, we know that General McClellan is not equal to great occasions, and therefore it is useless to expect brilliant results while he is in command. The militia are going home again, and the Nation’s pulse will soon regain its normal condition, while our dear Maryland friends may resume their peaceful occupations, and have something to talk about as long as they live.


Diary of a Young Officer–Josiah Marshall Favill (57th New York Infantry)

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