Our readers will remember that a private letter from Richmond, printed in these columns February 28th, from a gentleman whose opportunities of observation were among the best, stated positively that the rebels had less than 200,000 men in the field, and that their force on the line of the Potomac did not exceed sixty thousand men. The latter particular of his intelligence has received singular confirmation within the last two days. It is acknowledged by those who have examined the works of Manassas that an army encamped there, and which is for so many months occupied our own army of 200,000 men, and with its “Quaker” guns and ingenious boldness of pickets so deceived our military authorities – that this great Manassas did not really number six thousand men; while the “Gibraltar of Virginia” is nothing but an immense humbug. – It is not very surprising that Englishmen, who like Sir James Ferguson and others, visited the Manassas lines, and afterwards saw, within our own, what a vast force of the rebels were holding in check with their small army, went home despising the “Federals,” and full of admiration of the rebels and their faith in the success. – N. Y. Eve. Post, 18th.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, March 22, 1862, p. 1