The repulse of the federal troops at Manassas is a heavy blow upon the cause of the Union. Dispatches from Washington state that Patterson's failure to grapple with Johnston, and keep him from joining Beauregard, or his falling back, without attempting to co-operate with McDowell's column, has caused the whole mischief. The telegraph says he was directed to move forward rapidly, but be failed to comply. His age (70) is charitably suggested as the cause of his inefficiency. His term expires on the 27th, when he will be discharged. But while public opinion seems to unite in blaming Gen. Patterson for his tardiness, is it not remarkable that Gen. McDowell was not better acquainted with the numbers and general condition of the heavy odds he was moving to attack? Inasmuch as Gen. McClellan has been ordered to take command of the Potomac line, it would seem that the commander-in-chief is not satisfied with Gen. McDowell's generalship, which has, at the start, met with so much of disaster. As we receive the authorized dispatches, giving the first accounts of the great repulse, it would appear that McDowell was completely entrapped, drawn up to near double his numbers, to be overwhelmed, driven back upon Washington, and losing to the government the prestige of success which it before had.
So far as the loss on our side is concerned, yesterday's dispatches reduce the figures largely. It is now stated at from 300 to 500. That this result will greatly encourage and embolden the insurgents there can be no doubt, but at the same time it should, and will, induce new vigor and determination on the part of the government. Our troops have renewed their former positions in the vicinity of Washington, and active preparations are going on for a renewal of the forward movement.