Where is Lee?
In all the annals of warfare, we do not remember a parallel to the existing state of affairs in Virginia. A rebel general, with a force approximating a hundred thousand men, is somewhere in the state, and the federal commander cannot tell, for his life, whether he is ten or a hundred miles distant from his head-quarters! In the dispatches of yesterday, we were favored with a dozen different guesses at the rebel chief's position and intentions. One dispatch said he was approaching Harrisburg, Pa.; another was confident he was marching on Baltimore; still another writer was morally certain it was the capital of the United States that was in danger; while a fourth insists that Pittsburg or Wheeling are the real objects of Lee's attack. The Washington Star of the 22d, which usually knows what the government knows, says:
"We know enough to assure us that the main rebel army is not any where east of the Blue Ridge, and we have to add that he is marching from this direction, or preparing to march from this direction on Pittsburg or Wheeling. Ewell is at and tending Sharpsburg, a portion of his command extending to Maryland and in the Shenandoah Valley, and from the Rappahannock to the Potomac. We feel sure in saying that there was not a rebel in arms on the Bull Run mountain range last evening."
If Gen. Hooker could only successfully ascertain Lee's whereabouts and the strength of his army, before both of them are made clear to him by the thunder of his cannon, and the rattle of his musketry, and the flash of his sabres, we should feel more hopeful of a favorable termination of the campaign. But he sits in dumb amazement, stupefied and helpless; not knowing whither to turn, or what to do — afraid to leave his camp, lest Lee gets Washington' the moment his back is turned, and equally afraid to remain where he is, for fear he will be attacked and annihilated in his tracks. And this is the hero who maligned McClellan! This is the Napoleon who could have taken Richmond any time?
If we were president of the United States, and had such a general in our employ, we should trade him for a dog and then drown the dog. Such gross, glaring, stupid incompetency has never been witnessed in this war, since Price marched two hundred miles into Missouri, sat down before, and reduced a strong garrison, and marched out at his leisure, while Fremont sat in St. Louis like a coward or a calf as he is. How long shall these things be, and with such commanders, when will the rebellion be "suppressed?"