About the 5th of May General Beauregard received a telegram from the Secretary of War, requiring his immediate presence at the seat of government. On his arrival at Montgomery he was informed that the President desired to send him to Pensacola, to co-operate with General Bragg, and assist him in the execution of a plan—much thought of at the time—the main object of which was the taking of Fort Pickens.

It must be remembered that no sooner had the State of Alaba ma withdrawn from the Union than the Federal forces stationed at Pensacola, in imitation of Major Anderson, evacuated Fort Bar rancas, on the mainland, to occupy Fort Pickens, on Santa Rosa Isl and—a much stronger, and in every way a more inaccessible, work.

The fort being in Confederate waters, the authorities at Mont gomery feared that its occupancy by the enemy would imply weakness on the part of our government, and might possibly shake the confidence of the people. It had, therefore, been deter mined to pursue a course towards Fort Pickens similar to that which had been so successfully adopted against Fort Sumter. Hence the desire for the services and experience of him who, after thirty-three hours of bombardment, had forced the surrender of Major Anderson and his command.

During a long conference held with President Davis and the Secretary of War, General Beauregard stated his several objec tions to being sent to Pensacola. In the first place, General Bragg, not having sought his assistance, might perhaps be offended at such apparent interference, and ask to be relieved from his com mand, which would occasion no small annoyance to General Beau-regard, and be very detrimental to the cause. In the second place, he was strongly of opinion that there was no advantage to be gained by taking possession of Fort Pickens; that to hold it

would necessitate the employment of more troops than we could well spare at the time, and that it was not in ports and harbors, but in the field, that the battles upon which hung the fate of the Confederacy must be fought. He thought it wiser to leave the disadvantage of garrisoning the fort upon the enemy, than to take the task upon ourselves. He maintained, furthermore, that, as we had yet no navj-, and no commerce with the ex terior world, Pensacola harbor could be of no use to us at this juncture; and that, should we occupy Fort Pickens, we would, in all likelihood, be forced, ere long, to withdraw our troops from it, to employ them more usefully in other parts of the Confederacy. He suggested that, meanwhile, a school of military practice and instruction should be established at Pensacola, under General Bragg, where all raw troops might be organized and properly pre pared, before being forwarded to their ultimate destination. Gen eral JJcauregaixTs reasons finally prevailed, and he was sent back to Charleston, the news from Washington indicating a general war, and a strong determination on the part of the Federal gov ernment to retake possession of Fort Sumter.

A deputation of gentlemen from New Orleans had recently ar rived from that city, to direct the President's attention to its unprotected condition. They urgently requested that General Beauregard should be sent thither at once, to take command and organize a system of defence, which, they were convinced, none could do so well as himself. He would have gladly accepted such an order—so many ties were drawing him back to Louisiana—but the President deemed his presence imperatively necessary at Charleston, then the most threatened point of the Confederacy, and therefore persisted in his former determination.

While journeying from Charleston to Montgomery, General Beauregard met Mr. AV. L. Trenholm, whose father, George A. Trenholm,* was a partner in the great firm of John Frazcr & Co., of Charleston and Liverpool. This gentleman, as he in formed General Beauregard, was the bearer of important propo sitions from the English branch of their house to the Confederate government, for the purchase of ten large and powerful steamers, then just built in England for the East India Company, which, no longer needing them, was desirous of finding a purchaser; the ships

* The Hon. George A. Trenholm was appointed Secretary of the Treasury after the resignation of Mr. Memminger.

were to be properly manned and fitted out, and sent to the Con federate States, thence to export enough cotton to pay for them, and as much more as should be required to provide for the arma ment and equipment of our forces. Such a plan, it was thought by the Frazer house, could be easily carried out. The United States government would require time to collect and rendezvous its fleet, the inadequacy of which was well known; and no fear need, therefore, be entertained of its ability, at that time, to en force a blockade of the Southern ports: an effective blockade could be prevented. After a certain number of voyages with large cargoes of cotton, for the purposes already mentioned, these steamers might be converted into cruisers, and employed to im pede and destroy Northern commerce.

General Beauregard, thoroughly impressed with the incalculable benefits to be derived from the adoption of such a project, prom ised Mr. Trenholm to use his utmost endeavors in furtherance of the measures that gentleman was sent to advocate. In a let ter to General Beauregard, dated Charleston, 18th September, 1878, Mr. Trenholm says: "This I remember well, that you warmly supported the proposition, and used your influence in aid of its being brought before the cabinet, which was accom plished." But neither General Beauregard's earnest advice, nor the strong and cogent reasons given by Mr. Trenholm, were of any avail. The Confederate government, under the erroneous belief that the war would be a short one,* declined entertaining the proposals made to it. " No discussion took place in my pres ence," says Mr. Trenholm, in the letter already alluded to, "but from questions put to me, I have always been under the impression that few, if any, of those present" (meaning the President and mem bers of the cabinet) "realized at all the scope and importance of the measures laid before them." Thus was closed upon the Con federacy a door — then wide open—through which might have entered that material assistance, those sinews of war, the want of which all the heroism of our troops and the endurance and self-sacrifice of our people could not remedy.

General Beauregard believed—and expressed the opinion at the time—that we were engaged in a long and terrible war; and he earnestly wished to see the country prepared accordingly. He was

* A member of the cabinet had given it as his opinion, on that occasion, that the war would not last over ninety days.

therefore most anxious that Mr. Trenliolm's proposals should be accepted. Four large and powerful steamers, and six smaller ones, but " scarcely inferior for the required purpose "—as these were represented to be—placed under the command of such officers as Sernmes, Maffitt, Brown, Taylor, Jones, linger, Hartstein, Hamil ton, Pegram, and Ileid, during the first year of the war, would not only have raised the attempted blockade, but would have driven the commerce of the United States from all the seas of the globe. This was abundantly proved by the exploits of the Sumtcr and Alabama, the results of which were so keenly felt by the North, that England, irresponsible though she was, paid, at a later date, the penalty of Admiral Scmmcs's achievements.

In his "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government/' Mr. Davis has not even alluded to the facts we have just related. lie states, however, that as early as February, 1SG1, "the third day after my inauguration at Montgomery,'' he had directed Cap tain (afterwards Admiral) Semmes, as agent of the Confederate States, to proceed north in order not only to purchase " arms, ammunition, and machinery," but also "to seek for vessels which would serve for naval purposes." He farther states that Captain Semmes was unsuccessful in his errand, and, on his return, re ported " that he could not find any vessels which in his judgment were, or could be made, available for our uses." For that reason, and for the additional reason, says Mr. Davis, that " the Southern officers of the navy who were in command of United States ves sels abroad," before resigning their commissions to join their re spective States, invariably " brought the vessels they commanded into the ports of the North," thereby depriving us of "our share of the navy we had contributed to build," and allowing it to be " employed to assail us," we were left " without the accessories needful for the rapid supply of naval vessels." *

This is proof conclusive that Mr. Davis himself had some con ception of the importance of procuring war-vessels for the Con federacy; though the attempt to purchase them in the enemy's country, was, under the circumstances, a strange proceeding, to say the least of it. And yet, two months later, that is, in the early part of May, when, to use Mr. Prioleau's expression, " a fleet of armed vessels " was offered him, for the service of the Confederacy, with

Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government;' vol. i. pp. 311, 313, 314.

an opportunity to procure an unlimited supply of arms and am munition, not to speak of provisions and accoutrements for the impending struggle, which he thought would be "long and bloody," * Mr. Davis hardly considered the proposition at all, and discarded it as being impracticable and unworthy of his attention.

Mr. Davis goes on to say: " While attempting whatever was practicable at home, we sent a competent, well-deserving officer of the navy to England, to obtain there and elsewhere, by pur chase or by building, vessels which could be transformed into ships of war." f

"When was this done ? Mr. Davis is reticent upon that point; and, despite his statement that " these efforts and their results will be noticed more fully hereafter," nowhere in his book is to be found any additional information upon the subject. True, Mr. Davis says, further on, "At the commencement of the war the Confederacy was not only without a navy, all the naval vessels possessed by the States having been, as explained elsewhere, left in the hands of our enemies; but worse than this was the fact that ship-building had been almost exclusively done in the North ern States, so that we had no means of acquiring equality in naval power." $

This, instead of showing what were the efforts of our govern ment to procure war-vessels for the South, shows, on the contrary, how great was the folly, how disastrous to our interests the non-acceptance of the contract almost effected, in London, by the house of John Frazer & Co.

And Mr. Davis says also: " It has been shown that among the first acts of the Confederate administration was the effort to buy ships which could be used to naval purposes." § This can only re fer to Captain Semmes's mission North, in the latter part of Febru ary, 1SG1, and relates, not to what was done in Europe, not to the reasons for rejecting the Trenholm proposal, but merely to what was unsuccessfully attempted on our side of the water.

The impression Mr. Davis seems anxious to convey is, that his efforts to procure war-vessels in Europe were made shortly after his inauguration as President, and as soon as he had discovered that none could be purchased at the North. From this, and with

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 230.

t Ibid. vol. i. p. 314. J Ibid. vol. ii. p. 240. § Ibid. vol. ii. p. 245.

the facts bore submitted, it seems clear that, if Mr. Davis sent an agent to purchase war-vessels in Europe, it must have been at a later period, and when the opportunity to get such vessels, from England and elsewhere, had already been allowed to slip by. For lie certainly cannot deny that, in May, 1SG1, a fleet of ten East India steamers was offered the Confederate government, in Mont gomery, through Mr. W. L. Trenholm, speaking in the name and by the authority of the house of John Frazer & Co. Admitting that, as he must, how is it possible that he could have rejected the Trenholm offer—as he unquestionably did—if at that time he had a naval oilicer in Europe, sent thither to effect the identical pur chase he then declined ? Was it that our government could not have accepted any such proposal, except through the medium of the agent already alluded to ? Why not, then, have referred the house of John Frazer & Co. to him, or him to that house?

Mr. Prioleau, one of the firm of John Frazer & Co., of Liver pool, through whose hands had passed the negotiations relative to the purchase of these vessels, wrote to General Beaurcgard the following letter on the subject. It confirms the extracts from Mr. Trenholm's letter, as given above; and adds so much interest to the point under consideration, that we feel justified in submit ting it without curtailment.

" BRUGES, September ZWi, 18SO.

" J/y dear General, —The facts -with reference to the proposed fleet of armed vessels for the service of the Confederacy were briefly as follows:

"I had, from the very beginning of the struggle, been more impressed with the vital importance of the seaports than with anything else. I regarded them as the lungs of the country, which, once really closed, asphyxia must fol low. I therefore took an early occasion to go to London to see what could be had in the shape of vessels fit to take and keep the sea, for a lengthened period, and strong enough to carry an armament which would render them efficient war-vessels, or, at all events, equal to cope with those of the enemy engaged in the blockade of the coast.

' k I was fortunate in finding exactly what was wanted. A fleet of first-class East-Indiamen was lying there idle, under circumstances of a financial nature which made them available to a buyer at less than half their cost. They had been built with a view of being armed if required, and also to be used as transports for troops, as well as to carry valuable cargoes and treasure in time of peace. Four of them were vessels of great size and power, and of the very first class, and there were six others which, although smaller, were scarcely in ferior for the required purpose. Having, with the assistance of an expert, thoroughly inspected them all, I at once entered into negotiations for their purchase, and having secured them for the reply of the Confederate author!-

ties, I submitted the proposal, in a letter to the Hon. G. A. Trenholm, who re ferred it, as I believe,* to Montgomery. The total cost of buying, arming, and fitting-out the ten ships \vas estimated at two millions of pounds, to put the fleet on the coast ready for action; a sum which would have been covered by forty thousand bales of cotton, out of the three or four millions of bales which the government had, at that time, under their hand, and which would not have cost them, at Qd. in their own currency, more than two millions of dollars. There would have been little or no difficulty in getting the ships to sea. The Foreign Enlistment Act had not then—and, indeed, never has been—authorita tively interpreted to mean that a neutral may not sell an unarmed ship to a belligerent: all that w r as required was commercial caution and coolness, and naval skill and address; all these were at hand, and there is no room for rea sonable doubt that, within six months at farthest of the acceptance of the offer being received on this side, the fleet would have appeared off Boston and swept the coast thence to the Gulf, an achievement which would have com pelled the prompt recognition of our government on this side, and the speedy triumph of our cause. I have always understood that the proposition was considered and rejected, by the Confederate government, but I never had any communication from them on the subject. Although much disappointed at this result, so convinced was I of the value of the ships that I determined to retain my hold upon them as long as possible, to prevent their being sold elsewhere, and in hope that other counsels would prevail at home before it was too late. By means of negotiations which it is not necessary to detail here, I did succeed in retaining control of them until the occurrence of the ' Trent outrage;' when the British government, requiring immediately ships of this class for transportation of troops and war-material to Canada, the owners broke off the negotiations with me, and got the ships, or many of them, employed in this service, in which they remained until there was no further need of them.

" This is a correct and simple statement of the facts which are (as far as re gards this side of the water) necessarily known better to myself than to any other living person, and concerning which my memory is perfectly clear and reliable. It occupied my mind almost exclusively for some time, and I built the highest hopes upon the success of the scheme. It is true many of the ships were of too great draught of water to enter some of our ports, but that was a matter of comparatively little importance. What was wanted, in my view, was the moral effect which would have been produced everywhere by such a blow as could have been struck by even half of the whole number; an effect which I have always, and will always believe, would have gone very far tow ards determining, if it had not entirely reversed, the result of the struggle.

" I am, dear General,

" Yours very truly,


" General G. T. BEAUREGARD."

* The proposal was referred, as we have seen, through Mr. W. L. Trenholm.

We ask the reader to pause here, and reflect upon the stupen dous consequences that might have followed the adoption of the scheme proposed by the house of John Frazer & Co.

This was the first of a long series of irremediable errors com mitted by the administration, through which, despite the right eousness of our cause, the enthusiasm of our people, the splendid fighting capacity of our armies, and all the many other chances in our favor, the Confederacy was finally overwhelmed. The silence Mr. Davis maintains in his book, as to the grave and most impor tant proposition made to him through Mr. "W. L. Trenholm, is, indeed, extraordinary, and shows conclusively that he could have given no satisfactory explanation of it to the public.

To show how completely our government was deluded, at that time, as to the tendency of public events staring us in the face, and how little it expected a "long and bloody war" with the North, General Bcauregard relates that, soon after the fall of Sumter, one Major lluse—a gentleman in every sense of the word —came to the city of Charleston, from Montgomery, with a pass from the Secretary of AV r ar, authorizing him to leave for Europe, on what he termed "a secret mission.'' He confidentially in formed General Beauregard that he was empowered to purchase ten thousand Enfield rifles for the Confederate "War Department. On his being asked whether he had not made an error in the mini-


ber, so insignificantly small did it appear, he replied: " No, those were all he had been instructed to buy." " "Why," said General Beau regard, " I could have ordered them at once through the

O Zj

house of John Frazer & Co., without the necessity of sending a spe cial messenger to Europe on such a trifling errand.'' A few months later, at Manassas, General Toombs confirmed the statement of Major lluse. He was present as a member of the cabinet, when the proposal about the purchase of the rifles was made. " The original number proposed," said General Toombs, " was only eight thousand" It was at his suggestion that the order for ten thousand was given.

Mr. Davis, in his book,* makes mention of Major lluse, who, he says, was " the officer sent to Europe, to buy in the market as far as possible, and furthermore, to make contracts for arms and munitions to be manufactured." But Mr. Davis does not state

* "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 311.

what number of "arras" Major Huse was at first instructed to pur chase, or at what time he was sent, though he asserts that it was "soon after" Captain Semmes had left for the North. As to the first point, the reader has nothing further to learn ; Major Huse's own testimony, corroborated by the distinct statement of Mr. Toornbs, leaves no doubt as to how many small arms (rifles) were to be purchased, at that time, for the service of the Confederacy. "With regard to the second point, we positively allege that it was after the fall of Fort Sumter—and therefore not prior to the 13th of April—that Major Huse passed through Charleston, on his way to Europe.

It appears from Mr. Davis's book that Major Huse "found" but "few serviceable arms upon the market. He, however, suc ceeded in making contracts for the manufacture of large quanti ties, being in advance of the agents sent from the Northern gov ernment for the same purpose." This, Mr. Davis evidently thinks, was wonderful forethought, and a great display of energy, on the part of our government; though the sequel so painfully shows how the first were the last and the last became the first.

The only conclusion to be drawn from the foregoing passage is, that Major Huse was written to by his government, after his de parture from Charleston, and was given additional instructions. Mr. Davis, after reflection, may have found out that 10,000 rifles would scarcely be enough for the armies of the South.

A letter of Major Huse is also given in Mr. Davis's book,* to show how false was "the charge made early in the war that" the President "was slow in securing arms and munitions of war from Europe." This letter bears date December 30th, 1861; that is to say, at least eight months after Major Huse's passage through Charleston. It was written prior to the final settlement of the Trent affair, for in it we find the following passage: " If the pris oners are given up, the affair will result in great inconvenience to us in the way of shipping goods." Major Huse had, clearly, no great faith in the mission of Messrs. Mason and Slidell to Eu rope, and considered his own functions as of infinitely more im portance to the cause. The letter states, further, that Major Huso had steamer-loads of arms, ammunition, and accoutrements, in di vers warehouses of London, but that he could make no shipments

* "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 482.


to the South, because of his having to fight two governments, "and because of the wharfingers' orders not to ship or deliver, by land or water, any goods marked "W. D., without first acquainting the honorable Board of Customs."

It seems to us, after carefully examining the whole of Major Huso's letter, not that the charge made against Mr. Davis, of slowness in procuring arms from Europe, was untrue, but that his agent there, whatever may have been his merit otherwise, was totally unequal to the task assigned him. Had the orders to purchase arms, ammunition, etc., for the Confederacy been con fided to the house of John Frazcr & Co., who had power, influ ence, and enterprise enough in England, even to purchase ' ; a fleet of armed vessels,'' and oiler it to our government—the Southern armies, at that time and all through the war, would have been as thoroughly and as promptly armed and equipped as the Northern armies; and Mr. Davis would have had no cause to la ment the destitute condition of our men, or to write to General J. E. Johnston, in September, 18(11: '• One ship-load of small arms would enable me to answer all demands, but vainly have I hoped and waited."*

In the selection of Major Iltisc, as agent, Mr. Davis seems to have been pursued by the same evil fate which almost always caused him to assign men of inferior ability to positions requiring great discernment and capacity. Major llusc asserts that in De cember, 1801, he was incapable of shipping arms to the Confeder acy ; whereas the entire country knows that, in 1801, there exist ed no blockade of our ports, worthy of the name, and that block ade-runners, throughout the years 18f>2, 18G3, and even 1S04-, en tered the ports of Charleston and "Wilmington, with almost un broken regularity; that provisions and stores of all kinds were thus brought in by private individuals and commercial firms; and that the government—which, it seems, had succeeded in purchas ing one small blockade-runner of its ownf—could, with perhaps fewer impediments in its way, have done likewise, in the matter of arms and ammunition. And here we might bring to light the contradiction existing between Major Iluse's letter and the asser tions of Mr. Davis on the same subject: If, as late as December

* "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, 1 ' vol. i. p. 441. t Ibid, vol i. p. 470.

30th, 1861,* no arms could be shipped from England, what are we to think of the following passage, to be found on page 476 of the first volume of Mr. Davis's work: "In December, 1861, arms pur chased abroad began to come in; and a good many Enfield rifles were in the hands of the troops at the battle of Shiloh " ? The query now is, which of these two statements is the correct one? Mr. Davis vouches for both, but it is evident that both cannot be relied upon.

The reader, we trust, will pardon this digression. It may have caused a slight deviation from our main subject, but has, neverthe less, a close relation to it.

On or about the 28th of May, General Beauregard was ordered to meet the President at Richmond, whither the seat of Confeder ate government was being transferred. He arrived there a few days after the receipt of the order.

All along the railroad line, on his way from Charleston to Rich mond, the people turned out, at the various stations, to welcome him. They were addressed by Attorney-General Benjamin, who happened to be on the cars, and by Governor Manning, of South Carolina, one of General Beauregard's volunteer aids.

At Charleston, officers and men, and, in fact, the whole popula tion of the State, had expressed their deep sense of regret that the public service should require his transfer to another department. Governor Pickens, in a letter wishing him God speed in his new field of duty, said : "Your scientific attainments, your ability and your incessant labors, have been of great advantage to our State ; and I return you my thanks, and the thanks of the State, for the patriotic zeal and distinguished services you have rendered us at a critical and a trying time. . . . Wherever you go, I trust that you will be blessed, and crowned with the honors of your coun try."

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 483.



Secession of Virginia.—Confederate Troops Sent to her Assistance.—Arrival of General Beauregard in Richmond.—lie Assumes Command at Manassas.— Position of our Forces.—His Proclamation and the Reasons for it.—Site of "Camp Pickens."—His Letter to President Davis. — Our Deficiencies.— Mismanagement in Quartermaster's and Commissary's Departments.—How he could have Procured Transportation.—Manufacture of Cartridges.—Se cret Service with Washington.

NOT: until Fort Sumtcr had surrendered to the South Carolina troops under General Beanregard ; not until Mr. Lincoln, misap prehending the attitude of those Southern States still nominally belonging to the Union, had made his requisition on them for their quota of men to aid in suppressing the " Rebellion," did Virginia, faithful to her old-time traditions, openly proclaim her adhesion to the Southern cause, and assume her rightful place among the seceded States. Hers was a disinterested step ; one taken with a full appreciation of the inevitable dangers and devastation in store for her, owing to her geographical position. Her hesitation was but another instance of the historic firmness and deliberation which had always characterized her official acts, and it was, no doubt, her example which shortly afterwards determined the with drawal of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Xorth Carolina.

Xo sooner had Virginia's voice, through her assembled con vention, pronounced her severance from the Xorth, than the seven States forming the Confederacy, anxious to welcome her among them, hurried forward to her support a portion of their best troops. As a natural sequence to this provident measure, it followed that the most experienced and successful of our military leaders were selected to be placed at the head of such commands. Hence the order transferring General Beauregard to Virginia. Pollard, in his work entitled " Lee and his Lieutenants,'' when writing on this subject, says: ;; Called for by the unanimous voice of the Southern people, he was now ordered to take command of the main portion of the Confederate army in northern Virginia." Pollard's I.—5

later description of the apprehension and flurry existing in the Northern mind, concerning General Beauregard's whereabouts, is, indeed, most singular, and shows the appreciation in which he was held by our enemies.

Many writers, in describing the traits of General Beauregard's character, have commented upon his very retiring disposition, amounting almost to bashfulness, which forms so strong a contrast to his boldness and indomitable spirit in the field. This was in stanced upon his arrival at Richmond, May 30th, where a large concourse of people awaited him, anxious to see and welcome the Confederate commander who had already drawn upon himself the attention and admiration of the whole country. A carriage-and-four was in readiness at the Richmond depot to convey him to the apartments which had been prepared for him at the Spots-wood Hotel. But no sooner had he been apprised of this unex pected honor—which, though gratifying, interfered with his de sire for privacy—than he, wishing to avoid all public demonstra tion, insisted upon taking an ordinary carriage, in which, with one or two officers of his staff, he quietly drove to other quarters.

The next day, May 31st, he called on President Davis, who was in conference with General Robert E. Lee, then commanding the Virginia State forces. General Lee had just returned from Manas-sas, about twenty-seven miles below Alexandria, where he had left Brigadier-General Bonham, of South Carolina, with some five thousand men of all arms. This position had been taken at the instance of Colonel Thomas Jordan, of the Virginia forces, who, in a carefully written memoir on the subject, had shown the im portance of at once occupying Manassas Junction, to prevent its seizure, and the severance of communication by rail with the lower valley of Virginia.

After a full interchange of views, which lasted several hours, it was determined that General Beauregard should leave on the next morning to assume command at Manassas, whither reinforcements would be forwarded as soon as obtained. At first it had been in tended to send him to Norfolk, but General Lee's report of the condition of affairs on the Alexandria line, and the probability of an early advance of the enemy on that point, caused the President to change his mind.

From the moment General Beauregard had left New Orleans, until the time of his arrival in Richmond, lie had been so unre-


mittingly occupied with public affairs as to preclude all attention to his personal interests and even his military outfit. He would have willingly remained a day or two in Richmond, in order to prepare himself better for the field ; but the juncture was consid ered so urgent by the President and General Lee, that no such leisure was granted him, and he departed at once, with two of his aids, leaving other members of his staff, including his adjutant, to effect such arrangements as were necessary. He left Richmond on the 1st of June, and reached Manassas the same night, under

the following orders:


RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, May 31sf, 18G1. "Special Orders, Xo. 149.

" General P. G. T. Bcauregard, of the Confederate States aimy, is assigned to the command of the troops on the Alexandria line. He is referred to the or ders heretofore given to his predecessors in that command, for the general di rection of operations.

"By order of Major-General Lee,

" II. S. GAIINETT, Adjt.-Gcn/'

We copy below an extract from the orders alluded to, as given to General Beauregard's predecessors, and transferred, as we have seen, to himself:

" The policy of the State, at present, is strictly defensive. No attack or prov ocation for attack wiJJ therefore be given, but every attack resisted to the extent of your means. Great reliance is placed on your discretion and judg ment in the application of your force, and I must urge upon you the impor tance of organizing and instructing the troops as rapidly as possible, and pre paring them for active service. For this purpose it will be necessary to post them where their services may be needed and •where they can be concentrated at the points threatened. The Manassas Junction is a very important point on your line, as it commands the communication with Harper's Ferry, and must be firmly held. Intrenchmcnts at that point would add to its security ; and in connection with its defence, you must watch the approaches from ci ther flank, particularly towards Occoquan. Alexandria, in its front, will of course claim your attention as the first point of attack, and as soon as your force is sufficient, in your opinion, to resist successfully its occupation, you will so dispose it as to effect this object, if possible, without appearing to threaten Washington city. The navigation of the Potomac being closed to us, and the United States armed vessels being able to take a position in front of the town, you will perceive the hazard of its destruction unless your measures are such as to prevent it. This subject being one of great delicacy, is left to your judgment. The railroad communications must be secured, however, and their use by the enemy prevented. . . .

"R. E. LEE, Mnj.-Gcn. Comclg."

That such instructions, so vague as a whole, and yet so minute in some respects, should have embarrassed Brigadier-General Bon-ham, as was asserted, is not, we submit, to be much wondered at. To obey them implicitly was clearly an impossibility under the circumstances. They were calculated to destroy every vestige of discretion on the part of the commanding general, without lessen ing, in any way, the weight of his responsibility. That General Lee meant well in adopting such a programme of operations, no one who knew him will for a moment question ; but that it must have puzzled, to no inconsiderable degree, the minds of most of those who were to be guided by it, to us appears no less evident. And how, more than a month after the withdrawal of Virginia from the Union, a State Major-General (for such was General Lee at the time), and not the Confederate War Department, could have given instructions and issued orders to Confederate generals and to Confederate troops, is more than we can well understand. True, the Secretary of War, with a view to avoid confusion, had, on May 10th, authorized Major-General Lee, of the Virginia troops, " to assume the control of the forces of the Confederate States in Virginia, and assign them to such duties as he might in dicate ;" but that authority emanated from Montgomery, while the Confederate government was still there, and while no Con federate general officer had, as yet, been sent t to Virginia. This was far from being the case at the time to which we now allude,

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to wit, the 31st of May. Brigadier-General Joseph E. Johnston, Confederate States Army, had, then, already been assigned to duty in Virginia, and, furthermore, the Confederate government itself was at that date transferred to Richmond. Even the Presi dent was there in person, and could have acted with all authority had he chosen to do so.

The measures of extreme caution suggested in General Lee's instructions, and the solicitude manifested to soothe the ire of the North, w T ould have been admirably proper if the orders had been issued before the first gun was fired at Sumter, and while nego tiations for a peaceful solution of our difficulties were still pend ing. But in May, 1SG1, war already existed. Virginia was threat-cried by three Northern armies, the immediate advance of one of which was then almost daily expected. Why were we to avoid "appearing" even to threaten the enemy's positions, when the in vasion of our soil was openly declared to be the prime object act-

uating the hostile forces arrayed against us ? Orders and instruc tions such as these could have no other effect than to depress our people, bewilder our commanders, and embolden the enemy.

The two or three days following his arrival in his new depart ment were spent by General Beauregard in examining the troops and the various positions they occupied, at and in advance of Ma-nassas. He then assumed command in the following orders:


JuncZd, 1801. " New Scries. " General Orders, No. 1.

" In obedience to Special Orders, No. 149, from Headquarters Virginia forces, Richmond, dated May 31st, 18G1, assigning me to the command of the troops on the Alexandria line, I have this day relieved Brigadier-General M. L. Bon-liam of said command.

" All orders and instructions from these Headquarters will be obeyed ac cordingly.

''The Brigadier-General Commanding feels assured that all the troops under his orders will display, on all occasions, the discipline, patience, zeal, and gal lantry of their forefathers, when defending, like ourselves, their sacred rights and liberties.

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Brig.-Gen. Comdg."

The troops were located at the following points: one regiment at Mitchell's Ford, where the country road, from Manassas to Cen-trcville, crosses Bull Run, at a point midway between the two. Another regiment was stationed at Union Mills Ford, not far from where the railroad to Alexandria crosses the same stream. An other regiment was placed at Centreville, and some detached com-

C? I

panics of cavalry and infantry were in the vicinity of Fairfax Court-House, about six miles in advance of Centreville. The re maining forces were at and about Manassas.

The enemy was then engaged in collecting a large force in front of Washington and Alexandria, with its advance at Falls Church, half-way to Fairfax Court-House, and it was currently reported by the Northern press that this army, under Major-General Mc Dowell, would soon advance on Manassas, on its way to Rich mond.

General Beauregard was not satisfied with the grounds selected for our troops, nor with the condition of things at Camp Pickens, Manassas. There was no running water near enough ; the plan of works was too extensive; the fords were too numerous to be eas-

ily guarded by such a small force as was at his disposal. These facts and observations he at once reported to the President, as may be seen by the following letter:


June 3d, 1861. " To his Excellency President JEFFERSON DAVIS, Richmond, Va.:

" Dear Sir, —I arrived here on the 1st at 2 p. M., and immediately examined the site of this encampment and the plans of its proposed defences. The former is in an open country, traversed by good roads in every direction, with out any strong natural features for the purposes of defence, and without run ning water nearer than three miles, except a few small springs at half that distance. The plans of the works are good, but too extensive to be finished in less than two or three weeks, and cannot be garrisoned w T ith less than from three to four thousand men. As this position can be turned in every direction by an enemy, for the purpose of destroying the railroads intended to be de fended by it, it becomes a question whether these works could be held more than a few days, when thus isolated.

" I have reconnoitred closely several of the fords on Bull Run, and one on Occoquan Run (about three miles from here), which offer strong natural features of defence, but they are so numerous and far apart, that only a much larger force than I have here at my command (say not less than ten to fifteen thou sand men) could hope to defend them all, against a well-organized enemy of about 20,000 men, who could select his point of attack. I must therefore either be reinforced at once, as I have not more than about six thousand ef fective men; or I must be prepared to retire (upon the approach of the enemy) in the direction of Richmond, with the intention of arresting him whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself; or I must march to meet him at one of said fords, to sell our lives as dearly as practicable.

" Badly armed and badly equipped as my command is at present (several regiments having but one or two field officers), and having hardly any means of transportation, it would be expecting too much, that I could meet success fully the foe who is preparing to attack us in a few days, with all the advan tages of number, arms, and discipline. I beg, however, to remark, that my troops are not only willing, but anxious, to meet the enemies of our coun try, under all circumstances.

" I remain, dear Sir, very respectfully,

" Your obedient servant,


From what precedes it is easy to see why Bull Run did not naturally afford a strong defensive line. In fact, the ground on the Federal side of the run commanded, in most places, the ground occupied by the Confederates. Still, Manassas Junction, as a strategic point, was one of superior importance, as it secured com munication with the valley of Virginia, and the army of the Shen-

andoah, under General Joseph E. Johnston, at Harper's Ferry. Hence General Beau regard's determination to hold it at all haz ards ; and he began, without delay, to throw up works around it, so as to make it a depot of supplies and a point cTappui for ulte rior operations. But it was with great difficulty that, at this pe riod, work on the fortifications could be procured from the troops, as most of their time was necessarily taken up with drills, and manual labor was in itself no light task for them, composed, as the commands generally were, of young men of good position at home, who had responded to the first call of the country, many of them having come with no small amount of luggage and even with body-servants. Their answer to company officers was, that they were there to fight, and not to handle the pick and shovel. Ap preciating such a feeling in men of their position, new to arduous duties of that kind, and wishing to avoid whatever might at that moment cause disaffection, General Beauregard abstained from em ploying them on any but the most essential works, and procured, as far as possible, negro labor, which was furnished at his call, by the comparatively small number of slave-owners of the Piedmont region of Virginia, with great readiness.

As soon as new regiments arrived they were armed and equip ped as well as the means at hand allowed, and at once drilled and organized into brigades.

This organization of an army, out of troops for the most part wholly undisciplined, in the presence of an enemy composed of a well-trained militia, superior in numbers and thoroughly appointed, whose threatened advance was expected at every moment, apart from being in itself a difficult and anxious task, was beset with obstacles resulting from the narrow methods, slowness, and, in some respects, unaccountable mismanagement, of the authorities at Ilichmond.

General Beauregard's attention was at once seriously turned to those two important staff departments, the Quartermaster's and Commissary's, which, he thought, could never be too closely at tended to. " An army "—he was wont to say—" without means of transportation and sustenance is like a ship at sea without spars or canvas, and with famine on board." His first step was to order the collection of wagons and twenty-five days' rations for about twenty thousand men. To this end his chief quartermaster, Ma jor Cabell, and his chief commissary, Captain Fowle, who was well

acquainted with the resources of that region, were directed to draw all their supplies of forage, grain, and provisions from the fertile country stretching from Manassas to the Potomac, as far northwest as Leesburg, so as to exhaust that district first, and compel the enemy to carry their own supplies in their advance against our forces. This system, which would have left all the region in rear of us with resources untouched, to meet the con tingency of a forced withdrawal from Manassas, was most strenu ously opposed by the Commissary-General, Colonel Northrop. In a letter, singularly ill-tempered and discourteous, that functionary arraigned General Beauregard for " thwarting " his plans for main taining the army, and went so far as to prohibit Captain Fowle from obeying the orders of his commanding general. Through this vagary the provisions drawn from the vicinity of Manassas and the neighboring counties of Loudon and Fauquier, after being carried, directly, from General Beauregard's department to Rich mond, were thence returned to the chief commissary of the army of Manassas, for distribution to the troops, and as there were hardly enough cars to transport the men, guns, ammunition, and other material to the army of the Potomac and the army of the Shenandoah, which received its ordnance supplies by the same railroad, the result was that the troops at Manassas never had more than two or three days' supplies on hand, even when they numbered no more than fifteen thousand men. This almost incredible mis management, so hurtful to the morale and efficiency of the army, was persisted in, notwithstanding General Beauregard's earnest re monstrances, and embarrassed and clogged the conduct of the whole

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Captain Fowle, finding that the army could not be supplied from Richmond, was compelled to resort to the system ordered by General Beauregard; whereupon he was summarily supersed ed, and Colonel E. B. Lee appointed in his stead. This last offi cer, it may be added, possessed undoubted merit, and by his pre vious rank in the commissariat of the United States army, was entitled to the position of Commissary-General of the Confederate States army.

With such facts before us, and others that we shall have occa sion to notice further on, the following eulogy of Colonel Nor throp, by Mr. Davis, seems unwarranted and altogether out of place: "To the able officer then at the head of the Commissariat

Department, Colonel L. E. Northrop, much credit is due for his well-directed efforts to provide both for immediate and prospec tive wants." *

There was a great deficiency also in the means of transporta tion. It was insufficient, and of such poor quality as to break down even in ordinary camp service. This evil, which continued long after the battle of Manassas, was partially remedied before that event, but the remedy was applied independently of the Quar termaster's Department at Richmond. That department having declared itself unable to procure transportation in the country, General Beauregard called to his aid Colonel James L. Kemper (7th Virginia Volunteers), whose knowledge of the resources of that portion of the State enabled him to gather, within a few days, at least two hundred effective wagons and teams. Three times that number, and even more, could easily have been collect ed, but General Beauresrard, wishing to avoid collision with the

O £?*

views of the administration at Richmond, limited Colonel Kem-pcr to the number stated above.

On the 5th of June, upon pressing application to that effect, General Beauregard issued a proclamation to the people of the counties of London, Fairfax, and Prince William, which has been much commented upon, but, outside of the South, where the facts were known, has never been well understood.

The reason for issuing the proclamation was. that a deputation of citizens, headed by a prominent lawyer of Alexandria, who, be fore the secession of Virginia, was noted for his Union sentiments, had presented a formal complaint, of very grave outrages prac tised on the people by Federal troops.

General Beauregard, believing it to be his duty to take imme diate steps in the matter, appointed a commission of inquiry, com posed of Colonels Thomas Jordan, his Adjutant-General, and John S. Preston, and William Porcher Miles, t his volunteer aids, both eminent citizens of South Carolina.

That committee, after careful investigation of the charges made, reported that the allegations were true. Though General Mc Dowell solicitously repressed all acts of violence—which, as was afterwards proved, were committed then only by marauding par-

* "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 315. t William Porcher Miles was afterwards Chairman of the Military Committee of the House of Representatives, Confederate Congress.

ties from his army—jet the facts elicited were naturally construed, at the time, as indicative of a truculent spirit animating a large number of his troops, and produced the deepest indignation among the people of the surrounding country.

This proclamation (others similar to which, in substance, were afterwards issued by several Confederate officers, including General Lee) was drawn up by the gentleman referred to, and, after some slight modifications by the members of the commission, through Colonel Preston, was signed and published by General Bean regard in his name, as commander of the army. It became known and was criticised in the Northern papers as the " Beauty and Booty Proclamation "—words which were found by the commission, upon the evidence given, to have been loudly used by the marauding troops whose acts of violence were so indignantly denounced. Our readers no doubt remember that these identical words, accom panying like conduct, on the part of the British troops at New Orleans, in the war of 1812, provoked vehement reprobation throughout the country. However true it might be to say that such a proclamation would have better fitted many subsequent phases of the war, yet, with charges so fully substantiated before the commission appointed by General Beauregard, no one can deny that the measures adopted and the language used in relation thereto were justifiable and imperatively necessary.

Besides being badly armed and suffering from the irregularity and inefficiency of the Quartermaster's and Commissary's Depart ments, the troops were also deficient in accoutrements, particular ly in cartridges and cartridge-boxes, and were lacking in proper camp equipments. Alarmed at the delay in adequately supplying his forces with ammunition, General Beauregard proposed to the government to establish a cartridge factory at Manassas, if certain necessary appliances were furnished him; which was not done. His letter to that effect, dated Manassas Junction, June 23d, con tained the following passage:

" I must call the attention of the department to the great deficiency of my command in ammunition—not averaging more than 20 rounds in all per man. If I \vere provided with the necessary materials, moulds, etc., I think I could establish here a cartridge manufactory, which could supply all our wants in that respect.

" Could not a similar arrangement Le made at all hospital depots, State arsenals, penitentiaries, etc.?

" To go into battle, each soldier ought to be provided with at least 40 rounds of cartridges and not less than 60 rounds in reserve. " I remain, very respectfully,

" Your obedient servant, " G. T. BEAUREGARD, Brig.-Gen. Comdg. "Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Richmond, Virginia."

As the Confederate troops had yet no uniform proper, it was necessary that they should be distinguished from the enemy by some clearly visible mark. To meet this requirement, a few days after his arrival in camp General Beauregard asked that his men should be provided with colored scarfs, to be worn, in battle, from the shoulder to the waist, suggesting that a call on the ladies of Richmond would no doubt secure their prompt supply, as the scarfs might be made of any material of the proper shade. As many of the regiments were then without Confederate colors, and the blue and the gray uniforms were common to the North and the South, the importance of this matter, particularly in the event of flank and rear attacks, was urged again upon the President, at a later period. Although the expedient was as simple as the need was great, the demand was complied with only after a long delay, and then with so imperfect a contrivance—a sort of rosette, to be pinned on the arm or breast—that on the field of Manassas, in the critical moment, the troops themselves were confused as to identi ty; and when the rout was in full tide the pursuit was more than once checked because of the difficulty of distinguishing friends from foes.

During this period a thorough secret-service communication was maintained between Washington and the Confederate head quarters at Manassas, whereby trustworthy private information was received through cipher despatches, while regular files of all the important Northern journals reached our lines in the same way ; those from New York, particularly, rendering unconscious assistance to our cause.



Position of Troops in Northern Virginia.—General Beaurcgartl Advocates Concentration, June 12th.—Letter to that Effect to President Davis.—An swer Declining.—General Beauregard Suggests a Junction with General Holmes.—Again Refused.—Division of General Beauregard's Forces into Brigades, 20th June.—Begins Forward Movement.—Instructions to Brig ade Commanders.—Reconnoissances Made at the End of June.—McDow ell's Strength.—General Beauregard's Anxieties.—His Letter to Senator Wigfall.—Submits another Plan of Operations to the President, July llth.

THE Confederate troops in northern Virginia, east of the grand chain of the Alleghanies, now formed a series of detached com mands, stretching from northwest to southeast respectively, under General Joseph E. Johnston, at Harper's Ferry, General Beanre gard, at Manassas, and General Holmes, at Aquia Creek; each outnumbered by confronting forces, excepting General Holmes's command, whose position on the lower Potomac was taken only to prevent a possible landing of the enemy at that point.

The forces in front of General Johnston and those in front of Colonel Eppa Hunton, commanding a battalion at Leesburg, the western extremity of the Manassas line, were still on the north bank of the Potomac.

General Beauregard, appreciating the necessity of an immediate concerted system between these independent commands, particu larly between his own and the considerable forces at Harper's Ferry, and viewing Manassas as the most important strategic point for both belligerents, and the one most likely to attract the main effort of the enemy, which, according to reports, might be made at any moment, had determined if possible to reform the Confed erate military situation, in accordance with his views of sound pol icy. His plan, as the following letter shows, was marked, as were all his military plans, by the leading ideas of concentration and ag gression.


CAMP PICKETS, June 12th, 18G1. "To His Excellency President DAVIS :

" Sir, —The bearer, Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Jones of the Provisional Army of Virginia, a member of my general staff, has been instructed by me to lay be fore your Excellency a diagram, with my views relative to the operations of the present campaign in this State, which should be acted upon at once.

i% The enemy seem to be taking the offensive towards Harper's Ferry, and a few days hence may find General J. E. Johnston in such a critical condition as to render it impossible to relieve him. If he were ordered to abandon forthwith his present position and concentrate suddenly his forces with mine, guarding, with small detachments, all the passes through which the enemy might follow him, we could, by a bold and rapid movement forward, retake Arlington Heights and Alexandria, if not too strongly fortified and garri soned, which would have the effect of recalling all the enemy's forces from northern Virginia, for the protection of Washington. But should General Johnston be unable to unite his forces with mine, then he ought to be instruct ed to retreat at the proper time towards Richmond, through the valley of Virginia, checking the enemy wherever and whenever he can. When com pelled to abandon my present position, I will fall back also on Richmond; the forces along the lower Potomac, on the Peninsula, and at Norfolk, m:iy have to do likewise. Then, acting on interior lines, from Richmond as a cen tre (our forces being increased by the reserves at that point), we could crush, in rapid succession and in detail, the several columns of the enemy, which I have supposed would move on three or four different lines. With thirty-five thousand men, properly handled, I have not the least doubt that we could an nihilate fifty thousand of the enemy. I beg and entreat that a concerted plan of operations be adopted at once by the government, for its different col umns. Otherwise, we will be assailed in detail by superior forces, and will be cut off, or destroyed entirely.

" Lieutenant-Colonel Jones will present my views more in detail to your Ex cellency.

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Brig-Gen. Comdg."

The President made the following reply:

"RICHMOND, VA., June 13th, 1861.

"My dear General, —Colonel Jones delivered to me your letter of the 12th instant, and, as suggested by you, I conversed with him of the matter to which it related. Your information may be more accurate than we possess, in relation to the purposes of the enemy, and I will briefly reply to you on the hypothesis which forms the basis of your suggestions.

" If the enemy commence operations by attack upon Harper's Ferry, I do not perceive why General Johnston should be unable, even before overwhelming numbers, to retire behind the positions where the enemy would approach in reverse. It would seem to me not unreasonable to expect that, before he reach es Winchester, the terminus of the railroad in his possession, the people of the

fertile and populous valley would rise in mass to aid him in repelling the in vader. But suppose it should be otherwise, he could still, by retiring to the passes of the Manassas railroad and its adjacent mountains, probably check the progress of the enemy, and prevent him from either taking possession of the valley, or passing to the rear of your position. We hope soon to rein force you to an extent equal to the strength you require, by the junction of General Johnston, and I cannot doubt but that you would then be better cir cumstanced to advance upon Alexandria than if General Johnston, by with drawing from the valley, had left the enemy the power to pass to your rear, to cut your line of communication, and advance to attack you in reverse, while you were engaged with the enemy in front.

" Concurring fully with you in the effect which would be produced by the possession of Arlington Heights and Alexandria, if your rear is at the same time sufficiently covered, it is quite clear that if the case should be otherwise, your possession, if acquired, would be both brief and fruitless.

" To your request that a concerted plan of operations should be adopted, I can only reply that the present position and unknown purposes of the enemy require that our plan should have many alterations. I have noted your con verging lines upon Richmond, and it can hardly be necessary to remind you that we have not at this time the transportation which w r ould enable us to move upon those lines as described. Should the fortune of war render it nec essary to retire our advance columns, they must be brought mainly upon rail roads, and that of Harper's Ferry would come by your present position. It would, therefore, be a necessity that General Johnston's column should make a junction with yours, before yours retired; but I have not anticipated the necessity of your retreat, and have struggled to increase your force, and look hopefully forward to see you enabled to assume the offensive. Had I been less earnestly engaged in providing for yours and other commands, I should have had the pleasure of visiting you before this date. Four regiments have been sent forward, neither of which had reached you at the elate of your let ter ; and you will soon receive further reinforcements. They are not trained troops, but I think they are better than those of the enemy, and the capacity which you have recently exhibited, successfully to fight with undisciplined citizens, justifies the expectation that you will know how to use such force as we are able to furnish. Very truly yours,


Still persisting, however, in liis effort to make use of all possi ble resources in meeting the imminent crisis, General Beauregard, in his official and semi-official correspondence at the time, suggest ed that the troops under General Holmes, at Aqnia Creek, at least two thousand five hundred men, with two batteries, should be so posted as to be available for a timely junction with his own forces. General Holmes fully concurred, asserting that his com mand, as then disposed, was not likely to be of any military use ; but the siiir^estion met with no favor at Richmond.

On the 18th, having begun to receive from Korfolk the naval guns for which he had called, to arm the works at Manassas, Gen eral Beauregard made a requisition for naval officers to command those batteries and drill the recruits. They came with a number of sailors, bringing their gun-ropes, blocks, and tackles, and in their exercises the terms "port" and "starboard," novel in the field, were used as familiarly as on board a man-of-war. Officers and men were noticeable for their zeal, efficiency, and discipline.

Meanwhile, vigilant observation of the opposite banks of the Potomac was kept up at Leesburg, an important place, which the enemy might strike in order to sever the communications between Generals Beauregard and Johnston; and such small reinforce ments as could be spared from Manassas were sent thither, but without artillery, of which none was available.

From information collected in his front, General Johnston was apprehensive that General Patterson would move to attack him, and he soon abandoned the untenable salient position of Harper's Ferry, held by him unwillingly, and to which General Patterson afterwards crossed on the 2d of July. General Beauregard's views, based partly on reports from Washington, were that Gen eral Patterson's movements merely simulated the offensive, to hold General Johnston in check.

About the 20th of June, General Beau regard, having organized his forces into six brigades, began a forward movement, in order to protect his advanced positions at Centreville, Fairfax Court-Ilonse, and Sangster's Cross-roads, "so as to be able"—as he wrote to Colonel Eppa Ilunton—" to strike a blow upon the enemy, at a moment's notice, which he hoped they would long remem ber." His advanced forces, three brigades of three regiments each, occupied a triangle as follows: at Mitchell's Ford, on Bull Run, one regiment; at Centreville and another point half-way to Germantown, one brigade; at Germantown and Fairfax Court-House, one brigade, with a light battery; at the crossing of Brad-dock's old road with the Fairfax Court-House and Fairfax Station roads, one regiment; and at Sangster's Cross-roads, one battalion : all in easy and short communication with each other and with headquarters. Most of his small body of cavalry was with the advance, scouting and reconnoitring.

In view of coming events, General Beauregard now assembled his brigade commanders, and, after general directions to all of

them, gave detailed instructions to those who had charge of the advanced positions (at Fairfax Court-House and Fairfax Station) touching their respective lines of retreat on Bull Run, in case they should be menaced by a combined serious movement of the enemy with largely superior forces. The substance of those in structions was embodied, with minute details, in a Special Order, No. 100, from the Adjutant-General's office, which was the order literally executed on the 17th of July. This is one of the most re markable instances in military history, of an order providing fully and precisely, nearly a month in advance, for all the exigencies of a strategic movement, remotely contingent upon the operations of an enemy. General Bonham, upon the near approach of the forces confronting him, was to retire slowly on Centreville, by the turnpike, then to Mitchell's Ford, drawing the enemy after him to that point, which was the only portion of General Beaure-gard's line yet fortified. General Ewell, from Sangster's Cross roads and vicinity, was to follow the line of the railroad over a rather rough and difficult country road to Union Mills Ford, where the position was naturally strong and offered good cover to his men. The intermediate fords, McLean's and Blackburn's, were at that time occupied by Jones's and Longstreet's brigades. Early's brigade, which had been watching the fords of the Occo-quan and the approaches on the right, was now held in reserve, a short distance in rear of Union Mills Ford, to act according to circumstances. A small force of infantry guarded the stone bridge, on the extreme left, where the turnpike from Alexandria, through Fairfax Court-House and Centreville, crosses Bull Run, on its way to Warrenton. The works, armed with naval guns, were manned by the seamen already alluded to, and also by a force of the State militia, which Governor Letcher had called out, at General Beauregard's request.

During the latter days of June and the first fortnight of July, thorough reconnoissances were made of the whole region of country likely to become the theatre of war in that quarter, either for a defensive or offensive campaign. In these General Beaure-gard had the effective aid of Colonel "Williamson and Captains D. B. Harris and Walter II. Stevens, of the Engineers. And it may be of interest to mention here, that the reconnoissances we speak of included the surroundings of Leesburg and the passes westward^ as well as the entire square between Difficult Run, the

Potomac, Goose Creek, and Gum Spring. The object was to facilitate the movement of troops in that direction, to cross the Potomac, and be prepared to oppose the enemy, should he at tempt to advance by that way so as to reach the Manassas Gap Railroad, on the left of General Beauregard's position.

In one of these reconnoissances, made in force—Colonel Maxey Gregg, at the head of a South Carolina regiment, casually encoun tered a Federal command, under General Schenck, coming into Vienna Station, on a train of cars. A shot from a section of Romper's light battery brought them to a halt, and, after a few exchanges, the Federals retired, and the locomotive escaped, leav ing the cars, which were burned. This was the first hostile meet ing, excepting the brilliant midnight dash of Lieutenant Tomp-kins against the Confederate outposts at Fairfax Court-House.

On the 4th of July the Confederate pickets, well in advance of Fairfax Court-House, captured a sergeant and a private—the latter a Scotchman, who chanced to be a clerk in McDowell's Adjutant-General's office, and whose duty as such was to assist in making up the army returns. They were taking a ride for pleasure, and, having come a little too far, were picked up by the watchful cavalry. The Scotchman at once stated his position, and, being sent to headquarters, was there subjected to a close examination, in which he spoke freely, and appeared, from his statements on matters already known, to be telling the truth. Thus was Mc Dowell's strength, at that date, pretty accurately ascertained ; and events verified the correctness of the information thus obtained.

The increasing forces of McDowell, the clamor of the Northern press for an advance, and the private reports from Washington, all now indicated an early attack by an army more than twice the strength of ours in numbers. And General Bcauregard, in the midst of his various solicitudes, balked in his endeavors to pro cure the needed reinforcements, and grieved also at his unsuccess ful attempts to induce the government to adopt his views, wrote the following letter to his friend, Senator Wigfall. It shows General Beauregard's unrelieved anxiety, and his determination, while wishing and laboring for a better state of things, to make the most of his limited means:

" MANASSAS JUNCTION, VA., July StJi, 18G1. u Colonel WIGFALL :

" My dear Colonel, —I believe we are about to be attacked by the enemy, I.—G

who has been increasing his forces rapidly in the last few days. He has doubtless at present, on this side of the Potomac, at least 30,000 men, and probably as many in. or about Washington; and I am informed on good au thority that he is crossing over reinforcements in large numbers every niglit, so that very shortly we will be attacked, probably by about 40,000 men ! What do you suppose is my effective force to resist this attack? About 15,000 effective men! How can it be expected that I shall be able to main tain my ground unless reinforced immediately ? I am determined to give the enemy battle no matter at what odds against us; but is it right and proper to sacrifice so many valuable lives (and perhaps our cause) without the least prospect of success ? But I hope it may have the effect, at least, of delaying the advance of the enemy, and give our friends time to come to the rescue. I have to apply two or three times for the most essential things required here. To obtain anything with despatch, I have to send a special messenger to Richmond. Is this the way to direct and control the operations of an army in the field ? Cannot this evil be remedied ? I am sure it could be if properly represented to the President.

" I fear General Johnston is no better off than I am; but his section of country is, I believe, more easily defended, being wooded and mountainous. My troops are in fine spirits and anxious for a fight. They seem to have the most unbounded confidence in me.

"Oh, that I had the genius of a Napoleon,to be more worthy of our cause and of their confidence!

" If I could only get the enemy to attack me, as I am trying to have him do, I would stake my reputation on the handsomest victory that could be hoped for. Yours very truly,


The following letter, written a few days later, is also of particu lar interest:


MANASSAS JUNCTION, JulylWt, 1861. " To His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS :

« Sir, —I have the honor to transmit herewith the Field Return of the army under my command, from which you will perceive the effective force at my disposition is as follows : Light Artillery, 533, with 27 pieces; Cavalry, 1425 ; Foot Artillery, 293; and Infantry, 16,150 ; in all 18,401 men of all arms. From this must be deducted the command of Colonel Hunton at Leesburg, of some 445 men, who will remain in position there until the enemy shall have ad vanced to attack my outposts, when the colonel will fall back and unite his force with that of Colonel Cocke, commanding the 5th Brigade at the stone bridge across Bull Run. Colonel Sloan's regiment, 4th South Carolina Vol unteers, has already fallen back from Lcesburg to Fry ing-pan Church, prepara tory to a junction with Colonel Cocke, at Centreville.

"I have every reason to believe that the enemy will begin his advance from his present position, at or about Falls Church,to-morrow or on the following day.

with a force not short of 05,000 men, supported by a reserve of not less than 15,000 infantry. To these I can oppose but about 16,500, reserving about 1500, merely for camp guards, pickets, and the garrison of the intrenched camp here. In consequence of this great disparity in numbers, I have issued the Special Order No. 100, enclosed herewith, concentrating my troops, in the exigency, on the naturally strong positions enumerated therein, afforded by Bull Run, in the hope of conducting the movement so as to induce the enemy to offer me battle in front of Mitchell's Ford, where his numerical superiority would be materially counterbalanced by the difficulties of the ground and my previous preparations there for the event. But I am, however, inclined to be lieve he may attempt to turn my left flank, by a movement in the direction ol Vienna, Frying-pan Church, and, possibly, Gum Spring, and thus cut off John ston's line of retreat on and communications with this place, tia the Manassas (Jap Railroad, wkile threatening my own communications with Richmond and depots of supply, by the Alexandria and Orange Railroad, and opening his communications with the Potomac through Leesburg and Edward's Ferry.

" Of course, if I had sufficient force, one less unequal to that of the enemy, I would not permit him, with impunity, to attempt so dangerous a movement on his part; but, in view of the odds against me, and of the vital importance at this juncture of avoiding the hazard of a defeat, which would open to the enemy the way to Richmond, I shall act with extreme caution. If forced, how ever, to retire before an overwhelming force by another route than the railroad, my line of retreat can be taken at any time through Brentsville to a junction with Brigadier-General Holmes, at or near Frederieksburg, whence we could operate on the line of communication of the enemy on their advance, so as, at least, to retard him by the way. In that event, if deemed expedient, I could leave a suitable garrison in the intrenchments here, to occupy him and retard his advance the longer, but with orders to spike our guns and follow in my rear until effecting a reunion with me. In presenting the foregoing to the consideration of your Excellency, I wish it distinctly understood, however, that if the enemy should offer battle on the line of Bull Run, I shall accept it for my command, against whatsoever odds he may array in my front. u Respectfully, Sir, your obedient servant.

"G. T. BEAUKEGAKD, General Commanding."



General Beanregarcl again Urging Concentration.—Colonels Preston and Chest nut sent to Richmond, to Explain Plan.—Report of Colonel Chestnut.— The President Disapproves the Proposed Campaign.—Letter of General Beauregard to General Johnston.—Comments upon Mr. Davis's Refusal.—-General McDowell Ordered to Advance.—Strong Demonstration against General Bonhani.—General Beauregard's Telegram to*the President.— General Johnston Ordered to Make Junction if Practicable.—Action of Bull Run.—What Major Barnard, U. S. E., Says of It.—Repulse of the Enemy.—War Department Inclined to Withdraw Order to General John ston.—General Beauregard Disregards the Suggestion.

A DAY or two after sending to the President the communication given at the end of the preceding chapter, General Beauregard, still hoping to obtain the government's assent to the concentration of our forces, in view of the impending offensive movement of the enemy, despatched to Richmond an aide-de-camp, Colonel John S. Preston, of South Carolina, a gentleman of ability and much per sonal weight, with special instructions to urge the absolute and immediate necessity of adopting his plan of operations.

Ko sooner had Colonel Preston left Manassas, than General. Beauregard, engrossed with the all-absorbing idea of concentra tion—and, from information hourly received, certain of its wisdom —felt it impossible to remain passively on the defensive, while he had the opportunity of dealing a series of aggressive blows on the enemy, likely to produce decisive results favorable to the Confeder ate States. He therefore enlarged his plan of campaign, basing it partly upon the increased strength of our army, and sent another of his aids, Colonel James R. Chestnut, to present and explain it to the President. A memorandum, written by General (then Colonel) Samuel Jones, under General Beauregard's dictation, and containing the substance of all the instructions given to Colonel Chestnut, had been handed to the latter, to assist his memory, and prevent any misconception as to the main features of the pro jected campaign.

It is well for the truth of history, that these precautionary meas-

ures were taken at that time; for, as will be seen further on in this work, Mr. Davis, who claims, even now, "that the great question of uniting the two armies was decided at Richmond," * (which seems to mean "decided at Richmond" by Mr. Davis), subse quently denied that any such plan had ever been presented to him, and that his alleged refusal to approve it could, in no manner or form, have thwarted General Beauregard's efforts at concentration. General Beauregard's anxiety was intense while awaiting the re turn of his messengers. He knew that each moment was of vital importance, and that the fate of our cause hung in the balance. First came telegrams from Colonels Preston and Chestnut, stating that the communication was before the President, who was giving it his careful consideration.! On the ICth of July, Colonel Chest nut, upon his return, presented his official report, containing a de tailed account of his mission. So great has become the historical value of this paper, that we present it in full to the reader:


'• MAXASSAS, VA., July 1GM, 18G1. u Brigadier-General BEAUREGARD, Commanding Army of the Potomac:

" Sir, —In obedience to your order, I proceeded on Sunday last, 14th instant, to Richmond, with the purpose of laying before the President, for his consid eration, your views and plans for the combined operation of the two armies under the commands of General Joseph E. Johnston and yourself respectively. I arrived at Richmond at 3.30 on the same day I left your quarters, and with out delay reported to the President, who, although sick in bed, received me with great kindness and cordiality. After stating to him the object of my visit, he appointed an hour to meet him, that evening, in company with Gen eral R. E. Lee, and Adjutant and Inspector General Cooper. At the appointed time the President, Generals Lee and Cooper, and Colonel Preston, of your staff, met me in private conference. Being requested by the President to lay before those present the subject-matter with which I was charged, I submitted, on your part, the following proposition :

" That the Confederate armies were in front of the enemy, with greatly in ferior forces at all points ; that it was desirable, by uniting a portion of our forces, to outnumber the enemy at some important point; that the point now occupied by you was, at present, in reference to the armies, considered the most important. I stated also that the enemy were at present at or near Falls Church, with eight or ten thousand men on the Alexandria, London, and Hamp shire Railroad, and also with some portion of his forces at Springfield, on the Alexandria and Orange Railroad, with every indication of a purpose to ad-

*'" Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 347. t See Appendix to Chapter VIII.

vance on both linos, and that it was most probable the enemy would threaten our camps at Manassas with about ten thousand men, while with the main body, twenty thousand or more, would advance towards Vienna, Frying-pans, and Pleasant Valley to Hay Market, on the Manassas Gap Railroad, with a view to cut off our communications with General Johnston. To accomplish this, possession would be taken of passes of the Blue Ridge at Manassas, Ashby's, and Snicker's Gaps. He would then endeavor to cut off your communication with Richmond by the Alexandria and Orange Railroad, and force you either to fight in open field, with greatly inferior numbers, or to retire towards Fred-ericksburg by way of Breutsville to join forces with General Holmes, or to withdraw from the intrenched camp and retire by the Alexandria and Orange Railroad, before the enemy could reach it.

"Under these circumstances, I stated, you would propose, and did propose, that General Johnston should, with the bulk of his forces, say twenty thousand, unite with you, leaving from three to five thousand men to guard the passes of the Blue Ridge and to hold Patterson in check. Then, with the combined forces of General Johnston and yourself, you would move rapidly forward on Fairfax Court-IIousc, establish yourself between the two lines of the enemy, attack them separately with larger masses, and thus exterminate them or drive them into the Potomac. This being done, General Johnston, with ten thousand of your forces in addition to his own, and rallying, as he went, those left to guard the passes, would return at once to the [valley with] superior numbers, saj r thirty-five thousand, to attack and destroy Patterson, at Winchester, or wherever he might be. One week from the time of leaving Winchester would be sufficient to ac complish all this. You would then either occupy the enemy's works, in front of Washington, if he should abandon them, or fall back on your present posi tion, according to circumstances. General Johnston having disposed of Pat terson, would detach a sufficient number from his force to reinforce Garnett, and make him superior to McClellan. Having defeated McClellan, General Garnett could then unite with Johnston, and the two cross the Potomac, at the nearest point, for Maryland, and, arousing the people as they proceeded, march to the rear of Washington, while you would attack it in front.

" To these propositions, respectful and earnest consideration was given by thc President and the generals I have mentioned. The scheme was con sidered brilliant and comprehensive, but, to its adoption at this time, two lead ing objections were urged by the President and by General Lee. One was that General Johnston's force was not now sufficiently strong to allow of the withdrawal of numbers sufficient to effect your object, and, at the same time, leave enough to keep Patterson in check and keep him from coming down upon your left; and the other and main objection was, that the enemy was as yet too close to their cover to allow the reasonable expectation of the accom plishment of your object; that they would immediately fall back upon their intrcnchments, or, being so close to their large reserves, would be quickly re inforced in numbers sufficient to regain the superiority of numbers, and thus defeat your purpose. That the combination might be made at a later period, when these objections would be removed by a sufficient increase of your ar-

raics, and by the lengthening of the enemy's lines, and increase of distance from river, and reserves for quick reinforcements.

" Respectfully submitted,

" JAMES CHESTNUT, Vol. A, D. C." 1

Before commenting upon this report, and to illustrate—as we think we should—the character of the military administration of the Confederate authorities, the following unofficial letter of Gen eral Beauregard to General Johnston is submitted to the reader. It was written on the day before Colonel Chestnut was sent to Richmond.

U MANASSAS JUNCTION, VA., JufylStf, 1861. " General J. E. JOHNSTON :

" My dear General, —I write in haste. What a pity we cannot carry into effect the following plan of operations : That you should leave four or five thou sand men to guard the passes of the Blue Ridge, and unite the mass of your troops with mine. We will probably have, in a few days, about forty thousand men to operate with. This force would enable us to destroy the forces of Generals Scott and McDowell, in my front. Then we would go back with as many men as necessary to attack and disperse General Patterson's army, before he could know positively what had become of you. We could then proceed to General McClcllan's theatre of war, and treat him likewise, after which we could pass over into Maryland, to operate in rear of Washington. I think this whole campaign could be completed brilliantly in from fifteen to twenty-five days. Oh, that we had but one good head to conduct all our operations ! We are laboring, unfortunately, under the disadvantage of having about seven armies in the field, under as many independent commanders, which is contrary to the first principles of the art of war. Wishing you, however, ample success in your operations, I remain, Yours very truly,


He was striking at every door, as it were; for he believed in his plan, and felt that he could accomplish it. But the rigor of military usage—so inexorable at times—compelled him to seek as sistance and support from those whose right it was to adopt or re ject his views. A high tribunal, composed of the President, Gen erals Cooper and Lee, took upon itself to check and render barren the strategic powers so greatly developed in General Beauregard, and in which the immortal Jackson alone is acknowledged to have been his peer. "Who can forget that, at the period of which we write, the Confederate commander at Manassas was looked up to as the first and, unquestionably, the most promising of our gen erals '{ His prestige was undeniable. Success, "the criterion of merit" in military affairs, had already built up for him a reputa-

tion thus far unrivalled. The President knew this, as did the whole South ; as did even the North, whose apprehension of the untiring activity and engineering ability of General Beauregard was a se cret to none. How Mr. Davis, with all this before his mind, could have assumed the responsibility of declining so far-sighted and far-reaching a campaign as was proposed to him, is more than we can well explain. Eat, exercising the right which a thorough knowledge of what then transpired affords us, we assert it as an incontrovertible truth, fully proved by later events, that the Pres ident of the Confederacy, by neglecting to compel his Quarter master-General to procure the transportation which could have been easily procured, more than a month before the battle of Ma-nassas; by refusing, as early as the 13th of June, to assent to Gen eral Beauregard's urgent request that authority should be given to concentrate our forces at the proper moment, at Manassas Junc tion ; by again refusing, on the 15th of July, to allow him to exe cute his bold, offensive plans against the enemy, the certain re sult of which would have been the taking of Washington; that the President of the Confederacy, by thus persisting in these three lamentable errors, lost the South lier independence. We write this in no spirit of detraction. But, after a lapse of more than twenty-two years, President Davis must expect to stand be fore the public merely on the merits of his acts and omissions. Personal friendships, which would kindly palliate errors, have fad ed away or disappeared. The tribunal of public opinion, occupied by just and impartial men, will study the events of which we are now treating by the light of truth alone, and, in seeking for the causes of our failure, will unerringly place the finger on Mr. Da-vis's want of foresight, on his incapacity to appreciate and reward merit, on his upholding of incompetent men in offices of responsi bility and trust, and, above all, on his unwillingness to allow others to achieve greatness. The words, " Z?etat, dest moi" —the haugh ty maxim of the French monarch—unconsciously, perhaps, to President Davis, but not the less fatally, must have governed his course in the council-chamber on more than one occasion. His book, now before the public, whatever its merits in other respects may be, is powerless in its vain attempt to cover his fatal mis takes, or to change the merciless logic of facts and events.

Before leaving Richmond, Colonel Chestnut had telegraphed to General Beauregard that his recommendations would not be ap-

proved. This was a heavy disappointment to him; but, nothing daunted, he began at once to provide for the possible contingency of being compelled, by the greatly superior force of the enemy, to retire behind the Rappahannock. lie sent one of his engineers to the crossings of that river, with orders to throw up such field-works as would command them.

Colonel Chestnut had returned deeply impressed by the views and ideas of the Richmond authorities, particularly by those of General Lee—to wit, that the army should fall back behind the Rappahannock; and, not wishing to move, himself, in the matter, endeavored to persuade Adjutant-General Jordan to urge the point upon General Beauregard ; which, however, the former positively declined to do.

The extension of McDowell's pickets had now interrupted our " underground mail," between Washington and Manassas; but it had fortunately happened, a few days before, that a gentleman, Mr. D , formerly a clerk in one of the departments at Wash ington, was introduced at headquarters by Colonel Chestnut as perfectly trustworthy, and capable of performing the delicate office of communicating with the friendly agencies we had managed to establish in Washington, lie was provided with a paper, having neither signature nor address, but upon which was written the ciphered message, u Trust the bearer," and with it immediately

despatched to the residence of Mrs. G , our secret emissary in

the Federal capital. The result was that, at about 8 o'clock P.M., on the 10th, a sealed communication was received at headquarters, despatched by relays from General Ilolmes's picket line, near East-port. It had been brought that morning from Washington, to a

point on the opposite shore, by Mr. 1) , from Mrs. G , and

announced, in cipher, this simple but important piece of news: •" McDowell has been ordered to advance to-night;*' confirming General Beauregard's belief as to the intended Federal movement, which was otherwise apparent to him.

General Bonham was at once informed of the impending event, and directed to execute his retreat on the appearance of the ene my in force, as prescribed by the order of the 20th of June, un changed, though issued nearly a month previously. Colonel Rhodes, at Fairfax Station, received like instructions through General Ewcll, his brigade commander ; and, in view of the exigency, Col onel J. L. Kemper, whose energy and efficiency had already been

tested, was again detached from bis command and sent to Fairfax Court-House, to provide all necessary means of transportation.

Daring the night which followed (16th-17th July), General Beauregard sent an urgent request to Richmond by telegram, asking that Generals Johnston and Holmes be now ordered to make a junction with him.

He also published General Orders No. 41, announcing to his command the expected advance of the enemy, and expressing his confidence in their ability to drive him beyond his intrenched lines. It contained the names of his general and personal staff,* and enjoined obedience to all orders conveyed through them to the troops.

The news of the enemy's movement was true. On the morn ing of the 17th McDowell's advance was reported to be approach ing ; and before noon, General Bonham's pickets being driven in, he began his retreat, as had been previously agreed upon.

The enemy made a strong demonstration against him, and sought to strike his communication with Germantown, which was very nearly effected—General Bonham's rear having just passed through the junction of the two roads at the hamlet, as the head of the Federal column came within sight. He retired in fine order to Centreville, and though at night he was enveloped, he was quiet ly withdrawn between 12 o'clock and daylight, behind Mitch ell's Ford, fully carrying out the detailed instructions of the gen eral commanding. Rhodes, after a sharp brush with the enemy, fell back to Union Mills Ford, where Ewell was in command of the heaviest brigade of the army.

The enemy had no sooner attacked General Bonham's line, than General Beauregard forwarded the following telegram to the President:


July Yith, 1861.

" The enemy has assailed my outposts in heavy force. I have fallen back on the line of Bull Run and -will make a stand at Mitchell's Ford. If his force is overwhelming I shall retire to the Rappahannock railroad bridge, saving my command for defence there and future operations. Please inform Johnston of this, via Stanton, and also Holmes. Send forward any reinforcements, at the earliest possible instant, and by every possible means.


To which the President answered :

* See Appendix to this chapter.

" RICHMOND, July 17^, 1861. " General G. T. BEAUREGARD :

" We are making all efforts to reinforce you. Cannot send to day, but after wards they will go regularly, daily, railroads permitting. Hampton's Legion, McRae's regiment, and two battalions, Mississippi and Alabama, under orders.


Later in the day, however, Adjutant-General Cooper sent this telegram:


"You are authorized to appropriate the North Carolina regiment on its route to General Johnston. If possible, send to General Johnston to say he has been informed tia Staunton that you were attacked, and that he will join, you, if practicable, with his effective force, sending his sick and baggage to Culpcpper Court-House, by rail or through Warrenton.

" S. COOPER, Adj.-Gcnl."

General Beauregard, though gratified that such an order had ;;r last been given, was much annoyed at the thought that it had been too long delayed to effect any substantial good. lie so informed the War Department, but lost no time in communicating with General Johnston, through telegram and by means of a special messenger, Colonel Chisolm, one of his aids. The latter was in structed to say to General Johnston that there was not a moment to lose, and that all the available transportation of the Manassas Gap Railroad would be in waiting at Piedmont, to assist in con voying his troops. Colonel Chisolm carried also a proposition that at least a portion of General Johnston's forces should march by the way of Aldie, so as to assail McDowell's left flank and rear, at Centrevillc. But, for reasons General Johnston must have thought important, based, as he alleges, on the difficulty of direct ing the movements of troops so distant from each other.no action was taken by him about this suggestion.

The feigned resistance and retreat from Fairfax Court-House, had had the desired effect of leading the enemy to believe in the abandonment of our position at Manassas. "We had expected to encounter the enemy at Fairfax Court-House, seven miles this side of Centrevillc," says Major Barnard, United States Engineer,* "and our three right columns were directed to co-operate, on that point. We entered that place about noon of the 17th, finding the intrenchments abandoned, and every sign of a hasty retreat."

*Sec his book entitled " The C. S. A. and the Battle of Bull Run," p. 46.

Hence the loud exultation of the Federal troops, and the predic tions, in the Northern journals, of the certain defeat of the Con federate array.

On the morning of the next day, the 18th, the enemy was re ported advancing on Mitchell's and Blackburn's Fords. As the former was the only point even partially intrenched, and the lat ter had natural defensive advantages, General Beauregard was gratified that the attack, as he had hoped, was made there. His line now extended some five miles, from Union Mills Ford, on the right, to the stone bridge, on the left, as follows: at Union Mills Ford, Swell's brigade, with four 12-pounder howitzers and three companies of Virginia cavalry ; at McLean's Ford, D. R. Jones's brigade, with two brass 6-pounders and one company of cavalry; at Blackburn's Ford, Longstreet's brigade, with two brass 6-pounders at Mitchell's Ford, Bonham's brigade, with Shields's and Delaware Kemper's batteries, and six companies of cavalry under Colonel Radford; in the rear of Island, Ball's and Lewis's Fords, Cocke's brigade, with Latham's battery and one company of cavalry; while Evans's demi-brigade, with four 6-pounders and two companies of cavalry, held the left flank, and protected the stone-bridge crossing. Early's brigade stood in the rear of, and as support to, Ewell's.

Bull Run is a small stream running in this locality, nearly from west to east. Its banks, for the most part, are rocky and steep. The country on either side, much broken and wooded, becomes gently rolling and open as it recedes from the stream. On the northern side the ground is much the higher and completely com mands the southern bank. Roads traverse and intersect the sur rounding country in every direction.

About noon, the enemy opened fire in front of Mitchell's Ford, with several 20-pounder rifled guns, at a range of one and a half miles, to which we had no means of replying, with any effect. But a Federal light battery, afterwards sent forward, was soon repulsed, with its supporting force, by Kemper's battery, which occupied a ridge about six hundred yards in advance of the ford.

Major Barnard, in his work already quoted, speaking of the un toward incident we have alluded to, says (page 48): "We had the tables turned upon us by a sudden and rapid discharge from a battery near the ford, invisible except by the smoke of its guns." And he adds: " However, our 20-pounders, assisted by a battery

of rifled G-pounders, proved too much for it, and we soon succeeded in silencing its fire." So well did they succeed, that, further on, Major Barnard himself is compelled to use the following language: " This ought to have been the end of the affair, but General Tyler, .. . persisting in the belief that the enemy would run whenever men aced by serious attack, had determined, I believe, to march to Manassas that day. Had he made a vigorous charge and crossed the stream at once, it is quite possible . . . that he might have suc ceeded." Here, Major Barnard's and General Tyler's success is evidently dwindling into something else. He proceeds thus: "But he only filed his brigade down to the stream, drew it up parallel to the other shore, and opened an unmeaning fusilade, the results of which were all in favor of the enemy, and before which, overawed rather by the tremendous volley directed at them than suffering heavy loss, one of the regiments broke in confusion and the whole force retired. This foolish affair (called by the Confederates the battle of Bull Hun, they applying the term Manassas to the ensuing battle of the 21st, which we style the battle of Bull Hun), had a marked effect upon the morale of our raw troops."

Here we fail to comprehend Major Barnard's conclusions; that he attempts to palliate the defeat of the Federal forces on that day, by calling such a forward movement " a foolish affair," is not to be wondered at. and for this reason : the enemy's attack and its result could only have been termed " battle" if our troops had " broken in confusion," instead of those opposing them. Major Barnard would have shown better grace, however, had he frankly admitted that attacking columns, which, "overawed by the tre mendous volleys directed at them," "break in confusion" and retire from the field—as did the "whole Federal force "on that occasion—are unquestionably defeated.

About the same hour (noon, on the 18th), the Federals were dis covered advancing also in strong columns of infantry, with artillery and cavalry, on Blackburn's Ford, near which General Beauregard now took position. Here the ground on the northern side of the Run, after a narrow level, ascends by a steep slope to a line of heights commanding the entire southern side, which, for several hundred yards, is almost a plain, and thence rises by a gentle slope to a wooded country, undulating back to Manassas. After a half-hour's cannonade from a battery of rifled guns, the column of

attack (Richardson's brigade), over three thousand strong, with Sherman's brigade in immediate reserve, appeared over the brow of the height which covered their approach, and advanced until they were but a hundred yards from our skirmishers, who were posted among the trees that lined the southern bank. A large portion of the Federal force approached through the woods, near the border of the stream, which on that side presented a thick cover of trees and undergrowth, and the remainder advanced along the road, to force the passage. Longstreet met the attack with about twelve hundred men, of the 1st, 17th, and llth Virginia Volun teers, and, after quite a brisk contest, repulsed the opposing forces. They rallied for a second attack, but were again driven back, with the aid of the reserve companies.

Two regiments and two rifled guns from Early's brigade, which had been brought from the right arid held at even supporting dis tance from the three threatened fords, were now ordered up. The guns, placed in position under concealment of the trees that fringed the stream, directed their fire by the sound of the enemy's musketry, already active in a third attempt to force the crossing; which proved as unsuccessful as had the others. One of the at tacking regiments gave way, and was rallied a mile and a half to the rear. When the remaining companies of Early's brigade were brought forward, and his five additional guns were placed in rear of the other two—firing wherever the glitter of bayonets along the slope above the tree-tops showed the Federals to be thickest—the contest soon passed into an artillery duel, which lasted until the enemy abandoned his ground, in full retreat. The Confederate loss was but sixty-eight killed and wounded ; that of the enemy seventy-three, besides one hundred and seventy-five stands of arms and a quantity of accoutrements.

The result of that action was of great value to us, as it gave to our army the prestige of success, and the confidence which is ever an important element of victory.

General Beauregard at once reported the result of the day to Richmond; and Mr. Davis telegraphed back an expression of his gratification, informing General Beauregard also that a regiment was on its way to reinforce him, and that more w^ould go as soon as possible.

It would seem, however, that this first stroke of good fortune was unduly estimated at the Confederate capital; for General

Cooper, on the following day, telegraphed, saying that General Johnston had not been heard from, and that, if the enemy had abandoned an immediate attack, and General Johnston had not yet moved, he (General Beauregard) had better withdraw his call on him, as the enemy was advised, at Washington, of the projected movement of Generals Johnston and Holmes, and mi^ht vary his


plans in consequence.*

How can this telegram be made to tally with the following pas sage, taken from Mr. Davis's book ? " As soon as I became satis-lied that Manassas was the objective point of the enemy's move ment, I wrote to General Johnston, urging him to make prepara tions for a junction with General Beauregard," etc.f Was he no longer " satisfied," on the 19th of July, that Manassas was the en emy's objective point \ If he was not—as we are inclined to believe is the case—the fact clearly shows how little he knew of the movements of the enemy, at that time; if he was, whv was he bent upon reconsidering his action of July 17th, as shown by his telegram of that day, to General Johnston ?

General Beauregard was too far-seeing, and had made too many fruitless attempts to force the concentration which was, at last, to be granted him, to L»o willing, of his own accord, to counter mand the long-delayed order—contingent though it was—forward ed to General Johnston. He declined to act upon General Coop er's strange suggestion. Two days later he covered the Southern arms with glory, and won for himself the proud and immortal title of " Hero of Manassas."

* Sec Appendix to this chapter. f Vol. i. pp. 345, 340.


Battle of Manassas.—General J. E. Johnston Assumes Command, but General Beauregard Directs Operations and Fights the Battle.—Superiority of Numbers Against us.—Deeds of Heroism.—Enemy Completely Routed.— Ordnance and Supplies Captured.—Ours and Enemy's Losses.—Strength of General McDowell's Army.—The Verdict of History.

AFTEK the check received at Bull Run, on July 18th, the Fed eral army remained inactive throughout the 19th and 20th, except in efforts to reconnoitre and determine the Confederate position and the best point for penetrating or turning it. This prolonged delay, though somewhat unaccountable, under the cir cumstances, was, certainly, of great advantage to General Beaure gard. It allowed General Holmes to reach the theatre of oper ations in time, with 1265 infantry, 6 pieces of light artillery, and a company of cavalry of 90 men. General Johnston also arrived, about noon on the 20th, with Jackson's brigade,* 2611 strong, a portion of Bee's and Bartow's brigades numbering 2732 bayonets, 300 of Stuart's cavalry, and Irnboden's and Pendleton's bat teries; to which were added Barksdale's 13th Mississippi regi ment, which came up from Lynchburg; and Hampton's Legion, 600 strong.

General Johnston was now the ranking officer at Manassas; nevertheless, as General Beauregard had already made all his plans and arrangements for the maintenance of the position, of which General Johnston was, as yet, completely uninformed, he declined assuming the responsibilities of the command until after the impending battle, but offered General Beauregard his personal services on the field, which were cordially accepted. General Beauregard thereupon explained his plan of operations, which was,agreed to, and he continued his active preparations for the hourly expected conflict.

The question about to be tested was, whether our great struggle

* This brigade reached Manassas Junction the evening previous. So did, at a later hour, the 7th and 8th Georgia regiments.

for independence should win life and honor, or fail in disaster and ruin. One or the other would necessarily be the fate of the Confederacy. Heavy, therefore, was the responsibility upon the commander who stood ready to meet the issue. What General Beauregard had urged upon the government, and so earnestly de manded, had not been accorded; the military aspect had also changed ; and he was now forced to occupy that defensive position which he had tried his utmost to avoid. But McDowell's appar ent hesitation in his forward movement, the confidence General Beauregard had in his troops and in the wisdom of his order of battle, were most encouraging, and justified him in looking hope fully and fearlessly to the result.

Our line remained the same as on the 18th, except as modified by the distribution of the newly arrived reinforcements. Gen eral Holmes's brigade, the 2d Tennessee and 1st Arkansas regi ments were placed in rear of Ewell. Early's brigade was shifted from the rear of Ewell to the rear of Jones's brigade; Longstreet was supported by Bee's and Bartow's brigades (of General John ston's forces), posted at even distance in rear of McLean's and Blackburn's Fords; and, still farther in the rear, was Barksdale's Mississippi regiment. Bonham was supported by Jackson's brig ade (of General Johnston's forces) placed at even distance in rear of Blackburn's and Mitchell's fords. Ten companies of infantry, two of cavalry, and a battery of four 0-pounders, under Kogers, had been added to Cocke's brigade, which covered the remaining fords — Island, Ball's and Lewis's — extending to the right of Evans's demi-brigade. The latter, which formed a part of Cocke's command, held the stone bridge, and covered a farm ford, about one mile above. Hampton's Legion of infantry, which had reached the army that morning (20th), was at once thrown forward to the Lewis House, as a support to any troops that might be engaged in that quarter. Two companies of Radford's cavalry were held in reserve, in rear of Mitchell's Ford, and Stuart's (of General Johnston's forces)—some three hundred men—occupied the level ground in rear, from Bonham's to Cocke's brigades. Five pieces of Walton's battery were in reserve in rear of Bee's right, and Pendleton's in rear of Bonham's extreme left.

The following table shows the composition and the total strength, in men and guns, of the Confederate forces assembled on the morn-ing of the 21st, awaiting the conflict: L—7

1. The Army of tho Potomac, including the garrison at Camp

Pickens, Manassas 21,833 & 29 guns.

2. The Army of the Shenandoah 6,000 & 20 guns.

3. General Holmes's forces 1,355 & 6 guns.

In all, 2~V88 & 55 guns'.

One peculiar feature of the theatre of operations was a direct road running in front of the Confederate positions, from the ex treme right at Union Mills Ford, and trending off to Centrevillc. This was seized upon, and entered prominently into the Confed erate plan of battle, as drawn up on the night of the 20th. That is to say, Ewell, from the extreme right, at Union Mills Ford, was to advance towards Centreville by that road, and, halting about half-way, await communication from Jones, who was to move from McLean's Ford and place himself on the left of Ewell, await ing in that position communication from Longstreet, who, by a similar advance from Blackburn's Ford, was to take position on the left of Jones, and be joined on his own left by Bonham, from Mitchell's Ford. Ewell, having the longest march, was to begin

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the movement, and each brigade was to be followed by its re serves. The several commanders were instructed in the object of the movement, which was to pivot the line on Mitchell's Ford, and by a rapid and vigorous attack on McDowell's left flank and rear, at Centreville, rout him and cut off his retreat on Washington. "Sumler"—of good omen—was given as a watchword to the troops. In the night, scouts posted by General Beauregard's orders in front of Evans's lines brought in the report that McDowell was concentrating at Centreville and on the Warrenton turnpike, leading thence to the stone bridge. As General Beauregard be lieved that the repulse of the 18th would deter the Federal gen eral from another attack on the centre, these facts, in his opinion, pointed to a movement against the left flank. In reality, Mc Dowell had, at first, intended to move on the Confederate right, in anticipation of which, as the most probable operation, the strongest Confederate brigades were posted in that quarter; but the result of further reconnoissances, made with more minuteness by the enemy, the day after the engagement of Bull Run, caused an alteration of his plans, as originally adopted. As this appar ent new disposition of McDowell's forces rather favored the exe cution of the Confederate plan of battle, no change was made by General Beauregard ; but, in view of contingencies, he despatched

orders, by daybreak, to every command in the lines, to be ready to move at a moment's notice.

At a very early hour in the morning of the 21st, Hunter's and Ileintzelman's divisions of McDowell's army, over sixteen thousand strong, moved forward from Centreville by the Warrenton turn pike. Striking off to the right, about half-way between Centreville and the stone bridge, they made a circuit through a difficult forest, guided by the trace of an old road, to the Sudley Springs Ford, two miles above the stone bridge, with the design of flanking the Confederate left and taking possession of the Manassas Gap Rail road, so as to cut off the advent of General Johnston, most of whose troops, it was known, had not yet arrived. Meanwhile, Tyler moved his division down the AVarrenton turnpike against the stone bridge, held by the Confederate extreme left, under Colonel Evans, in front of whom he immediately deployed a por tion of his force.

About 5.30 A. M., report of this latter demonstration reached General Beanregard, who thereupon immediately ordered Colonel Evans, and, with him, General Cocke, to watch most vigilantly the movements of the forces confronting them, and, if attacked, to maintain their position at all hazards.

The surest and most effective method of relieving our left, General Beanregard thought, was by a rapid, vigorous attack of our right wing and centre on the enemy's flank and rear, at Ccn-treville, all due precautions being first taken against the advance of any reserves from the direction of Washington. This pro posed movement he submitted to General Johnston, who fully approved of it, and orders were forthwith issued for its execution. General Ewell was to lead the movement, followed by Jones, Longstreet, and Bonham, with their respective reserves. Colonels Stuart and Had ford to be held in hand and brought forward whenever their assistance might be deemed necessary.


The enemy's extended line of skirmishers was now visible in front of Evans, who threw forward the two flank companies of the 4th South Carolina, and one company of Wheat's Louisi ana battalion, which were deployed as skirmishers to cover his front. An occasional scattering fire resulted, and for more than an hour did the two confronting forces thus face one another; the main body of the enemy, meanwhile, cautiously advancing through the forest, to take our forces in flank and rear.

Colonel Evans, being satisfied that the movement in his front was merely a sham, the real object being to turn his left, deter mined (8.30 A.M.) to change his position so as to meet the enemy, and he accordingly ordered to his left and rear six companies of Sloan's 4th South Carolina, five of Wheat's Louisiana battal ion, and two 6-pounders of Latham's battery—leaving only four of Sloan's companies to guard the stone bridge: General Cocke being first informed of these changes and of the reasons necessi tating them.

Colonel Evans formed his line some four hundred yards in rear of the old Pittsylvania Mansion, but the enemy not approaching by that road, he marched across the fields for three quarters of a mile, and took position mainly on the Brentsville road, in front of what was soon to be the enemy's line of battle. There he waited, the opposing masses drawing nearer and nearer.

We now quote from General Beauregard's official report, and will continue to do so at intervals as we proceed:

" In the meantime, about 7 o'clock A.M., Jackson's brigade, with Imboden's and five pieces of Walton's battery, had been sent to take up a position along Bull Run to guard the interval between Cocke's right and Bonhain's left, with orders to support either in case of need—the character and topographical features of the ground having been shown to General Jackson by Captain D. B. Harris, of the Engineers of this army corps.

1 ' So much of Bee's and Bartow's brigades—now united—as had arrived— some two thousand eight hundred muskets—had also been sent forward to the support of the position of the stone bridge.

"Burnside's brigade—which here, as at Fairfax Court-House, led the ad vance—at about 9.45 A.M. debouched from a wood in sight of Evans's posi tion, some five hundred yards distant from Wheat's battalion.

" He immediately threw forward his skirmishers in force, and they became engaged with Wheat's command, and the 6-pounder gun under Lieutenant Lcftwich."

For upwards of an hour, with less than eight hundred men, Sloan's companies and Wheat's battalion alone intrepidly resisted the mass of three thousand five hundred bayonets and eight pieces of artillery, including the strong batter} 7 of six 13-pounder rifled guns of the 2d Ehode Island volunteers, and two Dahlgren how itzers. At the urgent call of Colonel Evans, General Bee, with his gallant command, came to their assistance. lie had been averse to leaving his position, which was the true one for the occa sion, and had strongly advised Colonel Evans to fall back on his

line. But realizing that, if not supported, such a small force would soon be crushed by the overwhelming numbers opposed to it, he threw forward his entire command and engaged the enemy with surpassing valor, Imboden's battery playing at the same time with telling effect.


" A fierce and destructive conflict now ensued " [says General Bcaurcgard]. " The fire was withering oil both sides, while the enemy swept our short, thin lines with their numerous artillery, which, according to their official reports, at this time consisted of ten rifled guns and four howitzers. For one hour did these stout-hearted men of the blended commands of Bee, Evans, and Bar-tow breast an uninterrupted battle-storm, animated surely by something more than the ordinary courage of even the bravest men under fire. It must have been, indeed, the inspiration of the cause, and consciousness of the great stake at issue, which thus nerved and animated one and all to stand uuawed and unshrinking in such extremity."

Two brigades of Heintzelman's division, with Ricketts's light battery of six 10-poundcr rifled guns, now opened fire on Imbo den's command, which had been increased by two rifled pieces from the Washington Artillery, and two guns from Latham's bat tery.

Evans's eleven companies, Bee's and Bartow's four regiments, two companies of the llth Mississippi, commanded by Lieuten ant-Colonel Liddle, and six pieces under Imboden and Richard son, were the only forces we had to confront two divisions of four strong brigades, of which seventeen companies were regulars of all arms. Despite this fearful disparity in numbers our troops still maintained their position, constantly breaking and shattering the enemy's ranks. But now came Sherman's and Keyes's brigades of Tyler's division, six thousand strong, adding number to num ber, and forcing our line at last to give way, though only when or dered to do so by the heroic Bee himself.

Our losses were heavy in officers and men. The 8th Georgia and the 4th Alabama suffered terribly. Colonels Jones and Gar diner were dangerously wounded; and many other noble-hearted patriot soldiers there fell, killed or disabled, under the murderous fire directed against them.

From Generals Johnston's and Beauregard's headquarters, which occupied a central position about half a mile to the rear of Mitch ell's Ford, could be distinctly heard the clattering roll of mus ketry and the incessant din of artillery, bearing witness to the heavy onslaught made upon us on the left. Anxiously, but con-

fidently, did General Beauregard await its issue, expectant, the while, that similar sounds would soon be audible from the right and centre of the line. Instead of which, at about half-past 10 A.M., a messenger came from General Ewel], with the disappoint ing news that General Beau regard's orders to him for his advance upon Centreville, though forwarded quite early in the morning, had not yet reached him; but that, in consequence of a communi cation from General D. K. Jones, he had thrown his brigade across the stream at Union Mills. It was evidently too late to undertake the projected movement. The firing appeared to be still increasing on the left, while it would have taken Generals Ewell and Holmes from two to three hours to reach the position first assigned to them. Other combinations became necessary, and were immedi ately resorted to.

"The movement of the right and centre" [says General Beauregard, in his report]," already begun by Jones and Longstreet, was at once countermanded, with the sanction of General Johnston, and we arranged to meet the enemy on the field upon which he had chosen to give us battle. Under these cir cumstances, our reserves not already in movement were immediately ordered up to support our left flank, namely, Holrnes's two regiments, a battery of ar tillery under Captain Lindsay Walker, of six guns, and Early's brigade. Two regiments from Bonham's brigade, with Kemper's four 6-pounders, were also called for; and, with the sanction of General Johnston, Generals Ewell, Jones (D.R.),Longstreet, and Bonhani were directed to make a demonstration to their several fronts, to retain and engross the enemy's reserves and forces on their flank, and at and around Centreville. Previously, our respective chiefs of staff, Major Rhett and Colonel Jordan, had been left at my headquarters to hasten up and give directions to any troops that might arrive at Mauassas."

And now, these orders having been rapidly despatched, Gener als Johnston and Beauregard proceeded, at full gallop, to the im-diate field of action, where they arrived just as the forces under Bee, Bartow, and Evans had retired to a wooded ravine in rear of the Robinson House, south of the stone bridge—which was then gallantly held by the Hampton Legion.

At this critical moment disaster stared us in the face. Our men seemed to have accomplished all that could be accomplished against such overpowering numbers; and depression, added to exhaustion, was about to destroy their over-taxed endurance. The words of the brigade, regiment, and company commanders were drowned by the noise and confusion, the whizzing of balls and the explosion of shells. Generals Johnston and Beauregard rode among the

troops, but even their presence was unavailing; when it occurred to General Beauregard that the sight of their regimental colors, borne to the front by their officers, would instil new vigor into the men, and restore confidence and order among them. He in structed the colonels to plant their colors fifty yards in advance, and call upon their troops to rally on them. This was done, and proved a complete success. Few, if any, of the men remained be hind; and an unbroken line of battle again confronted the foe. It was just before the execution of this brilliant device of General Beauregard's, to the inspiriting effect of which may be attributed the retrieved fortune of the* day, that General Bee, while address ing his troops and urging them forward, said of General Jackson's brigade, which had not yet been engaged, but awaited, unmoved, the attack of the enemy: "Look at Jackson's brigade; it stands there like a stone wall"—memorable words, that consecrated to fame a command whose invincibility became proverbial under the immortal hero who first led it into battle.

While our line was being reformed, and with a view to strength ening the morale of the troops, both General Johnston and General Beauregard, riding abreast with the color-bearer, led the 4th Ala bama on the field, and directly engaged it with the enemy. This gallant regiment had lost all its field-officers; seeing which. Gen eral Beauregard shortly afterwards intrusted its command to S. E. Gist, of South Carolina, a young officer who had already attracted his attention, and who was then acting as volunteer aide-de-camp to General Bee. The untiring energy and cool daring of both Gen erals Johnston and Beauregard, as they hurried forth to the points needing their presence, produced a lasting impression on officers and men who witnessed that part of the struggle.

General Jackson had already moved up with his brigade of five Virginia regiments, and taken position below the brim of the plateau, to the left of the ravine where stood the remnants of Bee's, Bartow's, and Evans's commands. With him were Imboden's bat tery and two of Stanard's pieces, supported in the rear by I. L. Preston's and Echolls's regiments, by Harper's on the right, and bv Allen's and Cummings's on the left.

It was now clearly demonstrated that upon this ground was the battle to be fought. The enemy had forced us upon it, and there all our available forces were being concentrated. This fact once established, it became evident that the presence of both Generals

Johnston and Beauregard on the immediate scene of operations, instead of being of advantage, might impede prompt action—often necessary—by either commander. Moreover, the important work of pressing forward the reserves and other reinforcements yet on the way from Winchester was a subject of great concern, and could not be attended to personally by the general in actual com mand. For these reasons, and because, by mutual consent, the command had been left to General Beauregard, who had planned the battle and knew every inch of the country occupied by our troops, it was agreed that he should remain on the field to direct the battle, while General Johnston should withdraw some distance to the rear, where he could hurry forward the forces already or dered to the front, and indicate the positions they were to assume. General Johnston hesitated before complying with the request that this arrangement should be made, but finally yielded, and temporarily established himself at the Lewis House, before or near which most of the forces called up had to pass on their way to the field.

General Beauregard says, in his report:

" As General Johnston departed for the Lewis House, Colonel Bartow re ported to me with the remains of the 7th Georgia Volunteers—Gartrell's— which I ordered him to post on the left of Jackson's line, in the edge of a belt of pines bordering the southeastern rim of the plateau, on which the bat tle was to rage so fiercely.

" Colonel William Smith's battalion of the 49th Virginia Volunteers, having also come up, by my orders, I placed it on the left of Gartrell's, as my extreme left at the time, llepairing then to the right, I placed Hampton's Legion, which had suffered greatly, on the flank, somewhat to the rear of Harper's regi ment, and also the seven companies of the 8th (Hunter's) Virginia regiment, which, detached from Cocke's brigade by my orders and those of General John ston, had opportunely reached the ground. These, with Harper's regiment, constituted a reserve to protect our right flank from an advance of the enemy from the quarter of the stone bridge, and served as a support for the line of bat tle, which was formed on the right by Bee's and Evans's commands; in the centre by four regiments of Jackson's brigade, with Imbodens' four 6-pound-ers, Walton's five guns (two rifled), two guns (one rifled) of Stanard's, and two 6-pounders of Rogcrs's batteries, under Lieutenant Heaton; and on tin-left by Gartrell's reduced ranks and Colonel Smith's battalion, subsequently reinforced by Faulkner's 2d Mississippi, and by another regiment of the Army of the Shenandoah, just arrived upon the field, the Gth (Fisher's) North Caro lina. Confronting the enemy at this time my forces numbered, at most, not more than six thousand five hundred infantry and artillerists, with but thirteen pieces of artillery, and two companies (Carter's and Hoge's) of Stuart's cavalry.

" The enemy's force, now bearing hotly and confidently down on our posi tion, regiment after regiment of the best-equipped men that ever took the field —according to their own history of the day—was formed of Colonels Hunter's and Heintzelman's divisions, Colonels Sherman's and Reyes's brigades of Tyler's division, and the formidable batteries of Ricketts, Griffin, and Arnold's Regu lars, and 2d Rhode Island and two Dahlgren howitzers—a force of over twen ty thousand infantry, seven companies of regular cavalry, and twenty-four pieces of improved artillery. At the same time, perilous heavy reserves of in fantry and artillery hung in the distance around the stone bridge, Mitchell's, Blackburn's, and Union Mills Fords, visibly ready to fall upon us at any mo ment ; and I was also assured of the existence of other heavy corps at and around Centreville, and elsewhere within convenient supporting distance."

"While posting his lines fur the fierce struggle about to be re newed, General Beanregard, deeply impressed with the fearful odds against us, exhorted his troops to stand fast for their homes and the cause for which they were lighting. Telling them that reinforcements would soon arrive, he urged them on to " victory or death." Ilis words were few, but they inspired the men, who dashed forward with re-awakened ardor.

The enemy had now taken possession of the plateau which Gen eral Bee's forces had occupied in the morning, and, with Eicketts's battery of six rifled guns — the pride of the Federal army—and Griffin's liurht battery of regulars, besides others already men-

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tioned, opened a most destructive fire upon our advancing col umns.

The plateau of which we speak, enclosed on three sides by small water-courses emptying into Bull Iltin, rose to an elevation of one hundred feet above the stream. Its crest ran obliquely to Bull Ilun, and to the Brentsville and turnpike roads. East and west of its brow could be seen an unbroken fringe of second-


growth pines, affording most excellent shelter for our sharpshoot ers, who skilfully availed themselves of it. To the west was a broad belt of oaks extending across the crest, right and left of the Sudley road, where regiments of both armies now met and hotly contended for the mastery.

The ground occupied by our guns was an open space of limited extent, about six hundred yards from the Henry House. Here, thirteen of our pieces, mostly 6-pounders, were maintained in ac tion. They displayed from the outset such skill and accnracj* of aim as to excite the terror no less than the admiration of the ene my. The advancing columns suffered severely from the fire of

this artillery, assisted by our musketry on the right, and part of the left, whose good fortune it was to be under cover. Regiment after regiment of the opposing forces, thrown forward to dislodge us, was made to break in confusion, never completely to recover their organization on that field. The gallant Stuart, with two companies of his command, by a sudden rush on the right of the enemy, on the Brentsville-Sudley road, greatly added to the dis order our firing had caused. But still fresh Federal troops poured in from the immediate rear, filling up their broken ranks and mak ing it plain that their object was to turn our position.

At 2 r. M. General Beauregard, with characteristic promptitude, bringing up the whole right of his line except the reserves, gave the order to recover the plateau. The movement was executed with determination and vigor. It was a bold one, and such as the exigency required. Jackson's brigade, veteran-like and unwaver ing, now came up and pierced the enemy's centre, successfully, but not without heavy loss. With equal intrepidity the other por tions of the line had joined in the onset, which proved irresistible, and the lost ground was once more ours. The enemy being strong ly reinforced, again rallied, however, and, by weight of numbers, re-occupied the contested plateau and stood ready to resume the attack.

Between 2.30 and 3 r. M., just as the reinforcements sent for ward by General Johnston reached the field, General Beauregard —resolved upon dislodging the enemy—had brought up his en tire line, including the reserves, w r hicli he led in person. It was a general attack, shared in by every command then on the ground —Fisher's North Carolina, which had just arrived, being among them. The whole open space was taken by storm and swept clear of the enemy, and the plateau around the Henry and Robinson Houses, ever memorable in history, remained finally in our posses sion. The greater part of Ricketts's and Griffin's batteries were captured, with a flag of the 1st Michigan regiment, Sackson's bri gade. Many were the deeds of valor accomplished during this part of the day; but many, also, the irreparable losses the Confed eracy had now to mourn. The heroic Bee fell, mortally wounded, at the head of the 4th Alabama; so did the intrepid Bartow, while leading the 7th Georgia. Colonel Thomas, of General Johnston's staff, was killed ; so was Colonel Fisher, whose regiment—as gal lant as its leader—was terribly shattered.

Withers's 28th regiment of Cocke's brigade, with Hampton's Legion, followed the charge, and captured several rifled pieces, which were instantly turned against the enemy with effect.

While the Federal troops had been driven back on our right, across the turnpike and beyond Young's Branch, the woods on our left yet swarmed with them. Just then arrived, most opportunely, Kershaw's 2d and Cash's 8th South Carolina regiments. They were led through the oaks, east of the Sudlcy-Brentsville road, where, after sweeping the enemy before them, they took up a commanding position on the west, and opened a galling fire upon those commands—including the regular infantry—which had ral lied in the southwest angle of the plateau, under cover of a strong Federal brigade. Kemper's battery, evolving northward by the same road, joined with signal effect in the attack on the enemy's rteht. Preston's 38th regiment of Cocke's brigade had also come

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up. It encountered some Michigan troops on the way, and cap tured Colonel Wilcox, their brigade commander.

Our army had received another important reinforcement. While these stirring events were taking place (3 P.M.) part of Brigadier-General Kirby Smith's command, some seventeen hundred infan try of Elzey's brigade, and Beckham's battery, were seen hurrying to the field, from Camp Pickens (Manassas), where they had ar rived by rail, two or three hours before. General Johnston had directed them to the left of our line, where he thought reinforce ments were most needed. Just as they reached their position, south of the Henry House, General Smith was severely wounded, and compelled to retire to the rear. IIis place was filled by Colonel Elzey, an officer of merit, who displayed great discern ment in selecting the ground for the battery attached to his com mand. Its accurate firing, under Lieutenant Beckham, occasioned much damage to the Federal right.

Colonel Early, who should have moved up with his command, at noon, did not receive the order to do so until 2 P.M. He appeared upon the field just after Elzey, with Kemper's 7th Virginia, Hay's 7th Louisiana, and Barksdale's 13th Mississippi. He was drawn up in line of battle near Chinn's House, fiankin"-


the enemy's right. The clouds of dust raised by the advance of his force, in a direction from which none of our troops were ex pected at the time, had caused the keenest anxiety to General Beauregard, who thought it might be another column of the

enemy threatening to turn his left. There being.then no breeze, the flags, hanging heavily to their staffs, could not be distinguished, even through field-glasses. At last, and as General Beauregard was about to make preparations to meet this new foe, a propitious breath of air spread out the colors of one of the advancing regi ments—the 13th Mississippi—at that time so similar in design to the United States flag. To the intense relief of all, it was now ascertained that the column was Early's gallant command, hurry ing on, with all possible speed, towards the point from which was heard the heaviest firing.

At about 3.30 P.M. the enemy, driven back on their left and centre, had formed a line of battle of gigantic proportions, crescent-like in form, from the old Carter Mansion to Chinn's House. " The woods and fields "—says General Beauregard—" were filled with masses of infantry and carefully preserved cavalry. It was a truly magnificent though redoubtable spectacle, as they threw for ward, in fine style, on the broad, gentle slope of the ridge occupied by their main lines, a cloud of skirmishers, preparatory to another attack.

''But as Early formed his line and Beckham's pieces played upon the right of the enemy, Elzey's brigade, Gibbon's 10th Vir ginia, Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart's 1st Maryland and Vaughn's 3d Tennessee regiments, and Cash's 8th and Kershaw's 2d South Carolina, Withers's 13th and 28th Virginia, advanced in an irregu lar line, almost simultaneously, with great spirit, from their several positions upon the front and flanks of the enemy in their quarter of the field. At the same time, too, Early resolutely assailed their right flank and rear. Under this combined attack the enemy was soon forced, first, over the narrow plateau in the southern angle, made by the two roads so often mentioned, into a patch of woods on its western slope, thence over Young's Branch and the turn pike into the fields of the Dogan Farm, and rearward, in extreme disorder, in all available directions towards Bull Run. The rout had now become general and complete."

As soon as General Beauregard had ascertained that final vic tory was ours, lie ordered all the forces then on the field to fol low in active pursuit upon the heels of the enemy. With a proud and happy feeling of elation at the issue of the day, he then rode to the Lewis House to inform General Johnston of the glorious re sult, and, as had been agreed—the battle being now over—to com-

mit to Lis hands the command of our united forces. The inter view was a short one, and General Beauregard, anxious to reap the full benefit of the victor} 1 , hurried to the front to press the pursuit.

Early's brigade, with the 19th Virginia regiment, followed the panic-stricken fugitive enemy. Stuart and Beckham had also thrown their men forward along the road by which the flying col umns had so confidently inarched to the field that morning; but the prisoners so encumbered their way as to force them soon to give up the pursuit. Kershaw's, AVithers's, Preston's, and Cash's regiments, Hampton's Legion and Kemper's battery, attached to Ivcrshaw, rushed forward on the Warrenton road, by the stone bridge, where Kershaw's command captured a number of pieces of artillery. " The enemy," says General Beauregard in his re port, "having opportunely opened a way for them through the heavy abattis which my troops had made on the west side of the bridge, several days before."

The pursuit of the eneim T , the result of which might have more than doubled the importance of our victory, was not further con tinued that evening. A false report which had reached General Beauregard, on his way to the front, necessitated at once a com plete change in the character of his orders. From Manassas, rid ing at full speed, had come a messenger, sent to General Beaure gard by Major Thomas G. Khctt, of General Johnston's staff, with the startling information that the enemy's reserves, composed of fresh troops, and in considerable force, had penetrated our lines at Union Mills Ford, and were marching on Manassas. The re port did not originate with Major Illicit, but had been brought to him by the adjutant of General D. II. Jones, in person.

No sooner had this unwelcome news been received than General Beauregard, without the loss of a moment, rode back to the Lewis House, saw General Johnston, agreed with him as to what meas ures should be adopted for the emergency, and, mounting a fresh horse (the fourth on that day, one of them having been killed under him by the explosion of a shell, while he was giving in structions to General Jackson), he proceeded at once to the point reported to be threatened, ordering thither Ewell's and Ilolmes's brigades, which had just come up to the Lewis House. With these troops he proposed to attack the enemy vigorously before he should effect a lodgment on our side of Bull Hun. He asked also for such reinforcements as could be spared from the pursuit.


As General Beanregard reached the vicinity of Union Mills Ford, towards dark, he ascertained, with mingled feelings of joy and re gret, that the troops which had been seen advancing from that direction were none other than those belonging to the command of General Jones, originally posted near McLean's Ford. General Jones had crossed Bull Run at that point, in the morning, as al ready stated, to aid in the projected attack by our right and centre on the enemy, at Centreville; but had been ordered back, in con sequence of the movements against our left. In obedience to new instructions, he was again thrown across Bull Run, to make demonstrations against the enemy from a quarter supposed by him to be unguarded. His advance was most gallantly effected; and not only did the brisk firing of his brigade drive the enemy's infantry to cover, but the bold, unexpected movement was greatly instrumental in spreading the panic which finally disbanded the Federal army. His command was on the march to resume its former position, behind Bull Run, when thus mistaken for the enemy. It should here be added, in explanation of this unfortu nate error, that the uniforms of General Jones's men differed very slightly from those of the Northern troops — a fact of no small significance, which had already embarrassed many a Confederate officer, during the day, particularly on the arrival of General Early's forces on the field.

After this mishap and the causes leading to it had been fully explained, it was too late to resume the pursuit, as night had then set in. It must not be forgotten, besides, that our troops had been marching and counter-marching since early morning— " most of the time," says General Beanregard, " without water and without food, except a hastily snatched meal at dawn "—and that, when not thus marching, they had been fighting against a determined foe, at some points more than three times their su perior in number. Well, therefore, were the Confederate troops of Manassas entitled to rest, that evening, on the laurels they had so gallantly yet so dearly won. Few, however, enjoyed the privi lege afforded them ; so wakeful had success made both officers and men, so carried away were they by the glorious victory achieved.

While retracing his steps towards the Lewis House, General Beau-regard was informed that President Davis and General Johnston had both gone to Manassas. He repaired thither and found them, between half-past nine and ten o'clock, at his headquarters.


The President, who, upon approaching the field, accompanied by Colonel Jordan, of General Beauregard's staff, had felt quite despondent at the signs of defeat which he thought he saw in the groups of stragglers and fugitives—fragments thrown out from the heat and collision of battle—came up just in time to witness the rout and pursuit of the enemy. He was greatly elated over the victory, and was profuse in his compliments to the generals and the troops. After listening to General Beauregard's account of the bat tle, he proposed that a brief despatch be sent to the "NVar Depart ment, which was done, that very night, in the following words:

< ; MANASSAS, July 21^, 1861.

" Night has closed upon a hard-fought field. Our forces have won a glori ous victory. The enemy was routed, and fled precipitately, abandoning a very large amount of arms, munitions, knapsacks, and baggage. The ground was strewn for miles with those killed, and the farm-houses and the ground around were tilled with his wounded. The pursuit was continued along several routes towards Lecsburg and Centreville, until darkness covered the fugitives. We have captured several field-batteries and regimental standards and one United States flag. Many prisoners liavc been taken. Too high praise can not be bestowed, whether for the skill of the principal officers, or for the gal lantry of all the troops. The battle was mainly fought on our left, several miles from our field works. Our force engaged them not exceeding iifieen thousand; that of the enemy estimated at thirty-live thousand.


The list of the ordnance and supplies captured from the enemy, merely alluded to in the foregoing despatch to General Cooper, in cluded twenty-eight field-pieces, of the best character of arms, with over one hundred rounds of ammunition fur each gun ; thirtv-seven caissons; six forges; four battery wagons; sixty-four artil lery horses, completely equipped; live hundred thousand rounds of small-arms ammunition; four thousand five hundred sets of accoutrements; over five hundred muskets; nine regimental flags; a large number of pistols, knapsacks, swords, canteens, and blank ets ; a great many axes and intrenching tools ; wagons, ambulances, hospital stores, and not a small quantity of subsistence. We also captured fully sixteen hundred prisoners, including those who re covered from their wounds.