The Potomac district, between the Blue Ridge and the Po tomac, to the north bank of Powells River, was assigned to the command of General Beauregard. On its right and rear, the Aquia District, between the southern bank of Powells River, the Potomac, the Chesapeake, and the Rappahannock, including the counties along the southern bank of the latter river from its mouth to Fredericksburg, was assigned to Major-General Holmes. On its left, the Valley District, between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghanies, was assigned to Major-General Jackson. All were brought into one department, under the command of the senior general—Joseph E. Johnston.

The army of the Potomac was organized into four divisions, under Major-Generals Van Dorn, G. "W. Smith, Longstreet, and E. K. Smith. But as General Johnston did not give the command of that army to General Beauregard, lie, out of delicacy, would not move in the matter, but confined himself technically, as be fore, to a so-called army corps (his former army of the Potomac), though under no orders placing him in command of that or any other corps. Such a command the War Department persistently

ignored, addressing General Beauregard as the commander of the district, though sending to him, directly, for execution, orders which evidently referred to the army. Delicate embarrassments in administration arose from this state of affairs, which virtually reduced the leading general of the Confederacy to the rank of a Ma j o r-Gen e r al.

On the 7th of November a strong United States naval expedi tion, under Admiral Dupont, seized Forts Walker and Beauregard, two small field-works armed with thirty-five guns of inferior cali bre and only two of them rifled, guarding the entrance to Port Royal harbor, South Carolina. The reader is already aware of what had been done, upon General Beauregard's advice, with re gard to the protection of that harbor. He had never concealed the fact that, inadequately armed as it necessarily would be, its defense, against any regularly organized expedition, would be im possible.* As it was, however, the works held out longer than had been expected, and were the objects of praise even in the reports of the Federal commanders.

On the 2Sth of November General Beauregard distributed to his troops (Van Donfs and Longstreet's divisions) the new Con federate battle-flags which he had just received, and solemnized the act with imposing religious ceremonies.

During the battle of Manassas he had observed the difficulty of distinguishing our own from the enemy's colors, and, in order to prevent all error in the future, had determined to adopt in his army a battle-flag distinct in color and design. He, at first, sought to procure a change in the Confederate flag itself, and Colonel W. P. Miles, then chairman of the House Military Com mittee, had caused, at his request, a report to be presented to that effect, but with no result. General Johnston had then or dered the troops to carry their State flags, none of which, how ever, could be obtained except for the Virginia regiments, which received them from the hands of Governor Letcher, on the 30th of October. In a conference between the three senior officers, at Fairfax Court-House, in September, out of four designs for a battle-flag, one, presented by General Beauregard, was adopted. It was a red field with a diagonal blue cross, the latter edged with white, and bearing white stars.f To render it more portable,

* See Chapter V., p. 51.

tThis beautiful design, by a strange coincidence, had been previously dc-

it was made square instead of oblong, by order of General Johnston.

In the beginning of December, General D. II. Hill was sent to relieve General Evans in the important command at Leesburg, with instructions to fall back to the main army at Centreville in the event of an advance on the latter place, as Colonel Hunton had done before the battle of Manassas.

During the remainder of December there came occasional warn ings and menaces of attack, to which, in fact, the United States authorities and General McClellan were constantly urged by the more impatient part of the Northern people and press; and a watchful state of preparation was maintained along the Confed erate positions, from Evansport, by the way of Centreville, to Leesburg, on the upper Potomac. But no encounter of interest occurred except one at Drainsville, on the 23d of December, be tween two foraging parties of infantry, cavalry, and artillery. The Confederates, with about twenty-five hundred men, under Briga dier-General Stuart, attacked the Federals, numbering four thou sand in a strong position, under Brigadier-General Ord. After a sharp conflict our forces were repulsed, though not pursued. The enemy's loss was seven killed and sixty-one wounded; ours,forty-three killed and one hundred and eighty-seven wounded and missing.

Our army now went into winter quarters. The cold was in tense, and it was hard, at times, for officers and men to protect themselves against it. All remained quiet along the lines. Such, however, was not the case in Richmond. Towards the 10th of January the halls of the Confederate Congress became the scene of an animated secret debate, resulting from Mr. Da vis's action upon General Beauregard's report of the battle of Manassas, the preliminary remarks of which had been resented by the Presi dent. Upon sending in this report to Congress, he had accom-

vised by Colonel Miles, and recommended, for the Confederate flag, to the Congress then in session at Montgomery, in March, 1861. It had also been proposed by Mr. Edward C. Hancock, at the request of Colonel James B. Walton, at New Orleans, in the month of April. It had been offered by Colo nel Miles to General Beauregard, in substitution for one nearly similar in em blem and pattern, but different in the distribution of colors, suggested to him by General Beauregard when the latter was seeking to procure a change in the Confederate flag. And it-was now proposed anew to the General by Colonel Walton, who had Mr. Hancock's design.

panied it with strictures and comments, which were never given to the public until the appearance of his book, and which, after much trouble, were procured about that time for this work; not through Mr. Davis, however, it is proper to add.

Personally, General Beauregard remained indifferent to this debate, most sincerely deprecating the unfortunate effects it was likely to produce. He positively declined to advise any of his friends as to what should be done in the matter.

The following telegram, and his answer to it, show what were his feelings on the subject.

" RICHMOND, January Wi, 18G2. "General BEAUREGARD:

" Hon. Mr. Pryor wishes to know, confidentially, if you wish report of the battle of Manassas to be published, and, if published, must all, or a part, be published, omitting preliminary statement. Congress discusses the matter to morrow.


The next day General Beauregard sent this reply :

*' CEXTREVILLE, VA., January 10f//, 18G2.

" Let Congress do for the best. AVe must think of the country before \vc think of ourselves. I believe Burnside's expedition is intended for Wilming ton, to cut off railroad to Charleston. Let government look to it.

U G. T. BEAT-REGARD. "Hon. JAMES L. KEMPEH, Speaker House of Delegates, Richmond, Vu."

Referring to this despatch, Colonel E. A. Pryor, then a Member of Congress, wrote as follows: " I took the liberty of reading your telegram. The effect of its patriotic sentiment on Congress would have been most grateful to your feelings had you witnessed it."

An effort was made to suppress the entire report; while Gen eral Beauregard's friends, and the friends of justice, were equally resolved that it should be published as actually transmitted to the War Department. The latter course would probably have pre vailed, had not General Beauregard, in the same spirit which had prompted his letter to the editors of the Richmond W/iiy, formally requested that no further action should be taken in the matter. Congress then decided to publish the report, omitting the first part, which referred to the strategy of the campaign, and, with that part, omitting also the accompanying annotations of the President.

The importance of this executive endorsement, and the notoriety

given it since the appearance of Mr. Davis's book, justify us in transcribing it in full, despite its length.

It is a key to the feelings underlying many of the official acts of President Davis. It brings to light the reasoning to which he resorted, at times, in his efforts to cover his errors as a military chief. How strange, and how much to be regretted, that such moral weaknesses should have existed in one whose career, as Chief Magistrate of the Confederacy, had he been able to divest himself of the inordinate love of power which is characteristic of him, would have been one of unclouded success and glory. He could easily have availed himself of the counsels of men whose patriot ism equalled his own, and whose experience as statesmen, and tal ents as commanders in the field, would have safely guided him to the goal he must have earnestly desired, but signally failed, to at tain.

The endorsement of Mr. Davis began as follows:

" The order issued by the War Department to General Johnston was not, as herein reported, to form a junction, 'should the movement, in his judgment, le deemed adcisaMeS * The following is an accurate copy of the order:

" ' General Beauregard is attacked. To strike the enemy a decisive blow, a junction of all your effective force will be needed. If practicable, make the movement, sending your sick and baggage to Culpepper Court-House, either by rail or by Warreuton. In all the arrangements exercise your own discretion.^ " *

It is proper, in the outset, to state, that no copy of this endorse ment was ever seen by General Beauregard until one was fur nished him from the Bureau of War Records at Washington, in the autumn of 1880. Until that time he was unable to ascertain its exact tenor, which, for reasons of their own, his friends, in Congress and elsewhere, had carefully withheld from his knowledge.

The words given, no doubt from memory, in the preliminary part of General Beauregard's report of the battle of Manassas, and purporting to be the substance of the order sent to General John ston, under date of July 17th, 1861, are not identically the words made use of in the order. That is evident. But who can deny that, though different in exact phraseology, they convey precisely the same meaning? Will any one pretend that such an order could have been looked upon as a peremptory one, and that the only thing General Johnston had to do after receiving it, was blind-

* The italics are ours.

ly to obey it ? What difference is there between the words "Make the movement should you, in your judgment, deem it advisable" -which are the words objected to, and denied to have been used in the order—and the following : "Ifpracticable, make the movement" —which, it is contended, were the real terms employed in the tele gram to General Johnston ? Was not the latter fully authorized, "in all arrangements" relative to the suggested movement, to "exercise his own discretion"? Who was to judge of the advisa bility or practicability of the junction sought to be made for the purpose of " striking a decisive blow on the enemy ?" Was it the War Department, who issued the order, or General Johnston, who received it? It is clear that, under the order as given, General Johnston could have moved, or not, as he thought best in the cir cumstances; and that the making or not making of the junction was left entirely to his own decision.

That such is the only correct conclusion to be arrived at after reading that order, is shown by the following passage in the cn» dorsement of Mr. Davis :

"The words 'if practicable' had reference to letters of General Johnston of 12th and 15th of July, which made it extremely doubtful if he had the power to make the movement, in view of the relative strength and position of Patterson's forces as compared with his own."

Hence the uncertainty, hence the want of authoritativeness, so perceptible in the governmental despatch alluded to. That the War Department construed it as entirely contingent, and as de pending upon General Johnston's judgment, is further shown by the telegram already mentioned in Chapter VIII. of this book, but which we again offer to the reader:

" RICHMOND, July 17ffc, 1861. " General BEAUREGARD :

"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, via Stauntou, that you were attacked, and that he will join yon, if practicable, with his effective force, sending his sick and baggage to Culpcpper Court-House, by rail or through Warrenton.

" S. COOPER, Adjutant-General."

General Johnston's telegram to General Beau regard, of the same date, corroborates our conclusion. It read as follows:

" WINCHESTER, VA., July \lth, 18G1. " General BEAUREGARD, Manassas:

« Is the enemy upon you in force ? „ j R JoHNSTON „

He was gathering all such information as might guide him in determining his course. He was carefully weighing the advisa bility of moving just then, or not, as best suited the emergency and the interests of his command. But, whatever may have prompted his final action, he was in nowise obeying a peremptory order. "In the exercise of the discretion conferred by the terms of the order"—says General Johnston, in his report of the battle of "Manassas—"I at once determined to march to join General Beau-regard." lie determined. But, for having construed the Rich mond order to him as a contingent one, General Johnston, no less than General Beauregard, incurred the displeasure of the Presi-ident.* In a foot-note in Johnston's "Narrative," p. 34, we read as follows: "... In an endorsement on it (the report) by Mr. Davis, I am accused of reporting his telegram to me inaccurately. I did not profess to quote his words, but to give their meaning, which was done correctly."

Mr. Davis's remarks, in his book, on this point, are valueless. How can he tell what construction General Johnston put upon the telegram he received ? How can he deny that General Johnston considered the question of making a junction as left to his discre tion ? Further comments are unnecessary.


We quote again from the executive endorsement upon General Beauregard's report:

"The plan of campaign reported to have been submitted, but not accepted, and to have led to a decision of the War Department, cannot be found among its files, nor any reference to any decision made upon it; and it was not known that the army had advanced beyond the line of Bull Run, the position previ ously selected by General Lee, and which was supposed to have continued to be the defensive line occupied by the main body of our forces. Inquiry has developed the fact that a message, to be verbally delivered, was sent by Hon. Mr. Chestnut. If the conjectures recited in the report were entertained, they rested on the accomplishment of one great condition, namely, that a junction of the forces of Generals Johnston and Holmes should be made with the army of General Beauregard, and should gain a victory. The junction w T as made, the victory was won, but the consequences that were predicted did not

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 066.

result. The reasons \vhy no such consequences could result are given in the closing passage} of the reports of both the commanding generals, and the re sponsibility cannot be transferred to the government at Richmond, which cer tainly would have united in any feasible plan to accomplish such desirable results."

The plan of campaign, mentioned in the strategic portion of General Beauregard's report, as having been submitted to and not accepted by the President," could not be found among the files of the "War Department," for the simple reason — and Mr. Davis knew it—that the plan referred to was not proposed by letter, but communicated, personally, through Colonel James Chestnut of South Carolina, one of General Bean regard's aids. This officer carried with him a written memorandum dictated by General Beauregard to Colonel Sam. Jones, on the evening of the 13th of July, containing all the main features of the military operations, acknowledged to be " brilliant and comprehensive," but, unfortu nately, opposed at Richmond, and no less unfortunately rejected.*

Mr. Davis, after showing great incredulity as to having ever "entertained " such a plan—one of the most important of the war —succeeds, however, in recalling to memory, "inquiry having de veloped the fact," that Colonel Chestnut did, in effect, verbally deliver a message in General Beauregard's name. That " mes sage," as the President thought proper to call the communication he had received, was no less than the plan for an aggressive ad vance upon the enemy, ably and exhaustively explained by Colonel Chestnut, in a conference granted him by the President, as the representative and authorized exponent of General Beauregard's views on the subject. Besides Mr. Davis and Colonel Chestnut, Generals Lee and Cooper were present, and so was Colonel (after wards General) John S. Preston, of South Carolina. We call the reader's special attention to Colonel Chestnut's report to General Beauregard, July 16th, 1SC1, on his return from Richmond, wherein appear the full details of the plan proposed, and the reasons given by the President for not adopting it. That report is to be found in Chapter VIII. of this work, page 85. AVe also refer the reader to the preceding chapter (Chapter XII.), in which

* See, in Appendix to Chapter VIII., letter of General (then Colonel) Sam. Jones, about written memorandum given to Colonel Chestnut by General Beauregard. I.—12

was given, in cxtenso, President Davis's letter to General Beaure gard (October 30th) arid the answer thereto (November 22d), in reference to the report of the battle of Manassas. "No such plan as that described," said the President, in the letter we refer to, " was submitted to me." Here the denial is absolute. Mr. Davis, at that time, was evidently ignorant of the fact that Colonel Chest nut had reduced to writing all that had occurred during that im-

o O

portant conference.

In the endorsement now occupying our attention the President no longer denies, but, in his attempt to palliate his error, insinu ates his doubts, and apparently—though not quite consistently— fails to remember. This is all the more strange, inasmuch as he was then in possession, not only of Colonel Chestnut's report, sent him by General Beauregard at his own request, but also of General Sam. Jones's letter, which bore witness that the plan referred to in the report of the battle of Manassas was " substantially the same " as the one proposed by him through the medium of Colonel Chestnut.

Early in the month of June, Bonham's brigade of four South Carolina regiments had been advanced to Fairfax Court-House, and Swell's brigade posted in front of Bull Run, at Union Mills Ford ; all of which had been duly announced, and was well known to the Confederate War Department, as the correspondence of the period will show. This, however, is not at all material to the issue made by Mr. Davis's endorsement with reference to General Beauregard's plan of concentration and aggression, communicated to him through Colonel Chestnut. We mention it here, that our silence may not be construed as an acquiescence in Mr. Davis's assertion "that it was not known that the army had ad vanced beyond the line of Bull Run." The entire army had not, but two of its brigades had; and General Beauregard is certainly not responsible for Mr. Davis's ignorance of the fact.

We positively assert—and history bears us out—that the "junc tion" referred to in the endorsement was only effected because General Beauregard, on the 19th of July, after checking Mc Dowell's advance at the engagement of Bull Run, refused to with draw the call made upon General Johnston, so that the latter "might le left to his full discretion." * Had General Beauregard

* See, in Appendix to Chapter VIII, General Cooper's telegram to General Beaurcgard, to that effect.

obeyed the telegram of General Cooper, General Johnston, about whose movements the War Department admitted its ignorance, would not have left Winchester, and no "victory" could have been won by the Confederates on the 21st of July. That "junc tion," that " victory," were the results of General Beauregard's untiring, unflinching perseverance. The first was effected, the second achieved, in spite of—not owing to—the action of Mr. Davis or of the War Department.

" The reasons why no such consequences could result are given," not only u in the closing passages of the reports of both the com manding generals," as Mr. Davis has it, but also in General Beau-regard's repeated communications to the War Department, before and after the battle of Manassas, and especially in his letter to President Davis, dated August 10th, 1861,* in which lie said: " With regard to my remarks about inarching on to Washington, you must have misunderstood them, for I never stated that we could have pursued the enemy on the evening of the 21st, or even on the 22d. I wrote: 'The want of food and transportation has made us lose all the fruits of our victory. We ought, at this time, the 29th July, to be in or about Washington, and from all ac counts Washington could have been taken up to the 24th instant, by twenty thousand men.' Every news from there confirms mo still more in that opinion. For several days' (about one week) after the battle, I could not put my new regiments in position for want of transportation. I do not say this to injure my friend Colonel Myers, but to benefit the service. We have, no doubt, by our success here, achieved i glory' for the country, but I am fighting for something more real and tangible, i. e., to save our homes and firesides from our Northern invaders, and to maintain our freedom and independence as a nation."

It is not desirable to repeat here the main reasons which pre vented " the consequences predicted" as the result of the " victory won," after the long-praycd-for junction of General Johnston's forces with General Beauregard's at Manassas. For such infor mation the reader is referred to Chapter X. of this work, wherein full details of General Beauregard's requisitions, and complaints as to insufficiency of provisions and transportation, are minutelv

* The whole of this letter is to be found in Chapter X. of this work, at page 123.

given. We will merely add that Mr. Davis evidently lost sight of the fact that even had he positively ordered the junction of the Confederate forces at Manassas, and not desired, as he did, to countermand it on the 19th of July, that junction, effected eight days' after it had been suggested, in General Beauregard's name, by Colonel Chestnut, could very well fail to bring about the result then reasonably expected of it and so earnestly urged upon the government. As originally proposed, it was a measure of timely preparation for a clearly impending hostile movement on the part of the enemy; a preparation to meet that movement upon the only correct principle of war in the situation—the active defensive. As executed, it was a junction unwillingly assented to, at the last hour, when the enemy was already upon General Beauregard with a largely superior force, and when most of the " consequences pre dicted" could no longer be realized. For it must be borne in mind that the plan insisted upon by General Beauregard involved an offensive movement on our part after concentration ; while the actual junction, when it was made, had become altogether impera tive as a purely defensive measure ; and what Mr. Davis points out as a different result from that originally proposed was but the necessary sequel of the rejection of General Beauregard's plan. The endorsement of Mr. Davis proceeds as follows:

" If the plan of campaign mentioned in the report had been presented in a written communication, and in sufficient detail to permit proper investigation, it must have been pronounced to be impossible at that time, and its proposal could only have been accounted for by the want of information of the forces and positions of the armies in the field. The facts that rendered it impossible are the following:

" 1. It was based, as related from memory by Colonel Chestnut, on the suppo sition of drawing a force of about twenty-five thousand men from the command of General Johnston. The letters of General Johnston show his effective force to have been only eleven thousand, with an enemy thirty thousand strong in his front, ready to take possession of the valley of Virginia on his withdrawal."

Mr. Davis's statement as to insufficiency of detail in the plan submitted to him forces upon him one of the following alterna tives : He was either thoroughly informed of General Beauregard's proposal to him, and he, therefore, more than errs in alleging want of adequate knowledge of the question at issue; or he was without the necessary data to guide him; and, in that case, his re jection of a proposition which he had not comprehended was cer tainly unwise, if not unpardonable.


The truth is, that the plan presented in General Beauregard's name to President Davis Lad all the definiteness and detail that any written proposition of the same import and moment could have had. This is established by Colonel Chestnut's official report, already referred to, which we urge the reader to examine again with particular attention. It was presented by an interpreter thoroughly possessed of his subject, speaking, not from memory alone, but from carefully prepared notes, taken under the dicta tion of General Beau regard himself. It is, therefore, superfluous to deal further with Mr. Davis's futile attempt to prove that a "written communication " was necessary for " the proper investi gation " of a vital plan of campaign, upon the merits of which— say what he may—he had, nevertheless, deliberated, and which he had finally condemned.

The criticism of Mr. Davis, based on the estimated numbers, whether of General Johnston or of General Patterson, is utterly without point, in presence of the fact that the former had no dif ficulty whatever in bringing away his forces, when he essayed to do so. Nor did the latter " take possession of the valley of Vir ginia on the withdrawal " of his opponent; nor did he even threat en to make any demonstration of the kind. On the other hand, Colonel Chestnut's report shows that General Beauregard had es timated General Johnston's forces at twenty thousand men, and not at twenty-five thousand, as Mr. Davis has it. As to General Patterson, his army, at the time we speak of—that is to sav, be tween the 14rth and 21st of July—never amounted even to twenty thousand men, though it was rumored, as early as the 13th, that it numbered upwards of thirty-two thousand. General Johnston refers to that rumor in his report of the battle of Manassas, but, in his book, reduces the number " to about twenty thousand, in stead of thirty-two thousand, the estimate of the people of Mar-tinsburg, at the time."* And General Patterson, who must be sup posed to have known something about it, in a letter from Harper's Ferry, dated July 24th, says: "My force is less than twenty thousand ; nineteen regiments, whose term of service was up, or will be within a week. . . . Five regiments have gone home. Two more go to day, and three to-morrow. To avoid being cut oft with the remainder, I fell back, and occupied this place." No\v

* General Johnston's "Narrative of Military Operations/' p. 31.

when General Johnston began to move from Winchester to Ma li assas, on the 18th, his army, with an average effective strength, per regiment, not much exceeding five hundred men, could be computed at not less than ten thousand, exclusive of artillery and cavalry, exclusive also of the sick—seventeen hundred in number —who were comfortably provided for in Winchester/-" These, however, are mere side issues, and not at all connected with the question really before us. General Beauregard never pretended to know, except by approximation, the exact force under General Johnston. What he wished and asked for was the concentration of that force, such as it might be, with his own, in order to strike the enemy with masses, not with fractions, and thus compel him, not us, to take the defensive. When General Beauregard recom mended that concentration and predicted its results, he had every reason to be confident that the advance of McDowell was immedi ately impending; and had Mr. Davis allowed the scheme to be carried out, in anticipation of what the enemy was preparing to do, but had not yet actually done, the junction of our forces would have taken place at least forty-eight hours earlier than the date at which it was effected, and Bull Run would have been fought with the combined forces of both Generals Johnston and Beauregard, to say nothing of General Holmes, who naturally would have followed and joined in the movement, and McDowell's army would have been annihilated, or turned and cut off from Washington. Mr. Davis's endorsement goes on as follows:

" 2. It proposed to continue operations, by effecting a junction of a, part of the victorious forces with the army of General Garnett, in Western Virginia ; General Garnett's forces amounted only to three or four thousand men, then known to be in rapid retreat before vastly superior forces under McClellan, and the news that lie was himself killed and his army scattered arrived with in forty-eight hours of Colonel Chestnut's arrival in Richmond."

This reference to the Garnett disaster is characteristic of Mr. Davis as a polemist, and we chiefly touch upon it to assert that, at the time he decided adversely on the general plan laid before him, he was not aware of what had happened to Garnett, an event which could only have made the concentration at Manassas—the essential feature of General Beauregard's plan—the more necessary in the exigency, as any military man may see.

* General Johnston's "Narrative of Military Operations," p. 35.

The co-operation with Garnett against McClellan was but a pos sible incident of the scheme of campaign, and could not properly have weighed in deciding the main question of General Johnston's concentration with General Beanregard, in order to defeat Mc Dowell and Patterson. These two results, even if not followed by the proposed movement into Maryland, and on the rear of Washington, would have driven McClellan back into Ohio, or, if he had ventured a farther advance into Virginia, would have left him at our mercy.

The third main reason which rendered General Beanregard's scheme "impossible" is thus explained in Mr. Davis's endorse ment :

" 3. The plan was based on the improbable and inadmissible supposition that the enemy was to await everywhere, isolated and motionless, until our forces could effect junctions, to attaek them in detail."

This is without weight or effect, and scarcely deserves a serious answer.

The enemy, on his first entrance into Virginia, had displayed the greatest hesitation and uncertainty in all his forward move ments. He felt that he was treading upon dangerous ground. It was the procrastination and lack of vigor of those who held the reins of power in Richmond which finally aroused in that enemy a spirit of assurance and conquest, until then dormant. To check his first steps forward was, therefore, for us, the all-important object.

General Beauregard's plans were not based on any '• improbable and inadmissible supposition," as Mr. Davis asserts, but upon in formation that the chief Federal force was about to be thrown for ward against him ; and his scheme, in accordance with a cardinal principle in war, involved an immediate concentration of our avail able masses, offensively to meet and overwhelm that advance. What actually occurred—the defeat of McDowell, after the long-delayed junction was brought about, under the disadvantageous conditions already alluded to—shows that the iirst and main feature of General Beauregard's plan, to which the others were mere consequences, was the true military course for the Confed erate authorities to pursue. Its success—as always in the business of war—must have deprived the enemy of the power to make his own movements at his own pleasure, and enabled us to beat him

successively in detail. Mr. Davis, in rejecting that plan, left the Confederate forces " to await everywhere, isolated and motionless, until" the Federal "forces could effect junctions, to attack them in detail." And this, we may add, was, unhappily, his military method throughout the war.

Says Mr. Davis, in his endorsement:

"4. It could not be expected that any success obtainable on the battle-field could enable our forces to carry the fortifications on the Potomac, garrisoned and within supporting distance of fresh troops; nor, after the actual battle and victory, did the generals on the field propose an advance on the capital; nor does it appear that they have since believed themselves in a condition to attempt such a movement."

Had the concentration been made, McDowell's forces would have been captured, with his munitions and transportation, leaving the works at Washington substantially unoccupied; and Mr. Davis had no authority for supposing that a supporting force was in reach. The whole history of the time shows that, after Mc Dowell's defeat, Washington was at our mercy, had we advanced upon it. That we did not do so was in no way due to General Beau regard or to his plans.

The concluding words in Mr. Davis's fourth objection, to wit— " nor does it appear that they (Generals Johnston and Beauregard) have since believed themselves in a condition to attempt such a movement," are an extraordinary assertion when it is considered that, not many weeks before this endorsement was written, the President had visited our army headquarters, at Fairfax Court-Hon. ,>, and had there been urged by Generals Johnston, G. W. Smith, and Beauregard, to make a concentration of our forces readily available, for an offensive movement upon the rear of Washington, the material for which was most minutely pointed out to him/" This second proposed concentration and forward movement was then entirely practicable, and the failure to make it at that time was one of the fatall} 7 false courses which charac terized Mr. Davis's control of the military resources of the Con federate people, by which he habitually neutralized the great ad vantage that we had in the possession of the interior lines.

The following are the concluding words of the endorsement:

"It is proper also to observe that t-here is no communication on file in the War Department, as recited at the close of the report, showing were the

* See Chapter XI., p. 142, and Appendix to the same chapter.

causes which prevented the advance of our forces, and prolonged vigorous pur suits of the enemy to and beyond the Potomac.


It was out of General Beau regard's power to know what was technically "on iile in the War Department," at the time Mr. Davis wrote his endorsement; but lie does know that the Presi dent had been fully advised in writing, directly and through the War Department, of certain needs with regard to subsistence and transportation ; needs which, left nnsnpplicd, as they were, made it impossible for that army, immediately upon the defeat of McDowell, to undertake the only practicable offensive movement, to wit', the passage of the Potomac, at or about Edwards's Ferry, into Maryland, and a march thence upon the rear of Washington.

If Mr. Davis had allowed General Beauregard to carry out his proposed plan of operations against McDowell and Patterson, we should have captured from the enemy all the requisite supplies that the President and the chiefs of the Commissary and Quarter master Departments had so signally failed to procure. This chap ter and several preceding ones of this work arc replete with proof of remonstrances ignored, of demands unheeded, of requisitions dis regarded, by Mr. Davis and the War Department, from the early part of June up to, and long after, the battle of Manassas.

The foregoing commentaries upon this " executive endorsement" may, at first sight, appear harsh, and, to a degree, unmerited. Put a critical examination will show their entire justice. Far eas ier and less painful would it be, when chronicling our defeat, to place the blame upon circumstances and not upon persons. Un happily for Mr. Davis, his conspicuous position as President, and the fact that his friends attempt to make of him the sacred cen tral figure of the late Southern Confederacy, to whom no reproach should ever be affixed, compel all conscientious writers, while pass ing upon his eventful career, to a clear and exhaustive exposition of the truth. Such has been our object in discussing the different parts of his criticism of General Beau regard's report of the battle of Manassas. We hold that even Mr. Davis cannot be allowed to controvert the historical events of that period ; that he is bound by them ; that he must accept the logical conclusions, whether for praise or for censure, of his own acts ; and as his words—written or spoken—have more weight in the minds of many persons than the assertions of other men, he should be held to a strict responsi-

bility, and judged with all due severity, whenever he gives rein to prejudice, or ceases to be fair and impartial.

In thus speaking, we are moved by no personal animosity to Mr. Davis—far from it; but knowing the truth of all the facts alluded to, and desiring that no injustice shall be done to one who, no less than Mr. Davis, had his whole heart in the success of the cause for which he fought, it is deemed a duty, as well as a right, to impart knowledge to the public, and show the source from which it is derived.

The singular circumstance that General Beauregard's report of the battle of Manassas is dated August the 26th, when it was not forwarded until the 14th of October,* has already been explained in a foot-note to be found in Chapter XII. of this work, page 165. A repetition here would be unnecessary. We merely submit the following letter, showing the exact time at which General Beau-regard's report was sent to the War Department.


" FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, October Hth, 1861. " General S. COOPER, Adj. and Insp. Gen., Richmond, Va.:

" Sir, —I have the honor to transmit by my aid, Lieutenant S. W. Ferguson, the report of the battle of Manassas, with the accompanying papers and draw ings, as well as the flags and colors captured from the enemy on that occa sion. Occupations of the gravest character have prevented their earlier trans mission.

" I send, as a guard to said colors, two of the soldiers' who participated in their capture.

" I remain, Sir, respectfully, etc.,

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, General."

After usin^ his best endeavors to vindicate his course and fur-


nish to " the student of history " all he should learn as to the facts of the case, Mr. Davis, with great apparent generosity towards his assailants, adds the following sentence: " It is fortunate for the cause of justice that error and misrepresentation have, in their in consistencies and improbabilities, the elements of self-destruction, while truth is in its nature consistent, and therefore self-sustain ing." f

We quite agree with Mr. Davis in this expression of a general truth. Is it possible, however, that, while penning the words

* General J. E. Johnston's Report bore the same date.

t "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 371.

quoted, lie failed to see the stinging irony of their application to that part of his own book which treats of this matter?

Among the many evidences of regard, in which General Beau-regard found consolation for official annoyances, came, just about that time (January 20th), the following letter from Governor Moore of Louisiana, transmitting the thanks of the Legislature of his State, for the victories of Sumtcr, .Bull Him, and Manassas.

"EXECUTIVE OFFICE, BATON ROUGE, "L\., January l±th, 18G2. " To Major-General G. T. REAL-REGARD :

" Sir, —I have the honor to enclose herewith, as requested, a copy of a joint resolution of the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana.

" The unanimous expression of the Legislature is but the echo of the equal ly unanimous voices of the people of your native State. "While they confide in the efficiency and rejoice in the success of the troops under your command, they entertain the highest esteem and gratitude for the talents and labor em ployed by you in preparing our volunteers for such successful action and in leading them to victory.

" In performing this pleasing duty, permit me to express my full and cor dial concurrence in the well-deserved tribute of thanks which our Legislature has offered you.

" "NViLli the highest consideration, I, very respectfully,

k> Your obedient servant, 4> THOMAS O. MOOHK, Governor."

Attentive, as ever, to the personal needs of his men, General Beauregard, on the 18th of December, addressed a circular to his division commanders, providing for the granting of leaves of absence, after Christmas, to officers and privates, in limited num bers at a time, and in the order claimed by the relative wants of their families and affairs—a necessary privilege to many who, at the first sudden call, had left their homes, and had, ever since, been absent from them. On the 24-th, however, upon learning that Congress had passed an act granting furloughs of sixty days to such twelve months' volunteers as would re-enlist for a term of two or three years, or the war, General Beauregard revoked, but with great reluctance, the leaves given, and ordered that, unless in exceptional cases, they should be granted to those only who would accept the provisions of the act. General Beauregard was informed of this wholesale method of granting furloughs through General Orders Xo. 1, from the Adjutant-General's ofiice, which was communicated to him as commander of the district, on or about the ICtli of January, with instructions to execute it at once,

but in such a manner only as might be compatible with safety to the service. For reasons already stated, this order and the instruc tions accompanying it were necessarily referred to General John ston, who deemed it best, at the time, to withhold its publication.

On the 17th, circulars under cover to General Beauregard, and separately addressed to his care, were received from Richmond, for all the colonels in the army, providing for the issue of recruit ing commissions from all regiments, battalions, and independent companies. This new official freak, on the part of the Acting Sec retary of War, following, as it did, closely upon the "bounty and furlough law," as it was called in the army, was calculated to do the greatest harm, and pressed heavily, not only upon company and regimental commanders, but, likewise, upon the generals in chief. General Johnston, alluding to this unfortunate interven tion of Mr. Benjamin, says in his "Narrative of Military Opera tions," page 90: "Either from defects in the law itself, or faults in the manner in which it was administered, it had the effect of weakening the army, by its immediate operation, without adding to its strength subsequently. Its numbers were greatly reduced before the end of the month by furloughs under the recent law, given directly by the Acting Secretary of War. It was further weakened, and its discipline very much impaired, by Mr. Benja min's daily interference in its administration and interior manage ment. That officer was in the habit of granting leaves of absence, furloughs, and discharges, accepting resignations, and detailing soldiers to labor for contractors, or on nominal service, taking them out of the army upon applications made directly to himself, without the knowledge of the officers whose duty it was to look to the interests of the government in such cases. lie also granted indiscriminately, to officers, privates, and civilians, authority to raise companies of cavalry and artillery—especially the latter— from our excellent infantry regiments, in some instances for merely local services."

Meanwhile, a widespread spirit of discontent arose, from with holding the publication of the orders of the department respect ing furloughs; and General Beauregard again found himself in the embarrassing position of being addressed and looked to by the War Department as the commander of the army, while in reality he had not been invested with such command by the commander of the military department.

To put an end to this embarrassing state of affairs, Colonel Jor dan, his Chief of Staff, urged upon General Beauregard the advis ability of dropping his practice of dating his orders from "Head quarters 1st Corps Army of the Potomac," and of informing Gen eral Johnston of the change, in order to avoid clashing with the War Department. General Beauregard acknowledged the sound ness of the advice, which had already presented itself to his mind, but, through a feeling of delicacy towards General Johnston, and being reluctant to appear, in any way, to encroach upon his pre rogatives as Commander-in-Chief, he once more declined to move in the matter. Opposition to the War Department or to any or der emanating therefrom, had nothing whatever to do with his de cision. Shortly afterwards, fault being again found with this corps command, General Beauregard, in order to avoid all further com plication and appearance of disobedience to orders, forwarded the following telegram to President Davis:

" CEXTREVILLE, VA., December 31sf. 1601. " To President JEFF. DAVIS, Richmond :

" Please state definitely what I am to command, if I do not command a corps, in consequence of latter being unauthorized.


To this no reply came, and the uncertainty continued—the War Department persisting in practically considering him as in command of the whole army; while General Johnston, though placed at the head of the Department of Northern Virginia, had not relinquished his claim to the same position.

The matter of recruitment had given anxious thought to Gen eral Beauregard, who reflected, with alarm, that, upon the disband-mcnt of the twelve months' volunteers, the army would consist mostly of raw recruits, in opposition to a force comparatively vet eran, and superior both in numbers and in all the appointments of war. Accordingly, on the 20th of January, he communicated to the lion. Roger A. Pryor, of the Confederate House of Represent atives, a plan with the following main features: The governors of the States, upon an immediate call by the Confederate govern ment, to lill the regiments in the field to their legal standard, by a draft of five hundred men for each; to hold in reserve an addi tional number of five hundred men, with which to raise them again to their full standard at the end of the term of the twelve months' men; the second quota to be furnished about one month

before that event—less, however, such number of "veterans" as should then have re-enlisted; the recruits thus excepted forming a reserve to supply occurring vacancies. Upon the arrival of the second quota, the officers of regiments to be elected, subject to ap proval after examination for competency; promotion to be, thence forward, by grade—the lowest grade being filled by election under like approval.

No action was taken by Congress upon these suggestions, and it is even doubtful that they were ever presented in that body.


The Part taken by General Johnston in the Battle of Manassas. — He Assumes no Direct Responsibility, and, though Superior in Hank, desires General Bcauregard to Exercise Full Command.—President Davis did not Plan the Campaign; Ordered Concentration at the Last Moment; Arrived on the Battle-field after the Enemy had been Routed.—Pursuit Ordered and Begun, but Checked inconsequence of False Alarm.—Advance on Wash ington made Impossible by AVaut of Transportation and Subsistence.

VARIOUS are the comments and animadversions that have been made upon the conduct of the Manassas campaign, and the Con federate victory resulting from it. The clearest and most satis factory evidence exists with regard to what then occurred. The public, informed of the truth, would have naturally accepted it; but public opinion has been studiously kept in a state of uncer tainty by the propounding of many insidious questions which may not here be passed without being set at rest.

What has been said, and is yet persisted in, by those who, through error or otherwise, have drawn false conclusions from the contradictory accounts of these events, may be classified and con densed under three heads :

1. Was it not General Johnston, the superior in rank of General Bcauregard, who planned and fought the battle of Manassas? Did not the latter merely act as one of the former's subordinates, and in obedience to orders received I

2. Was not President Davis the originator of the concentration of our forces at and around Manassas? AVas it not his timely presence on the battle-lield, and his inspiriting influence over the troops, that secured victory to our arms?

3. Why was not the pursuit of the enemy continued after the battle of Manassas? Admitting the impossibility of doing so on the evening of the 21st of July, why was it not attempted after wards ?

It is due to the distinguished services of General Beanregard, no less than to the truth, that each of the points enumerated above

shall be carefully and impartially examined, with the declared object not to argue, but simply to demonstrate.

I. It must be borne in mind that General Johnston arrived at Manassas on the 20th of July, at noon ; that is to say, only half a day, arid one night, before the battle of the 21st. He would cer tainly have arrived too late, had not the result of the action of Bull Run, on the 18th, deterred General McDowell from sooner making his contemplated attack. And it must also be borne in mind that General Johnston marched to the assistance of General Beauregard, not of his own free will, or to prepare for a battle he had already planned, but in compliance with a tardy telegram from Richmond, issued at the urgent request of General Beauregard, who, from the early part of June until that day, had never ceased to counsel concentration and an aggressive campaign. Such a junction had at last become an imperative necessity. General Johnston was forced to acknowledge it. Left free to use his dis cretion as to the "practicability" of the "movement," he lost no time in putting his troops in motion.

Now, what did General Johnston do upon reaching General Beauregard's headquarters at Camp Pickens ? Upon assuming command, did he immediately instruct General Beauregard as to what should be done in view of the corning conflict ? Did he draw up a plan of operations? Did he issue orders for the distribu tion and location of the forces already at Manassas, and of those that had just arrived, or might come in afterwards? Not at all. In his own words we have it (Johnston's "Narrative of Military Operations," p. 39) " that the position occupied by the Confed erate army was too extensive, and the ground, much of it, too broken, thickly wooded, and intricate, to be studied to any purpose in the brief space of time at my disposal; for I had come im pressed with the opinion that it was necessary to attack the enemy next morning, to decide the event before the arrival of General Patterson's forces." And here we might properly remark, that General Patterson never arrived, nor has it been shown that he ever intended to do so. Long before writing his book, General Johnston, in his official report, had said: "I found General Beau-regard's position too extensive, and the ground too densely wooded and intricate, to be learned in the brief time at my disposal, and therefore determined to rely on his knowledge of it and of the ene my's positions. This 1 did readily, from full confidence in his

capacity" And well may General Johnston have been impressed with the opinion that it was necessary to attack the enemy the next morning; for General Beauregard, in several letters to him, in messages delivered by special aids (Colonel Chisolm among them), and by his telegram dated July 17th, had clearly announced his determination, if reinforced, to attack and crush the enemy. Before proceeding further, we think it our duty to add that General Johnston is certainly mistaken when he asserts that Gen eral Beauregard's telegram asking — we might almost say implor ing — him to move on immediately, was only received on the 18th, when his answer to it is dated July 17th, and reads as follows:

''WINCHESTER, VA., July lltli, 18G1. "General BEAUREGARD, Manassas :

" Is the enemy upon you in force ? u

This shows conclusively how little General Johnston had thought of leaving Winchester, and how utterly improbable it is that he had planned a battle to be fought at Manassas, through a junction of his forces with those of General Beauregard. Does it not show, besides, how unwilling he was to move at all, unless assured that there was no exaggeration in General Beauregard's anticipa tion of a powerful impending attack ? It was necessary to telegraph to him again before he finally agreed to put his troops in motion. Hence their late arrival, some of them not coming up until the latter part of the battle. General Johnston had, evidently, no plan of his own when he reached Manassas. That he drew up no plan after his arrival there is quite as evident. He had no time in which to do so. The circumstances were too pressing, lie knew nothing of the position of our own forces, and still less of that of the enemy, lie was obliged to rely on the knowledge which General Beauregard had of the whole country at and around Manassas, and, though the superior in rank, he very wisely declined to assume the responsibility of a battle in the prepara-ations for which he had had no share. In his report General Beauregard says: "Made acquainted with my plan of operations and dispositions to meet the enemy, he (General Johnston) gave them his entire approval, and generously directed their execution under my command." This passage of General Beauregard's report corroborates and completes the passage quoted above from General Johnston's report. Ilad not such an understanding existed L— 13

between the two generals, how can it be supposed, first, that Gen eral Beauregard would have asserted it, and, next, that General Johnston would have allowed the assertion to pass uncontradicted, when we consider that the language used in General Beauregard's report would have virtually deprived General Johnston of his right ful claim to the command of our united forces.

We quote again from General Johnston's "Narrative of Military Operations," pp. 40, 41: " General Beauregard pointed out, on his rnap, five roads converging to Centreville from different points of his front, and proposed an order of march on these roads, by which the army should be concentrated near the Federal camps. It was accepted without hesitation; and, having had no opportunity to sleep in either of the three nights immediately preceding, I re quested him to draw up this order of march, and have the number of copies necessary written by our staff officers and brought to me for distribution that evening, while I was preparing, by rest, for the impending battle."

The order of march—that is, the plan of battle—is proposed by General Beauregard; "accepted without hesitation," by General Johnston, and "drawn up" by the former, while the latter is "preparing, by rest, for the impending battle." General John ston sleeps quietly, undisturbed by any direct responsibility for what is to ensue in the morning. He comes to assist General Beauregard, not to interfere with his plans. This fight is not his own, but General Beauregard's, and he so expresses himself in declining to direct the operations against the enemy. And while he thus tranquilly takes his rest, General Beauregard, who has no leisure to do the same, and has hardly had any sleep at all since the 17th, the day preceding the engagement of Bull Hun, goes on with the active preparations needed at the hour; issues and dis tributes the order of march and other orders; locates troops—his own and General Johnston's—as if reinforcements alone had been sent him, unaccompanied by an officer of superior rank.

"We admit, say those critics to whom this chapter is specially addressed, that the idea of concentration was General Beaure gard's; that the first plan of battle was his, likewise; but it was not carried out; the enemy's movements rendered it unavailing, and another plan was substituted in its stead. General Johnston, the superior in rank, being then on the field, who suggested it?

Our answer is, that a modification of the original plan had to

be resorted to, but was suggested—as had been the plan itself—by General Beauregard, and by no other. In his "Narrative of Mili tary Operations," page 42, General Johnston says: " The plan of operations adopted the day before was now, apparently, made im practicable by the enemy's advance against our left. It was aban doned, therefore, and another adopted, suggested by General Beau-regard. ... The orders for this, like those preceding them, were dis tributed by General Beauregard's staff officers, because they were addressed to his troops, and my staff knew neither the positions of the different brigades nor the paths leading to them." It matters very little whether "the enemy's advance against our left" had necessitated " another" plan, as General Johnston affirms, or mere ly a " modification " of the first, as he expresses it in his report, and as was really the case ; the essential fact that it was General Beaure gard—and not General Johnston—who again suggested it, remains the same, and is beyond dispute. And, here, truth compels us to add that the allegation that such orders "and those preceding them were distributed by General Beauregard's staff officers because they were addressed to his troops" is altogether erroneous; for almost all orders, from the afternoon of the day previous to that time, had been forwarded through General Beauregard's staff; the palpable reason being, that the officers of General Johnston's staff were in complete ignorance of the location of our various troops, as much so of General Johnston's as of General Beaure gard's. Xor must we forget that General Johnston was "prepar ing, by rest, for the impending battle," while all our forces—those already arrived or arriving—at Manassas, were being placed in position, by General Beauregard's orders.

Be this as it may, the fact is not the less plain that the new plan, or the modification of the original one, was conceived and offered by General Beauregard, and merely adopted by General Johnston. This forms an essential feature in our line of evidence, and in no inconsiderable degree adds to its weight. What we con sider ambiguous and incomprehensible are the following words, to be found in General Johnston's "Narrative of Military Opera tions," at the close of the paragraph we have given above: "Want of promptness in the deliver}' of these orders frustrated this plan —perhaps fortunately."

It is true that circumstances occurred which made necessary a, second modification in the details of General Beauregard's plan,

and this, we submit, should surprise no one; but what can be the meaning and intent of the words " perhaps fortunately," as applied to the change General Johnston alludes to? If the plan was unwise, why had he approved it? If it was judicious — as lie must have thought it—why does he afterwards cast a shadow of censure over it? It may have been because, having declined to assume com mand, he was unwilling to appear to oppose General Beauregard's views. Then, why should he lead the readers of his report and of his book to the erroneous belief that his was the controlling spirit directing each and every incident of the battle ? We can imagine only one set of conditions under which the frustration of the modified plan might have been a fortunate occurrence, and that is, that General Johnston, who was ignorant, as he admits, of the surrounding country, and had but superficially examined that plan, should himself havo undertaken to carry it into operation. Such could not have been the case with General Beauregard, who knew every inch of ground covered by our united forces, and certainly understood what he had himself conceived. In truth, though it seems idle to speculate upon the possible results of events that never occurred, General Beauregard thinks—and so do many of ficers of merit, well acquainted with the matter—that, if the plan alluded to by General Johnston had been executed in time, the rout of the enemy would have occurred early in the day, instead of late in the afternoon, and the whole of General McDowell's army— not a small portion of it only—would have been captured or an nihilated. The use of the phrase " perhaps fortunately " is, there fore, logically and truthfully speaking, without any justification whatever. Towards the end of his report, alluding to the fact of his orders having failed to reach the brigade commanders to whom they were forwarded, General Beauregard says: " In con nection with the miscarriage of the orders sent by courier to Generals Holmes and Ewell, to attack the enemy in flank and re verse at Centreville, through which the triumph of our arms was prevented from being still more decisive, I regard it in place to say," etc. And he here recommends a "divisional organization," which, he thinks, " would greatly reduce the risk of such mis haps " in the future.

All things considered, we feel justified in saying that the phrase "perhaps fortunately," though necessarily void of any effect, would mean more if applied to what might have happened to

the enemy, than it does in connection with the modified plan of General Beauregard. " Fortunately" for General McDowell's army, not u fortunately " for ours, the miscarriage occurred.

lief erring, in his report, to the movements of the enemy in the early morning of the 21st, and the non-arrival of the expected troops (some five thousand of his own) General Johnston says: "General Beauregard afterwards proposed" (Beauregard always proposing, Johnston always accepting) " a modification of the aban doned plan—to attack with our right, while the left stood on the defensive. This, too, became impracticable, and a battle ensued, different in place and circumstances from any previous plan on our side." On the other hand, his "Narrative of Military Opera tions," pp. 47, 4:8, has the following passage: " It was now evident tlmt a battle was to be fought, entirely different, in place and cir cumstances, from cither of the two plans previously adopted. . . . Instead of taking the initiative and operating in front of our line, we were now compelled to fight on the defensive, a mile and a half behind that line, and at right angles to it, on a new and un-surveyed field, with no other plans than those suggested by the changing events of battle."

The conclusion we arc to draw from this is, that, as first agreed, we were to fight according to plans prepared and proposed by General Beauregard and accepted by General Johnston; and that now—strange as the assertion may appear—we are about to fight according to no plan at all. We submit that the fact—if fact it were—of our fighting " with no other plans than those suggested by the changing events of battle," does not show, in the least, that General Johnston, either at that moment, or before or afterwards, ever assumed the responsibility of planning or directing the opera tions of the day.

We thus dwell upon General Johnston's assertions, made in his report and in his book, because we take it that no better evidence than his own can be adduced in matters where he is so directly concerned. More conclusive still does such evidence become, when corroborated, explained—though at times corrected—by pas sages of General Beauregard's report on the same subject-matter.

Before quoting again from General Johnston's work, let us briefly review the situation, as defined by its author. We are now fighting with no preconcerted plan whatever. We know nothing of the ground we stand upon. This, however, clearly applies to

General Johnston alone, for be admits the knowledge General Beauregard had of our own and of the enemy's positions. All our forces already on the field are being concentrated, as rapidly as possible, on the ground where the enemy compels us to give him battle. The weight against us is terrible. Our troops display the greatest gallantry, but are about to give way. Generals John ston and Beauregard are among them. They rally on their colors. The battle is re-established.

And now, at this critical moment of the day, " the aspect of affairs being not encouraging," as General Johnston says, a circum* stance occurred, which, better than any other, will serve to define the real position of the two generals, and finally determine to which of them unmistakably belong the success and glory of the battle of Manassas

We quote from the "Narrative of Military Operations," p. 48: " After assigning General Beauregard to the command of the troops immediately engaged, which he properly suggested belonged to the second in rank, not to the commander of the army, I re turned to the whole field." The language of the report is as follows: " Then, in a brief and rapid conference, General Beauregard was assigned to the command of the left, which, as the younger officer, he claimed, while I returned to that of the whole field."

The question naturally occurring to the reader's mind is, where, at that momentous juncture, was "the whole field?" We must not forget what General Johnston tells us, to wit, that the "field" is a new one; that the battle is being fought according to no body's plan ; that all our forces are either now engaged on, or be ing sent to, the ground where the enemy forced us to fight him, and where " the aspect of affairs is not encouraging." To what " whole field" is General Johnston, the " commander of the army," now about to " return ?" The word "return " implies the act of going back to a place—in this instance to a "field"—where one had been before. "Where was the " whole field," before ? Where was it at this time? The evidence General Johnston fur nishes shuts out all other conclusion than this, that by "return ing" to what he terms "the whole field," he was actually leaving the immediate field of battle. For here, on the ground where General Beauregard is now fighting, where all our forces—except reinforcements not yet arrived—are being massed, is unquestion ably the "field."

"With the passages just quoted from General Johnston's book and from his report, let us now connect what General Beau-regard, in his report, says of this period of the day: "As soon as we had just rallied and disposed our forces, I urged General Johnston to leave the immediate command of the field to me'' (the "field"—not the "left")—" while he, repairing to Portici—the Lewis House—should urge reinforcements forward. At first he was unwilling, but, reminded that one of us must do so, and that, properly, it was his place, he reluctantly, but fortunately, com plied ; fortunately, because, from that position, by his energy and sagacity, his keen perception, and anticipation of my needs, he so directed the reserves as to insure the success of the day."

This passage of General Beauregard's report, explaining the part General Johnston took in the battle, is marked by a high-toned courtesy and disinterestedness reflecting honor upon the spirit actuating it. lie there speaks of his superior in rank, of one who, in published orders, had ostensibly assumed command of the army, but, wisely declining to exercise his rights as such, had "generously permitted the carrying out of his (Beauregard's) plans." Feeling sure that if untrammelled in the command, he could achieve a victory, and fully appreciating the opportunity left in his hands by General Johnston's withdrawal from the field, he finds no words too eulogistic to express his gratification at the assistance General Johnston gives him—how I by sending forward reinforcements in anticipation of his needs.

General Beauregard's considerateness of feeling is all the more striking because what he says is in decided contrast with what General Johnston does not say, but clearly insinuates, both in his report and in his book.

The truth is, that the presence of the two generals on the field was worse than useless, under the circumstances. So long as Gen eral Johnston remained there, General Beauregard, in obedience to military etiquette, had to refer to him, before issuing any of his orders. Hence unavoidable delays must have occurred in their execution, which might have imperilled the result of the day.

General Beauregard had strenously exerted himself to procure the concentration of our forces at Manassas. He had suggested the plan which was now being carried out, though modified, so as to meet the inevitable changes and chances of a battle-field. To him, the immediate position of our troops and all the surrounding

country were "as familiar as a nursery tale," whereas they were wholly unknown to General Johnston. It was, therefore, both natural and just that General Beauregard should have the actual command of the army, as he certainly had the responsibility for the issue of the contest. General Beauregard was in command, not of the "left" only, but of our whole line, including the left, the centre, and the right. He issued orders to all our united forces then gathered on the field, the " new field," which, General Johnson says, had been substituted for the first. On that "field" did he command, fight, and win the battle, while General John ston, at his request, had gone to the rear to assist him by sending forward reinforcements. Not once during the whole battle did General Johnston give him a single order. All orders on the evening previous, as w r ell as on that day, were, as we have seen, suggested and issued by General Beauregard, and acquiesced in by General Johnston. From the moment the latter withdrew from the field, at 11.30 A.M., or about that time, until 4.30 r. M., when General Beauregard joined him at the Lewis House, he com municated only once with General Beauregard, and then, only to send him an unimportant message, through Colonel Lay, one of his aids. So might have done, and so did, Colonel Jordan, Gen eral Beauregard's Chief of Staff, and other subordinate officers, whose duty it was to inform the commanding general of all that occurred in their front, with a view to receiving further instruc tions from him.

Suppose General Beauregard, yielding to General Johnston's reluctance to take the position he had indicated for him at the Lewis House, had gone thither himself, would that have put General Beauregard in command of the " whole field " ? Yet that is the very position General Johnston would have wished General Beauregard to take, had not the latter "claimed" the command, which, for the reasons so often alluded to, had been given him by General Johnston himself. If the position taken by General Johnston, at the request of General Beauregard, was the proper one to be taken by the commander of the army, he should have gone thither of his own free will, as soon as " order was restored and the battle re-established." But he insisted upon remaining with the troops immediately engaged, and upon doing what Gen eral Beauregard actually did. Was it because he was the com mander of the army ? If the Lewis House was not the position

for the responsible commander, then such, most undoubtedly, was General Beauregard's on the field.

Much more could be said. Letters and documents could be quoted to corroborate the truth of every assertion here made about the point under examination. But it is deemed unnecessary, as it would only multiply—not strengthen—our evidence. The reader is referred simply to the two following letters—the first, an official one, from the Secretary of War, and the other from General Lee —which show conclusively to whom the honors of the victory of Manassas were accorded.

•' C. S. A. WAR DEPARTMENT, IkciiMOND, July 24tf, 1861.

" My dear General, —Accept my congratulations for the glorious and most brilliant victory achieved by you.

" The country will bless you and honor you for it,

" Believe Die, dear general, truly your friend,

" L. P. WALKER. " General G. T. BEAUREGARD."

'• RICHMOND, July 24JA, 1861.

"My dear General, —I cannot express the joy I feel, at the beautiful victory of the 21st. The skill, courage, and endurance displayed by yourself excite my highest admiration. You and your troops have the gratitude of the whole country, and I offer to all my heartfelt congratulations at their success.

"The glorious dead are at peace. I grieve for their loss, and sympathize with the living.

"May your subsequent course be attended with like success.


The War Department and General Lee no doubt knew that such letters would have been altogether irrelevant had the hero of


Manassas been General Johnston, and not General Beauregard, to whom they were addressed.

Ask the survivors of that first battle of the war—be they Vir ginians, Carolinians, Georgians, Alabamians, Mississippians, Ten-nesseeans, or Louisianians—who led them, on the 21st of July, 1861; ask them, when, broken down by exhaustion and over whelmed by numbers, they wavered and had all but lost the sense of their soldierly duties, who sprang before them, radiant with in spiriting valor, and, ordering their colors planted in their front, rallied them to these sacred emblems of country, honor, and liber ty ? We have written and reasoned in vain; we know not what

sounds and what echoes move most the hearts of those " who wore the gray," if one name—Beauregard's—is not the name they will one and all couple with that great victory.

II. A retrospective glance over the preceding chapters will con vince the reader that President Davis had nothing whatever to do with the plan according to which was effected the concentra tion of our forces at Manassas. General Beauregard's letter to him, written as early as June 12th, and the President's answer, are in existence to testify that General Beauregard, ten days after assum ing command at Manassas, and as soon as he had familiarized him self with our own and the enemy's positions, began urging con centration upon the Confederate government, in which he was steadily opposed by Mr. Davis. Failing in this, General Beaure gard asked for a junction of General Holmes's forces with his own, showing—General Holmes agreeing—the uselessness of that com mand in the position it then occupied. This, too, was refused. Grieved, though not discouraged, at his want of success in securing compliance with suggestions which he knew were not only wise but of the utmost importance, General Beauregard did all he could to prepare himself for the imminent conflict approaching. On the 8th of July he wrote to Senator "Wigfall the letter already placed before the reader (Chapter YIL), wherein is depicted the critical strait he was in, owing to slowness, want of forethought, and gen eral inefficiency in the management of military affairs at the seat of government. With fifteen thousand men of all arms, lie was threatened and would soon be attacked by forty thousand of the enemy's forces. He was determined to give battle, however, no matter what odds there might be against him ; for the Federal ad vance must be checked even at the heaviest cost. lie was evidently anxious that the President should be approached on the subject, so as to put a stop, at once, to the improvidence spoken of.

On the next day he forwarded the following telegram:

" MANASSAS, July 9th, 1801. " President DAVIS .•

"Enemy's force increasing and advancing daily this side of Potomac. Ho •will soon attack with very superior numbers. No time should be lost in rein forcing me here, with at least ten thousand men, volunteers or militia. I write to-day,

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

He did not write on that day, but did so on the llth of July,

setting forth the disparity of numbers between his forces and those of the enemy, and alluding to the apprehension of his left flank being turned and his communication with .Richmond event ually destroyed. "In view of the odds against me"—he wrote in that letter—"and of the vital importance, at this juncture, of avoiding the hazard of defeat, which would open to the enemy the way to Richmond, I shall act with extreme caution. If forced to retire before an overwhelming force, . . . my line of retreat can be taken, through Brentsville, to a junction with Brigadier-Gen eral Holmes, at or near Fredericksburg, whence we could operate on the line of communication of the enemy, ... so as to retard him by the way." lie wished it clearly understood, however, that should the enemy offer battle on the line of Bull Run, he would accept it for his command, against whatever odds he (the enemy) might array in his front.

Hardly had this communication been forwarded to Richmond, before he despatched thither Colonel Preston, and, immediately afterwards, Colonel Chestnut, with another and more extensive plan of concentration and aggression. It is given in full in Colonel Chestnut's report of his mission, to which we refer the reader.* The result was, that, after consultation with Generals Cooper and Lee, the President once more refused to accede to the plan of concentration offered him by General Beauregard. The enemy were yet too near their cover to allow any reasonable hope of the accomplishment of this proposed scheme, which was de clared to be a very brilliant and comprehensive one, but, withal, pronounced impracticable. Such, in substance, was the decision against the wisest—as it was undoubtedly the boldest—concen trated, aggressive campaign attempted during the war. Before sending to Richmond, General Beauregard, in a letter dated July 13th, had also communicated the outlines of this plan to Gen eral Johnston, whose influence in its support he was anxious to secure. lie was as unfortunate there as he was with the President. An expectant and defensive policy was, at that moment, the one absorbing thought of President Davis and of Generals Cooper, Lee, and Johnston.

At last the crisis came upon us. On the IGth of July General Beauregard was informed, by a secret message from Washington,

*To be found at the beginning of Chapter VIII.

that General McDowell had been ordered to advance, and would do so that very night. He forwarded this news to Eichmond, an-d, undaunted by his former fruitless attempts, urged the absolute ne cessity of ordering Generals Johnston and Holmes to join their forces to his.

Then it was—but only then—that President Davis consented to the long-suggested, long-prayed-for concentration, so repeatedly and vainly demanded. An order—not an imperative one, how ever— was sent to General Johnston, to move on to General Beauregard's assistance, " if practicable." It was dated July 17th, and has already been transcribed in these pages. Too late, thought General Beauregard, and he so expressed himself in his telegram to General Cooper, advising him that " the enemy will attack in force" the next morning. And the enemy did. The engage ment of Bull Run was fought and won ; and General McDowell, frustrated in this his attempt to carry our lines, fortunately for us, delayed his onward movement towards Richmond. Our suc cess was announced to the War Department; what answer came back? The despatch has already been given, but it is necessary to lay it again before the reader.


" We have no intelligence from General Johnston. If the enemy in front of you has abandoned an immediate attack, and General Johnston has not moved, you had better withdraw the call upon him, so that he may be left to his full discretion. All the troops arriving at Lynchburg are ordered to join you. From this place we will send as fast as transportation permits. The enemy is advised at Washington of the projected movement of Generals John ston and Holmes, and may vary his plans in conformity thereto.

" S. COOPEB, Adjutant-General."

Even at this critical juncture, when no further doubt could ex ist of the enemy's intention to rush upon our lines in overwhelm ing force—the inevitable result of our defeat being the capture of Richmond—President Davis, so far from having projected con centrating our forces at Manassas, was desirous of countermanding his order to General Johnston, on the 19th of July, and so caused General Beauregard to be advised.

No more need be said to show that the concentration of our forces at Manassas was due to the energy and untiring efforts of General Beauregard alone, and in nowise to any prevision or plan of President Davis, "who agreed to the proposed movement

only at the very last hour, sorely against his wishes, and only when he was forced to realize that an overpowering foe threat ened us with annihilation.

All this is written after a careful perusal of Mr. Da vis's book. Nowhere in it does he assert, in so many words, that it was he, and not General Beauregard, who first thought of and first suggest ed the junction of our armies at Manassas; hut, by using such expressions as, "the great question of uniting the two armies had been decided at Richmond," he creates a false impression on the reader's mind. That it was Mr. Davis who finally signed the con tingent order for the junction, and, to that extent, decided the question of uniting the two armies, is not contended. He was the Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy, and, as such, it was necessary that his consent should be obtained before a mili tary movement of so great importance could be carried out. It is clear that General Bcauregard had no right to order General John ston to make a junction with him. But that the suggestion came from General Beauregard, and that Mr. Davis, at the last hour only, issvied the necessary order, is none the less an undeniable fact.

And now, that many idle rumors of the first period of the war have died out, and plain historical facts have rightfully taken their place, is it possible that even the nearest of President Davis's friends can still seriously claim that the victory of Manassas was, in any way, due to his presence upon the battle-field ? So contra ry to truth is any assertion of the kind, so plainly obvious is the fact that President Davis saw nothing of the battle, and, therefore, took no part whatever in it, that we are at a loss for means of meeting the efforts of some of his admirers, who wish to give him the meed of praise exclusively belonging to another.

That President Davis came to Manassas on the 21st of July, with the probable intention of taking an active part in the battle, should circumstances justify his doing so, none who know any thing of the events of that memorable epoch are disposed to doubt or gainsay. But that, if such were his intention, he was disap pointed, is no less historically true.

In Johnston's " Narrative of Military Operations," p. 53, we read as follows : " Some half-hour after the termination of the battle, the President rode upon the field, conducted from Manassas Station by Lieutenant-Colonel Jordan. lie had arrived there from Richmond

when the struggle had just closed, and had, doubtless, hurried out to take part in it. The crowd of fugitives he had seen from his railway car, before reaching the station, had so strongly impressed upon his mind the idea that we were defeated, that it was not immediately removed by the appearance of the field. I judged so, at least, from his first words, while we were shaking hands: ' How has the battle gone ?' "

In Alfriend's " Life of Jefferson Davis" it is asserted (p. 305) that the President reached " the battle-field while the struggle was still in progress ;" that " to the troops his name and bearing were the symbols of victory;" that " while the victory was assured, but by no means complete, he urged that the enemy, still on the field (Heintzelman's troops, as subsequently appeared), be warmly pur sued, as was successfully done" (p. 313).

" These are fancies," says General Johnston. " He arrived upon the field after the last-armed enemy had left it, when none were within cannon-shot, or south of Bull Run, when the victory \vas 'complete' as w r ell as assured, and no opportunity left for the in fluence of his name and bearing."

General Beauregard, in his report, also alludes to the arrival of Mr. Davis on the battle-field of Manassas, just after the enemy had "given way and fled, in wild disorder, in every direction—a scene the President of the Confederacy had the high satisfaction of witnessing, as he arrived upon the field at that exultant moment."

True, President Davis, on his return to Richmond, was serenad ed in honor of the great Confederate victory, and was even ex tolled as " the hero " of that memorable day. But nowhere has it appeared, so far, that he ever laid claim to this honor, though he is said never to have had sufficient moral courage openly to re fuse it. Be this as it may, neither the efforts of his friends, nor the insinuations in his published work, will succeed in altering the facts of the case. History, in its wonted impartiality, will never accord him the honors of the plan of campaign, or of the concentration of the troops, or of the victory won on the hard-fought field of Manassas. On those points the true verdict of the country has already been rendered.

In a letter to General Beauregard, dated Richmond, August 25th, 18G1, Colonel Chestnut, of South Carolina, so aptly and for cibly expresses this opinion, that we feel impelled to transcribe his words. He wrote :

" The country owes you an immense debt of gratitude, and the world 1ms already paid you the tribute of just and unqualified admiration. The more the consequences of the victory at Manassas are understood, the greater and the more glorious will it seem.

" The unbecoming pruriency of some, and the voracious appetite of many

for even a fleeting notoriety, which have prompted undue and untimely claims

to all the honors of the fight, are to be regretted, but do not amount to any

serious grievance. After a little time truth will assign each his proper place.


" With great respect,

" Your friend and obedient servant,


III. A few words will suffice to explain why our victory was not pushed after the battle of Manassas.

It has already been shown—and a repetition here would be use less—how it happened that the pursuit of the enemy, though or dered and in course of execution, was checked and finally aban doned on the night of the 21st of July; and it has also been shown how "an unusually heavy and unintermitting fall of rain," the next day, made "an efficient pursuit," at that time, "a mili tary impossibility."" 1

The reasons why the pursuit was not taken up later have also been given in detail in Chapter X.

An army deprived of transportation and subsistence is utterly powerless. This is a self-evident proposition, that needs no argu ment in its support. That our army was in that position, despite the unceasing efforts and remonstrances of General Beau regard, is incontrovertibly true; that there was no necessity for such des titution is clear. At the opening of the war provisions were plentiful all over the land. The rich agricultural districts of Vir ginia, in close proximity to the army—not to speak of the entire South, so willing to contribute in every way to the success of a cause dear to all hearts—were stocked with food, wagons, and teams. It would have required but the most ordinary administra tive capacity, and but a small amount of enterprise, to furnish the army with the "twenty days'rations" in advance, so earnest^ and repeatedly called for by General Beauregard, and with transporta-

* See Chapter IX. Sec also the latter part of General Beaurcgard's re port.

tion enough to carry our combined forces into the city of "Wash ington.

We do not say that President Davis was opposed to the ad vance of our forces on Washington, or that he purposely prevent ed such an advance, and the investment and consequent capitula tion of the Federal capital which must have resulted from it; but we do say that, had he not persistently overlooked the just de mands of General Beauregard for transportation and subsistence, not only after but before the battle of Manassas, and had he not as persistently approved the narrowness of views and improvident methods of notoriously incompetent officials, whose shortcomings were so often brought to his knowledge, the Federal capital could have been captured by our victorious forces as early as the 2-ith of July. General Beauregard stated this as his conviction, in let ters to Representative Miles, and to Mr. Davis himself, when the latter called him to account for having been the cause of a con-


gressional investigation on the deplorable condition of our army, and its inability either to advance or retreat.

From New Orleans, March, 1876, in answer to the lion. John C. Ferriss, of Tennessee, who wished to be informed upon this point, General Beauregard explained how it was that no advance was made on Washington. We commend to the serious attention of the reader the following passage from his letter: " Our only proper operation was to pass the Potomac above, into Maryland, at or about Edwards's Ferry, and march upon the rear of Washing ton. With the hope of undertaking such a movement, I had caused a reconnoisance of the country and shore (south of the Potomac) in that quarter to be made in the month of June ; lut the neces sary transportation even for the ammunition essential to such a movement had not been provided for my forces, notwithstanding my application for it during more than a month beforehand / nor was there twenty-four hours'* food at Manassas, for the troops brought together for that battle" * The fact is, that some com mands were without food for forty hours after the battle.

It is unnecessary to dwell further upon these events. The thought of what could have been accomplished, but was not, and of the reasons for our failure, will continue to be for us the subject of lasting regret. Our army did not follow up the victory of Ma-

* The italics arc ours.

nassas, and march upon the rear of Washington, as already said, for want of transportation and subsistence. Transportation and sub sistence were lacking because the Commissary and Quartermaster Departments, which could have procured both, and had ample time to see to it, failed to do so through sheer improvidence and incapacity. L—14


Colonel Pryor, of the Military Committee of Congress, Visits General Beaure-gard at Centreville, to Propose his Transfer to the West.—General Beau-regard finally Yields to the Wishes of Congress and the Executive.— He Parts with his Army on the 2d of February, and on the 4th Arrives at Bowling Green.—Interview with General A. S. Johnston.—Succinct Review of the Latter's Situation.—Ignorance of the War Department with Reference to his Forces.—General Beauregard Desires to go Back to his Army in Virginia.—General Johnston urges Him to Stay and Assume Command at Columbus.—Inspection of the Works at Bowling Green.— What General Beauregard Thinks of Them.—He Suggests Concentration at Henry and Donelson to Force a Battle upon Grant.—General Johnston Fears the Risk of such a Movement, and Adheres to his own Plan of Op erations.—Fall of Fort Henry.—Conference at Bowling Green.—Memo randum of General Johnston's Plan of the Campaign.—His and General Polk's Army to Operate on Divergent Lines.—Evacuation of Bowling Green.—General Beauregard Asks for Specific Instructions.—Letter to Colonel Pryor.—Fall of Fort Donelson.—Its Effect upon the Country.— Criticism of General Johnston's Strategy.

TOWARDS the end of January, 1862, General Beauregard re ceived a visit, at his headquarters at Centreville, from Colonel Roger A. Pryor, of Virginia, a member of the Military Commit tee of the Confederate Congress. He informed General Beanre-


gard that he had been deputed by his committee, and the Repre sentatives in Congress of the Mississippi Valley States generally, to confer with him upon a plan then under consideration at Rich mond, and to urge him to give it his consent. This plan consisted in the transfer of General Beauregard to the conduct of the de fence of the Mississippi Valley, upon which public attention had now centred, and about the security of which great apprehensions were expressed. President Davis himself—Colonel Pryor said— was desirous of ordering the transfer, should General Beauregard agree to it.

The immediate command thus proposed to General Beauregard included the forces under Major-General Polk, with headquarters at Columbus, Kentucky, within the Department of Kentucky and Tennessee, commanded by General Albert Sidney Johnston.

Colonel Pryor gave many strong reasons for the transfer he had been sent to advocate, and mentioned, among others, the critical condition of affairs in that part of the country, owing, it was be lieved, to the bad organization and want of discipline of our troops, confronting whom were superior Federal forces known to be am ply furnished with all the appliances of war. "Well-founded fears of consequent disaster to the cause were very generally enter tained, which, Colonel Pry or thought, could only be averted by prompt and vigorous action on the part of the government.

General Beauregard at first declined to accede to the proposi tion, lie was loath to separate himself from the Army of the Potomac, more than half of which he had organized and disci plined, and whose conduct in the battle of Manassas, and throncrh-

1 C

out the minor operations of the fall,gave assurance of still greater successes for the coming spring campaign. Moreover, he had just undergone a surgical operation of the throat, the result of which might lead to serious consequences, should he be too soon exposed to the inclemencies of the weather. But Colonel Pryor, notwith standing the objections raised against the purpose of his mission, represented that General Beau regard's presence in the West was necessary to revive public confidence, then very much shaken by the defeat of Zollicoffer's command at Mill Spring, in eastern Kentucky, and that it would impart activity and efficiency to our operations. lie also made a statement—the truth of which, he said, was vouched for by the Acting Secretary of War, Mr. Benja min—that the effective force in General Johnston's department numbered fully seventy thousand men—forty thousand under Gen eral Johnston, in middle Kentucky, and the remainder under Gen eral Polk, in western Tennessee.

Meanwhile, many of General Beauregard's friends at Centre-ville and Richmond, aware of the efforts that were being made, sought to dissuade him from relinquishing his position in Vir ginia, and what was considered the chief field of operations of the Confederate forces. They argued, furthermore, that, should he consent to leave this army, he would never be allowed to return to it again, no matter upon what terms he might agree to accept the offer so alluringly presented to him. General Beauregard care fully weighed the strength of the arguments used on both sides. He knew that, owing to bad weather, impracticable roads, and other influences, there would probably be no military operations in

northeastern Virginia before the ensuing spring. lie was gratified by the high mark of confidence and consideration conferred upon him by the gentlemen of Congress in whose names Colonel Pryor had spoken. He was then, as ever, " the soldier of the cause and of his country," ready " to do duty, cheerfully, wherever placed by the constituted authorities." So he finally yielded to Colonel Pryors pressing representations, and informed him of his acceptance of the proposed transfer, but upon the three following conditions: first, that the Army of the West should consist of the effective force stated by him,* or, if not, should be sufficiently reinforced to enable him to assume the offensive immediately after his ar rival in the Mississippi Valley; second, that he should take with him his personal and general staff, and, if he required them, ten or twelve experienced officers from the Army of the Potomac—none above the rank of colonel—some of whom were to be promoted to be brigadier and major generals, the others to receive staff ap pointments, so as to aid in organizing and disciplining the forces to be placed under him; and, third, that he should return to the command of his own army in Virginia, as soon as his services could be dispensed with in the West, and, if possible, in time for the spring campaign. Colonel Pryor stated that he was not au thorized to agree to the last two conditions, but would telegraph the answer of the War Department from Richmond. According ly, on the 23d, he telegraphed the following assent:

" RICHMOND, January 23d, 1862. " General BEAUREGARD :

" Have not seen Toombs. Committee extremely anxious you should go. Judge Harris is sure President consents to all your wishes. I send letter in the morning.


A letter to the same effect came the next day; and, on the 25th, the War Department was officially notified of General Beau-regard's final acquiescence in the wishes of Congress and of the Executive.

So important to success did he consider it to have experienced

* The statement of this effective force at seventy thousand men, by Colonel Pryor, surprised General Beauregard to no small extent, as he could not un derstand how, with such a force in hand, General Johnston could so long re main inactive.

officers with him, that he immediately forwarded to the Adjutant-General's Department the names of six infantry colonels whom lie had selected for promotion and transfer to the West, and of the engineers and other staff officers of lower grade, who should accompany him. And, in order to prevent error or unnecessary delay, he sent his Chief of Staff, Colonel Thomas Jordan, to Richmond, to confer directly on the subject with the Secretary of War.

On the 2d of February he parted, with much regret, at Ma-nassas, from the last representatives of that great Army of the Potomac, which, afterwards, under the name of the "Army of Northern Virginia," achieved, by innumerable victories, undying renown for itself and its revered commander, General Robert E. Lee.

General Beauregard's journey from Manassas to Bowling Green, the headquarters of General Johnston, was marked by the most gratifying manifestations of confidence and enthusiasm on the part of the people. Every railroad station was crowded with men, women, and children, who, anticipating his arrival, had as sembled to greet him, and wish Godspeed and continued success to the "hero of Sumter and Manassas/' lie was detained a day in Nashville, at the request of the State authorities, to be presented to the Legislature and receive its welcome.

lie reached Bowling Green on the evening of the 4th, and there met, for the first time, General Albert Sidney Johnston, who gave him, on arrival in his department, a heartfelt greeting. The manly appearance, the simple, though dignified, bearing of this noble patriot and soldier, made a deep impression upon Gen eral Beauregard. He was drawn towards him by a spontaneous feeling of sympathy, which insured, in the future, complete har mony and effectual co-operation between them.

At General BeauregaixTs request, he made a succinct review of the situation in his department, and showed much anxiety when referring to the effects of Zollicoffer's late disaster at Mill Spring. General Buell had advanced his forces, numbering from seventy-five to eighty thousand men, to within forty miles of Bowling Green, at Bacon Creek, on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad; General Grant was at Cairo and Paducah, with twenty thousand men, pressing an expedition which was to move—General John ston thought—either up the Tennessee River, against Fort Henry,

or up the Cumberland, against Fort Donelson; and General Pope, with at least thirty thousand men, in Missouri, stood confronting Major-General Polk. The entire Federal forces, under the chief command of General Halleck, with headquarters at St. Louis, amounted to about one hundred and thirty thousand men. To oppose such a host, General Johnston stated that he had, at Bowl ing Green, some fourteen thousand effectives of all arms; at Forts Henry and Donelson about five thousand live hundred more, under General Lloyd Tilghman ; that General Floyd was covering Clarksville with eight thousand men, and that General Polk, in his district of West Tennessee and West Kentucky (but princi pally at and around Columbus), had some iifteen thousand men, not yet well organized and but poorly armed, including detached forces at Clarksville and Hopkinsville, under Generals Clark and Pillow. Thus the whole Confederate force in General Johnston's department numbered not more than forty-five thousand men of all arms and conditions.* Tens of thousands of men were anxious to go into the army to defend their homes, but the Confederate government had no arms for them.

This fearful disparity between the actual effectiveness of Gen eral Johnston's command and the fanciful figures which, by author ity of the Secretary of War, Colonel Pryor had given him, struck General Beauregard with amazement. He recounted to General Johnston the statement made of the strength of the Western army, and imparted to him the hopes he had entertained that, by a proper arrangement of the river defences for minimum garrisons, and a rapid concentration by railroad of all our available forces, we might suddenly have taken the offensive against Buell, who, unprepared for such an onslaught, would undoubtedly have been overpowered. Thus Kentucky would have fallen under our con trol, and its people would have freely joined the Confederate standard.

No less painfully surprised than General Beauregard was Gen eral Johnston, when apprised of the ignorance of the War De partment about matters within its peculiar province. He con firmed General Beauregard's previously expressed opinion, by declaring at once that he never would have remained on the


defensive with such forces under him, and with Buell only a short * General Beauregard-has furnished these figures from memory.

distance in his front. lie also said that he had little confidence in the defensive works on the Cumberland and Tennessee river?, to inspect, strengthen, and complete which he had recently ordered his Chief-Engineer, Major J. F. Gilmer, an officer of the old ser vice, whose worth was about to be tested.

When thus made acquainted with the deplorable situation of the Western department, General Beauregard, realizing to what an extent he had been misinformed, and how useless his presence would be to General Johnston, under the existing circumstances, informed the latter that, in his opinion, he had best return at once to Virginia, where an active campaign, in the early spring, was to be expected, and where he could be of more service to the cause than by remaining with a command which it was more than like ly would be forced to stand passively on the defensive. General Johnston strenuously objected to his adopting such a course. lie urged that General Beauregard's presence was most fortunate, and that his co-operation would be invaluable, not only in western Kentucky and western Tennessee, but in the whole Mississippi Valley. *

Those who are well acquainted with General Beauregard have often had occasion to note how largely the trait of self-forgetful-ness enters into his character. He gave a strong proof of the fact on this occasion. With much disinterestedness, he immediately offered to General Johnston to waive his rank and, acting as his


Chief-Engineer and Inspector-General, visit the various works and defences throughout the department, and make such suggestions for their improvement as his experience might dictate. But Gen eral Johnston was unwilling to accept so great a sacrifice, and in sisted that General Beauregard should go to Columbus, there to ascertain, personally, the exact state of affairs, being convinced that, upon doing so, he would no longer hesitate to assume com mand. So earnest and pressing was he on this point that General Beauregard acceded to his wishes, and began making preparations to leave by the Louisville and Memphis Railroad. It was his near est route, but, unless he used all due diligence, might bo closed to him by the destruction of the bridge over the Tennessee River, should Fort Henry fall into the hands of the enemy. lie delayed his departure, however, at General Johnston's request, and on the 5th of February inspected with him all the works in and around Bowling Green. lie found them to be very strong, and so stated

to General Johnston, though lie was not sure but that they could be turned a short distance above, on the right. He inquired whether, in such a case, General Johnston intended to remain and defend them. The latter replied that there was a ford not many miles above, and that, should the enemy advance by that way, upon his flank, he would be compelled to withdraw, as he was not strong enough to maintain the position with no army of relief to depend upon. General Beauregard having now asked what was the strength of Forts Henry and Donelson, General Johnston said they were tolerably well fortified, but he was doubtful of their ability long to withstand a determined attack. In the course of this inspection tour General Beauregard expressed his regret that the works at Bowling Green had not been limited to a tete depont on the north side of the Barren River, and to a single fort on the south side, to defend the bridge, and enable the garrison of the former work to retire at the proper moment and destroy the bridge. The time and labor spent upon these extensive works by General Gilmer, he thought, might have been far more judiciously applied in the strengthening of Forts Henry and Donelson—par ticularly the former—as the command of the Tennessee was next in importance to that of the Mississippi. Its loss would not only cut off communication between General Johnston's and General Folk's forces, but allow the enemy to penetrate to Eastport and Florence, near the Memphis and Charleston Railroad; thus effec tually turning all positions in middle Kentucky and middle Ten nessee, on one side of the river, and west Kentucky and west Tennessee, on the other side, down to the Memphis and Charles ton Railroad.

In view of the importance of holding Fort Henry, then serious ly threatened by the Federal forces under General Grant, General Beauregard suggested to General Johnston the following views of the situation, as the result of his reflections after their interview of the previous evening.

That our defensive line, extending from Bowling Green on the extreme right to Columbus on the extreme left, with Forts Hen ry and Donelson at about the middle of the line, formed a re-en tering angle of nearly thirty miles, which was very much weak ened by being intersected, nearly at right angles, by the two navi gable streams on which those forts were located; that our flanks at Bowline: Green and Columbus were so salient that the former

could bo easily turned and must fall by its own weight, and that the latter would become untenable also, should Grant's attack on Fort Henry succeed ;* that, therefore, he thought it urgently nec essary to abandon Bowling Green, except as a point of observa tion, and concentrate as rapidly as possible all readily available troops upon Henry and Donelson, so as to force Grant into a bat tle in that quarter, with decisive odds against him, and the disad vantage of isolation from immediate support. This General Beau-regard urged, not only as an essential measure towards regaining control of the Tennessee River, and maintaining that of the Cum berland, but as a means of placing our forces in a better position, with respect to the ultimate defence of Xashvillc, than that which they held at Bowling Green, which could not be looked upon as safe, on account of its being too salient, and too easily turned.f

General Johnston, although admitting the force of these observa tions, objected, substantially, that we were not in a condition to risk too much ; that if we failed to defeat Grant, we might be crushed between his forces and those of Buell ; that, even if vic torious over Grant, our own forces would be more or less disorgan ized, and if Buell, crossing the Big Ban-en River, above Bowling Green, and then the Cumberland above Nashville, should place himself between us and this latter city, and force us back against the Tennessee River (then open to the Federal gunboats), without the means of crossing or of extricating ourselves there from, we would be destroyed or captured, Xashville would fall, and the whole Tennessee and Mississippi valleys would be left un protected, except by the as yet ill-organized forces of General

* At Centrevillc, Va., and before his transfer, Geijeral Beauregard, while ex amining the military situation in the "West, had regarded the position of Forts Henry and Donelson as faulty, the true position for the works to defend these rivers being at an advanced point, where the streams approached each other within three miles; and this opinion lie had expressed in a conversation on the subject with his Chief of Staff, Colonel Jordan, at Centrcville. In his in terview with General Cooper, some days later, in the Adjutant-General's office, at Richmond, Colonel Jordan laid before him these radical strategic defects in the Confederate positions at Bowling Green, Forts Henry and Donelson, and Columbus. General Cooper expressed himself as convinced of the truth of these observations, and asked Colonel Jordan to present General Beaurcgurd's views to the President.

t The development of this plan of operations was also explained to Colonel Jordan by General Beauregard, before his departure for the "West.

Polk, at Columbus, which were themselves threatened by greatly superior numbers assembling in southeast Missouri. He further said that, at present, the main object should be to gain time to re move the supplies of ammunition and provisions collected at Bowl ing Green, and the still larger supplies of pork, grain, and cloth ing accumulated at Clarksville and Nashville, contrary to his ad vice, by the Commissary and Quartermaster Departments at Rich mond.

In answer, General Beauregard remarked, that even if these depots were to be endangered, it was more important to defeat the enemy than to protect the supplies; that Buell, being without a pontoon train, and unable to cross the Cumberland between Nash ville and Donelson, we could have time to escape from between the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, and establish ourselves be hind the new defensive line of Duck River, or probably reach Nashville, if required, before the arrival of Buell, who would have to make a much longer march. That our success must lie in fol lowing the cardinal principle of war, the swift concentration of our masses against the enemy's exposed fractions; and that if we could concentrate our forces for the offensive with greater rapidity, all other things being equal, we had the chances in our favor; and that in war it was "Nothing venture, nothing win." General Johnston admitted this, but said that, owing to the great responsi bility which rested on him, and the disaster to be apprehended to the Confederacy, should he meet with defeat, he must adhere to his intended plan of operations.

This was another of those fatal errors, and losses of priceless opportunity, which brought on the final defeat of our cause. The result was a proof of it.

Fort Henry, being attacked on the 6th, was surrendered on the same day, after a short, but soldierly, defence. Its commander, Brigadier-General Lloyd Tilghman, as soon as he discovered his inability to resist the overpowering land and naval forces brought against him, detached the supporting force — two thousand six hundred and ten strong—across the neck, to Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland River, remaining himself to work the guns with a handful of men—about one hundred—with whom he was cap tured.* This was a conspicuous example of self-sacrifice arid gal-

* That gallant officer was subsequently killed while defending Port Hudson, on the Mississippi River, shortly after his return from captivity, which he had

luntry, for General Tilghman would have been justified in retiring with the main body of his command, leaving a subordinate artil lery officer to defend the work until compelled to surrender. The railroad-bridge, only about twelve miles south of Fort Henry, was now burned by the Federal gunboats, and that line of communi cation between General Johnston and his forces at Columbus, western Kentucky, was cut oil', as had been apprehended, leaving, as the shortest route available, the line of railroad by Xashville, Dccatur, Corinth, and Jackson.

On the morning of the 7th, while confined to his bed by sick ness, General Beauregard was visited by General Ilardee, a class mate of his at the Academy at AVcst Point, who afterwards dis tinguished himself on many a battle-field during the Confederate war. Exposure to the weather had produced upon General Beau-regard's health the effect lie had feared when leaving Ccntrcvillc. He was then suffering from a severe cold, accompanied by fever, and the violent inflammation of the throat (laryngitis) which result ed therefrom, detained him at Bowling Green until its evacuation, and, for six months afterwards, caused him acute pain and much discomfort. The fall of Fort Henry had, more than ever, con vinced General Beauregard of the necessity of the concentra tion and aggressive movement he had already counselled. In his conversation with General Ilardee he reiterated this opinion, and it was agreed between them that General Ilardee should open the subject anew to General Johnston, and urge him to adopt General Beauregard's views. Later in the day a confer ence was held, at General Beauregard's room, between Generals Johnston, Ilardee, and himself, Colonel Mackall, A. A. G., be ing present part of the time. General Beauregard again called the attention of General Johnston to the movement of con centration against General Grant, which he thought still practi cable, if immediately carried out, General Ilardee concurring, though not with much earnestness. General Johnston, after some discussion, adhered to the objections he had already made to this plan, and gave his own views as to the future operations of the campaign. He being Commander-in-Chicf, and responsible for all

borne with no less patience than dignity. It is to be regretted that, since the war, calumny has endeavored to fix upon him the responsibility and odium of the loss of that and badly armed work. See, in Appendix, the report of General Tilghman.

that might ensue, his views necessarily prevailed, and Colonel Mackall having been called out to attend to some pressing matters, relative to the fall of Fort Henry, in his absence Generals Beau-regard and Hardee drew up a memorandum of General Johnston's projected plan, as then explained and insisted upon by him. He had declined to adopt General Beauregard's proposed concentra tion for the offensive, and had decided that his own and General Folk's army should operate on divergent lines. General Beaure-gard acquiesced in the details incident to General Johnston's cam paign, as stated in the memorandum. But this was the extent of his concurrence. He was the author of none of the movements therein enumerated. The views he had expressed were diametri cally opposite, and favored concentration against Grant at Donel-son.

The following is the memorandum referred to:

" BOWLING GREEN, KY., February !th, 18G2.

"At a meeting held to-day at my quarters (Covington House) by Generals Johnston, Hardee, and myself (Colonel Mackall, A. A. G., being present part of the time), it was determined that Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, having fallen yesterday into the hands of the enemy, and Fort Donelson, on the Cum berland River, not being tenable, preparations should at once be made for the removal of this army to Nashville, in the rear of the Cumberland River, a strong point some miles below that city being fortified forthwith, to defend the river from the damage of gunboats and transports.

" The troops at present at Clarksville shall cross over to the south side of that river, leaving only sufficient force in that town to protect the manufactories and other property, in the saving of which the Confederate government is in terested.

"From Nashville, should any further retrograde movement become neces sary, it will be made to Stevenson, and thence according to circumstances.

" It was also determined that the possession of the Tennessee River by the enemy, resulting from the fall of Fort Henry, separates the army at Bowling Green from the one at Columbus, Kentucky, which must henceforth act inde pendently of each other until they can again be brought together. The first one having for object the defence of the State of Tennessee, along its line of operation, as already stated, and the other one of that part of the State lying between the Tennessee River and the Mississippi.

"But as the possession of the former river by the enemy renders the lines of communication of the army at Columbus liable to be cut off at any time from the Tennessee River as a base, by an overwhelming force of the enemy, rapidly concentrated from various points on the Ohio, it becomes necessary, to prevent such a calamity, that the main body of that army should fall back to Huinboldt, and thence, if necessary, to Grand Junction, so as to protect Mem-

phis from either point, and still have a line of retreat to the latter place, or to Grenada, Mississippi, and, if necessary, to Jackson, Mississippi.

41 At Columbus, Kentucky, will be left only a sufficient garrison for the de fence of the works there, assisted by Hollins's gunboats, for the purpose of making a desperate defence of the river at that point.

" A sufficient number of transports will be kept near that place for the re moval of the garrison therefrom, when no longer tenable, in the opinion of the commanding officer.

" Island No. 10 and Fort Pillow will likewise be defended to the last ex tremity, aided also by Hollins's gunboats, which will then retire to the vicinity of Memphis, where another bold stand will be made.

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. C. S. A. '• W. J. HAIIDEE, Maj.-Gen.''

Orders were accordingly issued on that day (Ttli), for the evacua tion of Bowling Green, which was begun on the llth and com pleted on the 13th. General Beauregard left at that date, for Columbus, via Xashville. But the lapse of time and the hurrying of events since his conference with General Johnston made him desirous of obtaining, before his departure, specific instructions as to the immediate disposition of the force at Columbus. General Johnston, he thought, might have modified his views; or he might have received IILW directions from the War Department, it being well known that the authorities at Richmond favored the holding of Columbus. He therefore wrote the following letter, recapitulating the expressed views of General Johnston as to the military situation, and adding the suggestion that Columbus should be abandoned altogether, as soon as Island No. 10 could be made ready for defence; and that instead of his falling back to llumboldt, and thence to Grand Junction and other points in rear, he should hold the Louisville and Memphis and the Memphis and Charleston railroads, with Jackson as his centre, and llumboldt and Corinth as left and right flanks, with proper detachments at luka, Tuscumbia, and even Decatur; thus guarding his communi cations by the Memphis and Charleston Railroad with the east, as he apprehended incursions in advance of the enemy's main offen sive movement in that direction, by the Tennessee River.

" BOWLING GREEX, KY., February 12M, 1862.

" Gewral, —By the fall of Fort Henry, the enemy having possession of the Tennessee River, which is navigable for their gunboats and transports to Flor ence, it becomes evident that the forces under your immediate command and those under General Polk, separated unfortunately by that river, can no longer

act in concert, and will be unable to support eacli other until the fortune of war shall have restored the Tennessee River to our possession, or combined the movements of the two armies in rear of it.

"It also becomes evident that, by the possession of that river, the enemy can concentrate rapidly, by means of his innumerable transports, all his dis posable forces on any point along its banks, either to attack Nashville in rear, or cut off the communications of Columbus by the Mississippi River with Memphis, and by the railroads with the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.

" Should the enemy determine on the former plan of operations, your army, threatened also in front and on the right flank by Bnell's large army, will be in a very critical condition, and may be forced to take refuge on the south side of the Tennessee River. But should Hallcck adopt the second plan re ferred to, the position at Columbus will then become no longer tenable for an army inferior in strength to that of the enemy, and must fall back to some central point, where it can guard the main railroads to Memphis, i. <?., from Louisville and from Charleston. Jackson, Tennessee, would probably be the best position for such an object, with strong detachments at Humboldt and Corinth, and with the necessary advance guards.

" The Memphis and Charleston Railroad, so important on account of its exten sion through eastern Tennessee and Virginia, must be properly guarded from Inka to Tuscumbia, and even to Decatur, if practicable.

" Columbus must either be left to be defended to the last extremity by its proper garrison, assisted by Hollins's fleet of gunboats, and provided with provisions and ammunition for several months,* or abandoned altogether, its armament and garrison being transferred, if practicable, to Fort Pillow, which, I am informed, is naturally and artificially a strong position, about fifty miles above Memphis.

"Island No. 10, near New Madrid, could also be held by its garrison, assisted by Ilollins's fleet, until the possession of New Madrid by the enemy would compel that position to be evacuated. I am clearly of the opinion that to at tempt at present to hold so advanced a position as Columbus, witli the mova ble army under General Polk, when its communications can be so readily cut off by a surprise force acting from the Tennessee River as a new base, would be to jeopardize, not only the safety of that army, but, necessarily, of the whole Mississippi valley. Hence I desire, as far as practicable, specific instructions as to the future movements of the army of which I am about to assume com mand. If it be necessary for the safety of the country to make, with all my forces, a desperate stand at Columbus, I am ready to do so.

"I regret much that illness has prevented me from being already at my post, but during my stay here I believe I have made myself as well acquaint ed with your general views and intentions as circumstances have permitted.

* This alternative recommendation was based on the supposition that Com modore Hollins's fleet of gunboats would prevent, or at least retard, the com plete investment of the place, and that the country around Columbus was favorable to its defence.

and which I Tvill always be happy to carry into effect to the best of my abil ities.

" I am, General, very respectfully,

" Your obedient servant,

" G. T. BEAUREGARD. " General A. S. JOHNSTON, Comdg. Western Dcpt, Bowling Green, Ky."

General Johnston, being then busy with the evacuation of Bowling Green, informed General Beauregard, by messenger, that he would confer with him at Nashville upon his arrival there. He established his headquarters at Edgefield, opposite Xashville, on the 13th, and the next day the two generals met in conference at the residence of Mr. Stevenson, President of the Xashville and Chattanooga Railroad. General Beauregard was still quite unwell, but, notwithstanding his failing health, always attending, with scrupulous care, to the minutest details of his onerous duties.

In answer to his letter of the 12th, General Johnston said that his views were unchanged as to the plan of operations recorded in the memorandum of the 7th, with the exception that he assented to the entire abandonment of Columbus, should the War Depart ment approve of it. lie informed General Beauregard that when compelled to retire, he would do so along the line of the Xash-ville, Stevenson, and Chattanooga Railroad, to defend the country in that direction, and the crossing of the Tennessee River ; and, as it was probable that the Federal forces would soon interpose be tween them, General Beauregard must take charge of the defence of the Mississippi Valley without instructions or orders, using his own judgment, in the event of that separation, to counteract the movements and designs of the enemy in that quarter.

Before leaving Bowling Green, General Beauregard had tele graphed Colonel Pry or, at Richmond, to meet him at Xashville, that he might see with his own eyes, and make known to the Mil itary Committee and to the government the exact condition of affairs in the "Western Department. Colonel Pryor came as far as Lynchburg, Va., but hearing that communications with Nashville were interrupted, and that the enemy was at Florence and Tus-cumbia, concluded to go back to Richmond.

The day after his arrival at Nashville, General Beauregard. in reply to a letter from Colonel Pryor, dated February 9th, wrote him the following:

"NASHVILLE, TENN., February Hth, 1802.

" Dear Colonel, —Your favor of the 9th inst. has been received. I regret much you did not come on from Lynch burg, for the rumors you refer to were all unfounded, and the matters General Johnston and myself had to communi cate, through you, to the government, were of great importance—being to pro vide for the very unfortunate contingency now existing here.

"Moreover, I desired you to see for yourself and others the exact condition of things here, in justice to my own self; for I am taking the helm when the ship is already on the breakers, and with but few sailors to man it. How it is to be extricated from its present perilous condition Providence alone can determine, and, unless with its aid, I can accomplish but little. My health, moreover, has failed me completely lately. I was confined to my room by a wretched cold all the time I was at Bowling Green. It was the most unfort unate thing that could have happened to me ; for the loss of one or two weeks now is, or may be, most fatal to us. However, I am better now, and am hur rying on to my post as fast as possible. We must defeat the enemy some where, to give confidence to our friends. Large depots of provisions, ammuni tion, etc., ought to be provided for at Atlanta, Montgomery, and Jackson, Miss., etc.. without loss of time, for future contingency.

" We must give up some minor points, and concentrate our forces, to save tlie most important ones, or we will lose all of them in succession.

"The loss of Fort Donelson (God grant it may not fall) would be followed by consequences too lamentable to be now alluded to.

" General Johnston is doing his best, but what can he do against such tre mendous odds ?

" Come what may, however, we must present a bold front and stout hearts to the invaders of our country.

" In haste, yours truly,


; ' Colonel R. A. PEYOR, Richmond, Va."

General Beauregard left Nashville on the 15th, and as there was no train from Decatur that afternoon, resumed his journey next morning with the opportunity—which he desired—of observing the character of the country. At Corinth, on the morning of the 17th, Judge Milton Brown, President of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, arrived with a special train to take him to Columbus; but he felt so extremely unwell that he was compelled to stop at Jackson on the same day. There he became the guest of Judge Brown, from whose family he received the kindest attentions during his illness.

On his arrival at Corinth on the 16th, he found waiting for him two telegrams from Nashville—one from General Johnston, an other from Colonel Mackall—informing him of the fall of Fort

Donelson at 2 o'clock A.M. on that day. The fort had surrendered, and the whole army was lost, except half of Floyd's brigade, which had crossed the river; and the head of General Johnston's columns was about reaching Xashville.

On the Cth of February, after the fall of Fort Henry, Brigadier-General Bushrod E. Johnson had arrived at Fort Donelson and assumed command; but on the 10th was relieved by his senior, Brigadier - General Gideon J. Pillow, who had been a major-general during the Mexican war. On the llth, Brigadier-Gen eral S. B. Buckner came in with orders from General Floyd to withdraw his division to Cumberland City. These two officers, deeming the fort untenable for a long defence, preferred leaving a small force to hold it as long as possible, and then retire, if prac ticable, upon Nashville. General Pillow, who was still in com mand, insisted upon the retention of Buckner's division, and the transfer to the fort of Floyd's scattered forces, which that officer was still endeavoring to concentrate at Cumberland City. He ap plied to General Johnston, who ordered the movement on the night of the 12th. Meanwhile, Floyd, yielding to General Pillow's views, had entered Donelson on the 1.3th, before daylight, and as sumed command, his whole force being fifteen thousand effectives.-" On the 12th General Grant appeared in front of Donelson, and, early on the 13th, commenced its investment with fifteen thousand men, increased to twenty-five thousand on the evening of the same day. Commodore Foote, with a fleet consisting of two wooden and four ironclad gunboats, made a determined attack on the 14th, but was definitively repulsed. A brilliant and successful sortie was effected the next day by the Confederates, but, not being properly sustained according to the plan decided upon, it failed of favorable results ; so that, during the night between the 15th and 10th—as mentioned in General Johnston's telegram—the commanding offi cers, regarding the continuance of the struggle against the united Federal land and naval forces as likely only to lead to a useless sac rifice of life, concluded to surrender. This unpleasant duty devolved upon General Buckner. About ten thousand men were surrendered ; some two thousand were killed and wounded ; and about two thou sand escaped, with Generals Floyd and Pillow, by boats and other-

* Report of Colonel J. F. Gilnier, Chief Engineer. I.-15

wise; while some five hundred cavalry, with Colonel Forrest, passed out between the enemy's right and the river.

The fall of Fort Henry and the calamitous capitulation of Fort Donelson, resulting in the loss of Kentucky and Tennessee, were blows that staggered the Confederacy. A cry of condemnation arose against General Johnston, upon whom, as commander of the Western Department, rested the responsibility of these irreparable disasters.

The disappointment and profound discouragement that became manifest all over the country, but especially in that portion of it lying in close proximity to the scenes of our successive defeats, cannot be described. The demoralization of the army and the panic of the people were complete; and bitter complaints against the general commanding our forces were heard on all sides. Pleas of incompetency and lack of generalship were openly urged, and direct demands were made to the President to remove the Com-mander-in-Chief and thus save the cause from irretrievable loss. General Johnston, with that elevation of mind and uncomplaining fortitude for which he was conspicuous, bore, unflinchingly, and without explanation, the reproaches and accusations levelled against him, though he was most keenly alive to the withdrawal of public confidence from him.

On the 18th of March, about forty days after the events above related, he wrote to President Davis a long and earnest letter, wherein he described the disastrous results which had followed the aggressive movement of the enemy, and explained what seemed to him to make necessary his plan of campaign as given in the "memorandum " we have already mentioned, and his evacuation of Bowling Green, pending the battle that was then being fought at Donelson. The letter was evidently meant as a justification of his defensive policy, and contained a synopsis of his views and em barrassments at that period. No one will ever question his sin cerity or honesty of purpose as there expressed. Still, there are passages of this letter, and inconsistencies, almost amounting to contradictions, which it is but fair to point out and correct. We shall consider these matters at the proper time and place, as we proceed with our narrative.

Without wishing to cast undue blame on that gallant soldier, it may not be amiss to look back to what might have been done even with his small and ill-armed forces, had he followed a different

course and adopted General Beauregard's suggestions, made to him on the Gth of February, after their inspection of the works around Bowling Green.

General Grant, according to his official report, brought to the attack of Fort Henry, on the 6th of February, a force of fifteen thousand men of all arms. After a delay of a week he appeared before the unfinished defensive works of Fort Donelson with the very same troops, and was there joined, not earlier than the even ing of the 13th, by a reinforcement of ten thousand men, including Lew Wallace's division of BuelPs army. BuelPs army, meanwhile, was at Bacon Creek (on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, about fifty-five miles northeast of Bowling Green) and in southeast Kentucky, with not less than seventy-three thousand five hundred effectives in all. He would have had to march at least one hun dred and twenty-five miles by the shortest distance, and on un-macadamized roads, crossing two streams (the Big Barren and Cumberland), to form a junction with General Grant; which movement, with his many new levies, unused to marching, would have required at least ten days. That junction could not have been made before the 17th: whereas General Johnston had, at Bowling Green, on the 7th, about fourteen thousand men, of whom ten thousand could have been transported by rail—about eighty miles—to Cumberland city, thence, by boat—about twenty miles —to Fort Donelson, or by railroad to the vicinity of the fort, in two days at most; as there was ample rolling-stock available in west and middle Tennessee, and there was also a- sufficient number of steamboats at Nashville.* General Floyd had, at Russellville, eight thousand men, who, with over three thousand at Clarksville, could have been moved by railroad to Fort Donelson in two days at most from the date of the order. Fort Donelson already con tained a force of five thousand seven hundred and fifty men. Thus, after leaving some troops — chiefly cavalry — at Bowling Green, to keep up appearances of occupation and to delay Buell at the Big Barren River while removing the public property col lected there to Nashville, or southward, a force of about twenty-seven thousand men could have been thrown suddenly upon Gen eral Grant's forces near Fort Donelson, by the 10th of February

* There were, at that time, ten steamboats at Nashville, three of them in very good order. These three could have towed the others down the stream.

at the latest. Such a force would have had ample time, before the 13th, to work the annihilation of General Grant's forces of fifteen thousand men, and would have regained Fort Henry and the con trol of the Tennessee River. The other ten thousand reinforce ments of Buell's army, who arrived by boats on the evening of the 13th, would have met the same fate, had they landed on the left bank of the Cumberland. Such a victory over General Grant would certainly have deterred Buell from an offensive movement, while our own success would have given us the power to act im mediately against him.

The Tennessee River was next in importance to the Mississippi; and Fort Henry was the position of first strategic value, east of Columbus, in the defensive line then held by General Johnston. It was, therefore, deeply to be regretted that he spent so much time, from September 18th to October 12th, superintending the fortifying of Columbus, without giving proper and sufficient at tention to Fort Henry. The works at Columbus were made for a garrison of at least thirteen thousand men, armed with one hun dred and forty (mostly heavy) guns; while the War Department was short of guns for other defences and of men to operate with in the field, where the fate of the Confederacy was, after all, to be decided. The country about Columbus, on the left bank, after wards proved, on proper examination, to be such as to afford ad vantages to a land attack; yet stores, for six months, had been accumulated there, although it is a well-known axiom in engineer ing, that field-works capable of complete investment by a sufficient force, without local advantages, cannot make a long defence, un less there be lack of judgment on the part of the assailant, in the investment and mode of attack. A well constructed work at Columbus, armed with seventy-five or eighty guns, and with a gar rison of at most five thousand men, would have been capable of as long a defence as the extensive works there put up, leaving the remaining troops for operation in the field, and the remaining sixty guns for other works on the Mississippi, or for Fort Henry, on the Tennessee. The latter was a small and badly located work, com manded and enfiladed by heights within easy range, on both sides of the river/- It was armed with seventeen guns—twelve of them

* See reports of General Tilghrnan, commanding Fort Henry, and of Colonel Gilmcr, Chief-Engineer.

bearing on the river—and was manned by a force of two brigades, amounting to " two thousand six hundred and ten men, only one third of whom had been at all disciplined or well armed.''*

The position of Fort Donelson was no better, and its works were incomplete, until inspected and strengthened by Colonel Gilmer, on the 3d and following days of February.f Its armament con sisted of thirteen guns, two of them heavy ones. Had a reasonable portion of the time and labor misspent upon Columbus and Bowl ing Green been applied to the construction of proper defensive works on the Tennessee and Cumberland, and had the guns not required at the former places been added to those of the two forts and of other works on both rivers, our resistance at Henry and Donelson, if not finally successful, would have certainly afforded us ample time to retire with the whole of our forces, and to pre serve, unaffected by too crushing a defeat, the morale of our troops, and the confidence of our people in the cause we were lighting for. It is even likely that, with sufficient energy, a system of works might have been constructed, after General Johnston's as sumption of command, at the narrowest part of the neck of land where the rivers flow less than three miles apart, and nearly on a line with Bowling Green and Columbus. These would have given us complete command of the two rivers, and might have been defended by a limited force which could have been rapidly reinforced by boats held ready for the purpose, at Cumberland city, on the Cumberland River, or at Benton, where the Memphis and Louisville Railroad crosses the Tennessee River.

Under the circumstances, to prevent the loss of the Tennessee River, by which the whole country (including Columbus) north of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was turned, and that great line of communication immediately exposed, the only course for General Johnston was to concentrate, at the proper time, at Henry and Donelson, and, for that purpose, to hold his forces and means of transportation well in hand, so as to bo ready, at a mo ment's notice, to avail himself of his extraordinary advantages of communication by rail and water between his centre and wings. Thus Grant could have been opportunely met, and certainly crushed with superior numbers. After the fall of Henry this plan of con centration was again imperative for the regaining of the Tenncs-

* See General Tilgliman's 2d report.

t Colonel Gilmer's report, see "Confederate Reports of Battles,'' p. 113 et scg.

see and the saving of the Cumberland, besides the great advantage and prestige of destroying one of the Federal armies. The means for such concentration were ample. It could have been effected in two or, at most, three days, and in good season. After the fall of Henry, on the 6th, General Grant did not move upon Don elson until the 12th, with fifteen thousand men, and was only re inforced to the number of twenty-five thousand on the evening of the 13th; while General Johnston could have been present with twenty-seven thousand men on the 10th, at the latest. No serious conflict occurred until the garrison itself attacked the Fed erals, on the loth, and, in view of the brilliant success of that ef fort in its first stages, there can be no room for doubt as to what the result would have been if the Confederate forces had been ten thousand stronger.

General Johnston gave disproportionate consequence to the preservation of the depots of reserve supplies at Bowling Green, Clarksville, and Nashville. Their accumulation at those points was a serious error on the part of the government; and upon the assembling of such large, threatening forces along General John ston's front, these supplies should have been speedily removed far to the rear, leaving the country and the army clear and free for action. But, this having been neglected, the operations of the army and the opportunity to defeat the enemy should not have been subordinated and sacrificed to the immediate effort to save sup plies which, after all, were destroyed at Clarksville, and, in great measure, at Nashville.

This concentration should, therefore, have been made, or else Donelson should have been abandoned altogether; thereby saving its garrison, and part, at least, of the prestige of our arms. Gen eral Floyd, however, was left without specific instructions, until, with General Buckner's advice, he began to withdraw the hitter's division from the fort, but, upon General Pillow's remonstrance, was ordered by General Johnston, on the night of the 12th, to go into Donelson with all the forces under his control, aggregating within the fort an effective force variously estimated at from thir teen thousand to fifteen thousand men, in the reports, and by other authorities at seventeen thousand.* Upon the adoption of this