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[434] command of the troops covering and defending, as was then thought, the most important strategical point in Virginia-Harper's Ferry; that in his letters that officer fully sustained the opinions of others in regard to this point, and estimated its importance as very great, considered either as a place from which to operate against General McClellan, coming from the West, or Patterson, or McDowell; that suddenly he changed his tactics, and represented that the position was untenable, etc., etc., although it had been fortified; and that, abandoning at Harper's Ferry much valuable machinery, he took a new position at or near Winchester, where for several days, if not weeks, he remained in front of Patterson with the avowed object of crushing him-replying to suggestions and orders from Richmond to reenforce General Beauregard at Manassas, that it was essential that he should keep between McClellan and Patterson, to prevent their junction; and that when, finally, he obeyed an imperative and repeated order from Richmond to reinforce General Beauregard at Manassas, he managed so badly as to arrive barely in time to save General Beauregard from a defeat which would have brought great disaster upon our arms.

2. That, as ranking officer, General Johnston was assigned to the command of the army, and his plan was to assume the defensive, fortify Centreville Heights, and recruit the army there. His communications to the Richmond authorities, made voluntarily, and in reply to questions, indicated perfect satisfaction with the excellence and strength of the position and army, which was further shown by the concentration of a vast amount of stores and material of

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