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[443] General Beauregard was given to me; no dispatch on the subject came to me but that given on page 33, which is not “imperative.” General E. K. Smith testifies that I received no other; and that that one was acted upon promptly.

I am accused of arriving at Manassas barely in time to save General Beauregard from defeat. If the Army of the Shenandoah had actually come upon the field too late, the President would have been responsible, not I. For, instead of giving me information of McDowell's advance on the 16th of July, as should have been done, he dispatched his telegram on the subject in the night of the l7th, after the Federal army had encamped at Centreville, but three and a half miles from Beauregard's line, the Army of the Shenandoah being then at least four days march, for such undisciplined troops, from that position. The operations so criticised secured the concentration that, for the time, saved the Confederacy, by enabling us to gain the battle of Manassas. At the time, the Government and people of the South were satisfied with the Army of the Shenandoah, because it came upon the field soon enough, and fought manfully after coming upon it. Now, the novel charge is made that it arrived almost too late. 2. The two armies were equally on the defensive at the time apparently referred to. The result of the conference1 at Fairfax Court-House terminated our hope of assuming the offensive, and, in consequence, the army was placed at Centreville and intrenched.

So far from expressing satisfaction with the

1 See pages 75 and 76.

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