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[59]

The troops were provided with rations for five days, before leaving Winchester.1 If any of them were without food at Piedmont, it must have been because they had thrown away their rations, then not unusual on a march.

The President remained at Manassas Junction until nine or ten o'clock A. M., on the 23d, employed chiefly in matters of military organization. When I recommended to him General Beauregard's promotion to the grade of general in the Confederate army, he informed me that the nomination had already been written, or determined on. He also promoted Colonel Elzey, Lieutenant-Colonel S. Jones, and Major W. H. C. Whiting, to brigadiergeneralciess. He offered me the command in Western Virginia, subsequently conferred on General Lee, promising to increase the forces there adequately from the army around us. In replying, I expressed the opinion that the Government of the United States would organize a great army near Washington, which would be ready for offensive operations before the end of the fall, when we might expect another invasion, on a much larger scale than that just defeated.

Being in position to command against it, I was unwilling to be removed to a much less important though more immediate service.

If the tone of the press indicated public opinion and feeling in the South, my failure to capture Washington received strong and general condemnation.

Many erroneously attributed it to the President's prohibition; but he gave no orders, and expressed

1 The rich neighborhood of Piedmont Station could have furnished food, if it had been needed.

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