A correspondent of the Richmond (Va.) Dispatch
, Nov. 1, gives the following synopsis of Beauregard
's official report of the battle of Bull Run
I have been favored with a brief synopsis of portions of Gen. Beauregard's report of the battle of Manassas, which has been forwarded to the War Department, and which will doubtless be published in a short time.
Beauregard opens with a statement of his position antecedent to the battle, and of the plan proposed by him to the Government of the junction of the armies of the Shenandoah and Potomac, with a view to the relief of Maryland, and the capture of the city of Washington, which plan was rejected by the President.
Gen. Beauregard states that he telegraphed the War Department on the 13th of July of the contemplated attack by Gen. McDowell, urgently asking for a junction of Gen. Johnston's forces with his own, and continued to make urgent requests for the same until the 17th of July, when the President consented to order Gen. Johnston to his assistance.
Gen. Beauregard goes on to state that his plan of battle assigned to Gen. Johnston an attack on the enemy on the left, at or near Centreville, while he himself would command in front; but the condition of the roads prevented this.
It was then decided to receive the attack of the enemy behind Bull Run.
After the engagement at Blackburn's Ford, on the 18th, Gen. Beauregard was convinced that General McDowell's principal demonstration would be made on our left wing, and he then formed the idea of throwing forward a sufficient force, by converging roads, to attack the enemy's reserves at Centreville so soon as the main body of the latter became inextricably engaged on the left.
Late in the day, finding that General Ewell, who was posted on the extreme right of our line, had not moved forward in accordance with the programme and the special order which had been sent him, General Beauregard despatched a courier to Gen. Ewell to inquire the reason why the latter had failed to advance, and received a reply from Gen. Ewell, stating that he had not received any such order.
The enemy's attack having then become too strong on the left to warrant carrying out the original plan, as it would take three hours for General Ewell's brigade to reach Centreville, it became necessary to alter the plan, change front on the left, and bring up our reserves to that part of the field.
This movement was superintended in person by General Johnston, General Beauregard remaining to direct the movements in front.
At the time when Gen. Kirby Smith and General Early came up with their divisions and appeared on the right of the enemy, our forces on the left occupied the chord of the are of a circle, of which the arc itself was occupied by the enemy — the extremes of their line flanking ours.
The appearance of Smith's and Early's brigades, and their charge on the enemy's right, broke the lines of the latter and threw them into confusion, when shortly afterwards the rout became complete.
General Beauregard acknowledges the great generosity of General Johnston in fully according to him (Gen. Beauregard) the right to carry out the plans he had formed with relation to this campaign, in yielding the command of the field after examining and cordially, approving the plan of battle, and in the effective cooperation which General Johnston so chivalrously extended to him on that eventful day.
He remarks that the retreat of our forces from Fairfax, immediately previous to the engagement of the 18th, is the first instance on record of volunteers retiring before an engagement, and with the object of giving battle in another position.
The number under his command on the 18th July is set down at 17,000 effective men, and on the 21st to 27,000, which includes 6,200 of Johnston's army, and 1,700 brought up by Gen. Holmes from Fredericksburg.
The killed on our side in this evermemorable battle are stated in the report to have been in number 393, and the wounded 1,200. The enemy's killed, wounded, and prisoners are estimated by General Beauregard at 4,500, which does not include the missing.