for independence should win life and honor, or fail in disaster and ruin.
One or the other would necessarily be the fate of the Confederacy
Heavy, therefore, was the responsibility upon the commander who stood ready to meet the issue.
What General Beauregard
had urged upon the government, and so earnestly demanded, had not been accorded; the military aspect had also changed; and he was now forced to occupy that defensive position which he had tried his utmost to avoid.
's apparent hesitation in his forward movement, the confidence General Beauregard
had in his troops and in the wisdom of his order of battle, were most encouraging, and justified him in looking hopefully and fearlessly to the result.
Our line remained the same as on the 18th, except as modified by the distribution of the newly arrived reinforcements.
's brigade, the 2d Tennessee and 1st Arkansas regiments were placed in rear of Ewell
's brigade was shifted from the rear of Ewell
to the rear of Jones
's brigade; Longstreet
was supported by Bee
's and Bartow
's brigades (of General Johnston
's forces), posted at even distance in rear of McLean's and Blackburn's Fords; and, still farther in the rear, was Barksdale
's Mississippi regiment.
was supported by Jackson
's brigade (of General Johnston
's forces) placed at even distance in rear of Blackburn's and Mitchell's fords. Ten companies of infantry, two of cavalry, and a battery of four 6-pounders, under Rogers
, had been added to Cocke
's brigade, which covered the remaining fords—Island, Ball
's and Lewis
's—extending to the right of Evans
The latter, which formed a part of Cocke
's command, held the stone bridge, and covered a farm ford, about one mile above.
's Legion of infantry, which had reached the army that morning (20th), was at once thrown forward to the Lewis House
, as a support to any troops that might be engaged in that quarter.
Two companies of Radford
's cavalry were held in reserve, in rear of Mitchell's Ford, and Stuart
's (of General Johnston
's forces)—some three hundred men—occupied the level ground in rear, from Bonham
's to Cocke
Five pieces of Walton
's battery were in reserve in rear of Bee
's right, and Pendleton
's in rear of Bonham
's extreme left.
The following table shows the composition and the total strength, in men and guns, of the Confederate forces assembled on the morning of the 21st, awaiting the conflict: