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[126] or retreat according to circumstances, otherwise disasters will overtake us in every direction.

For a long time I could not get more than twenty rounds of ammunition per man, when within a few miles (not over ten) from an enemy three times our strength.

I have applied for Colonel J. L. Kemper, 7th Virginia regiment, to be made Provisional Quartermaster-General of this and Johnston's army. I wish you would aid in the matter. I should like, also, to have General McGowan, of South Carolina, appointed in that department. He would be very useful. The best man for each position must be looked for and appointed forthwith, without regard to other considerations; otherwise we will never succeed in defeating the enemy, who is more numerous than we, and has more resources at hand.

In haste, yours truly,


Upon calm reflection, an impartial mind is forced to acknowledge that the failure of this campaign, during what were so appropriately called ‘the golden days of the Confederacy,’ was the unmistakable result of short-sighted and inefficient management, the responsibility for which rests upon him who, though clearly unable to give personal supervision to and direct each detail of the wheels of government, yet would allow no latitude either to the heads of the various bureaus of the War Department, or to the generals in the field.

The unceasing efforts of General Beauregard finally succeeded in stirring up the authorities at Richmond, and brought about some effort to produce a favorable change in the administration of the Quartermaster's and Commissary's Departments. This is testified to by the following letter of Hon. W. P. Miles, of South Carolina, then chairman of the Military Committee of Congress, addressed to General Beauregard, under date of August 8th, 1861:

Dear General,—Your despatch has just been received, and I hasten to send you copy of your letter, as you desire.

Whatever “the powers that be” may think of it, or however much they may fail to relish it, I have no doubt it has had, and will continue to have, a very salutary and stimulating effect. You may rely upon it, Congress and the country sympathize with you, although there may be and are differences of opinion as to the immediate advance upon Washington.

Very truly yours,


But the improvement alluded to—a spasmodic one, it would seem, and one which had been altogether compulsory—was only of very short duration. Colonel Myers, it is fair to say, seriously

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