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[134]

General Johnston, however, was opposed to the occupation of Mason's and Munson's Hills, and did not approve of the arrangement suggested, considering the line of Fairfax Court-House sufficiently advanced for all purposes; and even too distant for the support of Evansport. His main objection was the danger of being drawn into a serious, perhaps general, action, so much nearer to the Federal position than to our own. But General Beauregard believed that any expedition of the enemy, sent down the Potomac, might be at once neutralized by a bold movement from above into Maryland and on the rear of Washington. He was willing, besides, should it so happen, to exchange Richmond, temporarily, for Washington and Maryland. As to a general action, he desired it, for the reason that the Federal army was yet undisciplined, while our forces, as strong in numbers as might for some time be expected, were in the full prestige of recent victory; an advantage now clearly perceptible in the occasional encounters, with or without an action, between the respective reconnoitring and foraging parties, and quite conspicuous in the affair at Lewinsville, on the 11th of September—but sure to diminish, as time elapsed, by the great increase in numbers, discipline, and armament of the opposing forces.

The chronic evil—lack of transportation—had become the subject of anxious remonstrance from Captain Alexander, General Beauregard's Chief of Ordnance. With a portion of the army now at the threshold of the Federal encampments (Sept. 7th) his reserve ammunition had been more than a week awaiting transportation, for which requisition had been made on the 20th of August, on the Chief Quartermaster of the army corps.

These ever-recurring annoyances, resulting from the incurable inefficiency which had to be daily contended against, would have depressed and utterly discouraged a man less gifted than General Beauregard. But his activity, his energy and—we may add—his confidence in his own resources, seemed to increase with the obstacles thus thrown in his way. He could not and would not be despondent. His words, both to his officers and to his men, no matter under what circumstances, were always of a nature to inspire them with additional hope, renewed endurance, and confidence of success.

Through that quick, innate sympathy with military glory, which has ever distinguished the American people, General Beauregard's

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