name was now borne to the highest point of popularity.
He had struck the first blow at Sumter
, and had thereby asserted the existence of the Confederacy
He had struck the second blow at Manassas
, and had there demonstrated the power and vitality of our cause.
‘On the afflatus of victory,’ says the author of ‘The Lost Cause,’ ‘Beauregard at once ascended to the first reputation of the war.’
He was looked up to as the future military agent of Southern Independence.
The many letters of congratulation, and testimonials of sympathy, confidence, and esteem, he had received from every part of the country, and from all classes of our people, sufficiently showed the light in which he was held, and to whom chiefly, of all Southern leaders in the field, was attributed the triumphant achievements of our arms.
The real difficulties of the task he had performed were better understood by his officers and men; and, with them, the enthusiasm which his successes had created throughout the country took the form of an absolute devotion.
Nor was this all. Gentlemen of position and influence outside of the army now urged him to allow his name to be presented for the Constitutional Presidency
, the election to which was then approaching.
But he unhesitatingly declined, declaring his place to be only that of a soldier.
Led by that singleness of purpose which guided him throughout the war, and unelated, except by a just gratification that his efforts in the cause had borne fruitful results, and had brought him heart to heart with his comrades and countrymen, he at once directed his whole care to the reorganization of the troops in the field, to the preparation for new successes, and the advancement of the strategic frontier beyond the Potomac
Throwing forward a portion of his troops, by the 12th of September, he moved his headquarters to Fairfax Court-House, in order to be nearer to his outer lines, which now stretched from Springfield
, below Alexandria
, on the right, to the little falls on the Potomac
, above Georgetown
, on the left, enclosing the Federal
forces within a narrow circle, from which they made their observations and occasional sorties.
For the purpose of watching our camps, and of gaining information of what transpired there, a balloon was much used by the enemy, often in the night.
To deceive this inconvenient scrutiny, General Beauregard
ordered the kindling of numerous fires as soon as darkness fell, so as to suggest extensive bivouacs on our lines.
He had himself endeavored,