before this, to procure a balloon from Richmond
, but without success; and though he afterwards obtained one from a private source, some defect in its construction rendered it of no avail.
Anxious not to lose the present opportunities, General Beauregard
now proposed to General Johnston
, who had also moved his headquarters to Fairfax Court-House, a plan involving a decisive battle.
General Gustavus W. Smith
with General Johnston
's forces, was to advance and menace the Federal
front, while General Beauregard
, passing southward of the Occoquan
, was to turn the Federal
left flank and attack it with vigor; an operation resembling that subsequently made by General Jackson
with brilliant success, near Richmond
, in 1862, though the Confederate forces, at the time of which we write, were in a condition, both moral and material, more favorable to success in such a movement.
, however, deemed it better not to hazard a battle at this juncture.
The necessity of organizing the forces into divisions had been a matter of discussion between the two generals.
As the lack of division-generals had been the principal cause of the unfortunate miscarriage of General Beauregard
's orders in the recent battle of Manassas
, he had shortly afterwards written to the Adjutant-General
on this important matter, and, later, had represented to the President
that both armies should be placed under one head, and commanded as the two corps of a single army.
The fact is that, as early as July 24th, only a few days after the battle of Manassas
, the division of our forces into two army corps, as suggested by General Beauregard
, had been practically effected by the two commanding generals
The War Department had not authorized the change, but had, by its silence, clearly acquiesced in it. This was followed by a recommendation, on the part of the senior generals
, of seven officers for appointment as major-generals, and of eight others as brigadiers, two of whom were already in command of brigades.
Towards the latter part of September General Johnston