official cognizance of, because no written communication had been handed to him at the time; and because, no doubt, he was unaware that a full report of the circumstance had been drawn up by Colonel Chestnut
, and was in General Beauregard
And here, perhaps, the following query may find a fitting place in this review: Did Mr. Davis
ever communicate to General Beauregard
his official endorsement upon the report of the battle of Manassas
If he had done so, his charge of ‘concealment,’ unjust though it is, would come with a better grace than it does; but, as he did not, his imputation of duplicity falls upon himself.
For, as the reader will hereafter learn,1
's endorsement, contradicting, with unreserved severity, statements made by General Beauregard
in his report, was an official paper, officially forwarded to Congress, but studiously kept from General Beauregard
The impugned memorandum was altogether an unofficial paper, prepared by the three generals for their own private files, without even a shadow of reproach against the President
, and merely intended as a reminder, hereafter, of an important military event.
Hence we say, it was a wise and eminently proper measure to prepare a written memorandum of what occurred at the Fairfax Court-House
‘Verba volant scripta manent
:’ an adage always to be appreciated for the sound, practical teaching it contains.
It is the right, no less than the duty, of leading men, in all countries and in all ages, to see to it that the truth concerning public events is carefully guarded and preserved, in order that it may not be easily tampered with, or made to degenerate into error.
As matters now stand, and thanks to the foresight displayed by Generals Johnston
, and Smith
, Mr. Davis
, no less than those who figured with him in the conference we speak of, must abide by its text, as recorded at the time.
And to show how completely Mr. Davis
errs, when he charges that he was kept purposely in ignorance of the ‘secret report’ he so bitterly denounces, we here state that it was seen of many men during the war—and not as a secret; and that, as early as 1867 or 1868—in other words, fully fifteen or sixteen years ago—General Beauregard
had this identical memorandum published in The Land We Love
—a magazine edited, at that time, by General D. H. Hill
, of North Carolina
It was commented on