- Signal rockets and signal telegraph. -- General Beauregard advises coast defenses at New Orleans, Mobile, Galveston, and Berwick bay, and calls attention to the exposure of Port Royal. -- counsels General Lovell concerning River obstructions between Forts St. Philip and Jackson. -- General Johnston orders the troops into winter quarters. -- our lines formed at Centreville. -- Drainsville and Ball's Bluff. -- General Beauregard proposes to intercept General Stone's retreat, and also suggests resolute attack against McClellan's right. -- unfriendly correspondence between War Department and General Beauregard. -- uncourteous language of Mr. Benjamin. -- General Beauregard exposes the ignorance of the acting Secretary of War. -- controversy in the press about General Beauregard's report of battle of Manassas. -- his letter to the editors of Richmond Whig. -- the President accuses General Beauregard of attempting to exalt himself at his expense. -- he upholds Mr. Benjamin and condemns General Beauregard. -- dignity and forbearance of the latter.
While the organization of the army into divisions was being effected, General Beauregard, from close scrutiny of the Northern journals, had come to the conclusion that an early attack was meditated against his lines. To avoid all possibility of surprise, and deceive the enemy about his real strength, he caused rockets to be distributed to his command, with minute instructions as to their use. Very shortly afterwards, as night had just set in, Captain E. P. Alexander, whose zeal and activity were untiring, came to headquarters and reported that rockets were being thrown up, in a very strange manner, from the lines of the forces opposing us. General Beauregard at once ordered the discharge of the appropriate signals; and, in a few moments a counter-blaze of rockets swept the sky along the entire line of the Confederate pickets, which extended about ten miles from the Occoquan, on the right, to the vicinity of the Potomac, north of Falls Church, on the left. The consequence was a most extraordinary illumination, which produced an excitement in Washington, where charges soon became rife that officers of the War Department had given information of an intended advance by McClellan, in the night, which the Confederates had shown their readiness to meet.