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[160] connection. I am quite willing, indeed, that you shall decide whose “judgment” has been most at fault—that of your general, who has simply done what was essential to provide men to handle the rockets as soon as ready for use, and thus materially increase his means of defence and ability to maintain our imperilled cause; or that of the functionary at his desk, who deems it a fit time to weave technical pleas of obstruction, to debate about the prerogative of his office and of your Excellency's, and to write lectures on law while the enemy is mustering in our front, with at least three times our force in infantry, and four times as much artillery.

In the interest of the country, you have been graciously pleased to delegate to myself and other generals in command of the armies of the Confederate States, ample powers—which could be readily adduced — under which I could show full “warrant” for what I have done. Strange, indeed, were it not so; passing strange that a general officer, intrusted with such an army as I command, and the solemn, momentous duties imposed “upon him at this time,” should be left utterly without power to add to his forces a single company, in the simple manner proposed in Special Orders No. 353; and that the attempt to do so should fill a high public functionary with so much surprise that I can only be excused and “go unpunished” in view of my motives and defect of judgment.

* * * * * * * * *

Excuse me for the length of this letter, the subject-matter of which I now hope to dismiss, and about which I can have no controversy whatever with the Secretary at this time.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

As General Beauregard wrote the foregoing communication, another letter came from the Secretary on the subject of the appointment of a Chief of Ordnance, and the question of treating the armies of the Potomac and of the Shenandoah as two corps of one army, characterized, likewise, by an unjustified and offensive license of expression. This, also, General Beauregard felt bound to refer to the President, with the request that he might be shielded from a repetition of such personal attacks. He said:

I am willing that, in the future, my countrymen shall adjudge whether or not I have “studied” aright the legislation of Congress in relation to army organizations; whether, as the honorable Secretary courteously advises, I have taken the ‘pains’ to read the laws of Congress, made to “provide for the public defence;” or whether, in my ignorance of that legislation, I require enlightenment after the manner of the communication enclosed.

Meantime I am here, as the soldier of the cause, ready, to the best of my ability, to execute the orders of the government, either with regard to the organization of this army or its operations, asking only for definite orders from

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