Though, as between General Beauregard and the Secretary of War personally, these letters were well answered by a significant silence on the part of the former, yet they produced on his mind a painful impression. In close proximity to an enemy far superior in number to our forces, and who, at any moment, might make an attack upon us—every hour of his life, apart from brief rest, being devoted to the hard task before him—he felt keenly this absence of support, and the refusal of such an easy increase to his scant resources; all the more strange, as it had been previously approved of by the heads of two high department bureaus, to whom it had been submitted, and whose sanction had clothed it with all sufficient authority. Notwithstanding—and immediately following—this correspondence, General Beauregard, ever forgetful of self, and thinking only of the interests of the cause, exchanged views with the President respecting this important point of army organization. It was done in the same spirit of friendliness and kindness of tone that had hitherto prevailed between them. The Army of the Potomac (General Beauregard's) and that of the Shenandoah (General Johnston's) had never been merged by any order of the War Department, but had been designated by both generals, since the battle of Manassas, the First and Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac, for convenience and abbreviation; and, though separate in administration, had been considered as acting together under the chief command of General Johnston, as senior officer present; General Beauregard retaining command of his own troops, and Major-General G. W. Smith taking charge of General Johnston's forces proper. That the War Department, as we have already alleged, was fully cognizant of this fact, is further shown by the very letter informing General Beauregard of the President's disapproval of such a division. A. T. Bledsoe, ‘Chief Bureau of War’—as he signs himself in that letter dated ‘War Department, Richmond, October 8th, 1861’—says: ‘The letter of Captain E. P. Alexander, ’
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