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[163] pieces or captured in battle, the loss would fall too heavily on a single State; and in this Mr. Davis seemed to agree, as that form of organization was not further urged.

President Davis also wrote strongly, assuring General Beauregard that the Acting Secretary of War had intended no offense, asking him to overlook the language of the technical lawyer, and stating his conviction of the latter's regard and admiration for the General; though, meanwhile, Mr. Benjamin, certain of impunity, was writing, upon other matters, letters of like impropriety, under cover of the forms of conventional courtesy.

General Beauregard's attention was now drawn to a controversy, raised in the press, about that portion of a published synopsis of his Manassas report which revealed to the public his plan of campaign, as proposed to the President through Colonel Chestnut, for the occupation of Maryland and the capture of Washington,1 which had been, at that time, the 14th of July, 1861, discarded by Mr. Davis and pronounced impracticable. This publication, and the discussion arising from it, were subjects of much concern to General Beauregard, who, deploring all division among our leaders, refused to take any part whatever in the controversy. Finally, however, but only with a view to allay public feeling, he wrote to the Richmond Whig a letter, which called forth the warm praise of his numerous friends, who were anxious, as he was himself, that the cause of public defence should not be embarrassed by personal contests. We deem it proper to lay this whole letter before the reader.

Centreville, Va. (within hearing of the enemy's guns), Nov. 3d, 1861.
To the Editors of the Richmond Whig:
Gentlemen,—My attention has just been called to an unfortunate controversy now going on, relative to the publication of the synopsis of my report of the battle of Manassas. None can regret more than I do this publication, which was made without my knowledge or authority.

The President is the sole judge of when and what parts of the report of a commanding officer should be made public. I, individually, do not object to delaying its publication as long as the War Department shall think it necessary and proper for the success of our cause.

Meanwhile, I entreat my friends not to trouble themselves about refuting the slanders and calumnies aimed at me. Alcibiades, on a certain occasion, resorted to a singular method to occupy the minds of his traducers; let, then. ‘that synopsis’ answer the same purpose for me in this instance,


1 Chapter VIII:, page 85.

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