thirty miles distant on his right, to form a junction with him at Manassas
And it must be remembered, that General Beauregard
's forces at that moment numbered about eighteen thousand men, while those of General McDowell
, at and advancing on Fairfax Court-House, amounted to some forty thousand.
And it was only because General Beauregard
's sagacious strategy forced the enemy to follow General Bonham
in his preconcerted retreat to Mitchell's Ford, the only strong point of General Beauregard
's defensive line, that he was enabled to defeat McDowell
on the 18th, and hold him in check until the 20th, when General Holmes
joined his forces with General Beauregard
's, and General Johnston
arrived with part of his own, the other and larger portion of which only reached the point of concentration about 3 P. M. on the 21st, while the battle was in fierce progress and we were near being overpowered.
Procrastination and hesitation are always fatal to military success.
It is through waiting for the enemy to develop his plans that great battles and great opportunities in war are lost.
Two days after forwarding his letter to the Richmond Whig—
to wit, on November the 5th—General Beauregard
addressed a communication to the President
, accepting his assurance that the Secretary of War
had meant no offence by his previous communications, but protesting that the latter should not call his motives into question, and, when seeking to point out errors, should do it in a more becoming tone and style.
Alluding to the reference made by Mr. Davis
to the ‘technical lawyer,’ He expressed his concern lest Mr. Benjamin
, following the professional bent of his mind, would view only the legal aspect of things, and insensibly put both the army and himself into the ‘strait jackets’ of the law.
, with the tenacity which characterized his whole career as President
, would not admit that the Secretary
whom he had selected could, under any circumstances, commit an error or impropriety.
And the injudicious support he had given, before, to Colonel Northrop
, he now, but more directly, bestowed upon Mr. Benjamin
, careless of the wide-spread evils which might result from such an act. If he did not prompt the course of Mr. Benjamin
he openly interposed himself to soothe the exaggerated susceptibilities