The order issued by the War Department to General Johnston was not, as herein reported, to form a junction, “should the movement, in his judgment, be deemed advisable.1” The following is an accurate copy of the order:It is proper, in the outset, to state, that no copy of this endorsement was ever seen by General Beauregard until one was furnished him from the Bureau of War Records at Washington, in the autumn of 1880. Until that time he was unable to ascertain its exact tenor, which, for reasons of their own, his friends, in Congress and elsewhere, had carefully withheld from his knowledge. The words given, no doubt from memory, in the preliminary part of General Beauregard's report of the battle of Manassas, and purporting to be the substance of the order sent to General Johnston, under date of July 17th, 1861, are not identically the words made use of in the order. That is evident. But who can deny that, though different in exact phraseology, they convey precisely the same meaning? Will any one pretend that such an order could have been looked upon as a peremptory one, and that the only thing General Johnston had to do after receiving it, was blindlyGeneral Beauregard is attacked. To strike the enemy a decisive blow, a junction of all your effective force will be needed. If practicable, make the movement, sending your sick and baggage to Culpepper Court-House, either by rail or by Warrenton. In all the arrangements exercise your own discretion.2
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