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[180] given. We will merely add that Mr. Davis evidently lost sight of the fact that even had he positively ordered the junction of the Confederate forces at Manassas, and not desired, as he did, to countermand it on the 19th of July, that junction, effected eight days after it had been suggested, in General Beauregard's name, by Colonel Chestnut, could very well fail to bring about the result then reasonably expected of it and so earnestly urged upon the government. As originally proposed, it was a measure of timely preparation for a clearly impending hostile movement on the part of the enemy; a preparation to meet that movement upon the only correct principle of war in the situation—the active defensive. As executed, it was a junction-unwillingly assented to, at the last hour, when the enemy was already upon General Beauregard with a largely superior force, and when most of the ‘consequences predicted’ could no longer be realized. For it must be borne in mind that the plan insisted upon by General Beauregard involved an offensive movement on our part after concentration; while the actual junction, when it was made, had become altogether imperative as a purely defensive measure; and what Mr. Davis points out as a different result from that originally proposed was but the necessary sequel of the rejection of General Beauregard's plan.

The endorsement of Mr. Davis proceeds as follows:

If the plan of campaign mentioned in the report had been presented in a written communication, and in sufficient detail to permit proper investigation, it must have been pronounced to be impossible at that time, and its proposal could only have been accounted for by the want of information of the forces and positions of the armies in the field. The facts that rendered it impossible are the following:

1. It was based, as related from memory by Colonel Chestnut, on the supposition of drawing a force of about twenty-five thousand men from the command of General Johnston. The letters of General Johnston show his effective force to have been only eleven thousand, with an enemy thirty thousand strong in his front, ready to take possession of the valley of Virginia on his withdrawal.

Mr. Davis's statement as to insufficiency of detail in the plan submitted to him forces upon him one of the following alternatives: He was either thoroughly informed of General Beauregard's proposal to him, and he, therefore, more than errs in alleging want of adequate knowledge of the question at issue; or he was without the necessary data to guide him; and, in that case, his rejection of a proposition which he had not comprehended was certainly unwise, if not unpardonable.

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