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[182] when General Johnston began to move from Winchester to Manassas, on the 18th, his army, with an average effective strength, per regiment, not much exceeding five hundred men, could be computed at not less than ten thousand, exclusive of artillery and cavalry, exclusive also of the sick—seventeen hundred in number —who were comfortably provided for in Winchester.1 These, however, are mere side issues, and not at all connected with the question really before us. General Beauregard never pretended to know, except by approximation, the exact force under General Johnston. What he wished and asked for was the concentration of that force, such as it might be, with his own, in order to strike the enemy with masses, not with fractions, and thus compel him, not us, to take the defensive. When General Beauregard recommended that concentration and predicted its results, he had every reason to be confident that the advance of McDowell was immediately impending; and had Mr. Davis allowed the scheme to be carried out, in anticipation of what the enemy was preparing to do, but had not yet actually done, the junction of our forces would have taken place at least forty-eight hours earlier than the date at which it was effected, and Bull Run would have been fought with the combined forces of both Generals Johnston and Beauregard, to say nothing of General Holmes, who naturally would have followed and joined in the movement, and McDowell's army would have been annihilated, or turned and cut off from Washington.

Mr. Davis's endorsement goes on as follows:

2. It proposed to continue operations, by effecting a junction of a part of the victorious forces with the army of General Garnett, in Western Virginia; General Garnett's forces amounted only to three or four thousand men, then known to be in rapid retreat before vastly superior forces under McClellan, and the news that he was himself killed and his army scattered arrived within forty-eight hours of Colonel Chestnut's arrival in Richmond.

This reference to the Garnett disaster is characteristic of Mr. Davis as a polemist, and we chiefly touch upon it to assert that, at the time he decided adversely on the general plan laid before him, he was not aware of what had happened to Garnett, an event which could only have made the concentration at Manassas—the essential feature of General Beauregard's plan—the more necessary in the exigency, as any military man may see.

1 General Johnston's ‘Narrative of Military Operations,’ p. 35.

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