previous next
[183]

The co-operation with Garnett against McClellan was but a possible incident of the scheme of campaign, and could not properly have weighed in deciding the main question of General Johnston's concentration with General Beauregard, in order to defeat Mc-Dowell and Patterson. These two results, even if not followed by the proposed movement into Maryland, and on the rear of Washington, would have driven McClellan back into Ohio, or, if he had ventured a farther advance into Virginia, would have left him at our mercy.

The third main reason which rendered General Beauregard's scheme ‘impossible’ is thus explained in Mr. Davis's endorsement:

3. The plan was based on the improbable and inadmissible supposition that the enemy was to await everywhere, isolated and motionless, until our forces could effect junctions, to attack them in detail.

This is without weight or effect, and scarcely deserves a serious answer.

The enemy, on his first entrance into Virginia, had displayed the greatest hesitation and uncertainty in all his forward movements. He felt that he was treading upon dangerous ground. It was the procrastination and lack of vigor of those who held the reins of power in Richmond which finally aroused in that enemy a spirit of assurance and conquest, until then dormant. To check his first steps forward was, therefore, for us, the all-important object.

General Beauregard's plans were not based on any ‘improbable and inadmissible supposition,’ as Mr. Davis asserts, but upon information that the chief Federal force was about to be thrown forward against him; and his scheme, in accordance with a cardinal principle in war, involved an immediate concentration of our available masses, offensively to meet and overwhelm that advance. What actually occurred—the defeat of McDowell, after the longdelayed junction was brought about, under the disadvantageous conditions already alluded to—shows that the first and main feature of General Beauregard's plan, to which the others were mere consequences, was the true military course for the Confederate authorities to pursue. Its success—as always in the business of war—must have deprived the enemy of the power to make his own movements at his own pleasure, and enabled us to beat him

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Ohio (Ohio, United States) (1)
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
G. T. Beauregard (4)
McClellan (2)
President Jefferson Davis (2)
Patterson (1)
McDowell (1)
J. E. Johnston (1)
R. S. Garnett (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: