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
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