be resorted to, but was suggested—as had been the plan itself—by General Beauregard
, and by no other.
In his ‘Narrative of Military Operations,’ page 42, General Johnston
says: ‘The plan of operations adopted the day before was now, apparently, made impracticable by the enemy's advance against our left.
It was abandoned, therefore, and another adopted, suggested by General Beauregard
. . . . The orders for this, like those preceding them, were distributed by General Beauregard
's staff officers, because they were addressed to his troops, and my staff knew neither the positions of the different brigades nor the paths leading to them.’
It matters very little whether ‘the enemy's advance against our left’ had necessitated ‘another’ plan, as General Johnston
affirms, or merely a ‘modification’ of the first, as he expresses it in his report, and as was really the case; the essential fact that it was General Beauregard
-and not General Johnston
--who again suggested it, remains the same, and is beyond dispute.
And, here, truth compels us to add that the allegation that such orders ‘and those preceding them were distributed by General Beauregard
's staff officers because they were addressed to his troops’ is altogether erroneous; for almost all orders, from the afternoon of the day previous to that time, had been forwarded through General Beauregard
's staff; the palpable reason being, that the officers of General Johnston
's staff were in complete ignorance of the location of our various troops, as much so of General Johnston
's as of General Beauregard
's. Nor must we forget that General Johnston
was ‘preparing, by rest, for the impending battle,’ while all our forces—those already arrived or arriving—at Manassas
, were being placed in position, by General Beauregard
Be this as it may, the fact is not the less plain that the new plan, or the modification of the original one, was conceived and offered by General Beauregard
, and merely adopted by General Johnston
This forms an essential feature in our line of evidence, and in no inconsiderable degree adds to its weight.
What we consider ambiguous and incomprehensible are the following words, to be found in General Johnston
's ‘Narrative of Military Operations,’ at the close of the paragraph we have given above: ‘Want of promptness in the delivery of these orders frustrated this plan —perhaps fortunately.’
It is true that circumstances occurred which made necessary a second modification in the details of General Beauregard