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[199]

With the passages just quoted from General Johnston's book and from his report, let us now connect what General Beauregard, in his report, says of this period of the day: ‘As soon as we had just rallied and disposed our forces, I urged General Johnston to leave the immediate command of the field to me’ (the ‘field’—not the ‘left’ )—‘while he, repairing to Portici-the Lewis House—should urge reinforcements forward. At first he was unwilling, but, reminded that one of us must do so, and that, properly, it was his place, he reluctantly, but fortunately, complied; fortunately, because, from that position, by his energy and sagacity, his keen perception, and anticipation of my needs, he so directed the reserves as to insure the success of the day.’

This passage of General Beauregard's report, explaining the part General Johnston took in the battle, is marked by a hightoned courtesy and disinterestedness reflecting honor upon the spirit actuating it. He there speaks of his superior in rank, of one who, in published orders, had ostensibly assumed command of the army, but, wisely declining to exercise his rights as such, had ‘generously permitted the carrying out of his (Beauregard's) plans.’ Feeling sure that if untrammelled in the command, he could achieve a victory, and fully appreciating the opportunity left in his hands by General Johnston's withdrawal from the field, he finds no words too eulogistic to express his gratification at the assistance General Johnston gives him—how? by sending forward reinforcements in anticipation of his needs.

General Beauregard's considerateness of feeling is all the more striking because what he says is in decided contrast with what General Johnston does not say, but clearly insinuates, both in his report and in his book.

The truth is, that the presence of the two generals on the field was worse than useless, under the circumstances. So long as General Johnston remained there, General Beauregard, in obedience to military etiquette, had to refer to him, before issuing any of his orders. Hence unavoidable delays must have occurred in their execution, which might have imperilled the result of the day.

General Beauregard had strenously exerted himself to procure the concentration of our forces at Manassas. He had suggested the plan which was now being carried out, though modified, so as to meet the inevitable changes and chances of a battle-field. To him, the immediate position of our troops and all the surrounding

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J. E. Johnston (7)
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