The War Department and General Lee no doubt knew that such letters would have been altogether irrelevant had the hero of Manassas been General Johnston, and not General Beauregard, to whom they were addressed. Ask the survivors of that first battle of the war—be they Virginians, Carolinians, Georgians, Alabamians, Mississippians, Tennesseeans, or Louisianians—who led them, on the 21st of July, 1861; ask them, when, broken down by exhaustion and overwhelmed by numbers, they wavered and had all but lost the sense of their soldierly duties, who sprang before them, radiant with inspiriting valor, and, ordering their colors planted in their front, rallied them to these sacred emblems of country, honor, and liberty? We have written and reasoned in vain; we know not what
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