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[258] state of confusion, gathered, as they had been, from many different quarters, as fast as they could be brought by rail, and were in large part poorly armed and equipped. Some of the regiments were not yet formed into brigades, and only one or two divisions had been organized. General Beauregard is clearly of the opinion that, had the Federal forces been handled with confidence and offensively pressed forward, they must have dispersed the troops he had then assembled there, especially as more than half of the Federal army consisted of seasoned troops, fresh from the successes of Forts Henry and Donelson, with supports at convenient distances, and abundantly supplied with munitions for offensive operations. In fact, General Johnston, regarding Corinth as too close to the Tennessee River, as a point of concentration on our side, had telegraphed General Beauregard, recommending the south bank of the Hatchee River, near Bolivar, as offering greater security. His telegram read as follows:

(ciphered Telegram.)

Decatur, March 15th, 1862.
To General G. T. Beauregard:
Have you had the south bank of the Hatchee examined, near Bolivar. I recommend it to your attention. It has, besides other advantages, that of being further from enemy's base.


This is very much in contrast with the assertions of some of General Johnston's panegyrists, that, as early as January, 1862 (others have it on the 1st and 4th of February), he had designated Shiloh Church—some say Corinth—as the spot where ‘the great battle of the southwest would be fought.’ This erroneous statement merits—and will receive—attention before that part of our narrative referring to the campaign of the West is closed.

General Beauregard differed with General Johnston on that allimportant subject, because, while willing to admit that the south bank of the Hatchee River was, possibly, a good defensive line, it was by no means, in his opinion, a proper one for the offensive he proposed to take, and in view of which he would have even preferred Monterey to Corinth, owing to its still greater proximity to the anticipated landing-point of the enemy. Events, however, justified his selection of Corinth, favored as he was by the hesitancy and lack of enterprise of the opposing forces, which enabled him to proceed, unmolested, with the measures of concentration

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