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[319] of his opponent, and correspondingly depress his new, hardly organized, and worn-out forces.

Meanwhile, with feelings of anxiety easily understood, he despatched couriers to Corinth, to hurry forward General Van Dorn's army of about twenty thousand men, daily expected there from Van Buren, Arkansas, from which point he had promised to form a junction with General Beauregard, at the earliest practicable moment. But the high waters, and want of means of transportation, had greatly delayed Van Dorn's movement. Had he arrived in time on the field, General Beauregard's intention was to have kept about five or six thousand men of that command with himself, as a reserve, and to have sent Van Dorn with the rest to attack Lew. Wallace's extreme right and rear, while he, Beauregard, would have attacked both Lew. Wallace and Sherman in front, with his own left. The fight there could not have lasted long. He would then have attacked successively, in flank, rear, and front, McClernand's and McCook's divisions; and afterwards, the other divisions towards their left. Had it been possible to execute that programme, there can be little doubt that the victory, on this second day of the battle, would have been more complete than on the first; and that it would have been ended before Wood's division, of Buell's army, could have come to the enemy's relief; for it was nearly dark when that division arrived.

While his couriers were hurrying on their way to Corinth, in search of news from Van Dorn's army, General Beauregard, still biding his time, and unwilling, yet, to hasten the moment of his predetermined retreat, went on supplying reinforcements to his front, with stragglers and stray commands collected from the woods and ravines in his rear. History, we think, furnishes no other example of a great battle, against such odds, being prolonged over four hours, with reserves thus brought together and organized.1

1 During the late war, General Beauregard's experience of Southern volunteers convinced him that they furnish the best material for soldiers. Active, intelligent, brave, self-reliant, and persevering, their powers of endurance are simply wonderful. After being three months under arms, they become as trustworthy on the field of battle as veterans; and no more than six months drilling is required to make them as proficient as regulars of two and three years service. But they soon consider themselves capable of passing judgment on their commanders; and, should these forfeit their confidence, they grow dissatisfied and intractable, and lose some of their best soldierly qualities.

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