their own and check their antagonists.1 After that, manifestly; there was a complete lull in the battle until about 4 P. M., when, and no sooner, do the Federals appear to have advanced. General Beauregard has been blamed, unjustly, for withdrawing his troops just as they were being launched, on Sunday evening, against the last Federal position, with such numbers and impetus, by generals on the spot, as must have insured complete success. The reports of brigade and regimental commanders entirely disprove this allegation.2 His order, really, was not distributed before the greater part of the Confederate troops had already given up the attempt, for that day, to carry the ridge at the Landing.For further particulars as to the hour when General Beauregard's order to cease firing was given and received, we refer the reader to the Appendices to the present and the two preceding chapters. VIII. When error and falsehood have taken hold of public credulity, their eradication is an arduous and unpleasant task. The experience of life teaches this lesson to most men. And it often happens that even the fair-minded are slow to discard a conviction which has grown upon them and is strengthened by the assertions of those who are, or have been, high in authority. There seems to be a fatal attraction about the propagation of evil reports, which the preponderance of truth itself but tardily counterbalances and destroys. ‘Listeners,’ says Hare, ‘do seldom refrain from evil hearing.’ This applies to the unaccountable and malicious story, to which additional notoriety has recently been given, that General Beauregard, during the first day of the battle of Shiloh, up to the time when he was informed of General Johnston's death, was lying in his ambulance, taking no part whatever in the fight, and, that even after the fall of the commanding general, he ‘quietly remained where he was, waiting the issue of events.’ To listen to such a statement, and see credence given to it, must have been pleasing to those—fortunately few in number—whose object has always been to misrepresent General Beauregard, to ignore his merit as a commander, and rob him of the renown he acquired despite their jealous efforts.
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