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On page 67 of the second volume of Mr. Davis's ‘Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government,’ the following passage will be found:

General Beauregard had told General Johnston that morning, as he rode off, that if it should be necessary to communicate with him or for him to do anything, he would be found in his ambulance in bed. Governor Harris, knowing this, and how feeble General Beauregard's health was, went first to his headquarters, just in the rear of where the army had deployed into line the evening before. Beauregard and his staff were gone on horseback in the direction of Shiloh church. He found them there. The Governor told General Beauregard that General Johnston had been killed. Beauregard expressed regret, and then remarked, “ Everything else seems to be going on well on the right.” Governor Harris assented. “Then,” said Beauregard, “the battle may as well go on.” The Governor replied that he certainly thought it ought. He offered his services to Beauregard, and they were courteously accepted. General Beauregard then remained where he was, waiting the issue of events.

It is to be regretted, on Mr. Davis's own account, that he has given to the world as history so baseless a fiction.

A passage similar to this appears in Colonel W. P. Johnston's ‘Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston,’ but it had been determined, after due reflection, to pass it by in silence in this work. General Beauregard, it was thought, could afford to overlook a charge so palpably absurd. But Mr. Davis having thought proper to reproduce the statement, with the evident purpose of giving it the additional weight of his name and authority, we now feel impelled, though reluctantly, to refute the statement and set the matter finally at rest.

That General Beauregard's health was not good at the time of the battle is an admitted fact; but that, nevertheless, he displayed the most untiring activity and energy, and, within less than two months after his arrival in the West, mastered the minutest details of the military situation, and changed its whole aspect, by inspiring new hope and confidence in the public mind, then so much depressed, is no less certain, and has been proved beyond dispute, by the facts and documents already given to the reader in the preceding chapters.

With the clear perception resulting from his remarkable strategic powers, his ill-health had not prevented him from advising and effecting the evacuation of Columbus, until then erroneously considered the ‘Gibraltar of the West;’ fortifying and

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G. T. Beauregard (10)
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