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[346] strengthening Fort Pillow, New Madrid Bend, and Island No.10; urging General Johnston to abandon his retreat towards Stevenson, and march to Decatur, so as to facilitate a junction of the two armies; and, finally, despatching most of his staff, with special messages, to the governors of four States, and to Generals Van Dorn, Bragg, and Lovell, in one earnest and almost desperate effort to obtain and concentrate an army of about forty thousand men at or near Corinth, and thus prepare the way for the great battle which was fought on the 6th and 7th of April.

Nor had his ill-health prevented him from organizing and disciplining, as well as could be done, the heterogeneous army he had thus collected, to the concentration of which the government had merely given a silent, not to say unwilling, assent. For the reader must not forget that General Beauregard's letter to General Cooper, dated February 23d,1 detailing his course as to the temporary enlistment of State troops, had met with no response; and that, to his question addressed to General Johnston as to whether the War Department sanctioned his action in the matter, the answer, dated February 26th, was: ‘Government neither sanctioned nor disapproved.’2

The War Department had adopted the same irresponsible policy with regard to the troops at Pensacola, asked for by General Beauregard of General Bragg; the bald truth of the matter being, that General Bragg, having referred General Beauregard's call upon him to the government at Richmond, was left to his own discretion as to his compliance with it. He was never ordered at all, despite Mr. Davis's assertions to that effect;3 but came of his own accord, thereby assuming the full responsibility of the movement. That the government did not prevent the transfer demanded is all that can be claimed for it.

Not only had General Beauregard suggested and brought about the concentration of our forces at Corinth, but, after declining the command-in-chief, which was offered him by General Johnston, he had also, at the request of the latter, drawn up the General Orders, the seventh clause of which read as follows: ‘All general orders touching matters of organization, discipline, and ’

1 See Appendix to Chapter XVI.

2 Ibid.

3 ‘Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government,’ vol. II. p. 54.

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