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[348] in. You passed in front of the lines, and never was an order so reluctantly obeyed as was this order, “No cheering, men!” which had to be repeated at every breath, and enforced by continuous gesture.

General Johnston's prestige was great, but the hearts of the soldiers were with you, and your presence awakened an enthusiasm and confidence magical in its effect.


In corroboration of this we now give an extract from Colonel Jacob Thompson's report of the battle. Colonel Thompson was also one of General Beauregard's volunteer aids.1

Headquarters army of the Mississippi, Corinth, April 14th, 1862.
To General G. T. Beauregard:
* * * * * * * *

Soon after this, General Hardee, accompanied by his staff, came forward and pressed you to ride along his line and show yourself to his men. He believed it would revive and cheer their spirits to know that you were actually in the field with them. You accepted the invitation, though then complaining of feebleness, on condition there should be no cheering.2


These are high testimonials of the estimation in which General Beauregard was held by the corps commanders and by General Johnston himself. They illustrate and explain the power and influence he exercised over the troops. Neither officers nor men, to whom his very presence was encouragement and comfort, supposed, for an instant, as he rode slowly down their lines, that he was of too feeble health to lead them on to victory the next day.

In the hurry and absorption of the occasion, General Beauregard had not given orders for the establishment of his night quarters: he therefore slept in his ambulance. Then—that is to say, between eleven o'clock P. M., on the 5th of April, and half-past 4 o'clock A. M., on the 6th—had any officer of General Johnston's staff been sent to General Beauregard, the latter would have been found ‘in his ambulance in bed;’ then, but only then; for, ‘the next morning, about dawn of day,’ according to a statement prepared by General Bragg for Colonel W. P. Johnston's book, General Beauregard was present ‘at the camp-fire of the general in chief.’3 He had arrived there on horseback. From the time

1 Colonel Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi, had been Secretary of the Interior under President Buchanan.

2 See Appendix to Chapter XX.

3 ‘Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston,’ p. 569.

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