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[448] in proper position, with orders to take the offensive when it hears your engagement on the other side of the Run. I intend to take the offensive throughout my front as soon as possible.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


report of the Battle of Manassas.

Genl. G. T. Beauregard, Comdg. 1st Corps Army of the Potomac, to Genl. S., Cooper, Adj. and Insp. Genl., Richmond, Va.:
General,—Before entering upon a narration of the general military operations in the presence of the enemy, on the 21st of July, I propose—I hope not unseasonably-first, to recite certain events which belong to the strategy of the campaign, and consequently form an essential part of the history of the battle.

Having become satisfied that the advance of the enemy, with a decidedly superior force, both as to numbers and war equipage, to attack or turn my position in this quarter, was immediately impending, I despatched, on 13th July, one of my staff, Colonel James Chestnut, of South Carolina, to submit for the consideration of the President a plan of operations, substantially as follows:

I proposed that General Johnston should unite, as soon as possible, the bulk of the Army of the Shenandoah with that of the Potomac, then under my command, leaving only sufficient forces to garrison his strong works at Winchester, and to guard the five defensive passes of the Blue Ridge, and thus hold Patterson in check.

At the same time Brigadier-General Holmes was to march hither, with all of his command not essential for the defense of the position of Aquia Creek. These junctions having been effected at Manassas, an immediate, impetuous attack of our combined armies upon General McDowell was to follow, as soon as he approached my advanced positions at and around Fairfax Court-House, with the inevitable result, as I submitted, of his complete defeat, and the destruction or capture of his army. This accomplished, the Army of the Shenandoah, under General Johnston, increased with a part of my forces, and rejoined, as he returned, by the detachment left to hold the mountain passes, was to march back rapidly into the valley, fall upon and crush Patterson, with a superior force, wheresoever he might be found. This, I confidently estimated, could be achieved within fifteen days after General Johnston should march from Winchester for Manassas. Meanwhile, I was to occupy the enemy's works on this side of the Potomac, if, as I anticipated, he had been so routed as to enable me to enter them with him; or, if not, to retire again for a time within the lines of Bull Run with my main force. Patterson having been virtually destroyed, then General Johnston would reinforce General Garnett sufficiently to make him superior to his opponent, General McClellan, and able to defeat that officer.

This done, General Garnett was to form an immediate junction with General Johnston, who was forthwith to cross the Potomac into Maryland with his whole force, arouse the people, as he advanced, to the recovery of their political rights


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