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Chapter 6:

  • Secession of Virginia.
  • -- Confederate troops sent to her assistance. -- arrival of General Beauregard in Richmond. -- he assumes command at Manassas. -- position of our forces. -- his proclamation and the reasons for it. -- Site of ‘camp Pickens.’ -- his letter to President Davis. -- our deficiencies. -- mismanagement in Quartermaster's and Commissary's Departments. -- how he could have procured transportation. -- manufacture of cartridges. -- secret service with Washington.

Not until Fort Sumter had surrendered to the South Carolina troops under General Beauregard; not until Mr. Lincoln, misapprehending the attitude of those Southern States still nominally belonging to the Union, had made his requisition on them for their quota of men to aid in suppressing the ‘Rebellion,’ did Virginia, faithful to her old-time traditions, openly proclaim her adhesion to the Southern cause, and assume her rightful place among the seceded States. Hers was a disinterested step; one taken with a full appreciation of the inevitable dangers and devastation in store for her, owing to her geographical position. Her hesitation was but another instance of the historic firmness and deliberation which had always characterized her official acts, and it was, no doubt, her example which shortly afterwards determined the withdrawal of Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina.

No sooner had Virginia's voice, through her assembled convention, pronounced her severance from the North, than the seven States forming the Confederacy, anxious to welcome her among them, hurried forward to her support a portion of their best troops. As a natural sequence to this provident measure, it followed that the most experienced and successful of our military leaders were selected to be placed at the head of such commands. Hence the order transferring General Beauregard to Virginia. Pollard, in his work entitled ‘Lee and his Lieutenants,’ when writing on this subject, says: ‘Called for by the unanimous voice of the Southern people, he was now ordered to take command of the main portion of the Confederate army in northern Virginia.’ Pollard's

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G. T. Beauregard (3)
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