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[67] occupied with public affairs as to preclude all attention to his personal interests and even his military outfit. He would have willingly remained a day or two in Richmond, in order to prepare himself better for the field; but the juncture was considered so urgent by the President and General Lee, that no such leisure was granted him, and he departed at once, with two of his aids, leaving other members of his staff, including his adjutant, to effect such arrangements as were necessary. He left Richmond on the 1st of June, and reached Manassas the same night, under the following orders:

Headquarters of the Virginia forces, Richmond, Virginia, May 31st, 1861.

Special orders, no. 149.

General P. G. T. Beauregard, of the Confederate States army, is assigned to the command of the troops on the Alexandria line. He is referred to the orders heretofore given to his predecessors in that command, for the general direction of operations.

By order of Major-General Lee, ‘R. S. Garnett, Adjt.-Gen.

We copy below an extract from the orders alluded to, as given to General Beauregard's predecessors, and transferred, as we have seen, to himself:

The policy of the State, at present, is strictly defensive. No attack or provocation for attack will therefore be given, but every attack resisted to the extent of your means. Great reliance is placed on your discretion and judgment in the application of your force, and I must urge upon you the importance of organizing and instructing the troops as rapidly as possible, and preparing them for active service. For this purpose it will be necessary to post them where their services may be needed and where they can be concentrated at the points threatened. The Manassas Junction is a very important point on your line, as it commands the communication with Harper's Ferry, and must be firmly held. Intrenchments at that point would add to its security; and in connection with its defence, you must watch the approaches from either flank, particularly towards Occoquan. Alexandria, in its front, will of course claim your attention as the first point of attack, and as soon as your force is sufficient, in your opinion, to resist successfully its occupation, you will so dispose it as to effect this object, if possible, without appearing to threaten Washington city. The navigation of the Potomac being closed to us, and the United States armed vessels being able to take a position in front of the town, you will perceive the hazard of its destruction unless your measures are such as to prevent it. This subject being one of great delicacy, is left to your judgment. The railroad communications must be secured, however, and their use by the enemy prevented. . . .

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