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[84]

Chapter 8:

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A day or two after sending to the President the communication given at the end of the preceding chapter, General Beauregard, still hoping to obtain the government's assent to the concentration of our forces, in view of the impending offensive movement of the enemy, despatched to Richmond an aide-de-camp, Colonel John S. Preston, of South Carolina, a gentleman of ability and much personal weight, with special instructions to urge the absolute and immediate necessity of adopting his plan of operations.

No sooner had Colonel Preston left Manassas, than General Beauregard, engrossed with the all-absorbing idea of concentration—and, from information hourly received, certain of its wisdom —felt it impossible to remain passively on the defensive, while he had the opportunity of dealing a series of aggressive blows on the enemy, likely to produce decisive results favorable to the Confederate States. He therefore enlarged his plan of campaign, basing it partly upon the increased strength of our army, and sent another of his aids, Colonel James R. Chestnut, to present and explain it to the President. A memorandum, written by General (then Colonel) Samuel Jones, under General Beauregard's dictation, and containing the substance of all the instructions given to Colonel Chestnut, had been handed to the latter, to assist his memory, and prevent any misconception as to the main features of the projected campaign.

It is well for the truth of history, that these precautionary measures

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