Before commenting upon this report, and to illustrate—as we think we should—the character of the military administration of the Confederate
authorities, the following unofficial letter of General Beauregard
to General Johnston
is submitted to the reader.
It was written on the day before Colonel Chestnut
was sent to Richmond
He was striking at every door, as it were; for he believed in his plan, and felt that he could accomplish it. But the rigor of military usage—so inexorable at times—compelled him to seek assistance and support from those whose right it was to adopt or reject his views.
A high tribunal, composed of the President
, Generals Cooper
, took upon itself to check and render barren the strategic powers so greatly developed in General Beauregard
, and in which the immortal Jackson
alone is acknowledged to have been his peer.
Who can forget that, at the period of which we write, the Confederate
commander at Manassas
was looked up to as the first and, unquestionably, the most promising of our generals?
His prestige was undeniable.
Success, ‘the criterion of merit’ in military affairs, had already built up for him a reputation