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[87] and by the lengthening of the enemy's lines, and increase of distance from river, and reserves for quick reinforcements.

Respectfully submitted,

James Chestnut, Vol. A. D. C.

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.

My dear General,—I write in haste. What a pity we cannot carry into effect the following plan of operations: That you should leave four or five thousand men to guard the passes of the Blue Ridge, and unite the mass of your troops with mine. We will probably have, in a few days, about forty thousand men to operate with. This force would enable us to destroy the forces of Generals Scott and McDowell, in my front. Then we would go back with as many men as necessary to attack and disperse General Patterson's army, before he could know positively what had become of you. We could then proceed to General McClellan's theatre of war, and treat him likewise, after which we could pass over into Maryland, to operate in rear of Washington. I think this whole campaign could be completed brilliantly in from fifteen to twentyfive days. Oh, that we had but one good head to conduct all our operations! We are laboring, unfortunately, under the disadvantage of having about seven armies in the field, under as many independent commanders, which is contrary to the first principles of the art of war. Wishing you, however, ample success in your operations, I remain,

Yours very truly,

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 and Lee, 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

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