That evening (15th of May) Beauregard, passing along the lines, asked some of his soldiers if they were not tired of this sort of fighting, and said he “would change it for them.” ‘At 10 o'clock at night, on the 15th, Hoke's brigade commanders were summoned to his headquarters, informed that the offensive would be taken in the morning, and instructed in the plan of battle. Beauregard's plans showed the instinct of genius. They could not, under the circumstances, notwithstanding the difficulty of handling rapidly and effectively an army so recently organized, have failed substantially to have annihilated his antagonist, had not two of his division commanders failed him. The shortcomings of General Ransom and General Whiting are indicated in the official report.’Before 11 A. M., on the 15th, General Beauregard had sent instructions to General Whiting, then at Petersburg, and had fully informed him of his intended movement against Butler. His despatch to that effect was as follows:
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