From Milledgeville, General Beauregard had to travel via Macon, Columbus, Opelika, and Newnan, to get to General Hood's headquarters, as the latter had already left Palmetto to operate against the railroad from Atlanta to Marietta. The Opelika and Atlanta Railroad, from Fairburn to the latter place, was in the possession of the Federals, and Newnan was as near as General Beauregard could get with safety, as he had no escort with which to repel any hostile force he might meet on his way. He had stopped at Macon for a day to confer with General Cobb, whom he found, as ever, zealous and energetic, and who heard with joy how ‘oil had been poured on the troubled waters’ surrounding Governor Brown. From Macon, fearing that Colonel Harris, whose illness had been reported to him, might not recover, General Beauregard telegraphed General Hardee, recommending General Custis Lee, Colonel William Butler, or Colonel Alfred Rhett, as Commander of the First Subdistrict of South Carolina, in case of Colonel Harris's death. But, in the end, neither General Hardee nor General Jones removed the commander of that subdistrict. General Hardee was one of the finest corps commanders in the Confederate service; but, determined and intrepid as he was on the battlefield, he, like General Sam. Jones, was given to hesitation and procrastination when dealing with matters of importance in administration.
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