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[264] is sent to the West, he finds everything wrong in General A. S. Johnston's department. The line of defence has been badly chosen, the works to strengthen it have been laid out without judgment, the vital importance of the defence of the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers has not been foreseen or properly provided for. General Beauregard promptly proposes a plan of operations to counteract these blunders. It is not adopted, and hence follow, in his opinion, the fall of Donelson and the subsequent disasters of the Confederates. Again, it is General Beauregard who, in spite of the indifference or opposition of his Government, and without the aid of his commanding officer, collects and organizes an army at Corinth, urges and finally induces General Johnston to unite his forces with it, and plans and does everything about the battle of Shiloh—except to fight it. General Beauregard is made to stand out as a solitary rock in a sea of incompetency and petty jealousy. Yet when the chief command devolved upon Beauregard, by the death of Johnston, he no doubt realized more fully how much easier it was to criticize the shortcomings of others than to master the tremendous difficulties which beset the Confederate Government and its Generals in the field. A great victory was just within the grasp of the Confederates. It was allowed to slip away from them. Next day the tables were turned, and Beauregard was forced to retire to Corinth. Weeks followed, during which not a single stroke by the Confederates checked the onward progress of the Federal arms in the West. Beauregard's strategy consisted in waiting at Corinth until the advance of the Federal army made a retreat necessary. He then fell back to Tupelo.

Again we find it impossible to sympathize with the violent attacks made upon the Confederate administration in connection with the controversies in which General Beauregard's ideas of official propriety sometimes involved him. Most remarkable, however, is the complaint made about his removal from command after his retreat from Corinth. The Confederate army had just fallen back before overwhelming forces, the Mississippi seemed about to fall into Federal hands. It was the first of June, when the Union armies might be expected to push their advantage with increasing vigor. At this juncture, without conference, and without any notice beyond a telegraphic dispatch to his Government, General Beauregard proposed to leave his army, on a surgeon's certificate, to seek rest and recuperation at a distant watering-place. General Bragg, the next officer in rank, had been ordered elsewhere by his Government, but General Beauregard retained him, turned over the command to him,

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