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[265] and actually left his post for the purpose indicated. The Richmond authorities promptly relieved Beauregard and placed Bragg permanently in command. It is hard to see how so intelligent a soldier as Colonel Roman can complain of this, but he does. General Beauregard's sickness was not sudden or unforseen. It was a trouble he had been suffering from for months. Either he was fit to command his army or he was not. If not, no injustice was done. But in either case, the Richmond authorities should have been informed, and the step of turning over the command to the next in rank not entered upon without conference with and approval by them. It will be hard to convince anyone that at the first of June, and in the circumstances that then surrounded the western army, General Beauregard was justified on the plea of ill-health and that his presence was not important, in leaving his post for a contemplated absence of some weeks without waiting to learn the views of his Government.

Colonel Roman's book is so filled with indiscriminate praise of General Beauregard, and indiscriminate blame of nearly everybody else, that we are apt to lose sight of General Beauregard's really brilliant achievements. It is far more pleasant to contemplate these than to read Colonel Roman's incessant criticisms of distinguished Confederates, whose sacrifices for the land of their birth were not less costly, whose conduct was not less unselfish, whose patriotism was as devoted, whose aims were as high, whose courage was as marked as General Beauregard's, and whose ability and skill were certainly not inferior to those of the distinguished Louisianian.

General Beauregard was assigned to the command of South Carolina and Georgia in September, 1862, his most important duty being the defence of Charleston. Here General Beauregard had a field eminently adapted to his talents. A most skillful and accomplished engineer, he not only displayed ability of the highest order in this memorable defence, but exhibited astonishing fertility of resource and tenacity of purpose. At the end of January, 1863, the Confederate gunboats made such a descent upon the blockading squadron as to cripple it and drive it off for the time. Early in April the Federal fleet, under Dupont, made the first grand attack upon Fort Sumter, but was beaten off with terrible loss. Again in July a most formidable armament, equipped with the best means at the command of the Federal Government, and under one of the best engineers in the old army, General Gillmore, began a most determined and protracted attack upon the defences of Charleston.

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