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[414] transferred to an immediate command, including forces under Generals Polk and Hardee, within the department of Kentucky and Tennessee, at the head of which General Albert Sidney Johnston had been placed, with headquarters at Bowling Green. The whole Confederate force in Johnston's department did not number more than forty-five thousand men of all arms and conditions, and badly equipped. They had to contend against one hundred and thirty thousand men, with splendid supplies of every kind.

On meeting General Johnston at Bowling Green, after surveying the field of operations, General Beauregard, with his accustomed boldness and quickness of perception, immediately recommended the adoption of his favorite system of concentration, for the purpose of an offensive action against the Federals, whose disjointed corps, separated by long intervals, might be attacked and beaten in detail. He thought that too much dilatoriness and inaction, and too strict an adherence to the defensive, would be fatal. General Johnston, although admitting the force of Beauregard's observations and arguments, objected, substantially, on the ground that the Confederates were not in a condition to risk too much. General Beauregard insisted ‘that our success must lie in following the cardinal principles of war-the swift concentration of masses against the enemy's exposed fractions and that if we could concentrate our forces with greater rapidity, all other things being equal, we had the chance in our favor, and that, particularly in war, nothing venture, nothing win.’ General Johnston admitted this, but said ‘that owing to the great responsibilty which rested on him, and the disaster to be apprehended to the Confederacy should he meet with defeat, he must adhere to his original plan of operations’—which seemed to consist in a determined preference of the defensive to the offensive and a systematic reserve of his troops for the occupation of certain points, to be protected, every one of them and at the same time, against overwhelming forces, that would thus be permitted to attack at their own convenience. The results were disastrous. Fortified positions were taken one after the other, or evacuated to avoid the capture of their defenders. Instead of concentrating our troops, they had been kept apart, or moving occasionally on divergent lines, on which the fortune of war refused to smile.

General Beauregard had in vain said: ‘We must give up some minor points and concentrate our forces to save the most important ones, or we will lose all of them in succession.’ No oracle ever spoke a sadder truth. All the points were ultimately lost as predicted,

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