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[440] want of precise information relative to the number and location of our troops may render necessary. The hour is critical and grave. I am filled with intense anxiety lest golden opportunities shall be lost forever. It is concentration and immediate mobility that are indispensable to preserve us.

The plan, although hurriedly drawn, was admirably conceived, and founded on the principles of the art of war. The only question was as to its feasibility. It is worthy of notice, that in his communication to Soule, General Beauregard foresees, with the clearness of a true prophet, that Atlanta is the objective point of the enemy, and predicts the consequences that would and did ensue should the enemy take possession of that strategic point.

This plan was communicated to the War Department, and no action taken upon it. About eleven months later Atlanta fell, and the Southern Confederacy was mortally wounded. The sword of Sherman had gone through its vital parts. Beauregard had prophesied correctly. If the man-of-war had been fanciful in his military scheme of salvation, the prophet had not erred in his vaticinations.

From impregnable Charleston, under his command, Beauregard was removed in April, 1864, to Virginia, with headquarters at Petersburg. While at that city he proposed a plan of offensive operations, which was opposed by General Bragg, military adviser to the President. Among the arguments used by General Beauregard in pressing his views, we remark this one: ‘That, if successful, the stroke would, in all probability, terminate the war; while, if it should not be successful, the end to which the Confederate cause was hopelessly drifting, unless redeemed by some early, bold and decisive success, would only come sooner.’ It is difficult for the reader not to be favorably impressed by this argument. But the President persisted in his refusal to acquiesce in the views of the General.

The want of time and space does not permit the author of this essay to go into a review of the defence of Petersburg, protected by fortifications that cavalry could ride over, and by ten thousand against ninety thousand men. Sufficient to say that it was a prodigy of engineering, generalship, indomitable endurance, and superb tenaciousness of will.

From Petersburg, which he had saved, General Beauregard was ordered to take the command of what was called the Military Division of the West, embracing two departments respectively under Generals Hood and Taylor. ‘He knew,’ says Colonel Roman,

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