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Copy of endorsement made by General Beauregard on Major-General Hoke's report of the action of his command on June 24th, 1864.

[Respectfully forwarded to General R. E. Lee for his information.]

It will be seen by the reports of Generals Hoke and Hagood that they are not responsible for the failure of the attack of the 24th ult., which would have been undoubtedly successful had the supports advanced in time. General Hoke is mistaken, if he refers to me, when he says: ‘I have learned unofficially that I and my command were censured by the Commanding General.’ I stated only that ‘the success would have been most brilliant if the skirmishers had been properly supported.’ His report and that of General Hagood prove the correctness of my assertion.

General Hoke says on the second page of his report, ‘after an elapse of five minutes, the fire of the guns—i.e., forty-four guns on the north side of the Appomattox—was directed upon the batteries of the enemy, drawing, in a great degree, their fire from the advancing infrantry, which, as far as I could see, was the only service rendered by our guns. Indeed, I fear we were injured more than we gained by the use of our guns, as it notified the enemy of our intended attack.’

The object of opening the fire of the batteries referred to, during half an hour preceding the infantry attack, was to demoralize the enemy's troops occupying the defensive lines which were to be attacked, and which were enfiladed and taken in reverse of those batteries. It was expected, also, that the heavy artillery fire would throw into confusion any supports the enemy might have concealed in the woods near his lines. The best proof of the entire success of this plan is the facility with which one unsupported line of skirmishers got possession of those lines with the loss of only twenty-five killed and seventy-two wounded. I am decidedly of the opinion that, regard being had to locality and the attending circumstances, no better results could have been attained by any other plan than the one adopted, and which failed only because not properly supported.


G. T. Beauregard, General. Headquarters Department N. C. and S. V., July 5, 1864. Official: Jno. A. Cooper, A. A. A. G.

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