Exaggerating his Grievance.
But whatever Davis
' motive for overslaughing Johnston
with his juniors, the exaggerated importance the latter attached to what seems at this distance a secondary matter is surprising and gives one a bad impression of this otherwise admirable character.
He morbidly dwelt upon the President
's injustice with the feverish pertinacity of a crank, wholly unobservant of the fact that notwithstanding his technical loss of rank he was actually in command of the chief army of the Confederacy
—at the post of honor and danger, the cynosure of all eyes.
regarded his own present interest and dignity as paramount, unlike Lee
forgetting that time and success would rectify everything.
When they were touched he became sour, even sullen, and watchful and suspicious of those he deemed his enemies.
His mental vision was conspicuously practical and far-reaching in all other matters except those which concerned himself.
His nature was positive; he was an unbending, unyielding personality.
This was the rock upon which he split.
The foregoing statement of the original casus belli
incidentally affords the reader a view of the characters of the two men involved in the quarrel.
After the acrimonious correspondence concerning the question of rank the belligerents settled down into a stately attitude of jealous and guarded hostility, suspected but not fully known to the public.
About this time there was also some friction concerning the organization of the army into brigades by States, which Davis
's delay in this matter irritated the President
, and the General
in turn was incensed by the irregular interference of Secretary Benjamin
with army movements, who sent orders direct to subordinates, ignoring the commanding general
's protests, the Secretary
continued this indefensible course.