knoll upon which his guns were planted, the open fields around, that gave promise of great slaughter of the foe when he undertook to carry the point. This prospect and the pride arising from the very danger of their post, stimulated the men in their labors of entrenching, which was necessary at this end of the line of battle, where there were none of the natural advantages the troops of Polk and Hood derived from the hills on which they were posted. But all worked with an energy that arose to enthusiasm, for confidence in ‘Old Joe,’ confidence in the ‘old reliable,’ and confidence in themselves, inspired the men of this company, as it did those of the whole corps. The redoubt was nearly completed, when, about two o'clock in the morning, Captain Sid. Hardee, of General Hardee's staff, rode up and ordered the work to cease, and the battery made ready to move. This officer then stated that the intention to fight a battle there was abandoned; that Polk and Hood had insisted that they could not hold their position of the line. He added that General Hardee had objected to the retreat, and had offered to change positions with either of the other corps rather than forego giving battle. In deep disappointment and disgust, Hardee's men moved off, blaming Polk and Hood for compelling the abandonment of a field which seemed to be pregnant with a glorious victory. The impressions of that night had remained ineffaceable, and the unfought battle had been a deep source of regret during the war, and of deep interest since. So much so since that it had led to a correspondence between one of the officers of the company and General Johnston. The allusion to this correspondence naturally brought about the production of the following original letters of General Johnston on this and other war matters, which are now for the first time put in print, and which will be deposited in the archives of the Louisiana Historical Association by
one of Hardee's corps.
Savannah, Ga., June 19. 1874.Dear Sir—The only approach to criticism of General Lee by me, I believe, is that you will find on page 62, of ‘Johnston's Narrative.’ There, in defending myself against accusations of not taking Washington and conquering the United States, after the battle of Manassas,