The battle of Leesburg.
--In your paper of Monday morning I find the following in refer once to the battle of Leesburg
‘"The sequel to the battle of Leesburg
, which proved so overwhelmingly disastrous to the Yankees
, proves how fortunate it was that that gallant and sagacious patriot, Gen. Evans
, determined to defend it against Yankee invasion, instead of surrendering it, as it is understood he had previously been ordered to do."’
No one, of course, will venture to dissent from the compliment so justly bestowed on Gen. Evans
; but I regret to see, in the above paragraph, a repetition of the intimation that the battle of Leesburg
had been fought in spite of the orders of Gen. Evans
's superior officer.
Immediately after the battle a report was circulated in Richmond
to the effect that Gen. Evans
was to be court-martialed for disobedience of orders.
the rumor found its way to the army, where it excited no less consternation than astonishment.
But the lapse of a few days sufficed to dispel the baseless fabrication, and to prove that it was the work, not of friends of Gen. Evans
, but, we must regret to believe, of enemies of Gen. Beauregard
It was, from the first, surprising enough that any one could believe that Gen. Beauregard
--a soldier whose fame is due to his triumphs over the enemies of his country — could have wished to make the heroism of a brother officer the pretext for his ruin, or could have ventured, in this epoch, to emulate the ingratitude of the Athenian populace toward the victors of Arginase.
Nevertheless, an explicit denial of the charge, founded on positive knowledge of the facts, was some time since published in the correspondence of the New Orleans Delta
It is to be regretted that the denial alluded to did not attract your attention at the time.
Since it escaped your observation, I will state that the battle of Leesburg
, so far from having been fought in opposition to Gen. Beauregard
's orders, was fought in accordance with his emphatic suggestions, addressed to Gen. Evans
some days before the event.
The action took place on the 21st of October. On the 17th Gen. Beauregard
wrote to Gen. Evans
, reminding him of the extreme importance of his position, telling him by no means to give it up unless compelled to do so by the pressure of overwhelming numbers, and, at all events, to make a ‘"desperate stand"’ for the defence of Leesburg
His gratification at the result of the engagement was expressed to those around him in the warmest terms, and was made public in an order of congratulation and approval, addressed to the First Corps of the Army of the Potomac.
I may likewise state that a similar order was addressed to the whole army by Gen. Johnston
I trust, gentlemen, that you may find space in your valuable columns for this brief explanation.