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Full text of "The military operations of General Beauregard in the war between the states, 1861 to 1865; including a brief personal sketch and a narrative of his services in the war with Mexico, 1846-8"

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1SG1 TO 18G5 







generals only who have never commanded 
armies in the field have not committed errors" 



1 884 


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1883, by 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 

All rights reserved. 


Tins work, written from notes and documents authenticated 
by me, furnishes a correct account of my military services and 
conduct prior to and during the recent war between the States. 
It is offered as a guide to the future historian of that momentous 

In developing the truth of history, and fortifying it with evi 
dence beyond dispute, I desire to express my appreciation of the 
earnest, able, and judicial manner in which the author has per 
formed his arduous undertaking; and I fully endorse all his 
statements and comments, excepting only such encomiums as he 
has thought proper to bestow upon me. 

To General Thomas Jordan, formerly my Chief of Staff, and 
to Mr. W. J. Marrin, of Xew York, I am indebted for valuable 
assistance in the obtaining of many facts and data ; also to Lieu 
tenant-Colonel R. X. Scott, U. S. A., in charge, at Washington, of 
the publication office of the War Records of 1861-C5,and to Gen 
eral Marcus J. Wright, agent of the War Department in the col 
lection of Confederate Records, for copies of important papers 
furnished by them. 






Major Beauregard appointed Superintendent of the United States Military 
Academy. His Determination to Resign should Louisiana Withdraw 
from the Union. Takes Command at West Point, but is immediately Re 
lieved. Returns to New Orleans. Is Offered the Rank of Colonel of 
Engineers and Artillery in the Louisiana State Forces. Declines. Plan 
to Obstruct River near Forts. Floating Rooms. Is Summoned to Mont 
gomery by President Davis. Ordered to Charleston, S. C., to Assume 
Command and Direct Operations against Fort Sumter K> 


Description of Charleston. General Beaurcgard a Arrival. Cursory Sketch of 
the Condition of the Public Mind in the South. The Hon. Robert Barn- 
well Rhett. One Sentiment and One Resolve animating South Carolin 
ians. South Carolina Commissioners to Washington. Failure of Nego 
tiations. Major Anderson Evacuates Fort Moultrie and Occupies Fort 
Sumter. Hoisting of Palmetto Flags. Steamer Star of the West. Gov 
ernor Pickens Summons Major Anderson to Surrender the Fort. He De 
clines, but Refers the Matter to Washington. Mr. Buchanan Refuses to 
Withdraw Federal Garrison. All Eyes Centred on South Carolina. 
System and Plan of Operations Adopted by General Bcauregard. More 
Troops Volunteer than arc Needed 23 


The Confederate States Commissioners. Their Correspondence with Mr. Sew- 
ard. How they were Deceived. Mr. Lincoln s Sectional Views. Letter 
of Major Anderson to the Adjutant-General of the United States Arm) . 
On Whom must Rest the Responsibility for the War. Mr. Buchanan s 
Wavering Policy. General Bcauregard Distrusts the Good Faith of the 
Federal Authorities. His Plan to Reduce Fort Sumter. Detached Bat 
teries. Floating and Iron-clad Batteries. Fort Sumter s Supplies Cut 


Off. Druminond Lights. Stearn Harbor-boats. Enfilade or Masked 
Battery. Mr. Chew. His Message to General Beauregard. Secretary of 
"War Apprised of Same. His Answer to Telegram. Blakely Rifled Gun. 
By Whom Sent. General Beauregard Demands the Surrender of Fort 
Sumter. Major Anderson Declines. Fire Opened on the Fort April 
12th. Page 31 


General Beauregard Makes no Material Changes in the Distribution of Forces 
in Charleston. Brigadier-General Simons in Command of Morris Island. 
Brigadier- General Dunovant of Sullivan s Island. Tone of Troops. 
The First Shell Fired from Fort Johnson. The Only Motive Actuating 
the South. At 5 A. jr., April 12th, every Battery in Full Play. Sumter 
Responds at 7 o clock. How our Guns were Served. Engagement Con 
tinued until Nightfall. Firing Kept up all Night by our Batteries. 
No Response from Sumter. Conduct of the Federal Fleet. Fort Re-opens 
Fire on the Morning of the 13th. Burning of Barracks. Sumter still 
Firing. Our Troops Cheer the Garrison. General Beauregard Offers As 
sistance to Major Anderson, who Declines. Hoisting of the White Flag. 
Terms of Surrender. Accident during the Salute of the Flag. Evac 
uation. Our Troops Enter the Fort, April 14th. Hoisting of Confederate 
and Palmetto Flags , 41 


Condition of Fort Sumter after the Bombardment. Repairs Begun at Once. 
Mustering of South Carolina Volunteers. Bonham s Brigade. General 
Beauregard makes a Reconnoissance of the South Carolina Coast. Rec 
ommends Works at Stono, the Two Edistos, and Georgetown. Declines 
Ad vising Plan of Defence for Port Royal Harbor. Yields under Pressure, 
but Predicts the Result. Receives Congratulations upon the Reduction 
of Sumter. Vote of Thanks of Congress. Resolutions of the General 
Assembly of South Carolina. General Beauregard is Called to Montgom 
ery. The President Wishes him to Assist General Bragg atPensacola. He 
Declines. His Reasons therefor. Deputation from New Orleans Asking 
his Transfer to Louisiana. The President Sends him Back to Charleston. 
Propositions of the House of John Frazer & Co., relative to Purchase 
of Steamers. Comments thereon. General Beauregard Advocates the 
Plan. Government Declines Moving in the Matter. Silence of Mr. 
Davis s Book about it. General Beauregard Ordered to Richmond. Re 
grets of Carolinians at his Departure. Letter of Governor Pickens.... 49 


Secession of Virginia. Confederate Troops Sent to her Assistance. Arrival of 
General Beauregard in Richmond. He Assumes Command at Manassas. 

Position of our Forces. His Proclamation and the Reasons for it. Site of 
" Camp Pickens." His Letter to President Davis. Our Deficiencies. 
Mismanagement in Quartermaster s and Commissary s Departments. How 
he could have Procured Transportation. Manufacture of Cartridges. Se 
cret Service with Washington Page 63 


Position of Troops in Northern Virginia. General Beauregard Advocates 
Concentration, June 12th. Letter to that Effect to President Davis. An 
swer Declining. General Beauregard Suggests a Junction with General 
Holmes. Again Refused. Division of General Beauregard s Forces into 
Brigades, 20th June. Begins Forward Movement. Instructions to Brig 
ade Commanders. Reconnoissanccs Made at the End of June. McDow 
ell s Strength. General Beauregard s Anxieties. His Letter to Senator 
Wigfall. Submits another Plan of Operations to the President, July 
llth... . 70 


General Beauregard again Urging Concentration. Colonels Preston and Chest 
nut sent to Richmond, to Explain Plan. Report of Colonel Chestnut. 
The President Disapproves the Proposed Campaign. Letter of General 
Beauregard to General Johnston. Comments upon Mr. Davis s Refusal. 
General McDowell Ordered to Advance. Strong Demonstration against 
General Bonham. General Beauregard s Telegram to the President. 
General Johnston Ordered to Make Junction if Practicable. Action of 
Bull Run. What Major Barnard, U. S. E., Says of It. Repulse of the 
Enemy. War Department Inclined to Withdraw Order to General John 
ston. General Beauregard Disregards the Suggestion 84 


Battle of Manassas. General J. E. Johnston Assumes Command, but General 
Beauregard Directs Operations and Fights the Battle. Superiority of 
Numbers Against us. Deeds of Heroism. Enemy Completely Routed. 
Ordnance and Supplies Captured. Ours and Enemy s Losses. Strength 
of General McDowell s Armv. The Verdict of History. .. .. 96 


President Davis and Generals Johnston and Beauregard Discuss the Propriety 
of Pursuing the Enemy during the Night following the Battle. Error of 
Mr. Davis as to the Order he Wrote. On the 22d General Beauregard As 
signs his Troops to New Positions. The President Confers the Rank of 
General on General Beauregard, subject to the Approval of Congress. On 


the 25th, Address Issued to Troops by Generals Johnston and Beauregard. 
Organization of General Beauregard s Army into Brigades. Impossi 
bility of any Military Movement of Importance, and Why. Army With 
out Transportation and Without Subsistence. Colonel Northrop Appoints 
Major W. B. Blair as Chief Commissary of the Army. General Beauregard 
Informs the President of the Actual State of Affairs. Colonel Lee to the 
President. General Beauregard to Colonels Chestnut and Miles. His 
Telegram to Colonel Myers. Answer of President Davis. General Beau- 
regard s Reply. Colonel Myers alleges Ignorance of Want of Transporta 
tion in the Army of the Potomac. General Beaurcgard s Answer. Cause 
of the Failure of the Campaign. Effect of General Beauregard s Letter 
upon Congress. An Apparent Improvement in Commissary and Quarter 
master Departments. General Beauregard Complains again on the 23d 
of August. No Action Taken. Suggests Removal of Colonel Northrop. 
The President believes in his Efficiency, and Upholds him. Fifteen 
and Twenty Days Rations asked for by General Beauregard Page 114 


General Beauregard Suggests a Forward Movement. Not Approved by Gen 
eral Johnston. Sanitary Measures. Deficiency in Light Artillery. In 
structions to Colonel Stuart. Mason s and Munson s Hills. General 
Beauregard Proposes to Hold Them. General Johnston of a Different 
Opinion. Popularity of General Beauregard. He Establishes His Head 
quarters at Fairfax Court-House. Proposes Another Plan Involving De 
cisive Battle. General Johnston Deems it Better not to Hazard the 
Movement. Organization of the Forces into Divisions. General Beaure 
gard Advises that the Army be Placed Under One Head. President 
Davis Invited to a Conference at Fairfax Court-Housc. Scheme of Oper 
ations Submitted. Generals Johnston and G. W. Smith Approve it. 
Troops in Splendid Fighting Condition. The President Objects. No 
Reinforcements can be Furnished, and no Arms in the Country. Review 
of Mr. Davis s Remarks on the Subject. He Proposes a Plan for Opera 
tions Across the Potomac. The Commanding Generals do not Consider 
it Feasible... . 131 


Signal Rockets and Signal Telegraph. General Beauregard Advises Coast 
Defenses at New Orleans, Mobile, Galvcston, and Berwick Bay, and Calls 
Attention to the Exposure of Port Royal. Counsels General Lovell Con 
cerning River Obstructions between Forts St. Philip and Jackson. General 
Johnston Orders the Troops into Winter Quarters. Our Lines Formed at 
Centreville. Drainsville and Ball s Bluff. General Beauregard Proposes 
to Intercept General Stone s Retreat, and also Suggests Resolute Attack 
against McClellan s Right. Unfriendly Correspondence Between War 


Department and General Beauregard. Uncourteous Language of Mr. 
Benjamin. General Beauregard Exposes the Ignorance of the Acting 
Secretary of War. Controversy in the Press about General Beauregard s 
Report of Battle of Manassas. His Letter to the Editors of Richmond 
"Whig. The President Accuses General Beauregard of Attempting to Ex 
alt Himself at His Expense. He Upholds Mr. Benjamin and Condemns 
General Beauregard. Dignity and Forbearance of the Latter.. ..Page 152 


Creation of the Department of Northern Virginia. Distribution of New 
Confederate Battle Flags. Debate in Congress about the Action of the 
President with Regard to General Beauregard s Report of the Battle 
of Manassas. Telegram of the lion. James L. Kemper Concerning it. 
General Beauregard s Answer. Letter of Colonel Pryor on the Same 
Subject. Commentaries on the Executive Endorsement. Governor Moore 
Forwards Resolutions of Louisiana Legislature, Congratulating General 
Beauregard. Circular to Division Commanders about Leaves of Absence. 
Congress Passes an Act in Regard to the Matter. Its Effect. General 
Beauregard s Plan of Recruitment 170 


The Part taken by General Johnston in the Battle of Manassas. He Assumes 
no Direct Responsibility, and, though Superior in Rank, desires General 
Beauregard to Exercise Full Command. President Davis did not Plan 
the Campaign; Ordered Concentration at the Last Moment; Arrived on 
the Battle-field after the Enemy had been Routed. Pursuit Ordered and 
Begun, but Checked in Consequence of False Alarm. Advance on Wash 
ington made Impossible by Want of Transportation and Subsistence.. 191 


Colonel Pryor, of the Military Committee of Congress, Visits General Beaure 
gard at Centreville, to Propose his Transfer to the West. General Beau- 
regard finally Yields to the Wishes of Congress and the Executive. 
He Parts with his Army on the 2d of February, and on the 4th Arrives 
at Bowling Green. Interview with General A. S. Johnston. Succinct 
Review of the Latter s Situation. Ignorance of the War Department with 
Reference to his Forces. General Beauregard Desires to go Back to his 
Army in Virginia. General Johnston urges Him to Stay and Assume 
Command at Columbus. Inspection of the Works at Bowling Green. 
What General Beauregard Thinks of Them. He Suggests Concentration 
at Henry and Donelson to Force a Battle upon Grant. General Johnston 
Fears the Kisk of such a Movement, and Adheres to his own Plan of Op 
erations. Fall of Fort Henry. Conference at Bowling Green. Memo 
randum of General Johnston s Plan of the Campaign. His and General 


Folk s Army to Operate on Divergent Lines. Evacuation of Bowling 
Green. General Beauregard Asks for Specific Instructions. Letter to 
Colonel Pryor. Fall of Fort Donelson. Its Effect upon the Country. 
Criticism of General Johnston s Strategy Page 210 


General Beauregard Telegraphs for Instructions after the Fall of Donelson. 
General Johnston s Answer. Colonel Jordan s Report of the Situation at 
Columbus. General Beauregard Calls General Polk to Jackson, Tennessee, 
for Conference. Opinion of the Latter as to the Strength of Columbus. 
He Concurs, however, in General Beauregard s Views. Evacuation of Co 
lumbus Authorized by the War Department. General Beauregard s De 
tailed Instructions to that Effect. Defects in River Defences at Columbus. 
Governor Harris of Tennessee. General Johnston Retreating towards 
Stevenson, along the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. His Letter of 
February 18th to the War Department. Depression of the People. Gent- 
eral Beauregard Resolves to Replenish the Army. Makes Use of the Dis 
cretion given him by General Johnston. His Plan of Operations. Be 
lieves Success Depends upon Offensive Movement on Our Part. Calls 
upon the Governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee; 
and also upon Generals Van Dora, Bragg, and Lovell, for Immediate As 
sistance. Sixty and Ninety Days Troops. The War Department not 
Favorable to the Method Proposed, but Finally Gives its Assent. General 
Johnston Requested by General Beauregard to Change his Line of Retreat 
and Turn towards Decatur, so as to Co-operate with him. General John 
ston Accedes to his Request 232 


Evacuation of Columbus. How the Enemy Discovered It. Loss of Ordnance 
Stores, Anchors, and Torpedoes. Island No. 10. Difficulty in Placing 
Guns in Position. Federal Gunboats might have Passed Unhindered. 
Small Garrison under Colonel Gantt Reinforced by General McCown with 
Part of the Garrison of Columbus. Defences at New Madrid to be held un 
til the Completion of the Works at Fort Pillow. Remainder of General 
Polk s Forces Assembled upon Humboldt. Preparations for an Offensive 
Movement by the Enemy. Danger of Isolation for General Johnston. 
General Beauregard s Letter to him. The Great Battle of the Controversy 
to be Fought at or near Corinth. General Johnston accedes to General 
Beauregard s request, and Begins a Movement to Join him. General 
Beauregard Assumes Command. Arrival of General Bragg s Forces at 
Corinth. Corinth the Chief Point of Concentration, as Originally De 
cided upon. General Beauregard Appeals to the War Department for 
the General Officers Promised him. Their Services Greatly Needed. 
Unwillingness and Apathy of the War Department 245 



General Beauregard Orders the Collection of Grain and Provisions, and Es 
tablishes Depots of Supplies. His Appeal to the People to Procure Met 
al for the Casting of Cannon. Warning Preparations of the Enemy. 
Arrival of Federal Divisions at Savannah. General Sherman s Attempt 
ed Raid to Destroy the Railroad. Burning of Small Bridge near Bethel 
Station. General Pope Before New Madrid. The Place Abandoned. 
General Beauregard s Instructions to General McCown. General Mackall 
Relieves him. Bombardment of Island Xo. 10. What might have been 
the Result had the Enemy Disembarked at once at Pittsburg Landing. 
The Troops we had to Oppose Them. What General Johnston Thought 
of Bolivar as a Base of Operation. Recommends it as more Advanta 
geous than Corinth. Why General Beauregard Preferred Corinth. He 
Presses Concentration there, as soon as the Intentions of the Enemy be 
come Sufficiently Developed. Success of his Plan. Co-operation of the 
Governors of Adjacent States. Troops Poorly Armed and Equipped. 
The Enemy begins Lauding at Pittsburg. Arrival of Hurlbut s, Prcntiss s, 
McClernand s, and the Two Wallaces Divisions. Force of the Army Op 
posing us. General Buell. His Slow Advance on Nashville. Is at Last 
Aroused by Order to Unite his Forces with those of General Grant. 
Aggregate of Buell s Forces in Tennessee and Kentucky. Our only Hope 
for Success was to Strike a Sudden Blow before the Junction of Bucll 
and Grant Page 254 


Arrival of General Johnston at Corinth. Position of his Troops on the 27th 
of March. Offers to Turn Over Command of the Army to General Beau- 
regard, who Declines. General Beauregard L rges an Early Offensive 
Movement against the Enemy, and Gives his Views as to Plan of Organ 
izing the Forces. General Johnston Authorizes him to Complete the 
Organization already Begun. General Orders of March 29th. Reasons 
why the Army was Formed into Small Corps. General Beauregard De 
sirous of Moving against the Enemy on the 1st of April. Why it was 
not clone. On the 2d, General Cheatham Reports a Strong Federal 
Force Threatening his Front, General Beauregard Advises an Immedi 
ate Advance. General Johnston Yields. General Jordan s Statement of 
his Interview with General Johnston on that Occasion. Special Orders 
No. 8, otherwise called "Order of March and Battle. By Whom Sug 
gested and by Whom Written. General Beauregard Explains the Order 
to Corps Commanders. Tardiness of the First Corps in Marching from 
Corinth. Our Forces in Position for Battle on the Afternoon of the 5th ; 
Too Late to Commence Action on that Day. Generals Hardec and Bragg 
Request General Beauregard to Ride in Front of their Lines. General 
Johnston Calls General Beauregard and the Corps Commanders in an In 
formal Council. General Beauregard Believes the Object of the Movement 


Foiled by the Tardiness of Troops in Arriving on the Battle-field. Al 
ludes to Noisy Demonstrations on the March, and to the Probability of 
Buell s Junction, and Advises to Change Aggressive Movement into a Re- 
connoissance in Force. General Johnston Decides Otherwise, and Orders 
Preparations for an Attack at Dawn next Day. Description of the Field 
of Shiloh. Strength of the Federal Forces. What General Sherman Tes 
tified to. We Form into Three Lines of Battle. Our Effective Strength. 
Carelessness and Oversight of the Federal Commanders. They are 
not Aroused by the many Sounds in their Front, and are Taken by Sur 
prise Page 265 


Battle of Shiloh. Varied Incidents and Events of the First Day. Enemy 
Taken by Surprise. His Lines Driven in. Entire Forces Engaged on Both 
Sides. Triumphant Advance of our Troops. General Johnston in Com 
mand of the Right and Centre. General Beauregard of the Left and Re 
serves. Allurements of the Enemy s Camps. Straggling Begins among 
our Troops. Death of the Commander-in-Chief. General Beauregard As 
sumes Command and Renews the Attack all along the Line. Enemy again 
Forced to Fall Back and Abandon other Camps. Evidence of Exhaustion 
among the Troops. Straggling Increasing. General Beauregard s Efforts 
to Check it. Collects Stragglers and Pushes them Forward. Battle still 
Raging. Capture of General Prentiss and of his Command. Our Troops 
Reach the Tennessee River. Colonel Webster s Batteries. Arrival of 
Ammen s Brigade, Nelson s Division, of BuelVs Army. Its Inspiriting 
Effect upon the Enemy. The Gunboats. Intrepidity of our Troops. 
Their Brilliant but Ineffectual Charges. Firing Gradually Slackens, as 
the Day Declines. At Dusk General Beauregard Orders Arrest of Conflict. 
Troops Ordered to Bivouac for the Night, and be in Readiness for 
Offensive Movement next Day. Storm during the Night. Arrival of the 
Whole of Buell s Army. Gunboats Keep up an Incessant Shelling.... 283 


Difficulty of Collecting and Organizing Commands during Night of the 6th. 
Firing Resumed Early next Morning. Nelson s Brigades Cross the Ten 
nessee. Positions Taken by the Federals. Chalmers s Brigade and a 
Mixed Command Force Back Nelson s Advance. At 8 A. M. the Confed 
erates are Driven Back with the Loss of a Battery. They Regain the 
Position and Battery at 9. Critical Situation of* Ammen s Brigade. 
New Position Assumed by the Confederates. Crittenden s Division En 
gaged. Absence of General Polk from the Field. His Timely Arrival at 
10.30. His Charge with Cheatham s Brigade. Organization of Federal 
Army during the Night of the 6th. Inaction of General Sherman on the 
Morning of the 7th. General Breckinridge Ordered Forward. Enemy 
Driven Back on our Whole Line. Advance of Federal Right Wing. 


Its Repulse. At 1 r. M. Euemy on our Left Reinforced. General Bragg 
Calls for Assistance. General Bcauregard in Person Leads the 18th 
Louisiana and Other Troops to his Aid. Predetermination of General 
Bcauregard to Withdraw from the Battle-field. Couriers sent to Corinth 
to Inquire about General Van Dora. Preparations for Retreat. Guns and 
Colors Captured by Confederates on the Gth. Slow and Orderly With 
drawal of Confederate Forces. Inability of the Enemy to Follow. 
Rcconuoissance of General Sherman on the Morning of the 8th. Con 
federates not Disorganized. Their Loss During the Battle. Computa 
tion of Numbers Engaged on Both Sides. Federal Loss Page 308 


Commentaries on the Battle of Shiloli : I. Why Generals Johnston and Beau- 
regard did not Sooner Move the Army from Corinth. II. Their Reasons 
for Forming their Lines of Battle as they did. III. Why the Con 
federate Attack was Made Chiefly on the Enemy s Right, and not on 
his Entire Front. IV. Demonstration of the Fact that the Confederate- 
Attack took the Enemy Completely by Surprise. V. General Beau- 
regard s Opinion and Criticism of General Sherman s Tactics during the 
Battle. VL Refutation of the Charge that the Confederate Troops were 
Withdrawn too soon from the Battle-field on the Evening of the Gth. 
Comparison Drawn by Mr. Davis between General A. S. Johnston and 
Marshal Turcnrie. VII. General Bcauregard s Opinion as to the Fight 
ing of the Confederates during the Battle of the 7th. VIII. Correction 
of the Absurd Story that General Bcauregard did not Leave his Am 
bulance during the First Day of the Battle, and, when Informed of Gen 
eral Johnston s Death, " Quietly Remained where he was, Waiting the 
Issue of Events :&<; 


General Bcauregard s Insistancc on the Evacuation of Columbus. Docu 
ments Relating to the Matter. General McCown to be put in Command 
of Madrid Bend. He is Called by General Bcaurcgard to Jackson for 
Instructions. He Repairs to Madrid Bend. Dispositions Made for 
its Defence. Commodore Hollins to Co-operate with Land Forces. 
Number of Troops under General McCown. Arrival of General Pope on 
the 28th of February in Front of New Madrid. Colonel Plummcr Estab 
lishes a Battery on the River. Apprehensions of General McCown. Gen 
eral Beauregard s Despatch to General Cooper. General McCown Exhib 
its still Greater Anxiety. General Beauregard Doubts General McCown s 
Capacity. Successful Evacuation of Columbus. Attack Commenced on 
New Madrid March 12th. Conference of General McCown with Commo 
dore Hollins on the 13th, and Evacuation of Forts. General Beauregard 
Applies for General Mackall. Garrison of New Madrid Transferred to 
Opposite Bank of River and Island No. 10. General Bcauregard Orders 


all Surplus Guns, Supplies, and Boats to Fort Pillow. Fall of Island No. 
10 on the 7th of April. General Pope s Forces Transported to Vicinity 
of Fort Pillow. General Pope Ordered to Pittsburg Landing. Want of 
Capacity of Commodore Hollins. General Beauregard s Various Tele 
grams and Orders. He Detains General Villepigue in Command of Fort 
Pillow. Instructions to Captain Harris. Surrender of New Orleans. 
Bombardment of Fort Pillow. The Montgomery Hams. General Beau- 
regard has Steam Rani Arkansas Completed, Equipped, and Manned. 
History of the Arkansas. Tribute to Captain Isaac Brown and Crew. 
Prisoners with Smallpox Sent to Fort Pillow. What Became of Them. 
Letter to General Villepigue, May 28th. He is Directed by General 
Beauregard to Prepare for Withdrawing his Troops from Fort Pillow. 
Fort Evacuated 1st of June. Responsibility of Various Movements Left 
to General Beauregard Page 352 


Troops Resume their Former Positions after the Battle of Shiloh. General 
Breckinridge Forms the Rear Guard. General Beauregard Recommends 
General Bragg for Promotion. Preliminary Report Sent by General Beau- 
regard, April llth, to the War Department, Difficulty of Obtaining Re 
ports of Corps Commanders. Their Reports sent Directly to the War De 
partment. Inaccuracies Resulting Therefrom. General Beauregard Pro 
poses an Exchange of Prisoners. General Pope Gives no Satisfactory An 
swer. General Van Dorn s Forces Reach Memphis on the llth. Despatch 
of the 12th to General Smith. A Diversion Movement Determined upon 
by General Beauregard. Captain John Morgan. He is Sent by General 
Beauregard into Middle Tennessee and Kentucky. Efforts to Force 
Buell s Return to those States. Location of General Van Dorn s Forces 
at Corinth ; of Generals Bragg s, Polk s, and Breckinridge s. Bad Wa 
ter. Mismanagement of Commissary Department. Necessity of With 
drawing from Corinth. Tupelo Selected for next Defensive Position. 
General Beauregard Resolves to Construct Defensive Works Around 
Vicksburg. General Pope Takes Farmington. Confederate Attack. 
Federal Retreat. On the 25th General Beauregard Calls a Council of 
War. Evacuation of Corinth Resolved Upon. General Beauregard s In 
structions to his Corps Commanders. Dispositions Taken to Deceive 
the Enemy. Retreat Successfully Accomplished. False Despatches of 
the Enemy. Correct Account by Correspondents. General Force in 
Error. Retreat Considered Masterly. Dissatisfaction of the War Depart 
ment. Interrogatories Sent by President Davis. General Beauregard s 
Answer.... .. 376 


General Beauregard is at Tupelo on the 7th of June. The Main Body of his 
Army Arrives on the 9th. Telegrams Sent by him to Various Points. His 


Communication to General Cooper. He Places Colonel Forrest in Com 
mand of the Cavalry Regiments in Middle Tennessee. General Beaure 
gard s Ill-health. He is urged by his Physicians to Take a Short Rest. He 
Finally Consents. Order Sent to General Bragg from Richmond. General 
Beauregard s Despatch to General Cooper, June 14th. His Letter to the 
AVar Department, June 15th. General Beauregard gives Temporary Com 
mand of his Department to General Bragg, and Leaves Tupelo on the 
17th. General Bragg Notifies the Government of the Fact. President 
Davis Removes General Beauregard, and Gives Permanent Command of 
his Army and Department to General Bragg. Comments on President 
Davis. General Bragg s Despatch to General Beauregard. His Reply. 
Mr. Randolph s Telegram. General Beauregard s Letter to General Coop 
er. Misstatements Contained in President Davis s Book. Public Sympa 
thy with General Beauregard. General Bragg s Letter to Mr. Forsyth. 
His Letter to General Beauregard. Answer to the Same. General Beau- 
regard s Plan of Operations in Tennessee and Kentucky. Interview of 
the Hon. Thomas J. Semmes and Edward Sparrow with President Davis, 
September 13th. Petition of Senators and Representatives for General 
Beauregard s Restoration to his Command. President Davis s Refusal. 
Notes of the Interview, by Mr. Semmes. Comments upon President Davis 
in Connection with these Events. Successful Result of Military Opera 
tions from Bowling Green to the Retreat to Tupelo Page 400 









THE greatest boon that can be bestowed upon a people is the 
adequate setting forth of the history of their illustrious men. 
The achievements of these, duly recorded, stand forth as beacon- 
lights to guide coming generations; and as a just appreciation of 
greatness indicates worth in a people, and points to future ad 
vancement on their part, so surely does indifference to merited 
renown denote popular degeneracy and decay. 

We therefore welcome every honestly meant publication con 
cerning the struggle of the South for independence a struggle 
replete with acts of heroic valor, and resplendent with examples 
of self-sacrifice, fortitude, and virtue. 

Few, even now, are the remaining leaders of the great contest 
through which we have passed ; and, as time goes on, gradually 
diminishing their number, the day approaches when nothing will 
be left of them except a memory. They must die, but the grand 
principles they strove, at so great cost, to maintain must not be 
buried with them. The Southern people, shackled by years of 
poverty and political helplessness, and circumscribed as they are 
in their sphere of action, cannot forget the teachings which, to 
them and to their posterity, embody the true meaning of our 

In recording the causes for which the South armed and sent to 
the field her manhood and her youth, and in holding up before 
the public mind the great ability of some of her leaders, the 
devotion of all, we not only perform a sacred duty to our coun 
try and those who will come after us, but mark out the way for 
them to that peace, liberty, and prosperity which we failed to at 
tain for ourselves. 
L 1 


It is in furtherance of these views that the following biograph 
ical sketch is offered, of one of the most patriotic, skilful, far- 
seeing and heroic chieftains of the Confederate army ; whose 
military career and successes have called forth the admiration of 
Europe as well as of America, and of whom Louisiana, his native 
State, is and well may be fondly proud. 

Pierre Gustavo Ton taut-Beau regard was born in the parish of 
St. Bernard, near the city of New Orleans, State of Louisiana, 
on theSSth of May, 181 8." 

The earliest authentic records of his family, one of the oldest 
and most illustrious of Louisiana, go back to the year 1290, or 
about that time, when Tider, surnamed the Young, at the early age 
of eighteen, headed a party of Welsh in revolt against Edward L. 
then King of England. Overcome, and his followers dispersed, 
Tider took refuge in France, where he was presented to Philip 
IV., surnamed the Fair, and cordially welcomed to his court. He 
there married Mademoiselle de Lafayette, maid of honor to Ma 
dame Marguerite, sister of Philip. 

War was then raging between France and England, and was 
only appeased by the marriage of King Edward with Marguerite 
of France. 

Tider and his wife followed the new queen to England ; but 
never were the suspicions and animosity of Edward against his 
former rebellious subject allayed. By the queen s entreaties Ed 
ward was induced to assign Tider to a government post in Sain- 
tonge, then part of the British possessions on the Continent; but 
soon afterwards he revoked his royal favor, and Tider was again 
compelled to seek shelter in France, where he lived, with his wife 
and children, on a pension left them by the dead queen. lie died 
in the neighborhood of Tours, at the age of forty-one. 

His eldest son, Marc, returned to Saintonge, and there endeav 
ored to recover some of his father s property, in which he only 
partially succeeded. Having, through powerful influences, ob 
tained a position under the English crown, and being desirous 
of propitiating the king, to whom the name of Tider was still 
odious, he changed it into Toutank. Gradually the letter "k" 
was dropped, and the letter "t" substituted in its place; thus 
transforming the old Celtic "Toutank" into the Gallic "Toutant," 

During three centuries, the family bore, unaltered, the name 
of Toutant. 


Towards the close of the sixteenth century the last male de 
scendant of the Toutants died, leaving an only daughter, who 
married Sienr Paix de Beauregard hence the family name of 
Toutant de Beauregard.* At what time the particle "de" was 
abandoned and the hyphen resorted to instead, is not known. 

Jacques Ton tant-Beau regard was the first of the name who 
came from France to Louisiana, under Louis XIV., as " Com 
mandant" of a flotilla, the purpose of which was to bring assist 
ance to the colony, and carry back timber for naval constructions. 
So thoroughly did he succeed in his enterprise in this connection 
that he was, on his return to France, decorated with the Cross 
of Saint Louis. 

He finally settled in Louisiana; and there married Miss Mag- 
deleine Cartier. Three sons were born to them, one of whom, 
Louis Toutant-Bcauregard, was, in his turn, united to Miss Vic- 
toire Ducros, the daughter of a respected planter of the parish of 
St. Bernard, near New Orleans, who had honorably filled several 
offices of trust under the French and Spanish governments of 
Louisiana. They had one daughter and two sons, the younger 
of whom, Jacques Toutant -Beauregard, married, in 1808, Miss 
Ilelenc Judith de Reggio. Several children were the issue of 
their union; the third being Pierre Gustavo Toutant -Beaure 
gard, the Confederate general and Southern patriot, whose biog 
raphy forms the subject of this memoir. 

General Beanregard s maternal ancestry is even more illustri 
ous, he being a descendant of the Dukes of Eeggio and Modena, 
and, consequently, of the House of Este. His great-grandfather, 
Francois Marie, Chevalier de Reggio (akin to the reigning duke) 
accompanied his friend, the Duke of Richelieu, to the siege of 
Bergen-op-Zoom, and there so distinguished himself that he was 
given a captaincy in the French army by Louis XV., and was, 
shortly thereafter, sent to the colony of Louisiana, with his com 
mand. When Louisiana became part of the Spanish possessions, 
the Chevalier de Reggio was made Alfcrcz Heal, or, in other 
words, Royal Standard-bearer, and First Justiciary of the estates 
and property of the crown. He was nearly related to the Mar 
quis de Vaudrenil, seventh Colonial Governor of Louisiana. Of 
his marriage with Miss Fleuriau, two sons were born, the younger 

* From records still extant in the Beauregard family. 


of whom, Louis Emmanuel, Chevalier de Reggio, married Miss 
Louise Judith Olivier de Yezin. The mother of General Beau- 
regard Ilelene Judith de Eeggio was the issue of this last mar 

When scarcely more than eight years of age, young Beauregard 
was sent to a primary school kept by Mr. Y. Deboucliel, near New 
Orleans, where could then be found many of the sons of the best 
families of Louisiana. Being of studious habits, modest in his 
demeanor, ever fair in his dealings with comrades as well as with 
teachers, he soon became very popular with both, and always 
merited and obtained the highest marks of approbation. He was 
of a retiring disposition, but, withal, of great firmness and decision 
of character. His dominant trait, even at that early age, was a 
passion for all that pertained to the military life a forecast of 
his future career. The sight of a passing soldier, the beating 
of a drum, would so excite and carry him away, that for the 
pleasure of following either or both he would forget everything 
parental admonitions, boyish playmates, and even hunger; and 
many a long day was thus spent, to the great anxiety of all at 

Several curious anecdotes of his childhood, illustrative of his 
independent daring, are preserved in his family, and are well 
worth recording. We mention two of them. 

When a little boy about nine years old, he was spending a day 
at the house of one of his aunts, in the neighborhood of his fa 
ther s estate, where had assembled several relatives and many com 
rades of his own age. Among the gentlemen present was one 
noted for his raillery and love of teasing. On that occasion he 
had taken young Beauregard to task, and was attempting to make 
a target of him for the amusement of the others. While this gen 
tleman was in the full enjoyment of his practical jokes, young 
Beauregard, his patience being thoroughly exhausted, suddenly 
seized a stick that lay near at hand, and so violently and rapidly 
assaulted his tormentor, that he forced him in self-defence to make 
an inglorious retreat to an outhouse close by. His little enemy 
at once mounted guard over the building, refusing to release his 
prisoner until the latter had fully apologized to him. 

The other incident is still more peculiar, and relates to Beaure- 
gard s uncommon perhaps uncontrollable taste for military 


A resident teacher of the household, attracted by the boy s 
steady, orderly habits, and most earnest attention during family 
prayers, had taken charge of his spiritual training, and had so well 
succeeded in her pleasing task, that, at the early age of ten and a 
half years, he was considered sufficiently prepared to go through 
that most beautiful and touching ceremony, in the Catholic Church, 
the children s First Communion. The appointed day had arrived. 
Young Beauregard, his mother, his elder brother, and the teacher 
were seated in one of the front pews of the old St. Louis Cathe 
dral, awaiting the solemn moment when the young communicant 
was to approach and kneel at the altar. That moment at last came. 
His mother touched him on the shoulder, to admonish him that it 
was time to walk up the aisle. The child obediently rose, deeply 
imbued with the solemnity of the scene, and stepped reverently 
forward as directed. Just then, and when he had already walked 
half-way to the altar, the roll of a drum, as a perverse fate would 
have it, resounded through the cathedral. Young Beauregard 
stopped, hesitated, looked toward the family pew, where anxious 
eyes kept urging him forward. Again the roll of the drum was 
heard, more distinct and prolonged. Hesitation vanished at once. 
The little boy, fairly turning his back on the altar, dashed through 
the church and disappeared at the door, to the utter horror and 
dismay of his loving relatives. Xo stronger proof than this could 
be given of the bent of his character. His calling for a military 
career was there clearly manifested. It may not be considered out 
of place to add that he made his First Communion two years later, 
no drum then beating to interrupt the ceremony. 

At the age of eleven he was taken to the city of New York, 
where he remained four years, under the firm and wise tuition of 
the Messieurs Peugnct, retired oflicers of the French army, who 
had both seen service under Napoleon I. the elder as Captain 
of Cavalry, the younger as Captain of Engineers. They were ex 
iles from France, on account of the active part taken by them in 
the " Carbonari " trouble, so much commented upon at the time. 
Then and there it was that, under quasi -military training, his 
taste for a soldier s career was confirmed, and that, living amidst 
an English-speaking population, he grew so thoroughly familiar 
with the English language as to make of it, so to speak, his adop 
ted mother-tongue. 

Though he knows the French language and speaks it perfectly, 


as do all Louisiairians of liis origin and time of life, still, most of 
his correspondence is conducted, and all his private as well as 
official writings are made, in English. 

At sixteen he entered, as a cadet, the United States Military 
Academy at West Point. His parents, who had for several years 
persistently opposed his wish to obtain an appointment there, had 
finally yielded, overcome by his pertinacious entreaties. Here 
really began his brilliant career. Highly impressed with the no 
bleness and importance of the profession he had embraced, he de 
voted himself with ardent zeal and untiring perseverance to his 
multitudinous studies, and went through his four years course 
with no less distinction than success. He was graduated July 1st, 
1838, being second in a class of forty-five, and on July 7th of the 
same year was appointed Second Lieutenant in the United States 
Engineers. Generals Hardee, Wayne, Ed. Johnson, Reynolds, 
Stevenson, Trapier, and Sibley, of the Confederate army, and Mc 
Dowell, A. T. Smith, Granger, Barney, and McKinstry, of the Fed 
eral army, were classmates of his, and were graduated at the same 

His life was uneventful from that date to the year 1846-47, when, 
according to plans drawn up by Captain J. G. Barnard, U. S. En 
gineers, and himself, he directed the fortification works at the city 
of Tampico. In the month of March, 1847, he joined the expedi 
tion under Major-General Scott, against the city of Mexico. He 
distinguished himself at the siege of Yera Cruz, in several bold 
reconnoissances before the battle of Cerro Gordo, and also in 
most of the engagements in the valley of Mexico. 

The strongest proof of his merit one that gave a forecast of 
his great strategic and engineering powers was exhibited during 
the Mexican war, at a council of general officers, held at Piedad, 
September llth, 1847, after the disastrous assault on the fortified 
positions of Molino del Key. The attack on the city of Mexico, 
and the best mode of effecting its capture, were the main subjects 
under discussion. Lieutenant Beauregard, in opposition to most 
of the general officers there present, and contrary to the views of 
all his comrades of the engineer corps, advocated an attack by 
the western approaches of Mexico. His suggestion, though very 
much combated at first and nearly discarded, was finally adopted, 
with what successful result is now a matter of history. Soon 
after this episode on September 13th Beauregard was twice 


wounded in the brilliant assault on the Garita de Belen, where 
so much dash was displayed by the American troops. 

On the expiration of the Mexican war, when Major Beauregard 
returned to his home in Kew Orleans, General Totten, as chief of 
the Engineer Department, forwarded him the following copy of Gen 
eral Orders, publishing the brevets he had won on the field of battle : 

1. " For gallant and meritorious behavior in the battles of Contreras and 
Churulusco, Mexico, August 20th, 1847, to be Captain by brevet. To date from 
August 20th, 1847." 

2. " For gallant and meritorious conduct in the battle of Chapultepcc, Mex^ 
ico, September 13th, 1847, to be Major by brevet. To date from September 
13th, 1847." 

And General Totten added : 

; It affords the department high satisfaction to communicate to you the well- 
earned reward of your efforts on the fields of Mexico." 

In order to show the high estimation in which Major Beaure 
gard was held, and the impression his eminent services had pro 
duced upon his superior officers and comrades in arms, we here 
insert the following letters, written with a view to dissuade him 
from his reported intention of resigning from the service, in the 
year 1S5G, during the lull in military allairs which followed the 
close of the Mexican war : 

" NEW YORK, Dec. 9/7*, 185G. 
" Major G. T. BEAUREGARD, U. S. Engineers : 

" My dear Sir, I am much concerned to learn that you think of leaving 
the army, after acquiring, at an early age, so much distinction in it, for sci 
ence and high gallantry in the field. Your brilliant services in Mexico, no 
body who witnessed them can ever forget. They bind the affections of the 
army to you, and ought, perhaps, to bind you to us. If you go abroad, you 
give up that connection at some hazard. My best wishes, however, will ever 
accompany my gallant young friend wherever he may go. 


The second letter is from General Pcrsifer F. Smith, under whom 
Major Beauregard had often served in Mexico. We extract from 
it the following passage : 

" I assure you, my dear Beauregard, that I look upon your quitting our ser 
vice as the greatest calamity that can befall the army and the country. Let 
me assure you with sincerity, that I know no officer left behind who can re 
place you if we get into an important war." 

"Whether it was owing to these remonstrances, or for some other 
cause, that Major Beauregard altered his determination, we are un- 


able to state ; but lie did not leave the service ; and from 1853 to 
the latter part of 1861 remained in charge of what was then called 
" the Mississippi and Lake Defences in Louisiana." He was also 
at that time superintending the building of the United States cus 
tom-house at New Orleans. 

On the 20th of November, 1860, he was appointed to the high 
position of Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point, 
but, owing to complicated events then darkening more and more 
our political horizon, and of which it is not now our purpose to 
speak, he only filled the position during a few days. He resigned 
his commission in the army of the United States in February, 
1861; and on the 1st of March of that year entered the Confed 
erate service, with the rank of brigadier-general. 

From that eventful period to the close of the war he was ever 
in the van active, self-sacrificing, vigilant, and bold. He displayed 
great forethought in his extensive views. He was masterly in his 
manner of handling troops and of leading them on to victory on 
the battle-field ; and his record of strategic ability and engineering 
skill has made him immortal in the annals of war. Had more 
of his farsighted suggestions been heeded, the cause for which he 
fought would not, perhaps, be known to-day under the mournful 
though, to us, erroneous appellation of " the Lost Cause." 

His defense of the city and harbor of Charleston unquestion 
ably the most scientific, complete, and perfect of all defences de 
vised during the war has been partially comprehended and ap 
preciated among military engineers in Europe and at the North. 

When we consider with what scant and utterly inadequate re 
sources General Bcauregard held, for nearly two years, over three 
hundred miles of most vulnerable coast, against formidable and 
always menacing land and naval forces ; when we bear in mind 
the repulse from Charleston on April 7th, 1863, of Admiral Du- 
pont s fleet of ironclads and monitors, supported by General Hunt 
er s army ; when we mark the prolonged resistance made by a 
handful of men, in the works on Morris Island, against the com 
bined land and naval batteries of General Gillmore and Admiral 
Dahlgren ; the assault and repulse of June 10th, 1863 ; the defeat 
of the former s forces in an attack on the lines of James Island, on 
July 16th, 1863; the masterly and really wonderful evacuation of 
Battery Wagner and Morris Island, after the enemy s approaches 
had reached the ditch of the former work ; when we remember 


the holding of Fort Sumtcr, in Augnst, 1863, under the most ter 
rible bombardment on record, while its guns were all dismounted 
and the work was battered into a mass of ruins ; the successful re 
moval during that period of all the heavy artillery, of 30,000 
pounds of powder, and hundreds of loaded shells, from the endan 
gered magazines ; then the permanent holding of the dismantled 
wreck with an infantry guard, and the guns of James and Sulli 
van s Islands covering the approach by boats ; the defiant, un- 
huslicd boom, morning and evening, of the gallant little gun the 
only one purposely left in the fort to salute its unconquered flag ; 
we are struck with wonder and admiration, and we cannot but rec 
ognize the rare ability of the commander, the unsurpassed forti 
tude and gallantry of the troops under him. 

Our object is not, at present, to mention at any length General 
Beauregard s many military services and victories. This interest 
ing, important, and instructive part of the history of his military 
career is contained in the following pages, written from authen 
ticated notes and documents, vouched for and furnished by 
General Beauregard himself, and to which this is but an intro 

When, after voluntarily assisting General J. E. Johnston, dur 
ing the last days of the war, he surrendered with that distinguished 
officer, in April, 1805, at Greensboro , North Carolina, he addressed 
the following touching note to the members of his staff: 

" HEADQUARTERS, etc., etc., 
GREENSBORO , X. C., April 27M, 13G5. 

"To my Personal and General Staff, Events having brought to an end the 
struggle for the independence of our country, in which we have been engaged 
together, now for four years, my relations with niy staff must also terminate. 
The hour is at hand when I must bid each and all of you farewell, and a God 
speed to your homes. 

The day was, when I was confident that this parting would be under far 
different and the most auspicious circumstances at a moment when a happv 
and independent people would be ready, on all sides, to welcome you to your 
respective communities but circumstances, which neither the courage, the 
endurance, nor the patriotism of our armies could overcome, have turned my 
brightest anticipations, my highest hopes, into bitter disappointment, in which 
you must all share. 

"You have served me, personally, with unvarying zeal, and, officially, with 
intelligence, and advantage to the public service. 

"I go from among you with profound regret. My good wishes will ever 
attend you, and your future careers will always be of interest to me/ 1 


Iii 1866, war being imminent between Turkey and the Danu- 
bian principalities, the chief command of the Roumanian Army 
was offered to General Beauregard ; and in 1869, a similar position 
in the army of the Khedive of Egypt was also tendered him. 
He declined both offers. 

Since the war he has resided permanently in his native State, 
where he has been the president of two important railroad com 
panies, lie is now Adjutant-General of the State of Louisiana. 

Wherever met in the streets of New Orleans or elsewhere, 
in his native State or out of it General Beauregard is always 
greeted with great cordiality and marks of the highest regard. 
Louisiana, as we have said, is proud of him. She knows that none 
of her sons has loved her more, or has done so much to protect 
her from the far-reaching grasp of centralized despotism which at 
one time seemed to threaten her. lie is now the identical con 
stitutional State-rights Democrat he was before the war, and 
though he takes no active part in politics, never neglects the per 
formance of any of his civic duties when circumstances require it. 

General Beauregard has been twice married. By his first wife, 
Miss Laure Marie Yillere, great-granddaughter of the Chevalier 
de Yillere, he had two sons and one daughter all three living 
and residing with or near him in the State of Louisiana. He was 
but shortly married to his second wife, Miss Caroline Deslondes, 
daughter of one of the prominent planters of the state, when he 
was unexpectedly ordered to the command of Charleston, South 
Carolina, at the very outbreak of the war. On his return home, 
in 1865, he was for the second time a widower, and had been for 
more than a year. He had borne his affliction not only like a 
Christian but with all the fortitude of a soldier, none but his own 
military family being able to detect any sign of grief in the 
countenance of the bereaved husband. 

General Beauregard is now (1883) sixty-five years of age, but 
few men of forty are so active as he, so alert, so full of life and 
vigor. Those who note his elastic military step, upright bearing, 
and quick yet thoughtful eye, feel well assured that, should occa 
sion require it, he could again serve his country with energy and 
capacity equal, if not superior, to that displayed in the past. The 
only effect upon him of additional years since the war seems to 
have been further to develop and strengthen his powers by bring 
ing to him additional knowledge and experience. 


lie appears to us now to be precisely the same as when, on 
the second day of the battle of Shiloh, he led, flag in hand, one 
of the charges of the 18th Louisiana regiment. A hail-storm of 
minie- balls was then pouring into that gallant corps. One of 
his staff, expostulating with him, and almost rebuking his too-rash 
exposure of his person, he said : " At such moments as these, the 
order must not be go? but follow! And he still tightly 
grasped the battle-flag. The whole man is portrayed in this brief 
sentence. His words were ever few at headquarters or on the 
field, but terse and to the point. One could read, by the flash of 
his eyes, that he meant what he said. 

If, as we firmly believe, traits of character, scope of mind, even 
tastes and prejudices, can be transmitted from generation to gene 
ration, we can understand how and why Pierre Gustavo Toutant 
Beauregard displayed the capacity for command and the inspiring 
influence which so distinguished him during our four years war, 
when we glance back over the long line of his ancestors, where 
love of liberty and soldierly qualities were so conspicuous. We 
very much mistake, or there is still a goodly current of the Celtic 
Tider s blood running through General Beauregard s veins, and 
the high-toned chivalric courtesy, coupled with irreproachable in 
tegrity, so remarkable in him, must certainly be derived from the 
stately old Dukes of Reggio and Modena, the heads of the House 
of Este. 








Major Beaurcgard appointed Superintendent of the United States Military 
Academy. His Determination to Resign should Louisiana Withdraw 
from the Union. Takes Command at West Point, but is immediately Re 
lieved. Returns to New Orleans. Is Offered the Rank of Colonel of 
Engineers and Artillery in the Louisiana State Forces. Declines. Plan 
to Obstruct River near Forts. Floating Booms. Is Summoned to Mont 
gomery by President Davis. Ordered to Charleston, S. C., to Assume 
Command and Direct Operations against Fort Sumter. 

WHILE in charge of the military defences of Louisiana, and of 
the construction of the New Orleans custom-bouse, in the fall of 
1SCO, General Beaurcgard, then brevet Major of United States 
Engineers, received the following order from Washington : 

" Special Order. No. 238. 


WASHINGTON, November 8th, 18GO. 

" By direction of the President, brevet Major Peter G. T. Beaurcgard, Corps 
of Engineers, is appointed superintendent of the Military Academy, and will 
relieve the present superintendent at the close of the approaching semi-annual 
examination of cadets. 
" By order of the Secretary of War. 

" S. COOPER, Adjutant-General." 

This was not only an honorable position, much coveted, and 
justly so, in the army, but it was also a highly responsible one, to 
which none but officers of the Engineer Corps of acknowledged 
merit had, up to that time, been appointed. Yet, under existing 
circumstances, to Major Beauregard it had more than one objec 
tion. Mr. Lincoln had just been elected President of the United 


States, and would, four months later, be duly inaugurated as such. 
Rumors and speculations as to the inevitable disruption of the 
Union and its probable consequences prevailed everywhere, and 
kept the public mind in a state of feverish suspense and anxiety. 
Flattering, therefore, as was to Major Beauregard the appointment 
thus tendered him by the War Department, it was with no feigned 
reluctance that he began closing his official accounts, preparatory 
to transferring the works under him to his successor in office. 
Though never taking a very active part in politics, he was strongly 
imbued witli the constitutional doctrine of States Eights and 
State Sovereignty, and considered, as did the great mass of his 
Southern countrymen, that his allegiance was primarily due to his 
own State. With these views, and under such circumstances, it 
was but natural he should feel anxious in leaving Louisiana, 
while public opinion had not yet established its level, and the 
South was still uncertain as to the proper step to pursue in vin 
dication of its imperilled rights. However and happen what 
might there was but one course open to him, and his deter 
mination was taken at once: to stand by his State, and share its 
destiny, for weal or woe. 

Towards the latter part of December of that year he left New 
Orleans for West Point, stopping on his way in Washington, to 
ascertain, if he could, what shape future events would probably 

Several Southern States had already called their people in con 
ventions, to determine what measures should be adopted in view 
of the exigencies of the hour. South Carolina had passed her Or 
dinance of Secession. Mississippi soon followed. So did Florida 
and Alabama. Louisiana, it was thought by her congressional 
delegation, would not hesitate much longer. Deeply convinced 
that such would be the result, Major Beauregard made it a point 
at once to apprise General Totten, chief of the Engineer Corps at 
Washington, of his resolution to resign his commission in the 
United States army should his State retire from the Union, thus 
giving the department full opportunity to rescind the order as 
signing him to West Point, and to take such other step in the mat 
ter as might be thought proper. He repaired to General Totten s 
office, and, by a strange coincidence, found him busily engaged in 
examining fortification drawings, which were no other than those 
of the defences of Charleston. He was studying and endeavoring 


to describe the circles of fire of Forts Sumter and Moultric. At 
Major Beauregard s avowal, General Totten expressed both sur 
prise and pain, and used every endeavor to dissuade him we need 
not add, without success. Major Beatiregard then went to the 
headquarters of General Scott, to inform him also of his intended 
resignation ; but failed to find the general, as he was temporarily 
absent from Washington. 

Major Beauregard had been authorized by General Totten, so 
anxious was the latter to retain him in the service, to defer assum 
ing command at West Point until after the close of the January 
examinations ; and, in the meantime, having nothing to detain 
him in Washington, he left for Xew York, to await further devel 

In New York he met several army friends, among others, Cap 
tain G. W. Smith, ex-officer of Engineers, then acting as Street 
Commissioner of the great northern metropolis, and Captain 
Mansfield Lovell. The absorbing topic of the day was necessarily 
brought forward and earnestly discussed. Major Beauregard in 
formed them of his intention to follow his State should it secede. 
They approved of his proposed course, and declared that they 
would act in the same manner, were they similarly situated. 

Major Beauregard had been only a few days in command at 
West Point, when the new Secretary of War, Mr. Holt, through 
animosity to Mr. Slidell, it was said, and perhaps because he had 
no faith in Major Beauregard s Union sympathies, peremptorily 
remanded him to his former station in New Orleans. Xo order 
could have been more acceptable to him, and he hastened to obey it. 

Passing through the city of Xcw York, on his way South, he 
received a telegram from Governor Moore, of Louisiana, inform 
ing him of the withdrawal of the State from the Union, and re 
questing his immediate return. He readily complied, and took 
passage on a steamer leaving the next da} r for Xew Orleans. Upon 
reaching her wharf he found it crowded with people, very much 
excited, who had collected there to see the steamer Star of the 
West, just returned from off Charleston, with two or three shot- 
holes in her hull and chimney-stack. He went on board and was 
entertained by her captain with a graphic account of the hot re 
ception the South Carolina authorities had given him. Major 
Beauregard had little idea, then, that in less than two months he 
would be constructing additional batteries in the harbor of 


Charleston, to protect it more effectually from access by vessels at 
tempting to carry reinforcements and supplies to Fort Sumter. 

Upon his arrival at New Orleans, Governor Moore furnished 
him with a copy of the Ordinance of Secession, and informed him 
that his services were required to complete the defences to the ap 
proaches of the city, which were already in full possession of the 
State authorities. His answer was that he could not do so until he had 
formally resigned his commission in the United States service. This 
he did that day, and then joined, as a private, the battalion of Or 
leans Guards, composed of the elite of the Creole population of 
the city of New Orleans. This command had just been organized 
by Colonel Numa Augustin, than whom no better citizen soldier 
was known, in the volunteer service of the State. 

The excitement and enthusiasm of the people of Louisiana and 
of New Orleans, especially, were intense. The shrill sound of the 
fife, the beating of drums, squad drills at street corners and in pub 
lic avenues, and an ever-increasing military spirit greeted one at 
every step. New Orleans had been transformed into a garrison 

All who met Major Beauregard on the streets, friends and even 
strangers, would shake him warmly by the hand, expressing the 
hope that he would be with them in the hour of trial, should such 
hour ever come. 

The general impression appeared to be that the ruling party of 
the Northern States would not oppose the peaceable withdrawal 
of the Southern States from the Union, by making war on them. 
During his short sojourn at the North Major Beauregard had 
seen and heard enough to make him doubt that such would be the 
result, and it became a matter of conscience for him to dispel the 
illusions of his too-hopeful fellow-citizens. 

The people of the State of Louisiana, in convention assembled, 
after full discussion by their ablest and best men, reached the con 
clusion that secession had become a necessity and was the only 
course to be pursued. The State called upon her sons for assist 
ance, and, as one of them, Major Beauregard responded; though, 
after having been twenty-two years in the United States arai}^ two 
of these spent in a short but glorious foreign war, where friendships 
had been created and cemented with blood, it was not to be ex 
pected that he should, without reluctance, dissever ties that had 
thus lasted through youth to mature manhood. 


Shortly after his return to Xew Orleans, the General Assembly 
passed a law organizing the Louisiana State forces. General Brax- 
ton Bragg was appointed Brigadier-General, and Major Beaure- 
gard was offered the position of Colonel of Engineers and Artil 
lery. This he declined, notwithstanding urgent appeals from 
many friends. He felt and rightly so that some injustice had 
been done him in assigning him to a secondary position. He was 
a native of the State, who had just resigned an important position 
in the United States army, while General Bragg had been out of 
the service for several years, and had but recently become a resi 
dent of Louisiana. His object, however, being to aid in the de 
fence of his country, he openly declared his readiness to serve with 
or under General Bragg, and to put at his disposal whatever of 
professional knowledge and experience he might possess. But he 
refused all military rank in the State army. 

Major Beauregard was convinced that the most important of all 
the avenues of approach to New Orleans was the Mississippi 
River; and that, to guard it properly against invasion, must be 
the one grand object in view on the part of the State authorities. 
lie therefore advised Governor Moore and the Military Board to 
arm Forts Jackson and St. Philip with the heaviest guns procura 
ble, and suggested the following plan for so doing: 1st, to remove 
the largest pieces already there, from the rear to the front or river 
faces of the forts ; 2d, to transfer to them the heavy guns of both 
Fort Pike, on the Ivigolets, and Fort Macomb, on the Chef Men- 
teur which were works of inferior order, not likely to be put in 
action at all against a fleet threatening the city. 

Major Beauregard also drew up, and furnished to the State au 
thorities, the plans and estimates for two distinct river obstruc 
tions, to be placed between Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and to be 
there used, together or separately, according to the exigency of the 
case. The first was a floating boom consisting of two parts, formed 
of long timbers twelve inches square, solidly bound together in 
sections of four timbers, each section to be connected with another 
by means of strong iron chains. One half of the boom was to be 
well anchored in the river, from the shore at Fort Jackson, and in 
clined downward as it reached the middle of the stream. The 
other half was to be anchored from the opposite bank of the river 
near Fort St. Philip, and in such a manner as to have its shore ex 
tremity made fast. To its outer and movable end was to be at- 
L 2 


tacbed a strong wire rope connected with a steam-engine, rendered 
secure by a bombproof, on the Fort Jackson side. The rope, 
worked by the engine, would close or open the boom, as circum 
stances might require, for the passage of friendly vessels or of ac 
cumulated drift-wood. 

The second boom was to consist of about five barges or flat- 
boats, properly constructed so as to support one or more heavy 
chains or wire-ropes, stretched from shore to shore, between the 
two forts, and above the floating boom. The estimate for this 
obstruction was about 90,000, and for the other about one half 
less. Both were to be illuminated at night with Drummond 
lights, placed in bombproofs on each side of the river, and the 
stream was to be patrolled by boats as far down as prudence 
would permit. 

Had these floating booms been constructed and kept in work 
ing order until required for effectual use it is beyond all doubt 
that they would have obstructed the passage of the Federal fleet 
in April, 1SG2. Detaining the vessels under the fire of the forts, 
they would have afforded sufficient time to them to do their 
work, and to the city to prepare for a vigorous defence, if not 
for a triumphant resistance. 

Somewhat later, Major Beauregard had occasion to offer a few 
suggestions to the Military Board, in a short memoir, wherein, after 
giving his general views as to the defence of the different ap 
proaches to New Orleans, he again directed attention to the para 
mount necessity of the floating booms already spoken of. He 
received the thanks of Governor Moore for his valuable infor 
mation, of the importance of which the governor was well aware, 
but the Military Board, to whom all such matters were specially 
referred, and on whose knowledge of them the State Executive so 
fully relied, failed to see the extent of the result aimed at, and, 
as was often the case during the war, the opportunity was 
allowed to slip by ; and the consequences, which might have been 
averted, advanced unhindered to their calamitous end. 

On the 22d of February, 1861, Major Beauregard received a 
despatch from the Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War of the 
Confederate government, informing him that his immediate 
presence at Montgomery was requested by President Davis. He 
made all possible haste to leave ]S r ew Orleans, thinking he might 
be away for two or three weeks at the utmost he was absent 


more tlian four years. The hope of Major Beauregard was, 
that he might be permanently stationed in Louisiana, with all 
the sea-coast of which, and the approaches to the city of New 
Orleans, he was known to be so thoroughly familiar ; irrespective 
of his very natural wish to be able, in case of need, to fight in and 
for his native State. 

It must be admitted, however, that, just at that time, few per 
sons in either section of the country really believed that the 
issues would be settled by force of arms. The South " will not 
be rash enough to attempt to retire from the Union," was the 
general opinion entertained at the North. The North " will not 
make war to drag the Southern States unwillingly back," was the 
prevailing sentiment in the South. 

This delusion is easily accounted for when we consider, not 
merely the principles set forth in the Declaration of Indepen 
dence, and the voluntary formation of the Union, by the States, 
but also the views expressed by many of the most prominent men 
of the North. We do not allude to the extravagant expressions 
repeated for many years by leaders in the abolition phalanx, pro 
fessing hatred of the Union; nor even to the sentiments of dis 
regard for it, uttered, during the same period, by influential mem 
bers in the Republican party, even on the floor of Congress; but 
to the immediate declarations of that time, such as the sober 
statement in the New York Tribune, then the principal organ of 
the dominant party at the North, that the revolution of the 
Colonies was a precedent for the secession of the States, and that 
both stood equally on the same principle of the right of a people 
to self-government. Even General Scott, as one of the alterna 
tives of action, had counselled the mild measure of allowing "the 
erring sisters " to " go in peace." 

It was not surprising, therefore, that many persons could not be 
made to believe in such a war, until, after their eyes had seen the 
flashes and their ears had heard the sounds of the guns fired at 
Sumter. the United States government called for 75,000 troops 
with which to reduce the Southern people to obedience. 

Major Beauregard arrived at Montgomery on the 2Cth of Feb 
ruary, and on the same day called on the Secretary of War. 
"Just in time, 1 said the latter, while courteously extending his 
hand, " to assist me out of a great dilemma." lie was estimating 
the weight and cost of pieces of ordnance of different calibers, 


Major Beau regard cheerfully gave him what assistance he could, 
and took the liberty to suggest the advisability of procuring, as 
soon as possible, the different heads of bureaus whom the secre 
tary needed, to relieve him of all such annoying details. Mr. 
Walker thereupon authorized Major Beauregard to telegraph at 
once to several of his friends of the old service, who in his opin 
ion might be fitted for these positions. Thus it was that the as 
sistance of Colonel Gorgas, as Chief of Ordnance, was eventually 
procured. Though a Northern man by birth, Colonel Gorgas had 
married in the South, and was entirely identified in feeling and 
interest with that section. He proved to be a meritorious officer, 
whose services \vere of value to the cause. Messages were also 
sent to Captains G. W. Smith and Mansfield Lovell, then in New 
York, advising them to repair immediately to Montgomery, where 
their presence was needed. Owing to circumstances beyond their 
control, those officers did not arrive and report for duty until after 
the battle of Manassas. 

Major Beauregard then presented himself to Mr. Davis, who 
received him with great kindness, and asked him many questions 
as to the temper of the people and the condition of affairs, at 
New Orleans and Mobile. His answer was, that now that seces 
sion was an accomplished fact on the part of Louisiana as well as 
of Alabama, their people were fast becoming unanimous as to the 
measure, which, at first, had been looked upon with hesitation and 
apprehension ; that business was mostly suspended in the cities 
of New Orleans and Mobile, but that everybody seemed hopeful 
of the future, whether we should remain permanently separated, 
or should re-enter the Union with sufficient guarantees against 
further encroachments on our rights. 

The President then asked him what knowledge he had of the 
defences around Charleston, and of the best mode of taking Fort 
Sumter, in the event of its being necessary to resort to force 
against it. He read to Major Beauregard a letter he had just 
received from Governor Pickens, of South Carolina, describing 
the condition of affairs there, and asking that an officer of experi 
ence should be sent to take charge of the operations then going 
on, and, if necessary, to assume command of the State troops 
there assembled. The president showed him also a communica 
tion from Major W. H. C. Whiting, an ex-officer of United States 
Engineers, then in the service of the State of Georgia, who had 


been sent to Charleston to inspect the works being constructed 
against Fort Sumter, and advise such changes and improvements 
as his professional experience might suggest. Major Whiting, in 
this paper, expressed his disapproval of almost all that had been 
done in the way of locating and constructing batteries, and gave 
an alarming description of the condition of affairs there. 

Major Beauregard having with him a map of Charleston, given 
him that day by Major W. II. Chase, ex-officer of Engineers, ex 
plained to the President what should, in his opinion, be done to 
prevent assistance by sea to Fort Sumter, and to force its sur 
render, if necessary. The matter was thoroughly examined and 
discussed until a late hour in the night. 

The next afternoon Major Beauregard was accosted by some 
members of the convention from South Carolina and Georgia, 
who informed him that he had just been appointed first Brigadier- 
General in the provisional army of the Confederate States; and 
that he would be sent to assume command at Charleston, and di 
rect operations there against Fort Sumter. This news took Ma 
jor Beauregard completely by surprise. lie neither desired nor 
expected such an honor. He feared it might keep him away for 
an indefinite period from Xew Orleans, whither he was anxious 
to return, for private as well as public reasons. lie knew little 
of the defences of Charleston, and was not familiar with its peo 
ple ; whereas he was thoroughly acquainted with those of !Xew 
Orleans; and, although perfectly willing to serve the Confeder 
acy to the utmost of his ability, wherever sent, he thought his 
services were first due to the defence and protection of his own 
State. There was another impediment, though, under the circum 
stances, of much less gravity. His resignation from the United 
States army, dated and forwarded February Sth, 1SG1, had not yet 
been, to his knowledge, accepted ; and still regardful of the strict 
observance of rules and regulations to which he had been trained, 
he was disinclined to take up arms against the United States flag 
until officially relieved from his fealty to it. This he explained 
to President Davis, who, after urging his acceptance of the po 
sition offered, and promising that he should if necessary, be sent 
back to Xew Orleans, suggested that he should at once telegraph 
to the War Department in Washington, and be set at rest on this 
point. He did so for communications between all sections of 
the country were still free and the next day received formal in- 


formation of the acceptance of his resignation by President Bu 

Upon his informing Mr. Davis of the fact, the latter instructed 
him to repair at once to Charleston, there to report to Governor 
Pickens, and to take command of the State troops, should the 
South Carolina authorities so desire the troops then assembled at 
or near Charleston not having yet regularly entered the Confed 
erate service. 



Description of Charleston. General BcaurcgarcVs Arrival. Cursory Sketch of 
the Condition of the Public Mind in the South. The Hon. Robert Barn- 
Tvell Ilhctt. One Sentiment and One Resolve animating South Carolin 
ians. South Carolina Commissioners to Washington. Failure of Nego 
tiations. Major Anderson Evacuates Fort Moultrie and Occupies Fort 
Sumtcr. Hoisting of Palmetto Flags. Steamer Star of the West. Gov 
ernor Pickens Summons Major Anderson to Surrender the Fort. He De 
clines, but Refers the Matter to Washington. Mr. Buchanan Refuses to 
Withdraw Federal Garrison. All Eyes Centred on South Carolina. 
System and Plan of Operations Adopted by General Bcaurcgard. More 
Troops Volunteer than are Needed. 

SEVEN miles from the Atlantic Ocean, and looking out upon it 
to the southeast, stands the city of Charleston, built at the conflu 
ence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers. It is on a tongue of tin- 
mainland, consisting of gray sandy soil, and extends southward, 
tapering in width from two miles to half a mile. Here the Ash 
ley turns from the west and sweeps around, to mingle its waters 
with those of the Cooper, whose principal current passes close 
along the east or sea- front of the city. A marshy mud-flat, 
called Shutc s Folly Island, rises east of Charleston on the further 
side of this branch of Cooper River, and beyond it is the sand-strip 
and beach of Sullivan s Island. The lesser stream of Cooper River, 
flowing to the north and east of Shute s Folly, passes the main 
land at Haddrell s Point and Mount Pleasant, and off the western 
extremity of Sullivan s Island unites with the other waters of the 
bay. South of Charleston, across the water, lies James Island, 
with its uplands extending about two and a half miles down the 
harbor. It is separated by a marsh and creek from the low white 
sand-bank of Morris Island. On account of the flatness of the 
country, the waters ebb and flow r many miles up the Ashley and 
Cooper rivers, with a mean tide of seven feet at the city. Thus 
constituted, the harbor of Charleston averages two miles in width, 
and forms a beautiful sheet of water. 

Out in the bay, three miles from the city, stands Fort Sumter. 
It is built on a shoal just south of the main channel, which it is 


intended to command, and is a mile from Fort Moultrie, which 
lies to the northeast, across the entrance, on Sullivan s Island. It 
is thirteen hundred yards from Morris Island, which lies to the 
south-southeast ; iifteen hundred yards from Fort Johnson, which 
stands to the southwest, on James Island, and two miles from 
Castle Pinckney, on Shute s Folly, which lies to the northwest. 
Fort Sumter is or was, at the time of which we are writing a 
pentagonal work of formidable strength, built for mounting one 
hundred and forty pieces. The height of its walls, from the 
water s edge to the parapets, is sixty feet ; the fort is divided into 
three tiers, two of which the lower ones were casemated, and 
the upper en barbette. With its commodious officers quarters, 
its barracks, mess-rooms, magazines, and hot-shot furnaces, it had 
been considered one of the best-built forts under the control of 
the United States government, and did honor to the ability of the 
engineers who designed and executed its construction. 

Fort Moultrie was a low brick work, without casemates, but 
with terre-pleins for batteries en barbette, the principal of which 
were "the sea battery," facing southeast, and "the Sumter bat 
tery," facing southwest. 

Fort Johnson was an antiquated and dilapidated work, that had 
been abandoned. Castle Pinckney, opposite the city, across Coop 
er River, was an old-fashioned, half-moon fortification of brick, with 
one row of casemates for small ordnance and a terre-plein above. 

In 1860, Charleston contained about fifty thousand inhabitants. 
Besides its commercial importance, it was the residence of many 
intelligent and educated planters, cultivating rice in the malarial 
tide-swamps, and sea-island cotton along the rich coast region of 
the "low country." It was the centre of the factorage business 
of the State, of the supply market, of banking and exchange. It 
was also headquarters in matters of church and school, society and 
politics. The town was old and respectable -looking, evidently; 
built for personal convenience, not for show; and its people spent 
their money in substantial good -living within doors, rather than 
in outward display. With many churches and public schools, no 
private palaces and few brown-stone fronts were visible; but its 
separate dwellings of brick and of wood, with their enclosed 
gardens and luxuriant shrubbery, unique rows of rooms accessible 
to the sea breeze, with tiers of spacious piazzas, gave it an air of 
exclusive individuality and solid comfort. 


General Beauregard arrived in Charleston on the 1st of March, 
1S61, and immediately repaired to Governor Pickens s headquar 
ters, which were then established at the Charleston Hotel. Gover 
nor Pickens was found in earnest consultation with eminent citizens 
of the Palmetto State. A hearty welcome was extended to the 
Confederate commander, whose arrival from Montgomery had 
been announced in advance of time, and was anxiously awaited 
by all. 

Governor Pickens proposed to put General Beauregard in com 
mand without delay, but his offer was declined ; General Beaure 
gard preferring first to acquaint himself thoroughly with the 
forces collected in and around Charleston, the sites of the various 
batteries then in course of erection, and the available resources in 

A retrospective glance over the causes which induced the course 
adopted by South Carolina and the Southern States, and a cursory 
sketch of the condition of the public mind at that juncture, can 
not fail to be of interest to the reader. 

The State of South Carolina was the first to dissever the ties 
that bound her to the Union. She was actuated, in so doing, not 
by motives of profit, of ambition, or love of strife, but by princi 
ple, and a sense of right to control her own destiny, and escape the 
ruin she foresaw in falling under the rule of a hostile sectional 
party, regardless of the limitations of the Constitution, which alone 
gave security to the minority in the South. 

Time and again had the South, in a spirit of unwise concilia 
tion, yielded to unconstitutional encroachments, knowing them to 
be such, but with no better result than to increase this aggression 
upon her rights. 

The bond of union namely, the Constitution was virtually 
broken. The antagonistic relations of the two sections had culmi 
nated in the election of a President believed to be unfriendly to 
the States of the South. It was thought that, as a speedy sequel, 
the South would be excluded from the common territory ; that 
the guarantees of the Constitution would no longer exist ; that the 
Southern States would lose the power of self-government, and Fed 
eral authority predominate over all. 

To have acquiesced passively in such a new order of things, 
whereby the Government of the United States was no longer the 
government of confederated republics, but of a consolidated De- 


mocracy, would have been lending a hand to despotism. This, 
South Carolina would not do. By such an act she would have be 
lied her past history, and condemned that noble struggle for lib 
erty, as a result of which the American colonies had been acknowl 
edged by Great Britain and the world to be " free, sovereign, and 
independent States." 

Whatever may have been the hopes of South Carolina, when, 
on the 20th of December, 1860, she dissolved her connection with 
the Union, she had no certainty that her Southern sister States 
would follow the course she had thought proper to adopt. She 
acted alone, impelled by her own sense of duty, of independence 
and self-respect, as a sovereign. 

Her example, and the tone of her leading men, foremost among 
whom stood that profound statesman, the late Robert Barn well 
Rhett the friend and successor of John C. Calhoun had no small 
influence in determining the subsequent withdrawal of the other 
States of the South. The weight of Northern hostility had been 
felt by each and all ; and the decisive action of any one of them 
was more than sufficient to kindle the latent fires of self-preserva 
tion by disunion. 

At the time of which we are now writing, and no matter what 
may have been the previous divergence of opinions among the 
leaders of that gallant State, there was but one feeling, one senti 
ment, and one resolve animating every South Carolina heart : to 
retake possession, at any cost, of the arsenals, forts, and other pub 
lic property then in the hands of the Federal authorities, and to 
assume and exercise all the rights appertaining to a free and inde 
pendent commonwealth. 

The object of her Commissioners in "Washington, as shown by 
their official correspondence with President Buchanan, was to ob 
tain a just, honorable, and peaceable settlement of the question at 
issue between South Carolina and the Federal Government. 

" We have the honor to transmit to you," wrote these Commis 
sioners to the President, "a copy of the full powers from the con 
vention of the people of South Carolina, under which we are au 
thorized to treat with the government of the United States for the 
delivery of the forts, magazines, lighthouses, and other real estate, 
with their appurtenances, within the limits of South Carolina, and 
also for the apportionment of the public debt, and for a division 
of all other property held by the government of the United States 


as agent of the confederated States, of which South Carolina was 
recently a member ; and generally to negotiate as to all other 
measures and arrangements proper to be made and adopted in the 
existing relation of the parties, and for the continuance of peace 
and amity between this commonwealth and the government at 
Washington." * 

These negotiations failed. 

The removal of the United States garrison, on the 25th of De 
cember, I860, from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter the gun car 
riages of the former work having been fired and the guns injured 
by the retiring troops whatever may have been its cause, or by 
whomsoever suggested, was the h rst overt act of war, and the real 
beirinninir of hostilities between the two sections. That it was 

o o 

due to the action of a United States officer and representative of 
the Federal government, is beyond doubt. The question, whether 
he obeyed orders or acted on his own responsibility, in nowise af 
fects the fact. 

All hesitation and all illusions, on the part of the South Carolina 
authorities, were, from that moment, swept aside; and, as a logical 
sequence, on the day following, the Palmetto State flag was raised 
over smoking Moultrie, and over the other defences of the harbor, 
Sumter excepted. The South Carolina Commissioners retired from 
Washington and returned home, having had the full assurance 
from President Buchanan that he would not remand Major An 
derson to Fort Moultrie, withdraw the United States troops from 
Fort Sumter, or give up the latter to the State authorities. 

Vigorous preparations for the coming struggle were now begun 
by the State of South Carolina, with entire unanimity and a most 
admirable spirit among her people. Works were thrown up, and 
batteries constructed, at various points of the harbor, where it was 
thought they could best defend the city, and cut off outside com 
munications with Fort Sumter. 

These precautionary measures were taken none too soon. At 
dawn on the 9th of January, the steamer Star of the West, with 
a reinforcement of several hundred men, and supplies of food 
and ammunition for Sumter, appeared off the bar of Charleston 

* Sec letter dated Washington, Dec. 28th, I860, of Messrs. R. "W. Barnwcll, 
J. II. Adams, and James L. Orr, South Carolina Commissioners, to President 


harbor. She entered Ship Channel, and was rapidly approaching 
when a shot was fired across her bow from a battery on Morris 
Island, as a signal to heave to. Disregarding this warning, she 
hoisted the United States flag and boldly continued her course. 
Five rounds were then fired at her in quick succession, two of 
which took effect. At the sixth discharge she rounded to, low 
ered her flag, and steamed out of the harbor. Fort Moultrie had 
also opened fire on her. 

Events now followed one another in rapid succession. Major 
Anderson, demanding to know of Governor Pickens whether or 
not he had authorized the firing on a transport bearing the United 
States flag, was answered in the affirmative. Soon afterwards Gov 
ernor Pickens formally summoned Major Anderson to surrender 
Fort Sumter to the State authorities. This Major Anderson re 
fused to do, but offered to refer the matter to his government, at 

As a proof of the conciliatory spirit still animating both the peo 
ple and the authorities of South Carolina, Governor Pickens ac 
ceded to this request, and the Honorable Isaac W. Hayne was ac 
cordingly sent to Washington, with power to act in the premises. 
Protracted negotiations ensued, but brought about no satisfactory 
result, the answer of Mr. Holt, the new Secretary of War, leaving 
but little hope of an amicable settlement. 

Thus, under these perplexing circumstances, with an earnest 
desire for peace, but with insufficient courage to avow and pro 
mote it, Mr. Buchanan s administration came to a close. Congress 
had been as irresolute as the President himself, and had taken no 
step to avoid the impending danger of collision. 

In the meantime, other Southern States, to wit, Mississippi, 
Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas, had severed their 
connection with the Federal Government, and linking their des 
tinies with that of South Carolina, had regularly organized, at 
Montgomery, the Provisional Government of the Confederate 
States of America. 

All eyes were now fixed upon the Palmetto State, the pivot 
around which turned the fortunes of the South, in this grand ef 
fort for constitutional liberty which was about to be made. To 
her honor be it said, she proved worthy of the leadership which 
fate had confided to her hands. Her State troops and volunteers 
answered with more than alacrity to the call of the constituted 


authorities, and poured in from every district, eager to be counted 
among the first to strike a blow in defence of the cause in which 
their lives and more than their lives were now enlisted. The 
difficulty among the officers was, not to elevate the morale of these 
patriotic freemen, or prepare them for the dangers they were about 
to encounter, but to restrain their ardor, and maintain them within 
the bounds of prudence and moderation. 

Such was the condition of affairs in South Carolina, and such the 
tone of the public mind in the city of Charleston, when General 
Beauregard arrived there. 

Having made a thorough inspection of all the works, he came to 
the conclusion that a great deal still remained to be done by way 
of preparation for active measures against Fort Sumter. 

The system and plan of operations which had been adopted 
seemed to be to concentrate all the available guns and mortars at 
two points, namely : Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan s Island, and 
Cumming s Point, on Morris Island, where a few guns and about 
half a dozen mortars of heavy caliber were being put in position. 
Battery "Star of the West" so called, from its repulse of the 
steamer of that name contained four 24-pounders, which enfiladed 
the main south channel, known as the Morris Island Channel. 

General Beauregard determined to alter that system, but gradu 
ally and cautiously, so as not to dampen the ardor, or touch the 
pride, of the gallant and sensitive gentlemen who had left their 
comfortable homes, at the call of their State, to vindicate its honor 
and assert its rights. They had endured, for weeks, the privations 
and exposures of a soldier s life, on bleak islands, where it was 
impossible, at times, to see objects at a greater distance than a few 
yards, because of the sand drifts created by the northers, prevalent 
on the coast at that season of the year. 

General Beauregard noted, with feelings of admiration, an old 
gentleman, standing sentry at one of the camps on the island, who 
had organized, armed, and equipped a whole company of infantry 
at his own expense, and had placed it under the command of his 
youngest brother. This had been his contribution to his country s 
cause ; and, deeming it insufficient, he had also offered his services 
and his life, as a private in his own company. 

Among the privates there assembled for duty were planters and 
sons of planters, some of them the wealthiest men of South Caro 
lina, diligently working, side by side with their slaves. Not a 


word of complaint from any of them did General Beauregard hear 
during his inspection tour, except, perhaps, against the long delay 
in attacking Fort Sumter. Numerous were the plans each " infal 
lible " suggested by these high-spirited gentlemen, for taking the 
formidable work which loomed tip majestic and defiant in the dis 
tance, like a mountain risen from the sea, its barbette guns grimly 
crowning its summit. 



The Confederate States Commissioners. Their Correspondence \vith Mr. Sew- 
ard. How they were Deceived. Mr. Lincoln s Sectional Views. Letter 
of Miijor Anderson to the Adjutant-General of the United States Army. 
On Whom must Rest the Responsibility for the War. Mr. Buchanan s 
Wavering Policy. General Beaurcgard Distrusts the Good Faith of the 
Federal Authorities. His Plan to Reduce Fort Sumter. Detached Bat 
teries. Floating and Iron-clad Batteries. Fort Sumter s Supplies Cut 
Off. Drummond Lights. Steam Harbor-boats. Enfilade or Masked 
Battery. Mr. Chew. His Message to General Beaurcgard. Secretary of 
War Apprised of Same. His Answer to Telegram. Blakely Rifled Gun. 
By Whom Sent. General Bcauregard Demands the Surrender of Fort 
Sumter. Major Anderson Declines. Fire Opened on the Fort April 12th. 

THE Confederate States Commissioners Messrs. John Forsyth 
of Alabama, M. J. Crawford of Georgia, and A. 13. Koinan of Lou 
isiana with proposals from their government, were sent to "Wash 
ington after the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln as President. They 
were instructed " to make to the government of the United States 
overtures for the opening of negotiations, assuring that govern 
ment that the President, Congress, and people of the Confederate 
States earnestly desire a peaceful solution of these great questions, 
and that it is neither their interest nor their wish to make any de 
mand that is not founded in strictest justice, nor to do any act to 
injure their late confederates."" 

It was hoped that these commissioners, representing an organ 
ized government, perfect in all its parts, and clothed with powers 
by seven sovereign States, would be deemed entitled to greater 
consideration, and might accomplish more than the commissioners 
sent by South Carolina alone had been able to do. 

13 ut Mr. Lincoln and his advisers assumed very formal ground, 
and declined all official intercourse with representatives of " rebel 
lious States." They would have nothing to do with " irregular 

* Sec letter of Southern Commissioners to Mr. Lincoln, " Rebellion Record/ 
vol. i. p. 42. 


negotiations, having in view new and untried relations with agen 
cies unknown to, and acting in derogation of, the Constitution 
and the laws."* 

The correspondence of the Southern Commissioners with Mr. 
Seward attests this. The interesting particulars added thereto by 
the Honorable John A. Campbell, late Associate-Justice of the Su 
preme Court of the United States, show that not only were the 
conciliatory proposals tendered to the Federal government by the 
Confederate States treated with uncourteous disregard, but that a 
covert attempt at provisioning and reinforcing Fort Sumter was 
being made, pending the delay to which our commissioners were 
subjected in Washington, while unofficial but positive assurances 
were given them of an early evacuation of that fort. 

So many despatches and letters, public and private, had been 
forwarded to the South by influential Southern statesmen then in 
Washington, to the effect that, despite heavy outside pressure, the 
President could be induced to settle the question at issue with 
out a resort to arms, if sufficient time were allowed him, that up 
to the very last hour the Confederate authorities at Montgomery, 
and many high officials in Charleston, really hoped that the Fed 
eral troops would yet be withdrawn from Sumter, and the im 
pending danger of war be averted. General Crawford, United 
States Army, in his essay, " The First Shot Against the Flag," 
speaking of this impression, says distinctly, "and they had at one 
time reason for the belief."f General Doubleday expresses him 
self with no less certainty when he states that "Anderson now 
had no doubt that we would be withdrawn, and the papers all 
gave out the same idea."$ 

"Not until Captain G. V. Fox, of the United States Navy, had 
obtained introduction into Sumter, under the plea of "pacific pur 
poses," though in reality to concert a plan for its reinforcement ; 
not until Colonel Lamon, representing himself as a confidential 
agent of President Lincoln, had gained access to the fort, under 
the pretence of arranging matters for the removal of the troops, 
but "in reality to confer with Major Anderson, and ascertain the 
amount of provisions on hand ;" not until, on the 8th of April, 

* Mr. Scward s reply to the Southern Commissioners. 

t "Annals of the War," p. 324. 

J General Doubleday s " Reminiscences of Suinter and Moultrie," p. 133. 

Ibid. p. 134. 


Mr. Chew, from the State Department at Washington, had noti 
fied both Governor Pickens and General Beauregard "that the 
government intended to provision Fort Sumter peaceably, if pos 
sible, forcibly, if necessary ;" not until then was the last expecta 
tion of an amicable settlement of our difficulties dismissed from 
the minds of those who, though vigorously preparing for war, 
cherished none the less the delusive hope of peace. 

It was rumored at the time, and has been repeated since by 
General Crawford, that Mr. Chew, after delivering his message to 
the South Carolina authorities, " barely escaped from the city of 
Charleston without molestation." This is an error. Mr. Chew, 
who was an intelligent man, no doubt felt the very equivocal nat 
ure of his mission at such a juncture, and did manifest symptoms 
of anxiety for his personal safety ; but General Beauregard and 
Governor Pickens gave him at once most positive assurances that 
he had no reason to fear any act of violence from the people of 
Charleston. " The crowd you see around this building, General 
Beauregard told him, " shows the eagerness of the people to be 
informed of the news you bear us, and nothing more. You may 
go among them, repeat what you have here said, and not a word 
of insult will be offered you." To make assurance doubly sure, 
however, and to appease the apparent nervousness of Mr. Lincoln s 
messenger, he was escorted to the railroad depot by aids of Gen 
eral Beauregard and Governor Pickens, and left Charleston un 
molested, and as freely as he had entered it. The only thing he 
could have complained of though we have no evidence that he 
ever did is, that his telegrams to Mr. Lincoln never reached 
their destination, and that his return journey was unusually pro 
tracted. The explanation of these facts is that General Beau- 
regard, who considered himself justified in making use of every 
rightful stratagem of war, arrested Mr. Chew s telegrams, and 
purposely delayed some of the trains that took him back to Wash 

Major Anderson s letter to Colonel L. Thomas, Adjutant-Gen 
eral United States Army, dated April Sth, 1SG1, and the telegrams 
from Messrs. Crawford, Roman, and Forsyth, from Washington, 
establish the fact that the object of the Federal government in 
delaying its final answer to the Southern Commissioners was to 
gain time for the reinforcement of Sumter before it could be re 
duced by the South Carolina troops under General Beauregard. 
L 3 


The following is an extract from Major Anderson s letter. It 
explains itself, and clears him from all participation in that act 
of duplicity : 

"FORT SUMTER, S. C., April 8th, 1801. 
" To Colonel L. THOMAS, etc. : 

" Colonel,* * * * * * * 

I had the honor to receive by yesterday s mail the letter of the Honorable 
Secretary of War, dated April 4th, and confess that what he here states sur 
prises me very greatly, following, as it does, and contradicting so positively, 
the assurance Mr. Crawford telegraphed he was authorized to make. I trust 
that this matter will be at once put in a correct light, as a movement made 
now, when the South has been erroneously informed that none such would be 
attempted, would produce most disastrous results throughout our country. 
It is, of course, now too late for me to give any advice in reference to the pro 
posed scheme of Captain Fox. I fear that its result cannot fail to be disas 
trous to all concerned. Even with his boat at our walls, the loss of life (as I 
think I mentioned to Mr. Fox) in unloading her will more than pay for the 
good to be accomplished by the expedition, which keeps us, if I can maintain 
possession of this work, out of position, surrounded by strong works, which 
must be carried to make this fort of the least value to the United States gov 

" We have not oil enough to keep a light in the lantern for one night. The 
boats will have to, therefore, rely at night entirely upon other marks. I ought 
to have been informed that this expedition was to come. Colonel Lamou s 
remark convinced me that the idea, merely hinted at to me by Captain Fox, 
would not be carried out. 

" We shall strive to do our duty, though I frankly say that my heart is not 
in this war, which, I see, is to be thus commenced. That God will still avert 
it, and cause us to resort to pacific means to maintain our rights, is my ardent 

" I am, Colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" EGBERT ANDERSON, Major 1st Artillery commanding/ 

These three most significant telegrams are from our commis 
sioners : 

1. " WASHINGTON, April 5th, 1861. 

"Hon. ROBERT TOOMBS, etc., Montgomery, Ala. : 

" The movement of troops and preparation on board of vessels of war, of 
which you have already been apprised, are continued with the greatest activ 
ity. An important move, requiring a formidable military and naval force, is 
certainly on foot. The statement that this armament is intended for St. Do- 
rningo may be a mere ruse. 

"We are, however, credibly informed that Commodore Stringham, who 
takes charge of the squadron, sails for St. Domingo. 

" Having no confidence in the administration, we say, be ever on your guard. 


Glad to hear that you are ready. The notice promised us will come at the 
last moment, if the fleet be intended for our waters. 




2. "AprilGtJi,l8Gl. 
" Hon. ROBERT TOOMBS, Secretary, etc., Montgomery, Ala. : 

" No change in the activity of the warlike armaments mentioned yesterday. 
The rumor that they are destined against Pickcns, and perhaps Sumter, is 
getting every day stronger. We know nothing positive on the subject, but 
advise equal activity on your part to receive them if they come. "We have 
not yet been notified of the movement, but the notification may come when 
they are ready to start. 




3. " WASHINGTON, April lltli, 1SG1. 
" General G. T. BEAFREGARD : 

"The Tribune of to-day declares the main object of the expedition to be the. 1 
relief of Sumter, and that a force will be landed which will overcome all op 
position. " ROMAN. 



The correspondence between General Scott and Captain Fox, 
the communication of Secretary Cameron to the latter, the letters 
of President Lincoln to the same and to Lieutenant D. D. Porter, 
come as corroborating evidence of the preconcerted determination 
of the Federal authorities to dupe the Southern people and their 
representatives in Washington. 

The justice and impartial logic of history will establish, beyond 
the possibility of a doubt, that the Southern Commissioners, in 
their parting communication to Mr. Seward, dated April 9th, 1861, 
were fully justified in using the following dignified and truthful 
language : 

O e7> 

" Your refusal to entertain these overtures for a peaceful solution, the active 
naval and military preparations of this government, and a formal notice to the 
commanding general of the Confederate forces in the harbor of Charleston, 
that the President intends to provision Fort Sumter by forcible means, if nec 
essary, are viewed by the undersigned, and can only be received by the world, 
as a declaration of war against the Confederate States; for the President of 
the United States knows that Fort Sumter cannot be provisioned without the 
effusion of blood. 


Among the few persons, in Charleston and elsewhere, who, from 
the first, doubted the purpose of the Federal authorities, and never 
believed in any good coming from the unaccountable delays in the 
negotiations at Washington, was General Beauregard, Charleston s 
popular commander. t 

He had lost no time in pushing forward, as rapidly as possible, 
the plan of attack he had adopted immediately after his arrival. 
That plan was to form a circle of fire, by distributing all his avail 
able guns and mortars around a circumference of which Fort 
Sumter should be the centre. To accomplish this he had three of 
the six mortars about to be put in position at Cummings s Point 
removed to the Trapier Battery on Morris Island. They were 
10 -inch mortars. The three others (8 -inch) he left where they 
had been originally mounted. "With his usual prompt decision 
and remarkable activity, he asked and obtained from Savan 
nah and Pensacola other mortars which he knew were there, and 
distributed them as follows: three in Fort Johnson, on James 
Island; one in Castle Pinckney, an inner defence in the harbor; 
two in Christ Church parish, near Mount Pleasant; and three on 
Sullivan s Island, in the vicinity of Fort Moultrie. 

All his mortars were now placed in proper positions, and in 
accord with the principles of gunnery ; that is to say, near enough 
to Fort Sumter to do it the greatest possible damage, and yet far 
enough away to be almost beyond range of its fire, with the ex 
ception of the three 8-inch mortars at Cummings s Point, already 
referred to, winch were of but slight value or importance. 

The merlons and traverses at Fort Moultrie and the batteries 
near it, as originally constructed by the officers in charge, were to 
tally inadequate to the purpose for which they were intended. 
lie had them rebuilt of a much larger size and greater solidity. 
He also located his gun-batteries with the utmost care, endeav 
oring to enfilade the barbette guns of Sumter, so as to disable 
them, should the emergency arise. 

It was on the Morris Island shore that General Beauregard first 
applied his plan of detached batteries for the defence of channels 
and rivers. Close observation had shown him that batteries thus 
constructed and armed with a few guns each, well protected by 
heavy traverses and merlons, were much more efficacious than 
would be a single large work, having all the guns concentrated in 
it, without these protections. When a fort is attacked by a fieet, 


its exposed barbette guns are soon disabled and tlie gunners driven 
to cover ; whereas, in detached batteries, which mutually support 
each other, those not immediately under lire can be worked at 
leisure and with accuracy. One gun ashore, well protected, is 
equivalent to many guns afloat, and the advantage is certain to be 
on the side of the fire of the detached batteries, especially when 
guarded against a land attack by a proper supporting force. 

Captain John Randolph Hamilton, of Charleston, an ex-officer 
of the United States navy, had constructed a floating battery, 
originally of rough materials, and so clumpy and ungainly in ap 
pearance as to be criticised by those who first examined it. 
General Beauregard being directly applied to by the inventor, 
and approving of his design, procured for him the iron plating 
necessary for the completion of his work. Early in April it was 
ready for use, and was removed to the western extremity of 
Sullivan s Island, where it was placed in position, so as to deliver 
a destructive fire upon the postern entrance of the fort facing 
the city, a point which could not be effectively bombarded from 
any other battery. 

An iron-clad land battery was also constructed, at that time, 
by C. H. Stevens, of Charleston, who afterwards became a briga 
dier-general in the Confederate army, and was killed at the battle 
of Chickamauga. It consisted of heavy timbers overlaid with 
railroad iron, so fitted together as to present a smooth inclined 
surface, to be properly greased when ready for action. Its heavy 
guns, three in number, were fired through embrasures supplied 
with strong iron shutters. General Beauregard likewise approved 
of Mr. Stevens s plan, and added to it such suggestions as his 
engineering experience justified. This battery was erected at 
Cummings s Point, only thirteen hundred yards from Fort Sumter. 

Both Captain Hamilton s and Mr. Steven s batteries proved 
the wisdom of their inventors, and fully met General Beaure- 
gard s expectations. They were, in fact, the first experiments 
from which sprang all iron-clad war vessels and land batteries in 
the United States, and to them may be attributed most of the 
important changes and improvements since made in naval archi 
tecture and armaments. 

" On the Gth of April," says General Donbleday, in his " Remi 
niscences," " Beauregard restricted our marketing to two days in 
the week. On the 7th it was wholly cut off, and we noticed 


gangs of negroes hard at work strengthening the defences on 
Morris Island. . . . Anderson was greatly troubled at the failure 
of all his plans to keep the peace. . . . The rebels knew, and per 
haps he knew, that on the 6th and 7th of April a number of 
naval vessels had left New York and Norfolk under sealed orders. 
Their destination could hardly be doubted." 

The orders cutting off the supplies, alluded to by General Dou- 
bleday, were issued and rigidly enforced by General Beauregard, 
whose object was not only to prevent the fort from receiving 
supplies of provisions, but also to prevent the purchase of oil, 
without which no signals could be made to the expected fleet; 
moreover, without oil, the wheels and chassis of Major Anderson s 
guns, then clogged by the sand drifts in the work, could not be 
kept in proper order for immediate effective use. 

To guard further against the entrance of the Federal fleet, 
which might be effected during; a dark ni^ht, despite the vigilance 

O O O s X o 

of our channel batteries, General Beauregard determined to use 
two large Drurnmond lights, one on Morris Island, the other on 
Sullivan s Island, at points specially selected, in order to illumi 
nate the channels leading to Fort Sumter, and thereby facilitate 
the firing of the Morris Island beach batteries and other works 
bearing; on the outer harbor. He had ordered and received these 


valuable lights from ]S r ew York, and having placed them in bomb- 
proofs, so constructed as to insure their usefulness and safety, 
intrusted them to the care of Professor Lewis li. Gibbes, of the 
Charleston College. 

In connection with these two Drummond lights, and as an ad 
ditional safeguard, Captain Ilartsteiri, a distinguished ex-officer of 
the United States navy, was placed in command of the steam 
harbor boats, and detailed to watch the various channel entrances, 
with orders, should he discover vessels attempting to approach 
Fort Sumter, to throw up signal rockets, as a warning to the 
batteries and the Drummond lights, and then to steam slowly in, 
after hoisting a light of special color, by which his vessels could 
be distinguished from those of the enemy. This duty, at times 
very harassing, was performed by him and his officers and men, 
with unremitting zeal and energy. 

Another object and an important one still remained to bo 
accomplished : some of the barbette guns of Sumter, on the land- 
face fronting the city, could not be effectively reached by the 


batteries thus far erected. General Beauregard, therefore, in 
order to perfect his line of attack and also to prevent a landing 
of any reinforcement at the postern gate of the fort, constructed 
a masked battery of four guns at the west end of Sullivan s 
Island, in rear of a small summer residence abandoned by its 
owners. It proved to be, says General Doubleday, in his " Remi 
niscences," page 140, a formidable work " which effectually en- 
ii laded two rows of our upper tier of guns en ~barbettc, and took a 
third tier in reverse. It was a sad surprise to us, for we had our 
heaviest metal there." 

Immediately after the delivery of Mr. Lincoln s message by 
Mr. Chew, General Beauregard sent the following despatch to 
the Secretary of A\ r ar, at Montgomery : 

" CHARLESTON, April 8th, 18G1. 
" To L. P. WALKER : 

"Dear /SVr, An authorized messenger from Mr. Lincoln has just informed 
Governor Pickcus and myself that provisions will be sent to Fort Sumter, 
peaceably if they can, forcibly if they must. 


To this the Secretary of War replied : 

" MONTGOMERY, April Wt/t, 1SG1. 
" To General BEAUREGARD, Charleston : 

"If you have no doubt of the authorized character of the agent who com 
municated to you the intention of the Washington government to supply Fort 
SMimter by force, you will at once demand its evacuation; and if this is re 
fused, proceed in such a manner as you may determine to reduce it. 


General Beauregard was ready. lie had displayed untiring 
energy in his preparations, and had been most zealously and 
effectively assisted by the South Carolina authorities and the 
officers and men under him. One thing only remained to be at 
tended to, and that was the placing in position of a small Blake- 
ly rilled gun, the first ever used in America, which had just ar 
rived from England an unexpected present to the State from 
Charles K. Prioleau, of Charleston, a partner in the Liverpool 
branch of the firm of John Frazer & Co. It arrived off the har 
bor on the day before the order from Montgomery was received, 
and delayed its execution for twenty-four hours. 

At two o clock P. M., April llth, General Beauregard, through 


his aids, Captain S. D. Lee, Colonel James Chestnut, Jr., and 
Lieutenant A. E. Chisolm, made a formal demand for the imme 
diate surrender of Fort Surater. The terms offered were : " to 
transport Major Anderson and his command to any port in the 
United States he might select ; to allow him to move out of the 
fort with company arms and property, and all private property ; 
and to salute his flag on lowering it."* 

General Beauregard s despatch, forwarded, on the same day to 
the Secretary of War, was as follows : 

" CHARLESTON, April llth, 1861. 
" To L. P. WALKER : 

"Major Anderson replied: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt 
of your communication, demanding the evacuation of this fort, and to say, 
in reply thereto, that it is a demand with which I regret that my sense of 
honor and of my obligation to my government prevent my compliance. He 
adds, verbally : I will await the first shot, and if you do not batter us to 
pieces, we will be starved out in a few days. Answer. 


The answer came in all haste. It was as follows : 

" MONTGOMERY, April llth, 1861. 
" To General BEAUREGARD, Charleston : 

" We do not desire needlessly to bombard Fort Sumtcr. If Major Anderson 
will state the time at which, as indicated by him, he will evacuate, and agree 
that in the meantime he will not use his guns against us, unless ours should 
be employed against Fort Surnter, you are authorized thus to avoid the effu 
sion of blood. If this, or its equivalent, be refused, reduce the fort as your 
judgment decides to be the most practicable. 


The substance of these instructions was immediately forwarded 
to the fort, by General Beauregard s aids, accompanied by Colonel 
Roger A. Pry or, of Virginia. But Major Anderson, as the official 
despatch has it, "would not consent." In consequence of which, 
after timely notice had been given to him in General Beauregard s 
name, on April 12th, at 4.30 A. M., "We opened fire." 

* General Beauregard s Report of the Bombardment of Sumter. 



General Beauregard Makes no Material Changes ill the Distribution of Forces 
in Charleston. Brigadier-General Simons in Command of Morris Island. 
Brigadier- General Dunovant of Sullivan s Island. Tone of Troops. 
The First Shell Fired from Fort Johnson. The Only Motive Actuating 
the South. At 5 A. M., April 12th, every Battery in Full Play. Smnter 
Responds at 7 o clock. How our Guns were Served. Engagement Con 
tinued until Nightfall. Firing Kept up all Night by our Batteries. 
No Response from Sumtcr. Conduct of the Federal Fleet. Fort Re-opens 
Fire on the Morning of the 13th. Burning of Barracks. Sumtcr still 
Firing. Our Troops Cheer the Garrison. General Beauregard Offers As 
sistance to Major Anderson, who Declines. Hoisting of the White Flag. 
Terms of Surrender. Accident during the Salute of the Flag. Evac 
uation. Our Troops Enter the Fort, April 14th. Hoisting of Confederate 
and Palmetto Flags. 

ON assuming command of Charleston, General Beauregard made 
no material change in the distribution and location of the forces 
he found there, and maintained the organization previously adopt 
ed by the South Carolina State authorities. 

Brigadier - General James Simons was therefore left in com- 


maud of Morris Island, all the batteries of which had been placed 
under the immediate charge of Lieutenant-Colonel W. G. De Saus- 
surc of the Second Artillery Battalion. lie was assisted, at the 
Trapier Batter} 7 , by Captain King, of the Marion Artillery, and, 
later, by Captain Russell, of the Smnter Guards. Next to the 
Trapier Battery, and closer to Sumter, was the Stevens or Iron 
Battery, of which special mention has already been made. Then 
came the Cummings s Point battery, at a distance of only thir 
teen hundred yards from Fort Sumter. To it had been attached 
the rifled Blakely gun, just received from England. Both of these 
were held by the Palmetto Guard, and commanded by Major 
Stevens, of the Citadel Academy; Captain Cuthbert having spe 
cial charge of the Iron Batter} 7 , and Captain Thomas of the Blakely 
gun. Besides the above-mentioned works, there could also be seen 
a long line of detached batteries, guarding the entrance of Ship 
Channel, and extending along the whole Morris Island beach. They 


were manned by detachments taken from Gregg s regiment, and 
from both the German and the Columbia Artillery, under Colonel 
Lamar, Major "Warley, and Captains linger, Nohrden, and Green. 

Sullivan s Island was under Brigadier-General R. G. M. Duno- 
vant; and the command of all its batteries had been assigned to 
Lieutenant-Colonel Ripley, of the First Artillery Battalion. Cap 
tain Ransom Calhoun was stationed at Fort Moultrie, and Captain 
Hallonquist at the " Enfilade " or masked battery. They were as 
sisted by Lieutenants Wagner, Rhett, Yates, Valentine, Mitchel, 
and Parker. Captain Butler was on duty at the mortar battery, 
east of Fort Moultrie. Captain J. R. Hamilton commanded his 
own floating battery and the Dahlgren gun. Captain Martin was 
at the Mount Pleasant mortars ; Captain George S. Thomas at 
Fort Johnson ; and Castle Pinckney had been placed under the 
charge of an officer whose name we have not been able to procure. 

A few days previous to the bombardment, the general com 
manding had announced, in general orders, the names of the of 
ficers composing his staff. They were Major D. R. Jones, Assis 
tant-Adjutant-General, Captain S. D. Lee, Captain S. Ferguson, 
Lieutenant Sydney Legare of the Regular staff ; Messrs. John L. 
Manning, James Chestnut, Jr., William Porcher Miles, J. A. Gon- 
zales, and A. R. Chisolm, and Colonels L. T. Wigfall, of Texas, and 
Roger A. Pryor, of Virginia of the Volunteer staff. 

Though the opening of hostilities had, for the last two days, 
been almost hourly expected by officers and men of the various 
commands, and by the whole population of the city of Charleston, 
still, so good was the tone of the troops, so confident of the result 
were the non-combatants, that when the last message of the com 
manding general had been delivered, notifying Major Anderson 
that fire would open on him in an hour s time, quiet, order, and 
discipline reigned throughout the city and harbor. 

The peaceful stillness of the night was suddenly broken just 
before dawn. From Fort Johnson s mortar battery, at 4.30 A. M., 
April 12th, 1SG1, issued the first and, as many thought, the too- 
long-deferrcd signal shell of the war. It was fired, not by Mr. 
Edmund Ruffin, of Virginia, as has been erroneously believed, but 
by Captain George S. James, of South Carolina, to whom Lieu 
tenant Stephen D. Lee issued the order. It sped aloft, describ 
ing its peculiar arc of fire, and, bursting over Fort Sumter, fell, 
with crashing noise, in the very centre of the parade. 


Thus was "Koveille" sounded in Charleston and its harbor on 
tliis eventful morning. In an instant all was bustle and activity. 
Xot an absentee was reported at roll-call. The citizens poured 
down to the battery and the wharves, and women and children 
crowded each window of the houses overlooking the sea rapt 
spectators of the scene. At ten minutes before five o clock, all 
the batteries and mortars which encircled the grim fortress were 
in full play against it. 

Hound after round had already been fired ; and yet, for nearly 
two hours, not a shot in response had come from Fort S unite*. 
Had Major Anderson been taken by surprise ? Or was it that, 
certain of his ability to pass unscathed through the onslaught thus 
made upon him, it mattered not how soon or how late he commit 
ted his flag in the war "in which his heart was not"? At last, 
however, near seven o clock, the United States flag having pre 
viously been raised, the sound of a gun, not ours, was distinctly 
heard. Sumter had taken up the gage of battle, and Cummings s 
Point had first attracted its attention. It was almost a relief to 
our troops for gallantry ever admires gallantry, and a worthy foe 
disdains one who makes no resistance. 

The action was now general, and was so maintained throughout 
the day, with vigor on both sides. Our guns were served with 
admirable spirit, and the accuracy of our range was made evident 
by the clouds of dust that flew as our balls struck the fort, and 
by the indentations hollowed in its walls. The precision with 
which solid shot and shells were thrown from our batteries, main 
ly Fort Moultrie, was such that the enemy was soon compelled to 
abandon the use of his barbette guns, several of which had been 
dismounted in the early part of the bombardment. 

The iron-clad battery at Cummings s Point, Fort Moultrie prop 
er, and that end of Sullivan s Island where the floating battery, 
the Dahlgren gun, and the enfilade or masked battery had been 
placed, were the points which attracted Major Anderson s heavi 
est firing. No better proof could he have given ns of the effects 
of our lire on his fort. An occasional shot only was aimed at Fort 
Johnson, as if to remind the battery there that the explosion of 
its first shell was not yet forgiven. Captain Butler s mortar bat 
tery, east of Moultrie, had also a share of the enemy s wrath. 

The engagement was continued with unceasing vigor until night 
fall, although Sumtcr s fire had evidently slackened before that 


time, and was then confined to its casemated guns. General Dou- 
bleday, U. S. A., in his " Keminiscences," p. 154, speaking of the 
first day s bombardment, says : " They had a great advantage over 
us, as their fire was concentrated on the fort, which was in the 
centre of the circle, while ours was diffused over the circumfer 
ence. Their missiles were exceedingly destructive to the upper 
exposed portion of the work, but no essential injury w r as done to 
the lower casemates which sheltered us." 

Noted among our mortar batteries all so well served was the 
Trapier Battery, whose skilful firing had become the subject of 
much admiration among officers and men. Almost every shell it 
threw, from the first to the last, reached its aim with relentless 
effect. The Stevens Iron Battery, the destruction of which the 
guns of Sumter sought to accomplish, paid but little attention to 
the fierce opening attack made upon it, and received no serious 
impression on its iron-coated surface ; while the south and south 
west faces of Sumter bore visible signs of its own effectiveness. 
The floating battery was not far behind in destructive usefulness. 
It proved of equal invulnerability, and left telling marks of its 
battering powers. 

During the whole night which followed, in spite of rain and 
darkness, our batteries continued playing upon the fort with un 
varying effect, but the shots were fired at longer intervals, in obe 
dience to orders. ~No response was made. General Doubleday, in 
his work already quoted, admits the fact. lie says : " We did not 
return the fire, having no ammunition to waste." And General 
Crawford, in his " First Shot against the Flag," * makes the fol 
lowing statement : " During the night of the 12th, the accurate 
range of the mortars lodged a shell in the parade, or about the 
work, at intervals of fifteen minutes. It was estimated that over 
twenty-five hundred shot and shell struck the fort during the first 
twenty-four hours." 

It was expected that the Federal fleet, alluded to by Mr. Lin 
coln s special messenger to Governor Pickens and General Beaure- 
gard, would arrive that night, and might attempt to throw troops, 
ammunition, and supplies into Fort Sumter. To guard against 
such an untoward event, the keenest watchfulness was observed 
at our beach batteries and by the forces on Morris and Sullivan s 

* " Annals of the War," p. 328. 


islands. The details of men at the Drummond lights were also 
on the alert, and ready at a moment s notice to illuminate the chan 
nels ; while Captain Ilartstein, with his cruising vessels, actively 
patrolled the outer harbor. The fleet arrived on the morning of 
the 13th, an hour or two after the action had been renewed, and 
remained spectators off the bar. 

Very early on that morning all our batteries re -opened on 
the enemy, who responded with vigor for a while, concentrating 
his fire almost exclusively on Fort Moultrie. The presence of the 
fleet outside the bar, now visible to all, no doubt inspired both 
officers and men of the garrison with additional courage and a re 
newed spirit of endurance. 

General Crawford, in his above -quoted essay, says: Major 
Anderson was directed, if possible, to hold out until the 12th of 
April, when the expedition would go forward, and, finding his 
flag flying, an effort would be made to provision him, and to 
reinforce him, if resisted/ 

Major Anderson, with his ofiicers and men, followed the in 
structions received. They did hold out; their flag was " flying" 
on the 12th of April, and again on the 13th ; and they were fight 
ing in all earnest. Tho fleet outside thought proper, nevertheless, 
to abstain from all participation in the engagement. 

"By morning," says General Crawford, "the fleet sent to our 
assistance appeared off the bar, but did not enter." f And General 
Doubleday adds, in his characteristic manner: "After the event 
much obloquy was thrown upon the navy, because it did not come 
in and engage the numerous batteries and forts, and open for it 
self a way to Charleston ; but this course would probably have re 
sulted in the sinking of every vessel." ^ 

At about 8 o clock A. M., in the thickest of the bombardment, 
a thin smoke was observable, curling up from Fort Sumter. It 
grew denser and denser as it steadily rose in the air ; and it soon 
became apparent that the barracks of the fort had been set on fire 
by forty rounds of red-hot shot, thrown from an 8-inch Colum- 
biad at Fort Moultrie, by a detachment of Company B, under 
Lieutenant Alfred Rhett. This sight increased the vigor of our 
attack ; both officers and men feeling now that the garrison would 

Annals of the War," p. 325. f Ibid. p. 329. 

I General Doublcday s "Reminiscences," p. 150. 


soon be brought to terms. In spite, however, of this new and ter 
rible element against which it had to contend, the fort still re 
sponded to the lire of our batteries, though at long and irregular 
intervals only. 

Appreciating the critical position of the enemy, and carried 
away by their own enthusiasm, our troops, mounting the parapets 
in their front, cheered Major Anderson at each successive discharge 
that came from the fort, deriding and hooting, the while, what to 
them seemed the timorous inaction of the fleet outside the. bar. 

Matters had evidently reached a crisis for the men within the 
walls of Sumter. Fearing that some terrible calamity might be 
fall them, and being informed that the United States flag no long 
er floated over the fort, General Beauregard immediately de 
spatched three of his aids with offers of assistance to Major Ander 
son, w r ho thanked him for his courtesy, but declined to accept aid. 
Before General Beaurcgard s aids could get to the fort, the United 
States flag, which had not been hauled down, as we supposed, but 
had fallen from the effects of a shot, was hoisted anew. It did not 
fly long, how r ever, but was soon lowered, and a white flag substitu 
ted for it. The contest was over. Major Anderson had acknowl 
edged his defeat. 

Now occurred an incident which was in no way surprising, be 
ing the natural result of inexperience in military matters and a 
lack of discipline, among some of the officers commanding the 
various points around the harbor. Seeing the fall of the flag, and 
the fort in flames, Brigadier-general Simons, actuated by the best 
of motives, but without authority from the commanding general, 
allowed Colonel Wigfall to cross from Cummings s Point to Sum 
ter in a row-boat, to ascertain whether the absence of the flag over 
the fort indicated a desire to surrender. The proximity of Morris 
Island to Sumter enabled him to reach the fort before the aids, 
who had been sent directly from general headquarters, could do so. 

A short interview took place between Colonel Wigfall and 
Major Anderson, during which a demand of surrender was made 
by the former and acceded to by the latter, but upon terms not 
clearly defined between them. 

We deem it best to transcribe the very words made use of by 
General Beauregard, in his "Final Report of Operations against 
Sumter," as forwarded April 27th, 1861, to the Hon. L. P. Walker, 
Secretary of War at Montgomery, Alabama : 


- J Major Anderson understood him [Colonel Wigfall] as offering the same con 
ditions on the part of General Beauregard as had been tendered him oix/thc 
llth instant,* while Colonel Wigfall s impression was that Major Anderson 
unconditionally surrendered, trusting to the generosity of General Beauregard 
to offer such terms as would be honorable and acceptable to both parties. 
Meanwhile, before these circumstances had been reported to me, and, in fact, 
soon after the aids I had despatched with the offer of assistance had set out on 
their mission, hearing that a white flag was flying over the fort, I sent Major 
Jones, chief of my staff, and some other aids, with substantially the same prop 
osition I had made to Major Anderson on the llth instant, excepting the 
privilege of saluting his flag. Major Anderson replied that it would be ex 
ceedingly gratifying to him, as well as to his command, to be permitted to 
salute their flag, having so gallantly defended the fort under such trying cir 
cumstances, and hoped that General Beauregard would not refuse it, as such 
a privilege was not unusual. He furthermore said he would not urge the 
point, but would prefer to refer the matter again to General Beauregard. 

******* * 

" I very cheerfully agreed to allow the salute as an honorable testimony of 
the gallantry and fortitude with which Major Anderson and his command 
had defended their post, and I informed Major Anderson of my decision 
about half-past seven o clock, P.M., through Major Jones, my chief of staff." 1 

A melancholy occurrence took place during the salute of the 
United States flag the death of one of the garrison, who had his 
right arm blown off and was almost instantaneously killed, by 
the premature discharge of the piece he was loading. A spark, 
also, it was alleged, having " dropped on a pile of cartridges below, 
exploded them all," f and severely wounded five other men. 

AVhile final arrangements were being made for the withdrawal 
of the garrison, and before it was effected, the general command 
ing, who had twice attempted, but in vain, to assist Major Ander 
son in quenching the lire in the fort, ordered a company of Regu 
lars with two lire-engines from Sullivan s Island, to repair to Fort 
Sumter, to put out the conflagration which, not entirely subdued, 
had broken out afresh. This was a harder task than was at iirst 
supposed. The two engines proved insufficient, and others had to 
be brought from Charleston, with additional firemen. It was only 
towards dawn that the fire was at last brought under control, and 
the powder-magazine secured from explosion. 

Owing to unavoidable delays resulting from the state of confu- 

* See Chapter III., pp. 40, 41 ; also Report of General Beauregard, in Appen 
dix to this chapter. 

t Gen. Doubleday s k> Rcminisccnses," p. 171. 


sion existing in the fort, its formal transfer to our troops did not 
take place until four o clock in the afternoon of Sunday, the 11-th 
of April. At that hour Major Anderson and his command 
inarched out of the work, and we entered it, taking final possession. 
Then it was, that, amid deafening cheers and with an enthusiastic 
salute from the guns of all the batteries around the harbor, the 
Confederate and the Palmetto flags were hoisted side by side, on 
the damaged ramparts of the fort. To Captain Hallonquist, of 
the 1st Artillery Regulars, with his worthy Lieutenants Rhett, 
Mitchel, and Blake, and to the gallant Captain Cuthbert, with his 
Lieutenants, Brownfield, Holmes, and Buist, was confided the 
keeping of Fort Suinter, under Lieutenant-Colonel Ripley as com 
mander, and the Regulars remained there. 

General Beauregard was not present at this imposing ceremony. 
Prompted by the feeling of delicacy which so distinguishes all 
his social and official relations, he abstained from meeting Major 
Anderson, his former friend and professor, now his defeated foe, 
lest his presence, at such a juncture, might add to the distress and 
natural mortification of a gallant officer. 

Not until the steamer Isabel, which was placed at the disposal 
of Major Anderson, had conveyed him and his command to the 
Federal fleet, riding at anchor outside the bar, did General Beaure 
gard enter the fort, which, in obedience to orders from his govern 
ment, he had successfully reduced. 



Condition of Fort Sumtcr after the Bombardment. Repairs Begun at Once. 
Mustering of South Carolina Volunteers. Bonham s Brigade. General 
Bcauregard makes a Reconnoissance of the South Carolina Coast. Rec 
ommends Works at Stono, the Two Edistos, and Georgetown. Declines 
Advising Plan of Defence for Port Royal Harbor. Yields under Pressure, 
but Predicts the Result. Receives Congratulations upon the Reduction 
of Sumter. Vote of Thanks of Congress. Resolutions of the General 
Assembly of South Carolina. General Beauregard is Called to Montgom 
ery. The President Wishes him to Assist General Bragg atPensacola. lie 
Declines. His Reasons therefor. Deputation from New Orleans Asking 
his Transfer to Louisiana. The President Sends him Back to Charleston. 
Propositions of the House of John Frazer & Co., relative to Purchase 
of Steamers. Comments thereon. General Beauregard Advocates the 
Plan. Government Declines Moving in the Matter. Silence of Mr. 
Davis s Book about it. General Beauregard Ordered to Richmond. Re 
grets of Carolinians at his Departure. Letter of Governor Pickens. 

"WHAT with the burning of its quarters, the injury inflicted on 
its walls, and the shattered condition of its parade and parapets, 
where dismounted guns, broken carriages and chassis, fragments 
of shell and shot, lay scattered on all sides Fort Sumter, when 
our troops inarched into it, presented a picture of desolation and 
ruin. One could well understand, upon viewing it then, how im 
possible it would have been for Major Anderson and his command 
to hold out more than a few hours longer. Suffocation and an en 
dangered magazine, if not starvation, and, above all, the firing 
from Moultrie and other batteries, must soon have destroyed the 
entire garrison. "With or without the assistance of the fleet, a sur 
render was a foregone conclusion. 

The triumph of our arms, so complete and through the kindly 
protection of Providence so bloodless, was solemnly celebrated 
in several of the ancient churches of Charleston ; and a Te Dcum 
was sung, with great pomp, in the beautiful cathedral, on the Sun 
day next following this opening scene of the war. 

General Beauregard, in orders issued on the day after the surren 
der, congratulated his troops on " the brilliant success which had 
L \ 


crowned their gallantry." Commenting upon the terms granted 
to Major Anderson and his command, he said : " And to show 
our magnanimity to the gallant defenders, who were only execut 
ing the orders of their government, they will be allowed to evacu 
ate upon the same terms which were offered to them before the 
bombardment commenced." He concluded as follows : " The gen 
eral is highly gratified to state that the troops, by their labor, 
privations, arid endurance at the batteries and at other posts, have 
exhibited the highest characteristics of tried soldiers." 

And now began in earnest, without the loss of a day, the re 
pairs, which amounted almost to the rebuilding of Fort Su inter. 
With zeal and energy this work was done ; and in less than three 
weeks no vestige of the former injuries remained. The broken 
chassis and carriages had been replaced, the barracks rebuilt one 
story in height instead of two, as formerly and the walls restored 
to their previous condition. 

Meanwhile General Beauregard went on with the organization and 
discipline of the troops called by South Carolina, which were grad 
ually mustered into the Provisional Army of the Confederate States. 

Early in May, a brigade of four regiments of South Carolina 
volunteers was organized, under Brigadier-General Bonharn. It 
consisted of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, Colonel Gregg ; 
the 2d South Carolina Volunteers, Colonel Kershaw ; the 3d South 
Carolina Volunteers, Colonel Williams ; and the 8th South Caro 
lina Volunteers, Colonel Cash. That brigade, made up of the flow 
er of Carolina s chivalry, was sent to Virginia, by order of the 
War Department, the " Old Dominion " having, on the 17th of 
April four days after the fall of Suinter joined her fate to that 
of the Southern Confederacy. 

One of the regiments of Bonham s brigade (Gregg s) had been 
sent in advance to Norfolk. Its mission was to take possession 
of the navy -yard and protect all public property there. This 
was a judicious movement. The many cannon and mortars, and 
the ammunition stored at Norfolk, were of the greatest value to 
the Confederacy, then almost entirely destitute of such important 
supplies. The whole brigade was soon afterwards concentrated at 
Manassas Junction, in the Department of Alexandria, or " the Alex 
andria line," as it was also called, the command of which devolved 
upon General Bonham. lie remained there until relieved, on the 
1st of June, by General Beauregard. 


As soon as lie could be spared from Charleston, General Beau- 
regard made a thorough reconnoissance of the South Carolina 

o o 

coast, from Charleston to Port Eoyal. This he did at the special 
request of Governor Pickens, the object being the adoption of a 
system of defence to be carried out at the earliest moment prac 

On his return he prepared a memoir, wherein he recommended 
the erection of several important works at the mouths of the Stono 
and the two Edistos, and at Georgetown ; but declined advising 
any for the entrance of Port Royal harbor. He was of opinion 
that field-works located on the ends of the islands which closed 
the harbor could not protect it, for the reason that the distance 
between the islands was too great. Some light works he did rec 
ommend, however, at the inner end of Port Royal, to guard that 
part of the coast and prevent a landing of the enemy, which might 
result in the destruction of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. 
But upon the earnest and reiterated request of Governor Pickens, 
and other eminent citizens, whose zeal and efforts were untiring, 
General Beauregard finally yielded, and drew out a plan for the 
defence of Port Royal, with the distinct requirement, however, 
that the field-works proposed in the plan should be armed with 
the heaviest ordnance, chiefly 10-inch and rifled guns, and that a 
steel-clad floating battery, with a similar armament, should be 
moored midway between the two field-works. His explanation 
was, that while the harbors of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, 
Charleston, Savannah, and Xew Orleans the entrances to which 
are from half a mile to one and a quarter miles broad require 
strongly cascmated forts, armed with several hundred guns of 
heavy caliber, it could not be expected that Port Royal harbor, 
with an entrance nearly three miles wide and twenty-six feet deep, 
could be effectively protected by small, hastily constructed field- 
works, inadequately armed. 

What General Beauregard had predicted was unfortunately 
realized. In the autumn of that year the enemy s powerful fleet, 
the acquisition and fitting-out of which had cost, according to 
jSTorthcrn accounts, more than four millions of dollars, entered 
Port Royal harbor and reduced its isolated works, after a short 
but gallant resistance on the part of their overpowered garrisons. 
This event cast a gloom, for a while, over the new-born Southern 


General Beauregard, now thoroughly familiar with the topogra 
phy of Charleston and the surrounding country, understood how 
important it was to guard the Stono. He saw at a glance that, 
should the enemy land a sufficient force on James Island, the city 
of Charleston could easily be turned by way of that river. To 
avert such a danger, he had a strong field-work erected on Battery 
Island, that being the lowest point of dry land before reaching 
the salt marshes which extend in an unbroken field on each side 
of the stream. This work, although small, occupied a command 
ing position, which no hostile craft could approach unseen. Tow 
ards the latter part of May it was completed and ready for ser 

From various quarters messages of congratulation poured in to 
General Beauregard, upon the brilliant success he had achieved. 
The first in date was a telegram from President Davis, which read 
as follows : 

" MONTGOMERY, April 13^, 1861. 
" To General G. T. BEAUREGARD : 

" Thanks for your achievement and for your courtesy to the garrison of Surn- 
ter. If occasion offers, tender my friendly remembrance to Major Anderson. 


Then, from the Secretary of War : 

" MONTGOMERY, April 13th, 1861. 
" To General BEAUREGARD : 

" Accept my congratulations. You have won your spurs. How many guns 
can you spare for Pensacola ? 

"L. P. WALKER." 

The next communication was from one whose attitude towards 
the administration already indicated the influence he would soon 

exercise over it : 

"MONTGOMERY, April 1G*A, 1861. 

" My dear General, In the midst of the eclat of your glorious triumph you 
will, no doubt, value but little the tribute of a poor civilian who knows noth 
ing of war ; but I cannot refrain from joining in the general voice of your fel 
low-citizens, and congratulating you on the signal success which has crowned 
the first blow stricken in defence of our rights. Louisiana is proud of her son, 
and I am Louisianian, heart and soul. 


" Renewing my cordial greetings, and envying your delight at accomplish 
ing such a result as you have, without the loss of one man, 
" I am your friend and servant, 



From Louisiana came words of enthusiastic rejoicing. New 
Orleans, especially, was lavish in her praise. 

The Confederate Congress tendered the following vote of thanks 
to General Beauregard and the troops under him : 

"No. 103. A resolution of thanks to Brigadier-General G. T. Beauregard. 
and the army under his command for their conduct in the affair of Fort 

" Be it unanimously resolved, by the Congress of the Confederate States of 
America, That the thanks of the people of the Confederate States are due, and 
through this Congress are hereby tendered, to Brigadier-General G. T. Beau- 
regard and the officers, military and naval, under his command, and to the 
gallant troops of the State of South Carolina, for the skill, fortitude, and cour 
age by which they reduced, and caused the surrender of, Fort Sumter, in the 
harbor of Charleston, on the 12th and 13th days of April, 1861. And the 
commendation of Congress is also hereby declared of the generosity manifest 
ed by their conduct towards a brave and vanquished foe. 

"7><? it further resolved, That a copy of this resolution be communicated by 
the President to General Beauregard, and through him to the army then under 
his command. 

" Approved May 4*7/, 18G1." 

South Carolina almost adopted General Beauregard as one of 
her own sons. The Legislature of that State, at its first session 
after the fall of Sumter, unanimously passed a resolution, the prin 
cipal part of which is given below : 

November ZSth, 1861. 

u Resolved j That the General Assembly of South Carolina, in grateful recog 
nition of the distinguished sen-ices of General G. T. Beauregard in the cause 
of Southern independence, hereby tender to him the privilege of sending two 
pupils to be educated at the military schools of this State, etc. 

" Resolved, That his excellency the governor be requested to communicate 
the foregoing to General G. T. Beauregard." 

Governor Pickens, than whom none valued more the worth of 
"the great Creole," as General Beauregard was then called, cheer 
fully performed the pleasant duty assigned him ; and General 
Beauregard, then in another field of action, gratefully accepted the 
proffered honor. His younger son, Henry T. Beauregard, and his 
nephew, James T. Proctor, were accordingly sent to the Military 
Academy of South Carolina, and there enjoyed all the privileges of 
State cadets. The former remained two years at the academy and 
the latter one year, when they joined South Carolina regiments, and 


served, though mere boys, to the end of the war. Young Proctor, 
after promotion to a lieutenancy for gallant conduct at Fredericks- 
burg, was wounded and lost a foot at the battle of Chancellors- 
ville. Governor Pickens also presented a commission as first lieu 
tenant in the 1st South Carolina Battalion of Light Artillery to 
the general s elder son, Rene T. Beauregard, who was promoted, 
first captain and then major of that command. lie had previously 
served as a private in the Washington Artillery, from !N~ew Or 
leans, whose record throughout the war was surpassed by that of 
no other organization. 

About the 5th of May General Beauregard received a telegram 
from the Secretary of War, requiring his immediate presence at 
the seat of government. On his arrival at Montgomery he was 
informed that the President desired to send him to Pensacola, to 
co-operate with General Bragg, and assist him in the execution of 
a plan much thought of at the time the main object of which 
was the taking of Fort Pickens. 

It must be remembered that no sooner had the State of Alaba 
ma withdrawn from the Union than the Federal forces stationed 
at Pensacola, in imitation of Major Anderson, evacuated Fort Bar 
rancas, on the mainland, to occupy Fort Pickens, on Santa Rosa Isl 
and a much stronger, and in every way a more inaccessible, work. 

The fort being in Confederate waters, the authorities at Mont 
gomery feared that its occupancy by the enemy would imply 
weakness on the part of our government, and might possibly 
shake the confidence of the people. It had, therefore, been deter 
mined to pursue a course towards Fort Pickens similar to that 
which had been so successfully adopted against Fort Sumter. 
Hence the desire for the services and experience of him who, after 
thirty-three hours of bombardment, had forced the surrender of 
Major Anderson and his command. 

During a long conference held with President Davis and the 
Secretary of War, General Beauregard stated his several objec 
tions to being sent to Pensacola. In the first place, General 
Bragg, not having sought his assistance, might perhaps be offended 
at such apparent interference, and ask to be relieved from his com 
mand, which would occasion no small annoyance to General Beau- 
regard, and be very detrimental to the cause. In the second 
place, he was strongly of opinion that there was no advantage to 
be gained by taking possession of Fort Pickens ; that to hold it 


would necessitate the employment of more troops than we could 
well spare at the time, and that it was not in ports and harbors, 
but in the field, that the battles upon which hung the fate of 
the Confederacy must be fought. He thought it wiser to leave 
the disadvantage of garrisoning the fort upon the enemy, than 
to take the task upon ourselves. He maintained, furthermore, 
that, as we had yet no navj-, and no commerce with the ex 
terior world, Pensacola harbor could be of no use to us at this 
juncture; and that, should we occupy Fort Pickens, we would, in 
all likelihood, be forced, ere long, to withdraw our troops from it, 
to employ them more usefully in other parts of the Confederacy. 
He suggested that, meanwhile, a school of military practice and 
instruction should be established at Pensacola, under General 
Bragg, where all raw troops might be organized and properly pre 
pared, before being forwarded to their ultimate destination. Gen 
eral JJcauregaixTs reasons finally prevailed, and he was sent back 
to Charleston, the news from Washington indicating a general 
war, and a strong determination on the part of the Federal gov 
ernment to retake possession of Fort Sumter. 

A deputation of gentlemen from New Orleans had recently ar 
rived from that city, to direct the President s attention to its 
unprotected condition. They urgently requested that General 
Beauregard should be sent thither at once, to take command and 
organize a system of defence, which, they were convinced, none 
could do so well as himself. He would have gladly accepted such 
an order so many ties were drawing him back to Louisiana but 
the President deemed his presence imperatively necessary at 
Charleston, then the most threatened point of the Confederacy, 
and therefore persisted in his former determination. 

While journeying from Charleston to Montgomery, General 
Beauregard met Mr. AV. L. Trenholm, whose father, George A. 
Trenholm,* was a partner in the great firm of John Frazcr & 
Co., of Charleston and Liverpool. This gentleman, as he in 
formed General Beauregard, was the bearer of important propo 
sitions from the English branch of their house to the Confederate 
government, for the purchase of ten large and powerful steamers, 
then just built in England for the East India Company, which, no 
longer needing them, was desirous of finding a purchaser ; the ships 

* The Hon. George A. Trenholm was appointed Secretary of the Treasury 
after the resignation of Mr. Memminger. 


were to be properly manned and fitted out, and sent to the Con 
federate States, thence to export enough cotton to pay for them, 
and as much more as should be required to provide for the arma 
ment and equipment of our forces. Such a plan, it was thought 
by the Frazer house, could be easily carried out. The United 
States government would require time to collect and rendezvous 
its fleet, the inadequacy of which was well known; and no fear 
need, therefore, be entertained of its ability, at that time, to en 
force a blockade of the Southern ports : an effective blockade 
could be prevented. After a certain number of voyages with 
large cargoes of cotton, for the purposes already mentioned, these 
steamers might be converted into cruisers, and employed to im 
pede and destroy Northern commerce. 

General Beauregard, thoroughly impressed with the incalculable 
benefits to be derived from the adoption of such a project, prom 
ised Mr. Trenholm to use his utmost endeavors in furtherance 
of the measures that gentleman was sent to advocate. In a let 
ter to General Beauregard, dated Charleston, 18th September, 
1878, Mr. Trenholm says: "This I remember well, that you 
warmly supported the proposition, and used your influence in 
aid of its being brought before the cabinet, which was accom 
plished." But neither General Beauregard s earnest advice, nor 
the strong and cogent reasons given by Mr. Trenholm, were of 
any avail. The Confederate government, under the erroneous 
belief that the war would be a short one,* declined entertaining 
the proposals made to it. " No discussion took place in my pres 
ence," says Mr. Trenholm, in the letter already alluded to, "but 
from questions put to me, I have always been under the impression 
that few, if any, of those present " (meaning the President and mem 
bers of the cabinet) "realized at all the scope and importance of 
the measures laid before them." Thus was closed upon the Con 
federacy a door then wide open through which might have 
entered that material assistance, those sinews of war, the want of 
which all the heroism of our troops and the endurance and self- 
sacrifice of our people could not remedy. 

General Beauregard believed and expressed the opinion at the 
time that we were engaged in a long and terrible war ; and he 
earnestly wished to see the country prepared accordingly. He was 

* A member of the cabinet had given it as his opinion, on that occasion, 
that the war would not last over ninety days. 


therefore most anxious that Mr. Trenliolm s proposals should be 
accepted. Four large and powerful steamers, and six smaller ones, 
but " scarcely inferior for the required purpose " as these were 
represented to be placed under the command of such officers as 
Sernmes, Maffitt, Brown, Taylor, Jones, linger, Hartstein, Hamil 
ton, Pegram, and Ileid, during the first year of the war, would not 
only have raised the attempted blockade, but would have driven 
the commerce of the United States from all the seas of the globe. 
This was abundantly proved by the exploits of the Sumtcr and 
Alabama, the results of which were so keenly felt by the North, 
that England, irresponsible though she was, paid, at a later date, 
the penalty of Admiral Scmmcs s achievements. 

In his "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government/ Mr. 
Davis has not even alluded to the facts we have just related. lie 
states, however, that as early as February, 1SG1, "the third day 
after my inauguration at Montgomery, he had directed Cap 
tain (afterwards Admiral) Semmes, as agent of the Confederate 
States, to proceed north in order not only to purchase " arms, 
ammunition, and machinery," but also "to seek for vessels which 
would serve for naval purposes." He farther states that Captain 
Semmes was unsuccessful in his errand, and, on his return, re 
ported " that he could not find any vessels which in his judgment 
were, or could be made, available for our uses." For that reason, 
and for the additional reason, says Mr. Davis, that " the Southern 
officers of the navy who were in command of United States ves 
sels abroad," before resigning their commissions to join their re 
spective States, invariably " brought the vessels they commanded 
into the ports of the North," thereby depriving us of "our share 
of the navy we had contributed to build," and allowing it to be 
" employed to assail us," we were left " without the accessories 
needful for the rapid supply of naval vessels." * 

This is proof conclusive that Mr. Davis himself had some con 
ception of the importance of procuring war-vessels for the Con 
federacy; though the attempt to purchase them in the enemy s 
country, was, under the circumstances, a strange proceeding, to say 
the least of it. And yet, two months later, that is, in the early part 
of May, when, to use Mr. Prioleau s expression, " a fleet of armed 
vessels " was offered him, for the service of the Confederacy, with 

Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government; vol. i. pp. 311, 313, 314. 


an opportunity to procure an unlimited supply of arms and am 
munition, not to speak of provisions and accoutrements for the 
impending struggle, which he thought would be "long and 
bloody," * Mr. Davis hardly considered the proposition at all, and 
discarded it as being impracticable and unworthy of his attention. 

Mr. Davis goes on to say : " While attempting whatever was 
practicable at home, we sent a competent, well-deserving officer 
of the navy to England, to obtain there and elsewhere, by pur 
chase or by building, vessels which could be transformed into ships 
of war." f 

"When was this done ? Mr. Davis is reticent upon that point ; 
and, despite his statement that " these efforts and their results will 
be noticed more fully hereafter," nowhere in his book is to be 
found any additional information upon the subject. True, Mr. 
Davis says, further on, "At the commencement of the war the 
Confederacy was not only without a navy, all the naval vessels 
possessed by the States having been, as explained elsewhere, left 
in the hands of our enemies; but worse than this was the fact 
that ship-building had been almost exclusively done in the North 
ern States, so that we had no means of acquiring equality in naval 
power." $ 

This, instead of showing what were the efforts of our govern 
ment to procure war-vessels for the South, shows, on the contrary, 
how great was the folly, how disastrous to our interests the non- 
acceptance of the contract almost effected, in London, by the 
house of John Frazer & Co. 

And Mr. Davis says also : " It has been shown that among the 
first acts of the Confederate administration was the effort to buy 
ships which could be used to naval purposes." This can only re 
fer to Captain Semmes s mission North, in the latter part of Febru 
ary, 1SG1, and relates, not to what was done in Europe, not to the 
reasons for rejecting the Trenholm proposal, but merely to what 
was unsuccessfully attempted on our side of the water. 

The impression Mr. Davis seems anxious to convey is, that his 
efforts to procure war-vessels in Europe were made shortly after 
his inauguration as President, and as soon as he had discovered 
that none could be purchased at the North. From this, and with 

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 230. 

t Ibid. vol. i. p. 314. J Ibid. vol. ii. p. 240. Ibid. vol. ii. p. 245. 


the facts bore submitted, it seems clear that, if Mr. Davis sent an 
agent to purchase war-vessels in Europe, it must have been at a 
later period, and when the opportunity to get such vessels, from 
England and elsewhere, had already been allowed to slip by. For 
lie certainly cannot deny that, in May, 1SG1, a fleet of ten East 
India steamers was offered the Confederate government, in Mont 
gomery, through Mr. W. L. Trenholm, speaking in the name and 
by the authority of the house of John Frazer & Co. Admitting 
that, as he must, how is it possible that he could have rejected the 
Trenholm offer as he unquestionably did if at that time he had 
a naval oilicer in Europe, sent thither to effect the identical pur 
chase he then declined ? Was it that our government could not 
have accepted any such proposal, except through the medium of 
the agent already alluded to ? Why not, then, have referred the 
house of John Frazer & Co. to him, or him to that house? 

Mr. Prioleau, one of the firm of John Frazer & Co., of Liver 
pool, through whose hands had passed the negotiations relative to 
the purchase of these vessels, wrote to General Beaurcgard the 
following letter on the subject. It confirms the extracts from 
Mr. Trenholm s letter, as given above; and adds so much interest 
to the point under consideration, that we feel justified in submit 
ting it without curtailment. 

" BRUGES, September ZWi, 18SO. 

" J/y dear General, The facts -with reference to the proposed fleet of armed 
vessels for the service of the Confederacy were briefly as follows : 

"I had, from the very beginning of the struggle, been more impressed with 
the vital importance of the seaports than with anything else. I regarded 
them as the lungs of the country, which, once really closed, asphyxia must fol 
low. I therefore took an early occasion to go to London to see what could 
be had in the shape of vessels fit to take and keep the sea, for a lengthened 
period, and strong enough to carry an armament which would render them 
efficient war-vessels, or, at all events, equal to cope with those of the enemy 
engaged in the blockade of the coast. 

k I was fortunate in finding exactly what was wanted. A fleet of first-class 
East-Indiamen was lying there idle, under circumstances of a financial nature 
which made them available to a buyer at less than half their cost. They had 
been built with a view of being armed if required, and also to be used as 
transports for troops, as well as to carry valuable cargoes and treasure in time 
of peace. Four of them were vessels of great size and power, and of the very 
first class, and there were six others which, although smaller, were scarcely in 
ferior for the required purpose. Having, with the assistance of an expert, 
thoroughly inspected them all, I at once entered into negotiations for their 
purchase, and having secured them for the reply of the Confederate author!- 


ties, I submitted the proposal, in a letter to the Hon. G. A. Trenholm, who re 
ferred it, as I believe,* to Montgomery. The total cost of buying, arming, and 
fitting-out the ten ships \vas estimated at two millions of pounds, to put the 
fleet on the coast ready for action ; a sum which would have been covered by 
forty thousand bales of cotton, out of the three or four millions of bales which 
the government had, at that time, under their hand, and which would not 
have cost them, at Qd. in their own currency, more than two millions of dollars. 
There would have been little or no difficulty in getting the ships to sea. The 
Foreign Enlistment Act had not then and, indeed, never has been authorita 
tively interpreted to mean that a neutral may not sell an unarmed ship to a 
belligerent : all that w r as required was commercial caution and coolness, and 
naval skill and address ; all these were at hand, and there is no room for rea 
sonable doubt that, within six months at farthest of the acceptance of the 
offer being received on this side, the fleet would have appeared off Boston and 
swept the coast thence to the Gulf, an achievement which would have com 
pelled the prompt recognition of our government on this side, and the speedy 
triumph of our cause. I have always understood that the proposition was 
considered and rejected, by the Confederate government, but I never had any 
communication from them on the subject. Although much disappointed at this 
result, so convinced was I of the value of the ships that I determined to retain 
my hold upon them as long as possible, to prevent their being sold elsewhere, 
and in hope that other counsels would prevail at home before it was too late. 
By means of negotiations which it is not necessary to detail here, I did succeed 
in retaining control of them until the occurrence of the Trent outrage ; 
when the British government, requiring immediately ships of this class for 
transportation of troops and war-material to Canada, the owners broke off 
the negotiations with me, and got the ships, or many of them, employed in 
this service, in which they remained until there was no further need of them. 

" This is a correct and simple statement of the facts which are (as far as re 
gards this side of the water) necessarily known better to myself than to any 
other living person, and concerning which my memory is perfectly clear and 
reliable. It occupied my mind almost exclusively for some time, and I built 
the highest hopes upon the success of the scheme. It is true many of the ships 
were of too great draught of water to enter some of our ports, but that was a 
matter of comparatively little importance. What was wanted, in my view, was 
the moral effect which would have been produced everywhere by such a 
blow as could have been struck by even half of the whole number; an effect 
which I have always, and will always believe, would have gone very far tow 
ards determining, if it had not entirely reversed, the result of the struggle. 

" I am, dear General, 

" Yours very truly, 


" General G. T. BEAUREGARD." 

* The proposal was referred, as we have seen, through Mr. W. L. Trenholm. 


We ask the reader to pause here, and reflect upon the stupen 
dous consequences that might have followed the adoption of the 
scheme proposed by the house of John Frazer & Co. 

This was the first of a long series of irremediable errors com 
mitted by the administration, through which, despite the right 
eousness of our cause, the enthusiasm of our people, the splendid 
fighting capacity of our armies, and all the many other chances in 
our favor, the Confederacy was finally overwhelmed. The silence 
Mr. Davis maintains in his book, as to the grave and most impor 
tant proposition made to him through Mr. "W. L. Trenholm, is, 
indeed, extraordinary, and shows conclusively that he could have 
given no satisfactory explanation of it to the public. 

To show how completely our government was deluded, at that 
time, as to the tendency of public events staring us in the face, 
and how little it expected a "long and bloody war" with the 
North, General Bcauregard relates that, soon after the fall of 
Sumter, one Major lluse a gentleman in every sense of the word 
came to the city of Charleston, from Montgomery, with a pass 
from the Secretary of AV r ar, authorizing him to leave for Europe, 
on what he termed "a secret mission. He confidentially in 
formed General Beauregard that he was empowered to purchase 
ten thousand Enfield rifles for the Confederate "War Department. 
On his being asked whether he had not made an error in the mini- 


ber, so insignificantly small did it appear, he replied : " No, those 
were all he had been instructed to buy." " "Why," said General 
Beau regard, " I could have ordered them at once through the 

O Zj 

house of John Frazer & Co., without the necessity of sending a spe 
cial messenger to Europe on such a trifling errand. A few months 
later, at Manassas, General Toombs confirmed the statement of 
Major lluse. He was present as a member of the cabinet, when 
the proposal about the purchase of the rifles was made. " The 
original number proposed," said General Toombs, " was only 
eight thousand" It was at his suggestion that the order for ten 
thousand was given. 

Mr. Davis, in his book,* makes mention of Major lluse, who, 
he says, was " the officer sent to Europe, to buy in the market as 
far as possible, and furthermore, to make contracts for arms and 
munitions to be manufactured." But Mr. Davis does not state 

* "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 311. 


what number of "arras" Major Huse was at first instructed to pur 
chase, or at what time he was sent, though he asserts that it was 
"soon after" Captain Semmes had left for the North. As to the 
first point, the reader has nothing further to learn ; Major Huse s 
own testimony, corroborated by the distinct statement of Mr. 
Toornbs, leaves no doubt as to how many small arms (rifles) were 
to be purchased, at that time, for the service of the Confederacy. 
"With regard to the second point, we positively allege that it was 
after the fall of Fort Sumter and therefore not prior to the 13th 
of April that Major Huse passed through Charleston, on his way 
to Europe. 

It appears from Mr. Davis s book that Major Huse "found" 
but "few serviceable arms upon the market. He, however, suc 
ceeded in making contracts for the manufacture of large quanti 
ties, being in advance of the agents sent from the Northern gov 
ernment for the same purpose." This, Mr. Davis evidently thinks, 
was wonderful forethought, and a great display of energy, on the 
part of our government ; though the sequel so painfully shows 
how the first were the last and the last became the first. 

The only conclusion to be drawn from the foregoing passage is, 
that Major Huse was written to by his government, after his de 
parture from Charleston, and was given additional instructions. 
Mr. Davis, after reflection, may have found out that 10,000 rifles 
would scarcely be enough for the armies of the South. 

A letter of Major Huse is also given in Mr. Davis s book,* to 
show how false was "the charge made early in the war that" the 
President "was slow in securing arms and munitions of war from 
Europe." This letter bears date December 30th, 1861 ; that is to 
say, at least eight months after Major Huse s passage through 
Charleston. It was written prior to the final settlement of the 
Trent affair, for in it we find the following passage : " If the pris 
oners are given up, the affair will result in great inconvenience to 
us in the way of shipping goods." Major Huse had, clearly, no 
great faith in the mission of Messrs. Mason and Slidell to Eu 
rope, and considered his own functions as of infinitely more im 
portance to the cause. The letter states, further, that Major Huso 
had steamer-loads of arms, ammunition, and accoutrements, in di 
vers warehouses of London, but that he could make no shipments 

* "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 482. 


to the South, because of his having to fight two governments, 
"and because of the wharfingers orders not to ship or deliver, by 
land or water, any goods marked "W. D., without first acquainting 
the honorable Board of Customs." 

It seems to us, after carefully examining the whole of Major 
Huso s letter, not that the charge made against Mr. Davis, of 
slowness in procuring arms from Europe, was untrue, but that 
his agent there, whatever may have been his merit otherwise, 
was totally unequal to the task assigned him. Had the orders to 
purchase arms, ammunition, etc., for the Confederacy been con 
fided to the house of John Frazcr & Co., who had power, influ 
ence, and enterprise enough in England, even to purchase ; a 
fleet of armed vessels, and oiler it to our government the 
Southern armies, at that time and all through the war, would have 
been as thoroughly and as promptly armed and equipped as the 
Northern armies ; and Mr. Davis would have had no cause to la 
ment the destitute condition of our men, or to write to General J. 
E. Johnston, in September, 18(11 : One ship-load of small arms 
would enable me to answer all demands, but vainly have I hoped 
and waited."* 

In the selection of Major Iltisc, as agent, Mr. Davis seems to 
have been pursued by the same evil fate which almost always 
caused him to assign men of inferior ability to positions requiring 
great discernment and capacity. Major llusc asserts that in De 
cember, 1801, he was incapable of shipping arms to the Confeder 
acy ; whereas the entire country knows that, in 1801, there exist 
ed no blockade of our ports, worthy of the name, and that block 
ade-runners, throughout the years 18f>2, 18G3, and even 1S04-, en 
tered the ports of Charleston and "Wilmington, with almost un 
broken regularity ; that provisions and stores of all kinds were 
thus brought in by private individuals and commercial firms; and 
that the government which, it seems, had succeeded in purchas 
ing one small blockade-runner of its ownf could, with perhaps 
fewer impediments in its way, have done likewise, in the matter 
of arms and ammunition. And here we might bring to light the 
contradiction existing between Major Iluse s letter and the asser 
tions of Mr. Davis on the same subject : If, as late as December 

* "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, 1 vol. i. p. 441. 
t Ibid, vol i. p. 470. 


30th, 1861,* no arms could be shipped from England, what are we 
to think of the following passage, to be found on page 476 of the 
first volume of Mr. Davis s work : "In December, 1861, arms pur 
chased abroad began to come in; and a good many Enfield rifles 
were in the hands of the troops at the battle of Shiloh " ? The 
query now is, which of these two statements is the correct one? 
Mr. Davis vouches for both, but it is evident that both cannot be 
relied upon. 

The reader, we trust, will pardon this digression. It may have 
caused a slight deviation from our main subject, but has, neverthe 
less, a close relation to it. 

On or about the 28th of May, General Beauregard was ordered 
to meet the President at Richmond, whither the seat of Confeder 
ate government was being transferred. He arrived there a few 
days after the receipt of the order. 

All along the railroad line, on his way from Charleston to Rich 
mond, the people turned out, at the various stations, to welcome 
him. They were addressed by Attorney-General Benjamin, who 
happened to be on the cars, and by Governor Manning, of South 
Carolina, one of General Beauregard s volunteer aids. 

At Charleston, officers and men, and, in fact, the whole popula 
tion of the State, had expressed their deep sense of regret that the 
public service should require his transfer to another department. 
Governor Pickens, in a letter wishing him God speed in his new 
field of duty, said : "Your scientific attainments, your ability and 
your incessant labors, have been of great advantage to our State ; 
and I return you my thanks, and the thanks of the State, for the 
patriotic zeal and distinguished services you have rendered us at a 
critical and a trying time. . . . Wherever you go, I trust that 
you will be blessed, and crowned with the honors of your coun 

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 483. 



Secession of Virginia. Confederate Troops Sent to her Assistance. Arrival of 
General Beauregard in Richmond. lie Assumes Command at Manassas. 
Position of our Forces. His Proclamation and the Reasons for it. Site of 
"Camp Pickens." His Letter to President Davis. Our Deficiencies. 
Mismanagement in Quartermaster s and Commissary s Departments. How 
he could have Procured Transportation. Manufacture of Cartridges. Se 
cret Service with Washington. 

NOT: until Fort Sumtcr had surrendered to the South Carolina 
troops under General Beanregard ; not until Mr. Lincoln, misap 
prehending the attitude of those Southern States still nominally 
belonging to the Union, had made his requisition on them for their 
quota of men to aid in suppressing the " Rebellion," did Virginia, 
faithful to her old-time traditions, openly proclaim her adhesion 
to the Southern cause, and assume her rightful place among the 
seceded States. Hers was a disinterested step ; one taken with a 
full appreciation of the inevitable dangers and devastation in store 
for her, owing to her geographical position. Her hesitation was 
but another instance of the historic firmness and deliberation 
which had always characterized her official acts, and it was, no 
doubt, her example which shortly afterwards determined the with 
drawal of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Xorth Carolina. 

Xo sooner had Virginia s voice, through her assembled con 
vention, pronounced her severance from the Xorth, than the seven 
States forming the Confederacy, anxious to welcome her among 
them, hurried forward to her support a portion of their best troops. 
As a natural sequence to this provident measure, it followed that 
the most experienced and successful of our military leaders were 
selected to be placed at the head of such commands. Hence the 
order transferring General Beauregard to Virginia. Pollard, in 
his work entitled " Lee and his Lieutenants, when writing on 
this subject, says : ;; Called for by the unanimous voice of the 
Southern people, he was now ordered to take command of the main 
portion of the Confederate army in northern Virginia." Pollard s 
I. 5 


later description of the apprehension and flurry existing in the 
Northern mind, concerning General Beauregard s whereabouts, is, 
indeed, most singular, and shows the appreciation in which he was 
held by our enemies. 

Many writers, in describing the traits of General Beauregard s 
character, have commented upon his very retiring disposition, 
amounting almost to bashfulness, which forms so strong a contrast 
to his boldness and indomitable spirit in the field. This was in 
stanced upon his arrival at Richmond, May 30th, where a large 
concourse of people awaited him, anxious to see and welcome the 
Confederate commander who had already drawn upon himself the 
attention and admiration of the whole country. A carriage-and- 
four was in readiness at the Richmond depot to convey him to 
the apartments which had been prepared for him at the Spots- 
wood Hotel. But no sooner had he been apprised of this unex 
pected honor which, though gratifying, interfered with his de 
sire for privacy than he, wishing to avoid all public demonstra 
tion, insisted upon taking an ordinary carriage, in which, with one 
or two officers of his staff, he quietly drove to other quarters. 

The next day, May 31st, he called on President Davis, who was 
in conference with General Robert E. Lee, then commanding the 
Virginia State forces. General Lee had just returned from Manas- 
sas, about twenty-seven miles below Alexandria, where he had left 
Brigadier-General Bonham, of South Carolina, with some five 
thousand men of all arms. This position had been taken at the 
instance of Colonel Thomas Jordan, of the Virginia forces, who, 
in a carefully written memoir on the subject, had shown the im 
portance of at once occupying Manassas Junction, to prevent its 
seizure, and the severance of communication by rail with the lower 
valley of Virginia. 

After a full interchange of views, which lasted several hours, it 
was determined that General Beauregard should leave on the next 
morning to assume command at Manassas, whither reinforcements 
would be forwarded as soon as obtained. At first it had been in 
tended to send him to Norfolk, but General Lee s report of the 
condition of affairs on the Alexandria line, and the probability of 
an early advance of the enemy on that point, caused the President 
to change his mind. 

From the moment General Beauregard had left New Orleans, 
until the time of his arrival in Richmond, lie had been so unre- 


mittingly occupied with public affairs as to preclude all attention 
to his personal interests and even his military outfit. He would 
have willingly remained a day or two in Richmond, in order to 
prepare himself better for the field ; but the juncture was consid 
ered so urgent by the President and General Lee, that no such 
leisure was granted him, and he departed at once, with two of his 
aids, leaving other members of his staff, including his adjutant, to 
effect such arrangements as were necessary. He left Richmond 
on the 1st of June, and reached Manassas the same night, under 

the following orders : 


RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, May 31sf, 18G1. 
"Special Orders, Xo. 149. 

" General P. G. T. Bcauregard, of the Confederate States aimy, is assigned to 
the command of the troops on the Alexandria line. He is referred to the or 
ders heretofore given to his predecessors in that command, for the general di 
rection of operations. 

"By order of Major-General Lee, 

" II. S. GAIINETT, Adjt.-Gcn/ 

We copy below an extract from the orders alluded to, as given 
to General Beauregard s predecessors, and transferred, as we have 
seen, to himself : 

" The policy of the State, at present, is strictly defensive. No attack or prov 
ocation for attack wiJJ therefore be given, but every attack resisted to the 
extent of your means. Great reliance is placed on your discretion and judg 
ment in the application of your force, and I must urge upon you the impor 
tance of organizing and instructing the troops as rapidly as possible, and pre 
paring them for active service. For this purpose it will be necessary to post 
them where their services may be needed and where they can be concentrated 
at the points threatened. The Manassas Junction is a very important point 
on your line, as it commands the communication with Harper s Ferry, and 
must be firmly held. Intrenchmcnts at that point would add to its security ; 
and in connection with its defence, you must watch the approaches from ci 
ther flank, particularly towards Occoquan. Alexandria, in its front, will of 
course claim your attention as the first point of attack, and as soon as your 
force is sufficient, in your opinion, to resist successfully its occupation, you will 
so dispose it as to effect this object, if possible, without appearing to threaten 
Washington city. The navigation of the Potomac being closed to us, and the 
United States armed vessels being able to take a position in front of the town, 
you will perceive the hazard of its destruction unless your measures are such 
as to prevent it. This subject being one of great delicacy, is left to your 
judgment. The railroad communications must be secured, however, and their 
use by the enemy prevented. . . . 

"R. E. LEE, Mnj.-Gcn. Comclg." 


That such instructions, so vague as a whole, and yet so minute 
in some respects, should have embarrassed Brigadier-General Bon- 
ham, as was asserted, is not, we submit, to be much wondered at. 
To obey them implicitly was clearly an impossibility under the 
circumstances. They were calculated to destroy every vestige of 
discretion on the part of the commanding general, without lessen 
ing, in any way, the weight of his responsibility. That General 
Lee meant well in adopting such a programme of operations, no 
one who knew him will for a moment question ; but that it must 
have puzzled, to no inconsiderable degree, the minds of most of 
those who were to be guided by it, to us appears no less evident. 
And how, more than a month after the withdrawal of Virginia 
from the Union, a State Major -General (for such was General 
Lee at the time), and not the Confederate War Department, could 
have given instructions and issued orders to Confederate generals 
and to Confederate troops, is more than we can well understand. 
True, the Secretary of War, with a view to avoid confusion, 
had, on May 10th, authorized Major-General Lee, of the Virginia 
troops, " to assume the control of the forces of the Confederate 
States in Virginia, and assign them to such duties as he might in 
dicate ;" but that authority emanated from Montgomery, while 
the Confederate government was still there, and while no Con 
federate general officer had, as yet, been sent t to Virginia. This 
was far from being the case at the time to which we now allude, 

O f 

to wit, the 31st of May. Brigadier-General Joseph E. Johnston, 
Confederate States Army, had, then, already been assigned to 
duty in Virginia, and, furthermore, the Confederate government 
itself was at that date transferred to Richmond. Even the Presi 
dent was there in person, and could have acted with all authority 
had he chosen to do so. 

The measures of extreme caution suggested in General Lee s 
instructions, and the solicitude manifested to soothe the ire of the 
North, w T ould have been admirably proper if the orders had been 
issued before the first gun was fired at Sumter, and while nego 
tiations for a peaceful solution of our difficulties were still pend 
ing. But in May, 1SG1, war already existed. Virginia was threat- 
cried by three Northern armies, the immediate advance of one of 
which was then almost daily expected. Why were we to avoid 
"appearing" even to threaten the enemy s positions, when the in 
vasion of our soil was openly declared to be the prime object act- 


uating the hostile forces arrayed against us ? Orders and instruc 
tions such as these could have no other effect than to depress our 
people, bewilder our commanders, and embolden the enemy. 

The two or three days following his arrival in his new depart 
ment were spent by General Beauregard in examining the troops 
and the various positions they occupied, at and in advance of Ma- 
nassas. He then assumed command in the following orders : 


JuncZd, 1801. 
" New Scries. 
" General Orders, No. 1. 

" In obedience to Special Orders, No. 149, from Headquarters Virginia forces, 
Richmond, dated May 31st, 18G1, assigning me to the command of the troops 
on the Alexandria line, I have this day relieved Brigadier-General M. L. Bon- 
liam of said command. 

" All orders and instructions from these Headquarters will be obeyed ac 

The Brigadier-General Commanding feels assured that all the troops under 
his orders will display, on all occasions, the discipline, patience, zeal, and gal 
lantry of their forefathers, when defending, like ourselves, their sacred rights 
and liberties. 

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Brig. -Gen. Comdg." 

The troops were located at the following points: one regiment 
at Mitchell s Ford, where the country road, from Manassas to Cen- 
trcville, crosses Bull Run, at a point midway between the two. 
Another regiment was stationed at Union Mills Ford, not far from 
where the railroad to Alexandria crosses the same stream. An 
other regiment was placed at Centreville, and some detached com- 

C? I 

panics of cavalry and infantry were in the vicinity of Fairfax 
Court-House, about six miles in advance of Centreville. The re 
maining forces were at and about Manassas. 

The enemy was then engaged in collecting a large force in front 
of Washington and Alexandria, with its advance at Falls Church, 
half-way to Fairfax Court-House, and it was currently reported 
by the Northern press that this army, under Major-General Mc 
Dowell, would soon advance on Manassas, on its way to Rich 

General Beauregard was not satisfied with the grounds selected 
for our troops, nor with the condition of things at Camp Pickens, 
Manassas. There was no running water near enough ; the plan of 
works was too extensive ; the fords were too numerous to be eas- 


ily guarded by such a small force as was at his disposal. These 
facts and observations he at once reported to the President, as 
may be seen by the following letter : 


June 3d, 1861. 
" To his Excellency President JEFFERSON DAVIS, Richmond, Va. : 

" Dear Sir, I arrived here on the 1st at 2 p. M., and immediately examined 
the site of this encampment and the plans of its proposed defences. The 
former is in an open country, traversed by good roads in every direction, with 
out any strong natural features for the purposes of defence, and without run 
ning water nearer than three miles, except a few small springs at half that 
distance. The plans of the works are good, but too extensive to be finished 
in less than two or three weeks, and cannot be garrisoned w T ith less than from 
three to four thousand men. As this position can be turned in every direction 
by an enemy, for the purpose of destroying the railroads intended to be de 
fended by it, it becomes a question whether these works could be held more 
than a few days, when thus isolated. 

" I have reconnoitred closely several of the fords on Bull Run, and one on 
Occoquan Run (about three miles from here), which offer strong natural features 
of defence, but they are so numerous and far apart, that only a much larger 
force than I have here at my command (say not less than ten to fifteen thou 
sand men ) could hope to defend them all, against a well-organized enemy 
of about 20,000 men, who could select his point of attack. I must therefore 
either be reinforced at once, as I have not more than about six thousand ef 
fective men; or I must be prepared to retire (upon the approach of the enemy) 
in the direction of Richmond, with the intention of arresting him whenever 
and wherever the opportunity presents itself; or I must march to meet him at 
one of said fords, to sell our lives as dearly as practicable. 

" Badly armed and badly equipped as my command is at present (several 
regiments having but one or two field officers), and having hardly any means 
of transportation, it would be expecting too much, that I could meet success 
fully the foe who is preparing to attack us in a few days, with all the advan 
tages of number, arms, and discipline. I beg, however, to remark, that my 
troops are not only willing, but anxious, to meet the enemies of our coun 
try, under all circumstances. 

" I remain, dear Sir, very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servant, 


From what precedes it is easy to see why Bull Run did not 
naturally afford a strong defensive line. In fact, the ground on 
the Federal side of the run commanded, in most places, the ground 
occupied by the Confederates. Still, Manassas Junction, as a 
strategic point, was one of superior importance, as it secured com 
munication with the valley of Virginia, and the army of the Shen- 


andoah, under General Joseph E. Johnston, at Harper s Ferry. 
Hence General Beau regard s determination to hold it at all haz 
ards ; and he began, without delay, to throw up works around it, 
so as to make it a depot of supplies and a point cTappui for ulte 
rior operations. But it was with great difficulty that, at this pe 
riod, work on the fortifications could be procured from the troops, 
as most of their time was necessarily taken up with drills, and 
manual labor was in itself no light task for them, composed, as 
the commands generally were, of young men of good position at 
home, who had responded to the first call of the country, many of 
them having come with no small amount of luggage and even with 
body-servants. Their answer to company officers was, that they 
were there to fight, and not to handle the pick and shovel. Ap 
preciating such a feeling in men of their position, new to arduous 
duties of that kind, and wishing to avoid whatever might at that 
moment cause disaffection, General Beauregard abstained from em 
ploying them on any but the most essential works, and procured, 
as far as possible, negro labor, which was furnished at his call, by 
the comparatively small number of slave-owners of the Piedmont 
region of Virginia, with great readiness. 

As soon as new regiments arrived they were armed and equip 
ped as well as the means at hand allowed, and at once drilled and 
organized into brigades. 

This organization of an army, out of troops for the most part 
wholly undisciplined, in the presence of an enemy composed of a 
well-trained militia, superior in numbers and thoroughly appointed, 
whose threatened advance was expected at every moment, apart 
from being in itself a difficult and anxious task, was beset with 
obstacles resulting from the narrow methods, slowness, and, in 
some respects, unaccountable mismanagement, of the authorities 
at Ilichmond. 

General Beauregard s attention was at once seriously turned to 
those two important staff departments, the Quartermaster s and 
Commissary s, which, he thought, could never be too closely at 
tended to. " An army " he was wont to say " without means 
of transportation and sustenance is like a ship at sea without spars 
or canvas, and with famine on board." His first step was to order 
the collection of wagons and twenty-five days rations for about 
twenty thousand men. To this end his chief quartermaster, Ma 
jor Cabell, and his chief commissary, Captain Fowle, who was well 


acquainted with the resources of that region, were directed to 
draw all their supplies of forage, grain, and provisions from the 
fertile country stretching from Manassas to the Potomac, as far 
northwest as Leesburg, so as to exhaust that district first, and 
compel the enemy to carry their own supplies in their advance 
against our forces. This system, which would have left all the 
region in rear of us with resources untouched, to meet the con 
tingency of a forced withdrawal from Manassas, was most strenu 
ously opposed by the Commissary-General, Colonel Northrop. In 
a letter, singularly ill-tempered and discourteous, that functionary 
arraigned General Beauregard for " thwarting " his plans for main 
taining the army, and went so far as to prohibit Captain Fowle 
from obeying the orders of his commanding general. Through 
this vagary the provisions drawn from the vicinity of Manassas 
and the neighboring counties of Loudon and Fauquier, after being 
carried, directly, from General Beauregard s department to Rich 
mond, were thence returned to the chief commissary of the army 
of Manassas, for distribution to the troops, and as there were 
hardly enough cars to transport the men, guns, ammunition, and 
other material to the army of the Potomac and the army of the 
Shenandoah, which received its ordnance supplies by the same 
railroad, the result was that the troops at Manassas never had more 
than two or three days supplies on hand, even when they numbered 
no more than fifteen thousand men. This almost incredible mis 
management, so hurtful to the morale and efficiency of the army, 
was persisted in, notwithstanding General Beauregard s earnest re 
monstrances, and embarrassed and clogged the conduct of the whole 



Captain Fowle, finding that the army could not be supplied 
from Richmond, was compelled to resort to the system ordered 
by General Beauregard ; whereupon he was summarily supersed 
ed, and Colonel E. B. Lee appointed in his stead. This last offi 
cer, it may be added, possessed undoubted merit, and by his pre 
vious rank in the commissariat of the United States army, was 
entitled to the position of Commissary-General of the Confederate 
States army. 

With such facts before us, and others that we shall have occa 
sion to notice further on, the following eulogy of Colonel Nor 
throp, by Mr. Davis, seems unwarranted and altogether out of 
place: "To the able officer then at the head of the Commissariat 


Department, Colonel L. E. Northrop, much credit is due for his 
well-directed efforts to provide both for immediate and prospec 
tive wants." * 

There was a great deficiency also in the means of transporta 
tion. It was insufficient, and of such poor quality as to break 
down even in ordinary camp service. This evil, which continued 
long after the battle of Manassas, was partially remedied before 
that event, but the remedy was applied independently of the Quar 
termaster s Department at Richmond. That department having 
declared itself unable to procure transportation in the country, 
General Beauregard called to his aid Colonel James L. Kemper 
(7th Virginia Volunteers), whose knowledge of the resources of 
that portion of the State enabled him to gather, within a few 
days, at least two hundred effective wagons and teams. Three 
times that number, and even more, could easily have been collect 
ed, but General Beauresrard, wishing to avoid collision with the 

O ?* 

views of the administration at Richmond, limited Colonel Kem- 
pcr to the number stated above. 

On the 5th of June, upon pressing application to that effect, 
General Beauregard issued a proclamation to the people of the 
counties of London, Fairfax, and Prince William, which has been 
much commented upon, but, outside of the South, where the facts 
were known, has never been well understood. 

The reason for issuing the proclamation was. that a deputation 
of citizens, headed by a prominent lawyer of Alexandria, who, be 
fore the secession of Virginia, was noted for his Union sentiments, 
had presented a formal complaint, of very grave outrages prac 
tised on the people by Federal troops. 

General Beauregard, believing it to be his duty to take imme 
diate steps in the matter, appointed a commission of inquiry, com 
posed of Colonels Thomas Jordan, his Adjutant- General, and 
John S. Preston, and William Porcher Miles, t his volunteer aids, 
both eminent citizens of South Carolina. 

That committee, after careful investigation of the charges made, 
reported that the allegations were true. Though General Mc 
Dowell solicitously repressed all acts of violence which, as was 
afterwards proved, were committed then only by marauding par- 

* "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 315. 
t William Porcher Miles was afterwards Chairman of the Military Committee 
of the House of Representatives, Confederate Congress. 


ties from his army jet the facts elicited were naturally construed, 
at the time, as indicative of a truculent spirit animating a large 
number of his troops, and produced the deepest indignation among 
the people of the surrounding country. 

This proclamation (others similar to which, in substance, were 
afterwards issued by several Confederate officers, including General 
Lee) was drawn up by the gentleman referred to, and, after some 
slight modifications by the members of the commission, through 
Colonel Preston, was signed and published by General Bean regard 
in his name, as commander of the army. It became known and 
was criticised in the Northern papers as the " Beauty and Booty 
Proclamation " words which were found by the commission, upon 
the evidence given, to have been loudly used by the marauding 
troops whose acts of violence were so indignantly denounced. 
Our readers no doubt remember that these identical words, accom 
panying like conduct, on the part of the British troops at New 
Orleans, in the war of 1812, provoked vehement reprobation 
throughout the country. However true it might be to say that 
such a proclamation would have better fitted many subsequent 
phases of the war, yet, with charges so fully substantiated before 
the commission appointed by General Beauregard, no one can 
deny that the measures adopted and the language used in relation 
thereto were justifiable and imperatively necessary. 

Besides being badly armed and suffering from the irregularity 
and inefficiency of the Quartermaster s and Commissary s Depart 
ments, the troops were also deficient in accoutrements, particular 
ly in cartridges and cartridge-boxes, and were lacking in proper 
camp equipments. Alarmed at the delay in adequately supplying 
his forces with ammunition, General Beauregard proposed to the 
government to establish a cartridge factory at Manassas, if certain 
necessary appliances were furnished him; which was not done. 
His letter to that effect, dated Manassas Junction, June 23d, con 
tained the following passage : 

" I must call the attention of the department to the great deficiency of my 
command in ammunition not averaging more than 20 rounds in all per man. 
If I \vere provided with the necessary materials, moulds, etc., I think I could 
establish here a cartridge manufactory, which could supply all our wants in 
that respect. 

" Could not a similar arrangement Le made at all hospital depots, State 
arsenals, penitentiaries, etc.? 


" To go into battle, each soldier ought to be provided with at least 40 
rounds of cartridges and not less than 60 rounds in reserve. 
" I remain, very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servant, 
" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Brig.-Gen. Comdg. 
"Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Richmond, Virginia." 

As the Confederate troops had yet no uniform proper, it was 
necessary that they should be distinguished from the enemy by 
some clearly visible mark. To meet this requirement, a few days 
after his arrival in camp General Beauregard asked that his men 
should be provided with colored scarfs, to be worn, in battle, from 
the shoulder to the waist, suggesting that a call on the ladies of 
Richmond would no doubt secure their prompt supply, as the 
scarfs might be made of any material of the proper shade. As 
many of the regiments were then without Confederate colors, and 
the blue and the gray uniforms were common to the North and 
the South, the importance of this matter, particularly in the event 
of flank and rear attacks, was urged again upon the President, at 
a later period. Although the expedient was as simple as the need 
was great, the demand was complied with only after a long delay, 
and then with so imperfect a contrivance a sort of rosette, to be 
pinned on the arm or breast that on the field of Manassas, in the 
critical moment, the troops themselves were confused as to identi 
ty ; and when the rout was in full tide the pursuit was more than 
once checked because of the difficulty of distinguishing friends 
from foes. 

During this period a thorough secret -service communication 
was maintained between Washington and the Confederate head 
quarters at Manassas, whereby trustworthy private information 
was received through cipher despatches, while regular files of all 
the important Northern journals reached our lines in the same 
way ; those from New York, particularly, rendering unconscious 
assistance to our cause. 



Position of Troops in Northern Virginia. General Beaurcgartl Advocates 
Concentration, June 12th. Letter to that Effect to President Davis. An 
swer Declining. General Beauregard Suggests a Junction with General 
Holmes. Again Refused. Division of General Beauregard s Forces into 
Brigades, 20th June. Begins Forward Movement. Instructions to Brig 
ade Commanders. Reconnoissances Made at the End of June. McDow 
ell s Strength. General Beauregard s Anxieties. His Letter to Senator 
Wigfall. Submits another Plan of Operations to the President, July 

THE Confederate troops in northern Virginia, east of the grand 
chain of the Alleghanies, now formed a series of detached com 
mands, stretching from northwest to southeast respectively, under 
General Joseph E. Johnston, at Harper s Ferry, General Beanre 
gard, at Manassas, and General Holmes, at Aquia Creek ; each 
outnumbered by confronting forces, excepting General Holmes s 
command, whose position on the lower Potomac was taken only 
to prevent a possible landing of the enemy at that point. 

The forces in front of General Johnston and those in front of 
Colonel Eppa Hunton, commanding a battalion at Leesburg, the 
western extremity of the Manassas line, were still on the north 
bank of the Potomac. 

General Beauregard, appreciating the necessity of an immediate 
concerted system between these independent commands, particu 
larly between his own and the considerable forces at Harper s 
Ferry, and viewing Manassas as the most important strategic point 
for both belligerents, and the one most likely to attract the main 
effort of the enemy, which, according to reports, might be made 
at any moment, had determined if possible to reform the Confed 
erate military situation, in accordance with his views of sound pol 
icy. His plan, as the following letter shows, was marked, as were 
all his military plans, by the leading ideas of concentration and ag 



CAMP PICKETS, June 12th, 18G1. 
"To His Excellency President DAVIS : 

" Sir, The bearer, Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Jones of the Provisional Army 
of Virginia, a member of my general staff, has been instructed by me to lay be 
fore your Excellency a diagram, with my views relative to the operations of 
the present campaign in this State, which should be acted upon at once. 

i% The enemy seem to be taking the offensive towards Harper s Ferry, and a 
few days hence may find General J. E. Johnston in such a critical condition 
as to render it impossible to relieve him. If he were ordered to abandon 
forthwith his present position and concentrate suddenly his forces with mine, 
guarding, with small detachments, all the passes through which the enemy 
might follow him, we could, by a bold and rapid movement forward, retake 
Arlington Heights and Alexandria, if not too strongly fortified and garri 
soned, which would have the effect of recalling all the enemy s forces from 
northern Virginia, for the protection of Washington. But should General 
Johnston be unable to unite his forces with mine, then he ought to be instruct 
ed to retreat at the proper time towards Richmond, through the valley of 
Virginia, checking the enemy wherever and whenever he can. When com 
pelled to abandon my present position, I will fall back also on Richmond ; 
the forces along the lower Potomac, on the Peninsula, and at Norfolk, m:iy 
have to do likewise. Then, acting on interior lines, from Richmond as a cen 
tre (our forces being increased by the reserves at that point), we could crush, 
in rapid succession and in detail, the several columns of the enemy, which I 
have supposed would move on three or four different lines. With thirty-five 
thousand men, properly handled, I have not the least doubt that we could an 
nihilate fifty thousand of the enemy. I beg and entreat that a concerted 
plan of operations be adopted at once by the government, for its different col 
umns. Otherwise, we will be assailed in detail by superior forces, and will be 
cut off, or destroyed entirely. 

" Lieutenant-Colonel Jones will present my views more in detail to your Ex 

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Brig-Gen. Comdg." 

The President made the following reply : 

"RICHMOND, VA., June 13th, 1861. 

"My dear General, Colonel Jones delivered to me your letter of the 12th 
instant, and, as suggested by you, I conversed with him of the matter to 
which it related. Your information may be more accurate than we possess, in 
relation to the purposes of the enemy, and I will briefly reply to you on the 
hypothesis which forms the basis of your suggestions. 

" If the enemy commence operations by attack upon Harper s Ferry, I do not 
perceive why General Johnston should be unable, even before overwhelming 
numbers, to retire behind the positions where the enemy would approach in 
reverse. It would seem to me not unreasonable to expect that, before he reach 
es Winchester, the terminus of the railroad in his possession, the people of the 


fertile and populous valley would rise in mass to aid him in repelling the in 
vader. But suppose it should be otherwise, he could still, by retiring to the 
passes of the Manassas railroad and its adjacent mountains, probably check 
the progress of the enemy, and prevent him from either taking possession of 
the valley, or passing to the rear of your position. We hope soon to rein 
force you to an extent equal to the strength you require, by the junction of 
General Johnston, and I cannot doubt but that you would then be better cir 
cumstanced to advance upon Alexandria than if General Johnston, by with 
drawing from the valley, had left the enemy the power to pass to your rear, to 
cut your line of communication, and advance to attack you in reverse, while 
you were engaged with the enemy in front. 

" Concurring fully with you in the effect which would be produced by the 
possession of Arlington Heights and Alexandria, if your rear is at the same 
time sufficiently covered, it is quite clear that if the case should be otherwise, 
your possession, if acquired, would be both brief and fruitless. 

" To your request that a concerted plan of operations should be adopted, I 
can only reply that the present position and unknown purposes of the enemy 
require that our plan should have many alterations. I have noted your con 
verging lines upon Richmond, and it can hardly be necessary to remind you 
that we have not at this time the transportation which w r ould enable us to 
move upon those lines as described. Should the fortune of war render it nec 
essary to retire our advance columns, they must be brought mainly upon rail 
roads, and that of Harper s Ferry would come by your present position. It 
would, therefore, be a necessity that General Johnston s column should make 
a junction with yours, before yours retired ; but I have not anticipated the 
necessity of your retreat, and have struggled to increase your force, and look 
hopefully forward to see you enabled to assume the offensive. Had I been 
less earnestly engaged in providing for yours and other commands, I should 
have had the pleasure of visiting you before this date. Four regiments have 
been sent forward, neither of which had reached you at the elate of your let 
ter ; and you will soon receive further reinforcements. They are not trained 
troops, but I think they are better than those of the enemy, and the capacity 
which you have recently exhibited, successfully to fight with undisciplined 
citizens, justifies the expectation that you will know how to use such force as 
we are able to furnish. Very truly yours, 


Still persisting, however, in liis effort to make use of all possi 
ble resources in meeting the imminent crisis, General Beauregard, 
in his official and semi-official correspondence at the time, suggest 
ed that the troops under General Holmes, at Aqnia Creek, at least 
two thousand five hundred men, with two batteries, should be so 
posted as to be available for a timely junction with his own 
forces. General Holmes fully concurred, asserting that his com 
mand, as then disposed, was not likely to be of any military use ; 
but the siiir^estion met with no favor at Richmond. 


On the 18th, having begun to receive from Korfolk the naval 
guns for which he had called, to arm the works at Manassas, Gen 
eral Beauregard made a requisition for naval officers to command 
those batteries and drill the recruits. They came with a number 
of sailors, bringing their gun-ropes, blocks, and tackles, and in their 
exercises the terms "port" and "starboard," novel in the field, 
were used as familiarly as on board a man-of-war. Officers and 
men were noticeable for their zeal, efficiency, and discipline. 

Meanwhile, vigilant observation of the opposite banks of the 
Potomac was kept up at Leesburg, an important place, which the 
enemy might strike in order to sever the communications between 
Generals Beauregard and Johnston ; and such small reinforce 
ments as could be spared from Manassas were sent thither, but 
without artillery, of which none was available. 

From information collected in his front, General Johnston was 
apprehensive that General Patterson would move to attack him, 
and he soon abandoned the untenable salient position of Harper s 
Ferry, held by him unwillingly, and to which General Patterson 
afterwards crossed on the 2d of July. General Beauregard s 
views, based partly on reports from Washington, were that Gen 
eral Patterson s movements merely simulated the offensive, to 
hold General Johnston in check. 

About the 20th of June, General Beau regard, having organized 
his forces into six brigades, began a forward movement, in order 
to protect his advanced positions at Centreville, Fairfax Court- 
Ilonse, and Sangster s Cross-roads, "so as to be able" as he wrote 
to Colonel Eppa Ilunton " to strike a blow upon the enemy, at 
a moment s notice, which he hoped they would long remem 
ber." His advanced forces, three brigades of three regiments 
each, occupied a triangle as follows: at Mitchell s Ford, on Bull 
Run, one regiment ; at Centreville and another point half-way to 
Germantown, one brigade; at Germantown and Fairfax Court- 
House, one brigade, with a light battery ; at the crossing of Brad- 
dock s old road with the Fairfax Court-House and Fairfax Station 
roads, one regiment ; and at Sangster s Cross-roads, one battalion : 
all in easy and short communication with each other and with 
headquarters. Most of his small body of cavalry was with the 
advance, scouting and reconnoitring. 

In view of coming events, General Beauregard now assembled 
his brigade commanders, and, after general directions to all of 


them, gave detailed instructions to those who had charge of the 
advanced positions (at Fairfax Court-House and Fairfax Station) 
touching their respective lines of retreat on Bull Run, in case 
they should be menaced by a combined serious movement of the 
enemy with largely superior forces. The substance of those in 
structions was embodied, with minute details, in a Special Order, 
No. 100, from the Adjutant-General s office, which was the order 
literally executed on the 17th of July. This is one of the most re 
markable instances in military history, of an order providing fully 
and precisely, nearly a month in advance, for all the exigencies of 
a strategic movement, remotely contingent upon the operations 
of an enemy. General Bonham, upon the near approach of the 
forces confronting him, was to retire slowly on Centreville, by 
the turnpike, then to Mitchell s Ford, drawing the enemy after 
him to that point, which was the only portion of General Beaure- 
gard s line yet fortified. General Ewell, from Sangster s Cross 
roads and vicinity, was to follow the line of the railroad over a 
rather rough and difficult country road to Union Mills Ford, 
where the position was naturally strong and offered good cover 
to his men. The intermediate fords, McLean s and Blackburn s, 
were at that time occupied by Jones s and Longstreet s brigades. 
Early s brigade, which had been watching the fords of the Occo- 
quan and the approaches on the right, was now held in reserve, a 
short distance in rear of Union Mills Ford, to act according to 
circumstances. A small force of infantry guarded the stone 
bridge, on the extreme left, where the turnpike from Alexandria, 
through Fairfax Court-House and Centreville, crosses Bull Run, 
on its way to Warrenton. The works, armed with naval guns, 
were manned by the seamen already alluded to, and also by a 
force of the State militia, which Governor Letcher had called out, 
at General Beauregard s request. 

During the latter days of June and the first fortnight of July, 
thorough reconnoissances were made of the whole region of 
country likely to become the theatre of war in that quarter, either 
for a defensive or offensive campaign. In these General Beaure- 
gard had the effective aid of Colonel "Williamson and Captains 
D. B. Harris and Walter II. Stevens, of the Engineers. And it 
may be of interest to mention here, that the reconnoissances we 
speak of included the surroundings of Leesburg and the passes 
westward^ as well as the entire square between Difficult Run, the 


Potomac, Goose Creek, and Gum Spring. The object was to 
facilitate the movement of troops in that direction, to cross the 
Potomac, and be prepared to oppose the enemy, should he at 
tempt to advance by that way so as to reach the Manassas Gap 
Railroad, on the left of General Beauregard s position. 

In one of these reconnoissances, made in force Colonel Maxey 
Gregg, at the head of a South Carolina regiment, casually encoun 
tered a Federal command, under General Schenck, coming into 
Vienna Station, on a train of cars. A shot from a section of 
Romper s light battery brought them to a halt, and, after a few 
exchanges, the Federals retired, and the locomotive escaped, leav 
ing the cars, which were burned. This was the first hostile meet 
ing, excepting the brilliant midnight dash of Lieutenant Tomp- 
kins against the Confederate outposts at Fairfax Court-House. 

On the 4th of July the Confederate pickets, well in advance of 
Fairfax Court-House, captured a sergeant and a private the latter 
a Scotchman, who chanced to be a clerk in McDowell s Adjutant- 
General s office, and whose duty as such was to assist in making 
up the army returns. They were taking a ride for pleasure, and, 
having come a little too far, were picked up by the watchful 
cavalry. The Scotchman at once stated his position, and, being 
sent to headquarters, was there subjected to a close examination, 
in which he spoke freely, and appeared, from his statements on 
matters already known, to be telling the truth. Thus was Mc 
Dowell s strength, at that date, pretty accurately ascertained ; and 
events verified the correctness of the information thus obtained. 

The increasing forces of McDowell, the clamor of the Northern 
press for an advance, and the private reports from Washington, 
all now indicated an early attack by an army more than twice the 
strength of ours in numbers. And General Bcauregard, in the 
midst of his various solicitudes, balked in his endeavors to pro 
cure the needed reinforcements, and grieved also at his unsuccess 
ful attempts to induce the government to adopt his views, wrote 
the following letter to his friend, Senator Wigfall. It shows 
General Beauregard s unrelieved anxiety, and his determination, 
while wishing and laboring for a better state of things, to make 
the most of his limited means : 

u Colonel WIGFALL : 

" My dear Colonel, I believe we are about to be attacked by the enemy, 
I. G 


who has been increasing his forces rapidly in the last few days. He has 
doubtless at present, on this side of the Potomac, at least 30,000 men, and 
probably as many in. or about Washington ; and I am informed on good au 
thority that he is crossing over reinforcements in large numbers every niglit, 
so that very shortly we will be attacked, probably by about 40,000 men ! 
What do you suppose is my effective force to resist this attack? About 
15,000 effective men ! How can it be expected that I shall be able to main 
tain my ground unless reinforced immediately ? I am determined to give the 
enemy battle no matter at what odds against us ; but is it right and proper to 
sacrifice so many valuable lives (and perhaps our cause) without the least 
prospect of success ? But I hope it may have the effect, at least, of delaying 
the advance of the enemy, and give our friends time to come to the rescue. 
I have to apply two or three times for the most essential things required here. 
To obtain anything with despatch, I have to send a special messenger to 
Richmond. Is this the way to direct and control the operations of an army 
in the field ? Cannot this evil be remedied ? I am sure it could be if properly 
represented to the President. 

" I fear General Johnston is no better off than I am ; but his section of 
country is, I believe, more easily defended, being wooded and mountainous. 
My troops are in fine spirits and anxious for a fight. They seem to have the 
most unbounded confidence in me. 

"Oh, that I had the genius of a Napoleon, to be more worthy of our cause 
and of their confidence ! 

" If I could only get the enemy to attack me, as I am trying to have him do, 
I would stake my reputation on the handsomest victory that could be hoped 
for. Yours very truly, 


The following letter, written a few days later, is also of particu 
lar interest : 


" To His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS : 

Sir, I have the honor to transmit herewith the Field Return of the army 
under my command, from which you will perceive the effective force at my 
disposition is as follows : Light Artillery, 533, with 27 pieces; Cavalry, 1425 ; 
Foot Artillery, 293 ; and Infantry, 16,150 ; in all 18,401 men of all arms. From 
this must be deducted the command of Colonel Hunton at Leesburg, of some 
445 men, who will remain in position there until the enemy shall have ad 
vanced to attack my outposts, when the colonel will fall back and unite his 
force with that of Colonel Cocke, commanding the 5th Brigade at the stone 
bridge across Bull Run. Colonel Sloan s regiment, 4th South Carolina Vol 
unteers, has already fallen back from Lcesburg to Fry ing-pan Church, prepara 
tory to a junction with Colonel Cocke, at Centreville. 

"I have every reason to believe that the enemy will begin his advance from 
his present position, at or about Falls Church,to-morrow or on the following day. 


with a force not short of 05,000 men, supported by a reserve of not less than 
15,000 infantry. To these I can oppose but about 16,500, reserving about 
1500, merely for camp guards, pickets, and the garrison of the intrenched 
camp here. In consequence of this great disparity in numbers, I have issued 
the Special Order No. 100, enclosed herewith, concentrating my troops, in the 
exigency, on the naturally strong positions enumerated therein, afforded by 
Bull Run, in the hope of conducting the movement so as to induce the enemy 
to offer me battle in front of Mitchell s Ford, where his numerical superiority 
would be materially counterbalanced by the difficulties of the ground and my 
previous preparations there for the event. But I am, however, inclined to be 
lieve he may attempt to turn my left flank, by a movement in the direction ol 
Vienna, Frying-pan Church, and, possibly, Gum Spring, and thus cut off John 
ston s line of retreat on and communications with this place, tia the Manassas 
(Jap Railroad, wkile threatening my own communications with Richmond and 
depots of supply, by the Alexandria and Orange Railroad, and opening his 
communications with the Potomac through Leesburg and Edward s Ferry. 

" Of course, if I had sufficient force, one less unequal to that of the enemy, 
I would not permit him, with impunity, to attempt so dangerous a movement 
on his part; but, in view of the odds against me, and of the vital importance 
at this juncture of avoiding the hazard of a defeat, which would open to the 
enemy the way to Richmond, I shall act with extreme caution. If forced, how 
ever, to retire before an overwhelming force by another route than the railroad, 
my line of retreat can be taken at any time through Brentsville to a junction 
with Brigadier-General Holmes, at or near Frederieksburg, whence we could 
operate on the line of communication of the enemy on their advance, so as, at 
least, to retard him by the way. In that event, if deemed expedient, I could 
leave a suitable garrison in the intrenchments here, to occupy him and retard 
his advance the longer, but with orders to spike our guns and follow in my 
rear until effecting a reunion with me. In presenting the foregoing to the 
consideration of your Excellency, I wish it distinctly understood, however, that 
if the enemy should offer battle on the line of Bull Run, I shall accept it for 
my command, against whatsoever odds he may array in my front. 
u Respectfully, Sir, your obedient servant. 

"G. T. BEAUKEGAKD, General Commanding." 



General Beanregarcl again Urging Concentration. Colonels Preston and Chest 
nut sent to Richmond, to Explain Plan. Report of Colonel Chestnut. 
The President Disapproves the Proposed Campaign. Letter of General 
Beauregard to General Johnston. Comments upon Mr. Davis s Refusal.- 
General McDowell Ordered to Advance. Strong Demonstration against 
General Bonhani. General Beauregard s Telegram to* the President. 
General Johnston Ordered to Make Junction if Practicable. Action of 
Bull Run. What Major Barnard, U. S. E., Says of It. Repulse of the 
Enemy. War Department Inclined to Withdraw Order to General John 
ston. General Beauregard Disregards the Suggestion. 

A DAY or two after sending to the President the communication 
given at the end of the preceding chapter, General Beauregard, 
still hoping to obtain the government s assent to the concentration 
of our forces, in view of the impending offensive movement of the 
enemy, despatched to Richmond an aide-de-camp, Colonel John S. 
Preston, of South Carolina, a gentleman of ability and much per 
sonal weight, with special instructions to urge the absolute and 
immediate necessity of adopting his plan of operations. 

Ko sooner had Colonel Preston left Manassas, than General. 
Beauregard, engrossed with the all-absorbing idea of concentra 
tion and, from information hourly received, certain of its wisdom 
felt it impossible to remain passively on the defensive, while he 
had the opportunity of dealing a series of aggressive blows on the 
enemy, likely to produce decisive results favorable to the Confeder 
ate States. He therefore enlarged his plan of campaign, basing it 
partly upon the increased strength of our army, and sent another 
of his aids, Colonel James R. Chestnut, to present and explain it 
to the President. A memorandum, written by General (then 
Colonel) Samuel Jones, under General Beauregard s dictation, and 
containing the substance of all the instructions given to Colonel 
Chestnut, had been handed to the latter, to assist his memory, and 
prevent any misconception as to the main features of the pro 
jected campaign. 

It is well for the truth of history, that these precautionary meas- 


ures were taken at that time ; for, as will be seen further on in this 
work, Mr. Davis, who claims, even now, "that the great question 
of uniting the two armies was decided at Richmond," * (which 
seems to mean "decided at Richmond" by Mr. Davis), subse 
quently denied that any such plan had ever been presented to him, 
and that his alleged refusal to approve it could, in no manner or 
form, have thwarted General Beauregard s efforts at concentration. 
General Beauregard s anxiety was intense while awaiting the re 
turn of his messengers. He knew that each moment was of vital 
importance, and that the fate of our cause hung in the balance. 
First came telegrams from Colonels Preston and Chestnut, stating 
that the communication was before the President, who was giving 
it his careful consideration.! On the ICth of July, Colonel Chest 
nut, upon his return, presented his official report, containing a de 
tailed account of his mission. So great has become the historical 
value of this paper, that we present it in full to the reader: 


MAXASSAS, VA., July 1GM, 18G1. 
u Brigadier-General BEAUREGARD, Commanding Army of the Potomac: 

" Sir, In obedience to your order, I proceeded on Sunday last, 14th instant, 
to Richmond, with the purpose of laying before the President, for his consid 
eration, your views and plans for the combined operation of the two armies 
under the commands of General Joseph E. Johnston and yourself respectively. 
I arrived at Richmond at 3.30 on the same day I left your quarters, and with 
out delay reported to the President, who, although sick in bed, received me 
with great kindness and cordiality. After stating to him the object of my 
visit, he appointed an hour to meet him, that evening, in company with Gen 
eral R. E. Lee, and Adjutant and Inspector General Cooper. At the appointed 
time the President, Generals Lee and Cooper, and Colonel Preston, of your 
staff, met me in private conference. Being requested by the President to lay 
before those present the subject-matter with which I was charged, I submitted, 
on your part, the following proposition : 

" That the Confederate armies were in front of the enemy, with greatly in 
ferior forces at all points ; that it was desirable, by uniting a portion of our 
forces, to outnumber the enemy at some important point ; that the point now 
occupied by you was, at present, in reference to the armies, considered the most 
important. I stated also that the enemy were at present at or near Falls 
Church, with eight or ten thousand men on the Alexandria, London, and Hamp 
shire Railroad, and also with some portion of his forces at Springfield, on the 
Alexandria and Orange Railroad, with every indication of a purpose to ad- 

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 347. 
t See Appendix to Chapter VIII. 


vance on both linos, and that it was most probable the enemy would threaten 
our camps at Manassas with about ten thousand men, while with the main 
body, twenty thousand or more, would advance towards Vienna, Frying-pans, 
and Pleasant Valley to Hay Market, on the Manassas Gap Railroad, with a 
view to cut off our communications with General Johnston. To accomplish this, 
possession would be taken of passes of the Blue Ridge at Manassas, Ashby s, 
and Snicker s Gaps. He would then endeavor to cut off your communication 
with Richmond by the Alexandria and Orange Railroad, and force you either 
to fight in open field, with greatly inferior numbers, or to retire towards Fred- 
ericksburg by way of Breutsville to join forces with General Holmes, or to 
withdraw from the intrenched camp and retire by the Alexandria and Orange 
Railroad, before the enemy could reach it. 

"Under these circumstances, I stated, you would propose, and did propose, 
that General Johnston should, with the bulk of his forces, say twenty thousand, 
unite with you, leaving from three to five thousand men to guard the passes of 
the Blue Ridge and to hold Patterson in check. Then, with the combined forces 
of General Johnston and yourself, you would move rapidly forward on Fairfax 
Court-IIousc, establish yourself between the two lines of the enemy, attack 
them separately with larger masses, and thus exterminate them or drive them 
into the Potomac. This being done, General Johnston, with ten thousand of your 
forces in addition to his own, and rallying, as he went, those left to guard the 
passes, would return at once to the [valley with] superior numbers, saj r thirty-five 
thousand, to attack and destroy Patterson, at Winchester, or wherever he might 
be. One week from the time of leaving Winchester would be sufficient to ac 
complish all this. You would then either occupy the enemy s works, in front 
of Washington, if he should abandon them, or fall back on your present posi 
tion, according to circumstances. General Johnston having disposed of Pat 
terson, would detach a sufficient number from his force to reinforce Garnett, 
and make him superior to McClellan. Having defeated McClellan, General 
Garnett could then unite with Johnston, and the two cross the Potomac, at the 
nearest point, for Maryland, and, arousing the people as they proceeded, march 
to the rear of Washington, while you would attack it in front. 

" To these propositions, respectful and earnest consideration was given by 
thc President and the generals I have mentioned. The scheme was con 
sidered brilliant and comprehensive, but, to its adoption at this time, two lead 
ing objections were urged by the President and by General Lee. One was 
that General Johnston s force was not now sufficiently strong to allow of the 
withdrawal of numbers sufficient to effect your object, and, at the same time, 
leave enough to keep Patterson in check and keep him from coming down 
upon your left; and the other and main objection was, that the enemy was as 
yet too close to their cover to allow the reasonable expectation of the accom 
plishment of your object; that they would immediately fall back upon their 
intrcnchments, or, being so close to their large reserves, would be quickly re 
inforced in numbers sufficient to regain the superiority of numbers, and thus 
defeat your purpose. That the combination might be made at a later period, 
when these objections would be removed by a sufficient increase of your ar- 


raics, and by the lengthening of the enemy s lines, and increase of distance 
from river, and reserves for quick reinforcements. 

" Respectfully submitted, 

" JAMES CHESTNUT, Vol. A, D. C." 1 

Before commenting upon this report, and to illustrate as we 
think we should the character of the military administration of 
the Confederate authorities, the following unofficial letter of Gen 
eral Beauregard to General Johnston is submitted to the reader. 
It was written on the day before Colonel Chestnut was sent to 

U MANASSAS JUNCTION, VA., JufylStf, 1861. 
" General J. E. JOHNSTON : 

" My dear General, I write in haste. What a pity we cannot carry into 
effect the following plan of operations : That you should leave four or five thou 
sand men to guard the passes of the Blue Ridge, and unite the mass of your 
troops with mine. We will probably have, in a few days, about forty thousand 
men to operate with. This force would enable us to destroy the forces of 
Generals Scott and McDowell, in my front. Then we would go back with as 
many men as necessary to attack and disperse General Patterson s army, before 
he could know positively what had become of you. We could then proceed 
to General McClcllan s theatre of war, and treat him likewise, after which we 
could pass over into Maryland, to operate in rear of Washington. I think 
this whole campaign could be completed brilliantly in from fifteen to twenty- 
five days. Oh, that we had but one good head to conduct all our operations ! 
We are laboring, unfortunately, under the disadvantage of having about seven 
armies in the field, under as many independent commanders, which is contrary 
to the first principles of the art of war. Wishing you, however, ample success 
in your operations, I remain, Yours very truly, 


He was striking at every door, as it were; for he believed in 
his plan, and felt that he could accomplish it. But the rigor of 
military usage so inexorable at times compelled him to seek as 
sistance and support from those whose right it was to adopt or re 
ject his views. A high tribunal, composed of the President, Gen 
erals Cooper and Lee, took upon itself to check and render barren 
the strategic powers so greatly developed in General Beauregard, 
and in which the immortal Jackson alone is acknowledged to have 
been his peer. "Who can forget that, at the period of which we 
write, the Confederate commander at Manassas was looked up to 
as the first and, unquestionably, the most promising of our gen 
erals { His prestige was undeniable. Success, "the criterion of 
merit " in military affairs, had already built up for him a reputa- 


tion thus far unrivalled. The President knew this, as did the whole 
South ; as did even the North, whose apprehension of the untiring 
activity and engineering ability of General Beauregard was a se 
cret to none. How Mr. Davis, with all this before his mind, could 
have assumed the responsibility of declining so far-sighted and 
far-reaching a campaign as was proposed to him, is more than 
we can well explain. Eat, exercising the right which a thorough 
knowledge of what then transpired affords us, we assert it as an 
incontrovertible truth, fully proved by later events, that the Pres 
ident of the Confederacy, by neglecting to compel his Quarter 
master-General to procure the transportation which could have 
been easily procured, more than a month before the battle of Ma- 
nassas ; by refusing, as early as the 13th of June, to assent to Gen 
eral Beauregard s urgent request that authority should be given 
to concentrate our forces at the proper moment, at Manassas Junc 
tion ; by again refusing, on the 15th of July, to allow him to exe 
cute his bold, offensive plans against the enemy, the certain re 
sult of which would have been the taking of Washington ; that 
the President of the Confederacy, by thus persisting in these 
three lamentable errors, lost the South lier independence. We 
write this in no spirit of detraction. But, after a lapse of more 
than twenty-two years, President Davis must expect to stand be 
fore the public merely on the merits of his acts and omissions. 
Personal friendships, which would kindly palliate errors, have fad 
ed away or disappeared. The tribunal of public opinion, occupied 
by just and impartial men, will study the events of which we are 
now treating by the light of truth alone, and, in seeking for the 
causes of our failure, will unerringly place the finger on Mr. Da- 
vis s want of foresight, on his incapacity to appreciate and reward 
merit, on his upholding of incompetent men in offices of responsi 
bility and trust, and, above all, on his unwillingness to allow others 
to achieve greatness. The words, " Z?etat, dest moi" the haugh 
ty maxim of the French monarch unconsciously, perhaps, to 
President Davis, but not the less fatally, must have governed his 
course in the council-chamber on more than one occasion. His 
book, now before the public, whatever its merits in other respects 
may be, is powerless in its vain attempt to cover his fatal mis 
takes, or to change the merciless logic of facts and events. 

Before leaving Richmond, Colonel Chestnut had telegraphed to 
General Beauregard that his recommendations would not be ap- 


proved. This was a heavy disappointment to him ; but, nothing 
daunted, he began at once to provide for the possible contingency 
of being compelled, by the greatly superior force of the enemy, 
to retire behind the Rappahannock. lie sent one of his engineers 
to the crossings of that river, with orders to throw up such field- 
works as would command them. 

Colonel Chestnut had returned deeply impressed by the views 
and ideas of the Richmond authorities, particularly by those of 
General Lee to wit, that the army should fall back behind the 
Rappahannock; and, not wishing to move, himself, in the matter, 
endeavored to persuade Adjutant-General Jordan to urge the point 
upon General Beauregard ; which, however, the former positively 
declined to do. 

The extension of McDowell s pickets had now interrupted our 
" underground mail," between Washington and Manassas ; but it 
had fortunately happened, a few days before, that a gentleman, 
Mr. D , formerly a clerk in one of the departments at Wash 
ington, was introduced at headquarters by Colonel Chestnut as 
perfectly trustworthy, and capable of performing the delicate office 
of communicating with the friendly agencies we had managed to 
establish in Washington, lie was provided with a paper, having 
neither signature nor address, but upon which was written the 
ciphered message, u Trust the bearer," and with it immediately 

despatched to the residence of Mrs. G , our secret emissary in 

the Federal capital. The result was that, at about 8 o clock P.M., 
on the 10th, a sealed communication was received at headquarters, 
despatched by relays from General Ilolmes s picket line, near East- 
port. It had been brought that morning from Washington, to a 

point on the opposite shore, by Mr. 1) , from Mrs. G , and 

announced, in cipher, this simple but important piece of news: 
" McDowell has been ordered to advance to-night;* confirming 
General Beauregard s belief as to the intended Federal movement, 
which was otherwise apparent to him. 

General Bonham was at once informed of the impending event, 
and directed to execute his retreat on the appearance of the ene 
my in force, as prescribed by the order of the 20th of June, un 
changed, though issued nearly a month previously. Colonel Rhodes, 
at Fairfax Station, received like instructions through General 
Ewcll, his brigade commander ; and, in view of the exigency, Col 
onel J. L. Kemper, whose energy and efficiency had already been 


tested, was again detached from bis command and sent to Fairfax 
Court-House, to provide all necessary means of transportation. 

Daring the night which followed (16th-17th July), General 
Beauregard sent an urgent request to Richmond by telegram, 
asking that Generals Johnston and Holmes be now ordered to 
make a junction with him. 

He also published General Orders No. 41, announcing to his 
command the expected advance of the enemy, and expressing his 
confidence in their ability to drive him beyond his intrenched 
lines. It contained the names of his general and personal staff,* 
and enjoined obedience to all orders conveyed through them to 
the troops. 

The news of the enemy s movement was true. On the morn 
ing of the 17th McDowell s advance was reported to be approach 
ing ; and before noon, General Bonham s pickets being driven 
in, he began his retreat, as had been previously agreed upon. 

The enemy made a strong demonstration against him, and sought 
to strike his communication with Germantown, which was very 
nearly effected General Bonham s rear having just passed through 
the junction of the two roads at the hamlet, as the head of the 
Federal column came within sight. He retired in fine order to 
Centreville, and though at night he was enveloped, he was quiet 
ly withdrawn between 12 o clock and daylight, behind Mitch 
ell s Ford, fully carrying out the detailed instructions of the gen 
eral commanding. Rhodes, after a sharp brush with the enemy, 
fell back to Union Mills Ford, where Ewell was in command of the 
heaviest brigade of the army. 

The enemy had no sooner attacked General Bonham s line, than 
General Beauregard forwarded the following telegram to the 
President : 


July Yith, 1861. 

" The enemy has assailed my outposts in heavy force. I have fallen back 
on the line of Bull Run and -will make a stand at Mitchell s Ford. If his force 
is overwhelming I shall retire to the Rappahannock railroad bridge, saving my 
command for defence there and future operations. Please inform Johnston 
of this, via Stanton, and also Holmes. Send forward any reinforcements, at 
the earliest possible instant, and by every possible means. 


To which the President answered : 

* See Appendix to this chapter. 


" RICHMOND, July 17^, 1861. 
" General G. T. BEAUREGARD : 

" We are making all efforts to reinforce you. Cannot send to day, but after 
wards they will go regularly, daily, railroads permitting. Hampton s Legion, 
McRae s regiment, and two battalions, Mississippi and Alabama, under orders. 


Later in the day, however, Adjutant-General Cooper sent this 
telegram : 

"RICHMOND, July 17M, 1861. 

"You are authorized to appropriate the North Carolina regiment on its 
route to General Johnston. If possible, send to General Johnston to say he 
has been informed tia Staunton that you were attacked, and that he will join, 
you, if practicable, with his effective force, sending his sick and baggage to 
Culpcpper Court-House, by rail or through Warrenton. 

" S. COOPER, Adj.-Gcnl." 

General Beauregard, though gratified that such an order had ;;r 
last been given, was much annoyed at the thought that it had been 
too long delayed to effect any substantial good. lie so informed 
the War Department, but lost no time in communicating with 
General Johnston, through telegram and by means of a special 
messenger, Colonel Chisolm, one of his aids. The latter was in 
structed to say to General Johnston that there was not a moment 
to lose, and that all the available transportation of the Manassas 
Gap Railroad would be in waiting at Piedmont, to assist in con 
voying his troops. Colonel Chisolm carried also a proposition that 
at least a portion of General Johnston s forces should march by 
the way of Aldie, so as to assail McDowell s left flank and rear, 
at Centrevillc. But, for reasons General Johnston must have 
thought important, based, as he alleges, on the difficulty of direct 
ing the movements of troops so distant from each action 
was taken by him about this suggestion. 

The feigned resistance and retreat from Fairfax Court-House, 
had had the desired effect of leading the enemy to believe in the 
abandonment of our position at Manassas. "We had expected to 
encounter the enemy at Fairfax Court-House, seven miles this 
side of Centrevillc," says Major Barnard, United States Engineer,* 
"and our three right columns were directed to co-operate, on that 
point. We entered that place about noon of the 17th, finding 
the intrenchments abandoned, and every sign of a hasty retreat." 

*Sec his book entitled " The C. S. A. and the Battle of Bull Run," p. 46. 


Hence the loud exultation of the Federal troops, and the predic 
tions, in the Northern journals, of the certain defeat of the Con 
federate array. 

On the morning of the next day, the 18th, the enemy was re 
ported advancing on Mitchell s and Blackburn s Fords. As the 
former was the only point even partially intrenched, and the lat 
ter had natural defensive advantages, General Beauregard was 
gratified that the attack, as he had hoped, was made there. His 
line now extended some five miles, from Union Mills Ford, on 
the right, to the stone bridge, on the left, as follows: at Union 
Mills Ford, Swell s brigade, with four 12-pounder howitzers and 
three companies of Virginia cavalry ; at McLean s Ford, D. R. 
Jones s brigade, with two brass 6-pounders and one company of 
cavalry ; at Blackburn s Ford, Longstreet s brigade, with two brass 
6-pounders at Mitchell s Ford, Bonham s brigade, with Shields s 
and Delaware Kemper s batteries, and six companies of cavalry 
under Colonel Radford ; in the rear of Island, Ball s and Lewis s 
Fords, Cocke s brigade, with Latham s battery and one company 
of cavalry ; while Evans s demi-brigade, with four 6-pounders and 
two companies of cavalry, held the left flank, and protected the 
stone-bridge crossing. Early s brigade stood in the rear of, and 
as support to, Ewell s. 

Bull Run is a small stream running in this locality, nearly from 
west to east. Its banks, for the most part, are rocky and steep. 
The country on either side, much broken and wooded, becomes 
gently rolling and open as it recedes from the stream. On the 
northern side the ground is much the higher and completely com 
mands the southern bank. Roads traverse and intersect the sur 
rounding country in every direction. 

About noon, the enemy opened fire in front of Mitchell s Ford, 
with several 20-pounder rifled guns, at a range of one and a half 
miles, to which we had no means of replying, with any effect. 
But a Federal light battery, afterwards sent forward, was soon 
repulsed, with its supporting force, by Kemper s battery, which 
occupied a ridge about six hundred yards in advance of the ford. 

Major Barnard, in his work already quoted, speaking of the un 
toward incident we have alluded to, says (page 48) : "We had 
the tables turned upon us by a sudden and rapid discharge from a 
battery near the ford, invisible except by the smoke of its guns." 
And he adds : " However, our 20-pounders, assisted by a battery 


of rifled G-pounders, proved too much for it, and we soon succeeded 
in silencing its fire." So well did they succeed, that, further on, 
Major Barnard himself is compelled to use the following language : 
" This ought to have been the end of the affair, but General Tyler, 
. . . persisting in the belief that the enemy would run whenever men 
aced by serious attack, had determined, I believe, to march to 
Manassas that day. Had he made a vigorous charge and crossed 
the stream at once, it is quite possible . . . that he might have suc 
ceeded." Here, Major Barnard s and General Tyler s success is 
evidently dwindling into something else. He proceeds thus : 
"But he only filed his brigade down to the stream, drew it up 
parallel to the other shore, and opened an unmeaning fusilade, the 
results of which were all in favor of the enemy, and before which, 
overawed rather by the tremendous volley directed at them than 
suffering heavy loss, one of the regiments broke in confusion 
and the whole force retired. This foolish affair (called by the 
Confederates the battle of Bull Hun, they applying the term 
Manassas to the ensuing battle of the 21st, which we style the 
battle of Bull Hun), had a marked effect upon the morale of our 
raw troops." 

Here we fail to comprehend Major Barnard s conclusions ; that 
he attempts to palliate the defeat of the Federal forces on that 
day, by calling such a forward movement " a foolish affair," is not 
to be wondered at. and for this reason : the enemy s attack and its 
result could only have been termed " battle " if our troops had 
" broken in confusion," instead of those opposing them. Major 
Barnard would have shown better grace, however, had he frankly 
admitted that attacking columns, which, "overawed by the tre 
mendous volleys directed at them," "break in confusion" and 
retire from the field as did the "whole Federal force "on that 
occasion are unquestionably defeated. 

About the same hour (noon, on the 18th), the Federals were dis 
covered advancing also in strong columns of infantry, with artillery 
and cavalry, on Blackburn s Ford, near which General Beauregard 
now took position. Here the ground on the northern side of the 
Run, after a narrow level, ascends by a steep slope to a line of 
heights commanding the entire southern side, which, for several 
hundred yards, is almost a plain, and thence rises by a gentle slope 
to a wooded country, undulating back to Manassas. After a half- 
hour s cannonade from a battery of rifled guns, the column of 


attack (Richardson s brigade), over three thousand strong, with 
Sherman s brigade in immediate reserve, appeared over the brow 
of the height which covered their approach, and advanced until 
they were but a hundred yards from our skirmishers, who were 
posted among the trees that lined the southern bank. A large 
portion of the Federal force approached through the woods, near 
the border of the stream, which on that side presented a thick cover 
of trees and undergrowth, and the remainder advanced along the 
road, to force the passage. Longstreet met the attack with about 
twelve hundred men, of the 1st, 17th, and llth Virginia Volun 
teers, and, after quite a brisk contest, repulsed the opposing forces. 
They rallied for a second attack, but were again driven back, with 
the aid of the reserve companies. 

Two regiments and two rifled guns from Early s brigade, which 
had been brought from the right arid held at even supporting dis 
tance from the three threatened fords, were now ordered up. The 
guns, placed in position under concealment of the trees that 
fringed the stream, directed their fire by the sound of the enemy s 
musketry, already active in a third attempt to force the crossing ; 
which proved as unsuccessful as had the others. One of the at 
tacking regiments gave way, and was rallied a mile and a half to 
the rear. When the remaining companies of Early s brigade were 
brought forward, and his five additional guns were placed in rear 
of the other two firing wherever the glitter of bayonets along the 
slope above the tree-tops showed the Federals to be thickest the 
contest soon passed into an artillery duel, which lasted until the 
enemy abandoned his ground, in full retreat. The Confederate 
loss was but sixty-eight killed and wounded ; that of the enemy 
seventy-three, besides one hundred and seventy-five stands of arms 
and a quantity of accoutrements. 

The result of that action was of great value to us, as it gave to 
our army the prestige of success, and the confidence which is ever 
an important element of victory. 

General Beauregard at once reported the result of the day to 
Richmond ; and Mr. Davis telegraphed back an expression of his 
gratification, informing General Beauregard also that a regiment 
was on its way to reinforce him, and that more w^ould go as soon 
as possible. 

It would seem, however, that this first stroke of good fortune 
was unduly estimated at the Confederate capital ; for General 


Cooper, on the following day, telegraphed, saying that General 
Johnston had not been heard from, and that, if the enemy had 
abandoned an immediate attack, and General Johnston had not 
yet moved, he (General Beauregard) had better withdraw his call 
on him, as the enemy was advised, at Washington, of the projected 
movement of Generals Johnston and Holmes, and mi^ht vary his 

O J 

plans in consequence.* 

How can this telegram be made to tally with the following pas 
sage, taken from Mr. Davis s book ? " As soon as I became satis- 
lied that Manassas was the objective point of the enemy s move 
ment, I wrote to General Johnston, urging him to make prepara 
tions for a junction with General Beauregard," etc.f Was he no 
longer " satisfied," on the 19th of July, that Manassas was the en 
emy s objective point \ If he was not as we are inclined to believe 
is the case the fact clearly shows how little he knew of the 
movements of the enemy, at that time; if he was, whv was he 
bent upon reconsidering his action of July 17th, as shown by his 
telegram of that day, to General Johnston ? 

General Beauregard was too far-seeing, and had made too many 
fruitless attempts to force the concentration which was, at last, to 
be granted him, to Lo willing, of his own accord, to counter 
mand the long-delayed order contingent though it was forward 
ed to General Johnston. He declined to act upon General Coop 
er s strange suggestion. Two days later he covered the Southern 
arms with glory, and won for himself the proud and immortal 
title of " Hero of Manassas." 

* Sec Appendix to this chapter. f Vol. i. pp. 345, 340. 



Battle of Manassas. General J. E. Johnston Assumes Command, but General 
Beauregard Directs Operations and Fights the Battle. Superiority of 
Numbers Against us. Deeds of Heroism. Enemy Completely Routed. 
Ordnance and Supplies Captured. Ours and Enemy s Losses. Strength 
of General McDowell s Army. The Verdict of History. 

AFTEK the check received at Bull Run, on July 18th, the Fed 
eral army remained inactive throughout the 19th and 20th, 
except in efforts to reconnoitre and determine the Confederate 
position and the best point for penetrating or turning it. This 
prolonged delay, though somewhat unaccountable, under the cir 
cumstances, was, certainly, of great advantage to General Beaure 
gard. It allowed General Holmes to reach the theatre of oper 
ations in time, with 1265 infantry, 6 pieces of light artillery, and 
a company of cavalry of 90 men. General Johnston also arrived, 
about noon on the 20th, with Jackson s brigade,* 2611 strong, a 
portion of Bee s and Bartow s brigades numbering 2732 bayonets, 
300 of Stuart s cavalry, and Irnboden s and Pendleton s bat 
teries; to which were added Barksdale s 13th Mississippi regi 
ment, which came up from Lynchburg; and Hampton s Legion, 
600 strong. 

General Johnston was now the ranking officer at Manassas ; 
nevertheless, as General Beauregard had already made all his 
plans and arrangements for the maintenance of the position, of 
which General Johnston was, as yet, completely uninformed, he 
declined assuming the responsibilities of the command until after 
the impending battle, but offered General Beauregard his personal 
services on the field, which were cordially accepted. General 
Beauregard thereupon explained his plan of operations, which 
was,agreed to, and he continued his active preparations for the 
hourly expected conflict. 

The question about to be tested was, whether our great struggle 

* This brigade reached Manassas Junction the evening previous. So did, 
at a later hour, the 7th and 8th Georgia regiments. 


for independence should win life and honor, or fail in disaster 
and ruin. One or the other would necessarily be the fate of the 
Confederacy. Heavy, therefore, was the responsibility upon the 
commander who stood ready to meet the issue. What General 
Beauregard had urged upon the government, and so earnestly de 
manded, had not been accorded ; the military aspect had also 
changed ; and he was now forced to occupy that defensive position 
which he had tried his utmost to avoid. But McDowell s appar 
ent hesitation in his forward movement, the confidence General 
Beauregard had in his troops and in the wisdom of his order of 
battle, were most encouraging, and justified him in looking hope 
fully and fearlessly to the result. 

Our line remained the same as on the 18th, except as modified 
by the distribution of the newly arrived reinforcements. Gen 
eral Holmes s brigade, the 2d Tennessee and 1st Arkansas regi 
ments were placed in rear of Ewell. Early s brigade was shifted 
from the rear of Ewell to the rear of Jones s brigade ; Longstreet 
was supported by Bee s and Bartow s brigades (of General John 
ston s forces), posted at even distance in rear of McLean s and 
Blackburn s Fords ; and, still farther in the rear, was Barksdale s 
Mississippi regiment. Bonham was supported by Jackson s brig 
ade (of General Johnston s forces) placed at even distance in rear 
of Blackburn s and Mitchell s fords. Ten companies of infantry, 
two of cavalry, and a battery of four 0-pounders, under Kogers, 
had been added to Cocke s brigade, which covered the remaining 
fords Island, Ball s and Lewis s extending to the right of 
Evans s demi-brigade. The latter, which formed a part of Cocke s 
command, held the stone bridge, and covered a farm ford, about 
one mile above. Hampton s Legion of infantry, which had reached 
the army that morning (20th), was at once thrown forward to the 
Lewis House, as a support to any troops that might be engaged 
in that quarter. Two companies of Radford s cavalry were held 
in reserve, in rear of Mitchell s Ford, and Stuart s (of General 
Johnston s forces) some three hundred men occupied the level 
ground in rear, from Bonham s to Cocke s brigades. Five pieces 
of Walton s battery were in reserve in rear of Bee s right, and 
Pendleton s in rear of Bonham s extreme left. 

The following table shows the composition and the total strength, 
in men and guns, of the Confederate forces assembled on the morn- 
ing of the 21st, awaiting the conflict : 
L 7 


1. The Army of tho Potomac, including the garrison at Camp 

Pickens, Manassas 21,833 & 29 guns. 

2. The Army of the Shenandoah 6,000 & 20 guns. 

3. General Holmes s forces 1,355 & 6 guns. 

In all, 2~V88 & 55 guns . 

One peculiar feature of the theatre of operations was a direct 
road running in front of the Confederate positions, from the ex 
treme right at Union Mills Ford, and trending off to Centrevillc. 
This was seized upon, and entered prominently into the Confed 
erate plan of battle, as drawn up on the night of the 20th. That 
is to say, Ewell, from the extreme right, at Union Mills Ford, was 
to advance towards Centreville by that road, and, halting about 
half -way, await communication from Jones, who was to move 
from McLean s Ford and place himself on the left of Ewell, await 
ing in that position communication from Longstreet, who, by a 
similar advance from Blackburn s Ford, was to take position on 
the left of Jones, and be joined on his own left by Bonham, from 
Mitchell s Ford. Ewell, having the longest march, was to begin 

/ C3 cj O 

the movement, and each brigade was to be followed by its re 
serves. The several commanders were instructed in the object of 
the movement, which was to pivot the line on Mitchell s Ford, and 
by a rapid and vigorous attack on McDowell s left flank and rear, 
at Centreville, rout him and cut off his retreat on Washington. 
"Sumler" of good omen was given as a watchword to the troops. 
In the night, scouts posted by General Beauregard s orders in 
front of Evans s lines brought in the report that McDowell was 
concentrating at Centreville and on the Warrenton turnpike, 
leading thence to the stone bridge. As General Beauregard be 
lieved that the repulse of the 18th would deter the Federal gen 
eral from another attack on the centre, these facts, in his opinion, 
pointed to a movement against the left flank. In reality, Mc 
Dowell had, at first, intended to move on the Confederate right, 
in anticipation of which, as the most probable operation, the 
strongest Confederate brigades were posted in that quarter; but 
the result of further reconnoissances, made with more minuteness 
by the enemy, the day after the engagement of Bull Run, caused 
an alteration of his plans, as originally adopted. As this appar 
ent new disposition of McDowell s forces rather favored the exe 
cution of the Confederate plan of battle, no change was made by 
General Beauregard ; but, in view of contingencies, he despatched 


orders, by daybreak, to every command in the lines, to be ready 
to move at a moment s notice. 

At a very early hour in the morning of the 21st, Hunter s and 
Ileintzelman s divisions of McDowell s army, over sixteen thousand 
strong, moved forward from Centreville by the Warrenton turn 
pike. Striking off to the right, about half-way between Centreville 
and the stone bridge, they made a circuit through a difficult forest, 
guided by the trace of an old road, to the Sudley Springs Ford, 
two miles above the stone bridge, with the design of flanking the 
Confederate left and taking possession of the Manassas Gap Rail 
road, so as to cut off the advent of General Johnston, most of 
whose troops, it was known, had not yet arrived. Meanwhile, 
Tyler moved his division down the AVarrenton turnpike against 
the stone bridge, held by the Confederate extreme left, under 
Colonel Evans, in front of whom he immediately deployed a por 
tion of his force. 

About 5.30 A. M., report of this latter demonstration reached 
General Beanregard, who thereupon immediately ordered Colonel 
Evans, and, with him, General Cocke, to watch most vigilantly the 
movements of the forces confronting them, and, if attacked, to 
maintain their position at all hazards. 

The surest and most effective method of relieving our left, 
General Beanregard thought, was by a rapid, vigorous attack of 
our right wing and centre on the enemy s flank and rear, at Ccn- 
treville, all due precautions being first taken against the advance 
of any reserves from the direction of Washington. This pro 
posed movement he submitted to General Johnston, who fully 
approved of it, and orders were forthwith issued for its execution. 
General Ewell was to lead the movement, followed by Jones, 
Longstreet, and Bonham, with their respective reserves. Colonels 
Stuart and Had ford to be held in hand and brought forward 
whenever their assistance might be deemed necessary. 


The enemy s extended line of skirmishers was now visible in 
front of Evans, who threw forward the two flank companies of 
the 4th South Carolina, and one company of Wheat s Louisi 
ana battalion, which were deployed as skirmishers to cover his 
front. An occasional scattering fire resulted, and for more than 
an hour did the two confronting forces thus face one another; the 
main body of the enemy, meanwhile, cautiously advancing through 
the forest, to take our forces in flank and rear. 


Colonel Evans, being satisfied that the movement in his front 
was merely a sham, the real object being to turn his left, deter 
mined (8.30 A.M.) to change his position so as to meet the enemy, 
and he accordingly ordered to his left and rear six companies 
of Sloan s 4th South Carolina, five of Wheat s Louisiana battal 
ion, and two 6-pounders of Latham s battery leaving only four 
of Sloan s companies to guard the stone bridge : General Cocke 
being first informed of these changes and of the reasons necessi 
tating them. 

Colonel Evans formed his line some four hundred yards in rear 
of the old Pittsylvania Mansion, but the enemy not approaching 
by that road, he marched across the fields for three quarters of a 
mile, and took position mainly on the Brentsville road, in front of 
what was soon to be the enemy s line of battle. There he waited, 
the opposing masses drawing nearer and nearer. 

We now quote from General Beauregard s official report, and 
will continue to do so at intervals as we proceed : 

" In the meantime, about 7 o clock A.M., Jackson s brigade, with Imboden s 
and five pieces of Walton s battery, had been sent to take up a position along 
Bull Run to guard the interval between Cocke s right and Bonhain s left, with 
orders to support either in case of need the character and topographical 
features of the ground having been shown to General Jackson by Captain D. 
B. Harris, of the Engineers of this army corps. 

1 So much of Bee s and Bartow s brigades now united as had arrived 
some two thousand eight hundred muskets had also been sent forward to 
the support of the position of the stone bridge. 

"Burnside s brigade which here, as at Fairfax Court-House, led the ad 
vance at about 9.45 A.M. debouched from a wood in sight of Evans s posi 
tion, some five hundred yards distant from Wheat s battalion. 

" He immediately threw forward his skirmishers in force, and they became 
engaged with Wheat s command, and the 6-pounder gun under Lieutenant 

For upwards of an hour, with less than eight hundred men, 
Sloan s companies and Wheat s battalion alone intrepidly resisted 
the mass of three thousand five hundred bayonets and eight pieces 
of artillery, including the strong batter} 7 of six 13-pounder rifled 
guns of the 2d Ehode Island volunteers, and two Dahlgren how 
itzers. At the urgent call of Colonel Evans, General Bee, with 
his gallant command, came to their assistance. lie had been 
averse to leaving his position, which was the true one for the occa 
sion, and had strongly advised Colonel Evans to fall back on his 


line. But realizing that, if not supported, such a small force would 
soon be crushed by the overwhelming numbers opposed to it, he 
threw forward his entire command and engaged the enemy with 
surpassing valor, Imboden s battery playing at the same time with 
telling effect. 


" A fierce and destructive conflict now ensued " [says General Bcaurcgard]. 
" The fire was withering oil both sides, while the enemy swept our short, thin 
lines with their numerous artillery, which, according to their official reports, at 
this time consisted of ten rifled guns and four howitzers. For one hour did 
these stout-hearted men of the blended commands of Bee, Evans, and Bar- 
tow breast an uninterrupted battle-storm, animated surely by something more 
than the ordinary courage of even the bravest men under fire. It must have 
been, indeed, the inspiration of the cause, and consciousness of the great stake 
at issue, which thus nerved and animated one and all to stand uuawed and 
unshrinking in such extremity." 

Two brigades of Heintzelman s division, with Ricketts s light 
battery of six 10-poundcr rifled guns, now opened fire on Imbo 
den s command, which had been increased by two rifled pieces 
from the Washington Artillery, and two guns from Latham s bat 

Evans s eleven companies, Bee s and Bartow s four regiments, 
two companies of the llth Mississippi, commanded by Lieuten 
ant-Colonel Liddle, and six pieces under Imboden and Richard 
son, were the only forces we had to confront two divisions of four 
strong brigades, of which seventeen companies were regulars of 
all arms. Despite this fearful disparity in numbers our troops 
still maintained their position, constantly breaking and shattering 
the enemy s ranks. But now came Sherman s and Keyes s brigades 
of Tyler s division, six thousand strong, adding number to num 
ber, and forcing our line at last to give way, though only when or 
dered to do so by the heroic Bee himself. 

Our losses were heavy in officers and men. The 8th Georgia 
and the 4th Alabama suffered terribly. Colonels Jones and Gar 
diner were dangerously wounded ; and many other noble-hearted 
patriot soldiers there fell, killed or disabled, under the murderous 
fire directed against them. 

From Generals Johnston s and Beauregard s headquarters, which 
occupied a central position about half a mile to the rear of Mitch 
ell s Ford, could be distinctly heard the clattering roll of mus 
ketry and the incessant din of artillery, bearing witness to the 
heavy onslaught made upon us on the left. Anxiously, but con- 


fidently, did General Beauregard await its issue, expectant, the 
while, that similar sounds would soon be audible from the right 
and centre of the line. Instead of which, at about half -past 10 
A.M., a messenger came from General Ewel], with the disappoint 
ing news that General Beau regard s orders to him for his advance 
upon Centreville, though forwarded quite early in the morning, 
had not yet reached him ; but that, in consequence of a communi 
cation from General D. K. Jones, he had thrown his brigade across 
the stream at Union Mills. It was evidently too late to undertake 
the projected movement. The firing appeared to be still increasing 
on the left, while it would have taken Generals Ewell and Holmes 
from two to three hours to reach the position first assigned to 
them. Other combinations became necessary, and were immedi 
ately resorted to. 

"The movement of the right and centre" [says General Beauregard, in his 
report]," already begun by Jones and Longstreet, was at once countermanded, 
with the sanction of General Johnston, and we arranged to meet the enemy 
on the field upon which he had chosen to give us battle. Under these cir 
cumstances, our reserves not already in movement were immediately ordered 
up to support our left flank, namely, Holrnes s two regiments, a battery of ar 
tillery under Captain Lindsay Walker, of six guns, and Early s brigade. Two 
regiments from Bonham s brigade, with Kemper s four 6-pounders, were also 
called for ; and, with the sanction of General Johnston, Generals Ewell, Jones 
(D.R.), Longstreet, and Bonhani were directed to make a demonstration to their 
several fronts, to retain and engross the enemy s reserves and forces on their 
flank, and at and around Centreville. Previously, our respective chiefs of 
staff, Major Rhett and Colonel Jordan, had been left at my headquarters to 
hasten up and give directions to any troops that might arrive at Mauassas." 

And now, these orders having been rapidly despatched, Gener 
als Johnston and Beauregard proceeded, at full gallop, to the im- 
diate field of action, where they arrived just as the forces under 
Bee, Bartow, and Evans had retired to a wooded ravine in rear of 
the Robinson House, south of the stone bridge which was then 
gallantly held by the Hampton Legion. 

At this critical moment disaster stared us in the face. Our men 
seemed to have accomplished all that could be accomplished against 
such overpowering numbers ; and depression, added to exhaustion, 
was about to destroy their over-taxed endurance. The words of 
the brigade, regiment, and company commanders were drowned 
by the noise and confusion, the whizzing of balls and the explosion 
of shells. Generals Johnston and Beauregard rode among the 


troops, but even their presence was unavailing; when it occurred 
to General Beauregard that the sight of their regimental colors, 
borne to the front by their officers, would instil new vigor into 
the men, and restore confidence and order among them. He in 
structed the colonels to plant their colors fifty yards in advance, 
and call upon their troops to rally on them. This was done, and 
proved a complete success. Few, if any, of the men remained be 
hind; and an unbroken line of battle again confronted the foe. 
It was just before the execution of this brilliant device of General 
Beauregard s, to the inspiriting effect of which may be attributed 
the retrieved fortune of the* day, that General Bee, while address 
ing his troops and urging them forward, said of General Jackson s 
brigade, which had not yet been engaged, but awaited, unmoved, 
the attack of the enemy: "Look at Jackson s brigade; it stands 
there like a stone wall" memorable words, that consecrated to 
fame a command whose invincibility became proverbial under the 
immortal hero who first led it into battle. 

While our line was being reformed, and with a view to strength 
ening the morale of the troops, both General Johnston and General 
Beauregard, riding abreast with the color-bearer, led the 4th Ala 
bama on the field, and directly engaged it with the enemy. This 
gallant regiment had lost all its field-officers ; seeing which. Gen 
eral Beauregard shortly afterwards intrusted its command to S. E. 
Gist, of South Carolina, a young officer who had already attracted 
his attention, and who was then acting as volunteer aide-de-camp to 
General Bee. The untiring energy and cool daring of both Gen 
erals Johnston and Beauregard, as they hurried forth to the points 
needing their presence, produced a lasting impression on officers 
and men who witnessed that part of the struggle. 

General Jackson had already moved up with his brigade of 
five Virginia regiments, and taken position below the brim of the 
plateau, to the left of the ravine where stood the remnants of Bee s, 
Bartow s, and Evans s commands. With him were Imboden s bat 
tery and two of Stanard s pieces, supported in the rear by I. L. 
Preston s and Echolls s regiments, by Harper s on the right, and bv 
Allen s and Cummings s on the left. 

It was now clearly demonstrated that upon this ground was the 
battle to be fought. The enemy had forced us upon it, and there 
all our available forces were being concentrated. This fact once 
established, it became evident that the presence of both Generals 


Johnston and Beauregard on the immediate scene of operations, 
instead of being of advantage, might impede prompt action often 
necessary by either commander. Moreover, the important work 
of pressing forward the reserves and other reinforcements yet 
on the way from Winchester was a subject of great concern, and 
could not be attended to personally by the general in actual com 
mand. For these reasons, and because, by mutual consent, the 
command had been left to General Beauregard, who had planned 
the battle and knew every inch of the country occupied by our 
troops, it was agreed that he should remain on the field to direct 
the battle, while General Johnston should withdraw some distance 
to the rear, where he could hurry forward the forces already or 
dered to the front, and indicate the positions they were to assume. 
General Johnston hesitated before complying with the request 
that this arrangement should be made, but finally yielded, and 
temporarily established himself at the Lewis House, before or near 
which most of the forces called up had to pass on their way to 
the field. 

General Beauregard says, in his report: 

" As General Johnston departed for the Lewis House, Colonel Bartow re 
ported to me with the remains of the 7th Georgia Volunteers Gartrell s 
which I ordered him to post on the left of Jackson s line, in the edge of a 
belt of pines bordering the southeastern rim of the plateau, on which the bat 
tle was to rage so fiercely. 

" Colonel William Smith s battalion of the 49th Virginia Volunteers, having 
also come up, by my orders, I placed it on the left of Gartrell s, as my extreme 
left at the time, llepairing then to the right, I placed Hampton s Legion, 
which had suffered greatly, on the flank, somewhat to the rear of Harper s regi 
ment, and also the seven companies of the 8th (Hunter s) Virginia regiment, 
which, detached from Cocke s brigade by my orders and those of General John 
ston, had opportunely reached the ground. These, with Harper s regiment, 
constituted a reserve to protect our right flank from an advance of the enemy 
from the quarter of the stone bridge, and served as a support for the line of bat 
tle, which was formed on the right by Bee s and Evans s commands; in the 
centre by four regiments of Jackson s brigade, with Imbodens four 6-pound- 
ers, Walton s five guns (two rifled), two guns (one rifled) of Stanard s, and 
two 6-pounders of Rogcrs s batteries, under Lieutenant Heaton; and on tin- 
left by Gartrell s reduced ranks and Colonel Smith s battalion, subsequently 
reinforced by Faulkner s 2d Mississippi, and by another regiment of the Army 
of the Shenandoah, just arrived upon the field, the Gth (Fisher s) North Caro 
lina. Confronting the enemy at this time my forces numbered, at most, not 
more than six thousand five hundred infantry and artillerists, with but thirteen 
pieces of artillery, and two companies (Carter s and Hoge s) of Stuart s cavalry. 


" The enemy s force, now bearing hotly and confidently down on our posi 
tion, regiment after regiment of the best-equipped men that ever took the field 
according to their own history of the day was formed of Colonels Hunter s 
and Heintzelman s divisions, Colonels Sherman s and Reyes s brigades of Tyler s 
division, and the formidable batteries of Ricketts, Griffin, and Arnold s Regu 
lars, and 2d Rhode Island and two Dahlgren howitzers a force of over twen 
ty thousand infantry, seven companies of regular cavalry, and twenty-four 
pieces of improved artillery. At the same time, perilous heavy reserves of in 
fantry and artillery hung in the distance around the stone bridge, Mitchell s, 
Blackburn s, and Union Mills Fords, visibly ready to fall upon us at any mo 
ment ; and I was also assured of the existence of other heavy corps at and 
around Centreville, and elsewhere within convenient supporting distance." 

"While posting his lines fur the fierce struggle about to be re 
newed, General Beanregard, deeply impressed with the fearful 
odds against us, exhorted his troops to stand fast for their homes 
and the cause for which they were lighting. Telling them that 
reinforcements would soon arrive, he urged them on to " victory 
or death." Ilis words were few, but they inspired the men, who 
dashed forward with re-awakened ardor. 

The enemy had now taken possession of the plateau which Gen 
eral Bee s forces had occupied in the morning, and, with Eicketts s 
battery of six rifled guns the pride of the Federal army and 
Griffin s liurht battery of regulars, besides others already men- 

O / J 

tioned, opened a most destructive fire upon our advancing col 

The plateau of which we speak, enclosed on three sides by small 
water-courses emptying into Bull Iltin, rose to an elevation of 
one hundred feet above the stream. Its crest ran obliquely to 
Bull Ilun, and to the Brentsville and turnpike roads. East and 
west of its brow could be seen an unbroken fringe of second- 


growth pines, affording most excellent shelter for our sharpshoot 
ers, who skilfully availed themselves of it. To the west was a 
broad belt of oaks extending across the crest, right and left of 
the Sudley road, where regiments of both armies now met and 
hotly contended for the mastery. 

The ground occupied by our guns was an open space of limited 
extent, about six hundred yards from the Henry House. Here, 
thirteen of our pieces, mostly 6-pounders, were maintained in ac 
tion. They displayed from the outset such skill and accnracj* of 
aim as to excite the terror no less than the admiration of the ene 
my. The advancing columns suffered severely from the fire of 


this artillery, assisted by our musketry on the right, and part of 
the left, whose good fortune it was to be under cover. Regiment 
after regiment of the opposing forces, thrown forward to dislodge 
us, was made to break in confusion, never completely to recover 
their organization on that field. The gallant Stuart, with two 
companies of his command, by a sudden rush on the right of the 
enemy, on the Brents ville-Sudley road, greatly added to the dis 
order our firing had caused. But still fresh Federal troops poured 
in from the immediate rear, filling up their broken ranks and mak 
ing it plain that their object was to turn our position. 

At 2 r. M. General Beauregard, with characteristic promptitude, 
bringing up the whole right of his line except the reserves, gave 
the order to recover the plateau. The movement was executed 
with determination and vigor. It was a bold one, and such as the 
exigency required. Jackson s brigade, veteran-like and unwaver 
ing, now came up and pierced the enemy s centre, successfully, but 
not without heavy loss. With equal intrepidity the other por 
tions of the line had joined in the onset, which proved irresistible, 
and the lost ground was once more ours. The enemy being strong 
ly reinforced, again rallied, however, and, by weight of numbers, 
re-occupied the contested plateau and stood ready to resume the 

Between 2.30 and 3 r. M., just as the reinforcements sent for 
ward by General Johnston reached the field, General Beauregard 
resolved upon dislodging the enemy had brought up his en 
tire line, including the reserves, w r hicli he led in person. It was 
a general attack, shared in by every command then on the ground 
Fisher s North Carolina, which had just arrived, being among 
them. The whole open space was taken by storm and swept clear 
of the enemy, and the plateau around the Henry and Robinson 
Houses, ever memorable in history, remained finally in our posses 
sion. The greater part of Ricketts s and Griffin s batteries were 
captured, with a flag of the 1st Michigan regiment, Sackson s bri 
gade. Many were the deeds of valor accomplished during this 
part of the day ; but many, also, the irreparable losses the Confed 
eracy had now to mourn. The heroic Bee fell, mortally wounded, 
at the head of the 4th Alabama; so did the intrepid Bartow, while 
leading the 7th Georgia. Colonel Thomas, of General Johnston s 
staff, was killed ; so was Colonel Fisher, whose regiment as gal 
lant as its leader was terribly shattered. 


Withers s 28th regiment of Cocke s brigade, with Hampton s 
Legion, followed the charge, and captured several rifled pieces, 
which were instantly turned against the enemy with effect. 

While the Federal troops had been driven back on our right, 
across the turnpike and beyond Young s Branch, the woods on our 
left yet swarmed with them. Just then arrived, most opportunely, 
Kershaw s 2d and Cash s 8th South Carolina regiments. They 
were led through the oaks, east of the Sudlcy-Brentsville road, 
where, after sweeping the enemy before them, they took up a 
commanding position on the west, and opened a galling fire upon 
those commands including the regular infantry which had ral 
lied in the southwest angle of the plateau, under cover of a strong 
Federal brigade. Kemper s battery, evolving northward by the 
same road, joined with signal effect in the attack on the enemy s 
rteht. Preston s 38th regiment of Cocke s brigade had also come 

o o o 

up. It encountered some Michigan troops on the way, and cap 
tured Colonel Wilcox, their brigade commander. 

Our army had received another important reinforcement. While 
these stirring events were taking place (3 P.M.) part of Brigadier- 
General Kirby Smith s command, some seventeen hundred infan 
try of Elzey s brigade, and Beckham s battery, were seen hurrying 
to the field, from Camp Pickens (Manassas), where they had ar 
rived by rail, two or three hours before. General Johnston had 
directed them to the left of our line, where he thought reinforce 
ments were most needed. Just as they reached their position, 
south of the Henry House, General Smith was severely wounded, 
and compelled to retire to the rear. II is place was filled by 
Colonel Elzey, an officer of merit, who displayed great discern 
ment in selecting the ground for the battery attached to his com 
mand. Its accurate firing, under Lieutenant Beckham, occasioned 
much damage to the Federal right. 

Colonel Early, who should have moved up with his command, at 
noon, did not receive the order to do so until 2 P.M. He appeared 
upon the field just after Elzey, with Kemper s 7th Virginia, 
Hay s 7th Louisiana, and Barksdale s 13th Mississippi. He 
was drawn up in line of battle near Chinn s House, fiankin"- 


the enemy s right. The clouds of dust raised by the advance of 
his force, in a direction from which none of our troops were ex 
pected at the time, had caused the keenest anxiety to General 
Beauregard, who thought it might be another column of the 


enemy threatening to turn his left. There being. then no breeze, 
the flags, hanging heavily to their staffs, could not be distinguished, 
even through field-glasses. At last, and as General Beauregard 
was about to make preparations to meet this new foe, a propitious 
breath of air spread out the colors of one of the advancing regi 
ments the 13th Mississippi at that time so similar in design 
to the United States flag. To the intense relief of all, it was now 
ascertained that the column was Early s gallant command, hurry 
ing on, with all possible speed, towards the point from which was 
heard the heaviest firing. 

At about 3.30 P.M. the enemy, driven back on their left and 
centre, had formed a line of battle of gigantic proportions, crescent- 
like in form, from the old Carter Mansion to Chinn s House. 
" The woods and fields " says General Beauregard " were filled 
with masses of infantry and carefully preserved cavalry. It was 
a truly magnificent though redoubtable spectacle, as they threw for 
ward, in fine style, on the broad, gentle slope of the ridge occupied 
by their main lines, a cloud of skirmishers, preparatory to another 

But as Early formed his line and Beckham s pieces played 
upon the right of the enemy, Elzey s brigade, Gibbon s 10th Vir 
ginia, Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart s 1st Maryland and Vaughn s 3d 
Tennessee regiments, and Cash s 8th and Kershaw s 2d South 
Carolina, Withers s 13th and 28th Virginia, advanced in an irregu 
lar line, almost simultaneously, with great spirit, from their several 
positions upon the front and flanks of the enemy in their quarter 
of the field. At the same time, too, Early resolutely assailed their 
right flank and rear. Under this combined attack the enemy was 
soon forced, first, over the narrow plateau in the southern angle, 
made by the two roads so often mentioned, into a patch of woods 
on its western slope, thence over Young s Branch and the turn 
pike into the fields of the Dogan Farm, and rearward, in extreme 
disorder, in all available directions towards Bull Run. The rout 
had now become general and complete." 

As soon as General Beauregard had ascertained that final vic 
tory was ours, lie ordered all the forces then on the field to fol 
low in active pursuit upon the heels of the enemy. With a proud 
and happy feeling of elation at the issue of the day, he then rode 
to the Lewis House to inform General Johnston of the glorious re 
sult, and, as had been agreed the battle being now over to com- 


mit to Lis hands the command of our united forces. The inter 
view was a short one, and General Beauregard, anxious to reap the 
full benefit of the victor} 1 , hurried to the front to press the pursuit. 

Early s brigade, with the 19th Virginia regiment, followed the 
panic-stricken fugitive enemy. Stuart and Beckham had also 
thrown their men forward along the road by which the flying col 
umns had so confidently inarched to the field that morning; but 
the prisoners so encumbered their way as to force them soon to 
give up the pursuit. Kershaw s, AVithers s, Preston s, and Cash s 
regiments, Hampton s Legion and Kemper s battery, attached to 
Ivcrshaw, rushed forward on the Warrenton road, by the stone 
bridge, where Kershaw s command captured a number of pieces 
of artillery. " The enemy," says General Beauregard in his re 
port, "having opportunely opened a way for them through the 
heavy abattis which my troops had made on the west side of the 
bridge, several days before." 

The pursuit of the eneim T , the result of which might have more 
than doubled the importance of our victory, was not further con 
tinued that evening. A false report which had reached General 
Beauregard, on his way to the front, necessitated at once a com 
plete change in the character of his orders. From Manassas, rid 
ing at full speed, had come a messenger, sent to General Beaure 
gard by Major Thomas G. Khctt, of General Johnston s staff, with 
the startling information that the enemy s reserves, composed of 
fresh troops, and in considerable force, had penetrated our lines 
at Union Mills Ford, and were marching on Manassas. The re 
port did not originate with Major Illicit, but had been brought to 
him by the adjutant of General D. II. Jones, in person. 

No sooner had this unwelcome news been received than General 
Beauregard, without the loss of a moment, rode back to the Lewis 
House, saw General Johnston, agreed with him as to what meas 
ures should be adopted for the emergency, and, mounting a fresh 
horse (the fourth on that day, one of them having been killed 
under him by the explosion of a shell, while he was giving in 
structions to General Jackson), he proceeded at once to the point 
reported to be threatened, ordering thither E well s and Ilolmes s 
brigades, which had just come up to the Lewis House. With these 
troops he proposed to attack the enemy vigorously before he 
should effect a lodgment on our side of Bull Hun. He asked also 
for such reinforcements as could be spared from the pursuit. 


As General Beanregard reached the vicinity of Union Mills Ford, 
towards dark, he ascertained, with mingled feelings of joy and re 
gret, that the troops which had been seen advancing from that 
direction were none other than those belonging to the command 
of General Jones, originally posted near McLean s Ford. General 
Jones had crossed Bull Run at that point, in the morning, as al 
ready stated, to aid in the projected attack by our right and centre 
on the enemy, at Centreville ; but had been ordered back, in con 
sequence of the movements against our left. In obedience to 
new instructions, he was again thrown across Bull Run, to make 
demonstrations against the enemy from a quarter supposed by 
him to be unguarded. His advance was most gallantly effected ; 
and not only did the brisk firing of his brigade drive the enemy s 
infantry to cover, but the bold, unexpected movement was greatly 
instrumental in spreading the panic which finally disbanded the 
Federal army. His command was on the march to resume its 
former position, behind Bull Run, when thus mistaken for the 
enemy. It should here be added, in explanation of this unfortu 
nate error, that the uniforms of General Jones s men differed very 
slightly from those of the Northern troops a fact of no small 
significance, which had already embarrassed many a Confederate 
officer, during the day, particularly on the arrival of General 
Early s forces on the field. 

After this mishap and the causes leading to it had been fully 
explained, it was too late to resume the pursuit, as night had 
then set in. It must not be forgotten, besides, that our troops 
had been marching and counter-marching since early morning 
" most of the time," says General Beanregard, " without water 
and without food, except a hastily snatched meal at dawn " and 
that, when not thus marching, they had been fighting against a 
determined foe, at some points more than three times their su 
perior in number. Well, therefore, were the Confederate troops 
of Manassas entitled to rest, that evening, on the laurels they had 
so gallantly yet so dearly won. Few, however, enjoyed the privi 
lege afforded them ; so wakeful had success made both officers and 
men, so carried away were they by the glorious victory achieved. 

While retracing his steps towards the Lewis House, General Beau- 
regard was informed that President Davis and General Johnston 
had both gone to Manassas. He repaired thither and found them, 
between half-past nine and ten o clock, at his headquarters. 


The President, who, upon approaching the field, accompanied 
by Colonel Jordan, of General Beauregard s staff, had felt quite 
despondent at the signs of defeat which he thought he saw in the 
groups of stragglers and fugitives fragments thrown out from the 
heat and collision of battle came up just in time to witness the 
rout and pursuit of the enemy. He was greatly elated over the 
victory, and was profuse in his compliments to the generals and the 
troops. After listening to General Beauregard s account of the bat 
tle, he proposed that a brief despatch be sent to the "NVar Depart 
ment, which was done, that very night, in the following words: 

< ; MANASSAS, July 21^, 1861. 

" Night has closed upon a hard-fought field. Our forces have won a glori 
ous victory. The enemy was routed, and fled precipitately, abandoning a 
very large amount of arms, munitions, knapsacks, and baggage. The ground 
was strewn for miles with those killed, and the farm-houses and the ground 
around were tilled with his wounded. The pursuit was continued along several 
routes towards Lecsburg and Centreville, until darkness covered the fugitives. 
We have captured several field-batteries and regimental standards and one 
United States flag. Many prisoners liavc been taken. Too high praise can 
not be bestowed, whether for the skill of the principal officers, or for the gal 
lantry of all the troops. The battle was mainly fought on our left, several 
miles from our field works. Our force engaged them not exceeding iifieen 
thousand; that of the enemy estimated at thirty-live thousand. 


The list of the ordnance and supplies captured from the enemy, 
merely alluded to in the foregoing despatch to General Cooper, in 
cluded twenty-eight field-pieces, of the best character of arms, 
with over one hundred rounds of ammunition fur each gun ; thirtv- 
seven caissons; six forges; four battery wagons; sixty-four artil 
lery horses, completely equipped; live hundred thousand rounds 
of small-arms ammunition; four thousand five hundred sets of 
accoutrements; over five hundred muskets; nine regimental flags; 
a large number of pistols, knapsacks, swords, canteens, and blank 
ets ; a great many axes and intrenching tools ; wagons, ambulances, 
hospital stores, and not a small quantity of subsistence. We also 
captured fully sixteen hundred prisoners, including those who re 
covered from their wounds. 

Our loss in this memorable battle was computed as follows : 
Killed, 309 ; wounded, 1483 ; making an aggregate of 1852. This 
statement is taken from General Beanregard s report. In Gener 
al Johnston s report, written from Fairfax Court-House, the result 


was summed up in this wise : Killed, 378 ; wounded, 1489 ; miss 
ing, 30 ; aggregate, 1897. 

The enemy s loss was not officially acknowledged at the time. 
The feeling which had led the .Northern press to conceal the real 
strength of General McDowell s army seems also to have impelled 
the enemy to withhold a true statement of his casualties. 

In his report, so often quoted from the whole of which ap 
pears in the appendix to this chapter General Beauregard says : 
" The actual loss of the enemy will never be known it may now 
only be conjectured. Their abandoned dead, as they were buried 
by our people where they fell, unfortunately were not enumerated, 
but many parts of the field were thick with their corpses as but 
few battle-fields have ever been. The official reports of the 
enemy are studiously silent on this point, but still afford us 
data for an approximate estimate. Left almost in the dark in 
respect to the losses of Hunter s and Heintzelman s divisions 
first, longest, and most hotly engaged we are informed that 
Sherman s brigade, Tyler s division, suffered, in killed, wounded, 
and missing, 609 that is, about eighteen per cent, of the bri 
gade. A regiment of Franklin s brigade Gorman s lost twenty- 
one per cent. Griffin s (battery) loss was thirty per cent., and 
that of K eyes s brigade, which was so handled by its commander 
as to be exposed to only occasional volleys from our troops, was at 
least ten per cent. To these facts add the repeated references in 
the reports of the reticent commanders to the murderous fire 
to which they were habitually exposed, the pistol-range volleys 
and galling musketry, of which they speak as scourging their 
ranks, and we are warranted in placing the entire loss of the Fed 
erals at over forty -Jive hundred in killed, wounded, and prisoners. 
To this may be legitimately added, as a casualty of the battle, 
the thousands of fugitives from the field, who never rejoined their 
regiments, and who were as much lost to the enemy s service as 
if slain or disabled by wounds. These may not be included under 
the head of missing, because in every instance of such report we 
took as many prisoners of those brigades or regiments as are re 
ported missing. " In his report, General Johnston, confirming 
General Beauregard s estimate, says : " The loss of the enemy 
could not be ascertained. It must have been between four and 
five thousand." 

It is not our purpose to dwell at any length on that part of a 


subject which, to us, appears of but minor importance in compar 
ison with the real question at issue, to wit the result of the bat 
tle of Manassas, or, in other words, the acknowledged victory of 
the Confederate forces over an army vastly superior in point of 
number, armament, and equipment. 

The reader is already informed of the correct strength of our 
united forces, on the morning of the 21st July. It was increased 
by 1TOO infantry, and a battery, on the arrival of part of General 
Kirby Smith s command, at 3.30 r. M., which would bring up our 
aggregate to 30,SSS of all arms. It must be borne in mind, how 
ever, that the commands of Generals Holmes and Ewell, aggre 
gating at least 3000 men, though mentioned on our field returns 
as present at and around Manassas, were never directly engaged 
with the enemy on that day. 

General Beaure^ard estimates as follows the numerical strength 

O O 

of the Federal forces against us. AVc quote from his report: 
"Making all allowances for mistakes, we are warranted in saying 
that the Federal army consisted of at \c^i fifty-five regiments of 
volunteers, eight companies of regular infantry, four of marines, 
nine of the regular cavalry, and twelve batteries, numbering to 
gether one hundred and nineteen guns. These regiments, at one 
time, . . . numbered, in the aggregate, fifty-four thousand one 
hundred and forty, and averaged nine hundred and sixty-four 
men each." Deducting as many as one hundred and sixty-four 
per regiment, for the sick, and men on detached service, the aver 
age would then be reduced to eiyht hundred man. Adding, now, 
the different commands of regulars of all arms, mentioned above, 
and the aggregate of the Federal army opposing us at Manassas 
could not have been less i\&i\ fifty thousand men. 

The facts that have transpired one by one, gradually throwing 
light upon this point, have already fallen within the domain of 
history, and show, conclusively, in spite of the extreme reticence of 
many Federal commanders, that an army fifty thousand strong, 
under General McDowell, was defeated and routed, nt Manassas, 
on the 21st of July, 1861, by less than thirty thousand Confeder 
ate troops, under the immediate command, before and during the 
battle, of General G. T. Beauregard. 
I. 8 



President Davis and Generals Johnston and Beauregard Discuss the Propriety 
of Pursuing the Enemy during the Night following the Battle. Error of 
Mr. Davis as to the Order he Wrote. On the 22d General Beauregard As 
signs his Troops to New Positions. The President Confers the Rank of 
General on General Beauregard, subject to the Approval of Congress. On 
the 25th, Address Issued to Troops by Generals Johnston and Beauregard. 
Organization of General Bcauregard s Army into Brigades. Impossi 
bility of any Military Movement of Importance, and Why. Army With 
out Transportation and Without Subsistence. Colonel Northrop Appoints 
Major W. B. Blair as Chief Commissary of the Army. General Beauregard 
Informs the President of the Actual State of Affairs. Colonel Lee to the 
President. General Beauregard to Colonels Chestnut and Miles. His 
Telegram to Colonel Myers. Answer of President Davis. General Beau- 
regard s Reply. Colonel Myers alleges Ignorance of Want of Transporta 
tion in the Army of the Potomac. General Beauregard s Answer. Cause 
of the Failure of the Campaign. Effect of General Beaurcgard s Letter 
upon Congress. An Apparent Improvement in Commissary and Quarter 
master Departments. General Beauregard Complains again on the 23d 
of August. No Action Taken. Suggests Removal of Colonel Northrop. 
The President believes in his Efficiency, and Upholds him. Fifteen 
and Twenty Days Rations asked for by General Beauregard. 

TOWARDS 1.1 P.M., on the day of the battle, while President 
Davis, at General Beauregard s headquarters, was engaged in writ 
ing the despatch to General Cooper given in the preceding chap 
ter, information was received, through Captain Hill, of General 
Johnston s forces, that the enemy, at Centreville, was in a com 
plete state of demoralization, and in full flight towards Washing 
ton. Upon learning this, President Davis, with great animation, 
urged the necessity of an immediate pursuit by General Bonham s 
forces, which, with General Longstreet s brigade, were then in the 
closest proximity to Centreville. After a brief discussion of the 
matter between the President and Generals Johnston and Beaure 
gard, it was agreed that, as Captain Hill s informal report was not 
sufficiently authenticated, and the troops were fatigued and with 
out rations, the suggestion made should not be acted upon ; no 
order, therefore, was issued for its execution. 


Mr. Davis s memory, that such an order was actually dictated by 
him, and modified as to the hour of its execution, is clearly at 
fault. This is shown by Colonel (afterwards General) Jordan s 
letter, referred to by Mr. Davis himself, as the authority for his 
assertion to that effect. That Generals Johnston and Beauregard 
kept no copy of an order that fell still-born from the lips of tlit. 
President, is not to be wondered at ; and Colonel Jordan, no doubt 
and very naturally destroyed it as soon as it was penned, there 
having been, as he says, " a unanimous decision against it." From 
this expression we infer that Mr. Davis, no less than the two gen 
erals, acknowledged the uselessness of the order. 

There was no other order for pursuit given, or spoken of, that 
night. So says General Beauregard; so says Colonel Jordan, his 
chief of staff; so would undoubtedly say General Johnston, who 
was opposed to any further immediate advance of our troops after 
the battle. The order dictated substantially to Colonel Jordan, 
and condemned and abandoned without being "despatched," is 
the only order with which Mr. Davis had anything to do on the 
night of the 21st of July. Colonel Jordan, in the letter quoted by 
Mr. Davis, says : " This was the only instance during Mr. Davis s 
stay at Manassas in which lie exercised any voice as to the move 
ment of the troops. Profoundly pleased with the results achieved, 
. . . his bearing towards the generals who commanded them was 
eminently proper, as I have testified on a former occasion ; and I 
repeat, he certainly expressed or manifested no opposition to a for 
ward movement, nor did he display the least disposition to inter 
fere, by opinion or authority, touching what the Confederate forces 
should or should not do. 1 

An " order to the same effect," says Mr. Davis (that is, an order 
for pursuit, modified by him, and by him deferred till the next 
day, at early dawn), " was sent by General Beauregard, "on the 
night of the 21st of July, . . . for a copy of which" Mr. Davis 
is "indebted to the kindness of that chivalrous gentleman, soldier, 
and patriot, General Bonham." f 

This is another error. 

The order sent to General Bonham by General Beauregard, and 
given in full in Mr. Davis s book, J was not for the pursuit of the 

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, 1 vol. i. p. 354. 
t Ibid. vol. i. p. 355. J Ibid. vol. i. pp. 355, 35G. 


enemy, but for the purpose of making a reconnoissance of afford 
ing assistance to our wounded, and of collecting " all the arms, am 
munition, and abandoned stores, subsistence, and baggage," that 
could be found " on the road in our front towards Centreville," 
and on other roads by which the enemy had retreated towards 
the stone bridge and Sudley s Mills. 

Whoever reads the order here referred to cannot fail to see, 
from its very phraseology, that it conveys no such meaning as Mr. 
Davis is pleased to ascribe to it. For the order required that Gen 
eral Bonham should take with him "a vast amount of transporta 
tion," which, of itself, would have impeded the pursuit. And Mr. 
Davis acknowledges that " the 22d, the day after the battle, was 
spent in following up the line of the retreating foe, and collecting 
the large supplies of arms, of ammunition, and other military 
stores." Nor must it be forgotten that, at the time mentioned 
by Mr. Davis, General Johnston was already in actual command 
of our united forces, and that General Beauregard had, therefore, 
no authority to issue any such orders. Strange, indeed, would it 
have been that the general second in command should have sent 
his troops, or part of his troops, in pursuit of the enemy, when he 
knew that his superior in rank had expressed strong opposition to 
any immediate advance on our part, and had declared it utterly 

Just then, General Johnston was correct in his judgment. Our 
troops even those that had taken no part in the battle were 
more or less exhausted by marches and countermarches, and our 
cavalry was evidently too insignificant in number to admit of any 
serious hope of an effectual pursuit that night, or even the next 
morning. Another obstacle, of no minor importance, intervened, 
which was sufficient of itself to cut short all idea of then following 


the routed Federal army. On the evening of the 21st, at about 
nine o clock, the heavens began to assume a threatening appear 
ance, and, a few hours later, a heavy rain fell, which lasted unre 
mittingly throughout the whole of the succeeding day. Mean 
while, our troops were without provisions, and had no means of 
transportation. The railroad bridge across Bull Run had been de 
stroyed, too, and its reconstruction was indispensable to open the 
way for a farther advance, which, thus deferred, could no longer 

* "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 359. 


be called a pursuit. The fact is, the pursuit ordered by General 
Beauregard, at the close of the buttle,* having been stopped at 
about 6.30 P.M., in consequence of the false alarm referred to in 
the preceding chapter, no movement that night could have met 
with a successful result. It should have been instantly and vigor 
ously made, " on the very heels of the flying enemy ;" and, even 
then, it could not have been kept up long tinder the circum 

At pages 359, 360, of the first volume of his work, Mr. Davis 
says: "On the night of the 22d I held a second conference with 
Generals Johnston andBeauregard, . . . and propounded to them 
the inquiry as to what more it was practicable to do. They con 
curred as to their inability to cross the Potomac ; and to the fur 
ther inquiry as to an advance to the south side of the Potomac, 
General Beauregard promptly stated that there were strong forti 
fications there, occupied by garrisons which had not been in the 
battle, and were therefore not affected by the panic which had 
seized the defeated army. He declared those fortifications as hav 
ing wide, deep ditches, with palisades, which would prevent the 
escalade of the works. Turning to General Johnston, he said, 
They have spared no expense. ;: 

Here, truth compels us to state that, in all this matter, Mr. 
DaviVs memory is again unqualifiedly at fault. General Beaure 
gard could not have spoken as he is represented to have done, 
for the simple reason that all the information then in his pos 
session, whether received by means of his u underground rail 
road" or otherwise, led him to the strong belief that Washington 
was, at that time, entirely unprotected; that the works on the 
south side of the Potomac were barely commenced, except Fort 
Hunnyon, which was still incomplete, and armed with but a few 
guns; as appeared by a sketch of it, received in the usual mysteri 
ous way from within the enemy s lines. Mrs. G- , to whose 

tact and intelligence was due most of the secret knowledge of 
the condition of affairs at and around the Federal capital, had 
assured General Beauregard, many a time, that no obstacle ex 
isted to prevent a successful advance on our part, and that noth 
ing was dreaded more by those high in authority at "Washington. 
More than once, after the battle of Manassas, Mrs. G ended 

* Sec report of battle, in Chapter IX. 


her despatches in these words: "Come on! why do you not 
come?" We could, in this connection, were it not necessary to 
resume the thread of our narrative, tell of some very interesting 
occurrences, showing the manner in which news was brought to 
General Beauregard from Washington. We mention a single in 
stance. About the middle of July, on a bright, sultry morning, 
a young lady of much refinement, and possessing both youth 
and beauty, rode into General Bonham s lines, at Fairfax Court- 
Ilouse, and delivered to him a despatch of great importance, for 
General Beauregard, "from our friends in Washington." She 
had incurred great fatigue and danger in the accomplishment of 
her mission. This despatch she carried carefully concealed in her 
hair, which, when enrolled in the presence of the Confederate 
general, appeared to him to use his own language " the most 
beautiful he had ever seen on human head."* The young lady 
in question was a resident of the Federal capital, and had passed 
out of it in a small farm wagon, disguised as a plain country 
woman coining from market. Farther on her wav, at the resi- 

O */ 

dence of a relative, well known and wealthy, she obtained the 
horse she was riding and the habit she then wore. We refrain 
from giving her name, but it will never be forgotten either by 
General Beauregard or by General Bonham, and is, no doubt, as 
deeply graven upon the memory of the several staff officers who 
had the pleasure of escorting her through our lines. We wish, 
nevertheless and look upon it as a duty to place upon record 
her patriotic deed, so fearlessly and successfully accomplished. 

Irregular and unofficial as were the secret communications here 
spoken of, General Beauregard, who knew their importance and 
trustworthiness, never failed to forward their contents to the 
War Department. Mr. Davis, therefore, was aware or should 
have been of what General Beauregard thought of the readiness 

5 O 

of Washington to resist an advance of our forces at that time. 
It is not here pretended that no one spoke to Mr. Davis, on that 
occasion, as lie asserts that General Beauregard did ; but it is 
now stated, emphatically, and on the direct authority of General 
Beauregard, that he did not make use of anv such language to 

3 j c/ O O 

Mr. Davis. In support of the position here so positively assumed 
the reader is referred, first, to the fact, afterwards so thoroughly 

*From a letter of General Bonham to General Beauregard. 


verified, that no fortifications existed then at or around Washing 
ton ; none, at any rate, that could have seriously obstructed the 
inarch of our army; second, to General Beauregard s letter to Colo 
nels Chestnut and Miles, bearing date July 29th, 1SC1, and to his 
answer to President Davis (August 10th of the same year), where 
in is considered this very question of an advance upon Washing 
ton, and its feasibility, as late as the 2th of July. These letters 
appear in full further on in the present chapter. The fact is, 
that General Beau regard s whole correspondence, official and pri 
vate, touching these events, confirms, in every respect, what is 
stated in the two letters above mentioned. 

Our object is not, at present, to dwell upon the causes what 
ever they may have been of our failure to reap the fruits of that 
first great victory of the war. AVe wish merely to state that 
General Beaurcgard exonerates Mr. Davis from all responsibility 
for the failure to pursue the enemy on the night of the 21st of 
July. Mr. Davis did not object to such a pursuit; on the con 
trary, he desired it. But it was declared inexpedient, and, after 
discussion, Mr. Davis himself acknowledged it to be so. This, 
however, does not relieve him from the responsibility of prevent 
ing, a few days or weeks later, the advance of our army, in an 
aggressive campaign against Washington. 

On the morning after the battle an order was issued by General 
Beauregard, recalling his troops to their organization, and assign 
ing them new positions, with the advance Bonham s brigade 
at Centrcville. Ilolmes s brigade, by direction of President 
Davis, was ordered back to "its former position."" 1 

At the breakfast- table, on the same morning, the President 
handed General Beauregard the following graceful letter: 

" MANASSAS, VA., July 21tf, 1801. 

"/Sir, Appreciating your services in the battle of Manassas and on several 
other occasions during the existing war, as affording the highest evidence of 
your skill as a commander, your gallantry as a soldier, and your zeal as a 
patriot, you are appointed to be General in the army of the Confederate 
States of America, and, with the consent of the Congress, will be duly com 
missioned accordingly. " Yours, etc., 

"General G. T. BEAUREGAKD." 

On the 23d, Hunton s Sth Virginia, with three companies of 

Sec Appendix to this chapter. 


cavalry, was ordered to re-occupy Leesburg, and Bonham s brig 
ade, with Delaware Kemper s and Shields s batteries and a force 
of cavalry, were ordered to advance to Vienna Station, and Long- 
street to Centreville. As the leading column was approaching 
Fairfax Court- House, Captain Terry, of Texas, a noted marks 
man, lowered the Federal flag by cutting the halliards with a rifle 
ball. This flag was sent, through General Longstreet, as a present 
to General Beauregard, but was placed among the stock of tro 
phies where it belonged, as well as a larger flag, offered to Mr. 
Davis, who had already left Manassas for Richmond. Many 
spoils were gathered daring and after the battle; and the line of 
march of our troops, on their way to the new positions assigned 
them, was rich in abandoned arms and other military property. A 
great deal was carried off by the people, and was recovered with 
much trouble. 

On the 25th, Generals Johnston and Beauregard issued an ad 
dress to their troops, awarding to them the praises they deserved 
for their patriotic courage on the battle-fields of the 18th and 
21st. The concluding words were as follows: " Soldiers, we con- 


gratnlate you on a glorious, triumphant, and complete victory. 
We thank you for doing your whole duty in the service of your 

On that day, also, General Beauregard, in anticipation, it might 
be said, of the future orders of the government, organized his 
army, as now increased into eight brigades, each of which was 
made up of regiments coming from a single State. But no mili 
tary movement of importance could be undertaken, on account of 
additional embarrassments from the want of transportation and 
subsistence. Only one wagon and four horses were assigned to 
every hundred men. Each brigade staff and each hospital were 
limited to the same insufficient transportation. The army was 
living from hand to mouth, and actually suffering from want of 
food. Colonel R. B. Lee, the efficient Chief Commissary of the 
army in the field, had not been long in finding out that the ways 
of the Commissary-General, Colonel Northrop, were altogether im 
practicable ; and, in order to keep our forces properly supplied, 
he was compelled to resort, in a measure, to the system formerly 
pursued by Captain Fowle, under General Beauregard s instruc 
tions, and without which the arm} would have fallen to pieces, 
even before the battle of Manassas. Colonel Northrop, thereupon, 


became very much irritated against the energetic Colonel Lee, 
and, without consulting or informing the general of either army, 
superseded him, as he had lately done Captain Fowle, for a sim 
ilar reason, appointing another Chief Commissary, namely, Major 
William B. Blair. 

With regard to this all-important question of provisioning the 
arm} 7 and supplying it with transportation, we put before the 
reader the following letters, which speak for themselves, and show 
General Beauregard s sagacity and intense anxiety upon these 
points. They also hold up to public view the appalling misman 
agement of all army affairs at Richmond, in relation to the Quar 
termaster and Commissary Departments. 

CAMP PICKENS. July 23(7, 1SG1. 
u To His Excellency the President of the Confederate States : 

"Sir, I am commanded by General Beauregard to inform your Excellency 
that the stock of provisions has become alarmingly reduced, in consequence 
of the non-fulfilment of requisitions of the Commissary-General. 

u The general directs me to say, that unless immediate supplies are forwarded, 
in conformity with these requisitions, most serious consequences are inevitable. 
" With much respect, your obedient servant, 


and Chief Commissary of Army of Potomac." 

On the 20th of July, no satisfactory change having resulted 
from the foregoing communication to the President, General Beau- 
regard wrote the following letter to Colonels Win. P. Miles and 
James Chestnut, both members of the Confederate Congress, at 
that time, and both of whom had acted as his volunteer aids in 
South Carolina and in Virginia. 

" MAXASSAS, VIRGINIA, July 29M, 1801. 

"My dear Colonels, I send you, herewith, some important suggestions rel 
ative to the best mode of providing for the wants of this army, furnished me 
by Colonel L. M. Hatch, whose experience in such matters entitles his views 
and opinions to considerable weight. Unless the requirements of our army in 
the field are provided for beforehand, we shall be in a perfect state of destitu 
tion very shortly. 

"I will remark here, that we have been out of subsistence for several days, 
some of my regiments not having had anything to eat for more than twenty- 
four hours. They have stood it, though, nobly; but, if it happens again, I shall 
join one of their camps and share their wants with them; for I will never al 
low them to suppose that I feast while they suffer. 

"The want of food and transportation has made us lose all the fruits of our 


victory. We ought at this moment to be in or about Washington, but we are 
perfectly anchored here, and God only knows when we will be able to advance ; 
without these means we can neither advance nor retreat. The mobility of an 
army, which constitutes the great strength of modern armies, does not certainly 
form an element of ours, for w r e seem to be rooted to this spot. 

" Cannot something be done towards furnishing us more expeditiously and 
regularly with food and transportation ? 

" It seems to me that if the States had been called upon to furnish their 
quota of wagons per regiment in the field, one of these evils could have been 

" From all accounts, Washington could have been taken up to the 24th in 
stant, by twenty thousand men ! Only think of the brilliant results we have 
lost by the two causes referred to ! 

" Again, we must have a few more field-officers from the old service, other 
wise our regiments will get worsted sooner or later. 

" In haste, yours truly, 


On the 1st of August he forwarded the following telegram to 
Colonel A. C. Myers, Assistant Quartermaster-General : 

" Several of my brigades are entirely destitute of transportation ; no advance 
can be made until procured. Can you not send me about one hundred wagons ? 


Congress becoming alarmed and justly so at such a state of 
affairs, upon information communicated to it by members of the 
Military Committee, instituted an investigation, which, besides 
very much incensing the heads of the two departments implicated, 
also aroused the displeasure of the President, who gave expression 
to his irritation in the following letter : 

" RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, August WtJt, 1801. 

" My dear Sir, Enclosed I transmit copies of a resolution of inquiry and the 
reply to it. You will perceive that the answer was made in view of the tele 
gram which I enclosed to you, that being the only information then before me. 
Since that time it has been communicated to me that your letter to lion. Mr. 
Miles, on the wants of your army, and the consequences thereof, was read to 
the Congress, and hence the inquiry instituted. Permit me to request that you 
will return the telegram to me, which I enclosed to show you the form in which 
the matter came before me. 

"Some excitement has been created by your letter; the Quartermaster and 
the Commissary General both feel that they have been unjustly arraigned. As 
for myself, I can only say that I have endeavored to anticipate wants, and any 
failure which has occurred from -imperfect knowledge might have been best 
avoided by timely requisitions and estimates. 


" I think you arc unjust to yourself in putting your failure to pursue the 
enemy to Washington to the account of short supplies of subsistence and trans 
portation. Under the circumstances of our army, and in the absence of the 
knowledge since acquired, if, indeed, the statements be true, it would have been 
extremely hazardous to have done more than was performed. You will not 
fail to remember that, so far from knowing that the enemy was routed, a large 
part of our forces was moved by yon, in the night of the 21st, to repel a sup 
posed attack on our right, and that the next day s operations did not fully 
reveal what has since been reported of the enemy s panic. 

"Enough was done for glory, and the measure of duty was full; let us 
rather show the untaught that their desires are unreasonable, than, by dwell 
ing on possibilities recently developed, give form and substance to the criti 
cisms always easy to those who judge after the event. 

With sincere esteem, I am, your friend, 


The foregoing letter shows, among other tilings, how complete 
ly the reiterated suggestions and remonstrances and requisitions 
of General Beauregard concerning the necessity of supplies and 
transportation, had slipped President Davis s memory. AVe re 
frain from fatiguing the attention of the reader, by again placin^ 

1 * o 

before him the evidence and correspondence given on this sub 
ject in a preceding chapter (Chapter VI.). It is enough to say 
that, from the 3d of June, just after his arrival at Manassas, to 
the time when President Davis penned the letter given above, 
General Beauregard had never ceased calling his attention and 
that of the "War Department to the vital importance of these two 
matters. How President Davis could possibly plead "imperfect 
knowledge," and complain of want " of timely requisitions and 
estimates," is more than we can understand ; and we have sought in 
vain, in his book, for any satisfactory explanation of the matter. 
But General Beauregard s answer to the President dispenses with 
the necessity for further comment : 

AS, YA., August IQth, 1861. 

u Dear Sir, Your letter of the 4th instant has been received, but my end 
less occupations have prevented me from acknowledging it immediately, as 
I should have done. 

"I regret exceedingly to hear that Colonel Miles read my letter of the 29th 
to Congress. It was written only for the purpose of expediting matters, if 
possible, and immediately after having been informed that one brigade and 
two or more regiments were without food, and had been so for twenty-four 
hours. I had before been informed that we were short of provisions ; but I 
never supposed it would be permitted to go to the extent referred to. Some 
time before the battle of the 21st ultimo I had endeavored to remedy the im- 


pending evil by ordering Major Fowle, the acting Commissary-General here, 
to provide a certain number of rations, by purchasing in the surrounding coun 
ties, which drew from the Commissary-General of the army a letter so dis 
courteous to me that the want of time alone prevented me from enclosing it 
to you for your consideration. 

"With regard to making timely requisitions on the Quartermaster and 
Commissary Department, not knowing what number of troops the War De 
partment intended at any time to concentrate here, it was impossible to make 
proper requisitions until after the arrival of those troops. 

" I will here remark, that troops arriving at this place have often been a 
day or more without food in the cars, and I have had several times to order 
issues of provisions here to troops on their way to Winchester, for the same 
cause. I accuse no one, I state facts. 

" I am fully aware that you have done more than could be expected of you 
for this army, and that it is utterly impossible you should be able to direct 
each one of the bureaus of the War Department, but the facts referred to show 
a deficiency somewhere, which ought to be remedied, otherwise we will, soon 
er or later, be liable to the same unfortunate results. 

" My experience here teaches me that, after issuing an order, I have to in 
quire whether it has been carried into effect ; this is especially the case with 
the newly arrived troops. 

" With regard to my remarks about inarching on to Washington, you must 
have misunderstood them, for I never stated that we could have pursued the 
enemy on the evening of the 21st, or even on the 22d. I wrote : The want of 
food and transportation has made us lose all the fruits of our victory. We 
ought at this time, the 29th of July, to be in or about Washington, and, from 
all accounts, Washington could have been taken up to the 24th inst. (July), 
by twenty thousand men. 

" Every news from there confirms me still more in that opinion. For sev 
eral days (about one week) after the battle, I could not put my new regi 
ments in position for want of transportation. I do not say this to injure my 
friend Colonel Myers, but to benefit the service. We have, no doubt, by our 
success here, achieved glory for our country, but I am fighting for some 
thing more real and tangible, i. <?., to save our homes and firesides from our 
Northern invaders, and to maintain our freedom and independence as a na 
tion. After that task shall have been accomplished, as I feel that I am only 
fit for private life, I shall retire to my home, if my means will permit, never 
again to leave it, unless called upon to repel again the same or another foe. 
" With much respect, I remain, 

" Sincerely your friend, 


The same surprise and want of knowledge expressed by Pres 
ident Davis, concerning the deficiency of these two departments, 
was also manifested strange, to say by the Quartermaster-Gen 
eral himself. His communication to General Beauregard, dated 


August 1st, establishes the almost incredible fact that the head of 
one of the most important of our departments did not know the 
state of its affairs. This was but additional evidence of improvi 
dence and mismanagement. There was this difference, however, 
between Colonel Myers and Colonel Northrop ; the former was 
ever ready to correct an error when in his power to do so, the lat 
ter would not allow his errors to be pointed out, and, still less, 
discussed. In Colonel Myers s letter to General Beauregard, above 
referred to, he writes: "I never, until day before yesterday, have 
heard one word of this deficiency ; then, the knowledge came to 
me through a despatch from GeneralJ. E. Johnston, to the Adju 
tant-General. I took immediate steps to collect, at Manassas, as 
much transportation as I suppose you will require. . . . The 
military operations and manoeuvres of your army are never di 
vulged, and it is utterly impossible for me to know how to an 
ticipate your wants. . . . We have had, so far, too many 
heads, which I can say to you, and which means, we have /md no 
head at all. You should write me often, if only a line, when any 
thing is required, and you shall be provided if possible/ 

The only conclusion to be drawn from this is, that General 
Beauregard s demands and requisitions made to the War Depart 
ment were totally disregarded, and never reached the office of 
the Quartermaster-General. We now give General Beau regard s 
answer to Colonel Myers : 

MANASSAS, VA., Augmt 5th, 18C1. 

"Dear Colonel, Your favor of the 1st has been received. My surprise was 
as great as yours to find that you had not been informed of our want of 
transportation, which has so crippled us, together with the want of provisions, 
that we have been anchored here since the battle, not being able to send a, 
few regiments three or four miles from their former positions. Major Cabell 
says that, Knowing your inability to comply with his former requisitions for 
wagons, etc., he thought it was useless to make new ones upon you, hence he 
was trying to get them from around here. Be that as it may, the result was, 
that about fifteen thousand men were sent me by the AVar Department, with 
out one solitary icagon. Before tile arrival of these troops, we had, per reg 
iment, only about twelve wagons of the meanest description, being coun 
try wagons, that break down whenever they come to a bad part of the 
road. General Johnston s command had only about seven wagons per regi 
ment on arriving here. This state of things cannot and ought not to last 

"I am perfectly willing to fight, but my troops must be provided with all 
the means necessary to constitute an army. I must be prepared to advance 


or retreat according to circumstances, otherwise disasters will overtake us in 
every direction. 

" For a long time I could not get more than twenty rounds of ammunition 
per man, when within a few miles (not over ten) from an enemy three times 
our strength. 

" I have applied forColonelJ. L. Kemper, 7th Virginia regiment, to be made 
Provisional Quartermaster-General of this and Johnston s army. I wish you 
would aid in the matter. I should like, also, to have General McGowan, of 
South Carolina, appointed in that department. He would be very useful. 
The best man for each position must be looked for and appointed forthwith, 
without regard to other considerations; otherwise we will never succeed in 
defeating the enemy, w r ho is more numerous than we, and has more resources 
at hand. In haste, yours truly, 


Upon calm reflection, an impartial mind is forced to acknowl 
edge that the failure of this campaign, during what were so appro 
priately called " the golden days of the Confederacy," was the un 
mistakable result of short-sighted and inefficient management, the 
responsibility for which rests upon him who, though clearly un 
able to give personal supervision to and direct each detail of the 
wheels of government, yet would allow no latitude either to the 
heads of the various bureaus of the War Department, or to the 
generals in the field. 

The unceasing efforts of General Beauregard finally succeeded 
in stirring up the authorities at Richmond, and brought about 
some effort to produce a favorable change in the administration 
of the Quartermaster s and Commissary s Departments. This is 
testified to by the following letter of Hon. W. P. Miles, of South 
Carolina, then chairman of the Military Committee of Congress, 
addressed to General Beauregard, under date of August 8th, 1861 : 

"Dear General, Your despatch has just been received, and I hasten to send 
you copy of your letter, as you desire. 

"Whatever the powers that be may think of it, or however much they 
may foil to relish it, I have no doubt it has had, and will continue to have, a 
very salutary and stimulating effect. You may rely upon it, Congress and the 
country sympathize with you, although there may be and arc differences of 
opinion as to the immediate advance upon Washington. 

" Very truly yours, 


But the improvement alluded to a spasmodic one, it would 
seem, and one which had been altogether compulsory was only 
of very short duration. Colonel Myers, it is fair to say, seriously 


exerted himself, and, in a reasonable measure, satisfied many of the 
exigencies of the hour. But Colonel Northrop was less open to 
conviction. This officer, whose want of administrative capacity 
was obvious to all the President alone excepted could not be 
induced to pursue any other than the inefficient, improvident 
course he had, thus far, so persistently followed. This fact is 
again brought to notice by the following extract from another 
communication from General Beaurcgard to President Davis: 


MANASSAS, YA., August 23<Z, 1801. 
"To His Excellency, President JEFFERSON DAVIS, etc., etc. : 

u Dear >SVr, I have the honor to enclose you herewith a copy of the state 
ment of provisions, etc., remaining on hand at this point and available, on the 
21st instant, for the army of the Potomac, by which it will be seen that little 
improvement has taken place in that respect, since I last had the honor of ad 
dressing your Excellency on the subject, on the 10th instant; and that we are 
still as unprepared to advance or retreat, in consequence thereof, as at that 
period. A serious accident to the railroads, from here to liichmoml, would 
place this army in quite a critical condition, so far as its subsistence is con 

"For the active operations that we may be called upon shortly to make in 
this vicinity, with Camp Pickcns as a pivot <V act ion (centre of movement), it 
ought to be provided with at least fifteen or twenty days provisions on hand ; 
otherwise, to prevent the enemy from taking possession of our lines of com 
munication, we would have to abandon this place and fall back, as our forces 
could not be provided with means of subsistence. I regret to say that we 
could not now march from here with even three days rations. I earnestly 
and solicitously call your attention to this important subject. AVithout an 
ample supply of provisions we will be perfectly powerless. 

u I hope you will do me the justice to believe that these facts are brought 
to your Excellency s attention, without regard whatsoever to individuals. I 
look only to the success of our cause, regardless of friends or foes. 


" I remain, dear Sir, respectfully, 

"Your obedient servant and friend, 


The most effective mode of remedying these evils was, ns General 
Beauregard and many other leading men of the country had 
pointed out and suggested, forthwith to remove Colonel JSTorthrop 
from a position he was so inadequate to fill. But this the admin 
istration would not do. In spite of the pressure of public opinion, 
brought to bear against the Commissary-General, whose honesty 
none doubted, but whose incapacity all knew, the President per- 


sistently upheld him, as lie was wont to do all personal friends of 
his. This is corroborated by the following extract from a signifi 
cant letter of the Hon. Win. P. Miles to General Beauregard, bear 
ing date of Richmond, August 6th, 1861. 

" Dear General, I received your despatch to-day, suggesting Colonel R. B. 
Lee as the best man for Commissary-General, and Colonel J. L. Kemper as 
Assistant Quartermaster-General. The President has not the remotest idea 
of removing Colonel Northrop. On the contrary, he is under the impression 
that he has done everything in his power in his department. You can readily 
see that there is, therefore, no possibility of the radical reform you suggest 
in this department. In the other case it would require a reorganization of the 
general staff, so for as the Quartermaster Department is concerned. 


" Very sincerely yours, 


Colonel Miles s opinion was more than confirmed by events. 
Not only was the Commissary-General maintained in his position, 
but his influence with the administration appeared to increase, as 
did, most undoubtedly, his well-known and already proverbial in 
efficiency. Mr. Davis s book is replete with words of praise and 
commendation for him. Mr. Davis has not, even to this day, for 
given those who complained, not of the motives of Colonel North 
rop who was known to be a man of character and education but 
of his fearful shortcomings, so detrimental to the good of the 

Mr. Davis says that it affords him the greatest pleasure to speak 
as he does of Colonel Northrop, " because those less informed of 
all he did, and skilfully tried to do, have been profuse of criti 
cism, and sparing indeed of the meed justly his due."" 5 " In an 
other part of his book he uses the following language : " To di 
rect the production, preservation, collection, and distribution of 
food for the army, required a man of rare capacity and character 
at the head of the subsistence department. It was our good fort 
une to have such a one in Colonel L. B. Northrop, who was ap 
pointed Commissary-General at the organization of the bureaus 
of the executive department of the Confederate government."f 
These remarks of Mr. Davis are made in defiance of the opinion 
of the whole South, as entertained and openly expressed through 
out the war. The disposition to defend a friend and to protect his 

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 315. 
t Ibid. vol. i. p. 303. 


reputation is a commendable trait, which should ever be admired 
among men ; but the First Magistrate of a free people, and Com- 
mander-in-Chief of their armies, is not a man, in the ordinary sense 
of the word : he must be more guarded in his encomiums of a 
friend ; he cannot be allowed to give rein to his likes or dis 
likes ; his eye, ever keen and watchful, must be directed to the 
general good of those who chose him as their leader ; otherwise 
he betrays the trust reposed in him ; he is recreant to his duty ; 
he derides public opinion, becomes the accomplice of inefficiency, 
if not unworthiness, and deserves as great perhaps greater 
blame, than those he so unwisely sustains. 

Mr. Davis s efforts to shield Colonel Xorthrop can only result 
in shaking the confidence heretofore felt by many persons in the 
judgment and sagacity of the ex-President of the Confederacy, 
without doing the slightest good to his former Commissary-Gen 
eral. It would have been kinder, on the part of Mr. Davis, to have 
adopted towards him the course he never hesitates to follow to 
wards those whose merits he cannot deny, but will not admit 
pass him by in silence, as though he had never been an actor in 
the great drama wherein were lost most of the fondest hopes of 
the South. 

The supply of fifteen or twenty days rations, at Manassas, sug 
gested in the foregoing communication to the President, as a nec 
essary preparation for probable movements of the army, had long 
been the subject of General Beau regard s anxious thought. As 
we have already seen (Chapter VI.), he had endeavored, as early 
as June, to collect many of the wagons he needed, and u twenty- 
five days rations for about twenty thousand men." Again, a little 
later, he caused the following order to be given to his Chief Com 
missary : 


Captain "W. II. FOWLE, Camp Pickcns : 

u Captain, The general commanding directs that you take prompt and ef 
fective measures to provide forthwith, at your depot near these headquarters, 
ample provisions including fat cattle for twenty-five thousand men for two 
weeks, and that amount, at least, must be constantly maintained on hand, 
subject to requisition, until otherwise ordered. 


That this had not been done, at the time referred to, or at any 
I. 9 


subsequent period, General Beau regard s earnest appeal to the 
President for such supplies very conclusively demonstrates. It is 
almost unnecessary to add, that no action was taken by the "War 
Department to carry out these all-important suggestions ; and that, 
far from any advance on the enemy being made practicable for us, 
\ve were saved from the calamities foreseen and dreaded by Gen 
eral Beauregard, not through efforts of the administration, but by 
the simple fact that the enemy was so crippled and demoralized 
as to preclude any forward movement on his part. 



General Beauregard Suggests a Forward Movement. Not Approved by Gen 
eral Johnston. Sanitary Measures. Deficiency in Light Artillery. In 
structions to Colonel Stuart. Mason s and Munson s Hills. General 
Beauregard Proposes to Hold Them. General Johnston of a Different 
Opinion. Popularity of General Beauregard. He Establishes His Head 
quarters at Fairfax Court-House. Proposes Another Plan Involving De 
cisive Battle. General Johnston Deems it Better not to Hazard the 
Movement. Organization of the Forces into Divisions. General Beaure 
gard Advises that the Army be Placed Under One Head. President 
Davis Invited to a Conference at Fairfax Court-House. Scheme of Oper 
ations Submitted. Generals Johnston and G. AV. Smith Approve it. 

Troops in Splendid Fighting Condition. The President Objects. N<> 

Reinforcements can be Furnished, and no Arms in the Country. Review 
of Mr. Davis s Remarks on the Subject. He Proposes a Plan for Opera 
tions Across the Potomac. The Commanding Generals do not Consider 
it Feasible. 

Ox the Sth of August, at General Beauregard s suggestion, 
Colonel Evans was ordered to move his brigade to Leesburg, and 
assume command of all the forces in London County, the object 
being to protect that region against Federal incursions, about 
which numerous complaints were made. 

It was about that time that General Beauregard resolved to 
throw his own forces forward, lie hoped, by an advance, to be 
able more easily to take the offensive, or draw on a battle, while 
the enemy was yet demoralized and undisciplined. Accordingly, 
on the 9th and 10th, Longstreet s brigade was moved to Fairfax 
Court-House, and D. R. Jones s to Germantown. Bonham was 
drawn back from Vienna to Flint Hill, leaving a strong mounted 
guard at the former place. Cocke was stationed at Centreville ; 
Ewell at gangster s Crossroads; Early and Hampton at the inter 
section of the Occoquan with the Wolf Run Shoals road ; and the 
Louisiana brigade at Mitchell s Ford. Elzey s brigade, of General 
Johnston s forces, was placed in the immediate vicinity of Fairfax 
Station, and Jackson s, also of General Johnston s forces, held a posi 
tion near the crossing of Braddock s and the Fairfax Station roads. 


From these advanced positions, the forces, as above enumerated, 
could be, at any time, concentrated for offensive or defensive pur- 
poses. General Beauregard s desire was, by a bold movement, to 
capture the exterior lines of the enemy at Annandale, and, should 
any serious force come out in support, give it battle, with the 
chances in favor of the Confederates. But this plan or project, 
General Beauregard being second in command, had, first, to be 
submitted to General Johnston, whose approval was necessary for 
its execution. General Johnston did not assent to it. This dis 
agreement of opinion between the two commanding generals, 
whose official intercourse had always been and continued to be 
most friendly, showed, however, that they differed widely in tem 
perament, and belonged to essentially distinct military schools : 
General Beauregard. ever in favor of the a^^ressive, and of sub- 

O > OO 

jecting an adversary s movements to his own plans General 
Johnston, ever on the defensive, and apparently awaiting the action 
of the enemy. 

On the 13th of August General Beauregard was officially in 
formed, by the Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, of his ap 
pointment, by and with the advice and consent of Congress, as 
" General " in the army of the Confederate States, to take rank 
from July 21st, 1861. lie gratefully accepted the high distinction 
thus conferred upon him by the President, who, it will be remem 
bered, had not awaited the action of Congress to reward his services. 

The reader is aware that, on the 23d of August, General Beau- 
regard again addressed the President* with regard to the insuffi 
ciency of subsistence for the army at Manassas. lie also urged 
the sanitary benefits and economy of procuring for each company 
a good professional cook and baker, with portable kitchens and 
ovens for encampments. Out of thirty-two thousand six hundred 
and fifty-five men, the total of his own army at that time, only 
twenty -two thousand two hundred and ninety -one were fit for 
duty; much of the sickness being due, it was thought, to bad 
cooking, as well as bad water. 

General Beauregard, at this time, also represented to the Presi 
dent, through Captain E. P. Alexander, his Chief of Artillery and 
Ordnance, the great deficiency of the army in light artillery (there 
was but one piece to each of his thirty-five regiments). He urged 

* See Chapter X. 


the necessity of three guns to each regiment, or, if these were not 
to be had, that rocket batteries should be supplied for the purpose 
of frightening the untrained horses of the enemy. lie asked, 
likewise, that the cavalry should be raised to at least four or five 
thousand men, for the purpose of charging on McClellan s bat 
teries and raw troops, when thrown into disorder by the rockets. 
It was long, however, before this want of artillery was even par 
tially supplied, and the organization of the rocket batteries was 
subsequently thwarted by the military authorities. 

General Beauregard now instructed Colonel Stuart, command 
ing the cavalry outposts, to keep constantly near the enemy, and 
ordered General Longstreet, with his brigade, to remain in close 
proximity to Stuart. Towards the end of August, in complying 
with these orders, Stuart, who was an officer of great enterprise, 
by a series of daily encounters gradually drove back the Federal 
force in his front, and, with the co-operation of General Long- 
street, finally captured Mason s and Munson s Hills, in full view of 
Washington. General Beauregard, who had had minute informa 
tion concerning these positions, through Colonel George W. Lay, 
long a resident of Washington, proposed to General Johnston, 
now that they were in our hands, to hold and support them by 
the following arrangement of troops : 

1 brigade (Bonham s) at or about old Court-House, near Vienna. 

2 brigades (D. R. Jones s and Cockc s) at or about Falls Church. 
1 brigade. (Longstrcet s) at or about Munson s Hill. 

1 brigade (Johnston s forces) half-way between Mason s and Munson s Hills. 

1 brigade (Johnston s forces) at Mason s Hill. 

2 brigades (Walker s and Early s) at or about Annandale. 
1 brigade (Ewcll s) at or about Springfield. 

Some of General Johnston s other brigades were to be placed at 
Centreville, Fairfax Court-House, and Fairfax Station, and they 
might occasionally be moved towards the Potomac above, to alarm 
the enemy and keep him in a state of constant anxiety as to the 
safety of Washington ; then troops could cross into Maryland, 
should the enemy move in a large force from Washington to any 
point on the lower Potomac. The place on the river which 
General Beauregard believed the enemy would make his next 
point dJappui was Evansport, some thirty miles below Washing 
ton, and, at the request of General Holmes, he had given instruc 
tions as to the manner of its fortification. 


General Johnston, however, was opposed to the occupation of 
Mason s and Munson s Hills, and did not approve of the arrange 
ment suggested, considering the line of Fairfax Court-House suf 
ficiently advanced for all purposes ; and even too distant for the 
support of Evansport. His main objection was the danger of 
being drawn into a serious, perhaps general, action, so much nearer 
to the Federal position than to our own. But General Beaure- 
gard believed that any expedition of the enemy, sent down the 
Potomac, might be at once neutralized by a bold movement from 
above into Maryland and on the rear of Washington. He was 
willing, besides, should it so happen, to exchange Richmond, tem 
porarily, for Washington and Maryland. As to a general action, 
he desired it, for the reason that the Federal army was yet undis 
ciplined, while our forces, as strong in numbers as might for some 
time be expected, were in the full prestige of recent victory ; an 
advantage now clearly perceptible in the occasional encounters, 
with or without an action, between the respective reconnoitring 
and foraging parties, and quite conspicuous in the affair at Lewins- 
ville, on the llth of September but sure to diminish, as time 
elapsed, by the great increase in numbers, discipline, and arma 
ment of the opposing forces. 

The chronic evil lack of transportation had become the sub 
ject of anxious remonstrance from Captain Alexander, General 
Beauregard s Chief of Ordnance. With a portion of the army 
now at the threshold of the Federal encampments (Sept. 7th) his 
reserve ammunition had been more than a week awaiting trans- 


portation, for which requisition had been made on the 20th of 
August, on the Chief Quartermaster of the army corps. 

These ever-recurring annoyances, resulting from the incurable 
inefficiency which had to be daily contended against, would have 
depressed and utterly discouraged a man less gifted than General 
Beauregard. But his activity, his energy and we may add his 
confidence in his own resources, seemed to increase with the ob 
stacles thus thrown in his way. He could not and would not be 
despondent. His words, both to his officers and to hfs men, no 
matter under what circumstances, were always of a nature to in 
spire them with additional hope, renewed endurance, and confi 
dence of success. 

Through that quick, innate sympathy with military glory, which 
has ever distinguished the American people, General Beatiregard s 


name was now borne to the highest point of popularity. He had 
struck the first blow at Sumter, and had thereby asserted the ex 
istence of the Confederacy. He had struck the second blow at 
Manassas, and had there demonstrated the power and vitality of 
our cause. " On the afflatus of victory," says the author of " The 
Lost Cause," "Beau regard at once ascended to the first reputation 
of the war." lie was looked up to as the future military agent 
of Southern Independence. The many letters of congratulation, 
and testimonials of sympathy, confidence, and esteem, he had re 
ceived from every part of the country, and from all classes of our 
people, sufficiently showed the light in which he was held, and to 
whom chiefly, of all Southern leaders in the field, was attributed 
the triumphant achievements of our arms. The real difficulties 
of the task he had performed were better understood by his of 
ficers and men ; and, with them, the enthusiasm which his successes 
had created throughout the country took the form of an absolute 
devotion. Nor was this all. Gentlemen of position and influence 
outside of the army now urged him to allow his name to be pre 
sented for the Constitutional Presidency, the election to which 
was then approaching. But he unhesitatingly declined, declaring 
his place to be only that of a soldier. 

Led by that singleness of purpose which guided him through 
out the war, and undated, except by a just gratification that his 
efforts in the cause had borne fruitful results, and had brought 
him heart to heart with his comrades and countrymen, he at once 
directed his whole care to the reorganization of the troops in the 
iield, to the preparation for new successes, and the advancement 
of the strategic frontier beyond the Potomac. 

Throwing forward a portion of his troops, by the 12th of Sep 
tember, he moved his headquarters to Fairfax Court-House, in or 
der to be nearer to his outer lines, which now stretched from 
Springfield, below Alexandria, on the right, to the little falls on 
the Potomac, above Georgetown, on the left, enclosing the Federal 
forces within a narrow circle, from which they made their obser 
vations and occasional sorties. For the purpose of watching our 
camps, and of gaining information of what transpired there, a bal 
loon was much used by the enemy, often in the night. To de 
ceive this inconvenient scrutiny, General Beauregard ordered the 
kindling of numerous fires as soon as darkness fell, so as to sug 
gest extensive bivouacs on our lines, lie had himself endeavored, 


before this, to procure a balloon from Richmond, but without 
success; and though he afterwards obtained one from a private 
source, some defect in its construction rendered it of no avail. 

Anxious not to lose the present opportunities, General Beaure- 
gard now proposed to General Johnston, who had also moved his 
headquarters to Fairfax Court-House, a plan involving a decisive 
battle. General Gustavus W. Smith,* with General Johnston s 
forces, was to advance and menace the Federal front, while Gen 
eral Beauregard, passing southward of the Occoquan, was to turn 
the Federal left flank and attack it with vigor ; an operation re 
sembling that subsequently made by General Jackson with brilliant 
success, near Richmond, in 1862, though the Confederate forces, 
at the time of which we write, were in a condition, both moral 
and material, more favorable to success in such a movement. 
General Johnston, however, deemed it better not to hazard a 
battle at this juncture. 

The necessity of organizing the forces into divisions had been 
a matter of discussion between the two generals. As the lack of 
division-generals had been the principal cause of the unfortunate 
miscarriage of General Beauregard s orders in the recent battle 
of Manassas, he had shortly afterwards written to the Adjutant- 
General on this important matter, and, later, had represented to 
the President that both armies should be placed under one head, 
and commanded as the two corps of a single army. The fact is 
that, as early as July 24th, only a few days after the battle of 
Manassas, the division of our forces into two army corps, as sug 
gested by General Beauregard, had been practically effected by 
the two commanding generals.f The War Department had not 
authorized the change, but had, by its silence, clearly acquiesced 
in it. This was followed by a recommendation, on the part of the 
senior generals, of seven officers for appointment as major-generals, 
and of eight others as brigadiers, two of whom were already in 
command of brigades. 

Towards the latter part of September General Johnston wrote 

* General Smith had joined the Confederacy, and, upon the suggestion of 
Generals Johnston and Beauregard, had been commissioned as a Major-Genera 1 
by the War Department, August, 18G1. 

f From July 24th, all Orders, General or Special, issued by General Beau- 
regard, were dated " Headquarters 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac." 


to the Secretary of War, asking that either lie or the President 
should come to Fairfax Court-House, to confer upon the subject 
of organization, and upon a plan for an offensive movement, which 
would then be submitted to him. 

General Beau regard had conceived a scheme of operations, as 
distinguished for its breadth of view, and greatness of proposed 
result, as that which had been ineffectually urged before the bat 
tle of Manassas. It involved the raising of the available forces 
from forty thousand to sixty thousand, by drawing troops from 
various parts of the Confederacy ; their places, in the meantime, 
to be filled by State troops, called out for three or six months. 
This force assembled, a small corps of diversion was to remain in 
front, while the army should cross the Potomac, under partial cov 
er of night, either at Edwards s Ferry, or, by means of a pontoon 
train, at a point nearly north of Fairfax Court-House, which Gen 
eral Beauregard was having reconnoitred for that purpose. This 
army was then to march rapidly upon Washington, and seize the 
Federal supplies in that city. It seemed almost certain that, even 
should McClellan reach the threatened point in time which he 
might undoubtedly do he could not withstand our sudden at 
tack and maintain his position. His forces were undisciplined 
and demoralized, and Washington had not yet been fortified. 
Modellings army thus placed at our mercy, and Maryland won. 
the theatre of war was to be transferred to the Northern States, 
from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, the entire West being there- 
bv relieved from peril of invasion. As the Federal government 
had not yet recovered from the effects of defeat, none of the 
points from which troops were to be drawn for this movement 
were seriously threatened ; some of them were not menaced at all ; 
and this offensive movement would have forced the Federal gov 
ernment to recall its scattered troops for the protection of those 
points upon which the Confederate army would have been able 
to march after the fall of Washington. The moral effect of such 
an exhibition of power on the governments of England and 
France would have been of incalculable benefit to the Confed 

Upon the submission of this plan to Generals Johnston and 
Smith, the latter at once approved it, and the former, though 
for some time unwilling, finally yielded his assent. 

President Davis arrived at Fairfax Court-House on the 30th of 


September, and remained there two days, at General Beanregard s 
headquarters. In the conferences which followed between him and 
Generals Johnston, Beauregard, and Smith, he objected to the 
organization of the army into corps and divisions, and to the ap 
pointment of major-generals, as suggested ; but yielded so far as to 
consent to the formation of divisions and the appointment of two 
division-generals (Van Dorn and Longstreet) to the Army of the 
Potomac,* and two others (G. "VV. Smith and Jackson) to the Army of 
the Shenandoah.f This matter, which we may call a compromise, 
being thus settled, the plan of invading Maryland was earnestly 
supported by the three senior generals. Mr. Davis, however, 
would not agree to it. He declared that he could draw no troops 
from the points named, and that there were no arms in the coun 
try for new levies, if raised. This last objection, it is proper here 
to say, was not an insuperable one. The President should have 
remembered that if the Confederacy was thus deficient in arma 
ment it was because he had refused to avail himself of the offer 
by which, as early as May, 18614 all the arms and equipments 
needed for our armies could have been procured. But why should 
not arms have been imported, even at that time (October, 1861), 
when no Federal blockading squadron could have interfered with 
any of our plans to that effect ? It is an historical fact that the 
blockade, though officially proclaimed in May, was only partially 
effectual twelve months afterwards. Was it that the President 
thought it too late then to make the effort? He should have 
known that the plan of campaign submitted to him could not be 
put into immediate execution ; that the massing of the additional 
troops required to carry it out some of which were to be drawn 
from great distances would necessarily consume some time. The 
least display of energy on the part of the administration, the send 
ing of an order by telegraph to the house of John Frazer & Co., 
of Charleston, would have been more than sufficient to secure for 
the government all the arms it required for the new levies spoken 
of, which, though not directly needed for the forward movement 

* Designation of General Beanregard s forces, as per orders issued by him, on 
the 20th of June, 1861. 

t Designation of General Johnston s forces, before and after his junction with 
General Beauregard. 

I Proposal of John Frazer & Co., set forth in Chapter V. 


and aggressive campaign urged upon Mr. Davis, could have been 
used to fill the place of the seasoned troops withdrawn to reinforce 
the Army of Virginia. 

In vain was it urged upon the President that the army was now 
in splendid fighting condition, and eager again to meet its recently 
defeated foe ; while, if left inactive, it was liable to deteriorate dur 
ing the winter, and lose greatly in numbers by the expiration of the 
enlistment term of the twelve months men. It was further urged 
that, with the army raised to sixty thousand men, the movement 
could be undertaken, with the prospect of success to follow at 
every other point along the frontier ; whereas, should disaster re 
sult from the loss of present opportunity, the entire Confederacy 
might be endangered at a later date, with but inferior hope of re 
cuperation. Mr. Davis, however, could not be influenced, and de 
clared that the utmost he could do would be to furnish recruits, 
to be armed with the surplus stands of arms then at Manassas, 
amounting to about two thousand five hundred. 

Thus was abandoned a plan which, had it been carried out, 
would have borne mighty results to the Confederacy. That it was 
a bold one is undoubted. But boldness in our movements, while 
the prestige of victory yet animated our troops, was clearly the 
wisest policy to be adopted. It was of the utmost importance for 
us to follow up our victory, and the surest way of doing so was 
by making aruaggressive campaign. It would have compelled the 
enemy, demoralized and unprepared as he still was, to put himself 
on the defensive to repel invasion on his own soil, instead of at 
tempting it on ours. 

In lieu of the unaccepted movement favored by the generals in 
command, Mr. Davis suggested that a column be crossed to the 
eastern shore of the Potomac, opposite Aquia Creek, to capture a 
Federal division posted there under General Sickles. As the 
river, at that point more than a mile wide, was held by United 
States war vessels, and there would hardly have been an oppor 
tunity for the troops, even if successful, to return to Virginia, this 
proposition met the approval of none of the three generals, and 
was therefore courteously discarded. We shall have to recur to 
this subject later in the present chapter. 

Mr. Davis devotes five pages of his book to the " Fairfax Court- 
llouse Conference," as it was called, and most unjustifiably arraigns 
Generals J. E. Johnston, Beauregard, and G. W. Smith, not for 


having taken a part in it, or expressed their views upon the points 
at issue between them, but for having, " about four months after 
wards," prepared a "paper" wherein was made "a record of their 
conversation ; a fact," says Mr. Davis, " which was concealed from 
me, whereas, both for accuracy and frankness, it should have been 
submitted to me, even if there had been nothing due to our official 
relations. Twenty years after the event I learned of this secret 
report, by one party, without notice having been given to the other, 
of a conversation said to have lasted two hours."* And Mr. Davis 
continues as follows: "I have noticed the improbabilities and 
inconsistencies of the paper, and without remarks I submit to 
honorable men the concealment from me in which it was pre 
pared," etc.f 

This language is all the more unwarrantable, because Mr. Davis 
fails to show though he asserts it that any effort at conceal 
ment was ever made by those whom he accuses of it. Knowing 
the importance of this conference, and desirous of having a true 
and correct account of it, one that could not be effaced or altered 
by the lapse of time, the three generals wrote out, while it was 
still fresh in their memory, all that had passed between them and 
the President. As nothing was added and nothing suppressed in 
the memorandum thus made, what obligation was there on their 
part to submit it to Mr. Davis ? He knew, as well as they did, 
what had transpired, and had nothing further to learn about it. 
He also in all propriety could have committed the conversation 
to writing, had it so pleased his fancy ; and, provided it was done 
correctly, no account whatever of his action in the matter was due 
to the three generals or any one of them. 

What Mr. Davis says, to-day, of that conference, shows how 
wise and how far-seeing were Generals Johnston, Beauregard, and 
Smith, in preparing the paper alluded to, which has aroused to 
such an extent the ire of the ex-President. General Beauregard, 
for one, had already had occasion to learn what light work could 
be made with a plan of operations verbally submitted to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief of our armies. We refer to the plan proposed, 
through Colonel Chestnut, on the 14th of July, 1SG1, before the 
battle of Manassas, which Mr. Davis denied having ever had any 

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, 1 vol. i. p. 451. 
t Ibid. vol. i. p. 452. 


official cognizance of, because no written communication had been 
handed to him at the time; and because, no doubt, he was una 
ware that a full report of the circumstance had been drawn up by 
Colonel Chestnut, and was in General Beauregard s possession. 
And here, perhaps, the following query may find a fitting place 
in this review : Did Mr. Davis ever communicate to General Beau- 
regard his official endorsement upon the report of the battle of 
Manassas? If he had done so, his charge of concealment/ un 
just though it is, would come with a better grace than it does ; 
but, as he did not, his imputation of duplicity falls upon himself. 
For, as the reader will hereafter learn,-" the President s endorse 
ment, contradicting, with unreserved severity, statements made by 
General Beauregard in his report, was an official paper, officially 
forwarded to Congress, but studiously kept from General Beaure 
gard s knowledge. The impugned memorandum was altogether 
an unofficial paper, prepared by the three generals for their 
own private files, without even a shadow of reproach against the 
President, and merely intended as a reminder, hereafter, of an 
important military event. Hence we say, it was a wise and emi 
nently proper measure to prepare a written memorandum of what 
occurred at the Fairfax Court-House council. " Verba volant 
scripta niancnt :^ an adage always to be appreciated for the sound, 
practical teaching it contains. It is the right, no less than the 
duty, of leading men, in all countries and in all ages, to see to it 
that the truth concerning public events is carefully guarded and 
preserved, in order that it may not be easily tampered with, or 
made to degenerate into error. As matters now stand, and thanks 
to the foresight displayed by Generals Johnston, Beauregard, and 
Smith, Mr. Davis, no less than those who figured with him in the 
conference we speak of, must abide by its text, as recorded at the 
time. And to show how completely Mr. Davis errs, when he 
charges that he was kept purposely in ignorance of the "secret 
report" he so bitterly denounces, we here state that it was seen 
of many men during the war and not as a secret; and that, as 
early as 1807 or 1SG8 in other words, fully fifteen or sixteen 
years ago General Beauregard had this identical memorandum 
published in The Land We Love a magazine edited, at that time, 
by General D. II. Hill, of North Carolina. It was commented on 

* In Chapter XIII. 


at length, if not republished, in the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion. No 
one is responsible for Mr. Davis s neglect to take cognizance of 
it. His appeal, therefore, to the " honorable men " of the country, 
whose sympathies he desires to enlist in his favor, becomes sim 
ply puerile; and, far from resulting in injury to those whom he 
assails, it only recoils upon himself, and exposes the extreme care 
lessness with which he writes. 

Mr. Davis should have inserted that document in his book. His 
criticisms would then have been better appreciated. Why he ab 
stained from doing so is not, however, hard to understand. As 
General Beauregard has no like reasons to refrain from giving full 
publicity to it (we know that Generals Johnston and Smith think 
as he does on the subject), we now lay the whole paper before the 
reader, asking his most careful consideration of it. 

"On the 26th of September, 1801, General Joseph E. Johnston addressed a 
letter to the Secretary of War, in regard to the importance of putting this army 
in condition to assume the offensive ; and suggested that his Excellency the 
President, or the Secretary of "War, or some one representing them, should at 
an early day come to the headquarters of the army, then at or near Fairfax 
Court-House, for the purpose of deciding whether the army could be rein 
forced to the extent that the commanding general deemed necessary for an 
offensive campaign. 

" His Excellency the President arrived at Fairfax Court-House a few days 
thereafter, late in the afternoon, and proceeded to the quarters of General 

" On the same evening General Johnston and I called to pay our respects. 
No official subjects of importance were alluded to in that interview. At eight 
o clock the next evening, by appointment of the President, a conference was 
had between himself, General Johnston, General Beauregard, and myself. Va 
rious matters of detail were introduced by the President, and talked over be 
tween himself and the two senior generals. Having but recently arrived, and 
not being well acquainted with the special subject referred to, I took little or 
no part in this conversation. Finally, with perhaps some abruptness, I said, 
Mr. President, is it not possible to put this army in condition to assume the 
active offensive ? adding, that this was a question of vital importance, upon 
which the success or failure of our cause might depend. This question 
brought on discussion. The precise conversation which followed I do not 
propose to give: it was not an argument; there seemed to be little difference 
of opinion between us in regard to general views and principles. It was 
clearly stated and agreed to, that the military force of the Confederate States 
was at the highest point it could attain without arms from abroad ; that the 
portion of this particular army .present for duty was in the finest fighting con 
dition ; that, if kept inactive, it must retrograde immensely in every respect 


during the winter, the effect of which was foreseen and dreaded by us all. 
The enemy were daily increasing in numbers, arms, discipline, and efficiency 
we looked forward to a sad state of things at the opening of a spring cam 
paign. These and other points being agreed upon without argument, it was 
again asked, 4 Mr. President, is it not possible to increase the effective strength 
of this army, and put us in condition to cross the Potomac and carry the 
war into the enemy s country ? Can you not, by stripping other points to the 
last they will bear, and even risking defeat at all other places, put us in con 
dition to move forward ? Success here at this time saves everything, defeat 
here loses all. In explanation, and as an illustration of this, the unqualified 
opinion was advanced, that if, for want of adequate strength on our part in 
Kentucky, the Federal forces should take military possession of that whole 
State, and even enter and occupy a portion of Tennessee, that a victory gained 
by this army beyond the Potomac would, by threatening the heart of the 
Northern States, compel their armies to fall buck, free Kentucky, and give us 
the line of the Ohio within ten days thereafter. On the other hand, should 
our forces in Tennessee and Southern Kentucky be strengthened so as to en 
able us to take and to hold the Ohio River as a boundary, a disastrous de 
feat of this army would at once be followed by an overwhelming wave of 
Northern invaders, that would sweep over Kentucky and Tennessee, extend 
ing to the northern part of the Cotton States, if not to New Orleans. Similar 
views were expressed in regard to ultimate results, in Northwestern Virginia, 
being dependent upon the success or failure of this army; and various other 
special illustrations were offered showing, in short, that success here was 
success everywhere ; defeat here, defeat everywhere ; and that this was tin- 
point upon which all the available force of the Confederate States should be 

"It seemed to be conceded by all that our force, at that time here, was not 
sufficient for assuming the offensive beyond the Potomac; and that, even with 
a much larger force, an attack upon their army, under the guns of their for 
tifications on this side of the river, was out of the question. The President 
asked me what number of men were necessary, in my opinion, to warrant an 
offensive campaign, to cross the Potomac, cut off the communication of the 
enemy with their fortified capital, and carry the war into their country. I 
answered, Fifty thousand effective seasoned soldiers ; explaining that by sea 
soned soldiers I meant such men as we had here present for duty; and add 
ed that they would have to be drawn from the peninsula about Yorktown, 
Norfolk, from Western Virginia, Pensacola, or wherever might be most ex 

"General Johnston and General Bcauregard both said that a force of suti/ 
thousand such men would be necessary; and that this force would require 
large additional transportation and munitions of war, the supplies here beins; 
entirely inadequate for an active campaign in the enemy s country, even 
with our present force. In this connection there was some discussion of 
the difficulties to be overcome, and the probabilities of success, but no one 
questioned the disastrous results of remaining inactive throughout the 


" Notwithstanding the belief that many in the Northern army were opposed 
on principle to invading the Southern States, and that they would fight bet 
ter in defending their own homes than in attacking ours, it was believed that 
the best, if not the only place, to insure success, was to concentrate our forces, 
and attack the enemy in their own country. The President, I think, gave no 
definite opinion in regard to the number of men necessary for that purpose, 
and I am sure that no one present considered this a question to be finally de 
cided by any other person than the commanding general of this army. Re 
turning to the question that had been twice asked, the President expressed 
surprise and regret that the number of surplus arms here was so small ; and, 
I thought, spoke bitterly of this disappointment. He then stated, that, at that 
time, no reinforcement could l>e furnished to this army of the, character asked for, 
and that the most that could be done would be to furnish recruits to take the 
surplus arms in store here (say twenty -five hundred stand). That the whole coun 
try was demanding protection at his hands, and praying for arms and troops for 
defence. He had long been expecting arms from abroad, but had been disap 
pointed. He still hoped to get them, but had no positive assurance that they 
would be received at all. The manufacture of arms in the Confederate States 
was as yet undeveloped to any considerable extent. Want of arms was the 
great difficulty ; he could not take any troops from the points named, and, 
without arms from abroad, could not reinforce this army. He expressed re 
gret, and seemed to feel deeply, as did every one present. 

u When the President had thus clearly and positively stated his inability 
to put this army in the condition deemed by the general necessary before en 
tering upon an active offensive campaign, it was felt that it might be better 
to run the risk of almost certain destruction, fighting upon the other side of 
the Potomac, rather than see the gradual dying-out and deterioration of this 
army during a winter at the end of which the term of enlistment of half the 
force would expire. The prospect of a spring campaign, to be commenced un 
der such discouraging circumstances, w r as rendered all the more gloomy by 
the daily increasing strength of an enemy already much superior in numbers. 
On the other hand was the hope and expectation that before the end of win 
ter arms would be introduced into the country ; and all were confident that 
we could then not only protect our own country, but successfully invade that 
of the enemy. 

" General Johnston said that he did not feel at liberty to express an opinion 
as to the practicability of reducing the strength of our forces at points not 
within the limits of his command ; and with but few further remarks from 
any one, the answer of the President was accepted as final ; and it was felt 
that there was no other course left but to take a defensive position and await 
the enemy. If they did not advance we had but to await the winter and its 

" After the main question was dropped, the President proposed that, instead 
of an active offensive campaign, we should attempt certain partial operations 
a sudden blow against Sickles or Banks, or to break the bridge over the 
Monocacy. This, he thought, besides injuring the enemy, would exert a good 
influence over our troops, and encourage the people of the Confederate States 


generally. In regard to attacking Sickles, it was stated in reply that, as the 
enemy controlled the river with their ships of war, it would be necessary for 
us to occupy two points on the river, one above and another below the point 
of crossing, that we might by our batteries prevent their armed vessels from 
interfering with the passage of the troops. In any case the difficulty of cross 
ing large bodies over wide rivers, in the vicinity of an enemy, and then recross- 
ing, made such expeditions hazardous ; it was agreed, however, that if any 
opportunity should occur, offering reasonable chances of success, that the at 
tempt would be made. 

"During this conference, or council, which lasted, perhaps, two hours, all 
was earnest, serious, deliberate ; the impression made upon me was deep and 
lasting, and I am convinced that the foregoing statement is not only correct 
as far as it goes, but, in my opinion, it gives a fair idea of all that occurred 
at that time in regard to the question of our crossing the Potomac. 

" G. AV. SMITH, Maj.-Gcn. C. S. A. 
" CENTREVILLE, VA., January olst, 18G2. Signed in Triplicate. 

Our recollections of that conference agree fully with this statement of Gen 
eral G. W. Smith. 

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. C. S. A. 

" J. E. JOHNSTON, Gen. C. S. A. 
" CENTRE VILLE, VA., January 31sf, 18G2. Signed in Triplicate." 

This is what took place at the Fairfax Court-House conference. 
It confirms what we have already stated at the beginning of the 
present chapter. 

We now resume our review of Mr. Davis s remarks about it. 

In that authoritative tone which ill befits him to-day, and frees 
from undue courtesy towards him those whom he so cavalierly 
misrepresents, Mr. Davis, with a view to impugn the veracity of 
the authors of the foregoing memorandum, writes as follows : " It 
does not agree in some respects with my memory of what occurred, 
and is not consistent with itself. 7 Not consistent, says Mr. 
Davis, " because in one part of the paper it is stated that the re 
inforcements asked for were to be seasoned soldiers? such as were 
there present ;" and in another part, " that he could not take any 
troops from the points named, and, without arms from abroad, 
could not reinforce that army." f 

Thereupon, and after propping up his premises to suit his 
purpose, Mr. Davis concludes that, clearly, from the answer he is 
said to have made to the three generals, " the proposition had l>cen 

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 450. 
t Ibid. vol. i. p. 431. 
I. 10 


for such reinforcements as additional arms could enable him to 
give" * 

These are sweeping assumptions, and such as only men who 
think themselves certain of impunity would venture. Unfortu 
nately for Mr. Davis, this is not the case with him. Can he really 
believe that because he was President of the Confederate States, 
his mere allegations, resting, as they do, only upon his memory of 
what occurred twenty years ago, will counterbalance and even out 
weigh a document, carefully prepared and signed and vouched 
for, by three such generals as Johnston, Beauregard, and Smith, 
his peers in gentlemanly attainments, his superiors especially 
two of them in military merit; men of unstained character, en 
joying, now as then, the entire confidence of their people ; and 
who have, to-day, something more tangible than words to fall back 
upon, in support of their statements? 

No unbiassed reader will believe that this document contains 
aught but the truth. For, on the one hand, three men of honor 
certify to its truth, and do so four months after the occurrence it 
refers to; while, on the other hand, Mr. Davis alone, without note 
or memorandum to assist him, and after twenty years have elapsed, 
comes forward and says : My version of the circumstances of the 
case is not in accord with yours. You are wrong, though you 
committed to writing the entire conference ; I am right, though 
my memory, frail and treacherous as it may be, is my only vouch 
er to justify me in controverting the positions you have taken. 

With regard to the " inconsistencies" complained of by Mr. 
Davis, which he would have his readers believe were so easily de 
tected in the written memorandum now before us, we do not hesi 
tate to say that they exist in his imagination only. Let the reader 
carefully examine the paper we have submitted to him, and see 
if he can discover the " inconsistencies," so obvious, according to 
Mr. Davis, as to make it a downright " absurdity." f However 
strong Mr. Davis s arguments may appear in the absence of the doc 
ument which he interprets to suit his fancy, they fall to the ground 
and burst as bubbles when confronted with the true facts of the case. 

The object of the conference, as we know, was to urge upon the 
President the necessity of an offensive campaign ; to accomplish 

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 451. The italics 
are ours. t Ibid. vol. i. p. 450. 


which, the army at or near Fairfax Court-House was to be raised 
to an effective force of sixty thousand men. Not sixty thousand 
additional men, but an increase of such a number of " seasoned 
soldiers " as would make up a total of sixty thousand. The Vir 
ginia army consisted, at that time, of about forty thousand men. 
General Smith thought that fifty thousand, that is to say, only ten 
thousand more than we then had would be sufficient to under 
take the forward movement. Generals Johnston and Beauregard 
gave it as their opinion that sixty thousand would be needed ; in 
other words, twenty thousand additional troops. 

This being the case as we have it vouched for by the three 
generals where did Mr. Davis discover and how can he assert, 
that " the lowest estimate made ly any of them was about twice 
the number there present for duty"?* which if this were true, 
as it is not would have brought up "the force required for 
the contemplated advance into Maryland to eighty thousand 
men and no less. This assertion shows how unsafe and untrust 
worthy Mr. Davis s memory is, and it explains, satisfactorily, we 
think, why it was that he would not give a place in his book to 
that " secret report," as lie is pleased to call it. 

If, as late as October, 1801, Mr. Davis had no arms to furnish to 
recruits, he had, unquestionably, at the different points designated 
by the three generals, troops already armed and equipped, already 
disciplined and drilled. These, had he been willing to favor the 
plan submitted to him, he could, in less than three weeks time, 
have transported to the borders of Virginia, to reinforce the army 
said, by those who knew it best, to be " in the finest fighting con 
dition." lie was asked for such troops as could then be found in 
the peninsula around Yorktown, in Western Virginia, at Pcnsacola, 
at Mobile, at Charleston, at Xew Orleans ; points from which about 
twenty-five thousand men five thousand more than were needed 
could have been withdrawn without unnecessarily exposing the 
positions they occupied. These were the "seasoned soldiers" 
the three generals wanted. They neither called for nor desired 
raw recruits, raised to bear the arms Mr. Davis might possibly re 
ceive from Europe, and which he was hoping for, " barring the 
dangers of the sea." Recruits of that kind, however well armed, 

* " Rise and Full of the Confederate Government, 1 vol. i. p. 449. The italics 
are ours. 


would have been useless, as they could not have sustained the ar 
duous campaign sought to be inaugurated, which required pre 
vious military training and discipline. But Mr. Davis turned a 
deaf ear to the suggestions made to him. He would not receive 
the advice of the generals in the field. He failed to seize the 
great opportunity offered him, and, as usual, took upon himself to 
decide the fortunes of the Confederacy. No troops, he declared, 
could be taken from the points named though none of them 
were threatened at the time and no reinforcements, of the char 
acter asked for, could, therefore, be furnished to the army. He 
did propose twenty-five hundred recruits for that number of small 
arms which we had in store ; but no further mention was made of 
recruits, either before, during, or after the conference. What was 
said of arms, of the expectations of the government about them, 
and even of Mr. Davis s disappointment at finding the strength 
of the army " but little increased," are side issues, which should 
not divert our attention from the true object of the conference 
and the main question submitted to the President, namely: An 
aggressive campaign into the enemy s country, conditioned upon 
reinforcements to be procured from divers points of the Confeder 
acy, then and there specially designated. 

Mr. Davis charges Generals Johnston, Beatiregard, and Smith 
with assuming to know more about the positions of our troops at 
different stations of the country than the "War Department itself, 
whose duty it was to receive all the army returns, and by which 
questions involving the position and withdrawal of troops, in the 
field or elsewhere, "could best be decided." If the War Depart 
ment, or " Richmond," as Mr. Davis has it, knew so much about 
army matters, how is it that the President, or head of the War 
Department, expressed so much wonder at the relative small- 
ness of our force at Fairfax Court -House? The "returns" 
forwarded to Richmond must certainly have shown him the fact, 
and the cause of it. If the Cornmander-in-Chief of the army 
and navy knew so little about the number and condition of 
forces then in such close proximity to Richmond, is it not rea 
sonable to suppose that his knowledge of troops stationed at 
distant points, and in other States, was still more scanty and im 
perfect ? 

Knowing the purely patriotic motives actuating Generals John 
ston, Beauregard, and Smith, when they suggested the means by 


which the advance movement urged by them could be effected ; 
and knowing also how far from their thought it was to make any 
display of superior knowledge, we must deprecate the bitterness 
of language used and the irritable personality indulged in by Mr. 
Davis, in the following passage of his book : " Very little experi 
ence, or a fair amount of modesty, without experience, would serve 
to prevent one from announcing his conclusion that troops could 
be withdrawn from a place or places, without knowing how many 
were there, and what was the necessity for their presence. 

Whatever may be, to-day, the efforts made by Mr. Davis to 
shield himself from censure, for the course he then adopted, it 
remains none the less an incontrovertible fact, that troops, armed 
and equipped, officered and drilled, could have been brought from 
the points designated to him, and that he positively refused to al 
low their transfer to be effected. That, as Commander-in-Chief, 
he had the right so to act, is unquestioned ; but that he erred in 
exercising that right is clear to all who followed the history of 
events, from that time to the end of the war. 

Mr. Davis insists, that though the generals he met at Fairfax 
Court-IIouso were of opinion that u it were better to run the risk 
of almost certain destruction fighting upon the other side of the 
Potomac, rather than see the gradual dying-out and deterioration 
of this army during a winter," ctc.,f yet, "when it icas proposed 
to ihcm" by Mr. Davis, "to cross into eastern Maryland, on a 
steamer in our possession, for a partial campaign, difficulties arose 
like the lion in the path of tfie sluggard, so that the proposition 
was postponed and never executed. In like manner, the other ex 
pedition in the valley of Virginia was achieved by an officer not 
of this council, General T. J. Jackson" ^ 

No similar expedition was ever thought of or executed during 
the Confederate War. Mr. Da vis s proposition was unique. The 
campaign in the valley of Virginia, which, he says, was achieved 
" by another officer not of this council, resembled in nothing the 
one he had suggested ; for, if it had, even with such a commander 

* "Rise and Full of the Confederate Government, vol. i. p. 451. 

f They did make use of such language, but added : "At the end of which 
the term of enlistment of half the force would expire;" which made a most sig 
nificant difference. 

I " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. pp. 450, 451. The 
italics arc ours. 


as Jackson to lead it, overwhelming disaster would have been the 

Mr. Da vis s plan was, by means of a steamer (a single one), then 
in our possession, to throw troops across the lower Potomac, for a 
partial campaign, against a Federal force said to be on the oppo 
site bank, under General Sickles. 

Mr. Davis had evidently forgotten that the Potomac, at that 
point, was more than a mile and a half wide ; with a tide rising 
and falling from five to six feet, twice in twenty-four hours; with 
shallow mud-flats in many places, along both shores ; and, last but 
not least, with United States war-vessels controlling the river with 
untiring activity. He had also forgotten that the Confederate 
column not a regiment, nor even a brigade, but, at least, a division 
thus to be sent into Maryland, would, of necessity, have had to 
return to the Virginia shore after the expedition, whether success 
ful or unsuccessful. Suppose the landing on the other side had 
been safely effected we cannot see how, but will suppose it, 
nevertheless while the fighting was in progress, the river would 
have been patrolled with increased vigilance. The enemy would 
have put forth every effort to cut off the return of the column. 
Reinforcements would have poured in, from all points, to assist 
the attacked Federals. What then would have become of the one 
steamer in our possession ? How could she have brought back 
our troops, and what troops would have been left to bring back? 

We have no hesitation in saying that, had such a movement 
been attempted, the fate that overtook the Federal column at 
Ball s Bluff, on the 21st of October of the same year, would have 
befallen the Confederates. Few indeed if any of the doomed 
men sent across the Potomac, on Mr. Davis s expedition, would 
have returned to the Virginia shore to tell the story of their 

Had any other but the President and Commander-in-Chief of 
our armies proposed such a movement to Generals Johnston and 
Beauregard, he would have been pitilessly and openly derided. 
As it was, our commanding generals did what military etiquette 
and their duty towards their men required ; they courteously, but, 
unhesitatingly, rejected the proposal. 

We find it stated in the memorandum we have so often referred 
to, that, at the end of the Fairfax Court-House conference, Mr. 
Davis, after crushing the hopes of our generals by rejecting their 


plan, suggested certain "partial operations" against the enemy, 
among which, and most conspicuous of all, as being the most 
promising, was the one just commented upon. This is un 
doubtedly correct. But as no mention is made of other opera 
tions in Mr. Davis s book, and as General Beauregard s recollec 
tion is not quite clear as to their strategic merit, we refrain from 
attempting any description of them. That they were not exe 
cuted, is, to us, proof sufficient of their manifest impracticability. 



Signal Rockets and Signal Telegraph. General Beauregard Advises Coast 
Defenses at New Orleans, Mobile, Galveston, and Berwick Bay, and Calls 
Attention to the Exposure of Port Royal. Counsels General Lovell Con 
cerning River Obstructions between Forts St. Philip and Jackson. General 
Johnston Orders the Troops into Winter Quarters. Our Lines Formed at 
Centreville. Drainsville and Ball s Bluff. General Beauregard Proposes 
to Intercept General Stone s Retreat, and also Suggests Resolute Attack 
against McClellan s Right. Unfriendly Correspondence Between War 
Department and General Beauregard. Uncourtcous Language of Mr. 
Benjamin. General Beauregard Exposes the Ignorance of the Acting 
Secretary of War. Controversy in the Press about General Beauregard s 
Report of Battle of Manassas. His Letter to the Editors of Richmond 
Whig. The President Accuses General Beauregard of Attempting to Ex 
alt Himself at His Expense. He Upholds Mr. Benjamin and Condemns 
General Beauregard. Dignity and Forbearance of the Latter. 

tlic organization of the array into divisions was being 
effected, General Beauregard, from close scrutiny of the Northern 
journals, had come to the conclusion that an early attack was 
meditated against his lines. To avoid all possibility of surprise, 
and deceive the enemy about his real strength, he caused rockets 
to be distributed to his command, with minute instructions as to 
their use. Very shortly afterwards, as night had just set in, Cap 
tain E. P. Alexander, whose zeal and activity were untiring, came 
to headquarters and reported that rockets were being thrown up, 
in a very strange manner, from the lines of the forces opposing 
us. General Beauregard at once ordered the discharge of the 

O O 

appropriate signals; and, in a few moments a counter -blaze of 
rockets swept the sky along the entire line of the Confederate 
pickets, which extended about ten miles from the Occoquan, on 
the right, to the vicinity of the Potomac, north of Falls Church, 
on the left. The consequence was a most extraordinary illumina 
tion, which produced an excitement in Washington, where charges 
soon became rife that officers of the War Department had given 
information of an intended advance by McClellan, in the night, 
which the Confederates had shown their readiness to meet. 


Through the same officer (Captain Alexander), General Bcaure- 
gard had also succeeded in establishing a signal telegraph between 
Mason s and Munson s Hills and Washington. A piece of new 
tin, made to perform certain turns in the sunlight, by a friendly 
hand, from the window of an elevated mansion in the Federal capi 
tal, informed him of McClellan s movements. True, the informa 
tion was only of a general character, and, uncorroborated, could 
not have been of much assistance. But it served to arouse his 
attention, and what with the secret service of his "underground 
railroad" and the news culled from Northern journals, which 
were regularly procured, he arrived at a fairly correct knowledge 
of the enemy s intentions. To render this communication more 
efficient, an alphabet was afterwards established and messages were 
sent by moving the shades on the several windows of the mansion 
alluded to, which, at night, was well lighted up, to make the signs 
visible. From Mason s and Munson s Hills answers were given by 
the usual system, that is to say, flags in the daytime, and lanterns 
as soon as it grew dark. From Washington, lights were resorted 
to for night signals, and, for the day, the shifting of window cur 
tains, right and left of an imaginary central line. As to General 
Beau regard s headquarters and his different outposts, they were 
put in communication by means of wire telegraph. 

The inability of the President to aid in the execution of the 
aggressive campaign so urgently pressed upon him had left no 
other course open but to take a defensive position and "await 
the winter and its results." We were to take no initiatory 
steps, and light only if attacked. Believing that a period of 
enforced inactivity would now ensue, General Beauregard s 
thoughts were turned to the dangers which might threaten the 
Southern ports especially New Orleans; and on the 5th of 
October, in a letter addressed to the Secretary of War, he ex 
pressed his desire to be sent there during the probable suspension 
of hostilities in Virginia. He gave it as his opinion that Xew 
Orleans, Mobile, Galveston, and Berwick Bay, along the Gulf of 
Mexico, would undoubtedly be assailed, and should be protected 
by field defences proper to withstand attack, until reinforcements 
could come to the rescue. He also called attention to the expos 
ure of Tort Royal, South Carolina, as a harbor of safety on the 
Atlantic, for the Federals, and as leading directly to the railroad 
communication between Charleston and Savannah. 


On the 6th, Major -General Mansfield Lo veil, who had joined 
the Southern cause, and had just been commissioned in the Pro 
visional Army, came to Fairfax Court-House, requesting General 
Beauregard s counsel with regard to the defense of New Orleans, 
whither he had been ordered by the War Department. This 
counsel General Beauregard gave him with great care and much 
minuteness. It is proper here to state, that, during the recent 
visit of President Davis to Fairfax Court-House, the subject of 
the unprotected condition of New Orleans having arisen, General 
Beauregard, expressing his regret that the Military Board of 
Louisiana had taken no action as to the suggestions he had made 
to them, in February, 1861, again strongly urged his views about 
constructing floating booms between Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 
to obstruct the passage of a Federal fleet, should such be attempted. 
The President gave but little weight to these suggestions, and ap 
peared to have no apprehension as to the safety of that city. 

In his interview with General Lovell, General Beauregard em 
phasized, both orally and in writing, the absolute necessity of such 
an obstruction, and hoped that General Lovell, who had approved 
of his system, would lose no time in putting it into operation. 
Later events showed, however, that the work was not constructed 
as planned and advised by General Beauregard, both in his con 
ference with General Lovell and in his memoir to the Louisiana 
Military Board.* 

A few days later, General Johnston, apprehending the ap 
proaching cold weather, proposed that the forces should now fall 
back and establish their winter quarters at Manassas. General 
Beauregard, whose arrangements for signal communication with 
Washington had been perfected, was reluctant to retire with 
out a trial of their present opportunity against the enemy. But 
there w r as no way of avoiding the movement. General Beaure 
gard, fearing the bad effect upon the army and the people of a 
retreat to the point held by us before our late victory, proposed 
Centreville instead of Manassas ; and, to overcome the objection 
that the former place was somewhat commanded by a succession 
of heights too distant to be embraced w T ithin the Confederate 
line, he undertook himself to prepare its defences. The order to 

*See Chapter L, page 17, about obstructions and floating boom between 
Forts Jackson and St. Philip. 


withdraw his army, however, was so abrupt as to be impracticable 
without giving the movement the appearance of flight, and in 
volving the loss of valuable property ; it was not executed, there 
fore, until the 18th or 19th. 

In withdrawing from Mason s and Munson s Hills, the Confed 
erates took their last view of the Federal capital, and bade fare 
well to a post where soldierly enjoyment, under the exhilaration 
of successful daring, had been at its highest during days still 
pleasantly remembered as the festive period of the army life. 
The positions we abandoned were excellent points of observation, 
from which the tents of General McClellan s army might be 
counted ; and the fact of our being so near the enemy confused 
him as to our plan of operations, fur our position seemed to 
promise offensive measures on our part, and denoted both confi 
dence and strength. Under a bolder direction, the two hills would 
have been fortified and made central strategic and tactical points. 
They were scarcely more than seven miles, in an air line, from 
Washington, whence the Confederate flag was clearly visible, and 
acted as a red capa on the impetuous and imprudent politicians, 
provoking them to insist upon a premature attack. Had the two 
hills been fortified and supplied with artillery, and the adjacent 
ground arranged for a pitched battle, into which the enemy might 
have been drawn in an attempt to seize them, the result to Gen 
eral McClellan might have been made destructive, as, on his side, 
the ground was very bad, and unfavorable to the movements of 
troops.* Such an attack was intended by him about the time the 
positions were abandoned. 

The Confederate forces now took up a line of triangular shape, 
with Centreville as the salient, one side running to Union Mills and 
the other to the stone bridge, with outposts of regiments three or 
four miles forward in all directions, and cavalry pickets as far in 
advance as Fairfax Court-House. The Federals followed with a 
corresponding advance of their outposts. Afterwards, upon the 
closer approach of the enemy, in order to supply the deficiency of 
cannon, General Beauregard devised a substitute in wooden logs, 
so shaped and blackened as to present the appearance of guns. 
They were covered with a shed of brush and leaves, so as to 
escape balloon observations, and made quite an imposing array, 

* General McClellan so describes it in his report. 


the peaceful character of which very much surprised the Federal 
forces when they occupied these works, after their evacuation in 
the spring. 

On the 19th, General McClellan having ordered McCall s divis 
ion to Drain svillc, about sixteen miles west of Alexandria, to cov 
er reconnoissances in that quarter, and procure supplies, directed 
Brigadier-General Stone to feign a crossing of the Potomac from 
Poolsville, Maryland, and threaten Leesburg, held by one of Gen 
eral Beauregard s brigades, nnder Colonel Evans. lie hoped by 
these movements to induce the evacuation of the place. On the 
21st, while General McCall was returning to his camp at Langley, 
General Stone began crossing his division at Edwards s Ferry, and 
one of his subordinates, General Baker, engaged Colonel Evans in 
the forenoon. During the day General Stone threw over his en 
tire division, and the battle continued until night, when the Fed 
eral forces were completely routed, and many of them, driven over 
the steep banks at Ball s Bluff, lost their lives in the river.* 

Upon receiving from Evans immediate news of the conflict, 
General Beauregard proposed to General Johnston to march at 
once, with sufficient force, and cut off General Stone s retreat, as 
the Potomac, swollen by rains, was then difficult to cross. Gen 
eral Johnston did not agree to this, fearing that some occurrence 
might take place requiring the presence of all our forces with the 
main army. While Banks s division, from Darnestown, Maryland, 
moved to his support, General Stone intrenched on the Virginia 
shore, but did not succeed in recrossing until the night of the 23d 
and 24th. 

Just at this time transports had been observed descending the 
Potomac, laden with a heavy armament, reported to be intended 
for use against General Magruder, who commanded at Yorktown, 
on the Peninsula below Richmond, and a heavy force had, mean 
while, gathered north of the Potomac, opposite to Evans. Seiz 
ing the opportunity, General Beauregard proposed a resolute at 
tack against McClellan s extreme right, exposed by its salience in 
the quarter of Drainsville, in order to relieve Evans and break 
through the enemy s plans; but the proposition was not assented 
to by General Johnston, 

Evans s loss at Ball s Bluff was forty men. He captured four- 

* From General McClellan s Report. 


teen officers and seven hundred men. The entire loss of the en 
emy, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, was between one thousand 
and twelve hundred. Among the slain was General Baker, 
whose body was returned to the Federal lines. When, at a later 
date, General Stone was arrested and put on trial for his conduct 
of that expedition, Colonel Jordan, General Beauregard s Chief of 
Staff, noticed in a Northern journal that one of the charges against 
General Stone was his failure to give certain orders to General 
Baker. Written orders, however, had been found on General Ba 
ker s body, which would aid in vindicating General Stone ; and 
Colonel Jordan, having mentioned the fact to General Beaure- 
gard, the latter caused the papers to be immediately sent Xorth, 
under a flag of truce ; an act of chivalry to the imperilled honor 
of a foe. 

Until early October, the personal relations of General Beaure- 
gard with the government officials except in the case of Colo 
nel Xorthrop s violent eccentricities had been those of unstudied 
friendship, although serious obstructions had also been encoun 
tered from the Quartermaster s Department at Richmond. Hav 
ing now occasion to recommend the appointment of Mr. T. B. Fer 
guson, as Chief of Ordnance of the " First Corps," in the place of 
Captain E. P. Alexander, whose services had been transferred to 
General Johnston, on account of his needs as General-in-Chief, 
General Beauregard received from a subordinate in the War De 
partment* the brief reply that the President did not approve the 
division of the army into two corps, and preferred that there 
should be but one Chief of Ordnance to the Army of the Poto 

General Beauregard was more than disappointed at this abrupt, 
unceremonious way of rejecting his demand. Though not always 
successful in his applications, he had been accustomed to more 
courteous treatment from the War Department. He thought 
that, apart from the question of giving him an ordnance officer, 
of the need of whose services he was no doubt the better judge, 
the President ought not arbitrarily to interfere with measures of 
usefulness and efficiency, which generals actually in the field could 
more accurately appreciate and more wisely manage. In the an 
tagonism of Mr. Davis to a system of organization which had 

* A. T. Bledsoe, Assistant Secretary of War. 


been working with remarkable success for several weeks, he saw a 
fixed purpose to thwart not only his own views, but more partic 
ularly those of General Johnston, whose relations with Richmond 
were already growing to be of a delicate and uneasy character. 
He therefore expressed his dissatisfaction to the Secretary of War, 
and went so far as to say, that if he was to understand, by such a 
letter, that he was no longer in command of an army corps, he re 
quested to be relieved at once from his false position ; otherwise, 
he desired the services of a Chief of Ordnance. He urged that 
the more imperfect the elements of an army in the field, the 
greater should be its subdivisions under competent officers, in or 
der that commanders might spare, for their most important duties, 
the time and attention unprofitably lost in devotion to minor de 
tails ; and that Mr. Ferguson s appointment was to provide a 
Chief of Ordnance to attend to the duties of that important de 
partment. He also addressed the President on the same subject. 
In the month of August, Adjutant-General Cooper had earnest 
ly approved General Beau regard s proposition to introduce a rock 
et battery in his command. The object of such a battery has al 
ready been explained. The Chief of Ordnance, having procured 
the manufacture of the rockets, General Beauregard intrusted 
Captain E. P. Alexander with the organization of the battery, and 
in the latter end of September, upon his recommendation, had au 
thorized Lieutenant Edmund Cummins to enlist a rocket company 
of fifty volunteers. Being now in Richmond on this duty, Lieu 
tenant Cummins, on application to the Post Quartermaster and 
Commissary, found his authority questioned, and no attention 
given to his requisitions. Referred ultimately for recognition to 
the Secretary of War, Mr. Benjamin, the latter told him to wait 
until the President should decide the matter. He then finally in 
formed him that his orders w r ere invalid, and remanded him to the 
army. There followed a letter from the Secretary of War to 
General Beauregard, expressing his " no small surprise " that he 
should have committed an act " without warrant in law," and in 
forming him that he could be excused and "go unpunished," only 
on account of his motive and his defect of judgment. This un 
called-for and altogether unwarrantable language, on the part 
of the Secretary of War, staggered General Beauregard, as it 
seemed improbable that Mr. Benjamin had ventured it on his 
own responsibility. Viewed as an extreme expedient to provoke a 


predetermined quarrel, it corroborated warnings already received 
from high quarters, warnings too authentic to be wholly disre 
garded, to which, however, General Beauregard had been unwill 
ing to yield entire credence. Overlooking Mr. Benjamin, he refer 
red his letter to the President, to whom he exposed the Secretary s 
ignorance upon the subject, and protested against his ill-timed ob 
structions and arguments. The following is an extract from the 
letter, written to Mr. Davis, under date of October 20th, 1861. 
***** *#* 

" I have felt it due to your Excellency and the country, at this juncture, as 
well as to myself, to invoke your notice of this matter, so that guard may be 
placed against a recurrence of this character of correspondence. ... I am utter 
ly at a loss to understand wherein my course, in connection with the subject- 
matter of the Secretary s letter, can be pronounced without warrant in law, 
and be the source of so much surprise. The Secretary seems to be unaware, 
evidently, that a rocket company is but a field artillery company, nothing 
more, and not, by any means, a special corps or arm of the service, like that, 
for example, of sappers, miners, or pontoniers as I apprehend he supposes 
requiring congressional enactments for its organization, in addition to existing 
laws. An acquaintance with the history of the military establishment and 
organization of the late United States would have protected the Acting Secre 
tary from this misapprehension, as he would have then known in what way, 
during the war with Mexico, a rocket battery was organized for the field, 
with the army under General Scott. . . . 

" But in this very matter, it so happens I did not act without consultation 
with all proper authorities. Assured of the difficulties in getting field guns 
in any adequate number for the exigency, and convinced of the value of war 
rockets against such troops as our adversaries have, I despatched an officer 
of my staff Captain E. P. Alexander last August, to Richmond, to consult 
and arrange measures with the proper departments. lie saw the Adjutant- 
General of the army on the subject, and received, I am happy to say, the most 
ample, cordial approval of the plan ; and the Chief of Ordnance took immediate 
steps for manufacturing the rockets with the utmost celerity. 

" On the return of Captain Alexander from his mission, so satisfactorily con 
cluded in all respects, it became proper to secure men to be ready for the rocket 
battery, so that no time should be lost. It so happened that a valuable offi 
cer, by circumstances thrown out of employment, was available, and thought 
to be particularly fitted for the command of a rocket battery ; while it was 
believed that he could readily recruit a company without subtracting from 
our already too weak army. Under these circumstances, I need not say to 
your Excellency, I did not hesitate to direct him to recruit such a company as 
soon as possible. . . . God knows, in all I do at this time, I have no other end 
in view than the good and success of our cause and the interests of our coun 
try, now sorely pressed ; and I can and do confidently deny the allegation of 
the Acting Secretary, that my conduct has been wanting in judgment in this 


connection. I am quite willing, indeed, that you shall decide whose judgment * 
has been most at fault that of your general, who has simply done what was 
essential to provide men to handle the rockets as soon as ready for use, and 
thus materially increase his means of defence and ability to maintain our im 
perilled cause ; or that of the functionary at his desk, who deems it a fit time 
to weave technical pleas of obstruction, to debate about the prerogative of 
his office and of your Excellency s, and to write lectures on law while the 
enemy is mustering in our front, with at least three times our force in infan 
try, and four times as much artillery. 

" In the interest of the country, you have been graciously pleased to dele 
gate to myself and other generals in command of the armies of the Confeder 
ate States, ample powers which could be readily adduced under which I 
could show full warrant for what I have done. Strange, indeed, were it 
not so ; passing strange that a general officer, intrusted with such an army as 
I command, and the solemn, momentous duties imposed upon him at this 
time, should be left utterly without power to add to his forces a single com 
pany, in the simple manner proposed in Special Orders No. 353 ; and that the 
attempt to do so should fill a high public functionary with so much surprise 
that I can only be excused and go unpunished in view of my motives and 
defect of judgment. 


" Excuse me for the length of this letter, the subject-matter of which I now 
hope to dismiss, and about which I can have no controversy whatever with 
the Secretary at this time. 

" Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. Coin dig." 

As General Beauregard wrote the foregoing communication, an 
other letter came from the Secretary on the subject of the appoint 
ment of a Chief of Ordnance, and the question of treating the ar 
mies of the Potomac and of the Shenandoah as two corps of one 
army, characterized, likewise, by an unjustified and offensive li 
cense of expression. This, also, General Beauregard felt bound 
to refer to the President, with the request that he might be shield 
ed from a repetition of such personal attacks. lie said : 

" I am willing that, in the future, my countrymen shall adjudge whether or 
not I have studied aright the legislation of Congress in relation to army or 
ganizations ; whether, as the honorable Secretary courteously advises, I have 
taken the pains to read the laws of Congress, made to provide for the pub 
lic defence ; or whether, in my ignorance of that legislation, I require enlight 
enment after the manner of the communication enclosed. 

"Meantime I am here, as the soldier of the cause, ready, to the best of my 
ability, to execute the orders of the government, either with regard to the 
organization of this army or its operations, asking only for definite orders from 


the proper source, and expressed in proper terms. I am ready to act in any 
capacity demanded of me. 

"With this, I shall leave it to your Excellency, an educated soldier, keenly 
alive to all the sensibilities which our profession and associations engender, 
to shield me, for the present, from these ill-timed, unaccountable annoyances. 
"Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. Coradg." 

Though, as between General Beanregard and the Secretary of 
War personally, these letters were well answered by a significant 
silence on the part of the former, yet they produced on his mind 
a painful impression. In close proximity to an enemy far supe 
rior in number to our forces, and who, at any moment, might 
make an attack upon us every hour of his life, apart from brief 
rest, being devoted to the hard task before him he felt keenly 
this absence of support, and the refusal of such an easy increase 
to his scant resources; all the more strange, as it had been previ 
ously approved of by the heads of two high department bureaus, 
to whom it had been submitted, and whose sanction had clothed 
it with all sufficient authority. 

Notwithstanding and immediately following this correspond 
ence, General Beanregard, ever forgetful of self, and thinking only 
of the interests of the cause, exchanged views with the President 
respecting this important point of army organization. It was 
done in the same spirit of friendliness and kindness of tone that 
had hitherto prevailed between them. The Army of the Potomac 
(General Beauregard s) and that of the Shenandoah (General 
Johnston s) had never been merged by any order of the War De 
partment, but had been designated by both generals, since the 
battle of Manassas, the First and Second Corps of the Army of the 
Potomac, for convenience and abbreviation; and, though separate 
in administration, had been considered as acting together under the 
chief command of General Johnston, as senior officer present ; Gen 
eral Beauregard retaining command of his own troops, and Major- 
General G. W. Smith takin^ chanre of General Johnston s forces 


proper. That the "War Department, as we have already alleged, 
was fully cognizant of this fact, is further shown by the very let 
ter informing General Beauregard of the President s disapproval 
of such a division. A. T. Bledsoe, " Chief Bureau of War " as he 
signs himself in that letter dated "War Department, Richmond, 
October SM, 1801" says: "The letter of Captain E. P. Alexan- 
L 11 


der, recommending T. B. Ferguson for the post of Chief of Ord 
nance for the First Corps of the Army of the Potomac, with your 
endorsement, has been referred," etc. Besides, all the official pa 
pers sent by Generals Johnston and Beauregard for months past 
to the War Department, or to the President, had been headed 
" First " or " Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac." It is nat 
ural to suppose, therefore, that the change in the President s mind, 
which induced him to disapprove, at this late hour, of what he had 
tacitly if not otherwise consented to, had been brought about 
by reasons and influences having very little to do with the real 
question at issue. 

The War Department acted on the theory that General Beaure 
gard was in command of the whole united army ; but, that there 
being another officer present of equal grade and anterior commis 
sion, the latter was first in command of the whole, and General 
Beauregard second in command of the whole. The General rep 
resented to Mr. Davis the evil consequences of this theory, as vir 
tually throwing out of position several officers of the highest 
grades, upon the junction of their forces for some great object, 
and at the very time when their services, in command of their 
proper corps, were most needed; as in the event of General Lee s 
army, in Northwestern Virginia, and General Holmes s, at Aquia 
Creek, uniting with Generals Johnston s and Beauregard s. There 
would thus be a second and third commander of the whole army, 
which would result in all the generals, excepting the senior one 
General Lee being out of service. He brought forward and 
dwelt upon another reason, which was that, with such an organ 
ization, separate inferior commanders would not be so prompt to 
execute a junction at a critical moment. 

This theory of the War Department w T as without precedent in 
military administration, and one of its many evils, depending on 
the possible deductions of the department, was the present with 
drawal, from an entire army corps, of the services of a Chief of 
Ordnance, on the ground that the army of the junior officer was 
absorbed, and there existed no such legal organization as a " corps." 
The President also desired that divisions, as well as brigades, 
should be composed of troops from the same State. General 
Beauregard had already thus organized his brigades on the 25th 
of July, but declared his judgment against extending the rule to 
divisions, because, in case a division thus organized were cut to 


pieces or captured in battle, the loss would fall too heavily on a 
single State ; and in this Mr. Davis seemed to agree, as that form 
of organization was not further urged. 

President Davis also wrote strongly, assuring General Beaure- 
gard that the Acting Secretary of War had intended no offense, 
asking him to overlook the language of the technical lawyer, and 
stating his conviction of the latter s regard and admiration for the 
General ; though, meanwhile, Mr. Benjamin, certain of impunity, 
was writing, upon other matters, letters of like impropriety, under 
cover of the forms of conventional courtesy. 

General Beauregard s attention was now drawn to a controversy, 
raised in the press, about that portion of a published synopsis of 
his Manassas report which revealed to the public his plan of cam 
paign, as proposed to the President through Colonel Chestnut, for 
the occupation of Maryland and the capture of "Washington,* 
which had been, at that time, the 1-ith of July, 1861, discarded bv 
Mr. Davis and pronounced impracticable. This publication, and 
the discussion arising from it, were subjects of much concern to 
General Beauregard, who, deploring all division among our lead 
ers, refused to take any part whatever in the controversy. Finally, 
however, but only with a view to allay public feeling, he wrote to 
the Richmond Whiy a letter, which called forth the warm praise 
of his numerous friends, who were anxious, as he was himself, that 
the cause of public defence should not be embarrassed by personal 
contests. We deem it proper to lay this whole letter before the 

" CEXTREVILLE, VA. (within hearing of the enemy s guns), 

Nov. 3(7, 18G1. 
"To the Editors of the Richmond Whig : 

" Gentlemen, My attention has just been called to an unfortunate contro 
versy now going on, relative to the publication of the synopsis of my report of 
the battle of Manassas. None can regret more than I do this publication, 
which was made without my knowledge or authority. 

" The President is the sole judge of when and what parts of the report of u 
commanding officer should be made public. I, individually, do not object to 
delaying its publication as long as the War Department shall think it neces 
sary and proper for the success of our cause. 

" Meanwhile, I entreat my friends not to trouble themselves about refuting 
the slanders and calumnies aimed at me. Alcibiades, on a certain occasion, 
resorted to a singular method to occupy the minds of his traducers ; let, then. 
that synopsis answer the same purpose for me in this instance. 

* Chapter VIII., page 85. 


" If certain minds cannot understand the difference between patriotism, 
the highest civic virtue, and office-seeking , the lowest civic occupation, I pity 
them from the bottom of my heart. Suffice it to say, that I prefer the respect 
and esteem of my countrymen to the admiration and envy of the world. I 
hope, for the sake of our cause and country, to be able, with the assistance of 
a kind Providence, to answer my calumniators with new victories over our 
national enemies ; but I have nothing to ask of the country, the government, or 
my friends, except to afford me all the aid they can, in the great struggle we 
are now engaged upon. I am not, and never expect or desire to be, a candidate 
for any civil office in the gift of the people or of the executive. The acme of 
my ambition is, after having cast my mite in the defense of our sacred cause, 
and assisted, to the best of my ability, in securing our rights and independence 
as a nation, to retire into private life (my means then permitting) never to 
leave my home, unless to fight again the battles of my country. 
Respectfully, your most obedient servant, 


The circumstances attending the publication of this letter are 
described with graphic precision by Mr. Pollard, in his book en 
titled "Lee and his Lieutenants," pp. 246-248. Our only sur 
prise, after reading what the author there asserts of the causes 
leading to the unfriendly relations which, from that time, existed 
between the President and General Beau regard, is that he should 
have deemed General Beauregard s letter unnecessary, and its 
" publication ill-advised." Had he not disclaimed all idea of rival 
ry with the President and openly declared that he was no aspirant 
to political honors, the animosity displayed by President Davis 
would have been still greater against him, to the manifest injury 
of the public service. Mr. Pollard says: "Whatever the merits 
of that controversy, it is not to be denied that from this time there 
commenced to be evident that jealousy or dislike on the part of 
the administration towards General Beauregard which, through 
the war, tended to cripple his energies and neutralized his best 
plans of campaign." Such being the case, what might not have 
been the result, had General Beauregard, by his silence, confirmed 
Mr. Davis in his avowed suppositions concerning him ? The fol 
lowing letter testifies to the feelings which appear to have been 
suddenly aroused in Mr. Davis s mind. It explains the hostile 
attitude of his administration towards General Beauregard, and 
fully justifies the latter in his endeavor to set himself right before 
the country. The importance and the significant bearing of this 
letter render necessary its publication entire. 


" RICHMOND, VA., Oct. 30M, 1861. 
" General G. T. BEAUREGARD : 

" Sir. Yesterday my attention was called to various newspaper publica 
tions purporting to have been sent from Manassas, and to a synopsis of your 
report of the battle of the 21st of July past, and in which it is represented that 
you had been overruled by me in your plan for a battle with the enemy south 
of the Potomac, for the capture of Baltimore and Washington, and the libera 
tion of Maryland. 

" I inquired for your long-expected report, and it has to-day been submitted 
to my inspection ; it appears by official endorsement to have been received by the 
Adjutant-General on the 15th of October, though it is dated August 2Gth, 1801.* 

"With much surprise I found that the newspaper statements were sustained 
by the text of your report. 

"I was surprised, because, if we did differ in opinion as to the measures and 
purposes of contemplated campaigns, such fact could have no appropriate 
place in the report of a battle; further, because it seemed to be an attempt to 
exalt yourself at my expense ; and especially because no such plun (is that described 
icas submitted to me.^ It is true that some time before it was ordered you ex 
pressed a desire for the junction of General Johnston s army with your own. 
The movement was postponed until the operations of the enemy rendered it 
necessary, and until it became thereby practicable to make it with safety to the 
valley of Virginia. Hence, I believe, was secured the success by which it was 

" If you have retained a copy of the plan of campaign which you say was 
submitted to me through Colonel Chestnut, allow me to request that you will 
furnish me with a duplicate of it. 

" Very respectfully yours, etc., 


The tenor of this letter, the assertions it contains, and the ex 
pressions made use of by President Davis are so extraordinary, 
and denote such a state of mental irritation, that, though reluc 
tant, we arc compelled to iix public attention upon it. The prcss- 

* General Beaurcgard s report of the battle of Manassas had been written 
and was about to be forwarded to the War Department, when the Federal re 
ports began to appear in the Northern papers. Taking advantage of many facts 
and incidents thus divulged, and of important admissions on the part of the 
enemy, General Beauregard determined to transform his report into a full "his 
tory" of the battle which was accordingly done thereby considerably add 
ing to its length and value. The first portion of the report, containing what 
was termed the "strategy "of the campaign, remained unchanged, and, by an 
oversight, the date was left as originally written. A letter from General Beau- 
regard to General Cooper showed distinctly, however, when the " history " of 
the battle was prepared and sent in to Richmond. 

fThe italics are ours. 


ure of official business may have contributed to weaken the Pres 
ident s memory of many an event that occurred between the be 
ginning of the war and the period we now write of; but that the 
proposition of so momentous a campaign, urged and presented to 
his consideration through the medium of such a man as Colo 
nel Chestnut, could have altogether disappeared from his mem 
ory, is an assertion which we regret that Mr. Davis ever made. 
Still more to be deplored is the further assertion that the junc 
tion of General Johnston s army with General Beauregard s was 
purposely postponed by him (the President) until that junction 
became opportune and thus " secured the success by which it was 
attended." While writing these words, Mr. Davis had evidently 
lost sight of the telegram sent by General Cooper it is needless 
to say by whose authority which is given in full in the Appendix 
to Chapter VIII. of this work. For convenience, we copy it again, 
as follows : 

" RICHMOND, July 19$, 1801. 
" General BEAUREGARD, Manassas, VA. : 

" We have no intelligence from General Johnston. If the enemy in front of 
you has abandoned an immediate attack, and General Johnston has not moved, 
you had better withdraw tJie call upon him, so that he may he left to his full discre 
tion* All the troops arriving at Lynch burg are ordered to join you. From 
this place we will send as fast as transportation permits. The enemy is advised 
at Washington of the projected movement of Generals Johnston and Holmes, and 
may vary his plans in conformity thereto. 

" S. COOPER, Adjutant-General." 

Had General Beauregard obeyed the instructions there given 
by the War Department, and " withdrawn" his call upon General 
Johnston, need we say that no "junction " would have taken place 
at all, and that the "success by which it was attended" would 
never have caused Mr. Davis the gratification lie expressed ? 

Here are glaring facts which cannot be gainsaid. It was only 
when the War Department had been informed, on the 17th of 
July, that the enemy, in force, had driven in General Bonham s 
pickets, at Fairfax Court-House, not more than twelve miles from 
Manassas, that General Beauregard was allowed to call upon Gen 
eral Johnston, then at Winchester, more than sixty miles away on 
his left, and upon General Holmes, then at Aquia Creek, about 

* The italics are ours. 


thirty miles distant on his right, to form a junction with him at 
Manassas. And it must be remembered, that General Beaure- 
gard s forces at that moment numbered about eighteen thousand 
men, while those of General McDowell, at and advancing on Fair 
fax Court-House, amounted to some forty thousand. And it was 
only because General Beauregard s sagacious strategy forced the 
enemy to follow General Bonham in his preconcerted retreat to 
Mitchell s Ford, the only strong point of General Beauregard s de 
fensive line, that he was enabled to defeat McDowell on the ISth, 
and hold him in check until the 20th, when General Holmes joined 
his forces with General Beauregard s, and General Johnston ar 
rived with part of his own, the other and larger portion of which 
only reached the point of concentration about 3 r. M. on the 21st, 
while the battle was in fierce progress and we were near being over 
powered. Procrastination and hesitation are always fatal to mili- 
tar}^ success. It is through waiting for the enemy to develop his 
plans that great battles and great opportunities in war are lost. 

Two days after forwarding his letter to the Richmond Whig 
to wit, on November the 5th General Beauregard addressed a 
communication to the President, accepting his assurance that the 
Secretary of War had meant no offence by his previous communi 
cations, but protesting that the latter should not call his motives 
into question, and, when seeking to point out errors, should do it 
in a more becoming tone and style. Alluding to the reference 
made by Mr. Davis to the "technical lawyer," lie expressed his 
concern lest Mr. Benjamin, following the professional bent of his 
mind, would view only the legal aspect of things, and insensibly 
put both the army and himself into the " strait jackets" of the 

Mr. Davis, with the tenacity which characterized his whole career 
as President, would not admit that the Secretary whom lie had 
selected could, under any circumstances, commit an error or im 
propriety. And the injudicious support he had given, before, to 
Colonel Northrop, he now, but more directly, bestowed upon Mr. 
Benjamin, careless of the wide-spread evils which might result 
from such an act. If he did not prompt the course of Mr. Benja 
min,* he openly interposed himself to soothe the exaggerated sus- 

* The lion. L. P. Walker, of Alabama, being a civilian, without knowledge 
of army matters, accepted the position of Secretary of War, with the express 


ceptibilities of his Secretary of War, and sacrificed the feelings 
and pride of a general who enjoyed, as he well knew, the full con 
fidence of both army and people. 

We extract the following passages from his answer to General 
Beau regard : 

" RICHMOND, VA., November IQth, 1861. 
" General G. T. BEAUREGARD : 

"/&>, When I addressed you in relation to your complaint because of the 
letters written to you by Mr. Benjamin, Acting Secretary of War, it was hoped 
that you would see that you had misrepresented his expressions, and would be 


"I do not feel competent to instruct Mr. Benjamin in the matter of style; 
there are few whom the public would, probably, believe fit for that task. But 
the other point quoted from your letter presents matters for graver considera 
tion, and it is that which induces me to reply. It cannot be peculiar to Mr. 
Benjamin to look at every exercise of official power in its legal aspect, and you 
surely did not intend to inform rne that your army and yourself are outside of 
the limits of the law. 

" It is my duty to see that the laws are faithfully executed, and I cannot 
recognize the pretension of any one that their restraint is too narrow for him. 

" Very respectfully, 


It was a polemic turn of words to give such meaning to Gen 
eral Beauregard s language as applied to the facts and to Mr. 
Davis s own suggestion about the "technical lawyer." Mr. Ben 
jamin s possible merits as to "style" were, then, of little moment 
to the public; the graver matter being that it was "peculiar" to 
the Administrator of the War Department to be " a poor civilian 
who knows nothing about war" as he had regarded himself until 
clothed with the pretensions of office;* and to make up for his 
lack of usefulness in that important seat, he was pleased to indulge 
in abstract and futile disquisitions. The least, though still great, 
harm of this peculiarity was the loss of time it occasioned, the 
weight it became upon the service, when pushed to the extent of 

understanding that President Davis, who had been Secretary of War under 
President Pierce, should direct the affairs of the office. Doubtless, Mr. Benja 
min filled the post in the same way. 

* See letter of Mr. Benjamin to General Bcauregard after the fall of Sumter, 
Chapter V. 


harassing a general in the field, with sensitive personal cares, at a 
time when his headquarters were " within sound of the enemy s 

As soon as he could, General Beau regard replied to the Presi 
dent s letter respecting the Manassas report, but made it a point 
to take no notice whatever of its personal imputations. It was 
impossible, of course, to comply literally with the request for a 
duplicate of the copy of the plan said to have been submitted, as 
the plan was not written, but presented to Mr. Davis himself, 
through Colonel Chestnut, who carried a written memorandum of 
its main features, and full verbal instructions. General Beaure- 
crard s answer read as follows: 



" CI:NTREVILLK, VA., yv. 22<7, 1801. 

sif^ In compliance with your request, I have the honor to enclose you 
herewith, at the earliest moment practicable, a copy of the following papers 
relating to the strategic part of my report of the battle of Manassas, to wit : 

" 1st. Report of the Hon. James Chestnut of his visit to Richmond, July 14th, 
18G1, to submit to you my plan of operations for the defeat of the enemy. The 
original of this report has just been received from New Orleans, where it had 
been sent for safe-keeping, with other important papers.* 

"2d. Abstract of my report, containing only the strategic portion of it.f 
"3d. Letter of Brigadier-General Sam. Jones, giving his recollection of the 
memorandum dictated to him by me, at about 11 o clock P.M., on the 13th of 
July last, for the use of Colonel James Chestnut, one of my volunteer aids. 
The memorandum was never returned to me, and I kept no copy of it.J 

"4th. Nine telegrams received or sent by me, from the 15th to the 19th July, 

"I remain, Sir, respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, General Comdg. 
" To his Excellency President JEFFERSON DAVIS, Richmond, Va." 

* See Colonel Chestnut s report to General Beaurcgard, given in full in 
Chapter VIII. 

t The abstract alluded to is the first part of the Mauassas Report, to be 
found in Appendix to Chapter IX. 

* Brigadier-General Sam. Jones s letter appears in full in Appendix to Chap 
ter VIII. 

Most of the telegrams referred to are given in Chapter VIII. One of them 
appears in full in this Chapter. 



Creation of the Department of Northern Virginia. Distribution of New 
Confederate Battle Flags. Debate in Congress about the Action of the 
President with Regard to General Beauregard s Report of the Battle 
of Manassas. Telegram of the Hon. James L. Kemper Concerning it. 
General BeauregarcVs Answer. Letter of Colonel Pryor on the Same 
Subject. Commentaries on the Executive Endorsement. Governor Moore 
Forwards Resolutions of Louisiana Legislature, Congratulating General 
Beauregard. Circular to Division Commanders about Leaves of Absence. 
Congress Passes an Act in Regard to the Matter. Its Effect. General 
Beauregard s Plan of Recruitment. 

BY General Orders Ko. 15, received October 25th, from the 
War Department, the armies in northern and eastern Virginia 
were brought into combined relation ; a system which had been 
urgently recommended by General Beauregard in the early part 
of June. 

The Potomac district, between the Blue Ridge and the Po 
tomac, to the north bank of Powells River, was assigned to the 
command of General Beauregard. On its right and rear, the 
Aquia District, between the southern bank of Powells River, the 
Potomac, the Chesapeake, and the Rappahannock, including the 
counties along the southern bank of the latter river from its 
mouth to Fredericksburg, was assigned to Major-General Holmes. 
On its left, the Valley District, between the Blue Ridge and the 
Alleghanies, was assigned to Major-General Jackson. All were 
brought into one department, under the command of the senior 
general Joseph E. Johnston. 

The army of the Potomac was organized into four divisions, 
under Major-Generals Van Dorn, G. "W. Smith, Longstreet, and E. 
K. Smith. But as General Johnston did not give the command 
of that army to General Beauregard, lie, out of delicacy, would 
not move in the matter, but confined himself technically, as be 
fore, to a so-called army corps (his former army of the Potomac), 
though under no orders placing him in command of that or any 
other corps. Such a command the War Department persistently 


ignored, addressing General Beauregard as the commander of the 
district, though sending to him, directly, for execution, orders 
which evidently referred to the army. Delicate embarrassments 
in administration arose from this state of affairs, which virtually 
reduced the leading general of the Confederacy to the rank of a 
Ma j o r-Gen e r al . 

On the 7th of November a strong United States naval expedi 
tion, under Admiral Dupont, seized Forts Walker and Beauregard, 
two small field-works armed with thirty -five guns of inferior cali 
bre and only two of them rifled, guarding the entrance to Port 
Royal harbor, South Carolina. The reader is already aware of 
what had been done, upon General Beauregard s advice, with re 
gard to the protection of that harbor. He had never concealed 
the fact that, inadequately armed as it necessarily would be, its 
defense, against any regularly organized expedition, would be im 
possible.* As it was, however, the works held out longer than 
had been expected, and were the objects of praise even in the 
reports of the Federal commanders. 

On the 2Sth of November General Beauregard distributed to 
his troops (Van Donfs and Longstreet s divisions) the new Con 
federate battle-flags which he had just received, and solemnized 
the act with imposing religious ceremonies. 

During the battle of Manassas he had observed the difficulty of 
distinguishing our own from the enemy s colors, and, in order to 
prevent all error in the future, had determined to adopt in his 
army a battle -flag distinct in color and design. He, at first, 
sought to procure a change in the Confederate flag itself, and 
Colonel W. P. Miles, then chairman of the House Military Com 
mittee, had caused, at his request, a report to be presented to 
that effect, but with no result. General Johnston had then or 
dered the troops to carry their State flags, none of which, how 
ever, could be obtained except for the Virginia regiments, which 
received them from the hands of Governor Letcher, on the 30th 
of October. In a conference between the three senior officers, at 
Fairfax Court -House, in September, out of four designs for a 
battle -flag, one, presented by General Beauregard, was adopted. 
It was a red field with a diagonal blue cross, the latter edged 
with white, and bearing white stars.f To render it more portable, 

* See Chapter V., p. 51. 

tThis beautiful design, by a strange coincidence, had been previously dc- 


it was made square instead of oblong, by order of General 

In the beginning of December, General D. II. Hill was sent to 
relieve General Evans in the important command at Leesburg, 
with instructions to fall back to the main army at Centreville in 
the event of an advance on the latter place, as Colonel Hunton 
had done before the battle of Manassas. 

During the remainder of December there came occasional warn 
ings and menaces of attack, to which, in fact, the United States 
authorities and General McClellan were constantly urged by the 
more impatient part of the Northern people and press; and a 
watchful state of preparation was maintained along the Confed 
erate positions, from Evansport, by the way of Centreville, to 
Leesburg, on the upper Potomac. But no encounter of interest 
occurred except one at Drains ville, on the 23d of December, be 
tween two foraging parties of infantry, cavalry, and artillery. The 
Confederates, with about twenty-five hundred men, under Briga 
dier-General Stuart, attacked the Federals, numbering four thou 
sand in a strong position, under Brigadier-General Ord. After a 
sharp conflict our forces were repulsed, though not pursued. The 
enemy s loss was seven killed and sixty-one wounded; ours, forty- 
three killed and one hundred and eighty-seven wounded and missing. 

Our army now went into winter quarters. The cold was in 
tense, and it was hard, at times, for officers and men to protect 
themselves against it. All remained quiet along the lines. Such, 
however, was not the case in Richmond. Towards the 10th of 
January the halls of the Confederate Congress became the scene 
of an animated secret debate, resulting from Mr. Da vis s action 
upon General Beauregard s report of the battle of Manassas, the 
preliminary remarks of which had been resented by the Presi 
dent. Upon sending in this report to Congress, he had accom- 

vised by Colonel Miles, and recommended, for the Confederate flag, to the 
Congress then in session at Montgomery, in March, 1861. It had also been 
proposed by Mr. Edward C. Hancock, at the request of Colonel James B. 
Walton, at New Orleans, in the month of April. It had been offered by Colo 
nel Miles to General Beauregard, in substitution for one nearly similar in em 
blem and pattern, but different in the distribution of colors, suggested to him 
by General Beauregard when the latter was seeking to procure a change in 
the Confederate flag. And it -was now proposed anew to the General by 
Colonel Walton, who had Mr. Hancock s design. 


panied it with strictures and comments, which were never given 
to the public until the appearance of his book, and which, after 
much trouble, were procured about that time for this work ; not 
through Mr. Davis, however, it is proper to add. 

Personally, General Beauregard remained indifferent to this 
debate, most sincerely deprecating the unfortunate effects it was 
likely to produce. He positively declined to advise any of his 
friends as to what should be done in the matter. 

The following telegram, and his answer to it, show what were 
his feelings on the subject. 

" RICHMOND, January Wi, 18G2. 

" Hon. Mr. Pryor wishes to know, confidentially, if you wish report of the 
battle of Manassas to be published, and, if published, must all, or a part, be 
published, omitting preliminary statement. Congress discusses the matter to 


The next day General Beauregard sent this reply : 

* CEXTREVILLE, VA., January 10f//, 18G2. 

" Let Congress do for the best. AVe must think of the country before \vc 
think of ourselves. I believe Burnside s expedition is intended for Wilming 
ton, to cut off railroad to Charleston. Let government look to it. 

"Hon. JAMES L. KEMPEH, Speaker House of Delegates, Richmond, Vu." 

Referring to this despatch, Colonel E. A. Pryor, then a Member 
of Congress, wrote as follows : " I took the liberty of reading your 
telegram. The effect of its patriotic sentiment on Congress would 
have been most grateful to your feelings had you witnessed it." 

An effort was made to suppress the entire report; while Gen 
eral Beauregard s friends, and the friends of justice, were equally 
resolved that it should be published as actually transmitted to the 
War Department. The latter course would probably have pre 
vailed, had not General Beauregard, in the same spirit which had 
prompted his letter to the editors of the Richmond W/iiy, formally 
requested that no further action should be taken in the matter. 
Congress then decided to publish the report, omitting the first part, 
which referred to the strategy of the campaign, and, with that part, 
omitting also the accompanying annotations of the President. 

The importance of this executive endorsement, and the notoriety 


given it since the appearance of Mr. Davis s book, justify us in 
transcribing it in full, despite its length. 

It is a key to the feelings underlying many of the official acts 
of President Davis. It brings to light the reasoning to which he 
resorted, at times, in his efforts to cover his errors as a military 
chief. How strange, and how much to be regretted, that such 
moral weaknesses should have existed in one whose career, as Chief 
Magistrate of the Confederacy, had he been able to divest himself 
of the inordinate love of power which is characteristic of him, 
would have been one of unclouded success and glory. He could 
easily have availed himself of the counsels of men whose patriot 
ism equalled his own, and whose experience as statesmen, and tal 
ents as commanders in the field, would have safely guided him to 
the goal he must have earnestly desired, but signally failed, to at 

The endorsement of Mr. Davis began as follows : 

" The order issued by the War Department to General Johnston was not, as 
herein reported, to form a junction, should the movement, in his judgment, le 
deemed adcisaMeS * The following is an accurate copy of the order : 

" General Beauregard is attacked. To strike the enemy a decisive blow, a junction 
of all your effective force will be needed. If practicable, make the movement, sending 
your sick and baggage to Culpepper Court-House, either by rail or by Warreuton. 
In all the arrangements exercise your own discretion.^ " * 

It is proper, in the outset, to state, that no copy of this endorse 
ment was ever seen by General Beauregard until one was fur 
nished him from the Bureau of War Records at Washington, in the 
autumn of 1880. Until that time he was unable to ascertain its 
exact tenor, which, for reasons of their own, his friends, in Congress 
and elsewhere, had carefully withheld from his knowledge. 

The words given, no doubt from memory, in the preliminary 
part of General Beauregard s report of the battle of Manassas, and 
purporting to be the substance of the order sent to General John 
ston, under date of July 17th, 1861, are not identically the words 
made use of in the order. That is evident. But who can deny 
that, though different in exact phraseology, they convey precisely 
the same meaning? Will any one pretend that such an order 
could have been looked upon as a peremptory one, and that the 
only thing General Johnston had to do after receiving it, was blind- 

* The italics are ours. 


ly to obey it ? What difference is there between the words "Make 
the movement should you, in your judgment, deem it advisable" - 
which are the words objected to, and denied to have been used in 
the order and the following : "If practicable, make the movement" 
which, it is contended, were the real terms employed in the tele 
gram to General Johnston ? Was not the latter fully authorized, 
"in all arrangements" relative to the suggested movement, to 
"exercise his own discretion"? Who was to judge of the advisa 
bility or practicability of the junction sought to be made for the 
purpose of " striking a decisive blow on the enemy ?" Was it the 
War Department, who issued the order, or General Johnston, who 
received it? It is clear that, under the order as given, General 
Johnston could have moved, or not, as he thought best in the cir 
cumstances; and that the making or not making of the junction 
was left entirely to his own decision. 

That such is the only correct conclusion to be arrived at after 
reading that order, is shown by the following passage in the cn 
dorsement of Mr. Davis : 

"The words if practicable had reference to letters of General Johnston 
of 12th and 15th of July, which made it extremely doubtful if he had the 
power to make the movement, in view of the relative strength and position of 
Patterson s forces as compared with his own." 

Hence the uncertainty, hence the want of authoritativeness, so 
perceptible in the governmental despatch alluded to. That the 
War Department construed it as entirely contingent, and as de 
pending upon General Johnston s judgment, is further shown by 
the telegram already mentioned in Chapter VIII. of this book, but 
which we again offer to the reader : 

" RICHMOND, July 17ffc, 1861. 
" General BEAUREGARD : 

"You are authorized to appropriate the North Carolina regiment on its 
route to General Johnston. If possible, send to General Johnston to say he 
has been informed, via Stauntou, that you were attacked, and that he will join 
yon, if practicable, with his effective force, sending his sick and baggage to 
Culpcpper Court-House, by rail or through Warrenton. 

" S. COOPER, Adjutant-General." 

General Johnston s telegram to General Beau regard, of the same 
date, corroborates our conclusion. It read as follows: 


" WINCHESTER, VA., July \lth, 18G1. 
" General BEAUREGARD, Manassas : 

Is the enemy upon you in force ? j R JoHNSTON 

He was gathering all such information as might guide him in 
determining his course. He was carefully weighing the advisa 
bility of moving just then, or not, as best suited the emergency and 
the interests of his command. But, whatever may have prompted 
his final action, he was in nowise obeying a peremptory order. 
"In the exercise of the discretion conferred by the terms of the 
order" says General Johnston, in his report of the battle of 
"Manassas "I at once determined to march to join General Beau- 
regard." lie determined. But, for having construed the Rich 
mond order to him as a contingent one, General Johnston, no less 
than General Beauregard, incurred the displeasure of the Presi- 
ident.* In a foot-note in Johnston s "Narrative," p. 34, we read 
as follows : "... In an endorsement on it (the report) by Mr. 
Davis, I am accused of reporting his telegram to me inaccurately. 
I did not profess to quote his words, but to give their meaning, 
which was done correctly." 

Mr. Davis s remarks, in his book, on this point, are valueless. 
How can he tell what construction General Johnston put upon the 
telegram he received ? How can he deny that General Johnston 
considered the question of making a junction as left to his discre 
tion ? Further comments are unnecessary. 


We quote again from the executive endorsement upon General 
Beauregard s report : 

"The plan of campaign reported to have been submitted, but not accepted, 
and to have led to a decision of the War Department, cannot be found among 
its files, nor any reference to any decision made upon it ; and it was not known 
that the army had advanced beyond the line of Bull Run, the position previ 
ously selected by General Lee, and which was supposed to have continued to 
be the defensive line occupied by the main body of our forces. Inquiry has 
developed the fact that a message, to be verbally delivered, was sent by Hon. 
Mr. Chestnut. If the conjectures recited in the report were entertained, 
they rested on the accomplishment of one great condition, namely, that a 
junction of the forces of Generals Johnston and Holmes should be made with 
the army of General Beauregard, and should gain a victory. The junction w T as 
made, the victory was won, but the consequences that were predicted did not 

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 066. 


result. The reasons \vhy no such consequences could result are given in the 
closing passage} of the reports of both the commanding generals, and the re 
sponsibility cannot be transferred to the government at Richmond, which cer 
tainly would have united in any feasible plan to accomplish such desirable 

The plan of campaign, mentioned in the strategic portion of 
General Beauregard s report, as having been submitted to and not 
accepted by the President, " could not be found among the files of 
the "War Department," for the simple reason and Mr. Davis 
knew it that the plan referred to was not proposed by letter, but 
communicated, personally, through Colonel James Chestnut of 
South Carolina, one of General Bean regard s aids. This officer 
carried with him a written memorandum dictated by General 
Beauregard to Colonel Sam. Jones, on the evening of the 13th of 
July, containing all the main features of the military operations, 
acknowledged to be " brilliant and comprehensive," but, unfortu 
nately, opposed at Richmond, and no less unfortunately rejected.* 

Mr. Davis, after showing great incredulity as to having ever 
"entertained " such a plan one of the most important of the war 
succeeds, however, in recalling to memory, "inquiry having de 
veloped the fact," that Colonel Chestnut did, in effect, verbally 
deliver a message in General Beauregard s name. That " mes 
sage," as the President thought proper to call the communication 
he had received, was no less than the plan for an aggressive ad 
vance upon the enemy, ably and exhaustively explained by Colonel 
Chestnut, in a conference granted him by the President, as the 
representative and authorized exponent of General Beauregard s 
views on the subject. Besides Mr. Davis and Colonel Chestnut, 
Generals Lee and Cooper were present, and so was Colonel (after 
wards General) John S. Preston, of South Carolina. We call the 
reader s special attention to Colonel Chestnut s report to General 
Beauregard, July 16th, 1SC1, on his return from Richmond, 
wherein appear the full details of the plan proposed, and the 
reasons given by the President for not adopting it. That report 
is to be found in Chapter VIII. of this work, page 85. AVe also 
refer the reader to the preceding chapter (Chapter XII.), in which 

* See, in Appendix to Chapter VIII., letter of General (then Colonel) Sam. 
Jones, about written memorandum given to Colonel Chestnut by General 
I. 12 


was given, in cxtenso, President Davis s letter to General Beaure 
gard (October 30th) arid the answer thereto (November 22d), in 
reference to the report of the battle of Manassas. "No such plan 
as that described," said the President, in the letter we refer to, 
" was submitted to me." Here the denial is absolute. Mr. Davis, 
at that time, was evidently ignorant of the fact that Colonel Chest 
nut had reduced to writing all that had occurred during that im- 

o O 

portant conference. 

In the endorsement now occupying our attention the President 
no longer denies, but, in his attempt to palliate his error, insinu 
ates his doubts, and apparently though not quite consistently 
fails to remember. This is all the more strange, inasmuch as he was 
then in possession, not only of Colonel Chestnut s report, sent him 
by General Beauregard at his own request, but also of General 
Sam. Jones s letter, which bore witness that the plan referred to in 
the report of the battle of Manassas was " substantially the same " as 
the one proposed by him through the medium of Colonel Chestnut. 

Early in the month of June, Bonham s brigade of four South 
Carolina regiments had been advanced to Fairfax Court-House, 
and Swell s brigade posted in front of Bull Run, at Union Mills 
Ford ; all of which had been duly announced, and was well known 
to the Confederate War Department, as the correspondence of the 
period will show. This, however, is not at all material to the 
issue made by Mr. Davis s endorsement with reference to General 
Beauregard s plan of concentration and aggression, communicated 
to him through Colonel Chestnut. We mention it here, that 
our silence may not be construed as an acquiescence in Mr. 
Davis s assertion "that it was not known that the army had ad 
vanced beyond the line of Bull Run." The entire army had not, 
but two of its brigades had ; and General Beauregard is certainly 
not responsible for Mr. Davis s ignorance of the fact. 

We positively assert and history bears us out that the "junc 
tion" referred to in the endorsement was only effected because 
General Beauregard, on the 19th of July, after checking Mc 
Dowell s advance at the engagement of Bull Run, refused to with 
draw the call made upon General Johnston, so that the latter 
"might le left to his full discretion." * Had General Beauregard 

* See, in Appendix to Chapter VIII, General Cooper s telegram to General 
Beaurcgard, to that effect. 


obeyed the telegram of General Cooper, General Johnston, about 
whose movements the War Department admitted its ignorance, 
would not have left Winchester, and no "victory" could have 
been won by the Confederates on the 21st of July. That "junc 
tion," that " victory," were the results of General Beauregard s 
untiring, unflinching perseverance. The first was effected, the 
second achieved, in spite of not owing to the action of Mr. 
Davis or of the War Department. 

" The reasons why no such consequences could result are given," 
not only u in the closing passages of the reports of both the com 
manding generals," as Mr. Davis has it, but also in General Beau- 
regard s repeated communications to the War Department, before 
and after the battle of Manassas, and especially in his letter to 
President Davis, dated August 10th, 1861,* in which lie said: 
" With regard to my remarks about inarching on to Washington, 
you must have misunderstood them, for I never stated that we 
could have pursued the enemy on the evening of the 21st, or even 
on the 22d. I wrote: The want of food and transportation has 
made us lose all the fruits of our victory. We ought, at this time, 
the 29th July, to be in or about Washington, and from all ac 
counts Washington could have been taken up to the 24th instant, 
by twenty thousand men. Every news from there confirms mo 
still more in that opinion. For several days (about one week) 
after the battle, I could not put my new regiments in position for 
want of transportation. I do not say this to injure my friend 
Colonel Myers, but to benefit the service. We have, no doubt, by 
our success here, achieved i glory for the country, but I am 
fighting for something more real and tangible, i. e., to save our 
homes and firesides from our Northern invaders, and to maintain 
our freedom and independence as a nation." 

It is not desirable to repeat here the main reasons which pre 
vented " the consequences predicted" as the result of the " victory 
won," after the long-praycd-for junction of General Johnston s 
forces with General Beauregard s at Manassas. For such infor 
mation the reader is referred to Chapter X. of this work, wherein 
full details of General Beauregard s requisitions, and complaints 
as to insufficiency of provisions and transportation, are minutelv 

* The whole of this letter is to be found in Chapter X. of this work, at 
page 123. 


given. We will merely add that Mr. Davis evidently lost sight 
of the fact that even had he positively ordered the junction of the 
Confederate forces at Manassas, and not desired, as he did, to 
countermand it on the 19th of July, that junction, effected eight 
days after it had been suggested, in General Beauregard s name, 
by Colonel Chestnut, could very well fail to bring about the result 
then reasonably expected of it and so earnestly urged upon the 
government. As originally proposed, it was a measure of timely 
preparation for a clearly impending hostile movement on the part 
of the enemy ; a preparation to meet that movement upon the only 
correct principle of war in the situation the active defensive. 
As executed, it was a junction unwillingly assented to, at the last 
hour, when the enemy was already upon General Beauregard with 
a largely superior force, and when most of the " consequences pre 
dicted" could no longer be realized. For it must be borne in 
mind that the plan insisted upon by General Beauregard involved 
an offensive movement on our part after concentration ; while the 
actual junction, when it was made, had become altogether impera 
tive as a purely defensive measure ; and what Mr. Davis points 
out as a different result from that originally proposed was but the 
necessary sequel of the rejection of General Beauregard s plan. 
The endorsement of Mr. Davis proceeds as follows : 

" If the plan of campaign mentioned in the report had been presented in a 
written communication, and in sufficient detail to permit proper investigation, 
it must have been pronounced to be impossible at that time, and its proposal 
could only have been accounted for by the want of information of the forces 
and positions of the armies in the field. The facts that rendered it impossible 
are the following : 

" 1. It was based, as related from memory by Colonel Chestnut, on the suppo 
sition of drawing a force of about twenty -five thousand men from the command 
of General Johnston. The letters of General Johnston show his effective force 
to have been only eleven thousand, with an enemy thirty thousand strong in 
his front, ready to take possession of the valley of Virginia on his withdrawal." 

Mr. Davis s statement as to insufficiency of detail in the plan 
submitted to him forces upon him one of the following alterna 
tives : He was either thoroughly informed of General Beauregard s 
proposal to him, and he, therefore, more than errs in alleging 
want of adequate knowledge of the question at issue ; or he was 
without the necessary data to guide him; and, in that case, his re 
jection of a proposition which he had not comprehended was cer 
tainly unwise, if not unpardonable. 


The truth is, that the plan presented in General Beauregard s 
name to President Davis Lad all the definiteness and detail that 
any written proposition of the same import and moment could 
have had. This is established by Colonel Chestnut s official report, 
already referred to, which we urge the reader to examine again 
with particular attention. It was presented by an interpreter 
thoroughly possessed of his subject, speaking, not from memory 
alone, but from carefully prepared notes, taken under the dicta 
tion of General Beau regard himself. It is, therefore, superfluous 
to deal further with Mr. Davis s futile attempt to prove that a 
"written communication " was necessary for " the proper investi 
gation " of a vital plan of campaign, upon the merits of which 
say what he may he had, nevertheless, deliberated, and which he 
had finally condemned. 

The criticism of Mr. Davis, based on the estimated numbers, 
whether of General Johnston or of General Patterson, is utterly 
without point, in presence of the fact that the former had no dif 
ficulty whatever in bringing away his forces, when he essayed to 
do so. Nor did the latter " take possession of the valley of Vir 
ginia on the withdrawal " of his opponent; nor did he even threat 
en to make any demonstration of the kind. On the other hand, 
Colonel Chestnut s report shows that General Beauregard had es 
timated General Johnston s forces at twenty thousand men, and 
not at twenty-five thousand, as Mr. Davis has it. As to General 
Patterson, his army, at the time we speak of that is to sav, be 
tween the 14rth and 21st of July never amounted even to twenty 
thousand men, though it was rumored, as early as the 13th, that 
it numbered upwards of thirty-two thousand. General Johnston 
refers to that rumor in his report of the battle of Manassas, but, 
in his book, reduces the number " to about twenty thousand, in 
stead of thirty-two thousand, the estimate of the people of Mar- 
tinsburg, at the time."* And General Patterson, who must be sup 
posed to have known something about it, in a letter from Harper s 
Ferry, dated July 24th, says: "My force is less than twenty 
thousand ; nineteen regiments, whose term of service was up, or 
will be within a week. . . . Five regiments have gone home. Two 
more go to day, and three to-morrow. To avoid being cut oft 
with the remainder, I fell back, and occupied this place." No\v 

* General Johnston s "Narrative of Military Operations/ p. 31. 


when General Johnston began to move from Winchester to Ma 
li assas, on the 18th, his army, with an average effective strength, 
per regiment, not much exceeding five hundred men, could be 
computed at not less than ten thousand, exclusive of artillery and 
cavalry, exclusive also of the sick seventeen hundred in number 
who were comfortably provided for in Winchester/-" These, 
however, are mere side issues, and not at all connected with the 
question really before us. General Beauregard never pretended 
to know, except by approximation, the exact force under General 
Johnston. What he wished and asked for was the concentration 
of that force, such as it might be, with his own, in order to strike 
the enemy with masses, not with fractions, and thus compel him, 
not us, to take the defensive. When General Beauregard recom 
mended that concentration and predicted its results, he had every 
reason to be confident that the advance of McDowell was immedi 
ately impending; and had Mr. Davis allowed the scheme to be 
carried out, in anticipation of what the enemy was preparing to do, 
but had not yet actually done, the junction of our forces would 
have taken place at least forty-eight hours earlier than the date at 
which it was effected, and Bull Run would have been fought with 
the combined forces of both Generals Johnston and Beauregard, to 
say nothing of General Holmes, who naturally would have followed 
and joined in the movement, and McDowell s army would have 
been annihilated, or turned and cut off from Washington. 
Mr. Davis s endorsement goes on as follows : 

" 2. It proposed to continue operations, by effecting a junction of a, part of 
the victorious forces with the army of General Garnett, in Western Virginia ; 
General Garnett s forces amounted only to three or four thousand men, then 
known to be in rapid retreat before vastly superior forces under McClellan, 
and the news that lie was himself killed and his army scattered arrived with 
in forty-eight hours of Colonel Chestnut s arrival in Richmond." 

This reference to the Garnett disaster is characteristic of Mr. 
Davis as a polemist, and we chiefly touch upon it to assert that, 
at the time he decided adversely on the general plan laid before 
him, he was not aware of what had happened to Garnett, an event 
which could only have made the concentration at Manassas the 
essential feature of General Beauregard s plan the more necessary 
in the exigency, as any military man may see. 

* General Johnston s "Narrative of Military Operations," p. 35. 


The co-operation with Garnett against McClellan was but a pos 
sible incident of the scheme of campaign, and could not properly 
have weighed in deciding the main question of General Johnston s 
concentration with General Beanregard, in order to defeat Mc 
Dowell and Patterson. These two results, even if not followed 
by the proposed movement into Maryland, and on the rear of 
Washington, would have driven McClellan back into Ohio, or, if 
he had ventured a farther advance into Virginia, would have left 
him at our mercy. 

The third main reason which rendered General Beanregard s 
scheme "impossible" is thus explained in Mr. Davis s endorse 
ment : 

" 3. The plan was based on the improbable and inadmissible supposition that 
the enemy was to await everywhere, isolated and motionless, until our forces 
could effect junctions, to attaek them in detail." 

This is without weight or effect, and scarcely deserves a serious 

The enemy, on his first entrance into Virginia, had displayed 
the greatest hesitation and uncertainty in all his forward move 
ments. He felt that he was treading upon dangerous ground. It 
was the procrastination and lack of vigor of those who held the 
reins of power in Richmond which finally aroused in that enemy 
a spirit of assurance and conquest, until then dormant. To check 
his first steps forward was, therefore, for us, the all-important 

General Beauregard s plans were not based on any improbable 
and inadmissible supposition," as Mr. Davis asserts, but upon in 
formation that the chief Federal force was about to be thrown for 
ward against him ; and his scheme, in accordance with a cardinal 
principle in war, involved an immediate concentration of our avail 
able masses, offensively to meet and overwhelm that advance. 
What actually occurred the defeat of McDowell, after the long- 
delayed junction was brought about, under the disadvantageous 
conditions already alluded to shows that the iirst and main 
feature of General Beauregard s plan, to which the others were 
mere consequences, was the true military course for the Confed 
erate authorities to pursue. Its success as always in the business 
of war must have deprived the enemy of the power to make his 
own movements at his own pleasure, and enabled us to beat him 


successively in detail. Mr. Davis, in rejecting that plan, left the 
Confederate forces " to await everywhere, isolated and motionless, 
until" the Federal "forces could effect junctions, to attack them 
in detail." And this, we may add, was, unhappily, his military 
method throughout the war. 

Says Mr. Davis, in his endorsement : 

"4. It could not be expected that any success obtainable on the battle-field 
could enable our forces to carry the fortifications on the Potomac, garrisoned 
and within supporting distance of fresh troops; nor, after the actual battle 
and victory, did the generals on the field propose an advance on the capital; 
nor does it appear that they have since believed themselves in a condition to 
attempt such a movement." 

Had the concentration been made, McDowell s forces would 
have been captured, with his munitions and transportation, leaving 
the works at Washington substantially unoccupied ; and Mr. 
Davis had no authority for supposing that a supporting force was 
in reach. The whole history of the time shows that, after Mc 
Dowell s defeat, Washington was at our mercy, had we advanced 
upon it. That we did not do so was in no way due to General 
Beau regard or to his plans. 

The concluding words in Mr. Davis s fourth objection, to wit 
" nor does it appear that they (Generals Johnston and Beauregard) 
have since believed themselves in a condition to attempt such a 
movement," are an extraordinary assertion when it is considered 
that, not many weeks before this endorsement was written, the 
President had visited our army headquarters, at Fairfax Court- 
Hon. ,>, and had there been urged by Generals Johnston, G. W. 
Smith, and Beauregard, to make a concentration of our forces 
readily available, for an offensive movement upon the rear of 
Washington, the material for which was most minutely pointed 
out to him/" This second proposed concentration and forward 
movement was then entirely practicable, and the failure to make 
it at that time was one of the fatall} 7 false courses which charac 
terized Mr. Davis s control of the military resources of the Con 
federate people, by which he habitually neutralized the great ad 
vantage that we had in the possession of the interior lines. 

The following are the concluding words of the endorsement : 

"It is proper also to observe that t-here is no communication on file in the 
War Department, as recited at the close of the report, showing were the 

* See Chapter XI., p. 142, and Appendix to the same chapter. 


causes which prevented the advance of our forces, and prolonged vigorous pur 
suits of the enemy to and beyond the Potomac. 


It was out of General Beau regard s power to know what was 
technically "on iile in the War Department," at the time Mr. 
Davis wrote his endorsement ; but lie does know that the Presi 
dent had been fully advised in writing, directly and through the 
War Department, of certain needs with regard to subsistence 
and transportation ; needs which, left nnsnpplicd, as they were, 
made it impossible for that army, immediately upon the defeat of 
McDowell, to undertake the only practicable offensive movement, 
to wit , the passage of the Potomac, at or about Edwards s Ferry, 
into Maryland, and a march thence upon the rear of Washington. 

If Mr. Davis had allowed General Beauregard to carry out his 
proposed plan of operations against McDowell and Patterson, we 
should have captured from the enemy all the requisite supplies 
that the President and the chiefs of the Commissary and Quarter 
master Departments had so signally failed to procure. This chap 
ter and several preceding ones of this work arc replete with proof 
of remonstrances ignored, of demands unheeded, of requisitions dis 
regarded, by Mr. Davis and the War Department, from the early 
part of June up to, and long after, the battle of Manassas. 

The foregoing commentaries upon this " executive endorsement " 
may, at first sight, appear harsh, and, to a degree, unmerited. 
Put a critical examination will show their entire justice. Far eas 
ier and less painful would it be, when chronicling our defeat, to 
place the blame upon circumstances and not upon persons. Un 
happily for Mr. Davis, his conspicuous position as President, and 
the fact that his friends attempt to make of him the sacred cen 
tral figure of the late Southern Confederacy, to whom no reproach 
should ever be affixed, compel all conscientious writers, while pass 
ing upon his eventful career, to a clear and exhaustive exposition 
of the truth. Such has been our object in discussing the different 
parts of his criticism of General Beau regard s report of the battle 
of Manassas. We hold that even Mr. Davis cannot be allowed to 
controvert the historical events of that period ; that he is bound 
by them ; that he must accept the logical conclusions, whether for 
praise or for censure, of his own acts ; and as his words written 
or spoken have more weight in the minds of many persons than 
the assertions of other men, he should be held to a strict responsi- 


bility, and judged with all due severity, whenever he gives rein to 
prejudice, or ceases to be fair and impartial. 

In thus speaking, we are moved by no personal animosity to 
Mr. Davis far from it; but knowing the truth of all the facts 
alluded to, and desiring that no injustice shall be done to one who, 
no less than Mr. Davis, had his whole heart in the success of the 
cause for which he fought, it is deemed a duty, as well as a right, 
to impart knowledge to the public, and show the source from 
which it is derived. 

The singular circumstance that General Beauregard s report of 
the battle of Manassas is dated August the 26th, when it was not 
forwarded until the 14th of October,* has already been explained 
in a foot-note to be found in Chapter XII. of this work, page 165. 
A repetition here would be unnecessary. We merely submit the 
following letter, showing the exact time at which General Beau- 
regard s report was sent to the War Department. 


" FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, October Hth, 1861. 
" General S. COOPER, Adj. and Insp. Gen., Richmond, Va. : 

" Sir, I have the honor to transmit by my aid, Lieutenant S. W. Ferguson, 
the report of the battle of Manassas, with the accompanying papers and draw 
ings, as well as the flags and colors captured from the enemy on that occa 
sion. Occupations of the gravest character have prevented their earlier trans 

" I send, as a guard to said colors, two of the soldiers who participated in 
their capture. 

" I remain, Sir, respectfully, etc., 

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, General." 

After usin^ his best endeavors to vindicate his course and fur- 


nish to " the student of history " all he should learn as to the facts 
of the case, Mr. Davis, with great apparent generosity towards his 
assailants, adds the following sentence : " It is fortunate for the 
cause of justice that error and misrepresentation have, in their in 
consistencies and improbabilities, the elements of self-destruction, 
while truth is in its nature consistent, and therefore self-sustain 
ing." f 

We quite agree with Mr. Davis in this expression of a general 
truth. Is it possible, however, that, while penning the words 

* General J. E. Johnston s Report bore the same date. 

t "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 371. 


quoted, lie failed to see the stinging irony of their application to 
that part of his own book which treats of this matter? 

Among the many evidences of regard, in which General Beau- 
regard found consolation for official annoyances, came, just about 
that time (January 20th), the following letter from Governor 
Moore of Louisiana, transmitting the thanks of the Legislature 
of his State, for the victories of Sumtcr, .Bull Him, and Manassas. 

"EXECUTIVE OFFICE, BATON ROUGE, "L\., January lth, 18G2. 
" To Major-General G. T. REAL-REGARD : 

" Sir, I have the honor to enclose herewith, as requested, a copy of a joint 
resolution of the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana. 

" The unanimous expression of the Legislature is but the echo of the equal 
ly unanimous voices of the people of your native State. "While they confide 
in the efficiency and rejoice in the success of the troops under your command, 
they entertain the highest esteem and gratitude for the talents and labor em 
ployed by you in preparing our volunteers for such successful action and in 
leading them to victory. 

" In performing this pleasing duty, permit me to express my full and cor 
dial concurrence in the well-deserved tribute of thanks which our Legislature 
has offered you. 

" "NViLli the highest consideration, I, very respectfully, 

k> Your obedient servant, 
4> THOMAS O. MOOHK, Governor." 

Attentive, as ever, to the personal needs of his men, General 
Beauregard, on the 18th of December, addressed a circular to 
his division commanders, providing for the granting of leaves of 
absence, after Christmas, to officers and privates, in limited num 
bers at a time, and in the order claimed by the relative wants of 
their families and affairs a necessary privilege to many who, at 
the first sudden call, had left their homes, and had, ever since, 
been absent from them. On the 24-th, however, upon learning 
that Congress had passed an act granting furloughs of sixty days 
to such twelve months volunteers as would re-enlist for a term of 
two or three years, or the war, General Beauregard revoked, but 
with great reluctance, the leaves given, and ordered that, unless 
in exceptional cases, they should be granted to those only who 
would accept the provisions of the act. General Beauregard was 
informed of this wholesale method of granting furloughs through 
General Orders Xo. 1, from the Adjutant-General s ofiice, which 
was communicated to him as commander of the district, on or 
about the ICtli of January, with instructions to execute it at once, 


but in such a manner only as might be compatible with safety to 
the service. For reasons already stated, this order and the instruc 
tions accompanying it were necessarily referred to General John 
ston, who deemed it best, at the time, to withhold its publication. 

On the 17th, circulars under cover to General Beauregard, and 
separately addressed to his care, were received from Richmond, 
for all the colonels in the army, providing for the issue of recruit 
ing commissions from all regiments, battalions, and independent 
companies. This new official freak, on the part of the Acting Sec 
retary of War, following, as it did, closely upon the "bounty and 
furlough law," as it was called in the army, was calculated to do 
the greatest harm, and pressed heavily, not only upon company 
and regimental commanders, but, likewise, upon the generals in 
chief. General Johnston, alluding to this unfortunate interven 
tion of Mr. Benjamin, says in his "Narrative of Military Opera 
tions," page 90: "Either from defects in the law itself, or faults 
in the manner in which it was administered, it had the effect of 
weakening the army, by its immediate operation, without adding 
to its strength subsequently. Its numbers were greatly reduced 
before the end of the month by furloughs under the recent law, 
given directly by the Acting Secretary of War. It was further 
weakened, and its discipline very much impaired, by Mr. Benja 
min s daily interference in its administration and interior manage 
ment. That officer was in the habit of granting leaves of absence, 
furloughs, and discharges, accepting resignations, and detailing 
soldiers to labor for contractors, or on nominal service, taking 
them out of the army upon applications made directly to himself, 
without the knowledge of the officers whose duty it was to look 
to the interests of the government in such cases. lie also granted 
indiscriminately, to officers, privates, and civilians, authority to 
raise companies of cavalry and artillery especially the latter 
from our excellent infantry regiments, in some instances for 
merely local services." 

Meanwhile, a widespread spirit of discontent arose, from with 
holding the publication of the orders of the department respect 
ing furloughs ; and General Beauregard again found himself in 
the embarrassing position of being addressed and looked to by the 
War Department as the commander of the army, while in reality 
he had not been invested with such command by the commander 
of the military department. 


To put an end to this embarrassing state of affairs, Colonel Jor 
dan, his Chief of Staff, urged upon General Beauregard the advis 
ability of dropping his practice of dating his orders from "Head 
quarters 1st Corps Army of the Potomac," and of informing Gen 
eral Johnston of the change, in order to avoid clashing with the 
War Department. General Beauregard acknowledged the sound 
ness of the advice, which had already presented itself to his mind, 
but, through a feeling of delicacy towards General Johnston, and 
being reluctant to appear, in any way, to encroach upon his pre 
rogatives as Commander-in-Chief, he once more declined to move 
in the matter. Opposition to the War Department or to any or 
der emanating therefrom, had nothing whatever to do with his de 
cision. Shortly afterwards, fault being again found with this corps 
command, General Beauregard, in order to avoid all further com 
plication and appearance of disobedience to orders, forwarded the 
following telegram to President Davis : 

" CEXTREVILLE, VA., December 31sf. 1601. 
" To President JEFF. DAVIS, Richmond : 

" Please state definitely what I am to command, if I do not command a corps, 
in consequence of latter being unauthorized. 


To this no reply came, and the uncertainty continued the 
War Department persisting in practically considering him as in 
command of the whole army; while General Johnston, though 
placed at the head of the Department of Northern Virginia, had 
not relinquished his claim to the same position. 

The matter of recruitment had given anxious thought to Gen 
eral Beauregard, who reflected, with alarm, that, upon the disband- 
mcnt of the twelve months volunteers, the army would consist 
mostly of raw recruits, in opposition to a force comparatively vet 
eran, and superior both in numbers and in all the appointments of 
war. Accordingly, on the 20th of January, he communicated to 
the lion. Roger A. Pryor, of the Confederate House of Represent 
atives, a plan with the following main features: The governors of 
the States, upon an immediate call by the Confederate govern 
ment, to lill the regiments in the field to their legal standard, by 
a draft of five hundred men for each ; to hold in reserve an addi 
tional number of five hundred men, with which to raise them 
again to their full standard at the end of the term of the twelve 
months men ; the second quota to be furnished about one month 


before that event less, however, such number of "veterans" as 
should then have re-enlisted ; the recruits thus excepted forming 
a reserve to supply occurring vacancies. Upon the arrival of the 
second quota, the officers of regiments to be elected, subject to ap 
proval after examination for competency ; promotion to be, thence 
forward, by grade the lowest grade being filled by election under 
like approval. 

No action was taken by Congress upon these suggestions, and 
it is even doubtful that they were ever presented in that body. 



The Part taken by General Johnston in the Battle of Manassas. He Assumes 
no Direct Responsibility, and, though Superior in Hank, desires General 
Bcauregard to Exercise Full Command. President Davis did not Plan 
the Campaign ; Ordered Concentration at the Last Moment ; Arrived on 
the Battle-field after the Enemy had been Routed. Pursuit Ordered and 
Begun, but Checked inconsequence of False Alarm. Advance on Wash 
ington made Impossible by AVaut of Transportation and Subsistence. 

VARIOUS are the comments and animadversions that have been 
made upon the conduct of the Manassas campaign, and the Con 
federate victory resulting from it. The clearest and most satis 
factory evidence exists with regard to what then occurred. The 
public, informed of the truth, would have naturally accepted it; 
but public opinion has been studiously kept in a state of uncer 
tainty by the propounding of many insidious questions which may 
not here be passed without being set at rest. 

What has been said, and is yet persisted in, by those who, 
through error or otherwise, have drawn false conclusions from the 
contradictory accounts of these events, may be classified and con 
densed under three heads : 

1. Was it not General Johnston, the superior in rank of General 
Bcauregard, who planned and fought the battle of Manassas? 
Did not the latter merely act as one of the former s subordinates, 
and in obedience to orders received I 

2. Was not President Davis the originator of the concentration 
of our forces at and around Manassas? AVas it not his timely 
presence on the battle-lield, and his inspiriting influence over the 
troops, that secured victory to our arms? 

3. Why was not the pursuit of the enemy continued after the 
battle of Manassas? Admitting the impossibility of doing so on 
the evening of the 21st of July, why was it not attempted after 
wards ? 

It is due to the distinguished services of General Beanregard, 
no less than to the truth, that each of the points enumerated above 


shall be carefully and impartially examined, with the declared object 
not to argue, but simply to demonstrate. 

I. It must be borne in mind that General Johnston arrived at 
Manassas on the 20th of July, at noon ; that is to say, only half a 
day, arid one night, before the battle of the 21st. He would cer 
tainly have arrived too late, had not the result of the action of 
Bull Run, on the 18th, deterred General McDowell from sooner 
making his contemplated attack. And it must also be borne in 
mind that General Johnston marched to the assistance of General 
Beauregard, not of his own free will, or to prepare for a battle he 
had already planned, but in compliance with a tardy telegram from 
Richmond, issued at the urgent request of General Beauregard, 
who, from the early part of June until that day, had never ceased 
to counsel concentration and an aggressive campaign. Such a 
junction had at last become an imperative necessity. General 
Johnston was forced to acknowledge it. Left free to use his dis 
cretion as to the "practicability" of the "movement," he lost no 
time in putting his troops in motion. 

Now, what did General Johnston do upon reaching General 
Beauregard s headquarters at Camp Pickens ? Upon assuming 
command, did he immediately instruct General Beauregard as to 
what should be done in view of the corning conflict ? Did he draw 
up a plan of operations? Did he issue orders for the distribu 
tion and location of the forces already at Manassas, and of those 
that had just arrived, or might come in afterwards? Not at all. 
In his own words we have it (Johnston s "Narrative of Military 
Operations," p. 39) " that the position occupied by the Confed 
erate army was too extensive, and the ground, much of it, too 
broken, thickly wooded, and intricate, to be studied to any purpose 
in the brief space of time at my disposal ; for I had come im 
pressed with the opinion that it was necessary to attack the enemy 
next morning, to decide the event before the arrival of General 
Patterson s forces." And here we might properly remark, that 
General Patterson never arrived, nor has it been shown that he 
ever intended to do so. Long before writing his book, General 
Johnston, in his official report, had said: "I found General Beau- 
regard s position too extensive, and the ground too densely wooded 
and intricate, to be learned in the brief time at my disposal, and 
therefore determined to rely on his knowledge of it and of the ene 
my s positions. This 1 did readily, from full confidence in his 


capacity" And well may General Johnston have been impressed 
with the opinion that it was necessary to attack the enemy the 
next morning; for General Beauregard, in several letters to him, 
in messages delivered by special aids (Colonel Chisolm among 
them), and by his telegram dated July 17th, had clearly announced 
his determination, if reinforced, to attack and crush the enemy. 
Before proceeding further, we think it our duty to add that 
General Johnston is certainly mistaken when he asserts that Gen 
eral Beauregard s telegram asking we might almost say implor 
ing him to move on immediately, was only received on the 18th, 
when his answer to it is dated July 17th, and reads as follows: 

WINCHESTER, VA., July lltli, 18G1. 
"General BEAUREGARD, Manassas : 

" Is the enemy upon you in force ? u 

This shows conclusively how little General Johnston had thought 
of leaving Winchester, and how utterly improbable it is that he 
had planned a battle to be fought at Manassas, through a junction 
of his forces with those of General Beauregard. Does it not 
show, besides, how unwilling he was to move at all, unless assured 
that there was no exaggeration in General Beauregard s anticipa 
tion of a powerful impending attack ? It was necessary to telegraph 
to him again before he finally agreed to put his troops in motion. 
Hence their late arrival, some of them not coming up until the 
latter part of the battle. General Johnston had, evidently, no 
plan of his own when he reached Manassas. That he drew up no 
plan after his arrival there is quite as evident. He had no time 
in which to do so. The circumstances were too pressing, lie 
knew nothing of the position of our own forces, and still less of 
that of the enemy, lie was obliged to rely on the knowledge 
which General Beauregard had of the whole country at and 
around Manassas, and, though the superior in rank, he very wisely 
declined to assume the responsibility of a battle in the prepara- 
ations for which he had had no share. In his report General 
Beauregard says: "Made acquainted with my plan of operations 
and dispositions to meet the enemy, he (General Johnston) gave 
them his entire approval, and generously directed their execution 
under my command." This passage of General Beauregard s 
report corroborates and completes the passage quoted above from 
General Johnston s report. Ilad not such an understanding existed 
L 13 


between the two generals, how can it be supposed, first, that Gen 
eral Beauregard would have asserted it, and, next, that General 
Johnston would have allowed the assertion to pass uncontradicted, 
when we consider that the language used in General Beauregard s 
report would have virtually deprived General Johnston of his right 
ful claim to the command of our united forces. 

We quote again from General Johnston s "Narrative of Military 
Operations," pp. 40, 41 : " General Beauregard pointed out, on his 
rnap, five roads converging to Centreville from different points of 
his front, and proposed an order of march on these roads, by which 
the army should be concentrated near the Federal camps. It was 
accepted without hesitation ; and, having had no opportunity to 
sleep in either of the three nights immediately preceding, I re 
quested him to draw up this order of march, and have the number 
of copies necessary written by our staff officers and brought to me 
for distribution that evening, while I was preparing, by rest, for 
the impending battle." 

The order of march that is, the plan of battle is proposed by 
General Beauregard; "accepted without hesitation," by General 
Johnston, and "drawn up" by the former, while the latter is 
"preparing, by rest, for the impending battle." General John 
ston sleeps quietly, undisturbed by any direct responsibility for 
what is to ensue in the morning. He comes to assist General 
Beauregard, not to interfere with his plans. This fight is not his 
own, but General Beauregard s, and he so expresses himself in 
declining to direct the operations against the enemy. And while 
he thus tranquilly takes his rest, General Beauregard, who has no 
leisure to do the same, and has hardly had any sleep at all since 
the 17th, the day preceding the engagement of Bull Hun, goes on 
with the active preparations needed at the hour; issues and dis 
tributes the order of march and other orders ; locates troops his 
own and General Johnston s as if reinforcements alone had been 
sent him, unaccompanied by an officer of superior rank. 

"We admit, say those critics to whom this chapter is specially 
addressed, that the idea of concentration was General Beaure 
gard s ; that the first plan of battle was his, likewise; but it was 
not carried out; the enemy s movements rendered it unavailing, 
and another plan was substituted in its stead. General Johnston, 
the superior in rank, being then on the field, who suggested it? 

Our answer is, that a modification of the original plan had to 


be resorted to, but was suggested as had been the plan itself by 
General Beauregard, and by no other. In his "Narrative of Mili 
tary Operations," page 42, General Johnston says : " The plan of 
operations adopted the day before was now, apparently, made im 
practicable by the enemy s advance against our left. It was aban 
doned, therefore, and another adopted, suggested by General Beau- 
regard. . . . The orders for this, like those preceding them, were dis 
tributed by General Beauregard s staff officers, because they were 
addressed to his troops, and my staff knew neither the positions of 
the different brigades nor the paths leading to them." It matters 
very little whether "the enemy s advance against our left" had 
necessitated " another" plan, as General Johnston affirms, or mere 
ly a " modification " of the first, as he expresses it in his report, and 
as was really the case ; the essential fact that it was General Beaure 
gard and not General Johnston who again suggested it, remains 
the same, and is beyond dispute. And, here, truth compels us to 
add that the allegation that such orders "and those preceding them 
were distributed by General Beauregard s staff officers because 
they were addressed to his troops" is altogether erroneous; for 
almost all orders, from the afternoon of the day previous to that 
time, had been forwarded through General Beauregard s staff; 
the palpable reason being, that the officers of General Johnston s 
staff were in complete ignorance of the location of our various 
troops, as much so of General Johnston s as of General Beaure 
gard s. Xor must we forget that General Johnston was "prepar 
ing, by rest, for the impending battle," while all our forces those 
already arrived or arriving at Manassas, were being placed in 
position, by General Beauregard s orders. 

Be this as it may, the fact is not the less plain that the new 
plan, or the modification of the original one, was conceived and 
offered by General Beauregard, and merely adopted by General 
Johnston. This forms an essential feature in our line of evidence, 
and in no inconsiderable degree adds to its weight. What we con 
sider ambiguous and incomprehensible are the following words, to 
be found in General Johnston s "Narrative of Military Opera 
tions," at the close of the paragraph we have given above: "Want 
of promptness in the deliver} of these orders frustrated this plan 
perhaps fortunately." 

It is true that circumstances occurred which made necessary a, 
second modification in the details of General Beauregard s plan, 


and this, we submit, should surprise no one ; but what can be the 
meaning and intent of the words " perhaps fortunately," as applied 
to the change General Johnston alludes to? If the plan was unwise, 
why had he approved it? If it was judicious as lie must have 
thought it why does he afterwards cast a shadow of censure over 
it? It may have been because, having declined to assume com 
mand, he was unwilling to appear to oppose General Beauregard s 
views. Then, why should he lead the readers of his report and of 
his book to the erroneous belief that his was the controlling spirit 
directing each and every incident of the battle ? We can imagine 
only one set of conditions under which the frustration of the 
modified plan might have been a fortunate occurrence, and that 
is, that General Johnston, who was ignorant, as he admits, of the 
surrounding country, and had but superficially examined that plan, 
should himself havo undertaken to carry it into operation. Such 
could not have been the case with General Beauregard, who knew 
every inch of ground covered by our united forces, and certainly 
understood what he had himself conceived. In truth, though it 
seems idle to speculate upon the possible results of events that 
never occurred, General Beauregard thinks and so do many of 
ficers of merit, well acquainted with the matter that, if the plan 
alluded to by General Johnston had been executed in time, the 
rout of the enemy would have occurred early in the day, instead of 
late in the afternoon, and the whole of General McDowell s army 
not a small portion of it only would have been captured or an 
nihilated. The use of the phrase " perhaps fortunately " is, there 
fore, logically and truthfully speaking, without any justification 
whatever. Towards the end of his report, alluding to the fact 
of his orders having failed to reach the brigade commanders to 
whom they were forwarded, General Beauregard says : " In con 
nection with the miscarriage of the orders sent by courier to 
Generals Holmes and Ewell, to attack the enemy in flank and re 
verse at Centreville, through which the triumph of our arms was 
prevented from being still more decisive, I regard it in place to 
say," etc. And he here recommends a "divisional organization," 
which, he thinks, " would greatly reduce the risk of such mis 
haps " in the future. 

All things considered, we feel justified in saying that the phrase 
"perhaps fortunately," though necessarily void of any effect, 
would mean more if applied to what might have happened to 


the enemy, than it does in connection with the modified plan of 
General Beauregard. " Fortunately " for General McDowell s 
army, not u fortunately " for ours, the miscarriage occurred. 

lief erring, in his report, to the movements of the enemy in the 
early morning of the 21st, and the non-arrival of the expected 
troops (some five thousand of his own) General Johnston says: 
"General Beauregard afterwards proposed" (Beauregard always 
proposing, Johnston always accepting) " a modification of the aban 
doned plan to attack with our right, while the left stood on the 
defensive. This, too, became impracticable, and a battle ensued, 
different in place and circumstances from any previous plan on 
our side." On the other hand, his "Narrative of Military Opera 
tions," pp. 47, 4:8, has the following passage : " It was now evident 
tlmt a battle was to be fought, entirely different, in place and cir 
cumstances, from cither of the two plans previously adopted. . . . 
Instead of taking the initiative and operating in front of our line, 
we were now compelled to fight on the defensive, a mile and a 
half behind that line, and at right angles to it, on a new and un- 
surveyed field, with no other plans than those suggested by the 
changing events of battle." 

The conclusion we arc to draw from this is, that, as first agreed, 
we were to fight according to plans prepared and proposed by 
General Beauregard and accepted by General Johnston ; and that 
now strange as the assertion may appear we are about to fight 
according to no plan at all. We submit that the fact if fact it 
were of our fighting " with no other plans than those suggested 
by the changing events of battle," does not show, in the least, that 
General Johnston, either at that moment, or before or afterwards, 
ever assumed the responsibility of planning or directing the opera 
tions of the day. 

We thus dwell upon General Johnston s assertions, made in his 
report and in his book, because we take it that no better evidence 
than his own can be adduced in matters where he is so directly 
concerned. More conclusive still does such evidence become, 
when corroborated, explained though at times corrected by pas 
sages of General Beauregard s report on the same subject-matter. 

Before quoting again from General Johnston s work, let us 
briefly review the situation, as defined by its author. We are now 
fighting with no preconcerted plan whatever. We know nothing 
of the ground we stand upon. This, however, clearly applies to 


General Johnston alone, for be admits the knowledge General 
Beauregard had of our own and of the enemy s positions. All our 
forces already on the field are being concentrated, as rapidly as 
possible, on the ground where the enemy compels us to give him 
battle. The weight against us is terrible. Our troops display 
the greatest gallantry, but are about to give way. Generals John 
ston and Beauregard are among them. They rally on their 
colors. The battle is re-established. 

And now, at this critical moment of the day, " the aspect of 
affairs being not encouraging," as General Johnston says, a circum* 
stance occurred, which, better than any other, will serve to define 
the real position of the two generals, and finally determine to 
which of them unmistakably belong the success and glory of the 
battle of Manassas 

We quote from the "Narrative of Military Operations," p. 48: 
" After assigning General Beauregard to the command of the 
troops immediately engaged, which he properly suggested belonged 
to the second in rank, not to the commander of the army, I re 
turned to the whole field." The language of the report is as follows : 
" Then, in a brief and rapid conference, General Beauregard was 
assigned to the command of the left, which, as the younger officer, 
he claimed, while I returned to that of the whole field." 

The question naturally occurring to the reader s mind is, where, 
at that momentous juncture, was "the whole field?" We must 
not forget what General Johnston tells us, to wit, that the "field" 
is a new one ; that the battle is being fought according to no 
body s plan ; that all our forces are either now engaged on, or be 
ing sent to, the ground where the enemy forced us to fight him, 
and where " the aspect of affairs is not encouraging." To what 
" whole field " is General Johnston, the " commander of the 
army," now about to " return ?" The word "return " implies the 
act of going back to a place in this instance to a "field" where 
one had been before. "Where was the " whole field," before ? 
Where was it at this time? The evidence General Johnston fur 
nishes shuts out all other conclusion than this, that by "return 
ing" to what he terms "the whole field," he was actually leaving 
the immediate field of battle. For here, on the ground where 
General Beauregard is now fighting, where all our forces except 
reinforcements not yet arrived are being massed, is unquestion 
ably the "field." 


"With the passages just quoted from General Johnston s book 
and from his report, let us now connect what General Beau- 
regard, in his report, says of this period of the day: "As soon 
as we had just rallied and disposed our forces, I urged General 
Johnston to leave the immediate command of the field to me (the 
"field" not the "left") " while he, repairing to Portici the 
Lewis House should urge reinforcements forward. At first he 
was unwilling, but, reminded that one of us must do so, and that, 
properly, it was his place, he reluctantly, but fortunately, com 
plied ; fortunately, because, from that position, by his energy and 
sagacity, his keen perception, and anticipation of my needs, he 
so directed the reserves as to insure the success of the day." 

This passage of General Beauregard s report, explaining the 
part General Johnston took in the battle, is marked by a high- 
toned courtesy and disinterestedness reflecting honor upon the 
spirit actuating it. lie there speaks of his superior in rank, of 
one who, in published orders, had ostensibly assumed command of 
the army, but, wisely declining to exercise his rights as such, had 
"generously permitted the carrying out of his (Beau regard s) 
plans." Feeling sure that if untrammelled in the command, he 
could achieve a victory, and fully appreciating the opportunity 
left in his hands by General Johnston s withdrawal from the field, 
he finds no words too eulogistic to express his gratification at the 
assistance General Johnston gives him how I by sending forward 
reinforcements in anticipation of his needs. 

General Beauregard s considerateness of feeling is all the more 
striking because what he says is in decided contrast with what 
General Johnston does not say, but clearly insinuates, both in his 
report and in his book. 

The truth is, that the presence of the two generals on the field 
was worse than useless, under the circumstances. So long as Gen 
eral Johnston remained there, General Beauregard, in obedience 
to military etiquette, had to refer to him, before issuing any of his 
orders. Hence unavoidable delays must have occurred in their 
execution, which might have imperilled the result of the day. 

General Beauregard had strenously exerted himself to procure 
the concentration of our forces at Manassas. He had suggested 
the plan which was now being carried out, though modified, so as 
to meet the inevitable changes and chances of a battle-field. To 
him, the immediate position of our troops and all the surrounding 


country were "as familiar as a nursery tale," whereas they were 
wholly unknown to General Johnston. It was, therefore, both 
natural and just that General Beauregard should have the actual 
command of the army, as he certainly had the responsibility for 
the issue of the contest. General Beauregard was in command, 
not of the "left" only, but of our whole line, including the left, 
the centre, and the right. He issued orders to all our united 
forces then gathered on the field, the " new field," which, General 
Johnson says, had been substituted for the first. On that "field" 
did he command, fight, and win the battle, while General John 
ston, at his request, had gone to the rear to assist him by sending 
forward reinforcements. Not once during the whole battle did 
General Johnston give him a single order. All orders on the 
evening previous, as w r ell as on that day, were, as we have seen, 
suggested and issued by General Beauregard, and acquiesced 
in by General Johnston. From the moment the latter withdrew 
from the field, at 11.30 A.M., or about that time, until 4.30 r. M., 
when General Beauregard joined him at the Lewis House, he com 
municated only once with General Beauregard, and then, only to 
send him an unimportant message, through Colonel Lay, one of 
his aids. So might have done, and so did, Colonel Jordan, Gen 
eral Beauregard s Chief of Staff, and other subordinate officers, 
whose duty it was to inform the commanding general of all that 
occurred in their front, with a view to receiving further instruc 
tions from him. 

Suppose General Beauregard, yielding to General Johnston s 
reluctance to take the position he had indicated for him at the 
Lewis House, had gone thither himself, would that have put 
General Beauregard in command of the " whole field " ? Yet that 
is the very position General Johnston would have wished General 
Beauregard to take, had not the latter "claimed" the command, 
which, for the reasons so often alluded to, had been given him by 
General Johnston himself. If the position taken by General 
Johnston, at the request of General Beauregard, was the proper 
one to be taken by the commander of the army, he should have 
gone thither of his own free will, as soon as " order was restored 
and the battle re-established." But he insisted upon remaining 
with the troops immediately engaged, and upon doing what Gen 
eral Beauregard actually did. Was it because he was the com 
mander of the army ? If the Lewis House was not the position 


for the responsible commander, then such, most undoubtedly, was 
General Beauregard s on the field. 

Much more could be said. Letters and documents could be 
quoted to corroborate the truth of every assertion here made about 
the point under examination. But it is deemed unnecessary, as it 
would only multiply not strengthen our evidence. The reader 
is referred simply to the two following letters the first, an official 
one, from the Secretary of War, and the other from General Lee 
which show conclusively to whom the honors of the victory of 
Manassas were accorded. 

IkciiMOND, July 24tf, 1861. 

" My dear General, Accept my congratulations for the glorious and most 
brilliant victory achieved by you. 

" The country will bless you and honor you for it, 

" Believe Die, dear general, truly your friend, 

" L. P. WALKER. 
" General G. T. BEAUREGARD." 

RICHMOND, July 24JA, 1861. 

"My dear General, I cannot express the joy I feel, at the beautiful victory 
of the 21st. The skill, courage, and endurance displayed by yourself excite my 
highest admiration. You and your troops have the gratitude of the whole 
country, and I offer to all my heartfelt congratulations at their success. 

"The glorious dead are at peace. I grieve for their loss, and sympathize 
with the living. 

"May your subsequent course be attended with like success. 

"RE. LEE. 
"General BEAUKEGARD." 

The War Department and General Lee no doubt knew that 
such letters would have been altogether irrelevant had the hero of 


Manassas been General Johnston, and not General Beauregard, to 
whom they were addressed. 

Ask the survivors of that first battle of the war be they Vir 
ginians, Carolinians, Georgians, Alabamians, Mississippians, Ten- 
nesseeans, or Louisianians who led them, on the 21st of July, 
1861; ask them, when, broken down by exhaustion and over 
whelmed by numbers, they wavered and had all but lost the sense 
of their soldierly duties, who sprang before them, radiant with in 
spiriting valor, and, ordering their colors planted in their front, 
rallied them to these sacred emblems of country, honor, and liber 
ty ? We have written and reasoned in vain ; we know not what 


sounds and what echoes move most the hearts of those " who wore 
the gray," if one name Beauregard s is not the name they will 
one and all couple with that great victory. 

II. A retrospective glance over the preceding chapters will con 
vince the reader that President Davis had nothing whatever to 
do with the plan according to which was effected the concentra 
tion of our forces at Manassas. General Beauregard s letter to him, 
written as early as June 12th, and the President s answer, are in 
existence to testify that General Beauregard, ten days after assum 
ing command at Manassas, and as soon as he had familiarized him 
self with our own and the enemy s positions, began urging con 
centration upon the Confederate government, in which he was 
steadily opposed by Mr. Davis. Failing in this, General Beaure 
gard asked for a junction of General Holmes s forces with his own, 
showing General Holmes agreeing the uselessness of that com 
mand in the position it then occupied. This, too, was refused. 
Grieved, though not discouraged, at his want of success in securing 
compliance with suggestions which he knew were not only wise 
but of the utmost importance, General Beauregard did all he could 
to prepare himself for the imminent conflict approaching. On the 
8th of July he wrote to Senator "Wigfall the letter already placed 
before the reader (Chapter YIL), wherein is depicted the critical 
strait he was in, owing to slowness, want of forethought, and gen 
eral inefficiency in the management of military affairs at the seat 
of government. With fifteen thousand men of all arms, lie was 
threatened and would soon be attacked by forty thousand of the 
enemy s forces. He was determined to give battle, however, no 
matter what odds there might be against him ; for the Federal ad 
vance must be checked even at the heaviest cost. lie was evidently 
anxious that the President should be approached on the subject, so 
as to put a stop, at once, to the improvidence spoken of. 

On the next day he forwarded the following telegram : 

" MANASSAS, July 9th, 1801. 
" President DAVIS . 

"Enemy s force increasing and advancing daily this side of Potomac. Ho 
will soon attack with very superior numbers. No time should be lost in rein 
forcing me here, with at least ten thousand men, volunteers or militia. I write 

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Brig.-Gcn. Comdg." 

He did not write on that day, but did so on the llth of July, 


setting forth the disparity of numbers between his forces and 
those of the enemy, and alluding to the apprehension of his left 
flank being turned and his communication with .Richmond event 
ually destroyed. "In view of the odds against me" he wrote 
in that letter "and of the vital importance, at this juncture, of 
avoiding the hazard of defeat, which would open to the enemy 
the way to Richmond, I shall act with extreme caution. If forced 
to retire before an overwhelming force, . . . my line of retreat can 
be taken, through Brentsville, to a junction with Brigadier-Gen 
eral Holmes, at or near Fredericksburg, whence we could operate 
on the line of communication of the enemy, ... so as to retard 
him by the way." lie wished it clearly understood, however, 
that should the enemy offer battle on the line of Bull Run, he 
would accept it for his command, against whatever odds he (the 
enemy) might array in his front. 

Hardly had this communication been forwarded to Richmond, 
before he despatched thither Colonel Preston, and, immediately 
afterwards, Colonel Chestnut, with another and more extensive 
plan of concentration and aggression. It is given in full in 
Colonel Chestnut s report of his mission, to which we refer the 
reader.* The result was, that, after consultation with Generals 
Cooper and Lee, the President once more refused to accede to the 
plan of concentration offered him by General Beauregard. The 
enemy were yet too near their cover to allow any reasonable hope 
of the accomplishment of this proposed scheme, which was de 
clared to be a very brilliant and comprehensive one, but, withal, 
pronounced impracticable. Such, in substance, was the decision 
against the wisest as it was undoubtedly the boldest concen 
trated, aggressive campaign attempted during the war. Before 
sending to Richmond, General Beauregard, in a letter dated July 
13th, had also communicated the outlines of this plan to Gen 
eral Johnston, whose influence in its support he was anxious to 
secure. lie was as unfortunate there as he was with the President. 
An expectant and defensive policy was, at that moment, the one 
absorbing thought of President Davis and of Generals Cooper, 
Lee, and Johnston. 

At last the crisis came upon us. On the IGth of July General 
Beauregard was informed, by a secret message from Washington, 

*To be found at the beginning of Chapter VIII. 


that General McDowell had been ordered to advance, and would 
do so that very night. He forwarded this news to Eichmond, an-d, 
undaunted by his former fruitless attempts, urged the absolute ne 
cessity of ordering Generals Johnston and Holmes to join their 
forces to his. 

Then it was but only then that President Davis consented 
to the long-suggested, long-prayed-for concentration, so repeatedly 
and vainly demanded. An order not an imperative one, how 
ever was sent to General Johnston, to move on to General 
Beauregard s assistance, " if practicable." It was dated July 17th, 
and has already been transcribed in these pages. Too late, thought 
General Beauregard, and he so expressed himself in his telegram 
to General Cooper, advising him that " the enemy will attack in 
force" the next morning. And the enemy did. The engage 
ment of Bull Run was fought and won ; and General McDowell, 
frustrated in this his attempt to carry our lines, fortunately for 
us, delayed his onward movement towards Richmond. Our suc 
cess was announced to the War Department ; what answer came 
back? The despatch has already been given, but it is necessary 
to lay it again before the reader. 

" RICHMOND, July 19^, 1861. 

" We have no intelligence from General Johnston. If the enemy in front 
of you has abandoned an immediate attack, and General Johnston has not 
moved, you had better withdraw the call upon him, so that he may be left to 
his full discretion. All the troops arriving at Lynchburg are ordered to join 
you. From this place we will send as fast as transportation permits. The 
enemy is advised at Washington of the projected movement of Generals John 
ston and Holmes, and may vary his plans in conformity thereto. 

" S. COOPEB, Adjutant-General." 

Even at this critical juncture, when no further doubt could ex 
ist of the enemy s intention to rush upon our lines in overwhelm 
ing force the inevitable result of our defeat being the capture 
of Richmond President Davis, so far from having projected con 
centrating our forces at Manassas, was desirous of countermanding 
his order to General Johnston, on the 19th of July, and so caused 
General Beauregard to be advised. 

No more need be said to show that the concentration of our 
forces at Manassas was due to the energy and untiring efforts of 
General Beauregard alone, and in nowise to any prevision or 
plan of President Davis, "who agreed to the proposed movement 


only at the very last hour, sorely against his wishes, and only 
when he was forced to realize that an overpowering foe threat 
ened us with annihilation. 

All this is written after a careful perusal of Mr. Da vis s book. 
Nowhere in it does he assert, in so many words, that it was he, 
and not General Beauregard, who first thought of and first suggest 
ed the junction of our armies at Manassas ; hut, by using such 
expressions as, "the great question of uniting the two armies had 
been decided at Richmond," he creates a false impression on the 
reader s mind. That it was Mr. Davis who finally signed the con 
tingent order for the junction, and, to that extent, decided the 
question of uniting the two armies, is not contended. He was 
the Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy, and, as such, it 
was necessary that his consent should be obtained before a mili 
tary movement of so great importance could be carried out. It is 
clear that General Bcauregard had no right to order General John 
ston to make a junction with him. But that the suggestion came 
from General Beauregard, and that Mr. Davis, at the last hour 
only, issvied the necessary order, is none the less an undeniable 

And now, that many idle rumors of the first period of the war 
have died out, and plain historical facts have rightfully taken their 
place, is it possible that even the nearest of President Davis s 
friends can still seriously claim that the victory of Manassas was, 
in any way, due to his presence upon the battle-field ? So contra 
ry to truth is any assertion of the kind, so plainly obvious is the 
fact that President Davis saw nothing of the battle, and, therefore, 
took no part whatever in it, that we are at a loss for means of 
meeting the efforts of some of his admirers, who wish to give him 
the meed of praise exclusively belonging to another. 

That President Davis came to Manassas on the 21st of July, 
with the probable intention of taking an active part in the battle, 
should circumstances justify his doing so, none who know any 
thing of the events of that memorable epoch are disposed to doubt 
or gainsay. But that, if such were his intention, he was disap 
pointed, is no less historically true. 

In Johnston s " Narrative of Military Operations," p. 53, we read 
as follows : " Some half-hour after the termination of the battle, the 
President rode upon the field, conducted from Manassas Station by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Jordan. lie had arrived there from Richmond 


when the struggle had just closed, and had, doubtless, hurried out 
to take part in it. The crowd of fugitives he had seen from his 
railway car, before reaching the station, had so strongly impressed 
upon his mind the idea that we were defeated, that it was not 
immediately removed by the appearance of the field. I judged 
so, at least, from his first words, while we were shaking hands : 
How has the battle gone ? " 

In Alfriend s " Life of Jefferson Davis" it is asserted (p. 305) 
that the President reached " the battle-field while the struggle was 
still in progress ;" that " to the troops his name and bearing were 
the symbols of victory ;" that " while the victory was assured, but 
by no means complete, he urged that the enemy, still on the field 
(Heintzelman s troops, as subsequently appeared), be warmly pur 
sued, as was successfully done" (p. 313). 

" These are fancies," says General Johnston. " He arrived upon 
the field after the last-armed enemy had left it, when none were 
within cannon-shot, or south of Bull Run, when the victory \vas 
complete as w r ell as assured, and no opportunity left for the in 
fluence of his name and bearing." 

General Beauregard, in his report, also alludes to the arrival of 
Mr. Davis on the battle-field of Manassas, just after the enemy 
had "given way and fled, in wild disorder, in every direction a 
scene the President of the Confederacy had the high satisfaction of 
witnessing, as he arrived upon the field at that exultant moment." 

True, President Davis, on his return to Richmond, was serenad 
ed in honor of the great Confederate victory, and was even ex 
tolled as " the hero " of that memorable day. But nowhere has 
it appeared, so far, that he ever laid claim to this honor, though 
he is said never to have had sufficient moral courage openly to re 
fuse it. Be this as it may, neither the efforts of his friends, nor 
the insinuations in his published work, will succeed in altering 
the facts of the case. History, in its wonted impartiality, will 
never accord him the honors of the plan of campaign, or of the 
concentration of the troops, or of the victory won on the hard- 
fought field of Manassas. On those points the true verdict of 
the country has already been rendered. 

In a letter to General Beauregard, dated Richmond, August 
25th, 18G1, Colonel Chestnut, of South Carolina, so aptly and for 
cibly expresses this opinion, that we feel impelled to transcribe 
his words. He wrote : 


" The country owes you an immense debt of gratitude, and the world 1ms 
already paid you the tribute of just and unqualified admiration. The more 
the consequences of the victory at Manassas are understood, the greater and 
the more glorious will it seem. 

" The unbecoming pruriency of some, and the voracious appetite of many 

for even a fleeting notoriety, which have prompted undue and untimely claims 

to all the honors of the fight, are to be regretted, but do not amount to any 

serious grievance. After a little time truth will assign each his proper place. 


" With great respect, 

" Your friend and obedient servant, 

"General BEAUREGARD." 

III. A few words will suffice to explain why our victory was 
not pushed after the battle of Manassas. 

It has already been shown and a repetition here would be use 
less how it happened that the pursuit of the enemy, though or 
dered and in course of execution, was checked and finally aban 
doned on the night of the 21st of July; and it has also been 
shown how "an unusually heavy and unintermitting fall of rain," 
the next day, made "an efficient pursuit," at that time, "a mili 
tary impossibility."" 1 

The reasons why the pursuit was not taken up later have also 
been given in detail in Chapter X. 

An army deprived of transportation and subsistence is utterly 
powerless. This is a self-evident proposition, that needs no argu 
ment in its support. That our army was in that position, despite 
the unceasing efforts and remonstrances of General Beau regard, 
is incontrovertibly true ; that there was no necessity for such des 
titution is clear. At the opening of the war provisions were 
plentiful all over the land. The rich agricultural districts of Vir 
ginia, in close proximity to the army not to speak of the entire 
South, so willing to contribute in every way to the success of a 
cause dear to all hearts were stocked with food, wagons, and 
teams. It would have required but the most ordinary administra 
tive capacity, and but a small amount of enterprise, to furnish the 
army with the "twenty days rations" in advance, so earnest^ and 
repeatedly called for by General Beauregard, and with transporta- 

* See Chapter IX. Sec also the latter part of General Beaurcgard s re 


tion enough to carry our combined forces into the city of "Wash 

We do not say that President Davis was opposed to the ad 
vance of our forces on Washington, or that he purposely prevent 
ed such an advance, and the investment and consequent capitula 
tion of the Federal capital which must have resulted from it ; but 
we do say that, had he not persistently overlooked the just de 
mands of General Beauregard for transportation and subsistence, 
not only after but before the battle of Manassas, and had he not 
as persistently approved the narrowness of views and improvident 
methods of notoriously incompetent officials, whose shortcomings 
were so often brought to his knowledge, the Federal capital could 
have been captured by our victorious forces as early as the 2-ith 
of July. General Beauregard stated this as his conviction, in let 
ters to Representative Miles, and to Mr. Davis himself, when the 
latter called him to account for having been the cause of a con- 


gressional investigation on the deplorable condition of our army, 
and its inability either to advance or retreat. 

From New Orleans, March, 1876, in answer to the lion. John 
C. Ferriss, of Tennessee, who wished to be informed upon this 
point, General Beauregard explained how it was that no advance 
was made on Washington. We commend to the serious attention 
of the reader the following passage from his letter : " Our only 
proper operation was to pass the Potomac above, into Maryland, 
at or about Edwards s Ferry, and march upon the rear of Washing 
ton. With the hope of undertaking such a movement, I had caused 
a reconnoisance of the country and shore (south of the Potomac) 
in that quarter to be made in the month of June ; lut the neces 
sary transportation even for the ammunition essential to such a 
movement had not been provided for my forces, notwithstanding 
my application for it during more than a month beforehand / nor 
was there twenty-four hours * food at Manassas, for the troops 
brought together for that battle" * The fact is, that some com 
mands were without food for forty hours after the battle. 

It is unnecessary to dwell further upon these events. The 
thought of what could have been accomplished, but was not, and of 
the reasons for our failure, will continue to be for us the subject of 
lasting regret. Our army did not follow up the victory of Ma- 

* The italics arc ours. 


nassas, and march upon the rear of Washington, as already said, for 
want of transportation and subsistence. Transportation and sub 
sistence were lacking because the Commissary and Quartermaster 
Departments, which could have procured both, and had ample 
time to see to it, failed to do so through sheer improvidence and 
L 14 



Colonel Pryor, of the Military Committee of Congress, Visits General Beaure- 
gard at Centreville, to Propose his Transfer to the West. General Beau- 
regard finally Yields to the Wishes of Congress and the Executive. 
He Parts with his Army on the 2d of February, and on the 4th Arrives 
at Bowling Green. Interview with General A. S. Johnston. Succinct 
Review of the Latter s Situation. Ignorance of the War Department with 
Reference to his Forces. General Beauregard Desires to go Back to his 
Army in Virginia. General Johnston urges Him to Stay and Assume 
Command at Columbus. Inspection of the Works at Bowling Green. 
What General Beauregard Thinks of Them. He Suggests Concentration 
at Henry and Donelson to Force a Battle upon Grant. General Johnston 
Fears the Risk of such a Movement, and Adheres to his own Plan of Op 
erations. Fall of Fort Henry. Conference at Bowling Green. Memo 
randum of General Johnston s Plan of the Campaign. His and General 
Polk s Army to Operate on Divergent Lines. Evacuation of Bowling 
Green. General Beauregard Asks for Specific Instructions. Letter to 
Colonel Pryor. Fall of Fort Donelson. Its Effect upon the Country. 
Criticism of General Johnston s Strategy. 

TOWARDS the end of January, 1862, General Beauregard re 
ceived a visit, at his headquarters at Centreville, from Colonel 
Roger A. Pryor, of Virginia, a member of the Military Commit 
tee of the Confederate Congress. He informed General Beanre- 


gard that he had been deputed by his committee, and the Repre 
sentatives in Congress of the Mississippi Valley States generally, 
to confer with him upon a plan then under consideration at Rich 
mond, and to urge him to give it his consent. This plan consisted 
in the transfer of General Beauregard to the conduct of the de 
fence of the Mississippi Valley, upon which public attention had 
now centred, and about the security of which great apprehensions 
were expressed. President Davis himself Colonel Pryor said 
was desirous of ordering the transfer, should General Beauregard 
agree to it. 

The immediate command thus proposed to General Beauregard 
included the forces under Major-General Polk, with headquarters 
at Columbus, Kentucky, within the Department of Kentucky and 
Tennessee, commanded by General Albert Sidney Johnston. 


Colonel Pryor gave many strong reasons for the transfer he had 
been sent to advocate, and mentioned, among others, the critical 
condition of affairs in that part of the country, owing, it was be 
lieved, to the bad organization and want of discipline of our troops, 
confronting whom were superior Federal forces known to be am 
ply furnished with all the appliances of war. "Well-founded fears 
of consequent disaster to the cause were very generally enter 
tained, which, Colonel Pry or thought, could only be averted by 
prompt and vigorous action on the part of the government. 

General Beauregard at first declined to accede to the proposi 
tion, lie was loath to separate himself from the Army of the 
Potomac, more than half of which he had organized and disci 
plined, and whose conduct in the battle of Manassas, and throncrh- 

1 C 

out the minor operations of the fall, gave assurance of still greater 
successes for the coming spring campaign. Moreover, he had just 
undergone a surgical operation of the throat, the result of which 
might lead to serious consequences, should he be too soon exposed 
to the inclemencies of the weather. But Colonel Pryor, notwith 
standing the objections raised against the purpose of his mission, 
represented that General Beau regard s presence in the West was 
necessary to revive public confidence, then very much shaken by 
the defeat of Zolli coffer s command at Mill Spring, in eastern 
Kentucky, and that it would impart activity and efficiency to our 
operations. lie also made a statement the truth of which, he 
said, was vouched for by the Acting Secretary of War, Mr. Benja 
min that the effective force in General Johnston s department 
numbered fully seventy thousand men forty thousand under Gen 
eral Johnston, in middle Kentucky, and the remainder under Gen 
eral Polk, in western Tennessee. 

Meanwhile, many of General Beauregard s friends at Centre- 
ville and Richmond, aware of the efforts that were being made, 
sought to dissuade him from relinquishing his position in Vir 
ginia, and what was considered the chief field of operations of the 
Confederate forces. They argued, furthermore, that, should he 
consent to leave this army, he would never be allowed to return 
to it again, no matter upon what terms he might agree to accept 
the offer so alluringly presented to him. General Beauregard care 
fully weighed the strength of the arguments used on both sides. 
He knew that, owing to bad weather, impracticable roads, and 
other influences, there would probably be no military operations in 


northeastern Virginia before the ensuing spring. lie was gratified 
by the high mark of confidence and consideration conferred upon 
him by the gentlemen of Congress in whose names Colonel Pryor 
had spoken. He was then, as ever, " the soldier of the cause and of 
his country," ready " to do duty, cheerfully, wherever placed by the 
constituted authorities." So he finally yielded to Colonel Pryors 
pressing representations, and informed him of his acceptance of 
the proposed transfer, but upon the three following conditions : 
first, that the Army of the West should consist of the effective 
force stated by him,* or, if not, should be sufficiently reinforced 
to enable him to assume the offensive immediately after his ar 
rival in the Mississippi Valley ; second, that he should take with 
him his personal and general staff, and, if he required them, ten or 
twelve experienced officers from the Army of the Potomac none 
above the rank of colonel some of whom were to be promoted 
to be brigadier and major generals, the others to receive staff ap 
pointments, so as to aid in organizing and disciplining the forces 
to be placed under him ; and, third, that he should return to the 
command of his own army in Virginia, as soon as his services 
could be dispensed with in the West, and, if possible, in time for 
the spring campaign. Colonel Pryor stated that he was not au 
thorized to agree to the last two conditions, but would telegraph 
the answer of the War Department from Richmond. According 
ly, on the 23d, he telegraphed the following assent : 

" RICHMOND, January 23d, 1862. 
" General BEAUREGARD : 

" Have not seen Toombs. Committee extremely anxious you should go. 
Judge Harris is sure President consents to all your wishes. I send letter in 
the morning. 


A letter to the same effect came the next day ; and, on the 
25th, the War Department was officially notified of General Beau- 
regard s final acquiescence in the wishes of Congress and of the 

So important to success did he consider it to have experienced 

* The statement of this effective force at seventy thousand men, by Colonel 
Pryor, surprised General Beauregard to no small extent, as he could not un 
derstand how, with such a force in hand, General Johnston could so long re 
main inactive. 


officers with him, that he immediately forwarded to the Adjutant- 
General s Department the names of six infantry colonels whom 
lie had selected for promotion and transfer to the West, and of 
the engineers and other staff officers of lower grade, who should 
accompany him. And, in order to prevent error or unnecessary 
delay, he sent his Chief of Staff, Colonel Thomas Jordan, to 
Richmond, to confer directly on the subject with the Secretary 
of War. 

On the 2d of February he parted, with much regret, at Ma- 
nassas, from the last representatives of that great Army of the 
Potomac, which, afterwards, under the name of the "Army of 
Northern Virginia," achieved, by innumerable victories, undying 
renown for itself and its revered commander, General Robert E. 

General Beauregard s journey from Manassas to Bowling 
Green, the headquarters of General Johnston, was marked by the 
most gratifying manifestations of confidence and enthusiasm on 
the part of the people. Every railroad station was crowded with 
men, women, and children, who, anticipating his arrival, had as 
sembled to greet him, and wish Godspeed and continued success 
to the "hero of Sumter and Manassas/ lie was detained a day 
in Nashville, at the request of the State authorities, to be presented 
to the Legislature and receive its welcome. 

lie reached Bowling Green on the evening of the 4th, and 
there met, for the first time, General Albert Sidney Johnston, 
who gave him, on arrival in his department, a heartfelt greeting. 
The manly appearance, the simple, though dignified, bearing of 
this noble patriot and soldier, made a deep impression upon Gen 
eral Beauregard. He was drawn towards him by a spontaneous 
feeling of sympathy, which insured, in the future, complete har 
mony and effectual co-operation between them. 

At General BeauregaixTs request, he made a succinct review of 
the situation in his department, and showed much anxiety when 
referring to the effects of Zollicoffer s late disaster at Mill Spring. 
General Buell had advanced his forces, numbering from seventy- 
five to eighty thousand men, to within forty miles of Bowling 
Green, at Bacon Creek, on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad; 
General Grant was at Cairo and Paducah, with twenty thousand 
men, pressing an expedition which was to move General John 
ston thought either up the Tennessee River, against Fort Henry, 


or up the Cumberland, against Fort Donelson ; and General Pope, 
with at least thirty thousand men, in Missouri, stood confronting 
Major-General Polk. The entire Federal forces, under the chief 
command of General Halleck, with headquarters at St. Louis, 
amounted to about one hundred and thirty thousand men. To 
oppose such a host, General Johnston stated that he had, at Bowl 
ing Green, some fourteen thousand effectives of all arms ; at Forts 
Henry and Donelson about five thousand live hundred more, 
under General Lloyd Tilghman ; that General Floyd was covering 
Clarksville with eight thousand men, and that General Polk, in 
his district of West Tennessee and West Kentucky (but princi 
pally at and around Columbus), had some iifteen thousand men, 
not yet well organized and but poorly armed, including detached 
forces at Clarksville and Hopkinsville, under Generals Clark and 
Pillow. Thus the whole Confederate force in General Johnston s 
department numbered not more than forty-five thousand men of 
all arms and conditions.* Tens of thousands of men were anxious 
to go into the army to defend their homes, but the Confederate 
government had no arms for them. 

This fearful disparity between the actual effectiveness of Gen 
eral Johnston s command and the fanciful figures which, by author 
ity of the Secretary of War, Colonel Pryor had given him, struck 
General Beauregard with amazement. He recounted to General 
Johnston the statement made of the strength of the Western army, 
and imparted to him the hopes he had entertained that, by a 
proper arrangement of the river defences for minimum garrisons, 
and a rapid concentration by railroad of all our available forces, 
we might suddenly have taken the offensive against Buell, who, 
unprepared for such an onslaught, would undoubtedly have been 
overpowered. Thus Kentucky would have fallen under our con 
trol, and its people would have freely joined the Confederate 

No less painfully surprised than General Beauregard was Gen 
eral Johnston, when apprised of the ignorance of the War De 
partment about matters within its peculiar province. He con 
firmed General Beauregard s previously expressed opinion, by 
declaring at once that he never would have remained on the 


defensive with such forces under him, and with Buell only a short 
* General Beauregard- has furnished these figures from memory. 


distance in his front. lie also said that he had little confidence 
in the defensive works on the Cumberland and Tennessee river?, 
to inspect, strengthen, and complete which he had recently ordered 
his Chief-Engineer, Major J. F. Gilmer, an officer of the old ser 
vice, whose worth was about to be tested. 

When thus made acquainted with the deplorable situation of 
the Western department, General Beauregard, realizing to what an 
extent he had been misinformed, and how useless his presence 
would be to General Johnston, under the existing circumstances, 
informed the latter that, in his opinion, he had best return at once 
to Virginia, where an active campaign, in the early spring, was to 
be expected, and where he could be of more service to the cause 
than by remaining with a command which it was more than like 
ly would be forced to stand passively on the defensive. General 
Johnston strenuously objected to his adopting such a course. lie 
urged that General Beauregard s presence was most fortunate, and 
that his co-operation would be invaluable, not only in western 
Kentucky and western Tennessee, but in the whole Mississippi 
Valley. * 

Those who are well acquainted with General Beauregard have 
often had occasion to note how largely the trait of self-forgetful- 
ness enters into his character. He gave a strong proof of the fact 
on this occasion. With much disinterestedness, he immediately 
offered to General Johnston to waive his rank and, acting as his 


Chief-Engineer and Inspector-General, visit the various works and 
defences throughout the department, and make such suggestions 
for their improvement as his experience might dictate. But Gen 
eral Johnston was unwilling to accept so great a sacrifice, and in 
sisted that General Beauregard should go to Columbus, there to 
ascertain, personally, the exact state of affairs, being convinced 
that, upon doing so, he would no longer hesitate to assume com 
mand. So earnest and pressing was he on this point that General 
Beauregard acceded to his wishes, and began making preparations 
to leave by the Louisville and Memphis Railroad. It was his near 
est route, but, unless he used all due diligence, might bo closed to 
him by the destruction of the bridge over the Tennessee River, 
should Fort Henry fall into the hands of the enemy. lie delayed 
his departure, however, at General Johnston s request, and on the 
5th of February inspected with him all the works in and around 
Bowling Green. lie found them to be very strong, and so stated 


to General Johnston, though lie was not sure but that they could 
be turned a short distance above, on the right. He inquired 
whether, in such a case, General Johnston intended to remain and 
defend them. The latter replied that there was a ford not many 
miles above, and that, should the enemy advance by that way, upon 
his flank, he would be compelled to withdraw, as he was not strong 
enough to maintain the position with no army of relief to depend 
upon. General Beauregard having now asked what was the 
strength of Forts Henry and Donelson, General Johnston said 
they were tolerably well fortified, but he was doubtful of their 
ability long to withstand a determined attack. In the course of 
this inspection tour General Beauregard expressed his regret that 
the works at Bowling Green had not been limited to a tete de pont 
on the north side of the Barren River, and to a single fort on the 
south side, to defend the bridge, and enable the garrison of the 
former work to retire at the proper moment and destroy the 
bridge. The time and labor spent upon these extensive works by 
General Gilmer, he thought, might have been far more judiciously 
applied in the strengthening of Forts Henry and Donelson par 
ticularly the former as the command of the Tennessee was next 
in importance to that of the Mississippi. Its loss would not only 
cut off communication between General Johnston s and General 
Folk s forces, but allow the enemy to penetrate to Eastport and 
Florence, near the Memphis and Charleston Railroad ; thus effec 
tually turning all positions in middle Kentucky and middle Ten 
nessee, on one side of the river, and west Kentucky and west 
Tennessee, on the other side, down to the Memphis and Charles 
ton Railroad. 

In view of the importance of holding Fort Henry, then serious 
ly threatened by the Federal forces under General Grant, General 
Beauregard suggested to General Johnston the following views of 
the situation, as the result of his reflections after their interview 
of the previous evening. 

That our defensive line, extending from Bowling Green on the 
extreme right to Columbus on the extreme left, with Forts Hen 
ry and Donelson at about the middle of the line, formed a re-en 
tering angle of nearly thirty miles, which was very much weak 
ened by being intersected, nearly at right angles, by the two navi 
gable streams on which those forts were located ; that our flanks 
at Bowline: Green and Columbus were so salient that the former 


could bo easily turned and must fall by its own weight, and that 
the latter would become untenable also, should Grant s attack on 
Fort Henry succeed ;* that, therefore, he thought it urgently nec 
essary to abandon Bowling Green, except as a point of observa 
tion, and concentrate as rapidly as possible all readily available 
troops upon Henry and Donelson, so as to force Grant into a bat 
tle in that quarter, with decisive odds against him, and the disad 
vantage of isolation from immediate support. This General Beau- 
regard urged, not only as an essential measure towards regaining 
control of the Tennessee River, and maintaining that of the Cum 
berland, but as a means of placing our forces in a better position, 
with respect to the ultimate defence of Xashvillc, than that which 
they held at Bowling Green, which could not be looked upon as 
safe, on account of its being too salient, and too easily turned. f 

General Johnston, although admitting the force of these observa 
tions, objected, substantially, that we were not in a condition to 
risk too much ; that if we failed to defeat Grant, we might be 
crushed between his forces and those of Buell ; that, even if vic 
torious over Grant, our own forces would be more or less disorgan 
ized, and if Buell, crossing the Big Ban-en River, above Bowling 
Green, and then the Cumberland above Nashville, should place 
himself between us and this latter city, and force us back 
against the Tennessee River (then open to the Federal gunboats), 
without the means of crossing or of extricating ourselves there 
from, we would be destroyed or captured, Xashville would fall, 
and the whole Tennessee and Mississippi valleys would be left un 
protected, except by the as yet ill-organized forces of General 

* At Centre villc, Va., and before his transfer, Geijeral Beauregard, while ex 
amining the military situation in the "West, had regarded the position of Forts 
Henry and Donelson as faulty, the true position for the works to defend these 
rivers being at an advanced point, where the streams approached each other 
within three miles ; and this opinion lie had expressed in a conversation on 
the subject with his Chief of Staff, Colonel Jordan, at Centrcville. In his in 
terview with General Cooper, some days later, in the Adjutant-General s office, 
at Richmond, Colonel Jordan laid before him these radical strategic defects 
in the Confederate positions at Bowling Green, Forts Henry and Donelson, and 
Columbus. General Cooper expressed himself as convinced of the truth of 
these observations, and asked Colonel Jordan to present General Beaurcgurd s 
views to the President. 

t The development of this plan of operations was also explained to Colonel 
Jordan by General Beauregard, before his departure for the "West. 


Polk, at Columbus, which were themselves threatened by greatly 
superior numbers assembling in southeast Missouri. He further 
said that, at present, the main object should be to gain time to re 
move the supplies of ammunition and provisions collected at Bowl 
ing Green, and the still larger supplies of pork, grain, and cloth 
ing accumulated at Clarksville and Nashville, contrary to his ad 
vice, by the Commissary and Quartermaster Departments at Rich 

In answer, General Beauregard remarked, that even if these 
depots were to be endangered, it was more important to defeat the 
enemy than to protect the supplies ; that Buell, being without a 
pontoon train, and unable to cross the Cumberland between Nash 
ville and Donelson, we could have time to escape from between 
the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, and establish ourselves be 
hind the new defensive line of Duck River, or probably reach 
Nashville, if required, before the arrival of Buell, who would have 
to make a much longer march. That our success must lie in fol 
lowing the cardinal principle of war, the swift concentration of our 
masses against the enemy s exposed fractions ; and that if we could 
concentrate our forces for the offensive with greater rapidity, all 
other things being equal, we had the chances in our favor; and 
that in war it was "Nothing venture, nothing win." General 
Johnston admitted this, but said that, owing to the great responsi 
bility which rested on him, and the disaster to be apprehended to 
the Confederacy, should he meet with defeat, he must adhere to 
his intended plan of operations. 

This was another of those fatal errors, and losses of priceless 
opportunity, which brought on the final defeat of our cause. The 
result was a proof of it. 

Fort Henry, being attacked on the 6th, was surrendered on the 
same day, after a short, but soldierly, defence. Its commander, 
Brigadier-General Lloyd Tilghman, as soon as he discovered his 
inability to resist the overpowering land and naval forces brought 
against him, detached the supporting force two thousand six 
hundred and ten strong across the neck, to Fort Donelson, on 
the Cumberland River, remaining himself to work the guns with 
a handful of men about one hundred with whom he was cap 
tured.* This was a conspicuous example of self-sacrifice arid gal- 

* That gallant officer was subsequently killed while defending Port Hudson, 
on the Mississippi River, shortly after his return from captivity, which he had 


luntry, for General Tilghman would have been justified in retiring 
with the main body of his command, leaving a subordinate artil 
lery officer to defend the work until compelled to surrender. The 
railroad-bridge, only about twelve miles south of Fort Henry, was 
now burned by the Federal gunboats, and that line of communi 
cation between General Johnston and his forces at Columbus, 
western Kentucky, was cut oil , as had been apprehended, leaving, 
as the shortest route available, the line of railroad by Xashville, 
Dccatur, Corinth, and Jackson. 

On the morning of the 7th, while confined to his bed by sick 
ness, General Beauregard was visited by General Ilardee, a class 
mate of his at the Academy at AVcst Point, who afterwards dis 
tinguished himself on many a battle-field during the Confederate 
war. Exposure to the weather had produced upon General Beau- 
regard s health the effect lie had feared when leaving Ccntrcvillc. 
He was then suffering from a severe cold, accompanied by fever, 
and the violent inflammation of the throat (laryngitis) which result 
ed therefrom, detained him at Bowling Green until its evacuation, 
and, for six months afterwards, caused him acute pain and much 
discomfort. The fall of Fort Henry had, more than ever, con 
vinced General Beauregard of the necessity of the concentra 
tion and aggressive movement he had already counselled. In his 
conversation with General Ilardee he reiterated this opinion, 
and it was agreed between them that General Ilardee should 
open the subject anew to General Johnston, and urge him to 
adopt General Beauregard s views. Later in the day a confer 
ence was held, at General Beauregard s room, between Generals 
Johnston, Ilardee, and himself, Colonel Mackall, A. A. G., be 
ing present part of the time. General Beauregard again called 
the attention of General Johnston to the movement of con 
centration against General Grant, which he thought still practi 
cable, if immediately carried out, General Ilardee concurring, 
though not with much earnestness. General Johnston, after some 
discussion, adhered to the objections he had already made to this 
plan, and gave his own views as to the future operations of the 
campaign. He being Commander-in-Chicf, and responsible for all 

borne with no less patience than dignity. It is to be regretted that, since the 
war, calumny has endeavored to fix upon him the responsibility and odium of 
the loss of that and badly armed work. See, in Appendix, the report of 
General Tilghman. 


that might ensue, his views necessarily prevailed, and Colonel 
Mackall having been called out to attend to some pressing matters, 
relative to the fall of Fort Henry, in his absence Generals Beau- 
regard and Hardee drew up a memorandum of General Johnston s 
projected plan, as then explained and insisted upon by him. He 
had declined to adopt General Beauregard s proposed concentra 
tion for the offensive, and had decided that his own and General 
Folk s army should operate on divergent lines. General Beaure- 
gard acquiesced in the details incident to General Johnston s cam 
paign, as stated in the memorandum. But this was the extent of 
his concurrence. He was the author of none of the movements 
therein enumerated. The views he had expressed were diametri 
cally opposite, and favored concentration against Grant at Donel- 

The following is the memorandum referred to: 

" BOWLING GREEN, KY., February !th, 18G2. 

"At a meeting held to-day at my quarters (Covington House) by Generals 
Johnston, Hardee, and myself (Colonel Mackall, A. A. G., being present part of 
the time), it was determined that Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, having 
fallen yesterday into the hands of the enemy, and Fort Donelson, on the Cum 
berland River, not being tenable, preparations should at once be made for the 
removal of this army to Nashville, in the rear of the Cumberland River, a strong 
point some miles below that city being fortified forthwith, to defend the river 
from the damage of gunboats and transports. 

" The troops at present at Clarksville shall cross over to the south side of 
that river, leaving only sufficient force in that town to protect the manufactories 
and other property, in the saving of which the Confederate government is in 

"From Nashville, should any further retrograde movement become neces 
sary, it will be made to Stevenson, and thence according to circumstances. 

" It was also determined that the possession of the Tennessee River by the 
enemy, resulting from the fall of Fort Henry, separates the army at Bowling 
Green from the one at Columbus, Kentucky, which must henceforth act inde 
pendently of each other until they can again be brought together. The first 
one having for object the defence of the State of Tennessee, along its line of 
operation, as already stated, and the other one of that part of the State lying 
between the Tennessee River and the Mississippi. 

"But as the possession of the former river by the enemy renders the lines 
of communication of the army at Columbus liable to be cut off at any time 
from the Tennessee River as a base, by an overwhelming force of the enemy, 
rapidly concentrated from various points on the Ohio, it becomes necessary, to 
prevent such a calamity, that the main body of that army should fall back to 
Huinboldt, and thence, if necessary, to Grand Junction, so as to protect Mem- 


phis from either point, and still have a line of retreat to the latter place, or to 
Grenada, Mississippi, and, if necessary, to Jackson, Mississippi. 

41 At Columbus, Kentucky, will be left only a sufficient garrison for the de 
fence of the works there, assisted by Hollins s gunboats, for the purpose of 
making a desperate defence of the river at that point. 

" A sufficient number of transports will be kept near that place for the re 
moval of the garrison therefrom, when no longer tenable, in the opinion of the 
commanding officer. 

" Island No. 10 and Fort Pillow will likewise be defended to the last ex 
tremity, aided also by Hollins s gunboats, which will then retire to the vicinity 
of Memphis, where another bold stand will be made. 

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. C. S. A. 
W. J. HAIIDEE, Maj.-Gen. 

Orders were accordingly issued on that day (Ttli), for the evacua 
tion of Bowling Green, which was begun on the llth and com 
pleted on the 13th. General Beauregard left at that date, for 
Columbus, via Xashville. But the lapse of time and the hurrying 
of events since his conference with General Johnston made him 
desirous of obtaining, before his departure, specific instructions as 
to the immediate disposition of the force at Columbus. General 
Johnston, he thought, might have modified his views; or he 
might have received IILW directions from the War Department, it 
being well known that the authorities at Richmond favored the 
holding of Columbus. He therefore wrote the following letter, 
recapitulating the expressed views of General Johnston as to the 
military situation, and adding the suggestion that Columbus 
should be abandoned altogether, as soon as Island No. 10 could be 
made ready for defence ; and that instead of his falling back to 
llumboldt, and thence to Grand Junction and other points in 
rear, he should hold the Louisville and Memphis and the Memphis 
and Charleston railroads, with Jackson as his centre, and llumboldt 
and Corinth as left and right flanks, with proper detachments at 
luka, Tuscumbia, and even Decatur; thus guarding his communi 
cations by the Memphis and Charleston Railroad with the east, as 
he apprehended incursions in advance of the enemy s main offen 
sive movement in that direction, by the Tennessee River. 

" BOWLING GREEX, KY., February 12M, 1862. 

" Gewral, By the fall of Fort Henry, the enemy having possession of the 
Tennessee River, which is navigable for their gunboats and transports to Flor 
ence, it becomes evident that the forces under your immediate command and 
those under General Polk, separated unfortunately by that river, can no longer 


act in concert, and will be unable to support eacli other until the fortune of 
war shall have restored the Tennessee River to our possession, or combined the 
movements of the two armies in rear of it. 

"It also becomes evident that, by the possession of that river, the enemy 
can concentrate rapidly, by means of his innumerable transports, all his dis 
posable forces on any point along its banks, either to attack Nashville in rear, 
or cut off the communications of Columbus by the Mississippi River with 
Memphis, and by the railroads with the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. 

" Should the enemy determine on the former plan of operations, your army, 
threatened also in front and on the right flank by Bnell s large army, will be 
in a very critical condition, and may be forced to take refuge on the south 
side of the Tennessee River. But should Hallcck adopt the second plan re 
ferred to, the position at Columbus will then become no longer tenable for an 
army inferior in strength to that of the enemy, and must fall back to some 
central point, where it can guard the main railroads to Memphis, i. <?., from 
Louisville and from Charleston. Jackson, Tennessee, would probably be the 
best position for such an object, with strong detachments at Humboldt and 
Corinth, and with the necessary advance guards. 

" The Memphis and Charleston Railroad, so important on account of its exten 
sion through eastern Tennessee and Virginia, must be properly guarded from 
Inka to Tuscumbia, and even to Decatur, if practicable. 

" Columbus must either be left to be defended to the last extremity by its 
proper garrison, assisted by Hollins s fleet of gunboats, and provided with 
provisions and ammunition for several months,* or abandoned altogether, its 
armament and garrison being transferred, if practicable, to Fort Pillow, which, 
I am informed, is naturally and artificially a strong position, about fifty miles 
above Memphis. 

"Island No. 10, near New Madrid, could also be held by its garrison, assisted 
by Ilollins s fleet, until the possession of New Madrid by the enemy would 
compel that position to be evacuated. I am clearly of the opinion that to at 
tempt at present to hold so advanced a position as Columbus, witli the mova 
ble army under General Polk, when its communications can be so readily cut 
off by a surprise force acting from the Tennessee River as a new base, would be 
to jeopardize, not only the safety of that army, but, necessarily, of the whole 
Mississippi valley. Hence I desire, as far as practicable, specific instructions 
as to the future movements of the army of which I am about to assume com 
mand. If it be necessary for the safety of the country to make, with all my 
forces, a desperate stand at Columbus, I am ready to do so. 

"I regret much that illness has prevented me from being already at my 
post, but during my stay here I believe I have made myself as well acquaint 
ed with your general views and intentions as circumstances have permitted. 

* This alternative recommendation was based on the supposition that Com 
modore Hollins s fleet of gunboats would prevent, or at least retard, the com 
plete investment of the place, and that the country around Columbus was 
favorable to its defence. 


and which I Tvill always be happy to carry into effect to the best of my abil 

" I am, General, very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servant, 

" General A. S. JOHNSTON, Comdg. Western Dcpt, Bowling Green, Ky." 

General Johnston, being then busy with the evacuation of 
Bowling Green, informed General Beauregard, by messenger, that 
he would confer with him at Nashville upon his arrival there. He 
established his headquarters at Edgefield, opposite Xashville, on 
the 13th, and the next day the two generals met in conference at 
the residence of Mr. Stevenson, President of the Xashville and 
Chattanooga Railroad. General Beauregard was still quite unwell, 
but, notwithstanding his failing health, always attending, with 
scrupulous care, to the minutest details of his onerous duties. 

In answer to his letter of the 12th, General Johnston said that 
his views were unchanged as to the plan of operations recorded in 
the memorandum of the 7th, with the exception that he assented 
to the entire abandonment of Columbus, should the War Depart 
ment approve of it. lie informed General Beauregard that when 
compelled to retire, he would do so along the line of the Xash- 
ville, Stevenson, and Chattanooga Railroad, to defend the country 
in that direction, and the crossing of the Tennessee River ; and, as 
it was probable that the Federal forces would soon interpose be 
tween them, General Beauregard must take charge of the defence 
of the Mississippi Valley without instructions or orders, using his 
own judgment, in the event of that separation, to counteract the 
movements and designs of the enemy in that quarter. 

Before leaving Bowling Green, General Beauregard had tele 
graphed Colonel Pry or, at Richmond, to meet him at Xashville, 
that he might see with his own eyes, and make known to the Mil 
itary Committee and to the government the exact condition of 
affairs in the "Western Department. Colonel Pryor came as far as 
Lynchburg, Va., but hearing that communications with Nashville 
were interrupted, and that the enemy was at Florence and Tus- 
cumbia, concluded to go back to Richmond. 

The day after his arrival at Nashville, General Beauregard. in 
reply to a letter from Colonel Pryor, dated February 9th, wrote 
him the following : 


"NASHVILLE, TENN., February Hth, 1802. 

" Dear Colonel, Your favor of the 9th inst. has been received. I regret 
much you did not come on from Lynch burg, for the rumors you refer to were 
all unfounded, and the matters General Johnston and myself had to communi 
cate, through you, to the government, were of great importance being to pro 
vide for the very unfortunate contingency now existing here. 

"Moreover, I desired you to see for yourself and others the exact condition 
of things here, in justice to my own self; for I am taking the helm when the 
ship is already on the breakers, and with but few sailors to man it. How it 
is to be extricated from its present perilous condition Providence alone can 
determine, and, unless with its aid, I can accomplish but little. My health, 
moreover, has failed me completely lately. I was confined to my room by a 
wretched cold all the time I was at Bowling Green. It was the most unfort 
unate thing that could have happened to me ; for the loss of one or two weeks 
now is, or may be, most fatal to us. However, I am better now, and am hur 
rying on to my post as fast as possible. We must defeat the enemy some 
where, to give confidence to our friends. Large depots of provisions, ammuni 
tion, etc., ought to be provided for at Atlanta, Montgomery, and Jackson, 
Miss., etc.. without loss of time, for future contingency. 

" We must give up some minor points, and concentrate our forces, to save tlie most 
important ones, or we will lose all of them in succession. 

"The loss of Fort Donelson (God grant it may not fall) would be followed 
by consequences too lamentable to be now alluded to. 

" General Johnston is doing his best, but what can he do against such tre 
mendous odds ? 

" Come what may, however, we must present a bold front and stout hearts 
to the invaders of our country. 

" In haste, yours truly, 


; Colonel R. A. PEYOR, Richmond, Va." 

General Beauregard left Nashville on the 15th, and as there was 
no train from Decatur that afternoon, resumed his journey next 
morning with the opportunity which he desired of observing 
the character of the country. At Corinth, on the morning of the 
17th, Judge Milton Brown, President of the Mobile and Ohio 
Railroad, arrived with a special train to take him to Columbus; 
but he felt so extremely unwell that he was compelled to stop at 
Jackson on the same day. There he became the guest of Judge 
Brown, from whose family he received the kindest attentions 
during his illness. 

On his arrival at Corinth on the 16th, he found waiting for him 
two telegrams from Nashville one from General Johnston, an 
other from Colonel Mackall informing him of the fall of Fort 


Donelson at 2 o clock A.M. on that day. The fort had surrendered, 
and the whole army was lost, except half of Floyd s brigade, which 
had crossed the river ; and the head of General Johnston s columns 
was about reaching Xashville. 

On the Cth of February, after the fall of Fort Henry, Brigadier- 
General Bushrod E. Johnson had arrived at Fort Donelson and 
assumed command; but on the 10th was relieved by his senior, 
Brigadier - General Gideon J. Pillow, who had been a major- 
general during the Mexican war. On the llth, Brigadier-Gen 
eral S. B. Buckner came in with orders from General Floyd to 
withdraw his division to Cumberland City. These two officers, 
deeming the fort untenable for a long defence, preferred leaving 
a small force to hold it as long as possible, and then retire, if prac 
ticable, upon Nashville. General Pillow, who was still in com 
mand, insisted upon the retention of Buckner s division, and the 
transfer to the fort of Floyd s scattered forces, which that officer 
was still endeavoring to concentrate at Cumberland City. He ap 
plied to General Johnston, who ordered the movement on the 
night of the 12th. Meanwhile, Floyd, yielding to General Pillow s 
views, had entered Donelson on the 1.3th, before daylight, and as 
sumed command, his whole force being fifteen thousand effectives.-" 
On the 12th General Grant appeared in front of Donelson, and, 
early on the 13th, commenced its investment with fifteen thousand 
men, increased to twenty-five thousand on the evening of the same 
day. Commodore Foote, with a fleet consisting of two wooden 
and four ironclad gunboats, made a determined attack on the 14th, 
but was definitively repulsed. A brilliant and successful sortie was 
effected the next day by the Confederates, but, not being properly 
sustained according to the plan decided upon, it failed of favorable 
results ; so that, during the night between the 15th and 10th as 
mentioned in General Johnston s telegram the commanding offi 
cers, regarding the continuance of the struggle against the united 
Federal land and naval forces as likely only to lead to a useless sac 
rifice of life, concluded to surrender. This unpleasant duty devolved 
upon General Buckner. About ten thousand men were surrendered ; 
some two thousand were killed and wounded ; and about two thou 
sand escaped, with Generals Floyd and Pillow, by boats and other- 

* Report of Colonel J. F. Gilnier, Chief Engineer. 


wise ; while some five hundred cavalry, with Colonel Forrest, passed 
out between the enemy s right and the river. 

The fall of Fort Henry and the calamitous capitulation of Fort 
Donelson, resulting in the loss of Kentucky and Tennessee, were 
blows that staggered the Confederacy. A cry of condemnation 
arose against General Johnston, upon whom, as commander of the 
Western Department, rested the responsibility of these irreparable 

The disappointment and profound discouragement that became 
manifest all over the country, but especially in that portion of it 
lying in close proximity to the scenes of our successive defeats, 
cannot be described. The demoralization of the army and the 
panic of the people were complete ; and bitter complaints against 
the general commanding our forces were heard on all sides. Pleas 
of incompetency and lack of generalship were openly urged, and 
direct demands were made to the President to remove the Com- 
mander-in-Chief and thus save the cause from irretrievable loss. 
General Johnston, with that elevation of mind and uncomplaining 
fortitude for which he was conspicuous, bore, unflinchingly, and 
without explanation, the reproaches and accusations levelled against 
him, though he was most keenly alive to the withdrawal of public 
confidence from him. 

On the 18th of March, about forty days after the events above 
related, he wrote to President Davis a long and earnest letter, 
wherein he described the disastrous results which had followed the 
aggressive movement of the enemy, and explained what seemed 
to him to make necessary his plan of campaign as given in the 
"memorandum " we have already mentioned, and his evacuation of 
Bowling Green, pending the battle that was then being fought at 
Donelson. The letter was evidently meant as a justification of 
his defensive policy, and contained a synopsis of his views and em 
barrassments at that period. No one will ever question his sin 
cerity or honesty of purpose as there expressed. Still, there are 
passages of this letter, and inconsistencies, almost amounting to 
contradictions, which it is but fair to point out and correct. We 
shall consider these matters at the proper time and place, as we 
proceed with our narrative. 

Without wishing to cast undue blame on that gallant soldier, it 
may not be amiss to look back to what might have been done even 
with his small and ill-armed forces, had he followed a different 


course and adopted General Beauregard s suggestions, made to him 
on the Gth of February, after their inspection of the works around 
Bowling Green. 

General Grant, according to his official report, brought to the 
attack of Fort Henry, on the 6th of February, a force of fifteen 
thousand men of all arms. After a delay of a week he appeared 
before the unfinished defensive works of Fort Donelson with the 
very same troops, and was there joined, not earlier than the even 
ing of the 13th, by a reinforcement of ten thousand men, including 
Lew Wallace s division of BuelPs army. BuelPs army, meanwhile, 
was at Bacon Creek (on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, 
about fifty-five miles northeast of Bowling Green) and in southeast 
Kentucky, with not less than seventy-three thousand five hundred 
effectives in all. He would have had to march at least one hun 
dred and twenty-five miles by the shortest distance, and on un- 
macadamized roads, crossing two streams (the Big Barren and 
Cumberland), to form a junction with General Grant ; which 
movement, with his many new levies, unused to marching, would 
have required at least ten days. That junction could not have 
been made before the 17th : whereas General Johnston had, at 
Bowling Green, on the 7th, about fourteen thousand men, of whom 
ten thousand could have been transported by rail about eighty 
miles to Cumberland city, thence, by boat about twenty miles 
to Fort Donelson, or by railroad to the vicinity of the fort, in 
two days at most; as there was ample rolling-stock available in 
west and middle Tennessee, and there was also a- sufficient number 
of steamboats at Nashville.* General Floyd had, at Russellville, 
eight thousand men, who, with over three thousand at Clarksville, 
could have been moved by railroad to Fort Donelson in two days 
at most from the date of the order. Fort Donelson already con 
tained a force of five thousand seven hundred and fifty men. 
Thus, after leaving some troops chiefly cavalry at Bowling 
Green, to keep up appearances of occupation and to delay Buell at 
the Big Barren River while removing the public property col 
lected there to Nashville, or southward, a force of about twenty- 
seven thousand men could have been thrown suddenly upon Gen 
eral Grant s forces near Fort Donelson, by the 10th of February 

* There were, at that time, ten steamboats at Nashville, three of them in very 
good order. These three could have towed the others down the stream. 


at the latest. Such a force would have had ample time, before the 
13th, to work the annihilation of General Grant s forces of fifteen 
thousand men, and would have regained Fort Henry and the con 
trol of the Tennessee River. The other ten thousand reinforce 
ments of Buell s arm y, who arrived by boats on the evening of the 
13th, would have met the same fate, had they landed on the left 
bank of the Cumberland. Such a victory over General Grant 
would certainly have deterred Buell from an offensive movement, 
while our own success would have given us the power to act im 
mediately against him. 

The Tennessee River was next in importance to the Mississippi ; 
and Fort Henry was the position of first strategic value, east of 
Columbus, in the defensive line then held by General Johnston. 
It was, therefore, deeply to be regretted that he spent so much 
time, from September 18th to October 12th, superintending the 
fortifying of Columbus, without giving proper and sufficient at 
tention to Fort Henry. The works at Columbus were made for a 
garrison of at least thirteen thousand men, armed with one hun 
dred and forty (mostly heavy) guns; while the War Department 
was short of guns for other defences and of men to operate with 
in the field, where the fate of the Confederacy was, after all, to be 
decided. The country about Columbus, on the left bank, after 
wards proved, on proper examination, to be such as to afford ad 
vantages to a land attack; yet stores, for six months, had been 
accumulated there, although it is a well-known axiom in engineer 
ing, that field-works capable of complete investment by a sufficient 
force, without local advantages, cannot make a long defence, un 
less there be lack of judgment on the part of the assailant, in the 
investment and mode of attack. A well constructed work at 
Columbus, armed with seventy-five or eighty guns, and with a gar 
rison of at most five thousand men, would have been capable of as 
long a defence as the extensive works there put up, leaving the 
remaining troops for operation in the field, and the remaining sixty 
guns for other works on the Mississippi, or for Fort Henry, on the 
Tennessee. The latter was a small and badly located work, com 
manded and enfiladed by heights within easy range, on both sides 
of the river/- It was armed with seventeen guns twelve of them 

* See reports of General Tilghrnan, commanding Fort Henry, and of Colonel 
Gilmcr, Chief-Engineer. 


bearing on the river and was manned by a force of two brigades, 
amounting to " two thousand six hundred and ten men, only one 
third of whom had been at all disciplined or well armed. * 

The position of Fort Donelson was no better, and its works were 
incomplete, until inspected and strengthened by Colonel Gilmer, 
on the 3d and following days of February. f Its armament con 
sisted of thirteen guns, two of them heavy ones. Had a reasonable 
portion of the time and labor misspent upon Columbus and Bowl 
ing Green been applied to the construction of proper defensive 
works on the Tennessee and Cumberland, and had the guns not 
required at the former places been added to those of the two forts 
and of other works on both rivers, our resistance at Henry and 
Donelson, if not finally successful, would have certainly afforded 
us ample time to retire with the whole of our forces, and to pre 
serve, unaffected by too crushing a defeat, the morale of our troops, 
and the confidence of our people in the cause we were lighting 
for. It is even likely that, with sufficient energy, a system of 
works might have been constructed, after General Johnston s as 
sumption of command, at the narrowest part of the neck of land 
where the rivers flow less than three miles apart, and nearly on a 
line with Bowling Green and Columbus. These would have 
given us complete command of the two rivers, and might have 
been defended by a limited force which could have been rapidly 
reinforced by boats held ready for the purpose, at Cumberland 
city, on the Cumberland River, or at Benton, where the Memphis 
and Louisville Railroad crosses the Tennessee River. 

Under the circumstances, to prevent the loss of the Tennessee 
River, by which the whole country (including Columbus) north 
of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was turned, and that 
great line of communication immediately exposed, the only course 
for General Johnston was to concentrate, at the proper time, at 
Henry and Donelson, and, for that purpose, to hold his forces and 
means of transportation well in hand, so as to bo ready, at a mo 
ment s notice, to avail himself of his extraordinary advantages of 
communication by rail and water between his centre and wings. 
Thus Grant could have been opportunely met, and certainly crushed 
with superior numbers. After the fall of Henry this plan of con 
centration was again imperative for the regaining of the Tenncs- 

* See General Tilgliman s 2d report. 

t Colonel Gilmer s report, see "Confederate Reports of Battles, p. 113 et scg. 


see and the saving of the Cumberland, besides the great advantage 
and prestige of destroying one of the Federal armies. The means 
for such concentration were ample. It could have been effected 
in two or, at most, three days, and in good season. After the 
fall of Henry, on the 6th, General Grant did not move upon Don 
elson until the 12th, with fifteen thousand men, and was only re 
inforced to the number of twenty-five thousand on the evening 
of the 13th; while General Johnston could have been present 
with twenty-seven thousand men on the 10th, at the latest. No 
serious conflict occurred until the garrison itself attacked the Fed 
erals, on the loth, and, in view of the brilliant success of that ef 
fort in its first stages, there can be no room for doubt as to what 
the result would have been if the Confederate forces had been ten 
thousand stronger. 

General Johnston gave disproportionate consequence to the 
preservation of the depots of reserve supplies at Bowling Green, 
Clarksville, and Nashville. Their accumulation at those points 
was a serious error on the part of the government; and upon the 
assembling of such large, threatening forces along General John 
ston s front, these supplies should have been speedily removed far 
to the rear, leaving the country and the army clear and free for 
action. But, this having been neglected, the operations of the 
army and the opportunity to defeat the enemy should not have 
been subordinated and sacrificed to the immediate effort to save sup 
plies which, after all, were destroyed at Clarksville, and, in great 
measure, at Nashville. 

This concentration should, therefore, have been made, or else 
Donelson should have been abandoned altogether; thereby saving 
its garrison, and part, at least, of the prestige of our arms. Gen 
eral Floyd, however, was left without specific instructions, until, 
with General Buckner s advice, he began to withdraw the hitter s 
division from the fort, but, upon General Pillow s remonstrance, 
was ordered by General Johnston, on the night of the 12th, to go 
into Donelson with all the forces under his control, aggregating 
within the fort an effective force variously estimated at from thir 
teen thousand to fifteen thousand men, in the reports, and by other 
authorities at seventeen thousand. * Upon the adoption of this 

* See General Floyd s supplemental report in " Confederate Reports of Bat 
tles," pp. 55-57. See also his letter to General Johnston, of February 12th, ad 
vising concentration near Cumberland city. 


latter course, General Johnston should have left to General Har- 
dee the evacuation of Bowling Green and the conduct of the re 
treat of its garrison upon Nashville, and should himself have re 
paired to Donelson, where so critical a struggle was imminent 
nay, certain. Such a step on his part would have harmonized the 
divided counsels of the commanding officers, and undoubtedly 
have prevented the demoralization of their troops. It would have 
combined the resources of defence under his own inspiriting in 
fluence, and history, though not crediting us with a Confederate 
victory, would have spared us, at least, the humiliation of such an 
overwhelming defeat. As it was, on the very day of the attack 
on Fort Donelson the 13th the General-in-Chief, without being 
pressed by Buell, was retreating from the scene of conflict, and 
had even reached Xashville before evening. The Tennessee and 
Cumberland were lost. The whole of middle Kentucky and mid 
dle Tennessee, including Xaslivillc, were given up. And, as a fatal 
consequence of this great calamity, west Kentucky and west Ten 
nessee, with Columbus, and with most of the supplies sought to be 
saved, were also, shortly afterwards, entirely abandoned. About 
thirteen thousand men, organized and disciplined, were thereby 
withdrawn from operations in the field ; a force which would have 
aided us to a complete and easy victory in the battle fought with 
General Grant two months later, or, rather, which would have en 
abled us to take the offensive some time earlier; disposing of Gen 
eral Grant s forces at Pittsbnrg Landing, recovering the Tennes 
see llivcr, and then, if made strong enough, meeting and fighting 
Buell, as soon as the crossing of the river could be accomplished. 
These would have been the immediate results in the field ; to say 
nothing of the indirect consequences from the encouragement and 
readiness of the people, instead of the anxiety and despondency 
which fell so heavily upon them. 



General Beauregard Telegraphs for Instructions after the Fall of Donelson. 
General Johnston s Answer. Colonel Jordan s Report of the Situation at 
Columbus. General Beauregard Calls General Polk to Jackson, Tennessee, 
for Conference. Opinion of the Latter as to the Strength of Columbus. 
He Concurs, however, in General Beauregard s Views. Evacuation of Co 
lumbus Authorized by the War Department. General Beauregard s De 
tailed Instructions to that ErTect. Defects in River Defences at Columbus. 
Governor Harris of Tennessee. General Johnston Retreating towards 
Stevenson, along the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. His Letter of 
February 18th to the War Department. Depression of the People. Gen 
eral Beauregard Resolves to Replenish the Army. Makes Use of the Dis 
cretion given him by General Johnston. His Plan of Operations. Be 
lieves Success Depends upon Offensive Movement on Our Part. Calls 
upon the Governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee; 
and also upon Generals Van Dorn, Bragg, and Lovell, for Immediate As 
sistance. Sixty and Ninety Days Troops. The War Department not 
Favorable to the Method Proposed, but Finally Gives its Assent. General 
Johnston Requested by General Beauregard to Change his Line of Retreat 
and Turn towards Decatur, so as to Co-operate with him. General John 
ston Accedes to his Request. 

AFTER receiving, at Corinth, the despatches announcing the fall 
of Fort Donelson, with the capture of most of its garrison, General 
Beauregard telegraphed General Johnston to know whether lie 
had issued any direct orders for the troops in General Folk s dis 
trict. The following answer, forwarded to Columbus, in antici 
pation of General Beauregard s arrival there, was received by him 
on the 17th, at Jackson. It is given in full : 

"NASHVILLE, February IGth, 1862. 
" To General BEAUREGARD : 

"Your despatch of IGth received. You must do as your judgment dictates. 
No orders for your troops have issued from here. Colonel Chalmers is a 

" W. W. MACKALL, A. A. Genl." 

Two days afterwards General Johnston himself forwarded this 
additional telegram : 


" NASHVILLE, February 18th, 1862. 
" To General BEATJREGARD, Jackson, Tennessee : 

" You must now act as seems best to you. The separation of our armies is 
for the present complete. 


The day before receiving this last despatch, General Beaure- 
gard s Adjutant, Colonel Jordan, who, after his visit to the Wai- 
Department at Richmond, had gone directly to Columbus, re 
joined him at Jackson, Tennessee. His report concerning General 
Folk s district was decidedly unfavorable, and confirmed General 
Beauregard s apprehensions as to the incomplete state of its de 
fences, lie emphasized the too great development of the lines, 
and their defective location, characterizing the place as a certain 
"dead fall" to its garrison, if attacked. lie also reported the 
troops to be imperfectly organized, and declared his inability to 
procure a clear statement of the forces and resources present, for 
want of proper returns. 

General Beauregard, who was still too unwell to assume imme 
diate command, called General Polk at once to Jackson, and also 
his own Chief-Engineer, Captain D. B. Harris, who had preceded 
him to Columbus. They came on the 19th, and Captain Harris s 
detailed information as to the position, its works, and the surround 
ing locality, confirmed Colonel Jordan s report of its alarming 
weakness. Upon this definite statement of the character and con 
dition of the place, General Beauregard considered that immediate 
preparations should be made for its evacuation, so as to secure its 
supplies, armament, and garrison, which included nearly all the 
forces under General Polk. It was to be apprehended that Gen 
eral Grant, by marching westward from Fort Henry to Union 
City or Clinton some sixty or seventy miles after forming a 
junction with part of the forces under General Pope, which might 
have landed in Kentucky, above the fort, could complete its in 
vestment within a few days ; while batteries placed below it, on 
both sides of the river, would cut off communication or retreat by 
water, unless prevented by our gunboat fleet. Batteries, enfilad 
ing its parapets, which were without traverses, would dismount its 
guns, while mortar batteries would fire its wooden store-houses 
and destroy its supplies, compelling its surrender in a very few 

Apart from the river batteries, which were strongly constructed 


and powerfully armed, the defensive works, besides being badly 
planned and unfinished, were much too extensive, requiring a gar 
rison of about thirteen thousand men, to resist a combined land 
and naval attack, while the forces of General Polk, in his whole 
district, numbered less than fifteen thousand of all arms, badly 
equipped for the field, commanded by officers who were brave and 
zealous, but without military training or experience. Moreover, 
his troops were not regularly formed into brigades and divisions, 
and his cavalry was not yet fully organized into regiments. The 
capture of Fort Columbus and its garrison would have opened 
to the Federals the whole Mississippi Valley to New Orleans, as 
between those two points there was not another organized body 
of troops capable of offering any resistance to the united forces of 
Generals Grant and Pope. Fort Pillow, about fifty miles above 
Memphis, was not then in as good condition as Fort Columbus; 
its defences being still incomplete. It was not yet armed, and 
required a garrison of about ten thousand men, while, at that time, 
it only had one regiment to defend it. At the Madrid Bend de 
fences only one or two heavy batteries had been commenced, on 
Island "No. 10, armed with a few guns of small calibre ; and at 
New Madrid only some light field-works had been constructed. 
General Polk had unbounded confidence in the strength of 


Columbus, which he termed the " Gibraltar of the West." With 
his characteristic gallantry he declared himself capable of holding 
it against any force, as long as his supplies should last; and these, 
he alleged, could hold out six months. But his statements, in 
answer to minute inquiries as to its condition and surroundings, 
corroborated none the less what had been previously reported by 
Colonel Jordan and Captain Harris; and upon General Beaure- 
gard exposing to him the saliency of the fort and the various feat 
ures of its weakness, he concurred in the opinion that it could riot 
long withstand a determined attack. 

The War Department having, on the 19th, telegraphed its assent 
to the evacuation of Columbus, General Beaure^ard directed Gen- 


eral Polk to prepare for it without delay. The safe removal of the 
supplies and armament was likely to be a difficult operation, should 
the Federal land and naval forces be handled with judgment and 
resolution. Careful and minute instructions were accordingly 
given to General Polk by General Beauregard. All reserve sup 
plies and materials were to be sent to Grenada and Columbus, by 


railroad, including those at Trenton and Jackson, Tennessee; the 
remaining supplies, to Union City, Humboldt, the positions at 
Madrid Bend, New Madrid, and Memphis. The heaviest guns 
that could be spared were to be taken to Island No. 10, to the 
batteries at the Bend, on the left bank, and to New Madrid, 
with some of lighter calibre, for the land defences of the latter 
place. The other guns were to be placed as far as possible in con 
dition for ready removal, part of them for transfer to the works 
at Madrid Bend, and the remainder to Fort Pillow. The disman 
tling of the fort and embarkation of material and supplies, by 
boat and railroad, were to be conducted with secrecy, and, as far 
as practicable, by night ; and as it was necessary to hold Colum 
bus until the works at Island No. 10 and in the Bend should be 
ready to defend the river, General Polk was to maintain a vigilant 
watch and repel vigorously all attempts at reconnoissance, by land 
or by water. 

A few days later, he was instructed to open a road across the 
difficult country opposite Island 2s o. 10, and to establish a tele 
graph line between the Island and Humboldt, or Union City, 
via Obionville, as a line of communication. The cavalry, at Paris, 
was to watch and report the passage of any gunboats or transports 
up the Tennessee Kiver, from the direction of Fort Henry, extend 
ing its pickets as near as poss-ible to Mayfield, which was then 
occupied by Federal cavalry, keeping the latter always in sight, 
and, if compelled to retire, to burn the bridges and thus hinder 

In view of the great importance of Xe\v Madrid, General Polk 
was further instructed to send as strong a garrison thither as he 
could, including most of the troops at Fort Pillow, if necessarv. 
lie was also to aid in hastening the immediate completion and 
arming of the batteries there and of those at the head of Island 
No. 10 and at the Bend, which were intended for temporary occu 
pation, while Fort Pillow was being strongly fortified and com 
pleted for permanent maintenance. The gorges of the works at 
New Madrid were to be palisaded merely, so that our gunboats 
might fire into them from the river if taken by the enemy. The 
defences, consisting of strong profiles, were composed of three 
works, two on the river and one a little in advance of the others, 
and were calculated for about five hundred men each. The crt- 
maillere lines, ordered on the right and rear of Island No. 10, were 


to be provided with small redans for a few siege guns, and the 
navigation of Black Lagoon obstructed, so as to prevent the 
enemy s barges from getting into Reelfoot Lake, the shores of 
which, between the two cremaillere lines, were to be well guarded, 
and, if necessary, properly defended. The island opposite Tipton- 
ville was to be examined, to determine whether or not it could be 
advantageously fortified. 

General McCown, of General Folk s forces, was selected to 
command those river defences, and General Trudeau,* of Louisi 
ana, to take charge of the heavy batteries at Island No. 10 and in 
the Bend. Both of these officers were to report to General Beaure- 
gard at Jackson, for special instructions. The troops at Columbus, 
apart from those to be sent to protect the construction of and 
occupy the river defences at New Madrid, Island No. 10, and the 
Bend, were to be withdrawn to Union City and LIumboldt, for 
the protection of the right flank and rear of those important de 
fences, against any movement from the Tennessee River, the cav 
alry to be thrown out well in advance. 

It was understood, from General Polk, that the earth-works at 
Island No. 10 and the Bend were already prepared for a sufficient 
number of heavy guns to make an effective defence, and that a 
large force of negro laborers was there with the necessary tools ; 
which, however, proved to be an error. General Beauregard gave 
specific instructions to Captain Harris (the only engineer who had 
accompanied him from Virginia, and whose great ability was not 
then matured by sufficient experience) as to the planning, laying- 
out, and construction of these batteries, including the details of 
their parapets, embrasures, traverses, and magazines ; after the 
completion of this duty he repaired to Fort Pillow, to reduce that 
work and adapt it to a garrison of about three thousand men. 
The work, at that point, had been planned upon so extensive a 
scale as to require a garrison of nearly ten thousand men. 

The grave defect in these river defences, at Columbus and Fort 
Pillow, was in their extended lines, requiring a whole army to 
hold them, leaving no forces for operations in the field. This was 
one of the great mistakes in engineering on both sides during the 
war. A garrison of from three to five thousand men, in properly 
constructed forts, with an ample supply of ammunition and pro- 

* At that time a Vol. A. D. C. to General Polk. 


visions, would Lave been sufficient for the defence of our principal 
rivers until reinforcements, in an emergency, could have been 
sent to their relief. 

From Memphis, on the 18th, Governor Harris, of Tennessee, 
telegraphed General Beauregard to know his plans, saying that he 
had made similar inquiries of the President and Generals John 
ston and Pillow, so as to enable him to rally at once all possible 
forces in Tennessee, and issue orders to them accordingly. He 
was requested to meet General Beauregard, with General Polk, 
at Jackson, on the 19th. His reply was that he had ordered out 
every man in the State who could be armed, but that he himself 
was compelled to go to Nashville. General Beauregard, there 
upon, repeated his request, through General Polk, urging the ad 
vantage of the governor s visiting Jackson, where he arrived, ac 
cordingly, on the 20th. It was agreed between them that the 
State troops called out in west Tennessee should be directed to 
Jackson and Corinth, from which latter place General lluggles s 
brigade was liable to be called, at any moment, to support General 
Polk, at or about Columbus. General Euggles s brigade had been 
iirst ordered from New Orleans, by the Secretary of War, on Feb 
ruary 8th, to report to General Beauregard at Columbus; but his 
communication of that date to General Johnston, having been re 
ferred to the former, and the evacuation of Columbus being then 
contemplated, General Beauregard, who had not yet directly as 
sumed command, requested General Johnston, in accordance with 
his letter of the 12th, to order that brigade to Corinth; the im 
mediate object being to protect that point and be within support 
ing distance of General Polk. 

Meanwhile, General Johnston, followed by BuelTs forces, had 
resolved to abandon Nashville, lie began his retreat towards 
Stevenson, along the line of the Nashville and Chattanooga rail 
road, as in that event previously determined upon, and fully set 
forth in the memorandum of his plan of campaign, given in the 
preceding chapter, at page 220. 

The following is General Johnston s letter to the War De 
partment, in explanation of his future operations: 


NASHVILLE, February 18th, 1862. 

" Sir, In conformity with the intention announced to the department, thq 
corps under the command of Major-Gencral Hardee completed the evacuation 


of Bowling Green on the 14th instant, and the rear guard passed the Cumber 
land at this point yesterday morning in good order. 

" I have ordered the army to encamp to-night midway between this place 
and Murfrecsboro . My purpose is, to place the force in such a position that the 
enemy cannot concentrate his superior strength against the command, and to 
enable me to assemble as rapidly as possible such other troops in addition as it 
may be in my power to collect. The complete command which their gunboats 
and transports give them upon the Tennessee and Cumberland, renders it 
necessary for me to retire my line between the rivers. I entertain the hope 
that this disposition will enable me to hold the enemy in check ; and, when 
my forces are sufficiently increased, to drive him back. . . . 


" IIou. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va." 

The military situation was now of a desperate character. While 
General Johnston s crippled army was retreating towards north 
east Alabama and Georgia before Buell s overwhelming forces, 
the Federal army, under General Grant, with or without the co 
operation of Pope s command, might move from Fort Henry, 
upon the rear of Columbus, or execute a still more dreaded move 
ment by ascending the Tennessee River to Hamburg or East- 
port, seizing the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, thus defini 
tively separating Generals Johnston and Polk, turning completely 
west Kentucky and west Tennessee to Memphis, and compelling 
the fall of the latter city, Fort Pillow, New Madrid, Island isTo. 10, 
and Columbus. The capture of General Folk s forces would 
thus be insured, and the entire Mississippi Valley would be thrown 
open as far as New Orleans. 

There was no army to oppose such a movement, and there were 
no fortified positions on the Mississippi River, to check the Fed 
eral gunboats and transports in carrying the supplies of the invad 
ing forces, should the line of railroads be rendered unavailable. 
The panic, followed by despondency, which had seized the people 
after the successive disasters of the campaign, left little hope of 
raising an army ; and the situation was such that, even with the 
utmost enthusiasm to aid such an undertaking, there was no ex 
pectation of its achievement in time to meet the emergency, un 
less favored by our adversary s failure to embrace the opportunity 
offered. General Johnston had informed General Beauregard, at 
Bowling Green, that he had exhausted all means of procuring 
more armed troops from- the Confederate and State governments, 


and his official correspondence shows that he had done his utmost 
in that respect. General Beauregard resolved, nevertheless, to in 
voke at once every possible resource, and, if he saw any expecta 
tion of raising an army, to use every effort to that end, while con 
tinuing to give general direction to affairs until his physical 
condition should permit him to assume the cares of formal com 
mand. His physicians had assured him that they could keep the 
illness from which he was suffering under control, and the forlorn 
condition of the entire AVest, mingled now with fears for his own 
home, determined him to make the effort, however doubtful the 
result might be. 

The only forces he could dispose of were some fourteen thousand 
five hundred men, under General Polk, holding the Mississippi 
River defences, imperfectly organized and, as yet, poorly equipped 
for the field; about two thousand, under General Chalmers, at 
luka and its vicinity ; and three thousand, under General Rugglcs, 
at Corinth. But the energetic efforts of Governor Harris now 


gave him the hope of soon being able to increase his strength. 
Instead, therefore, of operating, with his movable forces, on the 
defensive line laid down by General Johnston, as shown by the 
memorandum of the 7th, that is, from Columbus via Jackson to 
Grand Junction, fifty miles west of Corinth, with Memphis or 
Grenada, and Jackson, Mississippi, as ultimate points of retreat, 
General Beauregard determined to take up a new defensive line- 
confronting the enemy from that part of the Tennessee River 
a line extending from the river defences at Island Xo. 10 to Cor 
inth, via "Union City, Ilumboldt, and Jackson ; throwing his forces 
across the Louisville and Memphis and Memphis and Charleston 
Railroads; thus covering Memphis and the important railroad 
centre of Corinth, with strong advanced forces at luka, and a 
small force at Tuscumbia, to protect his railroad communication 
with the East. "With the Mobile and Ohio Railroad along his line, 
he would thus be enabled to concentrate quickly, either to oppose 
any advance of the enemy along the Louisville and Memphis 
Railroad, or, if ready and strong enough for such an operation, to 
attack him suddenly should he attempt or effect a landing at any 
point along the bend of the Tennessee River, between Coffee 
Landing and Eastport. General Beauregard decided on this new 
disposition of his forces, in the exercise of that full discretion 
given him by General Johnston s telegrams of February IGth and 


18th, the full texts of which have already been laid before the 
reader. An additional despatch of the 21st was, in substance, as 
follows : 

As you have had time sufficiently to study the field, even should 
you be too unwell to assume command, I hope you will advise 
General Polk of your judgment as to the proper disposition of his 
army, in accordance with the views expressed in your memoran 
dum, unless you have deemed it necessary to change them. I 
cannot issue any orders to him, for fear that mine might conflict 
with yours. 

Here was an entirely different plan of operations, based upon 
entirely different views, which circumstances now brought forth, 
and to which no reference, however remote, had been or could 
have been made in the " memorandum " of General Johnston s 
strategic movements, so often alluded to before. 

In reflecting upon the situation, as shaped by our recent disas 
ters, General Beauregard became convinced that our substantial 
success required the abandonment at once, on our part, of the pas 
sive-defensive through which, defeated at every successive point 
in the West, we had gradually been driven to our present state of 
distress; and it was his conviction that necessity now compelled 
us boldly to assume the offensive. To this end, and while review 
ing thoroughly the sources from which additional troops might 
be levied or spared, he resolved to call upon the governors of 
Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee, for whatever num 
ber of men they could collect, if only for sixty or ninety days, 
with whatever arms they could procure, to enable him to make or 
meet the last encounter, which, he thought, would decide the fate 
of the Mississippi Valley. The following is the confidential cir 
cular he sent on that occasion. Its admirable conception and 
characteristic vigor will, no doubt, be appreciated by the reader: 

"JACKSON, TENN., February 21st, 1862. 
"To his Excellency Tuos. O. MOORE, Governor of Louisiana, etc. : 

"Dear Sir, As you are aware, heavy disasters have recently befallen our 
arms on the Kentucky border. The Tennessee River is in possession of the 
enemy since the capture of Fort Henry. The evacuation of Bowling Green, 
and subsequent fall of Fort Donelson, with large loss of officers, men, arms, 
and munitions, have so weakened us on that line, that Nashville can only be 
held by superhuman energy, determination, and courage. At the same time, 
the direct communications of the forces at Columbus with those under General 
A. S. Johnston are broken, and the two armies effectually isolated from each 


other. Yvlth the enemy in command of the Tennessee River, the position at 
Columbus is so endangered from a land approach from that river by a greatly 
superior force, that its fall must be regarded as certain, unless some extraor 
dinary efforts arc made to reinforce its present small army of occupation. I 
need not dwell upon the consequences of such a disaster. Suffice it to say, 
it would involve the immediate loss to the Confederate States of the Mississippi 
River and Valley. 

u In view of the palpable situation, I am instructed to evacuate Columbus 
and take up less vulnerable positions on and in the vicinity of Island No. 10, 
and at New Madrid. In the execution of this measure, however, much will 
depend on the energy with which our enemy may follow up his late success 
es, and whether he will give us time to withdraw and receive his onset else 

Coming to the command at such a crisis, I have been filled with profound 
anxiety and sense of the necessity for a prompt, resolute encounter with the 
exigency, in time to prevent an irrevocable defeat. Columbus is now occu 
pied by but about twelve thousand men of all arms. At Island No. 10 and 
New Madrid are some four thousand men, to which add Rugglcs s brigade and 
one under General Chalmers at luka, say five thousand more; thus you will 
perceive I have a force at my disposition of but twenty-one thousand. If we 
remain supine and unarouscd to the dangers accumulating day by day, await 
ing the advance of the enemy, he will assemble such a force as to insure his 
success and a repetition of the late disasters, only with more desolating con 

" Hence, I have thought I would submit, for the consideration of the govern 
ors of the Mississippi Valley States,* a plan which I deem most practicable foy 
the recovery of our losses and the defence of this river, and call upon them 
for the means of execution. 

"I propose that the governors of the States of Tennessee, Mississippi, and 
Alabama, and your Excellency, shall fiich furnish me with from five thousand to 
ten thousand men, armed and equipped, with the utmost possible celerity; 
for time is precious, and despatch essential to success. I shall call on General 
Van Dorn to unite his forces with mine, and, leaving a suitable garrison at 
Columbus, with troops to guard and hold my rear at Island No. 10, I would 
then take the field with at least forty thousand men, march on Paducah, seize 
and close the mouths of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers; aided by 
gun-boats, I would also successfully assail Cairo, and threaten, if not, indeed, 
take, St. Louis itself. 

k In this way, be assured, we may most certainly and speedily recover our 
losses and insure the defence of the Valley of the Mississippi, and every man 

* This confidential circular was sent by special messengers to the governors 
of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana the rendezvous of the 
troops furnished to be as follows: those from Tennessee, at Jackson, Tcnn. ; 
from Alabama, at Corinth; from Mississippi, at Grand Junction; from Louis 
iana, at Jackson, Tenn., if b} 7 railroad, and at Columbus, Ky., if by water. 
I. 1C 


you may send me will really be placed in the best possible position for the 
defence of his own home and hearthstone. 

"Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

< k G. T. BEAUHEGAIID, General C. S. A. r 

He also called upon General Bragg for what forces he could 
spare from Pensacola and Mobile, inviting him to come in person, 
if he could. A similar demand for troops he addressed to Gen 
eral Lovell, at !N"ew Orleans ; and General Yan Dorn was request 
ed to join him at once, with ten thousand of his forces, from 
Arkansas, across the Mississippi. The following is the letter de 
spatched to General Yan Dorn. Its importance and historical 
value justify us in transcribing it here : 

" JACKSON, TEXX., February 21st, 1862. 

" My dear General, By the fall of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, the 
forces under General Polk (now to be under me) are entirely cut off from those 
under General A. S. Johnston, and must henceforth depend upon themselves 
alone for the defence of the Mississippi River and contiguous States; the fall 
of Columbus, and of Island No. 10, must necessarily be followed by the loss of 
the whole Mississippi Valley, to the mouth of the Mississippi River. The 
fate of Missouri necessarily depends on the successful defence of Columbus, 
and of Island No. 10; hence, we must, if possible, combine our operations not 
only to defend those positions, but also to take the offensive, as soon as prac 
ticable, to recover some of our lost ground. I have just called on the govern 
ors of Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi, for five thousand men from each 
State. I have fifteen thousand disposable for the field ; if you could certain 
ly join me, via New Madrid or Columbus, with ten thousand more, we could 
thus take the field with forty thousand-jnen, take Cairo, Paducah, the mouth 
of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, and, most probably, be able to take 
also St. Louis, by the river. "What say you to this brilliant programme which 
I know is fully practicable, if we can get the forces ? At all events, we must 
do something or die in the attempt, otherwise, all will be shortly lost. 
u Yours truly and sincerely, 

" G. T. BEAUREGAHD, General C. S. A. 

" EARL VAN DORN, Commanding, etc., Pocahontas, Arkansas. 

"P. S. I expect also the co-operation of twelve gunboats from New Orleans. 
I will inform you of the governors answers, as soon as received. 


General Beauregard was of the opinion, and so expressed it. 
at the time, that the usefulness of Van Dora s command would 
be greater east of the Mississippi than in the position it then 
occupied, and that New Orleans itself would be better defended 
by the concentration he was endeavoring to effect, than by any of- 


fort made at its own gates, when all outside barriers should have 
been destroyed and swept away. lie asked that all troops sent 
him should be provided, upon starting, with three days cooked 
rations, arid forty rounds of ammunition per man. And in order 
to secure additional strength, and increase his chances of success, 
lie also sent to General Johnston, then at Murfreesboro , urging 
him to abandon his line of retreat, along the Stevenson and Chat 
tanooga Railroad, which was taking him farther and farther away, 
and, unless the enemy should anticipate, or intercept him, to turn 
towards Decatur, from which quarter he would then be within 
easy distance to co-operate with or join him. Thus was he mak 
ing all possible preparation, in case he should succeed in levying 
and assembling the troops he had called for, from so many differ 
ent points. 

On the 20th he sent despatches to each of the governors of the 
above-mentioned States, notifying them that special messengers 
would go to them, from him, on important public business. And 
the next morning (the 22d) the following members of his stair 
left his headquarters, at Jackson, Tennessee, upon their several 
missions : Lieutenant (afterwards General) S. W. Ferguson went 
to General Johnston and Governor Harris, at Murfreesboro ; Lieu 
tenant A. R. Chisolm, to Governor Shorter, of Alabama, and Ma 
jor-General Bragg, at Mobile ; Dr. Samuel Choppin, to Governor 
Moore, of Louisiana, and Major-General Lovell, at Xew Orleans ; 
Lieutenant A. !N". T. Bean regard, to Governor Pettus, of Mississip 
pi ; and Major B. B. Wuddell, who was well acquainted with the 
country in the Trans-Mississippi, was sent to General Van Dorn, 
the location of whose headquarters had not yet been ascertained. 

General Beau regard also wrote to General Cooper, at Richmond, 
asking for any instructions the War Department might think prop 
er to give him, with regard to this calling out of State troops, and 
as to the movement he had requested General Van Dorn to make 
out of the limits of his department, in order to join him in his 
contemplated operations. He represented that all operations in 
States bordering on the Mississippi River should be made subor 
dinate to the secure possession of that river, which, if lost, would 
involve the complete isolation and destruction of any army west 
of it. 

The War Department did not approve of this call on the govern 
ors of the States, for sixty or ninety days troops, objecting that 


there was no law authorizing such a levy, and that it interfered 
with the "War Department s own recruiting operations. General 
Beatiregard answered that the call was to be made by each gov 
ernor, in the name of his own State, and that after the expected 
battle, the troops thus levied might, on their return home, enlist 
under the general government. These reasons appear to have 
been satisfactory, as no further opposition was offered. 

General Johnston, who was then at Murfreesboro , reorganizing 
his troops, on his way towards Stevenson, acceded to General 
Beauregard s request, and, some days later, upon completing his 
reorganization, changed his line of march towards Decatur, via 
Shelbyville, Fayetteville, and Huutsville. General Bragg refer 
red the question of compliance with General Beauregard s re 
quest to the War Department, which, as he informed General 
Beauregard, left it to his own discretion. He decided to go at 
once, and furnish about ten thousand men, including three regi 
ments that he had already sent to Chattanooga, to reinforce 
General Johnston, and some other regiments on their way to 
that point, which he recalled. General Lovell also cheerfully 
responded so did the four governors promising to do their 
utmost in furtherance of the plan, and to rendezvous their troops 
as requested, with the rations, and forty rounds of ammunition 
called for. It was not until later, however, that any news could 
be had from General Yan Dorn, he being then engaged in a 
movement which resulted in the battle of Elkhorn, with the Fed 
erals, under General Lyon. 



Evacuation of Columbus. How the Enemy Discovered It. Loss of Ordnance 
Stores, Anchors, and Torpedoes. Island No. 10. Difficulty in Placing 
Guns in Position. Federal Gunboats might have Passed Unhindered. 
Small Garrison under Colonel Gautt Reinforced by General McCown with 
Part of the Garrison of Columbus. Defences at New Madrid to be held un 
til the Completion of the Works at Fort Pillow. Remainder of General 
Folk s Forces Assembled upon Ilumboldt. Preparations for an Offensive 
Movement by the Enemy. Danger of Isolation for General Johnston. 
General Beaurcgard s Letter to him. The Great Battle of the Controversy 
to be Fought at or near Corinth. General Johnston accedes to General 
Beaurcgard s request, and Begins a Movement to Join him. General 
Bcaurcgard Assumes Command. Arrival of General Bragg s Forces at 
Corinth. Corinth the Chief Point of Concentration, as Originally De 
cided upon. General Bcaurcgard Appeals to the AVar Department for 
the General Officers Promised him. Their Services Greatly Needed. 
Unwillingness and Apathy of the War Department. 

IT will be remembered that one of the conditions of General 
Beauregard s departure for the Mississippi Valley was, that he 
should be furnished with a certain number of officers from the 
Army of the Potomac, should their services be needed, some of 
them to be promoted to be brigadier-generals and others to be ma 
jor-generals. Early in February a list of their names was left with 
the War Department by Colonel Thomas Jordan, General Beaure 
gard s Adjutant and Chief of Stall. On the 20th of that month 
General Beanregard called for Captains "Wampler and Fremeaux, 
as Assistant Engineers, to aid in constructing the several defences 
on the Mississippi Iliver ; and for Major G. W. Brent, as Inspect 
or and Judge-Advocate-General, whose immediate services were 
much needed at the time. After considerable delay, the two en 
gineers only were sent : Captain Fremeaux arriving a few days 
previous to the impending battle, and Captain "Warn pier not until 
it had been fought. Closely following this first demand upon the 
War Department, General Beauregard, with a view properly to or 
ganize the forces under General Polk, and the new levies daily 
expected, formally applied for the general officers so greatly need- 


ed for the efficiency of his command ; carefully explaining that no 
suitable subdivision of the troops had yet been made, or could be 
practicable, without their assistance. His request, however, re 
mained unheeded, or, rather, after much controversy, was only 
partly complied with at the last hour, and not according to his de 
sires, nor in the manner promised. We shall again refer to this 
subject as we proceed with the present chapter. 

Meanwhile, General Polk was making preparations for the evac 
uation of Columbus, which began on the 25th of February. The 
next day he requested General Beauregard to join him there, but 
this the latter was unable to do, being yet too unwell to under 
take the journey. He continued, however, to send directions 
to General Polk, as the necessity arose respecting certain main 
points of the evacuation, and particularly as to the occupation of 
New Madrid. So imminent was the danger of an attack upon 
that place, that he had telegraphed General Johnston for a bri 
gade to be sent there, as soon as possible, by railroad ; a request 
which, it seems, could not be complied with. On the 28th, his 
Adjutant- General was sent to Columbus, to suggest the estab 
lishment of a telegraphic line between Humboldt or Union 
City and Island No. 10, by means of which that now important 
position the left of his new defensive line should be brought 
into immediate communication with his headquarters. Colonel 
Jordan was also commissioned to advise General Polk in person 
as to the evacuation then in process of execution, which he did. 
He then returned without delay to Jackson. 

The evacuation of Columbus was completed on the 2d of 
March, owing, in no small degree, to a lack of watchfulness and 
daring on the part of the enemy. So cautious in their reconnoi 
tring had the Federal gunboats been, that the fact that Columbus 
was unoccupied was only discovered by them on the 4th, and then 
by mere accident. While slowly advancing down the river, they 
were much surprised at the sight of a United States flag flying 
over the place. It had been hoisted there on the afternoon of the 
3d, by a troop of Federal cavalry, who, attracted by a cloud of 
smoke rising from the quarters and storehouses, and prudently 
creeping up to the works, had thus discovered the real state of the 
case. These buildings had been set on fire by injudicious orders, 
the day before the appearance of the reconnoitring party. In the 
hurry of final departure, some ordnance and a quantity of ord- 


nance stores, torpedoes, and anchors the latter much needed for 
river obstructions at Xew Orleans were left behind and fell into 
the hands of the enemy. 

At Island No. 10 and the batteries in the Bend, the difficulty 
of placing the guns in position from the spot where they had been 
landed was such that for at least two days neither of those de 
fences could have successfully resisted the passage if attempted 
of any of the Federal gunboats. Had Commodore Foote then 
displayed the boldness which he afterwards showed at the same 
place, and which so characterized Admirals Farragut and Buchan 
an, and Captain Brown, of the Arkansas, he might have passed 
without much resistance and captured New Orleans from the rear. 
Instead of this, he merely left a gunboat and two mortar-boats to 
protect Columbus from the river, and, with the remainder, quietly 
returned to Cairo.* 

A part of the heavy armament and ammunition from Colum 
bus was sent to the unfinished batteries on the upper end of Island 
No. 10, a naturally good and defensible position in Xew Madrid 
Bend, and to those on the main Tennessee shore. The small gar 
rison under Colonel Gantt, at New Madrid, a little town on the 
Missouri bank of the river, about sixty miles below Columbus, 
and ten, more or less, from Island Xo. 10, was reinforced by Gen 
eral McCown, with part of the garrison of Columbus, and was has 
tily fortified with field-works. General McCown, with about seven 
thousand men, was placed in command of all the defences at Mad 
rid Bend, intended to be held only long enough to permit the com 
pletion of the stronger and more important works designed for 
Fort Pillow, to which the remainder of the heavy armament and 
ammunition from Columbus had already been sent. This position 
(Fort Pillow), about fifty-nine miles above Memphis, which, as yet, 
was but partly fortified, General Beauregard had determined to 
strengthen and hold, with a garrison not to exceed four thousand 
men, as the left of his new defensive line, already referred to, cov 
ering Memphis, and the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. 

What was left of General Folk s forces (about seven thousand 
men) was then assembled, mainly upon Ilumboldt, at the inter 
section of the Memphis and Louisville and Mobile and Ohio Rail 
roads a point having central relation and railroad communication 

* See "Record of the Rebellion; 1 vol. iv. p. 22G. 


with the principal towns in west Tennessee and north Mississippi. 
A strong line of infantry outposts was established from Union 
City, on the left, to Lexington, on the right, by the way of Dresden 
and Huntington, protected by a line of cavalry pickets thrown 
well out in advance, from Hickman, on the Mississippi, to Paris, 
near the Tennessee Eiver. Mounted parties, supplied with light 
artillery, patrolled the west bank of the latter stream, and kept 
General Beauregard well informed of the movements of the ene 
my s boats. 

During the evacuation of Columbus, reports of great prepara 
tions for an offensive movement had reached General Beaure^ard 


from the Federal rendezvous at Cairo, Paducah, and Fort Henry. 
Pope s forces were then moving upon New Madrid, the left of our 
river defences, and it seemed evident that the abandonment of Co 
lumbus must necessarily stimulate active hostile operations in the 

Convinced that there was early danger to be apprehended from 
the direction of the Tennessee River, which might result in com 
pletely isolating General Johnston s forces, General Beauregard, 
who now had the assurance of being soon joined by General Bragg 
and the reinforcements promised him by the governors to whom 
he had applied, on the 2d of March despatched Captain Otey, of 
his staff, to General Johnston, with written evidence of the ene 
my s threatening intentions, and with a short but impressive letter, 
urging him to hurry forward his troops by railroad to Corinth. 

This letter read as follows : 

" JACKSON, TEXX., March 2d, 1802. 

"Dear General, I send you herewith enclosed a slip showing the intended 
movements of the enemy, no doubt against the troops in western Tennessee. I 
think you ought to hurry up your troops to Corinth by railroad, as soon as 
practicable, for there or thereabouts will soon be fought the great battle of this 
controversy. General Bragg is with me ; we are trying to organize every 
thing as rapidly as possible. Yours truly, 


"General A. S. JOHNSTON, Stevenson, Ala." 

On the same day, and to the same effect, he also telegraphed 
General Johnston, reaffirming the urgency of a junction at Cor 
inth, and asking specially for the 9th and 10th Mississippi and 
5th Georgia regiments, under Brigadier-General J. E. Jackson, 
they having been sent to Chattanooga, by order of the "War De 
partment, to reinforce General Johnston, then moving upon Steven- 


con, and about the disposition of whose troops, and projected plans, 
Mr. Benjamin wrote that he " was still without any satisfactory 
information."* General Beauregard was most anxious that these 
troops should at once reach Corinth now become the important 
strategic point in anticipation of the arrival there of the rein 
forcements coming from the adjacent States. 

On the 3d, General Johnston, through Colonel Mackall, A. A. 
G., replied, from Shelby ville, that the 10th Mississippi would be 
forwarded from Chattanooga, and that his own army would move 
as rapidly as it could march, lie then answered General Beaure- 
gard s letter, from Fayetteville, on the 5th, stating that his army 
was advancing; that it had already reached that place; would 
move on to join him, as fast as possible ; and that, upon his arrival 
at Decatur, he would decide upon the promptest mode of effect 
ing the desired junction. 

General Beauregard, by most strenuous efforts, and in the face 
of almost insurmountable obstacles, was thus enabled to hope that 
all our available forces would be assembled in the quarter desig 
nated, ready to meet the enemy as soon as he should venture upon 
the west bank of the Tennessee Iliver, and before he could be fully 
prepared for our attack. 

Hitherto, in order to avoid the burden of the irksome details in 
cident to the organization of an army, General Beauregard had 
not assumed command, but had directed matters through General 
Polk; but as the new levies and reinforcements were now gath 
ering, and as there was a prospect of an early encounter with the 
enemy, he determined formally to assume command, and, on the 5th 
of March, issued the following order to the forces under him : 

"JACKSON, TESX., March 5^, 1862. 

" Soldiers, I assume this day command of the Army of the Mississippi, for 
the defence of our homes and liberties, and to resist the subjugation, spoliation, 
and dishonor of our people. Our mothers and wives, our sisters and children, 
expect us to do our dut} , even to the sacrifice of our lives. 

" Our losses, since the commencement of the war, in killed, wounded, and 
prisoners, are now about the same as those of the enemy. 

"He must be made to atone for the reverses we have lately experienced. 
Those reverses, far from disheartening, must nerve us to new deeds of valor 

* See Mr. Benjamin s letter to General Bragg, dated Richmond, Va., Febru 
ary 18th, 18C2. 


and patriotism, and should inspire us with an unconquerable determination to 
drive back our invaders. 

" Should any one in this army be unequal to the task before us, let him 
transfer his arms and equipments at once to braver, firmer hands, and return 
to his home. 

" Our cause is as just and sacred as ever animated men to take up arms, and 
if we are true to it and to ourselves, with the continued protection of the Al 
mighty, we must and shall triumph. 

" G. T. BEAIHIEGARD, General Comdg." 

Recent information had led General Beauregard to look upon 
Pittsburg, on the Tennessee, as one of the places likely to be se 
lected by the enemy for a landing ; and on the 1st he had ordered 
General Ruggles to occupy it, and make it, as well as Hamburg, a 
point of observation. This required the substitution of Bethel Sta 
tion, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, for McNairy s, as one of the 
places appointed for the assembling of the Tennessee troops. 

The order concerning Pittsburg was executed by General Rug 
gles, who sent thither the 18th Louisiana, one of the finest regi 
ments from that State, supported by Captain Gibson s battery of 
light artillery. On the day following, General Beauregard s fore 
sight was shown to have been accurate by the enemy attempting 
to make a landing at that point. The 18th Louisiana, armed with 
rifles and smooth-bore muskets, and firing from the steep bluffs 
overhanging the river, forced the landing party to take to their 
boats, and even drove back the two gunboats the Lexington 
and Tyler inflicting severe loss upon them. This dashing 
and curious encounter caused the regiment " to be highly com 
plimented in general orders. Had the supporting battery stood 
its ground and exhibited equal intrepidity, not only would the 
whole landing party have been captured, but probably the fore 
most of the two gunboats would also have fallen into our hands. 

General Bragg s forces began to arrive at Corinth, from Mobile 
and Pensacola, on the 6th. lie had reported in person to General 
Beauregard, at Jackson, on the evening of the 2d, and was placed 
at once in charge of that portion of the forces assembling at Cor 
inth, with definite instructions as to their organization into bri 
gades and divisions, and as to supplying them with equipments, 

* The 18th Louisiana was, at that time, under Colonels Mouton and Roman 
and Major Bush. Later it acquired additional fame under the heroic Armant, 
killed at Mansfield. Colonel Jos. CoUins, of New Orleans, was its last commander. 


transportation, ammunition, and tents, according to our limited 

General Ecaurcgard now directed General Eragg to examine 
critically the position of Monterey, about half-way from Corinth 
to Pittsburg or Hamburg; for though he had selected Corinth as 
the chief point of concentration for his reinforcements, yet, from 
examination of the map, the advanced position of Monterey seemed 
to offer such advantages for a sudden offensive movement, in case 
the enemy should land at either of those places, that he was in 
clined to substitute Monterey for Corinth, as he could move from 
either with equal facility, to the defensive position of Yellow 
Creek, in advance of Burnsville, should the enemy decide upon 
effecting a landing at Eastport. General Bragg, however, having 
reported in favor of Corinth, on account of the character of the 
roads and the deficiency of transportation among the reinforce 
ments arriving there, Corinth remained, as originally determined 
upon by General Eeauregard, the grand central point for the rally 
ing and concentration of all the Confederate forces. 

The services of the officers General Eeauregard had called for 
now became indispensable, in view of the great diligence and en 
ergy displayed in the assembling of his furces. Though required 
for the proper organization of the troops under General Polk, 
these officers were even more needed to assist General Eragg in 
preparing for the field the large number of raw Confederate and 
State forces just concentrated at the three points designated, Cor 
inth, Grand Junction, and Bethel. Every moment was precious, 
and rapid and determined action imperative. On the 4th of 
March, General Beauregard, therefore, again urgently asked for 
two major-generals and live brigadiers one of the latter to serve 
with the cavalry and all to be ordered to report immediately to 
him. To his great surprise and greater disappointment the 
War Department replied that these officers could not be spared. 
General Beauregard s perplexity was extreme. lie could not ac 
count for the procrastination and evident unwillingness shown by 
the War Department. Here was an incongruous army, concen 
trated under the greatest difficulties imaginable, ready for any sac 
rifice, eager to meet the enemy, but whose organization and effec 
tiveness were fearfully impaired by the absolute want of general 
officers, to enforce discipline and establish harmony between its 
several parts. General Beauregard could not quietly acquiesce in 


such supineness. He appealed to the "War Department, " for the 
sake of our cause and country," to send, at once, Colonel Mackall 
as major-general, and three officers recommended by hirn for bri 
gadiers, with Colonel Ransom to take charge of the cavalry. He 
was informed that Colonel Mackall had been nominated for bri 
gadier, and that all officers designed for promotion must be selected 
from among those of his own present army. As General Beaure- 
gard had then with him very few graduates of West Point, or of 
other military schools, or officers of any experience, he answered, 
on the 7th, that he knew of none to recommend ; but he for 
warded, for immediate action, a list containing the names of two 
major-generals and six brigadiers, suggested by Generals Bragg 
and Polk; and, as there was still no cavalry colonel to recommend, 
he repeated his application for Colonel Hansom. On the 8th he 
also asked that either Colonel R. B. Lee or Major Williams, of his 
former Army of Virginia, be sent him, for the important duties of 
Chief Commissary, as he had, in his present command, no officers 
of equal experience to select from ; and he earnestly inquired 
whether Major G. W. Brent would be sent him for inspector, as 
he needed the services of such an officer almost hourly. The 
reply came, that the promotions as general officers could not be 
made until he recommended them from his own personal experi 
ence of their merits. 

The existing state of affairs had become all the more embarrass 
ing for the reason that General Beauregard s scouts reported large 
forces of the enemy moving, in transports, up the Tennessee River, 
with the probability of an early landing, at any moment. He, there 
fore, overlooking the discourtesy shown and the annoyance occasion 
ed him by the War Department, asked that permission be given him 
to appoint acting brigadiers and major-generals, to supply the im 
mediate wants of his army. He again received an unfavorable 
reply. His request, said the War Department, was irregular and 
unauthorized by law. Not knowing what further step to take, he 
telegraphed General Cooper, unofficially, that if the officers he had 
applied for the day before were denied him (so disastrous might 
be the consequences, from the fact that part of his forces were in 
a state of chaos, and his health too greatly affected to allow him, 
if unaided, to establish order around him), he would forthwith re 
quest to be relieved from his present command. The obstructive 
policy of the government so palpably thwarted his efforts and en- 


dangcred the success of his plans, that lie had even resolved, should 
it be longer persevered in, to tender his resignation. 

By telegram of the 9th, received on the llth, he was notified 
that the following officers were nominated for his command : J. 
L. Bowen, as major-general ; J. M. Ilawes, J. E. Slaughter, and S. 
M. Walker, as brigadiers ; Ilawes for the cavalry. lie was also 
notified that Ransom was appointed a brigadier, but must be sent 
to North Carolina, as his presence there was of the first impor 
tance; and that Samuel Jones had been promoted to be major-gen 
eral, but could not be spared from Mobile. We must here state 
that Bowen was not confirmed as major-general, and did not re 
port ; nor did Ilawes, until about a month later, and just before 
the battle of Shiloh. General Beauregard at once replied that he 
had called for ten generals, as absolutely indispensable to the 
efficiency of his forces ; that out of the four granted him, two only 
were present for duty; and that, as the enemy was already en 
gaged with his left at Xew Madrid, he would not hold himself 
responsible for the consequences that might ensue. He appealed, 
at the same time, to some leading members of Congress, urging 
them to use their influence with the government, so as to change 
its unaccountable policy in matters of such vital importance to 
the Confederacy ; but this was of no effect. The course of the 
War Department resulted disastrously, as General Beauregard 
had apprehended; for it contributed towards delaying, by several 
days, our subsequent offensive movement from Corinth, against 
the enemy at Pittsburg Landing. 



General Beauregard Orders the Collection of Grain and Provisions, and Es 
tablishes Depots of Supplies. His Appeal to the People to Procure Met 
al for the Casting of Cannon. Warning Preparations of the Enemy. 
Arrival of Federal Divisions at Savannah. General Sherman s Attempt 
ed Raid to Destroy the Railroad. Burning of Small Bridge near Bethel 
Station. General Pope Before New Madrid. The Place Abandoned. 
General Beauregard s Instructions to General McCown. General Mackall 
Relieves him. Bombardment of Island No. 10. What might have been 
the Result had the Enemy Disembarked at once at Pittsburg Landing. 
The Troops we had to Oppose Them. What General Johnston Thought 
of Bolivar as a Base of Operation. Recommends it as more Advanta 
geous than Corinth. Why General Beauregard Preferred Corinth. He 
Presses Concentration there, as soon as the Intentions of the Enemy be 
come Sufficiently Developed. Success of his Plan. Co-operation of the 
Governors of Adjacent States. Troops Poorly Armed and Equipped. 
The Enemy begins Landing at Pittsburg. Arrival of Ilurlbut s, Prentiss s, 
McClernand s, and the Two Wallaces Divisions. Force of the Army Op 
posing us. General Buell. His Slow Advance on Nashville. Is at Last 
Aroused by Order to Unite his Forces with those of General Grant. 
Aggregate of Buell s Forces in Tennessee and Kentucky. Our only Hope 
for Success was to Strike a Sudden Blow before the Junction of Buell 
and Grant. 

LOOKING to the evacuation of Columbus and the concentration 
of troops at and around Corinth, General Beauregard had ordered, 
early in March, the immediate collection of the requisite quantity 
of grain and provisions, at Union City, Humboldt, Jackson, and 
Henderson, in West Tennessee, and at Corinth, Grand Junction, 
and luka, in Mississippi, with the establishment of chief de 
pots of supplies of all kinds, at Columbus, Mississippi, and Gre 
nada. At this latter place he had endeavored to establish a 
percussion-cap manufactory, which he looked upon as very im 
portant, because the difficulty of procuring a proper supply of 
this essential part of our ammunition had become great ; but he 
failed in his efforts to accomplish the purpose. Foreseeing also 
that the demand for powder would soon increase in the Missis 
sippi Valley, he made a second but likewise fruitless effort to 


start a powder factory at Meridian, a point lie considered, and 
rightly so, safe from Federal intrusion, and one which, in fact, 
was held by the Confederates until the end of the war. 

The need of metal for the casting of field-guns was already 
a subject of most serious consideration for our leaders. The 
guns the Confederacy had, in the field and elsewhere, were in 
adequate, and that more were required was evident to all. So 
lacking in enterprise and forethought, in that respect, had the gov 
ernment shown itself, that no reliance could be placed upon it 
to improve the situation. The people, not the government, were 
the source from which alone assistance could be had. Deeply con 
vinced of this truth, General Beauregard issued an appeal to the 
good citizens of the Mississippi Valley, asking them to yield up their 
plantation bells, that more cannon might be made for the defence 
of their homes. They responded with alacrity to his call; and, so 
great was the enthusiasm pervading all classes of the population, 
that even religious congregations gave up their church-bells, while 
women offered their brass candlesticks and andirons. 

By the Sth of March, the busy preparations of the enemy at 
Fort Henry, up the Tennessee lliver. indicated an early offensive 
movement, to meet which the greatest activity on our part was 
necessary. On the 13th, five Federal divisions arrived at Savannah, 
twelve miles below Pittsburg Landing, and on the opposite side of 
the river, followed, a few days later, by a reinforcement of some 
five thousand men. These troops, numbering now about forty 
thousand infantry, and three thousand artillery and cavalry, were 
commanded by Major-General C. F. Smith, a gallant and accom 
plished officer.* General Grant, who, for a time after the capture 
of Fort Donelson, had been virtually suspended by General Ilal- 
Icck, for an alleged disobedience of orders, arrived on the 17th, 
and resumed command. Meanwhile, on the 14th, General Sher 
man s division, which had not been landed at Savannah, was de 
tached up the river, under the protection of two gunboats, to de 
stroy the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, near Eastport and 
Chickasaw Bluff, but evinced such extreme caution that he was 
deterred from landing by two companies of infantry, acting as 
artillery, with two 2-i-poundcrs. These companies belonged to a 

* He had been Commandant at tlic United States Military Academy, while 
General Beauregard was a cadet there ; and had at a later period served with 
distinction in the Mexican War. 


regiment of General Chalmers s brigade. The brigade proper, 
composed of about two thousand five hundred men, was stationed 
at the time at or near Inka, on the Memphis and Charleston Rail 
road, and five or six miles back from the river. Sherman s force 
then retired a few miles, to the mouth of Yellow River, intending 
to move thence to destroy the railroad company s shops at Beirns- 
ville, a small village eight miles west of luka. After landing and 
making an abortive attempt to reach Beirnsville, with nothing to 
oppose him but high water, General Sherman hurriedly re-em 
barked his troops and dropped down to Pittsburg Landing, on the 
night of the 14th, having made a useless demonstration, but one 
which confirmed General Beauregard in the opinion that Corinth 
would be the final objective point of the Federal movement. 

On the 13th, General MeClernand s division of C. F. Smith s 
forces was crossed over to Crump s (or McWilliams s) Landing, on 
the west bank of the river, five or six miles above Savannah, to 
destroy the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, between Corinth and Jack 
son. But no more was effected than the burning of a small bridge 
near Bethel Station, twenty-four miles north of Corinth. After 
this the division fell back to the landing and re-embarked, show 
ing the same degree of nervousness that characterized the Sher 
man expedition. 

General Pope, in co-operation with these movements on the 
Tennessee, had appeared before New Madrid, about the end of Feb 
ruary, and attacked that place with artillery. Not being defended 
with the tenacity which afterwards distinguished the defence of 
Island No. 10 and its neighboring batteries, that important position 
was abandoned during the night of the 14th. Its garrison was 
transferred to the opposite bank of the river, and a portion of it 
sent to reinforce the troops supporting the batteries at and about 
Island No. 10. The guns left in position at New Madrid, not 
having been properly spiked, were immediately put in condition to 
cut off, from escape down the river, eight transports and the gun 
boat used by General McCown in the evacuation. 

General Beaure^ard s instructions to that officer had been to 


hold those defences to the very last extremity, in order to give 
time for completing the works at Fort Pillow ; to sink some of 
his transports in the Missouri-shore channel, so as to narrow it still 
more, or render it impassable ; and to anchor a fire-raft in the middle 
of the wider Tennessee-shore channel, so as to prevent the enemy s 


gunboats from passing, under cover of night, the batteries protect 
ing it. lie was cautioned not to allow his remaining transports 
and gunboats to fall into the hands of the enemy under any cir 
cumstances. Finally, he was informed that no reinforcements 
could possibly be sept him until after the impending battle in the 
vicinity of Corinth. 

Somewhat later General Beauregard relieved General McCown 
from his duties, and General Mackall, the gallant and efficient 
Assistant Adjutant-General of General Johnston s army, was se 
lected to command at Madrid Bend. The following note was his 
answer when first informed of General Beauregard s wish to that 
effect : 

"DECATUK, ALA., March IQth, 18G2. 

" Dear General, I thank you for my promotion. You arc entitled to my 
services and shall always command them. But now this army is in trouble, 
and I cannot leave it, with honor, until it joins you. 

4i Yours sincerely, 

"W. W. MACKALL, A. A. G." 

The junction having been effected, he left for his new post ; 
and held the works under him until after the battle of Shiloh, 
several days longer than would have been done otherwise. It was 
too late, however, to accomplish the main object General Beaure 
gard had had in view, in assigning him to that important position. 

On the 16th, the Federal fleet of gun and mortar boats, under 
Commodore Foote, appeared, and began the prolonged attack and 
bombardment which rendered the defence of Island Xo. 10 mem 
orable in the history of the war. 

Until the 10th of March, a large Federal army was intended to 
operate against Florence, about seventy miles farther south than 
Savannah, but on the 13th it landed at the latter place. Had that 
army been at once disembarked at Fittsburg Landing, twenty-two 
miles from Corinth, or, better still, at Hamburg, eight miles south 
of Pittsburg and two or three miles nearer to Corinth, it would 
have met with no serious opposition ; for, at the time of the land 
ing, General Beauregard had only one regiment of cavalry in ob 
servation, supported, at Monterey, about half-way to Corinth, by 
one or two regiments of infantry and a battery of field artillery ; 
while at Hamburg he had only a strong picket of cavalry. At 
Corinth he had, then collected, not more than fifteen thousand 
men, who could have offered no great resistance, as they were in a 
I. 17 


state of confusion, gathered, as they had been, from many different 
quarters, as fast as they could be brought by rail, and were in large 
part poorly armed and equipped. Some of the regiments were 
not yet formed into brigades, and only one or two divisions had 
been organized. General Beauregard is clearly of the opinion 
that, had the Federal forces been handled with confidence and of 
fensively pressed forward, they must have dispersed the troops he 
had then assembled there, especially as more than half of the Fed 
eral army consisted of seasoned troops, fresh from the successes 
of Forts Henry and Donelson, with supports at convenient dis 
tances, and abundantly supplied with munitions for offensive oper 
ations. In fact, General Johnston, regarding Corinth as too close 
to the Tennessee River, as a point of concentration on our side, 
had telegraphed General Beauregard, recommending the south 
bank of the Hatchee River, near Bolivar, as offering greater secur 
ity. His telegram read as follows : 

(Ciphered Telegram.) 

" DECATUR, March 15th, 1862. 
" To General G. T. BEAUREGARD : 

" Have you had the south bank of the Hatchee examined, near Bolivar. I 
recommend it to your attention. It has, besides other advantages, that of be 
ing further from enemy s base. 


This is very much in contrast with the assertions of some of 
General Johnston s panegyrists, that, as early as January, 1862 
(others have it on the 1st and 4th of February), he had designated 
Shiloh Church some say Corinth as the spot where "the great 
battle of the southwest would be fought." This erroneous state 
ment merits and will receive attention before that part of our 
narrative referring to the campaign of the West is closed. 

General Beauregard differed with General Johnston on that all- 
important subject, because, while willing to admit that the south 
bank of the Hatchee River was, possibly, a good defensive line, it 
was by no means, in his opinion, a proper one for the offensive he 
proposed to take, and in view of which he would have even pre 
ferred Monterey to Corinth, owing to its still greater proximity 
to the anticipated landing-point of the enemy. Events, however, 
justified his selection of Corinth, favored as he was by the hesi 
tancy and lack of enterprise of the opposing forces, which enabled 
him to proceed, unmolested, with the measures of concentration 


lie had so much at heart. General Beauregard s apparent temerity 
in selecting for his base of operations a point so near the ground 
chosen for the landing of a powerful enemy, was the result, not 
of rashness, but of close and sagacious observation. With the 
eye and daring of a true general noting the timidity of the Fed 
eral forces in their attempts at incursions on the western bank of 
the Tennessee, and their disjointed manner of disembarking he 
knew that the nearer he was to his opponents the better it would 
be for the handling of his troops and the success of his plan. 
From a point near his foe he could attack fractions instead of con 
centrated masses of the enemy, with the chances of success in his 

As soon as the movements of the enemy, on the Tennessee, had 
sufficiently developed his intentions, General Beauregard ordered 
an immediate concentration, by railroad, of all troops then avail 
able in West Tennessee and North Mississippi. Those at Grand 
Junction and luka he massed upon Corinth; those at Fort Pillow, 
and General Folk s forces at Ilumboldt and Lexington, he assem 
bled at Bethel and Corinth, leaving detachments at Union City 
and Ilumboldt, to keep open the communications established, with 
great difficulty, between Island Xo. 10 and Jackson. A line of 
cavalry pickets was left in place of the infantry outposts at Union 
City, Dresden, Iluntington, and Lexington ; their fronts and inter 
mediate spaces being well patrolled by scouting parties, to give 
timely notice of any hostile advance; in case of which, the cavalry, 
if compelled to fall back, had orders to retire gradually on Bolivar, 
on the Mississippi Central Railroad, thirty-eight miles northwest of 
Corinth, keeping up constant communication with the forces at 
Bethel and Corinth. 

By the middle of March, less than one month after General 
Beauregard s arrival at Jackson, Tennessee, he had succeeded in 
assembling, within easy concentrating distances of Corinth, some 
twenty-three thousand men of all arms, independently of the four 
teen thousand, more or less, he had found in the district under 
General Folk, on the 17th of February. lie hoped to be joined, 
before the end of March, by General Johnston s command, of 
about thirteen thousand men exclusive of cavalry then arriving 
at Decatnr ; and General Van Dorn, at Van Burcn, Arkansas, had 
promised, at that time, his co-operation with an army of nearly 
twenty thousand. General Beauregard had sent Van Dorn all the 


water transportation he could collect on the Mississippi River, with 
which to effect the junction. These movements of concentration 
were approved by General Johnston, but had received no encour 
agement from the War Department or the Chief Executive. They 
were brought about through the untiring efforts and perseverance 
of General Beauregard; through the cheerful and patriotic assis 
tance of the governors of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and 
Louisiana; through General Bragg, at Pensacola, and General 
Lovell, at New Orleans. Without their hearty and powerful aid 
it would have been impossible to collect, in time, a force of suffi 
cient strength successfully to oppose the enemy, who, had he used 
his resources with ordinary vigor, must soon have obtained undis 
puted possession of the Mississippi River, and, consequently, of 
the entire valley, including New Orleans. 

The State troops thus hastily assembled were, as we have said, 
poorly equipped, without drill, and badly armed, some of them only 
with the discarded flint - lock musket of former days ; and great 
difficulty was experienced in procuring the proper quality of 
flints. Not a third of the cavalry had fire-arms, and those who 
had were ill-armed, with a medley of pistols, carbines, muskets, 
and shot-guns, chiefly the latter. Few of them had sabres. The 
personnel of this new levy, however, could not have been better. 
It was composed of the best young men, from the city and coun 
try, who had rushed to arms at the call of their States. Animated 
by a feeling of patriotism and high martial spirit, they gave fair 
promise of great efficiency, if well officered. As soon as their 
regiments arrived at the rendezvous assigned them they were 
brigaded, equipped for the field as well as our restricted means 
permitted, and, owing to the lack of time for better instruction, 
we re exercised only and but slightly in company and battalion 
drills, while awaiting orders to march to the battle-field. 

On the 16th of March, General Sherman, by order of General 
C. F. Smith, at Savannah, disembarked with his division at Pitts- 
burg Landing, to make a reconnoissance in the direction of Mon 
terey, twelve miles from the Landing and ten miles from Corinth. 
He marched a few miles into the interior, encountering only the 
regiment stationed there, which retired as he advanced. He, never 
theless, returned to the Landing and re-embarked with his division. 
On the 18th, Ilnrlbnt s division landed and took position about 
a mile and a half from the river, near the fork of the roads, lead- 


ing, the one to Corinth, the other to Hamburg, five or six miles 
up the river. On the 19th, General Sherman again disembarked 
his division, taking post about three miles in the interior, with 
three of his brigades, at or near a little log meeting-house, cover 
ing the roads to Purdy, in a northwesterly, and to Corinth, in a 
southwesterly, direction. His fourth brigade was detached to a 
point more than two miles to his left rear, at the crossing of the 
Pittsburff and Hamburg: road, over Lick Creek. u Within a few 

o o 

days," says General Sherman, in his memoirs, Frentiss s division 
arrived, and was camped on his left, filling the space between his 
third and fourth brigades, but some distance in advance of the 
latter ; afterwards McClernand s and W. II. L. Wallace s divisions 
were landed, the first placing itself within supporting distance of 
Sherman, and the second on the right of Ilurlbut, forming a 
third line, about a mile and a half from the Landing. 

Thus it will be seen that if we had been able to carry out Gen 
eral Beauregard s original intention of concentrating his forces at 
Monterey, only nine miles from Sherman s position, we should 
have had several days during which to attack the isolated divisions 
of Sherman and Ilurlbut, numbering about seven thousand men, 
according to Federal accounts, and with a large and rapid river in 
their rear. Such an opportunity for annihilating in detail the 
fractional part of a powerful enemy is seldom offered in a cam 

Another division, under Lew. Wallace, about seven thousand 
strong, with twelve guns, had also landed, and occupied a position, 
fi ve or six miles from Sherman s right, on the north side of Snake 
Creek, on a road leading from ( rump s (McWilliamsV) landing to 
Purdy, a small village half-way to the railroad station of Bethel, 
on the Mobile and Ohio road. 

The five divisions in front of Pittsburg Landing were accom 
panied by twelve batteries of field artillery, of six pieces each, and 
four or five battalions of cavalry, distributed among the several 
commands, which then numbered, together, at least thirty-nine 
thousand infantry and artillery, with some fifteen hundred cav 
alry, forming a well-organized and fully equipped force of over 
forty -seven thousand men, including Lew. Wallace s division, 
which was watching and threatening in the direction of Purdy. 
This army, of which at least forty per cent, were flushed with 
recent victories, was soon to be reinforced by General Buell, al- 


ready on the march from Nashville to Savannah, with five divis 
ions of the best organized, disciplined, and equipped troops in the 
Federal service, numbering fully thirty-seven thousand effectives.* 

General Buell f had entered Bowling Green on the 15th of 
February, the day after it was evacuated by the Confederates, and 
one day before the surrender of Fort Donelson. lie had then ad 
vanced leisurely on Nashville, about seventy-five miles distant, ar 
riving opposite that city, on the Cumberland River, on the 23d. 
It was surrendered to him on the 25th, by the civil authorities, and 
he occupied it the next day. The rear guard of the Confederate 
forces, under General Floyd, had left Nashville for Murfreesboro , 
thirty-two miles distant in a southerly direction, on the Nashville 
and Chattanooga Railroad, when the enemy appeared on the south 
side of the river. 

General Buell remained at Nashville, a passive spectator of 
General Johnston s slow and quiet retreat, first to Murfreesboro , 
thence to Fayetteville, Huntsville, and Decatur, making no appar 
ent effort to harass him or prevent his junction with the forces 
collected, meanwhile, by General Beauregard, about Corinth. The 
Federal general s torpor does not seem to have been disturbed 
until about the middle of March, when he was instructed by Gen 
eral Halleck who had been assigned, on the llth, to the command 
in chief to unite his forces with those of General Grant, at 
Savannah, on the Tennessee River. This point of concentration 
was afterwards changed to Pittsburg Landing, twelve miles higher 
up, on the opposite side of the river; but no immediate communi 
cation to that effect was made to General Buell. While on the 
march, however, he decided to move to Hamburg, about six miles 
above Pittsburg, and thence to the place of concentration, wher 
ever it might be. 

While at Nashville, BuelPs whole force in Tennessee and Ken- 

* " Buell himself, with five divisions, numbering nearly forty thousand men, 
was ordered from Nashville, to the support of Grant." Badeau s "Military 
History of U. S. Grant," vol. i. p. G8. 

file was a contemporary of General Beauregard s at the United States 
Military Academy, and had clone good service as a young officer in Mexico, 
lie was on the staff of General A. S. Johnston, as Adjutant -General in the 
Utah expedition, shortly before the late war between the States. He was 
brave and intelligent, but w r as generally considered too much of a disciplina 
rian to effect great results with irregular troops. 


tucky consisted of seven divisions, with detached troops for guard 
ing his communications, maintaining order, and otherwise provid 
ing for his safety, and amounted, in the aggregate, to 94,783 men 
of all arms. The army presented an effective force for the field 
of 73,472 men, of which 60,882 were infantry, 9237 cavalry, and 
3368 artillery, with twenty-eight field and two siege batteries of 
six guns each.* 

On the 15th Baell commenced his march, with five divisions, 
as already stated, to effect leisurely the junction ordered by Gen 
eral Ilalleck; while one division, the 7th, under General G. W. 
Morgan, went to East Tennessee, and another, the 3d, under Gen 
eral O. M. Mitchell, to pursue General Johnston and destroy the 
Memphis and Charleston Railroad south of Fayettevillc. Xei- 
ther of these last-named operations was performed with much 

On arriving at Columbia, forty miles south of Xashville, Gen 
eral Euell found the bridge across Duck Ilivcr destroyed, and the 
water too high to ford. lie was delayed there until the morning 
of the 29th, when, the bridge having been rebuilt, he again start 
ed for Savannah, thence to Pittsburg Landing, a distance of about 
one hundred miles, which he accomplished in nine days, marching 
slightly more than eleven miles a day. His head of column, Xel- 
soirs division, arrived at Pittsburg Landing at 3 o clock P.M. on 
the 6th of April, the march from Savannah having been hurried 
in order to reach the field of Shiloh, from which the sound of the 
battle was plainly heard. 

The united armies of Grant and Buell (his five divisions) would 
have presented a well -disciplined and fully equipped force of 
about 84,000 men. Against this we could not possibly bring 
more than 38,500 infantry and artillery, 4300 cavalry, and fifty 
field guns. This estimate excludes 7000 men at Island Xo. 10 
and vicinity, who were indispensable to hold at bay Pope s army 
of over 20.000 men, and to keep control of the Mississippi River 
at that point. Moreover, the forces General Beauregard had 
hastily collected (about 25,000 strong) were imperfectly armed, 
insufficiently drilled, and only partly disciplined. They had but 
recently been organized into two corps, under Generals Polk and 
Bragg, composed of two divisions each. General Beauregard be- 

* Sec Van Home s " Army of the Cumberland," vol. i. p. 99. 


lieved that, under such circumstances, our only hope of success lay 
in striking a sudden, heavy blow before the enemy should concen 
trate all his forces. He therefore urged General Johnston to join 
him at Corinth at the earliest moment practicable, and he again 
telegraphed the War Department (as late as the 28th) to send him 
at once some of the field-officers he had so often called for. Those 
most needed then were a chief of artillery, a commander of cav- 
alry, and a chief commissary, without whom his organization could 
not be completed. But, notwithstanding the persistence of his 
calls, only the last two were sent ; and they arrived when our 
army was marching from Corinth, to fight the battle which proved 
to be one of the greatest and bloodiest of the war. 



Arrival of General Johnston at Corinth. Position of his Troops on the 27th 
of March. Offers to Turn Over Command of the Army to General Beau- 
regard, who Declines. General Beauregard Urges an Early Offensive 
Movement against the Enemy, and Gives his Views as to Plan of Organ 
izing the Forces. General Johnston Authorizes him to Complete the 
Organization already Begun. General Orders of March 29th. Reasons 
why the Army was Formed into Small Corps. General Beauregard De 
sirous of Moving against the Enemy on the 1st of April. Why it was 
not done. On the 2d, General Chcatham Reports a Strong Federal 
Force Threatening his Front. General Beauregard Advises an Immedi 
ate Advance. General Johnston Yields. General Jordan s Statement of 
his Interview with General Johnston on that Occasion. Special Orders 
No. 8, otherwise called "Order of March and Battle." By Whom Sug 
gested and by Whom Written. General Beauregard Explains the Order 
to Corps Commanders. Tardiness of the First Corps in Marching from 
Corinth. Our Forces in Position for Battle on the Afternoon of the uth ; 
Too Late to Commence Action on that Day. Generals Ilardcc and Bragg 
Request General Beauregard to Ride in Front of their Lines. General 
Johnston Calls General Beauregard and the Corps Commanders in an Infor 
mal Council. General Beauregard Believes the Object of the Movement 
Foiled by the Tardiness of Troops in Arriving on the Battle-field. Al 
ludes to Noisy Demonstrations on the March, and to the Probability of 
Buell s Junction, and Advises to Change Aggressive Movement into a Re- 
connoissancc in Force. General Johnston Decides Otherwise, and Orders 
Preparations for an Attack at Dawn next Da}*. Description of the Field 
of Shiloh. Strength of the Federal Forces. What General Sherman Tes 
tified to. We Form into Three Lines of Battle. Our Effective Strength. 
Carelessness and Oversight of the Federal Commanders. They are 
not Aroused by the many Sounds in their Front, and are Taken by Sur 

GENERAL JOIIXSTOX reached Corinth on the night of the 22d 
of March, in advance of his army, which followed closely after 
him, portions arriving daily up to the 27th. General Ilardce 
took position in the vicinity, with a body of about eight thousand 
men; while the remainder, under General Crittenden some five 
thousand strong, exclusive of cavalry were halted at Beirnsville 
and luka, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. 


A shade of sadness, if not of despondency, rested upon General 
Johnston s brow. The keen anxiety and still-increasing gloom 
overspreading the country weighed heavily upon him. He suf 
fered deeply, both as a patriot arid as a soldier; but men of his 
courage and character are uncomplaining. " The test of merit, in 
my profession, with the people," he wrote to Mr. Davis, on the 
IS th of March, " is success. It is a hard rule, but I think it right." 
The concluding lines of his letter show what were his feelings, 
when complying with General Beauregard s urgent request for a 
junction of their armies: " If I join this corps to the forces of 
Eeauregard (I confess, a hazardous experiment), then, those who 
are now declaiming against me will be without an argument." 

Soon after General Johnston s arrival, and in the course of his 
first conference with General Beauregard, he expressed, with evi 
dent emotion, his purpose to turn over to the latter the direct 
command of our united forces, and to confine his own functions 
to those of Department Commander, with headquarters at Mem 
phis or Holly Springs. He alleged, as his reason for wishing to 
do so, that such a course would be best for the success of our 
cause ; that he had lost, in no small degree, the confidence of the 
people, and somewhat, he feared, of the army itself, in consequence 
of recent disasters ; while he felt sure that General Beauregard, 
who held the confidence of both, was better fitted to cope with 
present difficulties and dangers, and fulfil, successfully, public ex 
pectation. General Beauregard, in a spirit of disinterestedness 
and generosity which equalled that of General Johnston, refused 
to accept his offer. lie had left the Army of the Potomac and 
come to the West, he said, to assist General Johnston, not to su 
persede him. That it was due to the country and to General 
Johnston himself that he should remain at the head of the army, 
now concentrated for a decisive blow before the enemy was fully 
prepared, and pledged him his cordial support, as second in com 
mand. Upon this, General Johnston, who, no doubt, understood 
General Beauregard s motives, rose from his seat, advanced tow 
ards him, and, shaking him warmly by the hand, said, "Well, be 
it so, General ! We two together will do our best to secure suc 
cess." It was an affecting scene, and one worthy of being re 
corded. For, if General Johnston w r as loath to reap the benefit 
of the great preparations made by General Beauregard, the latter 
was no less reluctant that the victory which he hoped would re- 


suit from his efforts at concentration should be exclusively attrib 
uted to himself, thus depriving General Johnston of the chance 
of changing the tide of popular favor in his behalf, and of re 
gaining the affection and confidence of the people and army, 
which he feared he had lost. 

Thus was finally settled the delicate question of precedence and 
command between these two Confederate leaders, whose single ob 
ject was, not personal advancement or glory, but the success of the 
cause they were engaged in. General Beauregard now explained 
the situation of affairs in the Mississippi Valley and immediately 
around him; urged the necessity of the earliest possible offensive 
movement against the enemy, and gave his views, already fully 
matured, as to the best plan of organizing our forces. General 
Johnston readily agreed to what General Beauregard proposed, 
and authorized him to complete all necessary orders to that effect. 
Accordingly, a few daj-s later, General Beauregard drew up a plan 
for the reorganization of the Army of the Mississippi, which, 
upon submission to General Johnston, was signed by the latter, 
without the slightest change or alteration, and published to the 
troops, in a general order, as follows : 

" General Orders, No. . CORINTH, Miss., March 29*A, 1862. 

"I. The undersigned assumes the command and immediate direction of the 
armies of Kentucky and of the Mississippi, now united, and which, in military 
operations, will be known as the Army of the Mississippi. 

" II. General G. T. Beauregard will be second in command to the Command 
er of the Forces. 

" III. The Arm} of the Mississippi will be subdivided into three army corps, 
and reserves of cavalry, artillery, and infantry, as follows : 1. The First Corps, 
under the command of Major-Gencral L. Polk, to consist of the Grand Division 
now under his command, as originally organized, less the artillery and cav 
alry hereinafter limited, and detached as reserves, and the garrison of Fort 
Pillow and the works for the defence of Madrid Bend, already detached from 
that command. 2. The Second Corps, under Major-General Braxton Bragg, 
to consist of the Second Grand Division of the Army of the Mississippi, less 
the artillery and cavalry, hereinafter limited, and detached as reserves. 3. The 
Third Corps, under Major-General W. J. Hardee, to consist of the Army of Ken 
tucky, less the cavalry, artillery, and infantry hereinafter limited, and detached 
as reserves. 4. The infantry reserves, under command of Major-General G. B. 
Crittenden, shall be formed of a division of not less than two brigades.* 

* These infantry reserves, at Beirnsville, were under Brigadier - General 
Breckinridge, who had succeeded General Crittenden. 


" IV. The brigades of eacli army corps and of the reserve will be so formed 
as to consist severally of about two thousand five hundred total infantry, and 
one light battery of six pieces, if practicable. 

" V. Divisions shall consist of not less than two brigades and one regiment 
of cavalry. 

"VI. All cavalry and artillery not hereinbefore assigned to divisions and 
brigades will be held in reserve : the cavalry under Brigadier-General Hawes, 
the artillery under an officer to be subsequently announced. 

" VII. All general orders touching matters of organization, discipline, and 
conduct of the troops, published by General G. T. Beauregard to the Army of 
the Mississippi, will continue in force in the whole army until otherwise di 
rected, and copies thereof will be furnished to the Third Army Corps and the 

" VIII. Major-General Braxton Bragg, in addition to his duties as com 
mander of the Second Army Corps, is announced as Chief of Staff to the 
Commander of the Forces. 

" A. S. JOHNSTON, General C. S, A." 

" NOTE. The above organization of the forces at Corinth was submitted 
by General G. T. Beauregard, second in command, and adopted by General 
A. S. Jolmston v first in command, without any alteration whatever. 


Our forces had thus been formed into small corps for two rea 
sons : first, to enable our inexperienced senior commanders to handle 
their raw troops with more facility ; second, to induce the enemy 
to believe that our army was much stronger than it really was it 
being natural to suppose that each corps would number at least 
twenty thousand men, with a general reserve of about half as 
many. This second purpose was apparently accomplished, for, 
during the battle of Shiloh, General Grant telegraphed General 
Buell, who was then at Savannah, that he was heavily attacked by 
one hundred thousand men, and that he needed his immediate as 

In the general orders given above, General Beauregard was an 
nounced as second in command, and General Bragg was appointed, 
nominally, Chief of the General Staff, a position borrowed from 
Continental European armies, though there was no provision for 
such an arrangement made by law in the Confederate military 
service ; it was, however, an irregularity not considered impor 
tant, inasmuch as General Bragg was not to be detached or di 
verted from the command of his corps. In fact, his designation 
to that position was simply to enable him, in a contingency on the 
field, to give orders in the name of the General-in-Chief, or of the 


second in command ; an arrangement which both Generals John 
ston and Beauregard thought could inure only to the benefit of 
the service. Colonel Thomas Jordan, General Beauregard s Adju 
tant-General, was named Adjutant-General of the united forces ; 
but remained at General Beauregard s headquarters, receiving in 
structions from the latter, and issuing them in the form of orders, 
by command of the " General-in-Chief."* 

General Beauregard, notwithstanding his impaired health, de 
voted himself assiduously to preparing the army fur an immediate 
offensive movement, which he hoped would take place, at latest, 
on the 1st of April, as our spies and friends in middle Tennes 
see had informed us that General Buell was at Franklin, on his 
way to form a junction with General Grant, at Savannah, where 
he might be expected early in April. It was known, however, 
that the bridges on his line of inarch especially the large one 
across Duck River, at Columbia had been destroyed, and that 
lie might thereby be delayed several davs. 

General Johnston had left the organization and preparation of 
the forces for offensive operations to General Beauregard. Corps 
commanders made their reports directly to him, or through his of- 
iice ; the General-in-Chief being kept well advised of all informa 
tion of an important nature that reached army headquarters. 

The hope of being able to move from Corinth on the 1st of 
April could not, however, be realized. As that day approached, 
our deficiencies in arms, ammunition, and the most essential 
equipments were more and more felt, as was also the want of the 
general officers promised, but not sent, as agreed upon, by the 
War Department. Their inexperienced substitutes, though zeal 
ous and indefatigable, were unacquainted with the needs of their 
new commands, or did not know how best to supply them. TJiev 
had to be instructed amid the hurry of the moment, as to many 
details, which, to persons who are not conversant with military or 
ganization, appear insignificant, but which are really very im 
portant in the preparation of an army. The lack of competent 
engineers was also a source of great annoyance, as without them 
it became next to impossible to make necessary reconnoissances, 

* General Mackall was not made Adjutant-General of the united armies, be 
cause of his having been previously assigned, by General Beauregard, to the 
command of Madrid Bend, on the Mississippi, his services at that important 
point being considered indispensable. See Chapter XVIII., p. 257. 


and map off the country lying between the two opposing armies. 
The sketches prepared by staff officers, untrained and inexperi 
enced in such matters, were very imperfect, but some accurate 
knowledge of the future field of battle had been obtained, by con 
ferring with officers of the troops who had been on picket duty 
at and about Pittsburg Landing, before the appearance of the en 
emy at that point. From inhabitants who had been compelled 
to leave their homes, after the landing of the hostile forces, Gen 
eral Beauregard also gained useful information, relative to the po 
sitions occupied by the several Federal commands. 

Such was the situation, as night fell on the 2d of April, when 
General Cheatham, who commanded a division posted at Bethel 
Station,* telegraphed to his corps commander, General Polk, that 
a strong body of the enemy, believed to be General Lew. Wallace s 
division, was seriously threatening his front. General Polk at 
once (about 10 p. M.) transmitted the despatch to General Beaure 
gard, who, believing that the Federal forces were divided by the 
reported movement, immediately sent in the news to General 
Johnston, by the Adjutant-General of the Army, in person, with 
this brief but significant endorsement: "Now is the moment to 
advance, and strike the enemy at Pittsburg Landing." 

General (then Colonel) Thomas Jordan, the Adjutant-General 
above alluded to, reports his mission on that occasion, as follows: 

" I found General Johnston in the room of some of his personal staff, where 
I handed him the despatch with your endorsement. He then repaired with 
me to the neighboring quarters of General Bragg, whom we found in bed. 
This officer at once declared in favor of your proposition. General Johnston, 
expressing several objections with much clearness and force, questioned the 
readiness of the army for so grave an offensive movement. His views shook 
the opinion of General Bragg. Having discussed the subject almost daily 
with you during the past ten days, and knowing the reasons which made you 
regard the immediate offensive our true course in the exigenc} 7 , 1 stated them 
with as much vigor and urgency as I could, dwelling particularly upon the 
fact that we were now as strong as we could reasonably hope to be at any 
early period, while our adversary would be gaining strength, by reinforce 
ments, almost daily, until he would be so strong as to be able to take the of 
fensive with irresistible numbers. That our adversary s position at Pittsburg 
Landing, with his back against a deep, broad river, in a cul-de-sac formed by 
the two creeks (Owl and Lick), would make his defeat decisively disastrous, 
while the character of the country made it altogether practicable for us to steal 
upon and surprise him; and that your proposition was based on the practi- 

* Twenty-four miles north of Corinth. 


cability of such a surprise, with the conviction that we should find the Fed 
eral army unprotected by intrcnchments. 

"These views seemed to satisfy General Johnston, and he authorized me to 
give the preparatory orders for the movement, which orders I wrote at a table 
in General Bragg s room, being a circular letter to Generals Bragg, Polk, and 
Ilardee, directing them to hold their several corps in condition to move, at a 
moment s notice, having forty rounds of ammunition in their cartridge-boxes, 
and three days 1 cooked rations in their haversacks ; also, sixty rounds of am 
munition, and uncooked rations in wagons, for, I think, three days, together 
with certain other details, affecting reserve supplies, and their transporta 

" These orders were immediately despatched by couriers, from General 
Bragg s headquarters, to Generals Polk and Hardec, who received them, as 
well as now remembered, at 1.40 % A. M., as stated in the receipts signed by 
those officers, respectively, at the time. General Breckinridge, commanding a 
detached division at Beirnsvillc, received his orders from the telegraph-office. 
After having despatched the orders in question, I repaired directly to your 
headquarters, roused Captain A. It. Chisolin, of your personal staff, and told 
him to awake you at 5 A. M. 

" About 7 A. M. of (next day) the 3d April, you sent for me, and I found 
that you had drawn up the notes of a general order, prescribing the order and 
method of the movement from Corinth upon Pittsburg, with peculiar minute 
ness, as, from the wooded and broken nature of the country to be traversed, 
it would be a most difficult matter to move so large a body of men with the 
requisite celerity for the contemplated attack. These notes you gave me as 
the basis for the proper general order to be issued, directing and regulating 
the march, coupled with the order in which the enemy was to be attacked, 
and from them I drew up the order of march and battle, which, issued in the 
name of General Johnston, was signed by me as Adjutant-General of the 
Army, in the course of that day, without any modification, but, of course, made 
fuller with details in connection with the staff service, which details you left 
habitually to me, holding me responsible that they should be clear and com 
prehensive, so as to insure the execution of your general plan of operation. 
But before I was able to shape the order in question, General Johnston and, 
soon thereafter, General Bragg, came to your room, at your headquarters, where 
I had gone also, to consult you upon some details. You were explaining 
your plan of movement, and of the attack, to General Johnston, when I en 
tered your apartment ; and, to make the subject clearer, you drew a sketch of 
the country, in pencil, upon your table,* as I had taken to my office the 
sketch supplied by the engineers, to enable me to write the order with the 
necessary precision. 

"General Johnston weighed all that was said with much deliberation, and 
not until every detail had been very thoroughly discussed did he decide to 

* The table bearing the diagram here referred to went, as office furniture, 
to Charleston, S. C., where the pencil sketch on the board was visible two 
years afterwards. 


make the movement, as you proposed it. By this time, Major-Generals Polk 
and Hardee had likewise arrived. I then remarked that, as the preparation 
of the order, with all the necessary copies for general and staff officers, would 
take some hours, its details might be verbally explained to the corps com 
manders, all present, so that the movement could be made without delay at 
the prescribed moment, by the several corps, without waiting for the written 
orders, so much of which concerned the second day s march, and the tactics 
of the attack. This was assented to by General Johnston, as best, and I left 
you explaining to Generals Polk and Hardee that which they particularly 
were to do, jointly and severally, on that day and the next morning; that is 
to say, the order and manner in which they should begin, and make, the ad 
vance, with their respective corps, to the vicinity of the enemy s position, as 
will be found set forth in the written order, which was afterwards printed as 
follows : 


CORINTH, Miss., April 3d, 1862. 
" Special Orders, No. 8. 

" I. In the impending movement, the corps of this army will inarch, assem 
ble, and take order of battle, in the following manner, it being assumed that 
the enemy is in position about a mile in advance of Shiloh Church, with his 
right resting on Owl Creek, and his left on Lick Creek. 

" 1. The Third Corps, under Major-General Hardee, w r ill advance, as soon as 
practicable, on the Ridge road from Corinth, to w r hat is known as the Bark 
road, passing about half a mile northward of the workhouse. The head 
of this column \vill bivouac, if possible, to-night, at Mickey s house, at the in 
tersection of the road from Monterey to Savannah. The cavalry, thrown well 
forward during the march, to reconnoitre and prevent surprise, will halt in 
front of the Mickey house, on the Bark road. 

" 2. Major Waddell, A. D. C. to General Beauregard, with two good guides, 
will report for service to General Hardee. 

" 3. At 3 o clock A.M., to-morrow, the Third Corps, with the left in front, 
will continue to advance by the Bark road until within sight of the enemy s 
outposts or advanced position, when it wdll be deployed in line of battle, ac 
cording to the nature of the ground, its left resting on Owl Creek, its right 
towards Lick Creek, supported on that flank by half its cavalry, the left flank 
being supported by the other half. The interval between the extreme right 
of this corps and Lick Creek will be filled by a brigade or division accord 
ing to the extent of the ground from the Second Corps. These troops, dur 
ing the battle, will also be under the command of Major-General Hardee. 

" He will make the proper distribution of the artillery along the line of 
battle, remembering that the rifled guns are of long range, and should be 
placed in commanding positions, in rear of his infantry, to fire mainly on re 
serves and second line of the enemy, but occasionally will be directed on his 
batteries and heads of columns. 

" II. The Second Corps, under Major-General Braxton Bragg, will assemble 
on Monterey and move thence as rarly as practicable, the right wing, with left 
in front, by the road from Monterey to Savannah, the head of column to reach 


the immediate vicinity of Mickey s house, at the intersection with the Bark 
road, before sunset. 

" The cavalry with this wing will take position on the road to Savannah, 
beyond Mickey s, as far as Owl Creek, having advanced guards and pickets 
well to the front. The left wing of this corps will advance at the same time, 
also left in front, by the road from Monterey to Purdy ; the head of the column 
to reach, by night, the intersection of that road with the Bark road. This 
wing will continue the movement in the morning, as soon as the rear of 
the Third Corps shall have passed the Purdy road, and which it will then 

" The Second Corps will form the second line of lattle, about one thousand 
yards in the rear of the first line. It will be formed, if practicable, with regi 
ments in double columns, at half distance, disposed as advantageously as the 
nature of the ground will admit. The artillery placed as may seem best 
to Major-General Bragg. 

" III. The First Corps, under Major-General Polk, with the exception of the 
detached division at Bethel, will take up its line of march by the Ridge road, 
hence to Pittsburg, half an hour after the rear of the Third Corps shall have 
passed Corinth, and will bivouac to-night in rear of that corps, and on to 
morrow will follow the movements of said corps, with the same interval of 
time as to-day. 

" When its head of column shall reach the vicinity of the Mickey house it 
will be halted in column or massed on the line of the Bark road, according to 
the nature of the ground, as a reserve. Meanwhile one regiment of its cavalry 
will be placed in observation on the road from Johnston s house to Stanton- 
ville, with advanced guards and pickets thrown out well in advance towards 
Stantonville. Another regiment or battalion of cavalry will be posted, in the 
same manner, on the road from Monterey to Purdy, with its rear resting on or 
about the intersection of that road with the Bark road, having advanced 
guards and pickets in the direction of Purdy. 

" The forces at Bethel and Purdy will defend their positions, as already in 
structed, if attacked ; otherwise they will assemble on Purdy and thence ad 
vance, with advanced guards, flankers, and all other military precautions, 
forming a junction with the rest of the First Corps, at the intersection of that 
road with the Bark road leading from Corinth. 

u IV. The reserve of the forces will be concentrated, by the shortest and 
best routes, at Monterey, as soon as the rear of the Second Corps shall have 
moved out of that place. Its commander will take up the best position, 
whence to advance either in the direction of Mickey s or of Pratt s house, on 
the direct road to Pittsburg, if that road is found practicable, or in the direc 
tion of the Ridge road to Hamburg, throwing all its cavalry on the latter 
road, as far us its intersection with the one to Pittsburg, passing through 
Gricrsford, on Lick Creek. 

u The cavalry will throw well forward advanced guards and videttes tow 
ards Griersford and in the direction of Hamburg, and during the impending 
battle, when called to the field of combat, will move by the Griersford road. 

" A regiment of the infantry reserve will be thrown forward to the intersec- 
L 18 


tion of the Gravel Hill road with the Ridge road to Hamburg, as a support 
to the cavalry. 

" The reserve will be formed of Breckinridge s, Bowen s, and Statham s 
brigades, as now organized, the whole under command of Brigadier-General 

" V. General Bragg will detail the 51st and 52cl regiments Tennessee Volun 
teers, Blount s Alabama and Desha s Arkansas battalion, and Bairn s battery, 
from his corps, which, with two of Carroll s regiments, now en route for these 
headquarters, will form a garrison for the post and depot of Corinth. 

" VI. Strong guards will be left at the railway bridge between luka and 
Corinth, to be furnished in due proportion from the commands at luka, Beirns- 
ville, and Corinth. 

" VII. Proper guards will be left at the camps of the several regiments of 
the forces in the field. Corps commanders will determine the strength of these 

" VIII. Wharton s regiment of Texas cavalry will be ordered forward, at 
once, to scout on the road from Monterey to Savannah, between Mickey s and 
its intersection with the Pittsburg-Purdy road. It will annoy and harass any 
force of the enemy moving, by the latter way, to assail Cheatham s division at 

"IX. The Chief-Engineers of the forces will take due measures and pre 
cautions, and give all requisite orders, for the repair of the bridges, causeways, 
and roads, on which our troops may move, in the execution of these orders. 

" X. The troops, individually so intelligent and with such great interest in 
the issue, are urgently enjoined to be observant of the orders of their superiors, 
in the hour of battle. Their officers must constantly endeavor to hold them in 
hand, and prevent the waste of ammunition by heedless, aimless firing ; the fire 
should be slow, always at a distinct mark. It is expected that much and ef 
fective work will be done by the bayonet. 

" By command of General A. S. Johnston, 

"THOMAS JORDAN, A. Acljt.-Gen. 

" CORINTH, Miss., April 18th, 1862. 

" The foregoing plan of operations and orders of engagement were drawn up 
and submitted by General Beauregard, on the morning of the 3d of April, 18G2, 
to General A. S. Johnston, who accepted the same without modification in a 
single particular. 

" THOMAS JORDAN, Brig.-Gen. and A. A. G." 

The following passage is taken from a statement of Colonel I). 
Urquhart, of General Bragg s staff, addressed to General Jordan. 
It confirms, as the reader will see, all that precedes : 

" NARRAGANSETT, R I., August 25th, 1880. 

"My dear General, I am in receipt of your letter of , and in reply have 

to say, that I remember the visit of General A. S. Johnston, accompanied by 
yourself, the night of the 2d of April, 1862, to the headquarters or apartments 
of General Bragg, at Corinth, Mississippi. On that occasion, I was not pres- 


cnt through the whole interview , but while the interview lasted I was in and 
out of the room repeatedly, and know that that interview was had for the 
consideration of a proposition on the part of General Beauregard, conveyed 
through you, that the Confederate army should, the very next day, advance to 
attack the Federal forces at or about Pittsburg Landing. And I know, also, 
that the result of the conference was the order to make that advance, an order 
written by you that night in the quarters of General Bragg, in the shape of a 
circular letter, addressed to Generals Bragg, Polk, and Hardee, severally corps 

" As for the order of march and battle issued the following day, I was fur 
nished with a copy from your office, and can state that it was well understood 
at the time throughout that army, that the whole plan of operations was Gen 
eral Beauregard s, and, in fact, that all which concerned the array, from the 
time of its collection at Corinth, was arranged at and proceeded from 
General Beaurcgard s headquarters. Further, that, essential!}*, he exercised 
the command of the army. In this connection it is proper for me to state 
that I learned at that time from General Bragg himself, that General Johnston 
had said, soon after his arrival at Corinth, that he had lost the confidence of 
his army, and therefore had insisted that General Beauregard must undertake 
the work of organization; also, that with General Bragg as Chief of Staff, he 
should issue all orders without the formula of being submitted and approved 
by General Johnston, except, of course, such an order as that of directing the 


"Yours truly, DAVID URQUHART. 

" To General THOMAS JOHDAN, New York/ 

At the hour prescribed in the preparatory circular to the corps 
commanders, which had been sent out that morning vis., about 
ten o clock the troops were all under arms in Corinth, apparently 
ready for the march. Meanwhile, owing to the many more ur 
gent occupations of the Adjutant-General s office, copies of the pre 
ceding general orders had not been prepared for distribution that 
day, as the corps commanders were to begin the march pursuant 
to the verbal order and instructions which General Beauregard, in 
the presence of General Johnston, had given them, individually, as 
to the initial movements from Corinth. The march, nevertheless, 
did not begin at the time directed, chiefly through the misappre 
hension of the commander of the First Corps, who, instead of 
moving forward upon the full verbal instructions he had received, 
held his corps under arms and, with its trains, blocked the way of 
the other troops. As soon as this most unfortunate delay was 
brought to General Beauregard s knowledge, he despatched an 
order to the First Corps to clear the way at once, which was done; 


but it was already dark before the rear of its column filed out of 
Corinth. Had it not been for this deplorable loss of the after 
noon of the 3d, the Confederate army must have made the march 
to the immediate vicinity of the enemy by the evening of the 4th. 
The attack would then have been made on the morning of the 5th, 
as had been planned, or twenty-four hours earlier than it actually 
occurred, in which event Buell must have reached the theatre of 
action entirely too late to retrieve the disaster inflicted upon 
Grant, and must himself have been forced to retire from middle 
Tennessee. The delay which had marked the outset was followed 
by unwarrantable tardiness in the general conduct of the march, 
so much so that, by the evening of the 4th, the forces bivouacked 
at and slightly in advance of Monterey, only ten miles from Cor 
inth ; and it was not until two o clock r. M., on the 5th, that they 
approached the Federal position, near the Shiloh meeting-house. 
The whole distance traversed was not more than about seventeen 
and a half miles. True, there were heavy rain-falls during the 
night of the 4th, and the early part of the next day, which made 
the roads somewhat difficult, not to speak of their narrowness and 
of the fact of their crossing a densely wooded country. But these 
causes account only in part for the slowness of the inarch, which 
was mainly attributable to the rawness of the troops and the in 
experience of the officers, including some of superior rank. 

During the advance of the 4th of April a reconnoissance in 
force was injudiciously made by a part of the cavalry of the Sec 
ond Corps, with such audacity capturing an officer and thirteen 
men of the enemy that it ought to have warned the Federal 
commander of our meditated attack. 

Our forces could not get into position for battle until late on 
the afternoon of the 5th too late to commence the action on 
that day. Soon after General Hardee s line of battle (the front 
one) had been formed, he sent a messenger with an urgent request 
that General Beauregard should ride along in front of his troops. 
This General Beauregard, through motives of prudence, at first 
refused, and only agreed to do at the instance of General John 
ston himself, but he prohibited any cheering whatever, lest it 
should attract the attention of the opposing forces, which were 
known to be not more than two miles from us.* Afterwards, at 

* See statements of Colonel Jacob Thompson and Major B. B. Waddell in 
Appendix to Chapter XX. 


tlie request of General Bragg, General Beauregard also rode along 
the front of the Second Corps, where it was difficult to enforce the 
order prohibiting cheering, so enthusiastic were the troops espe 
cially those from Louisiana when he appeared before them. 

As soon as it had become evident that the day was too far ad 
vanced for a decisive engagement, General Johnston called the 
corps and reserve commanders together in an informal council, in 
the roadway, near his temporary headquarters, within less than 
two miles of those of General Sherman, at the Shiloh meeting 
house. He was then informed, by Major-General Polk, that his 
troops had already exhausted their rations and that he had brought 
none in reserve. General Bragg thereupon stated that his men 
had been so provident of their food that he could supply General 
Folk witli what he needed. This promise, however, he never 
executed, because of the hurry and confusion of events, which 
engrossed his own attention as well as that of his subordinate offi 
cers ; and because, though his troops might have been somewhat 
less improvident than those of General Polk, they were, at best, 
scantily provided with what was necessary for themselves, and had, 
certainly, no surplus rations to spare. The transportation wagons, 
containing the live clays uncooked reserved rations for all the 
corps, were miles away in the rear, not having been able, on ac 
count of the heavy roads, to keep up witli the march. 

The fact that the army was threatened with a total lack of food, 
and that, by the loss of a whole day, the offensive movement he 
had so carefully prepared was seriously imperilled, produced great 
disappointment and distress in General Beauregard s mind. Im 
pressed with the gravity of the situation and the responsibility 
which rested on him, as having proposed and organized this entire 
campaign, he stated to General Johnston and to the corps com 
manders present at the conference, that, in his opinion, our plan 
of operations had been foiled by the tardiness of our troops in 
starting from Corinth, followed by such delays and noisy demon 
strations on the march, that a surprise, which was the basis of his 
plan, was now scarcely to be hoped for; that ample notice of our 
proximity for an aggressive movement must have been given 
through the conflict of our cavalry, on the preceding day, with 
the enemy s reconnoitring force, and the prolongation of our 
presence in front of their positions before the hour for battle, 
next morning; that the Federal army would, no doubt, be found 


intrenched to the eyes, and ready for our attack ; that it was un 
wise to push, against breastworks, troops so raw and undisciplined 
as ours, badly armed and worse equipped, while their antagonists, 
besides the advantage of number, position, discipline, and superi 
ority of arms, were largely composed of men lately victorious at 
Forts Henry and Donelson ; that, from his experience in the war 
with Mexico and, more recently, at Manassas and Centreville, he 
considered volunteers, when well commanded and occupying strong 
defensive positions, equal to regulars, if attacked in front, as the 
Federals would be by us ; * that, under these circumstances, and 
for the further reason that the enemy, being on the alert, Buell s 
junction would no doubt be hastened, he was no longer in favor 
of making the attack, but favored inviting one by turning this 
offensive movement into a reconnoissance in force, to draw the 
enemy after us nearer to our base Corinth and thereby detach 
him further from his own, at Pittsburg Landing. Somewhat sim 
ilar strategy had been resorted to by Wellington in 1810, when, 
advancing to attack Massena at Santarem, he unexpectedly found 
that able officer on his guard, ready for battle, on ground of his 
own choosing, arid much stronger than he had anticipated. After 
making some demonstrations in front of his wily adversary, to 
draw him away from his stronghold, Wellington did not hesitate 
to retire without giving battle. 

General Beauregard s views produced a visible effect on all 
present. General Johnston, although shaken, after some reflec- 

* General Sherman, in his " Memoirs," says of the Federal position : " The po 
sition was naturally strong, with Snake Creek on our right, a deep, bold stream, 
with a confluent (Owl Creek) to our right front, and Lick Creek, with a simi 
lar confluent, on our left, thus narrowing the space over which we could be 
attacked to one and a half or two miles. At a later period of the war we 
could have rendered this position impregnable in one night, but at this time 
we did not do it." 

The fact is, that the position was not strong, except that it could not be 
flanked, but might have been readily made impregnable in one night to the 
assault of so raw a force as ours. We knew, from the careful examination of 
Colonel Crocket, the Federal officer captured on the 4th, that, up to the even 
ing of that day, there were no breastworks ; but the several warnings given 
by the conflict in which he was captured, the noisy incidents of the next day s 
march and reconnoissance, and our presence in full force on the field for fifteen 
hours before the attack, were facts which forced General Beauregard to believe 
the Federals would surely use the ample time they had, during that night, to 
throw up intrenchments sufficient for the repulse of our raw troops. 


tion said that he admitted the weight and force of General Bean- 
regard s remarks, but still hoped we could find the enemy unpre 
pared for an attack ; that as our army had been put in motion for 
battle and was now on the field, it would be better to make the 
venture. lie therefore ordered that preparations should be made 
for an attack at dawn, next day. Thus ended this memorable con 
ference ; the officers who had been present at it repairing to their 
respective headquarters, in good spirits and hopeful for the 

A description of the field of Shiloh may be appropriate, to en 
able the reader more readily to understand an account of that bat 
tle. The sketch of the country furnished by General Jordan, 
Adjutant-General of the Confederate forces, in his "Campaigns 
of General Forrest," is so correct that we shall transcribe it here, 
with only slight alteration : 

> Two streams, Lick and Owl Creeks the latter a confluent of Snake Creek, 
which empties into the Tennessee take their rise very near each other, just 
westward of Monterey (in a ridge which parts the waters that fall into the 
Mississippi from those which are affluents of the Tennessee), flowing sinuously 
with a general direction, the latter to the northeast and the former south of 
east, and they finally empty into the Tennessee, about four miles asunder. Be 
tween these watercourses is embraced an area of undulating table-land, some 
five miles in depth from the river bank, from three to five miles broad, and 
about one hundred feet above the low-water level of the river. Intersected 
by a labyrinth of ravines, the drainage is principally into Owl Creek, as the 
land rises highest and ridgelike near Lick Creek. Adjoining the river these 
ravines, deep and steep, have a water-shed in that direction. Recent heavy 
rains had filled them all with springs and small streams, making the soil boggy, 
and hence difficult for artillery, over much of their extent. A primeval forest 
combined with a great deal of undergrowth covered the region, except a few 
small farms of fifty or seventy acres, scattered occasionally here and there. 

k Pittsburg Landing a warehouse and a house or two by the water s side 
lay three miles below the mouth of Liek Creek. Two roads leading from 
Corinth, crossing that creek about a mile apart, converge together about two 
miles from the Landing and one mile in rear of the Shiloh meeting-house. 
Other roads also approach from all directions ; one, passing Owl Creek by a 
bridge before its junction with Snake Creek, branches, the one way tending 
westwardly towards Purely, the other northwardly towards Crump s Landing, 
six miles below Pittsburg. Another, near the river bank, crossing Snake Creek 
by a bridge, also connects the two points." 

The Federal forces five divisions of infantry, four or five 
squadrons of cavalry, and sixteen light batteries of six pieces each, 
amounting in all to at least forty-three thousand men, occupied 


the ground between the Shiloh meeting-house and the river, in 
three lines of encampments, as already stated. 

General Sherman, in his sworn testimony before a court-mar 
tial which, in August, 1862, tried Colonel Thomas Worthington 
of the 46th Ohio Volunteers, for severely criticising his manage 
ment before the battle of Shiloh, said, of the position occupied by 
the Federals: "But even as we were on the 6th of April, 1862, 
you might search the world over and not find a more advantage 
ous field of battle ; flanks well-protected, and never threatened ; 
troops in easy support; timber and broken ground giving good 
points to rally ; and the proof is, that forty-three thousand men, of 
whom at least ten thousand ran away, held their ground against 
sixty thousand chosen troops of the South with their best leaders. 
On Friday, the 4th, no officers nor soldiers, not even Colonel 
Worthington, looked for an attack, as I can prove." 

It is somewhat strange that General Sherman, in his "Me 
moirs," should maintain that the Federal forces engaged in the 
battle of Shiloh numbered only thirty-tw r o thousand men of all 
arms, when, four months after that event, he stated, under oath, at 
the trial of Colonel Worthington, that they amounted to forty- 
three thousand men, exclusive, be it remembered, of Lew. Wallace s 
division of about eight thousand men, on the northwest side of 
Owl Creek. He then supposed our force was sixty thousand 
strong, instead of its actual number forty thousand three hun 
dred and thirty-five men of all arms and conditions. But it may 
be fair to infer that he judged of their number by the effect they 
produced. Thus it was that Mr. Lincoln was sorely puzzled dur 
ing the war at his commanding generals reporting constantly 
that they had fought the " Rebels " with inferior numbers. In 
the instance of the battle of Shiloh, this phenomenon might, how 
ever, possibly have happened; for in about thirty days, with our 
defective means of transportation, we had collected at Corinth, 
from Murfreesboro , Pensaeola, Mobile, Xew Orleans, and other 
distant points, an effective force of over forty thousand men of all 
arms, while the Federals had failed to bring together, in time, at 
Pittsburg Landing, notwithstanding their ample means of land 
and water transportation, the armies of Buell, from Nashville, Ten 
nessee, and of Pope, from southeast Missouri. 

Yet the Confederate army had advanced and was then assem 
bled at Monterey and vicinity, less than nine miles in his front. 


Our forces, as they had arrived in the afternoon of the 5th, at 
the intersection of the Griersford (Lick Creek) and Ridge roads, 
from Corinth to Pittsburg, less than two miles from the Sliiloh 
meeting-house, were formed into three lines of battle ; the first, 
under General Hardee, extended from near Owl Creek, on the left, 
to near Lick Creek, on the right, a distance of less than three miles, 
and somewhat oblique to the Federal front line of encampments, 
being separated from it, on the right, by about one and a half 
miles, and on the left, by about two miles. General Ilardee s com 
mand not being sufficiently strong to occupy the whole front, it 
was extended on the riirht bv Gladden s brigade, of General Brass s 

*/ i O C^) 

corps, and his artillery was formed immediately in his rear, on the 
main Pittsbnrg road. 11 is cavalry protected and supported his 
flanks. The second line, about five hundred yards in rear of 
the first, was composed of the rest of General Bragg s troops, ar 
ranged in the same order. General Folk s corps, formed in column 
of brigades, deployed on the left of the Pittsburg road, between 
the latter and Owl Creek. The front of the column was about 
eight hundred yards in rear of the centre of General Bragg s 
left wing, and each brigade was followed immediately by its bat 
tery. General Folk s cavalry supported and protected his left 
Hank. Breckinridge s command occupied a corresponding position 
behind General Pragg s right wing, between the Fittsburg road 
and Lick Creek. His cavalry protected and supported his right 
flank. The two latter commands constituted the reserve, and were 
to support the front lines of battle by being deployed when re 
quired on the right and left of the Fittsburg road, or otherwise, 
according to exigencies. 

General Ilardee s effective force of infantry and artillery was, 
then, nine thousand and twenty-four men ; General Pragg s, ten 
thousand seven hundred and thirty-one; General Folk s, nine 
thousand one hundred and thirty-six ; and General Breckin ridge s, 
seven thousand and sixty-two; presenting a total of thirty-live 
thousand nine hundred and fifty-three, infantry and artillery. - to 

* It is proper to remark here, that, through the want of experienced com 
manding officers of artillery and cavalry, and because of the wooded nature 
of the battle-field, it became necessary to subdivide and distribute those two 
arms of the service among the different corps, to enable us to obtain even a 
partial benefit from their presence on the field. The strict rules of military 
organization for battle, in that and other respects, had to be departed from. 
under stress of circumstances. 


which must be added four thousand three hundred and eighty-two 
cavalry, so imperfectly armed and so recently organized that all 
but one third of it was useless, except for outpost service that did 
not involve skirmishing. 

Our pickets had been thrown out well in advance of our first 
line of battle, not far from the enemy s position, without seeing 
or discovering any of his pickets or outposts. Such an oversight 
on the part of the Federal commanders is really unaccountable, 
unless they chose to overlook that important maxim of war: 
" Never despise an enemy, however weak and insignificant he may 

So near to each other were the opposing forces, that, hearing a 
loud beating of drums about the hour of tattoo, and believing it 
proceeded from our lines, General Beauregard immediately de 
spatched a staff officer with orders to suppress such thoughtless 
and imprudent sounds. The staff officer returned shortly after 
wards and reported that the noise General Beauregard had heard, 
and was desirous of quieting, came, not from our troops, but from 
the enemy s encampments in our front. Later in the evening, a 
Federal assistant surgeon and his orderly, riding out on some night 
excursion, crossed our picket lines and were captured. They were 
speechless with astonishment when brought to Generals Johnston 
and Beauregard, at beholding so large a force within striking dis 
tance of their own camps, where all was now silence and repose, 
and where none suspected the approaching storm. From them 
we learned that General Grant had returned for the night to Sa 
vannah, and that General Sherman commanded the advanced 
forces. No other information of importance was obtained from 
the two prisoners. 

Such was the lack of discipline in the largest part of the Con 
federate forces, that, despite the strict orders given to enforce 
perfect quiet among our troops, drums were beaten, bugles blown, 
fires kindled, here and there, by many regiments, and firearms dis 
charged, at different points in our rear, during that eventful night. 
These and other bivouac noises should have betrayed to the Fed 
eral generals on the first line the close proximity of their foe. 
That such was not the case is due, no doubt, to the fact that they 
fell into an error similar to that which General Beauregard and 
others of our officers had made, and attributed these untimely 
sounds to their own troops. 



Battle of Shiloh. Varied Incidents and Events of the First Day. Enemy 
Taken by Surprise. His Lines Driven in. Entire Forces Engaged on Both 
Sides. Triumphant Advance of our Troops. General Johnston in Com 
mand of the Right and Centre. General Beauregard of the Left and Re 
serves. Allurements of the Enemy s Camps. Straggling Begins among 
our Troops. Death of the Commander-in-Chief. General Beauregard As 
sumes Command and Renews the Attack all along the Line. Enemy again 
Forced to Fall Back and Abandon other Camps. Evidence of Exhaustion 
among the Troops. Straggling Increasing. General Beauregard s Efforts 
to Check it. Collects Stragglers and Pushes them Forward. Battle still 
Raging. Capture of General 1 rcntiss and of his Command. Our Troops 
Reach the Tennessee River. Colonel Webster s Batteries. Arrival of 
Ammcn s Brigade, Nelson s Division, of BueH s Army. Its Inspiriting 
Effect upon the Enemy. The Gunboats. Intrepidity of our Troops. 
Their Brilliant but Ineffectual Charges. Firing Gradually Slackens, as 
the Day Declines. At Dusk General Beauregard Orders Arrest of Conflict. 
-Troops Ordered to Bivouac for the Night, and be in Readiness for 
Offensive Movement next Day. Storm during the Night. Arrival of the 
Whole of Buell s Army. Gunboats Keep up an Incessant Shelling. 

As the Federal troops lay encamped, Sherman s and Prcntiss s 
divisions stretched from the Owl Creek bridge, on the Pnrdy road, 
to the ford of Lick Creek, on the Shore road, from Pittsbnrg to 
Hamburg. Sherman s 1st brigade, under Colonel McDowell, was 
on the extreme right; his -ith, under Colonel Buckland, west 
of and resting on the Shiloh meeting-house; his 3d, under Colo 
nel llildebrand, east of and resting also on the Shiloh meeting 
house. Xext came Prentiss s division, and, at a very wide inter 
val by a loose arrangement was Sherman s 2d brigade, un 
der Colonel Stuart, near Lick Creek. About half a mile in rear 
of this line, and between Sherman and Prentiss, lay McClernand s 
division; and two miles in rear, towards the Tennessee Iliver, C. 
F. Smith s division, now under General W. II. L. Wallace; while 
on Wallace s left was Iltirlbut s division, on the Hamburg road, 
about a mile and a half in rear of Stuart. 

Before five o clock A. M., on the Cth of April, General Ilardee s 


pickets, driving in those of General Prentiss, encountered some 
companies of the Federal advanced guard, and a desultory firing 
began. The order to advance was now given, and at five o clock 
General Ilardee s entire line moved forward. Overhead was the 
promise of a bright day, but the after mists of the recent storm yet 
hung in the valleys and woods, veiling still more thickly the for 
est-screened positions of the enemy, upon which the lines of battle 
were directed only by conjecture. General Prentiss having hur 
ried a reinforcement to the guard and informed Generals Wallace 
and Hurlbut of the attack, threw forward three regiments well to 
the front.* His position was a prolongation of the elevated 
ground where stood the Sliiloh meeting-house, held by General 
Sherman; the whole bounded in front by a ravine and water 
course which, rising near the left of Prentiss, fell into Owl Creek, 
near the Purely road bridge, occupied by Sherman s right. 

The Confederate lines of attack soon appeared, driving before 
them the skirmish line formed of the troops of the guard. Pren- 
tiss s whole force was now thrown forward and became the first 
engaged, as his position was slightly in advance of General Sher 
man s, and the difficulties of the ground in front of the latter 
caused our line to oblique still more to the right. Shortly after six 
o clock General Prentiss s command was falling under fire, and 
the assailing wave soon struck General Sherman s pickets, sweep 
ing them back in the direction of his camps. General Sherman 
called upon General McClernand for assistance and gave notice of 
the attack to Generals Prentiss and Hurlbut, the latter of whom 
despatched Yeatch s brigade of four regiments to the support of 
General Sherman s left.f Before seven o clock the musketry fire, 
which had gradually swelled, slackened and almost ceased, while 
the Federal skirmishers were leaving the field, and the wooded in 
terval separating the enemy s encampments from our advancing 
lines was lessening more and more. It was the momentary lull 
before the full outburst of the storm. 

* In his Report, General Prentiss says : ". . . This information received, I at 
once ordered the entire force into line, and the remaining regiments of the 1st 
brigade, commanded by Colonel Everett Peabody, consisting of the 25th Mis 
souri, IGth Wisconsin, and 12th Michigan infantry, were advanced well to the 
front. I forthwith, at this juncture, communicated the fact of the attack in 
force to Major-General Smith and Brigadier-General S. A. Hurlbut." 

t General Hurlbut s Report. 


Shortly before this General Johnston, meeting General Beaure 
gard near the former s headquarters, expressed liis satisfaction at 
the manner in which the battle had been opened, and after an in 
terchange of views concerning the operations of the day, left him 
and rode to the front. They parted here for the last time. 

At seven o clock the thunder of artillery announced the serious 
opening of the conflict, and was followed by the sharp, increasing 
volleys of musketry. Generals Polk and Breckinridge were now 
hastened forward, and, reporting to General Beauregard, at half- 
past seven, were by him deployed in column of brigades, General 
Breckinridge on the right, General Polk on the left. They re 
ceived from General Beauregard brief general instructions to keep 
at a proper distance in rear of General Bragg s line and apart from 
each other, until called on for assistance, when they should move 
promptly with concentrated forces wherever needed, and, if in 
doubt from the hidden and broken character of the country, to 
move upon the sound of the heaviest firing. By this time the 
attack had become general along the entire front of Generals 
Prentiss and Sherman, though stronger as yet on the former, who 
received the full shock of GJadden s, Hindman s, and Wood s bri 
gades of General llardee s line, and was driven back upon his 
camps, calling upon Generals "Wallace and llurlbut for assistance."- 
General Beauregard now despatched members of his staff to several 
quarters of the field, to ascertain and report its precise condition, 
and sent forward Adjutant-General Jordan, charging him to main 
tain a careful inspection of the lines of battle, so as to secure the 
massing of the troops for unity of attack and prompt reinforce 
ment to weakened points; also with impressive directions to the 
corps and division commanders to mass their batteries in action, 
and tight them twelve guns on a point. 

Notwithstanding the bold movements of the Confederate cav 
alry on the previous evening and the noise of the conflict since 
dawn, General Sherman remained under the belief that no more 
than a strong demonstration was intended, until nearly eight 
o clock, when, seeing the Confederate bayonets moving in the 
woods beyond his front, he " became satisfied, for the first time, 

* General Prentiss, in his Report, says lie was assailed " by the entire force of 
the enemy, advancing in three columns simultaneously upon our left, centre, 
and right/ 


that the enemy designed a determined attack " on the entire Fed 
eral camp.* The regiments of his division, all then under arms, 
were thrown into line of battle. Taylor s and Waterhouse s bat 
teries were posted, the former at the Shiloh meeting-house, and 
the latter on a ridge to the left, with a front fire over open ground 
between Mungen s and Appier s regiments of his left (Hilde- 
brand s) brigade. General McClernand, responding promptly to 
General Sherman s call, had sent forward three Illinois regiments, 
which were posted in rear of Waterhouse s battery and of Appier, 
upon whom General Sherman impressed the necessity of holding 
his ground at all hazards. Yeatch s brigade, of General Hurlbut s 
division, took position on General Sherman s left.f 

As the heavy roll of musketry soon extended to the left, Gen 
eral Beauregard ordered General Polk to move two of his bri 
gades to the left rear of General Bragg s line and to keep in per 
sonal communication with the latter, who was also informed of 
the movement. General Bragg reported that his infantry was 
not yet engaged, but ready to support General Hardee when re 
quired, and that his artillery was shelling the Federal camp. 
Colonel Jacob Thompson, of General Beauregard s staff, now 
came in with a message from General Johnston, informing him 
that General Hardee s line was within half a mile of the enemy s 
camps, and advising the sending forward of strong reinforcements 
to the left, as he had just learned that the enemy w r as there in 
great force. Three brigades of General Breckinridge were accord 
ingly set in motion as an additional reinforcement for that quarter. 
But later a courier came in from General Johnston, with informa 
tion that the enemy was not strong on the left, and had fallen back ; 
while Colonel Augustin and Major Brent, of General Beauregard s 
staff, returning about half-past eight from a reconnoissance of the 
extreme right, reported an active engagement in that quarter, the 
right of General Hardee s line under a severe fire, and requiring 
extension, as it was uncovered for the space of a mile in the direc 
tion of Lick Creek, and the enemy was occupying the country be 
yond the right. General Beauregard thereupon ordered General 
Breckinridge to send but one (Trabue s) brigade to the left, and 
lead his remaining; two brigades to the rirht of Gladden, so as to 

O O O 

* General Sherman s Report, sec " Record of the Rebellion," p. 407. 
t General Hurlbufs Report, "Record of the Rebellion," p. 400. 


share in the forward movement of the first line, and extend his 
own right as far as possible towards Lick Creek. Colonel Augus- 
tin was sent to conduct him into position. 

It was now half-past eight o clock. The attack was being pushed 
with great vigor, the Confederate lines of battle following quick 
ly in the wake of the shells that were bursting in the enemy s 
camps. Fortunately for the Federals, on that day, from an un 
avoidable ignorance of their exact positions, the left of the Con 
federate first line of battle fell short of General McDowell s bri 
gade, on General Sherman s right, which thus had ample time for 
deliberate preparation before it was struck by the second line, un 
der General Bragg.* Thus, while the brigades of Generals Glad 
den, Ilindman, and Wood were striking an unbroken series of 
blows on General Prentiss s division and on General Sherman s 
left and left centre, it happened that Cleburne s brigade, the left 
of General Ilardee s line, was moving single-handed against Gen 
eral Sherman s right centre and was being overlapped by his right. 
Its order was broken in crossing the difficult morass which here 
covered the Federal front, and, as it charged up the hill, deadly 
volleys were poured upon it from behind bales of hay and other 
convenient defences, till, after repeated efforts against a front and 
flank fire, it was repulsed with heavy loss; the Gth Mississippi regi 
ment losing in these charges more than three hundred killed and 
wounded, out of an effective force of four hundred and twentv- 


five men. 

The diverging course of Lick Creek had left an ever-widening 
space between it and the right of General Ilardee s line, as the 
latter advanced. To fill this space Chalmers s brigade,f with 
Gage s battery, was thrown forward from the second line and de 
ployed on the right of General Gladden, in conformity with direc 
tions contained in the order of march and battle. The gallant 
Gladden, at that time vigorously urging his troops against Pren- 
tiss, fell mortally wounded, and was carried from the field. His 
brigade was now wavering before the severe artillery and musketrv 

* The Confederate line while advancing was somewhat oblique to the Fed 
erals, being nearest to General Prentiss s left and farthest from General Sher 
man s right. 

t See General "Withers s Report of the battle of Shiloh, in " Confederate Official 
Reports of Battles, 1 p. 235. See also, in same work, General Chalmers s Re 
port, at page 250. 


fire brought to bear against it, when Colonel Daniel "W. Adams, its 
new commander, seizing a battle-flag, "called upon his men to 
follow him, which they did with great alacrity ;"* and such was the 
impetus, as Chalmers s brigade charged on the right, that Pren- 
tiss s entire line gave way in confusion and disorder. It was 
pursued through its camps and about half a mile across a ravine, 
to the ridge beyond, by Chalmers s brigade, till the latter was 
halted by order of General Johnston, f then in that quarter, and 
withdrawn to a position on the rear and right of General Gladden. 
At the same time, Mungen s and Appier s regiments of Ililde- 
brand s brigade, of Sherman s division, broke and fled, leaving 
Waterhouse s battery entirely exposed.;}: Here the supporting 
regiments from McClernand s and Hurlbut s divisions pressed for 
ward, and, together with Hildebrand s own regiment, still held 
their ground, while another brigade of McClernand s came to their 
support. Meantime McArthur s brigade, of Wallace s division, 
while moving to the assistance of Stuart s brigade, on the Federal 
extreme left, had mistaken its way, and come opportunely into the 
void left by the routed General Prentiss. For a while it stood 
firmly, but was forced back and formed farther to the rear,, with 
the remaining forces of its own division, hurried forward to its 
relief. General Hurlbut also was bringing up his two remaining 
brigades for the support of Prentiss s left, when he met the flee 
ing troops of that division, who straggled through his lines. He 
formed his brigades on two sides of an open field with woods in 
rear, and his three batteries (Meyer s, Mann s, and Ross s) respect 
ively on the right, the centre, and the left their fire converging 
over the open ground in front ; [ while General Prentiss, rallying 
what he could of his troops, led them, together with the 23d Mis 
souri (just landed from a transport), into position on Hurlbut s 
right, and on the left of Wallace s division. ^[ But here, after the 
capture of Prentiss s camps, further advance on the right was sus- 

* Sec Colonel D. W. Adams s Report, in " Confederate Official Reports of 
Battles," p. 242. 

t See General Chalmers s Report, in " Confederate Official Reports of Battles," 
p. 257. 

I General Sherman s Report, "Rebellion Record," vol. iv. p. 407. 

" Agate," " Rebellion Record," vol. iv. p. 389. 

|| Ilurlbut s Report, " Rebellion Record," vol. iv. p. 400. 

*H Prentiss s Report. 


pended for about half an hour, as the enemy s movements were 
concealed.* This proved a valuable respite to the Federals, pend 
ing which, report coming to that quarter that the enemy was form 
ing in line of battle some distance off, on the right flank, General 
Johnston led Chalmers s and Jackson s brigades back across the 
ravine and southeast three quarters of a mile to the right, until 
the right of Chalmers rested on Lick Creek bottom, Jackson form 
ing on his left. Here they were halted for about half an hour, 
while the position of the enemy (Stuart s brigade) was being ascer 
tained, f 

After General Breckinridge s two brigades had passed head 
quarters in their movement to the right, General Beauregard sent 
Johnson s brigade, of General Folk s corps, as a further reinforce 
ment to the right; and, thereupon, at about 9.20 A.M., moved with 
his staff to a more advanced position, on the road to Pittsburg, 
now giving more particular attention to the conflict on the left.* 
Here General Euggles s division, of General Brngg s corps, the 
second line of attack, had come into position on General Ilardee s 
left, and was ready to grapple with General Sherman, who, sup 
ported now by all of McClernand s division and Wright s regi 
ment of Wallace s second brigade, was endeavoring to cling to 
the position of Shiloh. 

The severity of the contest, thus far, was attested by the large 
number of wounded found on the way. A great many stragglers 
were also met, whom General Beauregard s staff || and escort pres 
ent were at once employed in reorganizing and leading forward 
to their regiments. As General Iltiggles s division, the left of 
General Bragg s line, was inclining to the right before making its 
direct movement forward, an interval occurred between the lead 
ing brigade, Gibson s, and its two other brigades, Anderson s and 
Pond s.T A brigade of General Folk s division, believed to be 
Russell s, ** which had been ordered forward by General Beaure- 

* Chalmers s Report, " Confederate Official Reports of Battles," p. 257. 
f Generals Withers s, Chalmers s, and Jackson s Reports, " Confederate Re 
ports of Battles, 1 pp. 235, 257, 265. 

I Reports of General Bcauregard s Staff, in Appendix. 
Colonel Wright s Report, " Rebellion Record," p. 370. 
|| Reports of General Beauregard s Staff, in Appendix. 
IT General Bragg s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 227. 
** Major Clack s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 317. 
I. 19 


gard, opportunely filled this vacant space, thus completing the sec 
ond line in that quarter, and supporting the assault of Ilindman s 
division upon McClernand and Yeatch, who were then striving to 
hold the position from which Sherman s left brigade had been 
mostly routed, and was now wholly slipping away. 

Still farther to the left, Anderson s brigade formed the second 
line along the ridge, with Hodgson s battery, which went at once 
into vigorous action. 


Across the ravine, and on the opposite dominating ridge, were 
General Sherman s remaining brigades, supporting their batteries, 
with an infantry advance thrown out to the edge of the boggy 
ravine which here divided the two lines of battle. It was a swamp 
so overgrown with shrubs, saplings, and vines thickly interwoven, 
as to require, in many places, the use of the knife to force a pas 
sage."" As Anderson s regiments went down the slope and forced 
their way through the swamp thicket, they encountered a severe 
fire from the enemy s artillery and musketry, and, as they charged 
up the opposite hill, they were partially broken by some scatter- 
ii)"* forces from the first line and from the right. All, however, 

O O 

were rallied together and held for a time, under cover of the brow r 
of the hill occupied by General Sherman, while Hodgson s guns 
threw a destructive fire upon the opposite Federal battery; and 
the neighboring forces on the right, supported by another battery, 
moving around the swamp and thicket, poured a flank fire upon 
General Sherman s left.f What remained of Hildebrand s bri 
gade now wholly gave way, throwing disorder into McClernand s 
forces, who were driven back, abandoning Waterhouse s six guns ; 
and as Taylor s battery now slackened under Hodgson s fire, An 
derson s brigade again ascended the slope with three regiments of 
Pond s brigade, on the left, supported by two sections of Ketch- 
urn s batteiy. By this front and flank charge, General Sherman 
was forced to fall back with McDowell s and Buckland s brigades 
to the Purdy and Hamburg roads; thus, by ten o clock, abandon 
ing his entire line of camps. ; As the attacking lines vigorously 

* General Patton Anderson s Report, "Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 

t This was one of the batteries which had been placed in position by General 
Trudeau, volunteer aide-de-camp of General Polk, acting under instructions of 
General Beauregnrd, who was present at the time. 

I Colonel Buckland s Report, " Rebellion Record," vol. iv. p. 372. 


followed, Buckland s brigade began rapidly to dissolve ; Behr s 
battery was abandoned without tiring a shot* from its new posi 
tion, and the remains of Sherman s division fell farther back on 
the right of McClernand s, which had been well rallied, and formed 
on the line of its camps, with Veatch s cleft brigade allotted on its 
right and left. In taking his new position, General Sherman was 
enabled somewhat to relieve McClernand,f who was under a se 
vere attack, by delivering his retreating fire upon the flank of the 
assailing force in that quarter. 

About the hour that General Sherman s last camps were car 
ried, and his troops were being driven back upon the line of the 
Purdy road, the battle broke along the front formed by Generals 
W. II. L. Wallace and Ilurlbut, who had selected strong defensive 
positions. Here, after the line of battle had been formed beyond 
General Prentiss s camps, a fortunate shell, from Jlobertson s bat 
tery, striking amid one of Hurlbut s, stampeded the entire bat 
tery, horses and caissons, as well as guns, being abandoned, though 
the latter were spiked by other artillerists.^: By direction of Gen 
eral Ilardee, then on his way towards the left, Colonel Adams 
made a skirmishing reconnoissance to feel the enemy s strength. 
He was then ordered by General Bragg to advance, but found his 
men short of ammunition. At this moment General Breckin- 
ridge s division was led into position by Colonel Augustin, of 
General Beauregard s staff, on Colonel Adams s right, while 
Cheatham s division (Bushrod Johnson s and Stevens s brigades), 
sent to the same quarter by General Beauregard, came up on its 
left.] These two divisions now joined their lines and engaged 
the. enemy, while Adams s (Gladdcn s) brigade fell to the rear. 
Johnson s two right regiments, which had become temporarily de 
tached by reason of the features of the ground, were ordered sep 
arately into action by General Bragg, and unfortunately remained 
separated from the rest of the brigade and their commander dur 
ing the day.^f 

Wallace s and Ilurlbut s divisions, deliberately posted and han- 

* General Sherman s Report, " Record of the Rebellion," vol. iv. p. 407. 

t Ibid. 

I General Ilurlbut s Report, " Record of the Rebellion," vol. iv. p. 400. 

See Colonel Augustin s Report, in Appendix. 

|| General Cheatham s Report. 

IF General Bushrod Johnson s Report. 


died with skill, maintained a stubborn resistance to the attack. 
Consisting mostly of troops who had served at Donelson, they 
gallantly formed their lines, notwithstanding the surprise and dis 
order through which they had been ushered into the conflict. 

Shortly after ten o clock, the enemy being reported very strong 
in the centre that is, along "Wallace s front General Beauregard 
reinforced that point by Trabue s brigade,* of General Breckin- 
ridge s division, which he had held near his headquarters. A little 
before that time Stuart s forces had also been reached.f This offi 
cer, when warned, at half-past seven, by General Prentiss, of the 
presence of the Confederates, had formed his three regiments in line 
of battle on a ridge faced by a ravine and watercourse emptying into 
Lick Creek, and awaited developments, until, seeing the Confed 
erates penetrating on Prentiss s rear, he called for support from 
Hurlbut, who despatched him an Illinois regiment and a battery, 
which took position on his right. It was scarcely ten o clock when 
his skirmish line, thrown out on another ridge, in front, was driven 
in by the attacking forces, who planted a battery there and shelled 
his lines, Jackson s brigade opening the conflict under General 
Johnston s personal ordei 4 Stuart, upon going to the right, found 
that the 71st Ohio regiment, together with Hurlbut s Illinois bat 
talion and battery, had taken flight. A similar fate had overtaken 
the 52d Tennessee, of Chalmers s brigade, when, shortly before, it 
had received the fire of Stuart s skirmishers ; and, excepting two 
companies of soldierly behavior, it was ordered out of the lines. jj 
Stuart s other two regiments, after being forced back some dis 
tance, were still farther withdrawn, and formed along the brow of 
a hill, numbering now a force of eight hundred men. His posi 
tion was protected by a fence and thick undergrowth, with an 
open field in front and a ravine on the left ; and here, without ar 
tillery, he maintained a creditable resistance against greatly supe 
rior numbers.!" 

* See Major Brent s Report, in Appendix. 

t "Agate," "Record of the Rebellion," vol. iv. Doc. p. 391. 

I Report of Colonel Joseph Wheeler, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 

Stuart s Report. 

1 Chalmers s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 257. 

"T Stuart s Report mentions no artillery but the battery sent him by Hurlbut, 
which went away; as to infantry, he was greatly outnumbered. 


All the forces on each side were now in action. The Confed 
erate front line, as, according to the conformation of the ground, 
it developed the positions of the enemy and the needs of reinforce 
ments, had been extended on its right and left, and filled, at in 
tervening points, by the troops of the second and third, or reserve 
lines. With a general direction from northwest to southeast, 
oblique to the Tennessee River, and its right thrown back, the 
order of the Federal forces was, from right to left, as follows : 
Sherman s remaining troops ; McClernand s division, with a por 
tion of Yeatch s brigade, of Hurlbut s division ; and, beyond a wide 
interval, Stuart s isolated brigade, on the extreme left. 

The Confederate forces in opposing order, left to right, were : 
Two brigades (Pond s and Anderson s) of Ruggles s division, of 
Bragg s corps ; one brigade (Russell s) of Folk s corps ; Hardee s 
three brigades (Cleburne s, Wood s, and Ilindman s), with Gibson s 
brigade, of Ruggles s division, and Trabue s, of Breckinridge s di 
vision, in support or filling up the line ; Cheatham s division, of 
Folk s corps, and Breckinridge s division, with Gladden in rear; 
and on the extreme right, at the distance of about three quarters 
of a mile, Withers s division (Jackson s and Chalmers s brigades), 
of Bragg s corps, carrying on the attack against Stuart under Gen 
eral Johnston. 

The contest now went on in all parts of the field, without any 
important incident or change, during the remainder of the morn 
ing and the early afternoon. About eleven o clock, General John 
ston, leaving Withers s division, passed over to the rear of General 
Breckinridge s, and remained directing its movements. Previous 
ly to this General Bragg had, by understanding with General 
Polk, taken position near the right centre and General Polk near 
the left centre, while General Ilardee remained at the extreme 
left. General Beauregard, following the general movement, main 
tained a central position in rear. 

In the succession of ravines, ridges, and woods, the Federals had, 
every where, natural defensive positions more or less strong, which 
their opponents were compelled to carry by assault. These were 
attacked with great bravery and heavy loss of life, but not with 
that concert and massing of forces essential to decisive effects, 
though this fact was, in some measure, due to the concealed char 
acter of the country, which, in most parts, admitted of no contin 
uous view of any large body of troops. General officers in imme- 


diate direction of their commands were too intent upon the efforts 
of brigades, and even regiments, thus losing sight of the disjointed 
remainder, and neglecting to combine efficiently the service of the 
artillery and infantry. Brigades and regiments, as well as batter 
ies, were often, for this reason, at a stand-still without orders ; and 
sometimes, from the same lack of cohesion, bodies of our own 
troops were mistaken for the enemy and even fired into on the 
flank or rear, and thrown into some confusion. Other commands, 
after casualties, remained without leadership from a ranking offi 
cer, until so reported to General Beauregard, and by him supplied 
through his staff. Straggling also began early in the day, a great 
many men being engaged in the plunder of the captured camps, 
while numbers made their way to the rear. General Beauregard 
used part of the cavalry, under his staff and escort, to drive them 
out of the camps, and when collected, they were formed into bat 
talions, officered as well as could be done under the circumstances, 
and again sent forward. Thus all loose or halting commands were 
attached to the readiest lines of movement, or to those needing 
reinforcement. At about half-past twelve, part of Pond s brigade 
and two regiments of Cleburne s brigade, united under Colonel 
Pond, with a battery and squadron of cavalry, were ordered to as 
sail the Federal right. Here, between twelve and one o clock, 
Sherman s and McClernand s forces began to fall back,* and, at 
half -past one, General Beauregard ordered General Ilardee to 
throw the cavalry f upon the retreating regiments, sending a force 
by a circuitous way, and under screen of the woods, against the 
right rear, so as to cut them off. The movement was vigorously 
executed, though a part of the force, carried too far by its ardor, 
and coming upon an unseen body of the enemy in a wood, was re 
pulsed ; but the remainder, under Morgan, charged and drove 
back the retreating battalions, capturing a number of guns. At 
two o clock, General Beauregard again sent orders to General liar- 
dee J to push the enemy s right with vigor, and Sherman s and 
McClernand s troops now rapidly gave way, the larger part of them 
retiring towards Snake Creek, where they remained aside from the 
scene of conflict; another part retreating upon Wallace s camps, 

* Reports of Colonels Hare and Crocker, " Rebellion Record," vol. iv. pp. 
t See Staff Reports in Appendix. I Ibid. 


while Yeatch s brigade fell back towards the landing, where, later, 
it reunited with Ilurlbut s division. 

The way was now open for an advance of tl>3 Confederate left 
against "Wallace s division, which was, at that time, the advanced 
Federal right. Posted on a ridge under cover of a thicket, and 
supported by artillery, this division had unflinchingly held its 
ground, repelling with slaughter every attack made upon it. Un 
der the orders of General Bragg, who was directing the move 
ments against its left, between eleven and three o clock, Ilindman s 
division was led to the assault, but repulsed under a murderous 
fire,* its gallant commander falling severely wounded. It was 
rallied and led to a second charge, but with no better success. 
Gibson s brigade was then sent up, without artillery support, in 
four bloody, detached, and unavailing assaults, f its flank raked by 
a battery, and its front covered by the fire of the infantry posted 
in the thicket on the ridge. After these repulses, General Bragg 
abandoned the task and passed farther to the right, in the direc 
tion of Breckinridge s division. J 

Meanwhile "Withers s division (Chalmers s and Jackson s bri 
gades) had been gradually forcing back Stuart s two regiments, 
sweeping with its right the edge of the Tennessee bottom, until, 
about three o clock, Chalmers s brigade was struck by the shells 
of the Federal gunboat " Tyler," and moved away from the river. 
As Stuart s force, winding its way through ravines to Pittsburg 
Landing, went out of view, and no other enemy appeared in that 
quarter, the division, wheeling on its left, by order of Withers, in 
accordance with the general plan of battle, | advanced upon the 
sound of the neighboring conflict, where Breckinridgc s and 
Cheatham s forces were warmly engaged with those of llurlbut 
and Prentiss. General Johnston had been some three quarters of 
an hour in rear of Brcckinridge s division^ (the right of the main 
line of battle), while, under a galling fire and at great cost, it had 
steadily held its position, until he decided to lead it to the charge. 

* General Bragg s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 228. 
t General Gibson s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles, p. 286. 
J General Bragg s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 228. 
General Chalmers s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 258, and 
General Jackson s Report, p. 26G. 

|| General "Witliers s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 236. 
IF Governor Harris s letter to General Bcauregard, see Appendix. 


The enemy s force was driven to the next ridge beyond, and Breck- 
inridge s line was re-formed under a severe fire, when Governor 
Harris,* volunteer aid, returning from the delivery of an order to 
Colonel Statham, to charge a battery on their immediate left, found 
General Johnston wounded. This was between two and half- 
past two o clock. Sustaining him in the saddle, Governor Har 
ris withdrew him to a ravine, about one hundred yards in the 
rear, where, within half an hour, that patriotic and noble soldier 
breathed his last. Meanwhile, General Hurlbut, informed by Stu 
art that his left flank was uncovered by the latter s forced retreat,f 
shifted his right (Lanman s) brigade to his left, and ordered Wil- 
liams s brigade and Prentiss s command to fall back steadily, thus 
endeavoring to meet the flanking movement of Withers s division. 
Adjutant-General Jordan had come upon this quarter of the field 
at half-past two, shortly after General Johnston s withdrawal, and 
finding Breckinridge s division at rest, ordered it to charge the 
enemy in front,:]; posted behind a fence in the border of a wood. 
He gave the order in the name of General Johnston, not knowing 
at the time of his whereabouts or mortal wound. General Breck- 
inridge advanced steadily, forcing the enemy back from their po 

While this was going on, and after the Federal right had been 
broken and driven back, General Beauregard, having ordered Gen 
eral Hardee to reorganize his forces for another onslaught, turned 
his attention to that quarter of the field, in the centre, where the 
enemy s obstinate resistance had baffled General Bragg s previous 
efforts. He advanced in that direction portions of Anderson s and 
Gibson s brigades, two detached batteries, and several battalions 
just formed from stragglers and scattered commands. At this 
moment Colonel Marshall J. Smith s Crescent regiment, of New 
Orleans, came up from the extreme left, with Colonel Looney s 
38th Tennessee, and, seeing General Beauregard, raised a gallant 
cheer, which immediately drew upon the spot the concentrated 
fire of the enemy. General Beauregard, bidding them " go forward 
and drive the enemy into the Tennessee," attached to them an- 

* Governor Harris s letter to General Beauregard, see Appendix, 
f General Hurlbut s Report, " Rebellion Record," vol. iv. p. 401. 
I General Cheatham s Report. 

Colonel Marshall J. Smith s Report, " Confederate Official Reports of Bat 
tles," p. 343. 


other battalion formed of stragglers, and sent them in the same 
direction, to support two batteries (Hodgson s and another) which 
he had just ordered ahead. Here a vigorous artillery fire was 
now combined with the efforts of the infantry, under Generals 
Polk and Kuggles, and the stubborn enemy began to relax his 

But, farther down on the right, Generals Prcntiss and Ilurlbut 
were still contending so strongly that Generals Breck in ridge and 
Crittenden called earnestly on Jackson and Chalmers for assist- 
ance.f The flanking march of these two latter brigades was met 
by Lanman s brigade, supported by powerful artillery, and there a 
fierce, exhausting contest ensued. 

As General Beauregard, in advance of the Shiloh meeting-house, 
was directing the movement beyond McClernand s camps, Governor 
Harris reached him, shortly after three o clock, and informed him 
of General Johnston s death. This was a great shock to General 
Beauregard, who had not anticipated the possibility of such a loss, 
and who knew what effect it would produce upon the troops, es 
pecially those who had formed part of General Johnston s original 
command. He sent immediate intelligence of the sad event to 
the corps commanders, enjoining silence concerning it, and, at the 
same time, gave orders to push the attack vigorously in all quar 
ters of the field. 

Wallace s right was now attacked by Looney s and Marshall J. 
Smith s regiments, of Anderson s brigade, and by a portion of Gib 
son s, under General Polk. The remains of Hindman s division 
and Gladden s brigade, with Cheatham s and Breckinridge s forces, 
were pressed against his left; and Prentiss s command, with a 
portion of Ilurlbut s, was attacked with great determination by 
General Bragg; while Jackson and Chalmers were assailing Ilurl 
but in front and on the left flank. The latter, as he withdrew, 
attempted to make a stand on the line of his camps, but, to avoid 
being cut off, fell back, at about four o clock, upon Pittsburg Land 
ing, thus allowing Chalmers and Jackson to move upon the flank 
of the line formed by Prentiss and Wallace. 

While all these forces were closing upon Wallace and Prcntiss, 

* See, in " Confederate Reports of Battles," Ruggles s Report, p. 282, Ander 
son s Report, p. 304, and Hoge s Report, p. 291. 
t Report of General Jackson, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 2G5. 


General Hardee was engaged on the left with McClernand s regi 
ments and the remnants of Sherman s command. Hearing from 
a staff officer"- that a brigade was inactive in that quarter, and, 
apparently, without a commander, General Eeauregard sent 
Colonel Ferguson, of his staff, to lead it into action, under the di 
rection of General Hardee. This was part of the brigade of 
Colonel Pond, who, far from being inactive, was, in fact, recon 
noitring so as to ascertain his position more accurately and act un- 
derstandingly against the battery in his front. By orders, said to 
have been from General Hardee, a brilliant but ineffective charge 
was then and there made by the 18th Louisiana, f under Colonel 
Mouton, and immediately afterwards by the Orleans Guard battal 
ion, under Major Querouze; the 16th Louisiana followed in the 
rear of the column, but was only partially engaged. Alone and 
unsupported the 18th Louisiana charged gallantly up the hill, 
closely upon the battery, which had already begun to abandon its 
ground, when a murderous fire from three regiments of McCler- 
nand s force compelled the regiment to retire, after a loss of two 
hundred and seven officers and men, killed and wounded, who 
could not be removed from the field.;}: The Orleans Guard bat 
talion lost about eighty men while making a similar charge, im 
mediately afterwards. 

The enemy at this point, however, was now falling back, in ac 
cordance wkh the retrograde movement of the other Federal 
forces, when General Wallace fell, mortally wounded, after having, 
by his skill and tenacity, contributed much towards the salvation 
of the Federal army. But General Prentiss, unaware of the move 
ment executed by Wallace s division, still clung to his position, to 
gether with the 8th, 12th, and 14th Iowa and the 58th Illinois, of 
Wallace s division, who were endeavoring to save their artillery. 
After they were cut off they made several ineffectual charges in 
an effort to break through to the Landing, and at about half-past 
five o clock r. M., surrounded and hemmed in by our troops, they 
finally abandoned the struggle, and surrendered, amid the loud 
cheers of the victors. The prisoners there captured numbered 
some twenty-five hundred men, and among them was General 

* Colonel Ferguson s Report, see Appendix. 

t Colonel Pond s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 329. 

I Colonel Moutou s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 333. 


Prentiss himself.* They were sent to the rear under escort of 
cavalry and a detachment from Wood s brigade.f 

This closing in of the Confederate lines had brought the ex 
treme right and the left centre of the line of battle unexpectedly 
face to face, as the last wooded ridge was crossed which had sepa- 
ated them as they pressed on both flanks of the Federal divisions. 
Much confusion ensued, as well as delay for the replenishment of 
ammunition, before the commands were extricated and directed 

anew against the enemy. 


Meanwhile, since four o clock, Colonel J. D. Webster, an able offi 
cer of General Grant s staff, had been collecting the reserve artillery 
and other batteries, till he had massed about sixty guns (some of 
them 24-pounder siege guns) along a ridge covering Pittsburg 
Landing, and reaching out to the camps of Wallace, a portion of 
which was still held by the remainder of that division, with some 
of MeClernand s regiments, and fragments of Sherman s, on their 
right. In rear of Webster s guns was also Ilurlbut s division, J 
with Veatcli s brigade now reattached, and two of Stuart s regi 
ments, all of these reinforced by numbers rallied from the broken 
commands. General Grant having arrived on the field at one 
o clock p. M.,or about that time, had been busy at this work since 
three o clock. The line of bluffs masked all view of the river ; but, 
in fact, General Buell s Army of the Ohio was also now arriving 
from Savannah, on the opposite bank, below Pittsburg Landing, 
and Ammen s brigade, of .Nelson s advance division, had been 
thrown across and placed in support of Webster s battery, at five 
o clock. Generals Buell and Xelson were both present on the 
field, jj Behind these forces and below the bluff was the remainder 

* General Preritiss, in his report of the battle, written after his return from 
captivity, thus alludes to this memorable incident :"...! determined to as 
sail the enemy, which had passed between me and the river, charging upon 
him with my entire force. I found him advancing in mass, completely encir 
cling my command, and nothing was left but to harass him and retard his 
progress so long as might be possible. This I did until 5.30 r. M., when find 
ing that further resistance must result in the slaughter of every man in the 
command, I had to yield the fight. The enemy succeeded in capturing my 
self and twenty-two hundred rank and file, many of them wounded." 

t General Eunice s Report. 

I General Ilurlbut s Report, "Record of the Rebellion," vol. iv. p. 401. 

General Badcau says, eight o clock A. M. 

1 General Nelson s Report, " Record of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 413. 


of Grant s army, its flight arrested by the river, and its masses 
tossing in uncontrollable panic and disorder.* 

But in rear of the victorious Confederate line was a scene 
of straggling and pillage which, for a time, defied all remon 
strance and all efforts at coercion. The disorder and plunder 
that had followed the capture of Prcntiss s, Sherman s, and Mc- 
Clernand s camps were now all the greater, as the troops, fasting 
since dawn and some of them since the previous evening were 
exhausted from incessant fighting and marching. The commands 
were broken and mixed ; and among many the idea prevailed that 
the battle had been won and was virtually ended. One cheering 
feature, however, in the scene of spoil, \vas the strewing of old 
flint-locks and double-barrelled shot-guns, exchanged for the En- 
field and Minie rifles abandoned by the enemy. In view of this 
change of armament and the general scarcity of ammunition, 
General Beauregard ordered the collection of the enemy s ordnance 
stores, as well as all available provisions, to be sent to the rear for 
greater security. 

The forces were deployed again into line from the point around 
which they had centred in the capture of Prentiss s and Wallace s 
advanced regiments. Those under General Bragg s direction 
moved to the right, Chalmers s brigade leading, after a halt for 
re-distribution of ammunition ;f and, extending to the Tennessee 
bottom, Jackson s brigade followed, without ammunition, the 
bayonet being their only weapon.^: The remainder of the line 
was continued from right to left, with the same brigades that had 
been previously engaged. Those on the right of the Bidge road 
were practically under the direction of General Bragg, and those 
on the left of it, under Generals Polk and Hardee. This road, as 
well as all approaches to the Landing, was swept by the enemy s 
artillery. The Federal position, on the bluffs, was fronted by a 
deep ravine and creek, running into the Tennessee, with branches 
falling into it from the line of the Confederate advance, all filled 
with back water from the river, on account of the late heavy rains ; 
and the main ravine, w r hicli protected the Federal front, was enfi- 

* " Agate," " Record of the Rebellion," vol. iv. p. 393. Sec also General 
BuelVs Report, vol. iv. p. 410. 

t See Chalmers s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 258. 
J General Jackson s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 2GG. 


laded by the fire of the gunboats lying in its mouth. Over this 
ground, divided and thickly wooded, a continuous line of battle 
was impracticable. General Beauregard, seeing that nothing but 
a concerted and well-supported attack, in heavy mass, could, that 
evening, strike the finishing blow by which the enemy would be 
crushed, ordered the corps commanders, on the right and left, to 
make a hasty reorganization of the troops under their control, for 
a combined onslaught, while he, at the centre, should organize re 
inforcements for the line of attack in his immediate .front. He 
caused all fragmentary bodies and stragglers, in his vicinity, to be 
brought up from the rear, and formed into such organizations as 
the emergency allowed, and they were thus carried forward to 
swell the line of battle. 

The troops, however, were not pressed to the front in combined 
attack, as ordered, but in a series of disjointed assaults, with but 
little support from the batteries, many of which were allowed to 
remain inactive in the rear.* These assaults were easily broken, 
and with slaughter, by the formidable weight of metal which 
girded the Federal position, supported by a still heavy force of in 
fantry, reinforced by some of General Buell s troops, while the 
shells of the gunboats swept the long ravine which our different 
commands had to cross in assailing the bluff, and which formed 
their only rallying cover from the lire in front. The troops, more 
over, were greatly disorganized ; the commands were cut up and 
intermingled, and regimental organization was greatly confused. 
The corps commanders, then as throughout the day, continued to 
give examples of personal courage, but exhaustion and hunger nul- 

* In his Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 324, Captain Hodgson, 
writing of the charge made by the 18th Louisiana, and, subsequently, by the 
Orleans Guard battalion, at four o clock r. M., or about that time, says : "This 
was about the last firing of my battery, on the Gth instant/ 

Captain Ketchum, in his Report (ibid. pp. 340, 341), says : " Colonel Pond s 
fine brigade was badly cut up in a charge on a battery, in one of these camps, 
which, I have always thought, might have been avoided, had my lattery not ~bccn 
withdrawn from the advance I was making on this camp. 1 1 

General Chalmers, in his Report, p. 2GO, says : " During this engagement, 
Gage s battery was brought up to our assistance, but suffered so severely that 
it was soon compelled to retire." 

Sec also Pond s and Mouton s Reports, as to the separate and isolated action 
of their commands. 


lified all attempts to create enthusiasm on the part of the men. 
General Hardee, in command on the left, to whom General Beau- 
regard had sent Lieutenant Chisolm, of his staff, to ascertain how 
he was faring, answered: "We are getting along very well, but 
tell the General they (meaning the enemy) are putting it to us 
very severely." Chisolm, though ordered to return, and report 
before dark, remained as aide-de-camp to General Hardee, who had 
none of his staff with him, and was bringing up two regiments 
into position, from the rear, when one of them broke in disorder, 
under the artillery fire from the field-pieces and gunboats, and fell 
back out of the fight.* Here, also, part of Pond s brigade, when 
about to make a last forward movement, received a fatal volley 
from the 27th Tennessee, of Cleburne s brigade, which compelled 
it to face about, and their artillery support to take a new position 
against a supposed hostile attack from the rear an untoward event, 
which ended the share of this brigade in the conflict of that day. f 
The remaining troops, under General Ilardee that is to say, 
Wood s brigade, greatly diminished by detachment and casual 
ties, and a small portion of Cleburne s did not succeed in making 
any impression on the force of artillery and infantry defending 
the position of Wallace s camps, still held by fragments of Wal 
lace s, McClernand s, and Sherman s divisions. The forces on the 
right of General Hardee, under General Folk s direction, were en 
gaged in the same desultory and indecisive contest, Gibson s and 
Anderson s brigades not being actively employed by him.J So 
was it with General Breckin ridge s division. Colonel Trabue, 
commanding the first Kentucky brigade of that division, in his re 
port of the battle, speaking of the events of the day, following the 
surrender and capture of General Prentiss s command, says: 

" Finding the troops who had come in from my right halting one or two 
hundred yards in my front, I allowed the 6th and 9th Kentucky regiments 
hastily to change their guns for Enfield rifles, which the enemy had surren 
dered, and I then moved up and rejoined General Breckinridge, who, with 
Statham s and Bowen s brigades, was occupying the front line, being on the 
crest of the hill (or highland) overlooking the narrow valley of the Tennes 
see River, on which, and near by, was Pittsburg Landing. Having been 
halted here for more than an hour, we endured a most terrific cannonading 

* Colonel Chisolm s Report, in Appendix. 

t Colonel Pond s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 329. 

J General Anderson s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 305. 


and shelling from the enemy s gunboats. My command, however, had seen 
too much hard fighting to be alarmed, and the 4th Kentucky stood firm, 
while some of our troops to the front fell back through their lines in confu 
sion. . . . From this position, when it was nearly dark, we were ordered to 
the rear to encamp, which movement was effected in good order. I followed, 
in the darkness of the night, the Purdy road, after having re-united to my 
command Byrne s battery and the others of my troops who had been de 
tached to the right, not including, however, Cobb s battery/ 

Among the forces of General Bragg, on the right, where that 
officer was directing movements, Gladdeifs brigade had become 
dissevered* in the confusion following the capture of General 
Prentiss, and took no part in the assaults upon the last Federal 
position, though the portion remaining under its commanding of 
ficer, Colonel Deas, was formed on the left of Jackson s brigade. 
This latter brigade was led, under a heavy lire from the light bat 
teries, siege-pieces, and gunboats, f across the ravine, and with its 
only weapon, the bayonet, ascended the ridge nearly to the crest, 
bristling with guns ; but, without support, it could be urged no 
farther. It remained for some time sheltering itself against the 
precipitous sides of the ravine, till Jackson, seeing his men use 
lessly under a raking fire, and that a farther advance was imprac 
ticable, without support and a simultaneous movement along the 
whole line, sought for orders from his division commander, Gen 
eral Withers ; but darkness closed the conflict before he could 
reach him. Of tin s eventful part of the day, after which hostili 
ties entirely ceased on both sides, Colonel Joseph "Wheeler, com 
manding the 19th Alabama regiment, in his report says: " But af 
ter passing through the deep ravine below the lowest camps, we 
were halted within about four hundred yards of the river, and re 
mained ready to move forward for about half an hour, when night 
came on, and we were ordered to the rear, and were assigned to 
bivouac, by General "Withers. ^ Chalmers s brigade, the extreme 
right, vainly attempted to mount the ridge against the fire from 
the line of batteries and infantry, assisted by the flank fire of 
the gunboats, though it made repeated charges, till night closed 
in.g ^ 

* Colonel Deas s Report, u Confederate Reports of Battles/ p. 245. 
t General Jackson s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 2GG. 
I " Confederate Reports of Battles/ p. 270. 
General Chalmers s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 2GO. 


Meanwhile, General Beauregard had been weighing attentive!} , 
and no doubt anxiously, the premonitory signs visible during the 
kiter hours of the battle. The strength of the Federal batteries 
was apparent, by their extent and sound, and by the effect pro 
duced on the Confederate lines ; while the steady and heavy rolls 
of musketry, proceeding from the same quarter, indicated the 
presence either of fresh troops, the arrival of which General Beau- 
regard had feared and predicted the evening before, or of forces 
reorganized from the stragglers on the field, as had been done 
with our own stragglers several times that day. As General 
Beauregard rode in rear of the disjointed lines, the futility of these 
fitful, detailed attacks became more and more evident to him. 
Most of the commands were disorganized and fragmentary, sun 
dered by the deep, wooded ravines, and numbers of stragglers 
could be seen in all directions. lie felt not only that it was im 
practicable to gather up all his forces for a general and simultane 
ous onslaught, which alone might have been effective, but also 
that the brief space of time now remaining to him before night 
fall must be used to collect the troops into position, or the morn 
ing, and its threatened possibilities, would find him with but a 
nominal army. He knew that Lew. Wallace s division, of some eight 
thousand men, was near by, observing the road from Furdy ; that it 
had not, as yet, been engaged in the conflict, and might, at any mo 
ment, fall upon us in flank, left, or rear. He therefore resolved, 
without further delay, to withdraw the troops gradually from the 
front, and reorganize them, as w r ell as possible, to resume the offen 
sive on the 7th, and complete his victory over Grant. According 
ly, at dusk, he sent to the different corps commanders the order, 
k * to arrest the conflict, and fall back to the enemy s abandoned 
camps for the night."* 

General Bragg had also concluded that the troops were incapable 
of any further offensive efforts in his quarter of the field, and had 
already resolved to withdraw, f He gave orders to that effect, 
which were anticipated, as to some of the commands, by the or 
ders sent by General Beauregard.:): Chalmers had fought, as al- 

* Colonel Augustin s and Captain C. H. Smith s Reports, in Appendix. 

t Dr. Nott s letter, in Appendix. 

| The order to General Bragg was borne by Captain Clifton Smith, acting 
aide-de-camp. In a few cases it was communicated directly to brigade com 
manders by Colonel Augustin. another aide-de-camp to General Beauregard. 


ready stated, till night had closed in upon him ; and as he and Jack- 
eon fell back in the darkness, the hitter s regiments became sepa 
rated from each other,* and he from them, and so remained during 
the night and the following day. The withdrawal of the troops, as 
a general thing, was attended with disorder, by reason of the dark 
woods and broken character of the country. u It was eight o clock 
at night," says General Anderson, in his report, " before we had 
reached a bivouac, near General Bragg s headquarters, and in the 
darkness of the night the 20th Louisiana, and portions of the 17th 
Louisiana, and Confederate Guards, got separated from that por 
tion of the command in which I was, and encamped on other 


Colonel Forrest s cavalry was picketed along Wallace s and 
Ilurlbut s camps, while another regiment of cavalry was posted to 
protect the left flunk, and guard the approaches from the Snake 
Creek bridge, exposed to Lew. Wallace s fresh force of eight thou 
sand men. General Ilardee s corps and General B reck in ridge s di 
vision withdrew to McClernand s camps, and General Bragg s corps, 
with one (Clark s) division of General Polk s corps, rested in those 
of Sherman. Through a misunderstanding of order.-, on the part of 
General Polk, his other (Cheatham s) division was sent back about 
three miles and a half, to its bivouac of the previous night. 

General Bragg and, later in the evening, the other corps com 
manders visited General Bcaurcgard s headquarters, in General 
Sherman s camps, and reported orally their operations of the day. 
All were elated and congratulatory over the success of the day, and 
the expectations of the morrow. The results, indeed, were great 

* Jackson s Report, " Confederate Reports of Battles, p. 2GG. 

t " Confederate Reports of Battle?, 1 p. 30o. 

I General Cheatliam says, in his Report : " At the close of the day, a part of 
my command remained on the field, and a portion returned to our encamp 
ment of the night previous/ In a letter to General Bcauregard, dated Nash 
ville, Tenn., November 27th, 1870, General Cheatliam uses the following lan 
guage: " At dusk, on the evening of the Gth, I was on the extreme left of our 
army, near the river. I recollect that General Cleburnc s division was on my 
right. The second brigade of my division (Stcphens s), with a portion of 
Johnson s (my first), retired to our camp of the night previous Saturday 
night. This camp was near General Folk s headquarters, where the enemy s 
cavalry horses were killed by our artillery, on Friday, and several miles at 
least three in front of Mickey s." 

Colonel Jacob Thompson s letter, in Appendix. 
I. 20 


and encouraging. A half-disciplined army, poorly equipped and ap 
pointed, had assailed an opposing array larger in numbers, nearly 
half of which was composed of seasoned troops, provided with the 
best and most abundant armament and supplies, arrayed, besides, 
on familiar ground, chosen by its own leaders. That army had 
steadily been driven back to its last stronghold, a great part of it 
routed and demoralized ; its tents, baggage, subsistence, and hos 
pital stores captured, together with thirty stands of colors, fully 
sixty field-pieces, many thousand small arms and accoutrements, 
and ammunition enough for another day s battle. General Beau- 
regard s promise, that the Confederate army should sleep in the 
enemy s camps, was fulfilled ; and, reorganized for the next day, 
it would undoubtedly have given the finishing stroke to the entire 
Federal forces, had Buell marched towards Florence,f as it had 
just been reported that he had done, instead of effecting his junc 
tion with Grant, on the evening and night of the 6th, as w T as 
actually the case. 

A despatch wits sent to Richmond, announcing the day s victory 
and the hope of its completion on the morrow, and the corps com 
manders were dismissed with instructions to reorganize their re 
spective forces as thoroughly as possible, and hold them in readi 
ness to take the offensive at break of da} r . 

The night had closed with heavy clouds, and, about midnight, a 
cold, drenching rain set in, which made it the more difficult to col 
lect and re-form the broken commands and numerous stragglers, who 
were moving about for pillage, through the alluring camps of the 
enemy. The storm also interfered with the care of the wounded, 
who were unavoidedly neglected, but the little that could be done 
for them was done alike for friend and foe. 

The gunboats, all through the night, at the suggestion, it was 
said, of General Nelson, threw shells into the Confederate bivouacs, 
the dim light of the camp-fires guiding them in their aim. Thus 
were slumber and rest chased away from our exhausted men. 

Indefatigable and daring as usual, Colonel Forrest, under cover 
of the storm and darkness, sent scouts, clothed in Federal over 
coats, within the enemy s lines. They reported that large bodies 
of troops were crossing the river to Pittsburg Landing and that 

t Colonel Helm had telegraphed to General Beanrcgard that Buell s army 
was marching on Florence ; it proved to be Mitchell s division, and not 
Buell s army. 


much confusion existed among them. Colonel Forrest so advised 
Generals Ilardee and Breckinridge, suggesting that an attack 
should be made at once, or that the army should withdraw next 
morning. He was referred to General Beauregard, but, un 
fortunately, was unable to find his headquarters.* At a later 
hour he again sent in his scouts, who returned at two o clock in 
the morning, stating that Federal troops were still arriving. Gen 
eral Ilardee, being informed of the fact for the second time, in 
structed Colonel Forrest to go back to his regiment, and, keeping 
a vigilant picket line, to notify him of all hostile movements, 
should any be attempted. But General Ilardee failed to com 
municate this important information to General Beauregard. 

* See "Campaigns of Lieutenant -General Forrest," by General Thomas 



Difficulty of Collecting and Organizing Commands during Night of the Gth. 
Firing Resumed Early next Morning. Nelson s Brigades Cross the Ten 
nessee. Positions Taken by the Federals. Chalmers s Brigade and a 
Mixed Command Force Back Nelson s Advance. At 8 A. M. the Confed 
erates are Driven Back with the Loss of a Battery. They Regain the 
Position and Battery at 9. Critical Situation of Ammcn s Brigade. 
New Position Assumed by the Confederates. Crittenden s Division En 
gaged. Absence of General Polk from the Field. His Timely Arrival at 
10.30. His Charge with Cheatham s Brigade. Organization of Federal 
Army during the Night of the Gth. Inaction of General Sherman on the 
Morning of the 7th. General Breckinridge Ordered Forward. Enemy 
Driven Back on our Whole Line. Advance of Federal Right AVing. 
Its Repulse. At 1 p. M. Enemy on our Left Reinforced. General Bragg 
Calls for Assistance. General Beauregard in Person Leads the 18th 
Louisiana and Other Troops to his Aid. Predetermination of General 
Beauregard to Withdraw from the Battle-field. Couriers sent to Corinth 
to Inquire about General Van Dorn. Preparations for Retreat. Guns and 
Colors Captured by Confederates on the Gth. Slow and Orderly With 
drawal of Confederate Forces. Inability of the Enemy to Follow. 
Reconnoissance of General Sherman on the Morning of the 8th. Con 
federates not Disorganized. Their Loss During the Battle. Computa 
tion of Numbers Engaged on Both Sides. Federal Loss. 

THE night of the 6th of April, as has been already stated, was 
so dark and stormy that it was found impossible properly to col 
lect and organize all the commands. The fighting, moreover, had 
been protracted even after dusk, on certain parts of the field, be 
fore General Beauregard s orders to arrest the conflict could be 
communicated and carried out. 

At about half -past five o clock, on the morning of the 7th, 
the skirmish-firing on our right, in an easterly direction, towards 
the Tennessee River, indicated that the enemy was about to as 
sume the offensive. Generals Ilardee, Breckinridge, and Bragg 
repaired at once to their respective commands, and availed them 
selves of such forces as they had immediately at hand, with which 
to oppose this onset. Geneial Ilardee had, under his orders, on 


his extreme right, two of General Bragg s brigades, namely 
Chalmers s and Jackson s, of Withers s division. General Bragg 
had, on the left of our line, the remainder of his corps, increased 
by one division (Clark s) of General Folk s corps, which was sub 
sequently reinforced by Trabuc s brigade. On the left of Gen 
eral Ilardee came General Breckinridge ; and between him and 
General Bragg was the position which had been assigned to Gen 
eral Polk. 

General Jordan, in his "Campaigns of Lieutenant-General For 
rest," page 137, thus correctly gives the positions and forces of 
the enemy : 

By seven o clock r. M., on the Gth, Nelson s (two) brigades had crossed the 
Tennessee, and, with the one that so materially helped with "Webster s op 
portunely posted battery to save the Federal army from utter overthrow, 
were at once thrown forward by General Bucll, as a shield between General 
Grant s army and the Confederates. Crittendcn s division likewise came up 
from Savannah by water not long after, and was promptly established in the 
same manner, on Nelson s right. Moreover, Lew. Wallace, strangely unable to 
find the road battleward, amid the thunder peals of more than a hundred 
cannon within six miles of him, as soon as the dusky shadows ami the quiet 
of night had supervened, found a way to the south bank of Snake Creek and 
to a position then commanding the bridge, and by chance, too, in the neigh 
borhood of Sherman, with the shreds, or odds and ends, of his own and other 
divisions that had rallied around him. One of McCook s brigades (Rousseau s) 
also reached the scene about sunrise, and the other two were near at hand. 

Thus were marshalled there, or near at hand, ready to take the offensive 
against the victors of the day before, twenty -five thousand fresh Federal 
troops,* three battalions of which were Regulars. On the Confederate side, to 
meet such an onset, there was not a man who had not fought steadfastly for 
the greater part of Sunday. In addition to the many stragglers incident to 
all battles, the casualties did not fall short of six thousand five hundred offi 
cers and men, so that not more than twenty thousand Confederate infantry 
(and artillery) could have been found to answer to their names that morning. 
Scattered widely, the regiments of the brigades of Bragg s and Ilardec s corps 
had slept here and there, among the captured encampments, wheresoever they 
could find subsistence. Folk s corps had been embodied, to some degree, and 
led during the night by their general, rearward, at least a mile and a half be 
yond Shiloh, towards Corinth. "f 

* General Sherman estimates at eighteen thousand men those that had fought 
the day before. Sec his "Memoirs," p. 245. 

t Only one of his divisions (Chcatham s) had been collected together and 
taken back, through a misunderstanding of orders, to its bivouac of the night 
of the 5th, about three and a half miles from the Shiloh meeting-house. 


The positions occupied by the Federal forces on the morning 
of the 7th are still more definitely given in Yan Home s "His 
tory of the Army of the Cumberland," vol. i. pp. 109, 111, as 
follows : 

"General Buell first formed General Nelson s division next to the river as 
the left of the battle front, and General Grant assigned Wallace s division to 
the right flank, near Snake Creek, below the mouth of Owl Creek. Between 
these extremes the remaining forces were formed Crittenden s division on 
the right of Nelson s, with a space for McCook s on his right, when it should 
arrive, and on the right of the position of this division the troops engaged the 
day previous, somewhat refreshed, extended the line to Wallace s left. 

"At the time that the recession of Nelson s line was arrested, McCook s fore 
most brigade, Rousseau s, moved into position on the right of Crittenden. 
This brigade extended the line, but Rousseau s flank was for a time as much 
exposed as Crittenden s had been, as there was still a wide space between the 
two armies. Before, however, the enemy could take advantage of this expos 
ure Kirk s brigade reached the field, and was placed in reserve on the right 
flank. Each brigade of Buell s army was now required to furnish its reserves, 
while Boyle s brigade of Crittenden s division was designated as a general 
reserve, and was so placed as to be facile of movement whenever there should 
be need of support. General Buell also availed himself of the fragmentary 
forces of the Army of the Tennessee, found in his rear. 

"The Army of the Ohio (Cumbe? lanc) now offered a battle front one mile 
and a half long, about half the distance between Nelson s left and Wallace s 
right. The left flank was covered with skirmishers, and was in some degree 
protected by the roughness of the ground near the river. The right had no 
assured connection with the Army of the Tennessee, but rested in a wood. To 
strengthen the right, thus exposed to an enfilading or reverse fire, Gibson s 
brigade of McCook s division, on coming to the field, was placed in reserve 
in proximity. In front of Nelson was an open field, partially screened by 
woods, which extended beyond the enemy s line. Crittenden s left brigade 
and McCook s right were covered by a dense undergrowth, while in front 
of their right and left brigades, respectively, the ground was open. The 
ground, mainly level in front of Nelson, formed a hollow before Crittenden, 
which fell into a small creek, passing in front of McCook. The Hamburg 
road penetrated the line near Nelson s left.* The enemy was in heavy force 
beyond the open ground in Buell s front, in a line slightly oblique to his line, 
having one battery so posted as to command Nelson s left, another to sweep 
his front and the woods before Crittenden s left, a third bearing upon the 
junction of Crittcndeu s right and McCook s left, and a fourth in the immedi- 

* When Van Home states that the Hamburg road passed perpendicularly 
through the Federal line near Nelson s left, he means the Hamburg and 
Purdy road, not the Hamburg and Pittsburg road. 


ate front of the latter. Beauregard had massed his forces on his right the 
evening previous, under General Bragg, to grasp the Lauding, and in conse 
quence this flank was strong for defense in the morning." 

The Confederate pickets and skirmishers encountered by the 
advanced line of Nelson s division were those of Forrest s cavalry 
regiment. They gradually fell back in the direction of Hardee s 
line, then being formed near and beyond McClernand s old en 
campments, to the rear of which they retired soon afterwards, to 
take position on Hartleys right flank. Xelson s advancing line 
soon encountered Chalmers s brigade and Moore s regiment, added > 
to which was an extemporized command, consisting of the 19th 
Alabama, of Jackson s brigade ; the 21st Alabama, of Gladden s 
brigade; and, says General Chalmers, in his report,* the Crescent 
(Louisiana) regiment; also a Tennessee regiment, under Lieuten 
ant-Colonel Yenable ; and another Alabama regiment (the 20th), 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Chadwick, supported by batteries. They 
not only checked Xelson s force, but compelled it to fall back 
some distance, when, being supported by the advance of Crittcn- 
den s division, it again resumed the offensive, at about eight o clock 
A.M. ; and Ilazen s brigade, on Nelson s right, being now pushed 
forward with great gallantry, forced the Confederates back, with 
the temporary loss of a battery. They soon rallied, and, aided by 
their batteries and other small reinforcements which General 
Beauregard very opportunely sent them, resumed the offensive at 
nine o clock A.M., recovering their former position and their lost bat 
tery, inflicting a severe loss on Ilazen s brigade, and compelling 
that officer to call earnestly for aid. Meanwhile, Nelson s left bri 
gade, under Ammen, was sorely pressed, and was in serious danger 
of beinc: turned on its left. 

" This brigade [says Van Home] fought gallantly to maintain a position 
second to none on the field, but at length began to give ground, and a decided 
advantage to the enemy seemed inevitable, as Nelson had neither artillery nor 
infantry to direct to his support, Ilazen s brigade having been shattered, and 
Bnell s being needed in its own position. But the impending disaster was 
averted by Terrell s regular battery of McCook s division, which, having just 
arrived from Savannah, dashed into position, and, by its rapid and accurate 
firing, silenced the enemy s first battery, which was aiding the infantry force 
pressing Ammen. Subsequently, the enemy repeated the attack, and endan- 

* " Confederate Reports of Battles," p. 261. 


gered both the brigade and Terrell s battery, the latter having lost very many 
gunners, and being without adequate support. . . . Then, by a flank attack 
by Nelson, and a direct one by Crittenden, aided by a concentric fire from the 
batteries of Mendenhall, Terrell, and Bartlett, he was driven beyond the posi 
tion of his second and third batteries." * 

The Confederates soon assumed a new position. It was main 
tained, despite all the efforts of the Federals, until General Beau- 
regard determined to retire his troops, at about 2.30 P.M., when 
some guns had to be abandoned for want of horses to carry them 
off the field. 

Crittenden s division had also been hotly engaged, shortly after 
Kelson s, with the rest of Hardee s and part of Breckin ridge s 
commands, and, after a severe contest of several hours, in which 
it had to be supported on the right, at about ten o clock A.M., by 
several thousands of General Grant s troops, under McClernand 
and Hurlbut, it was held at bay until two brigades, Gibson s and 
Kirk s, of McCook s division, joined in the struggle. His other 
brigade, Rousseau s, containing three battalions of Regulars, had 
reached the field early in the morning and taken a position near 
General Sherman s left. Yan Home says : 

" Thus, McCook followed Crittenden in attacking the enemy. This divis 
ion met the same stubborn resistance, and made frequent charges. Rousseau s 
brigade, having taken an advanced position early in the day, repulsed a charge 
as its introduction to battle. It then gave a counter-blow, drove the oppos 
ing force some distance, and captured a battery. The direction of Rousseau s 
advance left an opening between McCook and Crittenden, which the enemy 
perceived, and began to mass troops to occupy. To prevent this, General 
McCook ordered Colonel Willich, commanding the 32d Indiana, to drive back 
the enemy, and, by the bayonet and bullet, this was gallantly accomplished. 
The remainder of Gibson s brigade followed "Willich, and soon both brigades, 
Rousseau s and Gibson s, were in hottest conflict. "VVillich s regiment at one 
time became wedged between other forces, and, receiving their fire, was com 
pelled to withdraw. This led to confusion, but order was soon restored. 
Kirk s brigade reached the field just as Rousseau had exhausted his ammu 
nition, and took his position, that he might replenish. While Rousseau was 
absent Gibson was severely pressed, as the enemy continued his movements 
to separate Crittenden and McCook. His left regiment, the 49th Ohio, was 
involved in imminent danger, and was compelled to change front twice under 
fire to prevent the turning of the position. Upon the return of Rousseau, his 
brigade, and two regiments of Hurlbut s division hitherto in reserve, went 

* " History of the Army of the Cumberland," vol. i. pp. 112, 113. 


into line, when General McCook s whole division, thus supported, advanced 
and drove the enemy beyond General Sherman s camps." * 

This was not done, however, until General Beauregard had de 
termined to withdraw from the field, in order not to prolong a 
then useless contest. 

Just about the time (10.30 A.M.) when General McCook was as 
suming the offensive with his whole division, and was near push 
ing through the gap between General Breckinridge s left and Gen 
eral Bragg s right, caused by the absence of General Polk with 
one of his divisions, the latter arrived on the iield. It was relief, 
indeed, to General Beauregard, whose anxiety concerning Polk 
had been intense. Unable, since morning, to hear anything of 
General Poik s whereabouts, the thought had even crossed his 
mind that the commander of his First Corps had been captured. 
But, at half-past nine o clock, he at last ascertained that, through, a 
misunderstanding of the orders given the previous evening, Gen 
eral Polk had retired, with Cheatham s division, to his bivouac of 
the 5th, for the purpose of recruiting and re-supplying that com 
mand with provision and ammunition. A message and rather 
an imperative one was instantly sent him, to hurry back to the 
front and hurry back he did. Dashing forward, with drawn 
sword, at the head of Cheatham s fine division, he soon formed his 
line of battle at the point where his presence was so much need 
ed, and, with unsurpassed vigor, moved on, against a force at least 
double his own, making one of the most brilliant charges of in 
fantry made on either day of the battle. lie drove back the op 
posing column in confusion, and thus compensated for the tardi 
ness of his appearance on the iield. Shortly before this, General 
Beauregard had placed a battery in position, on a slight elevation 
some distance in advance of the Shiloh meeting-house, thereby 
holding the enemy in check through the gap referred to, and ma 
terially assisting the gallant charge of Cheatham s division. 

During the night of the 6th and early morning of the 7th, Gen 
eral Grant s shattered forces, of a mixed character, had been par 
tially collected and formed into three divisions, under Generals 
Sherman, McClernand, and Ilurlbut, in advance of the bivouacs of 
the first two commands, not far from the bridge across Snake 
Creek. General Lew. Wallace s fresh division, with two batteries 

* " History of the Army of the Cumberland, 11 vol. i. pp. 113, 114. 


of six pieces each, from near Crump s landing, was formed on 
Sherman s right, and constituted the extreme right of General 
Grant s extensive line. 

General Sherman, in his report of the battle, says of the opera 
tions on this part of the field : 

" At daylight, on Monday, I received General Grant s orders to advance 
and recapture our original camps. I despatched several members of my staff 
to bring up all the men they could find, especially the brigade of Colonel 
Stuart, which had been separated from the division all the day before ; and 
at the appointed time the division, or, rather, what remained of it, with the 
13th Missouri and other fragments, moved forward and reoccupied the ground 
on the extreme right of General McClernand s camp, where we attracted the 
fire of a battery located near Colonel McDowell s former headquarters. Here 
I remained, patiently waiting for the sound of General Buell s advance upon 
the main Corinth road. About ten o clock A.M., the heavy firing in that di 
rection, and its steady approach, satisfied me ; and General Wallace being on 
our right flank, with his well-conducted division, I led the head of my col 
umn to General McClernand s right, formed line of battle facing south, with 
Buckland s brigade directly across the ridge, and Stuart s brigade on its right 
in the woods ; and thus advanced, steadily and slowly, under a heavy fire of 
musketry and artillery." 

Thus General Sherman remained several hours " patiently wait 
ing for the sound of General Buell s advance upon the main Cor 
inth road." But the attack of General Nelson had fairly com 
menced at eight o clock A.M., and that of Crittenden and McCook 
about an hour later. This inaction, on the part of General Sher 
man, enabled General Beauregard to reinforce his centre from his 
left. Had General Sherman boldly advanced, before Cheatham s 
division so gallantly took its position in line, he would have been 
able to penetrate our line between General Bragg s right and Gen 
eral Breckinridge s left, as we have already intimated, and would 
have cut the Confederate line in two, for General Beauregard had 
then no reserves, and could not have opposed General Sherman s 

When General Breckinridge, in the centre, was ordered to take 
the offensive and relieve the right of our line, his left flank was 
still unprotected, and the fear of its being turned prevented him 
from executing the movement ; seeing this, General Beauregard 
sent back to him one of his brigades Trabue s then on General 


Bragg s left ; and, shortly afterwards, also gave orders that Rus 
sell s brigade, of Clark s (now Stewart s) division, of General 


Polk s corps which, for the time being, was on General Bragg s 
right should be at once extended towards General Breckinridge s 
left, so as to afford some protection to his threatened flank, and 
enable him to engage the enemy in his front. This he did with 
no less vigor than success, having Hodgson s (Slocomb s) Louis 
iana battery, and two sections of other batteries, to support him. 
But, at about eleven o clock A.M., McCook s fresh division, with 
a part of Crittenden s and some of General Grant s reorganized 
forces, pressed him so hard that he was driven back some distance 
and compelled to abandon one of his batteries. Then there was 
sent to his assistance a small brigade, under Colonel Iceichart, of 
New Orleans a most efficient Bavarian officer, commanding the 
20th Louisiana regiment. This brigade was temporarily composed 
of Colonel Reichart s own regiment, Colonel Hill s Tennessee reg 
iment, and a battalion of stragglers, which General Beauregard had 
very opportunely placed under command of Captain Lockctt, of the 
C. S. Engineers.* These troops, who had just been brought to 
General Beauregard from the woods on our right rear, marched 
forward with great alacrity and spirit, and by twelve o clock Gen 
eral Breckinridge had retaken both his position and his battery, 
and the enemy was being driven back on our whole front. 

This renewal of hostilities, first originating on our extreme left, 
then gradually extending towards General Bnigg s right, brought 
out, most conspicuously, that soldierly valor and surprising spirit 
of endurance which signalized the Confederate troops on many a 
battle-field, but never more so than upon these two days of un 
paralleled hard fighting. The battle now raged fiercely on our 
whole front, except over the interval between Generals Bragg 

* These stragglers, from every arm of the service, were brought to General 
Beauregard, with no one to take command of them. As he was looking 
around in search of a temporary leader to march them off to the front, his eye 
fell on a young officer just then passing near him, whose soldierly bearing at 
once attracted his attention. The young officer was halted, and found 
himself in the presence of General Beauregard. " Could you command a bat 
talion?" said the General to him. "If ordered to do so, I think I can," was 
the modest and, at the same time, firm reply. General Beauregard, having 
now ascertained his name, took him to the battalion of stragglers near by, and, 
introducing him to the men, said, u Here is Colonel Lockett, whom I now place 
in charge of you. lie will lead you to victory, if you only follow him." In 
a loud and earnest cheer they each and all promised to do it, and gallantly 
redeemed their promise half an hour later. 


and Breckin ridge, where skirmishing only appeared to be go 
ing on.* 

The Federal right wing advanced steadily at first, under a light 
fire from the Confederates, but when it had come within fair range 
of Bragg s line (consisting of the remnant of Ruggles s division, 
his own corps, part of Folk s second division Clark s, now com 
manded by Stewart and one brigade of Breckinridge s command), 
it was greeted with such a terrible fire of musketry and artillery, 

"The Federals reeled and rushed rearward, followed nearly a mile by the 
Confederates ; but here, reinforced by McCook, Sherman attempted to resume 
the advance. Now the fight waxed obstinate, and the firing, says Sherman, 
was the severest musketry fire he had ever heard. Rousseau s Federal brigade 
here was pitted against Trabue s Kentuckians. Both fought with uncommon 
determination to win, but the Federals were repulsed, and Wallace was so 
pressed that his situation became extremely critical.! McCook s other brigade 
had joined in the action meanwhile ; and in that part of the field, including 
Grant s forces under Sherman and McClernand, there were fully twenty thou 
sand Federals opposed by not half that number of battle-battered Confederates. 
The impetus of the Confederate attack was, therefore, slackened in the face of 
such odds. Yet several brilliant charges were made, one of which, to the left 
of Shiloh, General Beauregard himself led in person, carrying the battle-flag 
of a Louisiana regiment."! 

* During the fierce struggle in front, General Beauregard noticed, through 
the woods, some troops apparently uniformed in white. He at first took them 
to be Federals, but observing that they w ? ere fighting on our side, he sent an 
aid to ascertain where they came from, hoping they might be part of Van 
Dora s army. They proved to be the 18th Louisiana and the Orleans Guard 
battalion, temporarily merged into one command. Their coats being blue, 
they had been fired into, on the day before, by some of our own troops ; and, in 
order to avoid a repetition of the mistake, had turned their coats "inside out." 

When General Beauregard had resigned his commission in the United States 
army, in February, 1861, he had joined, as a private, the Orleans Guard bat 
talion, then just organized in the city of New Orleans. When he was made 
brigadier-general in the Confederate service and sent to Charleston, his name 
was preserved on the rolls of that battalion, and, whenever called, the color- 
sergeant, stepping forward, would answer: "Absent on duty." Tins custom 
was kept up as long as the battalion remained in service, and even on the bat 
tle-field of Shiloh. Their flagstaff was made of a piece of the Sumter flagstaff, 
which General Beauregard had sent to their commander, after the surrender 
of that celebrated fort, in April, 18G1. 

fThis is General Wallace s own statement. See " Rebellion Record," vol. 
iv. p. 359. J " Campaigns of Lieutenant-General Forrest," p. 142. 


At about one o clock p. M., the enemy, on our left, being 
reinforced, had resumed the offensive. General Bragg whose 
forces had been weakened by the withdrawal of three brigades 
(Anderson s, Trabue s, and Russell s), which, in the course of the 
morning, had been sent to strengthen our centre and right was 
gradually driven back, towards the Shiloh meeting-house. lie 
then sent to General Beauregard for assistance. Fortunately, in 
the small ravine passing immediately south of the meeting-honse 
were the 18th Louisiana and the Orleans Guard battalion, together 
with two Tennessee regiments, which had been collected there in 
obedience to orders. General Beauregard rode down to them, ad 
dressed a few words of encouragement to the lirst two, and ordered 
them to move promptly to the support of General Bragg. A? 
they passed by, with a tired, heavy gait, they endeavored to cheer 
their own favorite commander, but were so hoarse from fatigue 
and over-exertion that they could only utter a husky sound, which 
grated painfully on General Beaurcgard s car. They had not pro 
ceeded far, when another staff officer came to him, in great haste, 
and informed him, on the part of General Bragg, that unless the 
latter was reinforced at once, he would certainly be overpowered. 
Looking in his direction, General Beauregard saw the commander 
of the Second Corps gallantly rallying his troops under a heavy fire 
from a much superior force of the enemy. He rode, with his 
staff, to the leading regiment of Pond s brigade, the ISth Louisi 
ana (Lieutenant-Colonel Roman commanding, Colonel Mo ut on 
having been wounded), and, seizing its colors, ordered his Louisi- 
anians " to follow him. They started with an elasticity of step sur 
prising in troops that, a moment before, appeared so jaded and 
broken down. They were soon at the side of General Bragg.* 
Leaving them in his charge, General Beauregard returned to one 
of the rear regiments of Tennesseeans, which lie led in a similar 
manner, but being too weak, from illness, to carry its flag, a large 
and heavy one, he transferred it to one of his volunteer aids, Colo 
nel II. E. Pevton, of Virginia, who carried it until the regiment 

*Tlicn it was that General Beauregard, being almost reproved by Colonel 
Augustin, one of his aids, for thus exposing himself, said : " The order must now 
be follow, not go / " Colonel Augustin had taken the flag, however, and for a 
few moments led the 18th Louisiana and the Orleans Guard battalion, the latter 
of which he himself had organized, some eight months before, in New Orleans. 


got into position. General Bragg resumed the offensive, and, de 
spite the broken and disjointed condition of the forces under him, 
drove the enemy back, out of sight from the Shiloli meeting 
house, and kept him at that distance until about 2.30 P. M., when 
General Beauregard gave him orders to retire slowly arid join the 

At an early hour in the morning General Beauregard had es 
tablished his headquarters on a small knoll, to the right (eastward) 
of the Shiloli meeting-house, which appeared to be the most eligi 
ble and central point, and one from which he could, with greatest 
facility, communicate with his corps commanders and they with 

Long before the charge we have just described, the enemy s 
boldness, his active and steady movements, and the heavy roll of 
musketry on our right, and, shortly afterwards, in our front, had 
confirmed General Beauregard in his belief that General Buell 
had, at last, formed a junction of the remainder of his forces with 
those of General Grant. He knew that his depleted and exhausted 
forces were now facing at least twenty thousand fresh troops, in 
addition to Lew. Wallace s command, in addition also to Ammen s 
brigade of Kelson s division, whose timely crossing, the day be 
fore, had saved the Federals from annihilation. To indulge a 
hope of success with these fearful odds against him would have 
been to show a lack of judgment impossible to such a soldier as 
Beauregard. The die, however, was cast. There was no means 
of avoiding the issue. The only plan left, General Beauregard 
thought, was, in appearance, to fight a outrance, so as to deceive 
the enemy as to his real intentions, and, so deceiving him, to effect, 
at the proper time, an orderly, safe, and honorable retreat. The 
victorious army of the day before could leave the battle-field in 
no other way. He carefully kept his own counsel, and, from about 
noon, issued all his orders accordingly. To show a bold front all 
alonr his line ; to offer as strong a resistance as the nature of the 

O O 

ground and the condition of his forces would permit; and, if pos 
sible, to cross to the south side of the ravines, in front of the 
Shiloli meeting-house, which had so effectually protected Sher 
man s and Prentiss s commands, on the preceding morning such 
were the objects he now strained every nerve to secure. And the 
task before him was difficult, because the least symptom of weak 
ness or hesitancy on his part would necessarily increase the bold- 


ness of liis opponent, and correspondingly depress his new, hardly 
organized, and worn-out forces. 

Meanwhile, with feelings of anxiety easily understood, he de 
spatched couriers to Corinth, to hurry forward General Van Doru s 
army of about twenty thousand men, daily expected there from 
Van Buren, Arkansas, from which point he had promised to form 
a junction with General Beauregard, at the earliest practicable 
moment. But the high waters, and want of means of transporta 
tion, had greatly delayed Yan Dorii s movement. Had he arrived 
in time on the field, General Beauregard s intention was to have 
kept about five or six thousand men of that command with him 
self, as a reserve, and to have sent Yan Dorn with the rest to at 
tack Lew. Wallace s extreme right and rear, while he, Beauregard, 
would have attacked both Lew. Wallace and Sherman in front, 
with his own left. The light there could not have lusted long. 
lie would then have attacked successively, in flank, rear, and front, 
McClernand s and McCook s divisions ; and afterwards, the other 
divisions towards their left. Had it been possible to execute that 
programme, there can be little doubt that the victory, on this sec 
ond day of the battle, would have been more complete than on the 
first ; and that it would have been ended before Wood s division, of 
BuelTs army, could have come to the enemy s relief; for it was 
nearly dark when that division arrived. 

While his couriers were hurrying on their way to Corinth, in 
search of news from Yan Dorifs army, General Beauregard, still 
biding his time, and unwilling, yet, to hasten the moment of his 
predetermined retreat, went on supplying reinforcements to his 
front, with stragglers and stray commands collected from the woods 
and ravines in his rear. History, we think, furnishes no other ex 
ample of a great battle, against such odds, being prolonged over 
four hours, with reserves thus brought together and organized.* 

* During the late war, General Beauregard s experience of Southern volunteers 
convinced him that they furnish the best material for soldiers. Active, in 
telligent, brave, self-reliant, and persevering, their powers of endurance are 
simply wonderful. After being three months under arms, they become as 
trustworthy on the field of battle as veterans ; and no more than six months 
drilling is required to make them as proficient as regulars of two and -three 
years service. But they soon consider themselves capable of passing jud > - 
ment on their commanders ; and, should these forfeit their confidence, they 
grow dissatisfied and intractable, and lose sonic of their best soldierly qualities. 


At last, however, the drain made upon his feeble resources had ex 
hausted them. Stragglers and stray commands could no longer 
be found. And just then his couriers arrived from Corinth. 
They reported that Van Dorn was not there, and that his where 
abouts was unknown. The time had evidently come when it 
was imperative to put the plan of retreat into execution. * Gen 
eral Beauregard s hope of Tan Dorn s junction on that day had 
been but a fleeting one ; he had regarded it as a thing possible, but 
hardly probable. He ordered Colonel Chisolm, one of his aids, to 
go immediately to the rear with a company of cavalry, and clear 
and repair the roads for any emergency. About an hour later, he 
instructed Colonel Jordan, the Adjutant-General of the army, to 
select at once a position across the ravine in the rear, for such 
troops and batteries as were available to protect the retreat. He 
then ordered the corps commanders to be prepared to retire slow 
ly and leisurely, but, before doing so, to take the offensive again 
with vigor, and drive back the enemy as far as possible, while he 
established batteries and posted troops to protect his retiring 
forces. After placing a battery in front of the Shiloh meeting 
house, and another on the Ridge road, towards the right, he went 
in person across the ravine, to examine the location of the troops 
intrusted to Colonel Jordan, and he there posted two additional 
batteries, the better to cover the retrograde movement, which had 
then fairly begun, and was being executed in a very orderly man 
ner. General Breckinridge, occupying the centre of the line of 
battle, retired first (the adjacent divisions closing up the void 
space) and took up his position in rear of the troops and batteries 

*A remarkable instance of bravery was shown by a mere boy, about this 
time, when matters were looking gloomy, and the stoutest hearts were begin 
ning to fail. The meeting-house of Shiloh had been turned into a hospital, 
and many of our wounded were collected there to be operated on. General 
Beauregard sent one of his aids to have them transferred to the rear, prepara 
tory to a retrograde movement. Upon his return the aid reported that while 
there, a private (a boy scarcely over fourteen years of age), had come to have 
a wound in his hand attended to. While the surgeon was dressing it the 
fighting still going on near by the boy said : "Make haste, please, doctor, I 
want to go back and take another shot at the Yankees." General Beauregard 
told his aid to return immediately and ascertain the name of the young hero, 
so as to have it published in general orders. It was too late. He had, no 
doubt, gone back " to take another shot at the Yankees." 


established across the Shiloli meeting-house ravine, so as to form 
the rear guard. Then came the commands of Generals Polk, 
Hardce, and Bragg, which gradually withdrew from the field, be 
hind General B reck in ridge s position, and continued their retreat 
in the direction of Corinth, to the points designated to be occupied 
by them that night. 

General Jordan thus correctly speaks of that retreat in the 
"Campaigns of Lieutenant -General Forrest," pages 143 and 

"The battle kindled soon after daylight, and raged furiously from right to 
left for more than five hours. And, notwithstanding the odds of fresh troops 
brought up against them, despite their long-continued engagement, the Con 
federates had not receded from the ground upon which they had been con 
centrated, as soon as it was apparent that the battle was in their hands. But 
they were being fearfully depleted meanwhile. Beginning the combat with 
not more than twenty thousand men, exclusive of cavalry, less than fifteen 
thousand were now in the Confederate ranks. General Beauregard, seeing 
the unprofitable nature of the struggle, determined not to prolong it. Direct 
ing his Adjutant-General to select a position, anil post such troops as were 
available to cover the retreat, he despatched other staff officers to the corps 
commanders, with the order to retire simultaneously from their several posi 
tions, ready, however, to turn and fight should it become necessary. And ac 
cordingly, about two o clock (2.30), the retrograde movement of the Confeder 
ates was inaugurated and carried out with a steadiness never exceeded by 
veterans of a hundred fields. 

"During the various stages of the conflict General Beauregard had tried 
to use his cavalry, but so dense and broad-spread were the woods that they 
proved altogether fruitless of results. . . . 

" The retreat had now commenced in earnest, but so stunned and crippled 
was the enemy that no effort or pretence to pursue was made. The line es 
tablished to cover the movement commanded the ground of Shiloh church, 
and some open fields in the neighborhood ; thence keeping up a vigorous 
play of artillery on the woods beyond ; there was no reply, nor did any enemy 
become visible. That line was then withdrawn about three fourths of a mile, 
to another favorable position. Meanwhile, the retreat had been effected in 
admirable order, all stragglers falling in the ranks, and that line was abandoned 
with no enemy in sight. . . . 

" Of trophies the Confederates carried from the field some twenty-six stands 
of flags and colors, and about thirty of the guns captured on the 6th. The 
guns which figure in Federal subordinate reports as captured from the Con 
federates, with few exceptions, were those lost on Sunday by the Federals, 
which, for want of horses to draw them from the field, had been left by the 
Confederates where they had been taken." 

General Grant says, in his report : 
L 21 


"Before the close of the action the advance of General T. J. Wood s division 
(two brigades of Buell s corps) arrived in time to take part in the action. 

" My force was too much fatigued from two days hard fighting and ex 
posure in the open air to a drenching rain during the intervening night, to 
pursue immediate!} 7 . Night closed in cloudy and with a heavy rain, making 
the roads impracticable for artillery by the next morning. 

" General Sherman, however, followed the enemy, finding that the main 
part of the army had retreated in good order." 

But General Sherman, in his report, uses the following lan 
guage : 

"At the time of recovering our camps (about four o clock P.M.) our men 
were so fatigued that we could not follow the retreating masses of the enemy." 

And General Buell says, in his report : 

" Two brigades of General Wood s division arrived just at the close of the 
battle ; but only one, that of Colonel Wagner, in time to participate actively 
in the pursuit, which it continued for about a mile, and until halted by my 

If any pursuit beyond the Shiloh meeting-house was made by 
the Federals on the afternoon of the 7th, it must have been made 
very cautiously, for the Confederates were not at all disturbed in 
their slow and quiet retreat. General Breckinridge, commanding 
the reserve, bivouacked for the night near the former headquarters 
of Generals Johnston and Beauregard, on the night of the 5th, at 
about one and a half miles from the battle-field. The next morn 
ing (on the 8th) he fell back to a position only three miles farther 
to the rear, where he remained undisturbed for several days, with 
the cavalry thrown out well to the front, in close proximity to the 
Federal lines. 

On the morning of the 8th, General Sherman, with two brigades 
and some cavalry, advanced to reconnoitre, on the lower Corinth 
road, while General Wood, with two brigades, reconnoitred on the 
upper road. On arriving at General Breckinridge s bivouac of 
the preceding night they found our cavalry pickets in position, 
arid pursued them for about half a mile with a regiment of cavalry 
and one of infantry. At that point Colonel Forrest appeared, 
and charged the enemy with a part of his forces, a company of 
"Wirt Adams s regiment, a squadron of the 8th Texas, and some 
Kentuckians, under Captain John Morgan, amounting in all to 
about three hundred and fifty troopers. The Federals were thrown 
into great confusion, and routed; "although," says General Slier- 


man, in his report, "the ground was admirably adapted for a de 
fence of infantry against cavalry, being miry, and covered with 
fallen timber." Their loss amounted to fifteen killed, about 
twenty-five wounded, and some seventy prisoners. The Confed 
erates pursuing too vigorously, and coming suddenly on the bri 
gades of Federal infantry, were repulsed, after the brave and dash 
ing Forrest had been severely wounded in the side. His command 
then retired, followed a short distance by some of the enemy s 
cavalry, towards General Breckin ridge s encampment, at Mickey s 
farm, only about two and a half miles from the point of collision. 

General Sherman concludes his report, dated on the day of this 
encounter, as follows: "The check sustained by us at the fallen 
timber delayed our advance, so that night came upon us before 
the wounded were provided for and the dead buried ; and our 
troops being fagged out * by two days hard fighting, exposure, and 
privation,! ordered them back to their camps, where they now are." 

We discover here two oversights on General Sherman s part. 
The short conflict referred to occurred early in the morning, and 
there was certainly ample time in which to bury fifteen dead and 
remove twenty-five wounded. And the two brigades of Wood s 
division, of BuelTs army, which accompanied his command, had 
taken but little part in the battle of the preceding day, having ar 
rived on the field about the time the battle terminated. 

The remainder of the Confederate forces, sorely disappointed, 
but not without heart, returned from Shiloh to their former posi 
tions at and about Corinth, to recruit and reorganize, and to await 
a favorable opportunity of striking another blow at their antago 

The loss on the Confederate side was unusually heavy, but this 
was due to the fact that it had been the assailant all day on the 
6th, and very often on the 7th. The army under Generals John 
ston and Beauregard had gone into the battle with thirty-nine 
thousand six hundred and thirty men of all arms and condition, 
and it received no reinforcements during the two days fight, ex 
cept Colonel Hill s Tennessee regiment, which reached the front 
unarmed on the morning of the Oth, and was furnished with arms 
and equipments picked up on the field. This regiment swelled 

* They could not have been more fagged out" than their adversaries 


the Confederate numbers to about forty thousand men. Our loss 
was 1728 killed, 8012 wounded, and 959 missing; presenting an 
aggregate of 10,699, or, in killed and wounded, twenty-four and one 
third per cent, of those present on the field. This is a very re 
markable proportion, in view of the rawness of most of the troops, 
and the nature of the ground upon which the battle was fought. 
It is about the greatest average ever attained in any single contest 
between veteran armies,* and in most instances the defeated army 
is either completely routed or unfit for another campaign until 
largely reinforced. 

The Federals commenced the battle, on the 6th, with over forty 
thousand men of all arms, and were reinforced that day by the 
timely arrival of Am men s brigade, of General Buell s army. Dur 
ing the night of the 6th and the next morning they were rein 
forced again, by Lew. Wallace s division of General Grant s army; 
by three divisions (Crittenden s, McCook s, and Kelson s two other 
brigades) of General Buell s army ; and, towards the end of the 
second day s battle, by two brigades of Wood s division of the 
same army, f which brought up the number of fresh Federal troops, 
on the 7th, to over thirty-two thousand men of all arms. Our 
computation is based on the fact that these divisions contained no 
less than seven thousand men each, as is established by General 
Yan Home, in his " History of the Army of the Cumberland," 
vol. i. p. 99, where the following passage is found: 

" The 1st, 2d, 4th, 5th, and 6th divisions, commanded respectively by Briga 
dier-Generals Thomas, McCook, Nelson, Crittenden, arid Wood, with a contin 
gent force of cavalry, in all thirty-seven thousand effective men, constituted 
the main army, which, under the personal command of General Buell, was to 
join General Halleck in the projected movement against the enemy at Corinth, 
Mississippi. 1 

The total force of the Federals on both days amounted, there 
fore, to about seventy-two thousand men of all arms, and their 
losses were, according to official reports in General Grant s army, 

* Those losses generally vary from one twentieth, or five per cent., to one 
fourth, or twenty-five per cent., of the troops engaged. The British, at "Wa 
terloo, lost not quite one sixth, or only sixteen per cent. The Austrians, at Ma 
genta, lost only one thirteenth, that is, not quite eight per cent. ; and the Prus 
sian loss at Sadowa was remarkably small, being only one twentieth, or five 
per cent. 

t See Generals Grant s r.nd Bucll s Reports. 


1437 killed, 5679 wounded, and 2934 prisoners ; in General Buell s 
army, 236 killed, 1816 wounded, and 88 prisoners; making 1673 
killed, 7495 wounded, and 3022 prisoners, or a grand total of 
12,190. Thus the proportion of killed and wounded, on the Fed 
eral side, as compared to the number of troops present on the 
Held, was nearly thirteen per cent., which is about the ordinary 
proportion in modern warfare. 



Commentaries on the Battle of Shiloli : I. "Why Generals Johnston and Beau- 
regard did not Sooner Move the Army from Corinth.. II. Their Reasons 
for Forming their Lines of Battle as they did. III. Why the Con 
federate Attack was Made Chiefly on the Enemy s Right, and not on 
his Entire Front. IV. Demonstration of the Fact that the Confederate 
Attack took the Enemy Completely by Surprise. V. General Beau- 
regard s Opinion and Criticism of General Sherman s Tactics during the 
Battle. VI. Refutation of the Charge that the Confederate Troops were 
Withdrawn too soon from the Battle-field on the Evening of the Gth. 
Comparison Drawn by Mr. Davis between General A. S. Johnston and 
Marshal Turenrtc. VII. General Beaurcgard s Opinion as to the Fight 
ing of the Confederates during the Battle of the 7th. VIII. Correction 
of the Absurd Story that General Beauregard did not Leave his Am 
bulance during the First Day of the Battle, and, when Informed of Gen 
eral Johnston s Death, " Quietly Remained where lie was, Waiting the 
Issue of Events." 


GENERALS JOHNSTON and Beauregard have both been censured 
for not moving sooner and more rapidly from Corinth, to attack 
the Federals at Pittsburg Landing, so as to anticipate General 
Buell s junction with General Grant. The causes of this delay, 
as already given in the preceding chapters, sufficiently absolve 
the two Confederate commanders from any just blame. The read 
er will pardon us for briefly reverting to them. 

General Beauregard, it will be remembered, only arrived at 
Jackson, Tennessee, on the 17th of February. General Polk, with 
about fourteen thousand five hundred men of all arms, was in 
command in that military district. Four days after General Beau- 
regard s arrival, and before he had yet formally assumed com 
mand, he despatched five officers of his staff to the governors of 
Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, to ascertain wheth 
er they could send him, at Corinth, the State troops they had 
available at that time ; and he also requested General Johnston, 
who was then at Murfreesboro , retiring, with some fifteen thou- 


sand men, from Bowling Green and JSTashville, to Stevenson, to 
change the direction of his retreat to Dccatur, Alabama, that he 
might more readily form a junction with the forces at Corinth, at 
the proper time. To this request, General Johnston willingly ac 

By the 27th of March, with our defective means of transporta 
tion, and restricted supplies of all kinds, General Beauregard had 
assembled, at and about Corinth, an army of over forty thousand 
men, exclusive of some nine thousand occupying the Mississippi 
llivcr defences, at Xew Madrid, Island 2s o. 10, and Fort Pillow. 
And General Van Dorn, at General Beauregard s request, was mov 
ing rapidly from Van Buren, Arkansas, with an army of nearly 
twenty thousand men, to unite also with our forces at Corinth. 
lie would have arrived in time to take a part in the battle of Shi- 
loh, had he not been delayed by high waters, which prevented his 
marching to Memphis, when he could not immediately procure suf 
ficient river transportation. Even with these obstacles to overcome, 
General Van Dorn s troops commenced arriving at Memphis on 
the 10th of April, only three days after the battle of Shiloh. How 
different might have been the result, had he arrived in time ! 

Great difficulties were encountered in organizing and supplying 
so many troops, hastily gathered up from such remote points. These 
difficulties were increased by the want of experienced officers, to 
take charge of the brigades and divisions as soon as formed. A 
delay of one or two days may be attributed to that cause alone. 
The War Department had promised General Beauregard a certain 
number of officers, below the rank of brigadier-generals, designa 
ted by him, from his army of the Potomac, so as to assist in or 
ganizing the troops of his new command, if needed ; but that 
promise was only partly complied with, and much too late. 

Generals Johnston and Beauregard intended to move from Cor- 


inth, on or about the 1st of April, with the hope of beginning 
their attack against the Federals on the morning of the 3d, at 
latest ; whereas they were not able to leave until the latter da} r , 
and did not get into position before the afternoon of the 5th, at 
too advanced an hour to open the attack immediately. With 
better disciplined troops, the march of less than eighteen miles 
could have been made in one day ; but two of our corps, Generals 
Folk s and Bragg s, which had been recently organized, were most 
ly composed of commands not yet used to marching. General 


Folk s corps was, besides, rather slow in starting; and we were 
two days in passing over that short distance. 


It lias pleased some hypercritical military writers, also, to criticise 
severely the order of battle adopted at Shiloh. They think that 
a great mistake was made, in deploying the different corps, in suc 
cessive lines,* along the whole front of battle, instead of intrust 
ing a part of that front to each corps, itself formed on several 

The first merit of a commander is, to be able to adapt the means 
at his disposal to the circumstances in which he is placed, and 
to apply them, in the simplest manner possible, to the accom 
plishment of the object in view. Our " corps" were thus designa 
ted, not only for the purpose of deceiving the enemy as to the 
number of our troops, which we wished to exaggerate, but also to 
inspire our own men with greater confidence. The truth is, that 
these corps were properly " divisions," at least in size, and were 
composed only of from four to five brigades, averaging each about 
two thousand infantry, so that the first line, General Hardee s, 
consisting of four brigades, contained some eight thousand five 
hundred bayonets, and the second line five hundred yards in 
rear of the first consisting of five brigades, under General Bragg, 
had about fifteen hundred more bayonets, or nearly ten thousand 
in all. General Folk s corps and General Ereckinridge s division 
composed the first of four brigades, numbering not over eight 
thousand five hundred men, and the second, of about six thousand, 
gave a total of less than thirty-five thousand infantry. The forces 
of Generals Folk and Breckinridge were formed in columns of 
brigades, at proper intervals, in rear of the second line of battle. 
Our front was therefore of limited extent for one command, com 
pared to many other fronts of battle subsequently used during 
the war, especially in Virginia, with the corps of Generals Jack 
son and Longstreet. 

General Hardee s command, used to marching and moving as an 
organized body, under that cool and gallant officer, constituted 

* Only two corps, Generals Hardee s and Bragg s, were thus deployed j the 
other two, Generals Folk s and Breckinridge s, were in columns of brigades, 
supporting each wing. 


the front line of battle, to secure unity of action, during what 
was expected to be a surprise. General Bragg s troops were 
equally well disciplined as regiments, but were unused to inarch 
ing by brigades, and many of his regiments had never before 
been under his orders. It was supposed that, in a broken and 
wooded country, they might very well follow and support General 
Ilardec s lines, but might not do so well if deployed to form the 
immediate front. General Folk s command, recently organized, 
was even less prepared to occupy such a position. Breckinridge s 
division was composed of excellent material, and could march 
well, having lately retreated from Kentucky and middle Tennes 
see, with General Ilardee s corps ; hence, it was thought advisable, 
at first, to hold it in reserve for any emergency which might hap 
pen on any distant part of the field. 

That the commands got very much broken and mixed up dur 
ing the battle was not surprising, and was due less to the order of 
battle than to the rawness of the troops, including officers, the 
broken and wooded nature of the field, and the severity of the 
contest. General Beauregard is of opinion that any other order 
of battle would have resulted similarly, under like circumstances. 
The Federals were also in the same mixed-up condition, according 
to their own reports, when the battle had lasted only a few hours. 
At the close of the first battle of Manassas, the Confederates, who 
had fought on the defensive, in a single line of battle, owing to 
the want of troops, were nearly as badly disorganized as the army 
at Shiloh was. General Beauregard says that he has often seen 
nc\v troops when attempting to mananivre, even on level ground, 
get so thoroughly mixed up in a few moments that a long time 
was required to disentangle them. It may be true that our re 
serves were engaged somewhat too early in the action ; but this 
was done to save time, as success depended on the rapid execution 
of the offensive, and to prevent the enemy from reorganizing and 
concentrating for the defensive. 


Another objection raised against the attack at Shiloh is, that it 
was made to bear too much on the Federal left, which brought 
the Confederates in too close proximity to the Tennessee River, 
where their right flank became exposed to the fire of the enemy s 
two gunboats. 


The attack was made oblique on the right, as has been already 
stated in the narrative of the battle, in order to get on better 
ground, towards the ridge separating the waters which flow into 
Lick Creek from those which empty into Owl Creek. This ar 
rangement enabled us, besides, to take the Federal encampments 
more in flank than would have been possible by a direct attack. 
The country was too much broken and too heavily wooded to 
justify much fear of the gunboats in the river. They could not 
have distinguished friends from foes, except at a short distance, 
and they would have had to fire at random. We expected to back 
the Federals against Owl and Snake Creeks the two narrow and 
rickety bridges of which could not have stood heavy pressure 
early in the day, without incurring much risk from the gunboats. 
It was only late on the afternoon of the 6th, when attacking Pitts- 
burg Landing itself, that our right flank became really exposed to 
their fire, and our attack was checked, principally, by the water 
in the creeks and ravines which empty into the Tennessee River. 

It must be remembered that the Confederates had no accurate 
knowledge of the ground occupied by the Federals, and they had 
no proper staff officers to make the necessary reconnoissances, if 
practicable. The expedition was intended to be a surprise, and 
they feared to arouse the suspicions of the enemy by a forced 
reconnoissance : hence, they preferred to take the risk attending 
an imperfect knowledge of the ground over which they had to 
operate, rather than incur the danger of giving timely warning 
of the attack to the enemy. War is usually a contest of chances, 
and he who fears to incur any risk seldom accomplishes great re 

It is possible that, if we had had an army of veterans and had 
possessed a thorough knowledge of the Federal positions, we 
might have attacked in a different manner. At any rate, we 
would have so extended our left as to engage Sherman s troops 
shortly after we attacked Prentiss s, which would have given the 
former less time to prepare for the onslaught. There is no doubt 
that, at early dawn, Sherman was no better prepared than Pren- 
tiss to receive an attack. But General Beauregard had been as 
sured, while collecting information at Corinth for the movement, 
that the distance between Owl and Lick Creeks, near the Shiloh 
meeting-house, was about two miles, whereas it was more nearly 
three: hence our front, was not sufficiently extended to attack, 


in rapid succession, the whole Federal front, a circumstance which 
gave Sherman time hastily to form his division to oppose us; and 
on this fact he bases his denial of having been surprised by the 


Our narrative of the movement from Corinth to Shiloh has 
clearly established the surprise of the Federals on that occasion. 
When an army of nearly forty thousand men advances to within 
a mile and a half of an enemy s encampments ; establishes lines 
of battle in the woods in his front, during a whole afternoon ; 
bivouacs all night in that position without being disturbed, and 
the next morning advances at leisure, in line of battle, to within 
sight of those encampments, without meeting any serious opposi 
tion, it is absurd to deny that a surprise is effected ; otherwise, 
there is evidently no attack in war that can be thus designated. 
If the attack was not a surprise, how can General Sherman ac 
count for the success achieved against Prentiss, in about one hour, 
and against himself in about two hours, by a force not well or 
ganized, badly armed, and worse equipped ? lie says, in his " Me 
moirs,- p. 233, of the general position at Tittsburg Landing: 

"The ground itself admits of easy defence by a small command, and yet af 
fords admirable camping ground for a hundred thousand men." 

Again, on page 229 : 

" We did not fortify our camps against an attack, because we had no orders 
to do so, and because such a course would have made our raw men timid. 
The position was naturally strong, with Snake Creek on our right, a deep, 
bold stream, with a confluent (Owl Creek) to our right front; and Lick Creek, 
with a similar confluent, on our left ; thus narrowing the space over which we 
could be attacked to about a mile and a half or two miles." 

In his report of the battle, he says of his own position near the 
Shiloh meeting-house : 

" The fire came from the bushes which line a small stream that rises in the 
field in front of Appier s camp, and flows to the north along my whole front. 
This valley afforded the enemy partial cover; but our men were so posted as 
to have a good fire at them as they crossed the valley and ascended the rising 
ground on our side/ 

In his testimony at the trial of Colonel AVorthington, an officer 
of his command, in August, 1SG2, he said: 

"And here I mention, for future history, that our right flank was well 


guarded by Owl and Snake Creeks, our left by Lick Creek, leaving us simply 
to guard our front. No stronger position was ever held by an army. . . . But 
even as we were on the 6th of April, you might search the world over and 
not find a more advantageous field of battle flanks well protected, and never 
threatened, troops in easy support, timber and broken ground giving good 
points to rally ; and the proof is that forty-three thousand men, of whom at 
least ten thousand ran away, held their ground against sixty thousand chosen 
troops* of the South with their best leaders. On Friday the 4th, nor officer, 
nor soldier, not even Colonel Worthington, looked for an attack, as I can 

Now, what forces had lie and General Prentiss with which to 
hold and defend their impregnable positions? Sherman had 
three of his brigades of infantry, three batteries of six pieces each, 
and some cavalry, and was reinforced by one brigade of McCler- 
nand s division, making in all over nine thousand men ; and General 
Prentiss had three brigades of infantry and two batteries, or about 
six thousand men together they had over fifteen thousand men. 

Their positions were carried in from one to two hours by liar- 
dee s corps of four brigades, numbering nine thousand and twenty- 
four infantry and artillery, assisted by Bragg s five brigades, ten 
thousand seven hundred and thirty-one infantry and artillery, and 
by two brigades of Folk s corps, about four thousand five hundred 
men, or, in all, less than twenty-five thousand. Folk s other two 
brigades and Breckinridge s division of three brigades took no part 
in this first attack. Is it probable that the Federals, who fought 
so gallantly during the rest of that day, would have been driven so 
soon from such a stronghold as is described by General Sherman, if 
they had not been surprised ? But the reports of several of Gen 
eral Sherman s own brigade commanders show conclusively that 
the Confederate attack, on the morning of the 6th, came upon 
them quite unexpectedly. A remarkable circumstance is, that 
General Sherman had then no cavalry pickets in advance of his 
encampments, having forgotten, apparently, that cavalry is " the 
eye of an army." His infantry pickets and guards were so few 
and close to his first line of sentinels as not to be able to delay 
our advance, or give timely notice of our approach. General 
Sherman says also, in his report : 

* The Confederates numbered not quite forty thousand men, and about one 
third of this force was composed of newly formed regiments, very recently 


"On Saturday (5th) the enemy s cavalry was again very bold, coming well 
down to our front, yet I did not believe they designed anything but a strong 

And further on lie adds : 

About 8 A. M. (Sunday) I saw the glistening bnyonets of heavy masses ot 
infantry, to our left front, in the woods beyond the small stream alluded to, 
and became satisfied for the first time that the enemy designed a determined 
attack on our whole camp." 

Major Ricker says that, after reporting to General Sherman a 
reconnoissance he had made on the day preceding the battle: 

" I told him I had met and fought the advance of Bcaurcgard s army, and 
that he was advancing on us. General Sherman remarked, It could not be 
possible ; Beauregard was not such a fool as to leave his base of operations to 
attack us in ours mere reconnoissance in force. " * 

But Generals Sherman and Prentiss were not the only com 
manding officers surprised by Beaurcgard s "foolish" attack. 
Generals Ilallcck, Grant, and Buell seem to have been equally 
unprepared for his sudden onslaught. General Buell, with five 
divisions of his army, well organized and fully equipped, num 
bering at least thirty-seven thousand men of all arms, had left 
Nashville from the 15th to the 20th of March, to form a junction 
at his leisure with Grant at Savannah, via Columbia, Mount Pleas 
ant, and Waynesboro. lie was delayed several days at Columbia 
by high water in Duck River, the bridge having been destroyed 
by the Confederates. While there he first heard, on or about the 
29th of March, that Grant s army had moved to Pittsburg Land 
ing, on the left bank of the Tennessee River. General Buell re 
sumed his march on the 31st, intending having obtained the ap 
proval of General llalleck "to stop for cleaning up and rest at 
Waynesboro ;" he had not yet received any intimation that Gen 
eral Grant was in danger, or that he (Buell) should hurry up with 
his forces. 

But in order that we may not be suspected of a disposition to 
be unfair towards the distinguished generals referred to, we quote 
from Van Home s " History of the Army of the Cumberland," vol. 
i. pp. 102 et seq., as follows : 

* See Boynton s " Sherman s Historical Raid," pp. 33, 34, for further extracts 
from official records. 


" General Buell had not yet * received an intimation that General Grant was 
in any danger, or that there was need of haste in the movement of his army, 
and, desiring to have his forces in good shape to meet a comrade army, ob 
tained permission from General Halleck to stop for rest at "VVaynesboro. The 
army commander had also under consideration the propriety of moving to 
Hamburg, above Pittsburg Landing, and thence to the place of conjunction. 
Stronger evidence could not be adduced than this project of stopping at 
Wayncsboro, that neither General Halleck nor General Buell, at this time, 
thought that there was anything actual, probable, or possible, in the situa 
tion at Pittsburg Landing, to demand the hurried advance of the army of the 
Ohio. But General Nelson [commanding the leading division], ignorant of 
this proposal to halt at Waynesboro, and alive to the probability of an early 
attack upon General Grant, hurried through the place for rest and trimming 
up for a handsome introduction to the Army of the Tennessee, and, by sweep 
ing impetuously on the road to Savannah, he both defeated the deflection 
towards Hamburg and the halt at Wayncsboro ; for before General Buell 
thought it necessary to give orders to Nelson, other divisions, to which the 
speed of the first had been communicated, were also beyond Waynesboro, and 
could not then be recalled. 

"That General Grant felt secure at this time is equally manifest. Tele 
graphic communications between him and Nelson were established on the 3d 
of April. The latter telegraphed that he could bo at Savannah with his 
division on the 5th. On the 4th, General Grant replied that he need not 
hasten his march, as transports to convey him to Pittsburg Landing would 
not be ready before the 8th. Nevertheless, Nelson hastened on, and it was well 
he did, for he gave motion to the whole army behind him, and General John 
ston was even then on the march from Corinth, with his entire army, to crush 
General Grant before General Buell could give him assistance. . . . 

"A variety of facts support the assumption that neither General Halleck, 
General Grant, nor the division commanders on the field beyond Pittsburg 
Landing, had the remotest expectation that the enemy would advance in of 
fence from Corinth with full strength. General Halleck proposed to com 
mand the united armies in their advance upon Corinth, and yet he was not 
to leave his headquarters at St. Louis, Missouri, until the 7th. Oil the 5th, 
General Sherman, though not the senior division commander, yet virtually so, 
from the confidence reposed in him by General Grant, telegraphed to the 
latter : All is quiet along my lines now ; the enemy has cavalry in our front, 
and I think there are two regiments and one battery six miles out. t Again : 
I have no doubt that nothing will occur to-day more than some picket firing. 
The enemy is saucy, but got the worst of it yesterday, and will not press our 

* On the 31st of March. 

t The Confederates were then within that distance with their whole army 
of nearly forty thousand men, and they formed their lines of battle that after 
noon about a mile and a half in his front. They had passed the night of the 
4th at Monterey, only nine miles from his headquarters. 


pickets far. I will not be drawn out far, unless with a certainty of advantage, 
and I do not apprehend anything like an attack upon our position. 1 

"General Grant telegraphed the same day as follows: The innin force of 
the enemy is at Corinth, with troops at different points east. . . . The num 
ber of men at Corinth, and within supporting distance of it, cannot be far 
from eighty thousand men. Some skirmishing took place between our out- 
guards and the enemy s yesterday and the day before. ... I have scarcely 
the faintest idea of an attack (general one) being made upon us, but will be 
prepared, should such a thing take place. ... It is my present intention to 
send them (EiieH s three foremost divisions) to Hamburg, some four miles 
above Pittsburg, when they all get here. . . . 

" They [the Federal divisions at Pittsburg Landing] were widely separated, 
and did not sustain such relations to each other that it was possible to form 
quickly a connected defensive line. . . . They had no defences and no desig 
nated line for defence in the event of a sudden attack, and there was no gen 
eral on the field to take, by special authority, the command of the whole 
force in an emergency. 

" While the national army was unprepared for battle and unexpectant 
of such an event, and was passing the night of the 5th in fancied security, 
Johnston s army of forty thousand men was in close proximity, and readv for 
the bloody revelation of its presence and purpose on the following morning. 
. . . Early on the morning of the Cth of April, a Sabbath day of unusual 
brightness, cannonading in the direction of Pittsburg Landing was distinctly 
heard at Savannah. General Grant supposed that it indicated an attack upon 
his most advanced positions, and, not waiting to meet General Buell, as he 
had appointed, and not leaving any instructions or suggestions for his guid 
ance in moving his army to the field, or even expressing a desire that he 
should give him support, he gave an order to General Nelson to march his 
division up to Pittsburg Landing, and, taking a steamer, hastened towards the 
noise of battle. Tie did, however, advise General Buell, by note, that an at 
tack had been made, whose occurrence he had not anticipated before Monday 
or Tuesday; apologized for not meeting him, as he had contemplated, and 
mentioned the fact that he had ordered General Nelson to move with his di 
vision to opposite Pittsburg Landing. The omission to request him to take 
any other divisions to the field, or even to hasten their march to Savannah, 
must be accepted as conclusive that General Grant did not at the time antici 
pate such a battle as would require the assistance of other portions of the 
Army of the Ohio. ... lie [General Buell] subsequently received a note from 
General Grant, addressed to the commanding officer, advanced forces, near 
Pittsburg, Tennessee, advising him that his forces had been engaged since 
early morning, contending against an army estimated at a hundred thousand 
men, and that the introduction of fresh troops upon the field would inspire 
his men and dishearten the enemy/ 

General Shermnirs vain effort to show that he was ready for 
the Confederate attack on the morning of the Gth contradicts his 


former statements. It certainly weakens in nothing the prepon 
derance of evidence offered by us, nor does it, in any way, impair 
the force of what is said in Van Home s "History of the Array 
of the Cumberland." The discussion of this point has made it 
clear that not only Sherman s division, but the entire Federal 
army, was taken by surprise. That General Sherman should deny 
it to-day, with such bitterness of feeling towards those who prefer 
the testimony of facts to his unsubstantiated assertions, seems the 
result of an after-thought, which involves him in inconsistency. 

In Badeau s " Military History of U. S. Grant " we read as fol 
lows :* 

"... On the 4th (April) the enemy felt Sherman s front in force, but noth 
ing serious came of it, and the opinion of that commander was decided that 
no probability of an immediate engagement existed. Grant rode out on the 
day after (the 5th) to Sherman s lines, and concurred with him in this judg 
ment. They were both mistaken, for the skirmish was the reconnoissance of 
the enemy, preliminary to the battle of Shiloli. This affair, however, awoke 
attention, and put both officers and men on the alert." 

These are conflicting statements. How could " both officers 
and men " be " on the alert " that is to say, ready for an attack 
on that morning when the commanding general himself did "not 
anticipate" any such attack ; and when he and General Sherman 
believed that no immediate engagement was likely to take place? 
Were " the officers and men " of the Federal army better informed 
than their commanding generals ? A few of them were, and even 
ventured to suggest their fears to some of their commanders, but 
they were rebuked for their presumption. 

The Federal army could not have been "on the alert" and 
ready, at that time, to meet the onset of the Confederate army, 
for the simple and additional reason that, when our troops swept 
into the enemy s encampments, most of the men off duty were 
found at their morning meal, some loitering about their recri- 

O s O O 

mental grounds, some lying in their tents, while others were busi 
ly attending to the nearly cooked bread which then filled their 
well-lit ovens. This utter absence of preparation, obvious to all 
the first assaulting Confederate columns, shows how secure the 
enemy thought himself, and how little generals, officers, and men 
dreamed of an attack on that day. 

* Vol. i. pp. 71, 72. 


General Grant was evidently much mistaken as to the number 
of the Confederates; but, in war, one is very apt to judge of the 
strength of an adversary by the severity of the blows he inflicts. 
If General Grant really believed that his enemy was as strong as 
his despatches of that period state, was he not at fault in having 
landed his army on the exposed side of a wide and deep river, 
when that enemy lay at so short a distance only twenty-two 
miles? Was he not to blame for leaving his entire front unpro 
tected by field-works, and for neglecting to throw out all the cav 
alry at his disposal, as far in his front and on his flanks as possi 
ble? But in his letter* to General Halleck, sent from Savannah, 
April 5th, he said : 

"General Nelson s division has arrived. The other two of General Buell s 
eolumn will arrive to-morrow or next day. It is my present intention to 
send them to Hamburg, some four or live miles above Pittsburg, when they 
all get here. From that point to Corinth the road is good, and a junction 
can be formed with the troops from Pittsburg at almost any point." 

lie proposed thus to violate two important maxims of war: 
first, by dividing his forces and isolating a part of them with a 
broad and deep stream behind them, and a small one (Lick Creek) 
separating the two bodies from each other at a still shorter distance 
than that which lay between Pittsburg Landing and the enemy at 
Corinth, supposed to be eight) 7 thousand strong; secondly, by pro 
posing to form the junction of his forces at a point even nearer to 
the enemy than Pittsburg Landing. In such a case the tempta 
tion to seize the opportunity for their separate destruction would 
have been too great for even a non-aggressive adversary to re 

If General Grant had had time to carry out his intention, Gen 
erals Johnston and Beauregard guarding well the crossings of 
Lick Creek, on its south side would have concentrated all their 
available forces against General BuclTs first three divisions, which 
would have been destroyed before they could have been rein 
forced, either by his other two divisions or by troops from Pitts 
burg Landing. Then the Confederate commanders would have 
attacked General Grant himself, with all the chances of success in 
their favor, especially if, meanwhile, Van Dorn could have joined 
them (as already instructed) with his forces from Arkansas. 

* Sec Boynton, " Sherman s Historical Raid/ p. r,0. 
j 22 



General Beauregard is of opinion that General Sherman com 
mitted a grave error by protracting, as he did, the defence of the 
position he held at the Shiloh meeting-house. When, at 8 A.M., he 
" became satisfied, for the first time, that the enemy designed a 
determined attack on his whole camp " knowing his unprepared 
condition to offer a long resistance he should have " made a vir 
tue of necessity," and, instead of calling on McClernand, in his 
rear, to come to his assistance, he should have ordered or request 
ed him, Wallace, and Hurlbut, to select at once a strong defensive 
position near the former s camps (and there were many such), on 
which Prentiss and himself could retire at the proper moment. 
And when, at about 9 A.M., he "judged that Prentiss was falling 
back," which exposed the left flank of his own two remaining bri 
gades to the concentrated attack of the Confederates, he should 
have retired, fighting, on the right of the defensive position occu 
pied by the three divisions of McClernand, Wallace, and Hurl- 
but, behind which his and Prentiss s shattered troops could have 
rallied as a reserve, increased by his fourth brigade Stewart s 
which, on his first arrival at the Landing, he had imprudently de 
tached, over two miles to his left rear, to guard a bridge across 
Lick Creek. That bridge might very well have been protected by 
a small force of cavalry and a section of artillery. The Federals 
would thus have presented a united front, in a strong position, as 
an effective barrier to the headlong and disjointed attacks of the 
Confederates, who would necessarily have been in some confusion 
from their march through the woods and across the ravines, and 
their assault on the first line of Federal encampments. As it 
was, in their pursuit of Sherman s and Prentiss s commands, they 
caught, u on the wing" and in succession, the divisions of McCler 
nand, Wallace, and Hurlbut, who offered a gallant but ineffectual 
resistance to the persistent and determined attacks of the elated 

This error of General Sherman is, however, one that is often 
committed in an active campaign. Two memorable examples oc 
curred in the late Franco -Prussian war, which cost France, be 
sides her high military renown, the provinces of Alsace and Lor 
raine, and one billion of dollars. 

On the 4th of August, 1870, three Prussian divisions, of the 


Crown Prince s army, surprised and crushed, at "Wissembourg, on 
the Sarre River, one division of McMahon s corps (the 1st) of 
thirty-six thousand men, which formed the right wing of the 
French army, composed of the elite of the French troops. Two 
days afterwards the Crown Prince attacked again, suddenly, the 
remainder of the French corps, at "Woerth, a few miles back from 
Wissembourg. The other two corps, 5th and 7th of McMahon s 
army, were not quite within supporting distance, and instead of 
opposing his overpowering adversary in such a manner only as to 
give time to those two corps to concentrate on a good defensive 
position in his rear, he made a determined stand at "Woerth, call 
ing on them to hurry up to his assistance. Only two divisions 
of the 5th corps (De FaillyV) reached him in time to take part 
in the desperate struggle then going on. But his gallant troops 
were nearly annihilated, and he was compelled to retire to the 
fortified and distant camp of Chalons, to recruit and reorganize 
another army, which was lost shortly afterwards at Sedan. 

The left wing of the French army met with nearly the same 
fate. It consisted of five corps, scattered along the frontier in ad 
vance of Mctz, all under the immediate direction of the French 
Emperor, Napoleon III., whose headquarters were established in 
that fortified city. Three Prussian corps, under General Von 
Stein metz, suddenly appeared at Sarrebruck, on the Sarre River, 
which they crossed rapidly, and, on the 6th, surprised the 2d 
French corps (Frossard s) at Spcichercn, where another desperate 
engagement ensued while awaiting the support of the other four 
French corps. These arrived, however, in the vicinity only in 
time to be caught "on the wing," and had to fall back in great 
haste towards Metz in a divergent direction from McMahon s line 
of retreat where they were finally surrounded, and compelled to 
surrender, with Marshal Bazaine, October 29th, 1870, after an he 
roic but useless defense, so far as regarded the safety of France. 

General Beauregard is of opinion that, had the Confederates 
been in better fighting condition, the corresponding error of Sher 
man would have ended the battle of Shiloh long before Buell 
could have come to the assistance of the Federals, and a decisive 
victory would then have enabled the Confederates to take the of 
fensive in middle Tennessee and Kentucky, with far greater re 
sults than those obtained, at first, by General Bragg, a few months 



The blame for having withdrawn the Confederate troops too 
soon from the fight, on the evening of the 6th, "just as" it is 
alleged " a last concentrated effort was about to be made by 
some of the subordinate commanders," has, we think, been conclu 
sively refuted in the narrative of the battle. That charge is en 
tirely disproved by the reports of brigade and regimental com 
manders. The cessation of hostilities was not ordered until " a 
last concentrated effort " had been made shortly after 4 r. M., 
under General Beauregard s own eyes, and not until he was satis 
fied, from the condition of his troops, that no further attack on 
our part would meet with success, especially after the opening of 
Webster s reserved Federal batteries, supported by reinforcements, 
as the rolls of infantry fire clearly indicated. It was not until then, 
about 6 r. M., shortly before sunset, that the order was given to 
cease the contest, and collect and reorganize the various com 
mands, before it should be too dark to carry out the order effec 
tually. But before these instructions could be generally distrib 
uted, the fighting had, in reality, ceased on the greater part of the. 
field. As an additional proof that the order was not given too 
soon, it is a positive fact that the brigades and divisions of the dif 
ferent commands, especially Bragg s and Ilardee s, were not col 
lected and reorganized in time to meet the Federal attack, on the 
next morning. The true reason, besides the rawness of our officers 
and men, why we were not able to complete our victory on the 
6th, is correctly given, by the Adjutant-General of the Confeder 
ate army at Shiloh, in his "Campaigns of Lieutenant-General For 
rest," p. 151, as follows : 

" After the combat was at its height, about meridian, those superior officers 
who should have been occupied with the concentration and continuous pro 
jection of their troops in heavy masses upon the shattered Federal divisions, 
were at the very front and perilous edge of the battle, leading forward regi 
ments, perchance brigades, into action, with great individual intrepid ity, and 
doing a great deal, no doubt, by their personal example, to impel small bodies 
forward. But, meanwhile, to their rear were left the masses of their respective 
commands, without direction, and thus precious time was lost. The Confed 
erates were not kept continuously massed and employed, either in corps or 
divisions ; mere piecemeal onsets were the general method of fighting after 
12 o clock (on the 6th), with this consequence : Sherman was enabled to 
make several obstinate, powerful stands, by which he protracted the battle 


some hours. Had the corps been held well in hand, massed and pressed con 
tinuously upon the tottering, demoralized foe ; had general officers attended to 
the swing and direction of the great war-engine at their disposition, rather 
than, as it were, becoming so many heads or battering-ranis of that machine, 
the battle assuredly would have closed at latest by mid-day. By that hour, at 
most, the whole Federal force might have been urged back and penned up, 
utterly helpless, in the angle formed between the river and Lick (or Snake) 
Creek, or dispersed along the river bank, between the two creeks; we repeat, 
that had the Confederate corps been kept in continuity, closely pressed en 
masse upon the enemy, after the front line had been broken and swept back, 
the Federal fragments must have been kept in a downward movement, like 
the loose stones in the bed of a mountain torrent. 

Before leaving this part of our subject it is proper, we think, 
to direct attention to the comparison, drawn by Mr. Davis, be 
tween General Albert Sidney Johnston and Marshal Turenne, with 
reference to the battle of Shiloh. Says Mr. Davis : * 

"To take an example far from us, in time and place, when Turenne had, 
after months of successful manoeuvring, finally forced his enemy into a position 
which gave assurance of victor} , and had marshalled his forces for a decisive 
battle, he was, when making a preliminary reconnoissauce, killed by a chance 
shot ; then his successor, instead of attacking, retreated, and all which the 
one had gained for France the other lost. 

The falsity of the comparison is too flagrant to need more than 
a passing notice. First, it was at the suggestion of General Beaure- 
gard that General Johnston had marched his small army to Cor 
inth, in order to form a junction there, and fight the battle of 
Shiloh, not " after months of successful manoeuvring, 1 as was the 
case with Marshal Turenne, but, on the contrary, after months of 
irreparable disasters, which had brought the country to the brink 
of despair, and led General Johnston to believe that he had lost 
the confidence of both the people and the army. Second, it was 
General Beauregard not General Johnston who "had marshalled 
our forces for a decisive battle" at Pittsburg Landing, as has been 
already fully and clearly established. Third, when the commanding 
general fell, the battle had been in progress fully eight hours. His 
" successor" continued the attack, with all the vigor and energy 
possible, as long as daylight and the physical condition of his men 
allowed him to do so. He renewed the attack the next day ; and 
only began his masterly retreat because the enemy in his front had 
been reinforced with overwhelming numbers. Fourth, the victory 

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, vol. ii. p. G8. 


was by no means assured at the hour of GeneralJolmston s death. 
All that can be said is, that our right was then in the act of driv 
ing back the enemy s left ; but there still remained his right and 
centre, which, though hard pressed, had not yet been routed, and 
only began to give way in confusion after General Beauregard 
had assumed command. " It was after G p. M." he says, " when 
the enemy s last position was carried, and his force finally broke 
and sought refuge behind a commanding eminence covering Pitts- 
burg Landing." * 

To a careless or superficial reader, this comparison, coming from 
such a source, might have a certain weight, but when sifted and 
closely analyzed, it is seen to be the far-fetched and idle fancy of 


General Beauregard says that the hardest lighting the Confeder 
ates encountered on the 7th was with Buell s splendidly organized 
and well- disciplined divisions, numbering at least twenty thou 
sand f before the arrival of Wood s two brigades in the afternoon 
of that day. According to Sherman s " Memoirs," J General 
Grant s own forces, on the 7th, amounted to nearly twenty-five 
thousand men (including Lew. "Wallace s division of fresh troops), 
but they did not fight with the animation and spirit of the pre 
ceding day. Until about 10.30 A. M., General Beauregard had, in 
the centre and on the right, as stated in the narrative of the 
battle, only about ten thousand infantry and artillery, under Gen 
erals Breckinridge and ITardee, to oppose Buell s three fresh divis 
ions, supported by a part of General Grant s forces of the preced 
ing day, under Ilurlbut, while General Bragg had only about seven 
thousand five hundred infantry and artillery, on the left, with which 
to oppose General Grant s force of more than twenty thousand men. 
By 11.30 A.M., General Beauregard had withdrawn from General 
Bragg two brigades and a regiment, to reinforce the centre and 
right, and he had made him extend another brigade (Russell s) to his 
right, to cover the space between him and Breckinridge, left open by 
the unfortunate absence of Cheatham s division, of General Folk s 
corps. General Bragg had, therefore, at that time (11.30 A. M.), 

* See General BeauregarcTs Report. 

t "History of the Army of the Cumberland," vol. i. p. 115. 

J Page 245. 


only about five thousand men with whom to confront General 
Grant s forces, and he was reinforced during the day by only two 
straggling regiments under General J. K. Jackson, and by a small 
disjointed brigade under Colonel Pond, at about 1 p. M. With 
those forces General Bragg not only held at bay those opposed to 
him, but took the offensive several times, and, on the arrival of 
Cheatham s division in its proper place, compelled Wallace, Sher 
man, and McClernand to call earnestly on McCook, of BuelFs 
army, for support. General Beauregard, therefore, felt not much 
concerned about his left; and he directed all his attention and 
most of his available troops to holding in check or driving back, 
at times, BuelPs forces, which showed considerable boldness, and 
seemed to be well handled. 

The result of that day s battle shows conclusively what would 
have been the consequences had General Grant carried out his 
intention according to a statement to that effect in General 
Sherman s "Memoirs" of attacking the Confederates on the 
morning of the 7th, without awaiting the assistance of General 
BuelTs forces. His disaster would undoubtedly have been irrepa 

With regard to the claim of victory raised by both sides, after 
the battle of Shiloh, it is thus clearly and, we believe, fairly stated 
by General Jordan :* 

The Confederates found their pretension upon the facts of the heavy capt 
ures of men, artillery, and colors which they carried from the field, the com 
plete rout inflicted on the Federals on Sunday, and their ability, on Monday, 
to hold the ground upon which they had concentrated and made the battle 
until 2 r. M.,f when General Beauregard withdrew from an unprofitable combat 
withdrew in admitted good order, taking with him all the captured guns 
for which there was transportation. Moreover, his enemy was left so com 
pletely battered and stunned as to be unable to pursue. The Federals claimed 
the victory upon the grounds that, on Monday evening, they had recovered 
their encampments and possession of the field of battle, from which the Con 
federates had retired, leaving behind their dead and a number of wounded. 
In this discussion it should be remembered that after the Confederates concen 
trated on Monday, or from at least as late as 9 A. M. up to the time of their 
retreat, they uniformly took the offensive and were the assailants. All sub 
stantially claimed in reports of Federal subordinate generals is that, after 
having been worsted between 9 A. M. and 2 r. M., they were then able to hold 

* " Campaigns of Lieutenant-General Forrest," p. 150. 
t It was after two o clock r. M. 


their own and check their antagonists.* After that, manifestly, there was a 
complete lull in the battle until about 4 p. M., when, and no sooner, do the 
Federals appear to have advanced. 

" General Beauregard has been blamed, unjustly, for withdrawing his troops 
just as they were being launched, on Sunday evening, against the last Fed 
eral position, with such numbers and impetus, by generals on the spot, as must 
have insured complete success. The reports of brigade and regimental com 
manders entirely disprove this allegation.! His order, really, was not distrib 
uted before the greater part of the Confederate troops had already given up 
the attempt, for that day, to carry the ridge at the Landing." 

For further particulars as to the hour when General Beaure- 
gard s order to cease firing was given and received, we refer the 
reader to the Appendices to the present and the two preceding 


When error and falsehood have taken hold of public credulity, 
their eradication is an arduous and unpleasant task. The experi 
ence of life teaches this lesson to most men. And it often hap 
pens that even the fair-minded are slow to discard a conviction 
which has grown upon them and is strengthened by the assertions 
of those who are, or have been, high in authority. There seerns 
to be.a fatal attraction about the propagation of evil reports, which 
the preponderance of truth itself but tardily counterbalances and 
destroys. " Listeners," says Hare, " do seldom refrain from evil 

This applies to the unaccountable and malicious story, to which 
additional notoriety has recently been given, that General Beau- 
regard, during the first day of the battle of Shilob, up to the time 
when he was informed of General Johnston s death, was lying in 
his ambulance, taking no part whatever in the fight, and, that even 
after the fall of the commanding general, he " quietly remained 
where he was, waiting the issue of events." 

To listen to such a statement, and see credence given to it, must 
have been pleasing to those fortunately few in number whose 
object has always been to misrepresent General Beauregard, to 
ignore his merit as a commander, and rob him of the renown he 
acquired despite their jealous efforts. 

* See Reports of Generals Wallace, Nelson, Crittendcn, etc., and Correspond 
ence of " Agate," in " Record of the Rebellion," vol. iv. Doc. 114. 
t Sec Appendix. 


On page 67 of the second volume of Mr. Davis s "Rise and 
Full of the Confederate Government," the following passage will 
be found : 

"General Bcaurcgard had told General Johnston that morning, as he rode 
off, that if it should be necessary to communicate with him or for him to do 
anything, he would be found in his ambulance in bed. Governor Harris, 
knowing this, and how feeble General Beauregard s health w r as, w r cnt first to 
his headquarters, just in the rear of where the army had deployed into lino 
the evening before. Beaurcgard and his staff were gone on horseback in the 
direction of Shiloh church. He found them there. The Governor told Gen 
eral Beauregard that General Johnston had been killed. Beaurcgard ex 
pressed regret, and then remarked, Everything else seems to be going on well 
on the right. Governor Harris assented. Then, said Beaurcgard, the bat 
tle may as well go on. The Governor replied that he certainly thought it 
ought. He offered his services to Beauregard, and they were courteously ac 
cepted. General Beaurcgard then remained where he was, waiting the issue 
of events." 

It is to be regretted, on Mr. Davis s own account, that he has 
given to the world as history so baseless a fiction. 

A passage similar to this appears in Colonel W. P. Johnston s 
"Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston," but it had been de 
termined, after due reflection, to pass it by in silence in this 
work. General Beauregard, it was thought, could afford to over 
look a charge so palpably absurd. But Mr. Davis having thought 
proper to reproduce the statement, with the evident purpose of 
giving it the additional weight of his name and authority, we 
now feel impelled, though reluctantly, to refute the statement 
and set the matter finally at rest. 

That General Beauregard s health was not good at the time of 
the battle is an admitted fact; but that, nevertheless, he displayed 
the most untiring activity and energy, and, within less than two 
months after his arrival in the West, mastered the minutest details 
of the military situation, and changed its whole aspect, by inspir 
ing new hope and confidence in the public mind, then so much de 
pressed, is no less certain, and has been proved beyond dispute, 
by the facts and documents already given to the reader in the 
preceding chapters. 

With the clear perception resulting from his remarkable stra 
tegic powers, his ill-health had not prevented him from advising 
and effecting the evacuation of Columbus, until then errone 
ously considered the " Gibraltar of the West ;" fortifying and 


strengthening Fort Pillow, New Madrid Bend, and Island No. 
10; urging General Johnston to abandon his retreat towards 
Stevenson, and march to Decatur, so as to facilitate a junction of 
the two armies ; and, finally, despatching most of his staff, with 
special messages, to the governors of four States, and to Gen 
erals Van Dorn, Bragg, and Lovell, in one earnest and almost 
desperate effort to obtain and concentrate an army of about 
forty thousand men at or near Corinth, and thus prepare the 
way for the great battle which was fought on the 6th and 7th of 

Nor had his ill-health prevented him from organizing and dis 
ciplining, as well as could be done, the heterogeneous army he had 
thus collected, to the concentration of which the government had 
merely given a silent, not to say unwilling, assent. For the read 
er must not forget that General Beauregard s letter to General 
Cooper, dated February 23d," x " detailing his course as to the tem 
porary enlistment of State troops, had met with no response; and 
that, to his question addressed to General Johnston as to whether 
the War Department sanctioned his action in the matter, the an 
swer, dated February 26th, was : " Government neither sanctioned 
nor disapproved." f 

The War Department had adopted the same irresponsible pol 
icy with regard to the troops at Pensacola, asked for by General 
Beauregard of General Bragg; the bald truth of the matter be 
ing, that General Bragg, having referred General Beauregard s 
call upon him to the government at Richmond, was left to his own 
discretion as to his compliance with it. lie was never ordered at 
all, despite Mr. Davis s assertions to that effect; ^ but came of his 
own accord, thereby assuming the full responsibility of the move 
ment. That the government did not prevent the transfer de 
manded is all that can be claimed for it. 

Not only had General Beauregard suggested and brought 
about the concentration of our forces at Corinth, but, after declin 
ing the command-in-chief, which was offered him by General 
Johnston, he had also, at the request of the latter, drawn up the 
General Orders, the seventh clause of which read as follows : "All 
general orders touching matters of organization, discipline, and 

* See Appendix to Chapter XVI. t Ibid. 

1 "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government/ vol. ii.p. 54. 


conduct of the troops, published by General G. T. Beauregard to 
the Army of the Mississippi, will continue in force in the whole 
army until otherwise directed, and copies thereof will be furnished 
to the 3d Army Corps and the reserve." : 

When, at the suggestion of General Beauregard, it was deter 
mined that we should advance on the 3d of April, to strike the 
enemy at Pittsburg Landing, it was he again who, despite his ill- 
health, prepared and delivered to the Adjutant-General of our 
united forces all the notes from which was written General Order 
No. 8, directing and regulating the inarch of the army from Cor 
inth, and the order in which the enemy should be attacked. 

General Beauregard left Corinth with the army, and reached, 
simultaneously with General Johnston, the ground whereon was 
formed the Confederate line of battle. lie was then on horse 
back, as was General Johnston himself. 

To bring before the reader some of the incidents which occurred 
on the afternoon of the 5th, the following passage is taken from 
MajorWaddelFs statement of facts relative to the battle of Sliiloh :f 

"ST. Louis, Notcmlcr 8th, 1878. 
" General G. T. BEAUKEGAKD : 

* * * * * :!- * * 

" I joined you on the morning of the 5th, at Monterey, and rode with you 
to Headquarters No. 1. Judging of time by what I had done that morning, I 
am of opinion that it was afternoon before you and General Johnston reached 
the ridge where the front line was formed and Headquarters No. 1 was estab 

" After a conference of the general officers was held at a point in the road, 
at which I witnessed a very marked deference on the part of General A. S. 
Johnston for your opinions and plans of conducting the battle, it was suggest 
ed by General Hardec that you should ride in front of his line of battle to 
show yourself to his men, giving them the encouragement which nothing but 
your presence could do. I well remember your modest hesitation at the prop 
osition ; your plea of sickness was urged (a more delicate reason existed, no 
doubt your esteem of the chief in command), but when the request was made 
unanimous, General Johnston urging, you consented, on condition that the 
men should not cheer as you passed, as cheering might discover our position 
to the enemy. An order was sent quickly along the lines, informing the men 
that you should ride in front of them and that no cheering should be indulged 

* In other words, copies of orders already issued by General Beauregard to 
his troops were to be sent to General Johnston s army. 

t Major Waddell was one of General Bcaurcgard s volunteer aids. For the 
whole of his statement, see Appendix to Chapter XX. 


in. You passed in front of the lines, and never was an order so reluctantly 
obeyed as was this order, No cheer ing, men T which had to be repeated at 
every breath, and enforced by continuous gesture. 

" General Johnston s prestige was great, but the hearts of the soldiers were 
with you, and your presence awakened an enthusiasm and confidence magical 
in its effect." 

In corroboration of this we now give an extract from Colonel 
Jacob Thompson s report of the battle. Colonel Thompson was 
also one of General Beauregard s volunteer aids.* 

CORINTH, April Uth, 1862. 

" To General G. T. BEAUREGARD : 


" Soon after this, General Hardee, accompanied by his staff, came forward 
and pressed you to ride along his line and show yourself to his men. He be 
lieved it would revive and cheer their spirits to know that you were actually 
in the field with them. You accepted the invitation, though then complain 
ing of feebleness, on condition there should be no cheering." f 

These are high testimonials of the estimation in which General 
Beauregard was held by the corps commanders and by General 
Johnston himself. They illustrate and explain the power and in 
fluence he exercised over the troops. Neither officers nor men, to 
whom his very presence was encouragement and comfort, supposed, 
for an instant, as he rode slowly down their lines, that he was of 
too feeble health to lead them on to victory the next day. 

In the hurry and absorption of the occasion, General Beaure 
gard had not given orders for the establishment of his night quar 
ters : he therefore slept in his ambulance. Then that is to say, 
between eleven o clock P.M., on the 5th of April, and half -past 
four o clock A.M., on the Gtli had any officer of General John 
ston s staff been sent to General Beauregard, the latter would have 


been found " in his ambulance in bed ;" then, but only then ; for, 
" the next morning, about dawn of day," according to a statement 
prepared by General Bragg for Colonel "W. P. Johnston s book, 
General Beauregard was present "at the camp-fire of the general 
in chief.";): lie had arrived there on horseback. From the time 

* Colonel Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi, had been Secretary of the Inte 
rior under President Buchanan, 
t See Appendix to Chapter XX. 
| "Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston," p. 5C9. 


when he left his ambulance that morning he did not see it again 
until his return to Corinth, after the battle of Shiloh. 

In support of this statement the reader is referred to General 
Beauregard s letter to Governor Harris, dated March 9th, 1880, 
written after the appearance of Colonel W. P. Johnston s book."- 
The following is an extract from that letter : 

a You will observe tins text imputes to you a knowledge, and also implies 
that it is upon your authority, that Colonel "W. P. Johnston asserts my having 
said that I would be found in bed in my ambulance ; whereas the fact is, that 
I had ridden with General Johnston from Monterey, on the preceding day, to 
the field. I only slept in my ambulance that night, as I had no tent, and did 
not sec it again until my return to Corinth. I was again on horseback short 
ly after daybreak on the Cth earlier, for that matter, than General Johnston, 
whom I found at his headquarters taking his coffee. We parted in advance 
of his headquarters, when he went to the front, with the understanding that 
I was to follow the movements of the field and direct the reserves; in which 
connection I call your attention to Colonel Jacob Thompson s statement, at 
page 570 of W. P. Johnston s book : General Johnston determined to lead the 
attack in person, and leave General Beauregard to direct the movements of 
troops in the rear. I may add, that I was on horseback all that day, with 
very few intervals, until you rejoined me at my headquarters, near Shiloh meet 
ing-house, about sundown, after my return from the front; and I was again on 
horseback all the next day from about seven o clock, with few intervals, until 
my arrival at Corinth, late that night/ 

This is clear and unambiguous. It utterly disproves and re 
duces to naught the groundless story chronicled by Mr. Davis. 
In reply to that letter (April 13th, 1SSO) Governor Harris wrote : 

"... But my recollection is, and I have so stated upon several occasions, 
that the last words you spoke to General Johnston, as lie was starting to the 
front on Sunday morning of the battle of Shiloh, were, t General, if you wish to 
communicate with me, send to my ambulance, " ctc.f 

Here the words "in bed" are entirely omitted. They are in 
Colonel Johnston s and Mr. Davis s books, but not in Governor 
Harris s letter to General Beauregard. We know that Governor 
Harris is sincere in his belief that these were General Beauregard s 
words, but his impression about them, however strong it may be, 
is none the less erroneous. "Where that ambulance was, or would 
be a few hours later, General Beauregard knew no more than 

* Sec Appendix to Chapter XXII. 

t The whole letter is in Appendix to Chapter XXII. 


Governor Harris, or any other member of General Johnston s 
staff : how, then, could he have directed any one to it ? This, how 
ever, is of small importance. Whatever may be the recollection 
of Governor Harris, and even admitting its correctness, it still 
remains an incontrovertible fact that no one saw, or professed to 
have seen, General Beauregard in his ambulance on either day of 
the battle ; for the very simple reason that he was not near it him 
self, and hardly knew what had become of it. 

As early as half-past six o clock A. M., on the 6th, he was busily en 
gaged issuing orders, first, to General Breckinridge, then to General 
Polk, then to General Bragg; and at twenty minutes after nine, 
when the last reserves passed Headquarters No. 1, \vhere he had 
been left by General Johnston, he again mounted his horse and 
followed them to the front, where he remained as long as the 
battle raged, devoting his whole energy to the movements of our 
left and centre, while General Johnston was directing the attack 
on our right. This is conclusively established by the report of 
General Beauregard himself, and by those of Colonels Thompson, 
Augustin, Brent, Major Waddell, and Captains Ferguson, Chisolm, 
and Smith, who were General Beauregard s aids, or acting aids, at 
the time.* 

Reverting now to what Mr. Davis insinuates was General Beau- 
regard s attitude when informed of General Johnston s death, we 
have only to say, that the very source whence Colonel Johnston 
and Mr. Davis seem to have derived their information namely, 
Governor Harris, in his letter of April 13th, 1880, already referred 
to in nowise confirms what is said to have been his language 
on that occasion. Questioned by General Beauregard to that ef 
fect, he says: 

" I reported to you the death of General Johnston, when you expressed re 
gret, inquired as to the circumstances under which, he fell, and inquired also 
of me if the battle was going on well on the right. I answered, it was ; when 
you said, We will push on the attack, or * continue to press forward ; the 
exact words employed I cannot with confidence repeat ; but this is the sub 
stance and meaning of what was said." 

Mr. Davis s account of the matter would lead the public to be 
lieve that General Beauregard was indifferent as to whether the 


battle should continue or not ; nay, more, that he would have or- 
* See their reports, in Appendix to Chapter XX. 


dered a cessation of hostilities had not Governor Harris suggested 
that the fight had better go on. AVho could give credence to this, 
even if Governor Harris had not given the counter-statement al 
ready submitted to the reader? But Mr. Davis reaches the culmi- 
nating-point when, speaking through Colonel Johnston s book, he 
describes General Eeauregard as a sickly, broken-down, indiffer 
ent commander, who was disposed to trust to chance for a favora 
ble turn of events, and who listlessly remained where he was, 
unable, if not unwilling, to take the helm and conduct the move 
ments of the army. 

This is trifling with public credulity. Mr. Davis certainly trusts 
too presumptuously to the consideration accorded to him on ac 
count of his former high position. 

The entire country knows that General Beauregard, the trained 
soldier, is a man of quick temperament, who, without being rash. 
has never flinched under responsibility; that the salient traits of 
his character are boldness and energy. To assert that such a man 
remained quiet and inactive, when the chief command of the 
army devolved upon him when the boom of the cannon was in 
his ear, and the clash and fury of the battle were around him : 
when news from the right told that victory on that part of the 
line was almost within our grasp is to put too great a strain 
upon the credulity of even the simple. Words are not necessarv 
to refute this slander, or to establish the fact that General Beau- 
regard acted, under the circumstances, as his education, his nature, 
his duty, and his will prompted him. The preceding chapters 
have sufficiently shown the difficult and masterly work he accom 
plished, after the sad event which left in his hands the command 
of the army. Here, again, truth forces the statement that Mr. 
Davis, in his effort to detract from the merits of one against whom 
he has not scrupled to exhibit his persistent animosity, has over 
reached his aim, and, far from accomplishing his purpose, has only 
succeeded in impairing the historical value of his own book. 



General Beauregard s Insistance on the Evacuation of Columbus. Docu 
ments Relating to the Matter. General McGown to be put in Command 
of Madrid Bend. He is Called by General Beauregard to Jackson for 
Instructions. He Repairs to Madrid Bend. Dispositions Made for 
its Defence. Commodore Hollins to Co-operate with Land Forces. 
Number of Troops under General McCown. Arrival of General Pope on 
the 2 8 tli of February in Front of New Madrid. Colonel Plummer Estab 
lishes a Battery on the River. Apprehensions of General McCown. Gen 
eral Beauregard s Despatch to General Cooper. General McCown Exhib 
its still Greater Anxiety. General Beauregard Doubts General McCown s 
Capacity. Successful Evacuation of Columbus. Attack Commenced on 
New Madrid March 12th. Conference of General McCown with Commo 
dore Hollins on the 13th, and Evacuation of Forts. General Beauregard 
Applies for General Mackall. Garrison of New Madrid Transferred to 
Opposite Bank of River and Island No. 10. General Beauregard Orders 
all Surplus Guns, Supplies, and Boats to Fort Pillow. Fall of Island No. 
10 on the 7th of April. General Pope s Forces Transported to Vicinity 
of Fort Pillow. General Pope Ordered to Pittsburg Landing. Want of 
Capacity of Commodore Hollins. General Beauregard s Various Tele 
grams and Orders. He Detains General Villcpigue in Command of Fort 
Pillow. Instructions to Captain Harris. Surrender of New Orleans. 
Bombardment of Fort Pillow. The Montgomery Rams. General Beau- 
regard has Steam Ram Arkansas Completed, Equipped, and Manned. 
History of the Arkansas. Tribute to Captain Isaac Brown and Crew. 
Prisoners with Smallpox Sent to Fort Pillow. What Became of Them. 
Letter to General Villepigue, May 28th. He is Directed by General 
Beauregard to Prepare for Withdrawing his Troops from Fort Pillow. 
Fort Evacuated 1st of June. Responsibility of Various Movements Left 
to General Beauregard. 

IT must not be forgotten that General Beauregard, in his con 
ference with General Polk, a few days after his arrival at Jackson, 
Tennessee, suggested and even urged the evacuation of Columbus 
at the earliest moment practicable ; that is to say, as soon as Madrid 
Bend, Island No. 10, and New Madrid could be fortified and suffi 
ciently prepared for temporary occupation; the object being to 
give time for the completion of the work of armament then going 
on at Fort Pillow, fifty -nine miles above Memphis, which was 


represented to be a strong natural position, but in a more unfin 
ished state than any other around Madrid Bend. Some field- 
works were also in process of construction at the points above 
named, though little progress had yet been made upon them, as 
was represented to General Beauregard by his Chief -Engineer, 
Captain Harris. 

The reader is referred to the several chapters preceding the ac 
count of the battle of Shiloh,* wherein many of the arrangements 
made by General Beauregard with regard to Columbus, and for 
the defence of Xew Madrid, Island No. 10, and Madrid Bend, 
including the incidents connected therewith, are mentioned at 
length, and carefully reviewed in the order of their actual occur- 

O / 

rence. We allude to the memorandum of February 7th, prepared 
at Bowling Green by General Beauregard, exhibiting the general 
plans of operations adopted by General A. S. Johnston at that 
time;f to General Beauregard s letter to General Johnston, dated 
February 12th, 1802 ;:|: to the telegram of the Secretary of War, 
dated February 19th, authorizing the evacuation of Columbus, as 
suggested by General Beauregard ; to the latter s communication 
of February 21st to General Cooper;] to his circular of same date 
to the governors of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisi 
ana ;*[ and also to his letter of February 23d to Lieutenant-General 
Polk.* These papers, documents, and outside details give an out 
line of the dispositions General Beauregard considered it judicious 
to make for the security of the defensive works on the Mississippi 
River. They show that although his attention was engrossed bv 
the movements of concentration which he was then preparing, he 
could, nevertheless, spare time and thought for distant points, fore 
seeing what the probable plans of the enemy would be, and sug 
gesting the means necessary to defeat them. 

It had been agreed between Generals Beauregard and Polk 
that Brigadier-General McCown, with some seven thousand men, 
should be sent to the positions about Madrid Bend as soon as the 
works in process of construction there should have reached a suffi 
cient state of completion to be properly armed and manned. The 
surplus ammunition removed from Columbus was to be sent to 

* Chapters XV.-XVIII. t Chapter XV. p. 220. 

I Ibid. p. 221. Appendix to Chapter XVI. || Ibid. 

1 Chapter XVI. p. 240. ** Appendix to Chapter XVI. 

I. 23 


Fort Pillow, and also the surplus guns, which were to be mounted 
with the greatest possible celerity. 

General McCown, according to a telegram forwarded to that ef 
fect, repaired to Jackson, Tennessee, to receive personal instructions 
from General Beauregard. He was accompanied by General Tru- 
deau, of Louisiana, acting Chief of Artillery on General Folk s staff. 
The line of conduct to be adopted and the mode and manner of 
defence were minutely traced out for him. He was told by Gen 
eral Beauregard that he must not count upon reinforcements, for 
all available troops were now being collected in or about western 
Tennessee, to oppose the Federals, should they attempt to cross 
the Tennessee River; that he must therefore make up his mind 
to do his utmost with the troops he would take with him ; that he 
would find two regiments at New Madrid, under Colonel Gantt, 
and possibly two others, under Colonel L. M. Walker, at Fort Pil 
low. As an additional assistance, Captain Harris, Chief-Engineer, 
was to be put in charge of the construction of all the field-works 
required, under specific verbal and written instructions from Gen 
eral Beauregard. This was a system adopted and invariably fol 
lowed by him throughout the course of the war. He knew that 
subordinate commanders, however able in other respects, could 
not, with justice, be expected to possess a thorough knowledge of 

General McCown inspected the river defences at and about 
Madrid Bend on the 25th of February, when, on his application, 
Colonel L. M. Walker, with his two regiments from Fort Pillow, 
was ordered to reinforce Colonel Gantt, at New Madrid. Shortly 
afterwards General McCown s own troops arrived from Columbus, 
at Island No. 10, and at Madrid Bend, where he established his 
headquarters, lie was followed, on the 1st of March, by Stewart s 
brigade, which was sent to reinforce the troops at New Madrid, 
where General Stewart, being the senior officer at that point, as 
sumed command of the post under General McCown, who ranked 
him. Commodore Hollins, C. S. N., with eight river gunboats, 
which General Beauregard had obtained from New Orleans, 
soon came up with his fleet to assist in the defence of the up 
per Mississippi, until Fort Pillow, with the obstructions then in 
process of construction somewhat higher up, could be made strong 
enough to prevent the Federal gunboats and transports from pass 
ing down the river. Thus, in the early part of March, General 


McCown s forces at Xew Madrid were increased to six regiments 


of infantry, and a few companies of heavy artillery, in two field- 
works, one of which Fort Thompson, a bastioned redoubt, south 
of the town had fourteen heavy guns, while the other Fort 
Bankhcad, a battery north of the town was armed with seven 
heavy guns. He also had a field battery, originally of six guns, 
afterwards of seven. The two works were more or less connected 
by rifle-pits. 

The river was high at that season of the year, and the eight 
Confederate gunboats, under Commodore Ilollins, could easily 
rake the approaches to the above-named forts.* 

On or about the 12th of March, General McCown s forces, ex 
clusive of the gunboats which were not under his orders, but had 
come to co-operate with him consisted of twelve regiments and 
one battalion of infantry, five field-batteries of six pieces each, and 
three companies of cavalry; added to which was the equivalent of 
one regiment of heavy (foot) artillery, making an aggregate of 
about eight thousand five hundred men of all arms. 

Ilis opponent, Major-General Pope, who had left Commerce, on 
the Mississippi, above Columbus, Kentucky, on the 2Sth of Feb 
ruary, arrived in front of Xew Madrid on the morning of the 3d 
of March. His force numbered five small infantry divisions, with 
one light battery to each, besides nine companies organized into a 
division of light artillery; about three regiments of cavalry, and 
two of infantry acting as engineer troops in all, some twenty-five 
thousand men. 

General Pope had no sooner ascertained the nature and arma 
ment of the Confederate works in his front than he sent for and 
obtained, from Cairo, with great labor and difficult} , three rifled 
24-poundcrs and one 8-inch howitzer, which were all the siege- 
guns he could bring to his assistance. 

On March 5th he detached Colonel Plummer, from near Xew 
Madrid, with three regiments of infantry, four light rifled pieces 
of artillery, two companies of cavalry, and one of engineer troops, 
to act as an outpost at Point Pleasant, some ten miles below Xcw 
Madrid, and to attempt, with their rifled field-pieces, to stop the 
passage of transports up and down the river. P>y morning of the 
7th the enemy s four guns were in position, in separate sunken 

* General Force, " From Fort Henry to Corinth/ pp. G8, C9. 


batteries, along the river bank, connected together by rifle-pits ; 
and so accurate was the fire of the sharpshooters there stationed 
that the gunners on the Confederate gunboats could no longer 
keep their posts. This compelled the fleet to retire, and the trans 
ports to stop at Tiptonville, some eight miles farther down the river. 
General McCown must have considered himself in a critical 
condition from the very outset, for on the 6th General Beaure- 
gard received from him the following telegram: 

" NEW MADRID, March 5th, 1862, 

Via MEMPHIS, Qth. 
" General BEAUREGARD : 

" The force in my front is, say fifteen thousand ; between here and Sykes- 
ton fifteen thousand, and large number of guns. Sigel is inarching on Point 
Pleasant with ten thousand. My position is eminently dangerous. 

" J. P. Me GOWN, 
" Comdg. New Madrid." 

This somewhat alarmed General Beauregard, although lie could 
not well believe that the forces under General Pope amounted to 
more than twenty or twenty-five thousand men ; and he had good 
reason to know that General Sigel was then operating in south 
western Missouri, against Yan Dorn s army. It was clear to him, 
however, that he could not place much reliance in a subordinate 
commander who was thus timorous under responsibility, and who 
apparently gave way to nervous apprehension as to the strength of 
his adversary. This was another and still stronger proof of the 
absolute need of trustworthy commanders in General Beanregard s 
military district. Acting under that impression, he, on the same 
day, telegraphed General Cooper as follows : 

"JACKSON, TENN., MarcJi 6th, 1862. 

" For the sake of our cause and country, send at once Mackall as Major- 
General, and three brigadier-generals recommended by me. Colonel Ransom 
to command cavalry. Organization here much needed. 1 

On the 9th came another despatch from General McCown, 
dated the clay previous. In it he said that he had not yet placed 
the salient ordered by General Beauregard, in advance of the 
works, as the position it was to occupy would be raked by our 
gunboats, and that he had no force to place there ; that he would 
erect it as soon as possible. [This, however, he never did.] In 
the same telegram, which was a long one, he also said : 

; The least estimate of the force of the enemy on Madrid plain is thirty 


thousand, with sixty guns. . . . How long can I hold New Madrid with my 
small force against such odds, is a question. I believe the enemy will soon be 
fifty thousand strong. ... I am determined to hold my position at every haz 
ard. Shall engage in no field risks ; I see my danger ; my men are confident 
and in good spirit." 

This communication aroused the greatest apprehension in Gen 
eral Beauregard s mind, as it confirmed his belief in General Mc- 
Cown s exaggerated fears of the dangers threatening his position. 
Clearly, Xapoleon s axiom " Confidence is half the battle " was 
not known to the commander at Madrid Bend. General Beaure- 
gard began to think it would be necessary to send a steadier officer 
to relieve him. Having but recently arrived in that military dis 
trict, however, the direct command of which lie had assumed only 
four days previously,* and being, as yet, unacquainted with the 
subordinate commanders serving there, General Beauregard, who, 
on the other hand, was still awaiting the arrival of the officers so 
urgently asked f of the War Department, concluded to await 
further developments before taking final action in the matter. 
lie did not doubt the personal bravery of General McCown, 
though his timorousness as a commander and fear of responsibility 
were most apparent. He therefore wrote him an earnest letter of 
encouragement, of which the closing words were: "The country 
expects us all to do our duty with a fearless heart, and we must 
do it or die in the attempt. V J 

Columbus had been successfully evacuated. Part of its troops 
and most of its guns and other armament had been transferred to 
the different defences about Madrid IVnd, the enemy offering no 
interference to delay the movement. There was additional cause 
of gratification in the fact that the governors of the southwestern 
States had all favorably answered General Beauregard s call on 
them, through his circular of February 2ist. We need not repeat 
what we have already written about his efforts to organize and 
concentrate an army under the most trying circumstances, and. the 
noteworthy manner in which it was effected. 

The real attack on New Madrid commenced March 12th, but 

* March 5th. Sec order to that effect, as given in Chapter XVII. p. 249. 
t See General Beauregard s letter of February 24th, to General Cooper, in 
Chapter XVI. See all his telegrams to same purpose. 

| The letter appears in the Appendix to the present chapter. 
Sec Chapters XVI.-XVIII. 


the four siege-guns of the Federals were not in position, nor were 
their batteries completed, until 3 A. M. on the 13th. The firing 
opened at daybreak and ended at dusk, with very little injury on 
either side ; yet, that very evening, after a defence of less than 
twelve hours, General McCown, although the vital importance of 
holding his post to the last extremity had been repeatedly im 
pressed upon him by General Beauregard, held an informal con 
ference with Commodore llollins, on board the hitter s flagship, 
at which General Stewart only was present, and it was agreed 
that the forts must be immediately evacuated. This was done dur 
ing the night of the 13th, in a heavy rain storm, and in a manner 
far from creditable to the general commanding. The evacuation 
was conducted with so much confusion indeed as almost to amount 
to a stampede. The Confederate forces there engaged numbered 
some three thousand five hundred men of all arms, with twenty- 
one heavy guns, and two light batteries of six pieces, opposed to 
which were only four siege-guns, as we have already stated. All 
our artillery, except the guns of one of the two light batteries, 
together with ammunition, animals, and stores, were left in the 
hands of the enemy. Not one of General Beauregard s impor 
tant instructions had been carried out. This was the poorest de 
fence made of any fortified post during the whole course of the 
war ; and the responsibility for the disasters it entailed must neces 
sarily rest on the immediate commander and not on the troops; 
for they were formed of the same material as those who manned 
and made glorious the defences of Island jSTo. 10, Fort Pillow, 
Vicksburg, Charleston Harbor, Petersburg, Fort Fisher, and Span 
ish Fort. 

The hasty and unnecessary evacuation of Xew Madrid destroyed 
the little confidence General Beauregard had felt in the com 
mander of that sub-district. It is but fair to add that the enemy 
had displayed activity, enterprise, and determination in his attack 
upon the Confederate works, though, as appears from the Federal 
reports, no such easy victory had been anticipated. 

General Beauregard now concluded to apply at once for Briga 
dier-General W.W. Mackall, then Chief of Staff to General A. S. 
Johnston, whose promotion he had long been urging, and who, he 
knew, would have fulfilled all his expectations, had it been possi 
ble sooner to secure his services. 

General Johnston sustained the application, but could not spare 


Brigadier- General Mackall, until liis own and General Beaure- 
gard s forces were united at Corinth, which only occurred on March 
27th. The hurried course of events and consequent dangerous 
outlook on the Mississippi, from and after the 14th of March, 
rendered it doubtful whether it was not too late, on the 31st, when 
General Mackall assumed command, to accomplish any good re 
sult, or provide for the emergencies of the situation. At his last 
interview with General Bcauregard before entering upon his new 
duties, and in answer to the remark that he would probably com 
mand only a forlorn hope, but that the fate of the Mississippi 
Valley depended, just then, on the possession of Island Xo. 10 and 
the surrounding works, if only fur twelve days more, he, true 
soldier as he was, said : " The post of danger is the post of honor. 
I will do my duty to the best of my ability, and, I hope, to the 
satisfaction of the country and of yourself. 

It has already been shown, in Chapter XVIII., how the garrison 
of New Madrid was transferred to the opposite bank of the river, 
and how a portion of it was sent to reinforce the troops supporting 
the works at and about Island Xo. 10. 

General McCown, having succeeded in reaching Fort Pillow 
with a portion of his forces, was authorized by General Polk to 
assume command there ; but General Beauregard, though approv 
ing the main dispositions taken for the defence of Madrid Bend 
and Island Xo. 10, insisted upon General McCown s return to his 
former headquarters, to resume the direction of operations; which 
he did, on the iMst, leaving General A. P. Stewart, a good artillery 
officer, in charge of the fort and its immediate surroundings. 

The abandonment of Xew Madrid insured the fall, ere long, of 
Island Xo. 10, and, therefore, of Madrid Bend. Hence General 
Beauregard s immediate order to send at once all unmounted guns, 
surplus supplies, and boats to Fort Pillow thus reducing to a 
minimum the forces necessary to hold those two now much en 
dangered posts."" His order was lirst delayed on account of an 
earnest appeal made to him by General McCown, but was renewed 
and carried out on the 18th, the need being absolute for a garrison 
at Fort Pillow, and no other troops being then available. The 
force thus transferred thither consisted of five regiments of in 
fantry, two light batteries of six guns each, and Captain Xeely s 

* General Beauregard s letter to General Bragg, of March loth, see Appendix. 


squadron of cavalry, which was soon to follow ; leaving, under 
General Walker, for the defence of Island No. 10 and Madrid 
Bend, some companies of heavy artillery, forming about the equiv 
alent of a regiment; seven regiments and one battalion of infantry; 
one company of Stewart s light battery, with six guns ; and two 
companies of Mississippi cavalry an aggregate of about four 
thousand four hundred men. 

General McCown s telegrams to General Beauregard now again 
exhibited the same anxiety and discouragement so discernible in 
those previously forwarded; and such continued to be his course, 
until he was finally relieved by General Mac-kail, on the 31st, as 
already explained. He was sent to Memphis, out of command, 
and ordered to write the report of his operations, especially such 
as referred to the evacuation of New Madrid. 

After a stout and soldierly resistance at Island No. 10, our 
troops displaying the unflinching spirit that distinguished them 
during the war, the work at last succumbed on the 7th of April, 
and surrendered to the Federal fleet, under Commodore A. II. 
Foote, two or three hours after the retreat of the Confederate 
forces from Shiloh had been ordered. The shattered condition 
of the works proved to what extremity their defenders had been 
reduced. A Federal writer says : u The earth is ploughed and 
furrowed as with an earthquake. Small caverns were excavated 
by the tremendous explosions," * etc. And General Force, a fair 
narrator of this period of the war, speaking of the first or second 
day of the bombardment (what must it not have been on the last!), 
uses this language : " Thirteen-inch shells exploding in the ground 
made caverns in the soil. Water stood on the ground within, and 
the artillerists waded in mud and water." f Lieutenant-Colonel 
Cook, of the 12th Arkansas, had been placed in command of the 
Island on the morning of the 7th, by order of General Mackall. 
Having had news, on the evening of that day, that General Pope s 
forces had effected a landing on the east bank of the river, and 
that the Confederate troops had already fallen back, he ordered 
and effected the evacuation of the work, leaving it in charge of 
Captain Ilawes, of the artillery. Colonel Cook, that night, re 
treated with his regiment (about four hundred men) along the 

* "Record of tlie Rebellion" (Documents), 1862, vol. iv. p. 440. 
t "From Fort Henry to Corinth," p. 80. 


western shore of Reelfoot Lake, until he reached a ferry landing, 
near Tiptonville, where General Beauregard had had collected, 
through the activity and energy of Colonel Pickett, commanding 
at Union City, quite a number of canoes, skiffs, and other small 
boats, for such an emergency. With these Colonel Cook succeeded 
in saving, not only his own command, but several hundred strag 
glers who had gathered there during the night. Meanwhile, towards 
midnight on the 7th, General Pope s entire army had crossed the 
river and was advancing on Tiptonville, General Paine s division 
leading the march. With such overwhelming odds against him, 
General Mackall was compelled to surrender with his small force, 
aggregating about three thousand men. It follows, as a matter of 
course, that General Pope s official report of the number of Con 
federate prisoners taken on that occasion, namely, "six thousand 
seven hundred," was a greatly exaggerated statement. 

The enemy had now full control of the river as far down as 
Fort Pillow, one hundred and ten miles below Island Xo. 10. 

That fort, contrary to the general opinion about it, was not so 
strong as its natural position indicated, nor as it had been repre 
sented to be to General Beauregard. It was situated on the east 
bank of the river, near the mouth of Coal Creek, and some ten 
miles above the Hate-hie River. A little over three miles east of 
it, the two streams just mentioned, with their banks partially over 
flowed and, therefore, almost impracticable, came within a mile 
and a half of each other. Yet the engineers who planned the 
works before General Beau regard s arrival in the West had not 
availed themselves of this natural advantage, and, strangely 
enough, instead of erecting the land defences at the point men 
tioned, had placed them nearer the fort, thereby lengthening 
their lines more than three miles, and necessitating a garrison of 
nearly ten thousand men. A similar error, as we have already 
pointed out, had been committed at Columbus. General Beaure 
gard, upon assuming command of his new military district, and, 
in fact, before he had done so, used every endeavor to introduce 
a new and entirely different system, in the defensive works of the 
Mississippi lliver. lie caused them to be almost entirely recon 
structed for minimum garrisons, which he knew would be amply 
adequate, under efficient commanders, to resist a siege of several 
weeks, or until assistance could be afforded them, thus increasing, 
to a maximum, the troops available for operations in the field. 


So far as circumstances would permit, this plan had been carried 
out in regard to all the river defences. But, in order the sooner 
to complete the works at New Madrid, Island No. 10, and Mad 
rid Bend, which had first to be prepared against attack, only the 
surplus guns of Columbus had been sent to Fort Pillow. 

The recent loss of so much armament and ammunition had in 
creased the gravity of the situation, not to speak of the additional 
loss of General Mackall s forces at Island No. 10. We were in 
one of those unfortunate positions in war where it becomes nec 
essary to sacrifice a fractional command to save the other and larg 
er portion. Here the sacrifice had become ail the more impera 
tive, by reason of the fact that Fort Pillow was now our only re 
liance, for the safety of the Mississippi Yalley ; except, perhaps, 
Randolph, fifteen miles farther down, where some light works had 
been thrown up, with as little regard to a minimum garrison as at 
Forts Pillow and Columbus. 

Less than a week after the surrender of Island No. 10, trans 
ports were filled with General Pope s forces, and, thus loaded, de 
scended the stream, reaching the vicinity of Fort Pillow on or 
about the 14th of April. And here began a new phase of the 
stirring drama of this period of the war ; for, before any active 
operations were undertaken by General Pope against Fort Pillow, 
he was suddenly ordered to Pittsburg Landing by General Ilal- 
leck, who had arrived there on the llth, and had officially assumed 
command. This order was carried out ; and on the 21st, General 
Pope s army was encamped at Hamburg, on the Tennessee River, 
some twelve miles below the celebrated "Landing;" thus increas 
ing the Federal forces at and around the battle-field of Shiloh, to 
an aggregate of at least one hundred and twenty thousand men.* 
This was an error on the part of General Halleck ; for he certain 
ly had no need of reinforcements at that time, his army being in 
a state of complete inactivity. General Pope should have been 
allowed to continue his operations against Fort Pillow, as he had 
already successfully done against New Madrid, Island No. 10, and 
Madrid Bend. The probabilities are that, with their immense re 
sources in men and materials, and in view of the unfinished con- 

* General Halleck puts the number at one hundred and twenty-five thou 
sand. General Force, in his book, often quoted by us, says one hundred 
thousand. General Sherman, in his "Memoirs," vol. i. p. 251, says that the 
army " must have numbered nearly one hundred thousand men. 1 


dition of the works at Fort Pillow, the Federals would, in a short 
time, have succeeded in forcing its evacuation, when the whole 
Mississippi River would have been opened to them down to Xew 

A respite of many months was thus unintentionally given, by the 
commander of the Federal forces, to the Confederacy, then hard 
pressed in the Southwest. 

During the operations thus recorded, and judging from the dif 
ferent telegrams he had received frum Commodore Iloliins, and 
Generals Folk and McCown, General Beauregard was under the 
impression that our gunboats had done all that could have been 
expected of them. A careful reading of other telegrams, letters, 
and reports, Confederate as well as Federal, have, since that time, 
compelled him to modify his opinion. ]Ie now thinks that the 
Confederate flotilla, under Commodore Iloliins, did not display 
the energy, resoluteness, and daring afterwards evinced by many 
an officer in the Confederate States navy, most conspicuous among 
whom were the heroic Admiral Semmes, Commodore Maffitt, and 
Captain Brown of the Arkansas. 

Among the gunboats brought from Xew Orleans by Commo 
dore Iloliins, or sent to him after he had left, was the celebrated 
ram Manassas, which, however, could not then be used to any ad 
vantage, for the reason, as it appears, that there was no Federal 
craft of any description south of Island Xo. 10, against which her 
ramming equalities might be brought into play. Later, and just as 
she could have been of much use, General Lovell insisted upon her 
being sent back to him, which, after several remonstrances from 
General Beauregard and from Commodore Iloliins, was reluctant 
ly done. Had the Manassas been with the flotilla, on the 5th of 
April, when the Federal transports passed through the recently 
excavated canal at Xcw Madrid, and two of the enemy s gunboats 
ran the gauntlet before Island Xo. 10 and the Madrid Bend bat 
teries, it is more than probable that they would have been de 
stroyed by the Confederate ram ; and that no other Federal trans 
port or gunboat would have made a like attempt. In that case 
General Pope would not have been able to cross his troops to the 
Tennessee shore, and could not have taken in rear the forces hold 
ing the works at Madrid Bend. Had a signal repulse been met with 
by the first Federal boats entering that part of the Mississippi 
River, it is to be presumed that General Pope s operations around 


New Madrid would have been abandoned ; for twice, already, bad 
General Halleck been on the point of recalling his expedition. 

Far as he was from the scene of action, General Beauregard s 
telegrams and instructions to Generals Polk. Withers, Stewart, 
Rust, and Villepigue, to Captains Harris and Lynch, to Lieuten 
ant Meriwether, and other officers of the engineer corps, show 
how extreme was his vigilance, and what minute precision marked 
his different orders. 

We submit the following examples:* 

1. "JACKSON, TENX., March 8th, 18G2. 
" Captain M. LYNCH, Corps Engineers, Fort Pillow : 

" Your traverses would do against field-guns, but not against heavy ones. 
Dismount every third gun when sufficient force arrives. Surmount present 
parapet in rifle-battery with sand-bags. 


2. " JACKSON, TENN., March llth, 1862. 
" Brigadier-General YV^ITHERS, Fort Pillow, Tenn. : 

" Select shortest line ; construct detached works first, then connect with 
cremaillere. Get all negroes possible. Reconnoitre opposite shore also. 


3. "JACKSON, TENN., March 17th, 18G2. 
"Major-General L. POLK, Humboldt : 

" What does McCown mean by his doubt ? Would it not be well to leave 
to his judgment when to execute the movement decided upon ? Have you 
given orders to provision Fort Pillow for two or three months for five thou 
sand men ? 


4. " JACKSON, TENN., March 21st, 1SG2. 
" Captain D. B. HARRIS, Engineers, Fort Pillow : 

"Look as soon as practicable to land defences of fort. Construct detached 
works first, then cremaillere. Total garrison about three thousand men ; defen 
sive lines must not be too extensive. 


o. " JACKSON, TENN., March 21st, 18G2. 

" Brigadier-General A. P. STEWART, Commanding Fort Pillow : 

" Is water battery unserviceable from high water ? If so, remove guns im 
mediately to better position. Put all river batteries in immediate serviceable 
condition. How many negroes have you? If not enough, call on Captain 
Adams, Memphis, for more forthwith, also for tools. How are batteries off 
for ammunition? Look to this. 

" THOMAS JORDAN, Acting Adjutant-General." 

* Other telegrams of equal importance are given in the Appendix. 


G. " JACKSON, TENN., March 22d, 1862. 

" Captain J. ADAMS, Comclg. Memphis : 

"Send Captain Owen s Arkansas company to Fort Pillow, to report for 
heavy artillery service. 


7. " JACKSON, TENN., March 24^, 1862. 
" Brigadier-General A. P. STEWART, Comdg. Fort Pillow : 

" The General wishes his instructions to engineers and commanding officers 
at Fort Pillow T collected and copied in a book, for information of command 
ing officer of that post. The land front defences must be shortened, for a total 
garrison of but three thousand men, as he has repeatedly stated before. 

" TIIOS. JORDAN, A. Adj-Gcn." 

8. "JACKSON, TENN., March 31tf, 1SG2. 
Brigadier-General J. B. VILLEPIGUE, Comdg. Fort Pillow : 

Furnish Mississippi Defence Expedition all requisite armament and am 
munition for immediate service, and report. 


0. "ConiNTir, April 14M, 1862. 

"Brigadier-General RUST, Fort Pillow: 

" No arms here, or available at present. Employ unarmed men to construct 
bridge over Ilatchic on roads to Covington and Randolph, and repair roads. 
Impress negroes also for same purpose. Show to General Villepigue. Ample 
additional forces ordered to \our assistance. 


10. " ComxTii, April UtJi, 1862. 

" General SAM. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va. : 

"Cannot a more active and efficient officer be put in command of gunboats 
at Fort Pillow ? It is important to do so at once. I am informed garrison 
at Madrid Bend capitulated ; part got off. Xo official report yet. I am rein 
forcing garrison of Fort Pillow for a strong and long defence. When will 
Memphis gunboats be ready ? Are much needed. 


On the 13th of April, General Tlnst, of General Price s division 
of Van Dorirs Trans-Mississippi Department, was sent to Fort Pil 
low with three regiments and a battalion of infantry, most of them 
badly armed and equipped. On the following day lie informed 
General Beaurcgard of his arrival ; spoke of the imminence of an 
attack by the enemy s land forces ; and called for additional arms 
for his men. 

General Villepigue had asked for reinforcements as soon as he 
no longer doubted the truth of the report of the fall of Island Ko. 


10 ; but, though expecting troops from Memphis, he had not been 
apprised of the name or rank of the officer who was to accompany 
them. Tie soon learned, however, that General Rust ranked him, 
and wrote for instructions to army headquarters. General Beau- 
regard authorized him to retain the immediate command of the 
works until the arrival of Major-General Samuel Jones, spoken of 
as the next commander of the fort, but who never came, his ser 
vices being required at Mobile. On the 2-itli, the whole of Gen 
eral Rust s command less one regiment left at Randolph was 
ordered to Corinth via Memphis. The object was to counteract, 
as much as possible, by additional forces, whatever movement was 
planned by the enemy, in consequence of the withdrawal of Gen 
eral Pope s forces from the Mississippi River. 

A fe\v days before, General Beauregard being of opinion that 
the services of Captain Harris could then be dispensed with at 
Fort Pillow T , and appreciating the necessity of defending the river 
at some other point farther down, telegraphed General Villepigue 
as follows : 

" CORINTH, April Wth, 1862. 
" Brigadier-General J. B. VILLEPIGUE, Comdg. works at Fort Pillow : 

" Release Captain D. B. Harris, and instruct him to repair to Vicksburg, 
where he will find orders in post-office. 

" By command of General Beauregard. 

" THOMAS JORDAN, A. Adj. -Gen." 

These orders ran thus: 


CORINTH, Miss., April Zlst, 18G2. 
" Captain D. B. HARRIS, Chief-Engineer, Vicksburg, Miss. : 

u Captain, Understanding that there are no points sufficiently high on the 
river, between Memphis and Vicksburg, which could be fortified for the de 
fence of the Mississippi, I have concluded to construct some defensive works 
on the bluffs at or about Vicksburg, for which purpose you will make a care 
ful reconnoissance of that locality. From what I am told, I should think the 
bluffs immediately above that city, not far from where a small stream empties 
into the river, would be a proper point for said works, provided it is not com 
manded by surrounding heights within two miles. A lower battery, with four 
or five guns, might be so located as to defend the entrance of the Yazoo River 
and the small stream above mentioned, provided said battery can be protect 
ed by the guns of the upper works ; otherwise the entrances into these two 
branches of the Mississippi must be obstructed by rafts, piling, or other 

"Another important consideration is, that the peninsula opposite Vicksburg 
should not be susceptible of being canalled across, from the river above to the 


river below, for the passage of the enemy s boats beyond the reach of the guns 
of the fort. 

"Should the locality admit of such a canal, beyond the range of said guns, 
another enclosed battery, of four or five gur;s, will have to be constructed be 
low Vicksburg, to command the ground over which said canal might be 

"Tho plans and profiles of these works must be left to your own judgment, 
and to the nature of the ground on which they are to be located. Their ar 
mament will consist often or twelve 8-inch and 10-inch guns, fifteen 42-pound- 
crs, three 24-pounders, and several mortars, with a dozen field rilled guns, and 
half a dozen 24-pounder howitzers; those being all the guns we can spare at 
present for the defence of the river at that point. 

" The total garrison will consist of about three thousand men. There should 
be ample space in those works for magazines traverses in every direction, 
field bomb-proofs, and a few storehouses and cisterns. 

"Acting Captains John M. Reid and PuUison. also Acting Lieutenant John 
II. Reid, have been ordered to report to you for the construction of these 
works. The two Reids (father and son) I am well acquainted with ; they 
were for years employed l>y me in the construction of my forts in Louisiana. 
They arc very reliable, practical men, and will be of much assistance to you; 
the other gentleman I am not personally acquainted with. Colonel Aubrey, 
military commander of Vicksburg. has been ordered to afford you all the as 
sistance in his power, in the collection of men and materials for the construc 
tion of said works. About one thousand negroes have been ordered to report 
to you with their tools, etc., immediately; but, should you not be able to pro 
cure them otherwise, you will impress them at once. You must put forth all 
your energy to complete those works as soon as practicable, and report their 
progress every week. 

v% Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"Ci. T. BEAUIU:GAI;D, Gen. Comdg. 

Nor was General I Jean regard unmindful of the importance of 
strengthening and increasing the armament of Randolph, as ap 
pears by his letter to Commodore Pinckney, under date of April 
24tli, 1862.* 

On the 27th Captain Harris answered that no batteries could 
be placed on the Mississippi banks to command the mouth of the 
Yazoo River, which is twelve miles above Vicksburg. lie said it 
was proposed to pass into the Yazoo much valuable property, and 
obstruct the passage of the enemy s boats by booms, rafts, piling, 
and batteries, at a point eighteen miles above its mouth, and twelve 
miles from Vicksburg, where the highlands reach that stream ; 
and he added, " Shall I order this work ? I am now constructing 

* Sec letter in Appendix. 


batteries below this city." His object was, in the event of New 
Orleans falling into the hands of the Federals, to prevent their 
passage up the river. General Beanregard approved at once his 
proposed plans, and notified him to that effect. lie had previously 
written to Dr. E. K. Marshall, a very influential citizen of Vicks- 
bnrg, asking him " to give Captain Harris all the aid in his power, 
and to arouse his people to a sense of their duty to furnish the nec 
essary labor in such measure that the work will go on with prop 
er celerity." 

On the very day upon which Captain Harris s answer was 
penned New Orleans surrendered to the Federal fleet under Ad 
miral Farragut, after a short and inglorious resistance on the part 
of Forts Jackson and St. Philip. There had been no adequate 
assistance from the Confederate gunboats and rains ordered to co 
operate with them; nor did the armed vessels known as the "Mont 
gomery fleet," with one or two exceptions, show any efficiency 
whatever. Such a disaster, resulting from so weak a defence, 
took the whole country by surprise the North as well as the 
South ; and it is grievous to make even a passing mention of it. 
Want of foresight and discipline caused this irreparable calamity. 
It affords us some consolation, however, to be able to state that 
the Hon. J. T. Monroe, mayor of the unfortunate city, evinced 
more than ordinary firmness and patriotism in his refusal to com 
ply with the demand made upon him, to strike the Confederate 
flag floating over the city hall. 

On the 28th the bombardment of Fort Pillow was fairly begun. 
No "mutineers" were there, as there were in Fort Jackson, to force 
a surrender upon the officers. The whole command, men and offi 
cers, vied with each other in a determined and resolute resistance, 
and troops were even withdrawn from the fort to reinforce other 
points needing assistance, without a sign of despondency, still less 
of mutiny, among the men. Troops act differently in different 
forts. Their conduct depends on the conduct of their officers. 
As these prove themselves to be, so, invariably, are the men under 

We were now in May, and no material change had been noticed 
at General Villepigue s post. The bombardment was continued 
day after day, and frequently throughout the nights, but with no 
visible result. Now and then a man was killed, and one or two 
wounded. The commander s spirit, however, and the spirit of his 


troops, remained the same. A diversion occurred on the 10th of 

The " Montgomery Earns," of which four out of eight were 
fully armed and equipped, were induced by General Jeff. Thomp 
son and his " jay - hawkers " as the enemy called his men to 
run into the Federal fleet, then besieging Fort Pillow. General 
Thompson took personal command of the movement a decided 
and bold one which would have resulted in the dispersion of the 
Federal fleet, had Commodore Pinckney, who now commanded the 
Confederate gunboats, co-operated in the attack, as it was his plain 
duty to do. Two of the enemy s gunboats, the Mound City and 
the Carondclct, were seriously crippled, and compelled to seek 
safety in shoal water. The mortar-boats of which one was re 
ported sunk were towed out of range. 

This is proof of what could be accomplished by our fleet, such 
as it was, when managed with determination and energy; and 
caused General Beauregard to regret still more the supineness of 
the naval commanders charged with the protection of that part of 
the Mississippi Kiver. Small hope, however, could be entertained 
of a change for the better in these matters. For, on May 13th, 
and despite strenuous efforts on the part of General Beauregard, 
the two iron-clads on the stocks at Memphis were far from being 
iinished. On that day (loth) he was informed by General Villc- 
pigue that Mr. Ellerson, of Memphis, offered to complete at once 
either of the two gunboats, if officially authorized, and properly 
assisted in doing so. General Beauregard immediately forwarded 
instructions to that effect, as is shown by the following telegrams: 

I- " CORINTH, May TMi, 18G2. 

" Brigadier-General J. B. VILLEPKIUE, Fort Pillow, Term. : 
" Yes, let him work day and night until finished. 


" CORINTH, May Utti, 1802. 
General S. COOPER, A. and I. G., Richmond, Va. : 

"I have ordered the Memphis ram to the Yazoo for safe - keeping until 
finished. Have ordered every exertion made to finish it forthwith. It will 
be done in one week. May I request proper officers, crew, armament, and am 
munition to be provided for it at once ? G. T. BEAUREGARD/ 

3. " CORIXTII, May Uth, 1862. 

"Brigadier-General M. L. SMITH, Comdg. Yicksburg: 

" See that steam-ram be properly guarded, and use every exertion to finish 
it forthwith. G. T. BEAUREGARD." 

I. 24 


On the following day, with a view to protect the river near Vicks- 
burg until the works in process of construction there could Lc 
sufficiently completed, he ordered the heaviest steam-rains down 
from Fort Pillow. His telegram to General Villepigne to that 
effect speaks for itself : 

" COHINTH, May 15th, 18G2. 
" Brigadier-General J. B. VILLEPIGUE, Comdg. Fort Pillow : 

" Have those heaviest steam-rams been sent to Vicksburg ? If not, send 
them forthwith. Otherwise, may lose the river from below. We want a few 
days longer to finish the Arkansas. G. T. BEAUHEGAKD." 

On the 19th he asks General Smith, at Vicksburg, if it is true 
that more iron is needed for the Arkansas, and if " no work is be 
ing done on her," and on the 21st he telegraphs Hon. S. E. Mal- 
lory, as follows : 

" I want a general order to get what rope is necessary for this army. Steam- 
ram Arkansas reported, cannot be got ready for one month. Is it not possi 
ble to expedite its construction ? Safety of the river depends on it now." 

These despatches invite us to give here the after-history of the 
Confederate iron-clad whose name has just been mentioned. The 
manner in which she was saved from destruction, completed, and 
officered has already been described. The feats she performed 
under her dauntless commander, Captain Isaac N. Brown, who, 
upon General Beauregard s demand for an able officer, was ju 
diciously selected by the Hon. Mr. Mai lory, Secretary of the 
Navy, are deserving of enthusiastic praise ; the more so, since 
Commodore Lynch, after inspection, said of her, she is " very 
inferior to the Merrimac in every particular; the iron with which 
she is covered is worn and indifferent, taken from a railroad track, 
and is poorly secured to the vessel; boiler iron on stern and coun 
ter; her smoke-stack of sheet iron."* 

Nevertheless, on the morning of the 15th of July, 1862, that 
Confederate iron-clad, the Arkansas, mounting ten guns, with a 
crew of two hundred men, descended the Yazoo River to attack, 
not one or two Federal gunboats, but the fleets of Admirals Far- 
ragut and Davis, then near Vicksburg. She was met at sunrise, 

* See Captain C. W. Reid s " Reminiscences of the Confederate States Navy," 
vol. i. No. 5 of the " Southern Historical Society Papers," for May, 1876. Cap 
tain Reid was one of the officers of the Arkansas, and it was he who, by order 
of Commodore Lynch, forwarded to the Secretary of War the despatch above, 
pronouncing the vessel inadequate for the service required of her. 


in Old Itiver, ten miles from the Federal anchorage, by the 
United States iron-clad Carondelet, the gunboat Tyler, and the 
ram Monarch. The Caronddet alone was superior in guns, 
armor, and speed to the Arkansas. Captain Brown promptly as 
sailed this advance squadron, and, after an hour of close combat, 
disabled and silenced the -iron-clad and drove the other two ves 
sels to the shelter of the fleets, in the main river. Losing no 
time with the disabled Carondelct, the Confederate iron-clad pro 
ceeded down stream, and attacked the combined fleet of more 
than twenty men-of-war. She pushed through their double line 
of heavy ships, rams, mortar-boats, and six iron-clads, each one of 
which last, like her late antagonist, in Old River, was of greater 
force than herself. She received the flre of three hundred guns, 
which, at half cable s length, the lone Confederate ship returned 
with destructive effect, from bow, stern, and both broadside bat 
teries. Fur more than an hour the combat of one to thirty lasted, 
until the Arkansas, cutting her way through the enemy s line of 
massive ships, destroying some and disabling others, passed, shat 
tered, but nnconquered, on her way to Yicksburg, virtually raising 
the siege of that hitherto closely blockaded city. 

This combat, in its odds and results without a parallel in naval 
warfare, was attended with great loss to the Confederates in killed 
and wounded. The commander of the Arkansas, exposed on the 
shield deck, was three times wounded : once by a Minie-ball, 
touching him over the left temple; then by a contusion on the 
head and slight wound in the hand and shoulder ; then, struck from 
the deck insensible, he was, for the moment, supposed to be killed, 
but he regained consciousness, and, dr.nntless as ever, resumed his 
place and command till the end of the battle. Among the 
wounded was Lieutenant G. "VV. Gift, who, with Grimball of South 
Carolina, the second lieutenant, ably commanded the bow-guns. 
Lieutenant Stevens, the executive officer, discharged with honor, 
both in preparation for and during the action, every duty of his 
responsible position. Barbot, Charles Reid, Wharton, and Dabney 
Scales, lieutenants w r ho, like their commander, were recently from 
the United States navy, were alike distinguished for the bravery 
and precision with which they served their guns. Captains Har 
ris and McDonald, of a Missouri regiment, with sixty of their 
men, volunteered for the naval service, and though they went on 
board only forty-eight hours before the battle, and were entirely 


unused to the exercise of great guns, formed an effective portion 
of the Arkansas s crew. It is but a just tribute to the brave men 
who figured in this engagement to add, that they did so, knowing 
the odds against them, and with the resolution, inspired by a short 
address of their commander, as the fight was about to begin, to 
succeed in their work or perish. 

The conflict here so briefly sketched took place in close prox 
imity to the Federal army encamped on the west bank of the 
river, but not in view of the city of Vicksburg. The solitary 
Confederate ship was thus within hearing, but not within reach of 
aid from her friends. 

The subsequent history of the Arkansas may be given in a few 
words. On the evening of the 15th (July), the day of the double 
battle above Vicksburg, she engaged the fleet of Admiral Farra- 
gut, passing Vicksburg, and, in the latter action, had both her ar 
mor and machinery further damaged, suffering also severely in 
killed and wounded among men and officers. A week later, when 
the crew of the Arkansas had been reduced to twenty-eight men, by 
sickness and the detachment of the Missouri volunteers, the iron 
clad Essex, aided by the strongest ram of the Federal fleet, attacked 
her. Both assailing vessels, though running into the Arkansas, 
were repulsed, but with a loss to the latter of half her crew, killed 
by the cannon-shot of the Essex. Not daring to make another 
attack, the Union forces abandoned the blockade, some going down 
and others up the river. Unfortunately the damaged condition 
of the Arkansas would not allow pursuit. 

Of admirals and naval commanders who have achieved exalted 
fame, none accomplished a more fearless feat, with a better result, 
than the commander of the Confederate iron-clad Arkansas. His 
name, and, coupled with it, the names of his brave officers, merit 
lasting honor at the hands of the South. Nor are the men who 
formed that matchless crew, because their names are unchronicled, 
entitled to less applause. 

On the 20th and 22d of May, General Villepigue informed 
General Beauregard that the enemy had sent to Fort Pillow two 
hundred prisoners, most of whom were sick with smallpox, and 
who had been received, without his authority, by the second offi 
cer in command. Believing, as did also General Villepigue, that 
this would result in communicating that terrible disease to the 
garrison, and thereby destroy its effectiveness, General Beauregard 


at once telegraphed, "return them forthwith." But Commodore 
Davis, of the United States navy, peremptorily refused to take 
them back. They were then cared for by General Yillepigue, 
and placed, with great difficulty, in separate quarters, under the 
intelligent and devoted supervision of Doctor C. II. Tcbault, of 
Louisiana, then a surgeon in the Confederate army. He wrote an 
interesting paper on the subject, detailing all its circumstances : 
but this document, to our regret, is not in our possession. 

Foreseeing the necessity of withdrawing his forces from Corinth, 
and having, in fact, resolved to adopt that course within a short 
time, General Beauregard began to prepare General Villepigue 
for the event; not that Fort Pillow was then in any immediate 
danger, for the enemy had no land forces to spare for operations 
against it, but because a retrograde movement from Corinth neces 
sarily involved the evacuation of the fort. lie, therefore, on the 
25th, telegraphed to General Villepigue that " whenever the place, 
in his judgment, should become untenable, he must destroy the 
works and armaments, and evacuate it, as already instructed ; re 
pairing to Grenada, by the shortest route, for the protection of 
the depot; giving timely notice of the same to Fort Randolph and 
to Memphis." 

Three days afterwards, and when the precise moment of the re 
treat from Corinth had been decided upon (as will be, hereafter, 
more fully developed), General Beauregard forwarded the follow- 
iii" 1 instructions to General Villepigue: 

f> 1C? 

" IIi-:.\i>Qr.\uTi-:ns WESTERN DEPARTMENT, 

CORINTH, May 28M, 18G2. 
" Brigadier-General J. B. YII.LEPIGUE, Comdg. at Fort Pillow, Tcnn. : 

41 General, Wishing to take the enemy further into the interior, where I 
hope to be able to strike him a severe blow, which cannot be done here, where 
he is so close to his supplies, I have concluded to withdraw on the 30th instant 
from this place for the present, before he compels me to do so by his superi 
ority of numbers. The evacuation of this place necessarily involves that of 
your present position, which you have so long and gallantly defended. Hence, 
I have this day telegraphed you that, whenever the enemy shall have crossed 
the Ilatchic River, at Pocahontas or elsewhere, on his way westward, you will 
immediately evacuate Fort Pillow for Grenada, by the best and shortest route. 

" Should you, however, consider it necessary for the safety of your command 
to evacuate Fort Pillow before the enemy shall have crossed the Hatchie, you 
lire left at liberty to do so, having entire confidence in your judgment and 
ability, not being able to judge from here of your facilities for reaching Ore- 


nada. I am of opinion, however, that he will venture slowly and cautiously 
westward, so long as I shall remain within striking distance of him, on the 
Mobile and Ohio Railroad, at or about Baldwin. It may be well for you 
to know that the telegraph communication from there to Memphis will be 
completed before a week or ten days. 

" Whenever you shall be about to abandon the fort, you will telegraph the 
commanding officer at Memphis to burn all the cotton, sugar, etc., in the vicin 
ity of that city, as per my instructions already communicated to him. 

" You will necessarily destroy all government property, arms, guns, etc., 
that you will not be able to carry off with you ; and on arriving at Grenada, 
you will assume immediate command of all troops there assembled, to organize 
and discipline them. You might also throw up some light w r orks (batteries 
and rifle-pits), for the defence of that important position against a small force 
of the enemy. I have thought it advisable to give you the above instructions 
in view of the probability that I may not be able shortly to communicate 
with you. 

u Hoping you may continue to meet with success in the defence of our cause 
and country, 

" I remain, respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. Comdg/ 

The telegram referred to above, as being forwarded on the 
same date, read thus : 


CORINTH, May 2Sth, 1862. 
Brigadier-General J. B. VILLEPIGUE, Comdg. Fort Pillow : 

"We are to retire from here south. Make preparations to abandon Fort 
Pillow when forces at Grand Junction retire from there, which commandant is 
ordered to communicate to you and to execute when the enemy crosses Hat- 
chic River from here, at Pocahontas or elsewhere. 


To complete the record of this episode of the southwestern cam 
paign although by so doing the course of this narrative is an 
ticipated it must be stated here that Fort Pillow was successfully 
evacuated about the 1st of June, and that its gallant commander, 
after complying, so far as he could, with the instructions given 
him, was subsequently sent to Port Hudson, where, not long after 
wards, he unfortunately died not in battle, as he would have 
wished but of fever, the result of too great exposure to the 
weather, and over-fatigue in the performance of his laborious 
duties. He was a graduate of West Point, and an officer of great 
intelligence, perseverance, and bravery; never despondent under 
difficulties ; never shrinking from responsibility. He had many 


traits of resemblance to General Bee, who, like himself, was a 
South Carolinian. Both of them would, no doubt, have attained 
the highest rank in the Confederate service, had their lives been 
spared to the end of the war. 

During the occurrence of events of so momentous a character, 
between the middle of February and the Cth of April, and upon 
which hung the fate of the entire southwestern part of the Con 
federacy, it was and is to some a matter of no small surprise 
that General A. S. Johnston, the commander of the whole depart 
ment, interposed neither advice nor authority, nor even made in 
quiry as to the enemy s designs, or our plans to foil them. Such 
silence, on the part of one whose love of the cause precludes all 
idea of indifference, omission, or neglect, can only be explained by 
the fact that he placed implicit reliance upon General Beaure- 
gaixTs ability to cope, unassisted, with the difficulties of the situa 
tion, and successfully direct any and all movements originating 
within the limits of his military district. The telegrams of Gen 
eral Johnston, dated February 10th and ISth, confirm this inter 
pretation. " You must do as your judgment dictates." And 
ngain : " You must now act as seems best to yon. The separation 
of our armies is, for the present, complete." 



Troops Resume their Former Positions after the Battle of Shiloh. General 
Breckinridge Forms the Rear Guard. General Beauregard Recommends 
General Bragg for Promotion. Preliminary Report Sent by General Beau- 
regard, April llth, to the War Department. Difficulty of Obtaining Re 
ports of Corps Commanders. Their Reports sent Directly to the War De 
partment. Inaccuracies Resulting Therefrom. General Beauregard Pro 
poses an Exchange of Prisoners. General Pope Gives no Satisfactory An 
swer. General Van Dorn s Forces Reach Memphis on the llth. Despatch 
of the 12th to General Smith. A Diversion Movement Determined upon 
by General Beauregard. Captain John Morgan. He is Sent by General 
Beauregard into Middle Tennessee and Kentucky. Efforts to Force 
Bucll s Return to those States. Location of General Van Dorn s Forces 
at Corinth ; of Generals Bragg s, Folk s, and Breckinridge s. Bad Wa 
ter. Mismanagement of Commissary Department. Necessity of With 
drawing from Corinth. Tupelo Selected for next Defensive Position. 
General Beauregard Resolves to Construct Defensive Works Around 
Vicksburg. General Pope Takes Farmiugtou. Confederate Attack. 
Federal Retreat. On the 25th General Beauregard Calls a Council of 
War. Evacuation of Corinth Resolved Upon. General Beauregard s In 
structions to his Corps Commanders. Dispositions Taken to Deceive the 
Enemy. Retreat Successfully Accomplished. False Despatches of the 
Enemy. Correct Account by Correspondents. General Force in Error. 
Retreat Considered Masterly. Dissatisfaction of the War Department. 
Interrogatories Sent by President Davis. General BeauregaixTs Answer. 

AFTER the battle of Shiloh the Confederate troops resumed 
their former positions, except the forces under General Breckin 
ridge, composing the rear guard, which for several days remained 
at Mickey s house,* some three or four miles from the battle 
field, until proper dispositions of the cavalry could be made for 
their withdrawal. Chalmers s brigade, at Monterey, was also with 
drawn at that time to a position nearer to Corinth. 

On the day following the retreat, General Beauregard madeap- 

* General Force, in his book, " From Fort Henry to Corinth," p. 182, says : 
" . . . Breckinridge remained at Mickey s three days, guarding the rear, and 
by the end of the week Beauregard s army was again in Corinth. The battle 
sobered both armies." 


plication to the War Department for two additional major-gen 
erals, four brigadier-generals, and a competent chief of artillery. 
lie also, in the same despatch, urgently recommended Major- 
General Bragg for promotion. His gallant behavior on the battle 
field had justified General Beauregard in the hope that, as an 
army commander, lie would show more than ordinary ability. 
That he was a conscientious officer and a hard fighter, though too 
rigid a disciplinarian at times, is known to all, especially to those 
who served directly under him. 

Under the same date (April Sth) a telegram was forwarded bv 
General Beauregard to the Adjutant-General s office at Ilichmond, 
giving an account of the second day s battle ; and shortly after 
wards (April llth) a preliminary report* was likewise sent by him, 
for the immediate use of the War Department. It was incomplete, 
and, in many respects, imperfect, as it was written on the spur of 
the moment, for the instant information of the government, and 
before any of the reports of the corps commanders had yet reached 
army headquarters. General Beaurcgard s intention was to write 
a full and final narrative of the battle (as he had done of the bat 
tle of Manassas), for the files of the "War Department, as soon as 
these reports should be forwarded to him ; but, for reasons still 
unexplained, he never saw them until the winter of lSG3-64,f 
when the rapid and exciting events we were then passing through 
prevented him from devoting any time to the preparation of that im 
portant document. It may not be useless briefly to notice here, what 
there is of marked significance in the incident just touched upon. 

From the date of the battle of Shiloh until General Beauregard 
was relieved of the command of the army at Tupelo, in June 1 , 
18G2, he frequently called on Generals Polk, Brngg, Ilardee, and 
Brcckinridge, for their reports of the battle, but always in vain ; 
their constant answer being that they had been unable, as yet, to 
get official detailed information from the regiment, brigade, and 
division commanders under them. The consequence was, that the 
reports we refer to were not transmitted until many months after 
the battle, and one of them General Folk s was delayed until 
nearly a year had elapsed. They were all addressed to the War 

* This Report is ijiven in full in the Appendix to Chapter XX. 
t General Be an regard has never seen General Brcckinridge s Report, not- 
Avithstanding repeated efforts to procure it, both during and after the war. 


Department, without passing through the regular channel; in other 
words, without being first submitted to General Beauregard, who 
was thus deprived of his unquestionable right of correction, ap 
proval, or disapproval. And we will further state that General 
Bragg s report, though transmitted, as were the others, without the 
commanding general s endorsement, bore date April 30th, 1862, 
as if regularly made to General Beauregard, through Colonel 
Thomas Jordan, his Chief of Staff, when, in reality, it was not com 
pleted and despatched from army headquarters until the 25th of 
July, 1862.* None of the general officers who thus openly violated 
the well-established rule of military etiquette were ignorant of its 
acknowledged necessity. From the Adjutant-General at Rich 
mond, who received the documents thus irregularly transmitted, 
to the very corps commanders who forwarded them, all were 
trained soldiers, all, except General Breckinridge, had belonged to 
the Regular army before the war, where " red-tape " routine, in 
every military bureau, had ever been strictly insisted upon and in 
variably practised. It was by the act of a friend f that General 
Beauregard s attention was attracted to the singular manner in 

O O 

which these reports had been written and sent to the War Depart 
ment. And he had cognizance of them only after repeatedly ap 
plying for copies, which were finally furnished him from Rich 
mond, but unaccompanied by any of the subordinate reports pur 
porting to substantiate them. The result is, that the official 
reports of the corps commanders at Shiloh (with the exception of 
General Breckin ridge s, which we have never seen), instead of 
serving as a basis for history, are, on the contrary, erroneous in 
many important particulars, and differ widely from those of the 
other generals and subordinate officers who participated in the 
battle, as we have already conclusively shown.J 

Commodore Hollins, on duty near Fort Pillow, was requested, 
on the 8th, to propose an exchange of prisoners in General Beau- 
regard s name. Most of those w r e had taken immediately before 
and since the battle of Shiloh had been sent temporarily to Mem- 

* " Campaigns of Lieutenant-General Forrest," p. 134, note. 

f That friend was General Breckinridge, who, in a letter to General Beaure 
gard, stated that the corps commanders had been instructed to address their 
reports directly to the War Department, and that General Beauregard had 
better ascertain the contents of those documents. 

I See Chapters XX. and XXII., and their Appendices. 


phis, to be forwarded thence to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where it was 
thought they might find better accommodations. General Pope 
made an evasive answer to General Beauregard s overture, and 
nothing satisfactory was effected. 5 " It was about the same time 
that General Beauregard wrote to General Grant concerning the 
burial of the Confederate dead on the field of Shiloh, and sent to 
him, under flag of truce, a mounted party, accompanied by several 
citizens, especially from Louisiana, who were anxious to recover 
and give proper interment to the remains of near relatives known 
to have fallen during the battle. General Grant denied the priv 
ilege thus requested, and said that he had already performed that 
sad duty to our dead, and was taking all necessary care of the 

On the llth, that is to say, four days after the battle of Shiloh, 
General Van Dorn s forces began to enter Memphis, Major-Gen 
eral Price s division arriving first. General llust s brigade was 
immediately sent to Fort Pillow, as already explained, and General 
Little s command ordered to Eicnzi, some twelve miles from Cor 
inth, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, for the purpose of making 
a reconnoissance and securing a good encampment and suitable 
defensive positions in case of a retrograde movement in that di 

On the day following, Major-General E. K. Smith, then com 
manding in east Tennessee, received from General Beauregard a 
despatch, in these terms: 

" CORINTH, Miss., April 12^, 18G2. 
Major-General E. K. SMITH, Comdcf. Knoxvillc, Term. : 

" Six regiments on way from General Pembertou, South Carolina, to join 
me. Three of yours failed to get by Iluntsvillc. Could you not gather the 
nine, add artillery, and push on Iluntsvillc, taking enemy in reverse ? All 
quiet in front. 


The South Carolina regiments above mentioned were being sent 
by the War Department, at the request of General Beauregard, 
to reinforce him at or near Corinth. The burning of a bridge on 
the Memphis and Charleston Railroad prevented the execution of 
this plan, and different orders were issued in regard to them. 

* Sec General Yillcpigue s telegram to General Bcauregurd, in Appendix to 
Chapter XXIII. 


The thread of our narrative would be too disconnected and its 
interest impaired were we to follow too closely, in their order, 
the various events that occurred daring the first two weeks af 
ter the retreat of the Confederate forces to Corinth. But the Ap 
pendix to this chapter will impart all such additional information 
as cannot be appropriately inserted within the limits of the text. 
Reference is here made particularly to General Beauregard s 
instructions to Generals Breckinridge and Chalmers, at Mickey s 
house and Monterey; to the list of officers forwarded to the Presi 
dent for promotion ; to his further correspondence with General 
Grant relative to the exchange of prisoners, and the distinction 
to be made between colonels commanding brigades and brigadier- 
generals duly commissioned as such ; also, to the difference to be 
established between medical officers and other officers of the Con 
federate and Federal armies. 

Perhaps the most difficult feat to accomplish in war is to com 
pel an adversary to abandon the movement upon which he is en 
gaged and adopt another by which his plans may be eventually 
frustrated. Such a diversion, even with a well-trained army, pos 
sessing every requisite for rapid motion, requires more than ordi 
nary skill on the part of the general devising it. Greater still is 
the hazard of the undertaking, when that army is, as compared to 
the one confronting it, weaker in numbers, reduced by disease, 
and wanting in the necessary means of transportation. 

An effort of this kind, however, was determined upon by 
General Beaureirard, as soon as it became evident to him that 

O ? 

his inferior forces were no match for the too powerful and 
daily increasing army under General Halleck. "With a view to 
this, Generals Van Dorn and Price were invited to a conference 
at Corinth, ahead of their troops, then hourly arriving in Mem 

A promising cavalry officer, Captain John II. Morgan, com 
manding two Kentucky companies belonging to General A. S. 
Johnston s army, with which he had arrived from Bowling Green, 
had highly distinguished himself, during the retreat to Corinth, 
by his great energy and efficiency. lie had kept the command 
ing general thoroughly advised of the movements of the enemy, 
and had performed many acts indicating high military ability. 
Having thus had occasion to judge of his capacity and resources, 
General Beauregard resolved to send him, with four companies of 


cavalry,* into middle Tennessee and Kentucky; there to cause as 
much damage as possible to the enemy s railroads, bridges, and 
telegraph lines, lie was authorized to raise his battalion to a 
regiment and even to a brigade, if he could. General Beauregard 
supplied him. with a sum of fifteen thousand dollars, f to start 
with, and carry him into Kentucky, where he was, eventually, to 
live on the enemy. This was the beginning of the brilliant career 
of that intrepid partisan officer. His usefulness was afterwards 
greatly impaired when General Bragg attempted to make of him 
and his renowned brigade part of a regular command of cavalry. 
Upon the recommendation of General Beauregard, he was pro 
moted to the rank of colonel before he had organized his regi 
ment ; and when he left, with his four companies, upon his 
hazardous expedition, he was furnished by General Beauregard 
with one of the ablest telegraph operators in the service Mr. 
Ellsworth in order that he might bewilder the enemy as he 
so effectually did by sending false despatches from the vari 
ous telegraph stations during his raids into Tennessee and Ken 

General Beauregard hoped that this expedition under Colonel 
Morgan, together with the operations in Kentucky suggested by 
General E. Kirby Smith, and strongly urged by General Beaure 
gard on the War Department,} would force General llalleck, who 
was plodding away slowly in his advance on Corinth, to send back 
a part, if not all, of General Buell s army into Tennessee and Ken 
tucky. A third expedition of two regiments of cavalry, under 
Colonels Claiborne and Jackson, was also thought of and organ 
ized against Paducah, western Kentucky, to aid in the same pur 
pose, and would have been a great success but for the notorious 
incapacity of the officer in command. However, General Beau- 
regard was not wholly disappointed in his expectations with re 
gard to his diversion movements, for, immediately after the evac 
uation of Corinth by the Confederate army (May 30th), General 

* Two of which were his own, and the two others under Captain, afterwards 
Colonel, Robert T. Wood, of New Orleans, a grandson of General Zachary 

t Sec, in Appendix, letter of General Beauregard to Major McLean, dated 
April 24th, 18C2. 

I See his telegrams of April 14th, to Generals Cooper and E. K. Smith. 

See, in Appendix, General Beauregard s instructions to Colonel Claiborne. 


Btiell s entire force was ordered into middle Tennessee and Ken 

On the arrival of the rest of General Yan Dorn s forces at Cor 
inth they were located including General Little s brigade from 
Rienzi on the right and rear of the defensive lines, along the 
south side of the Memphis and Charleston Eailroad, on several 
small heights which commanded the approaches to the lines, and 
afforded a good position for taking in flank any attack of the 
Federals in that direction. Those lines extended about three 
miles in advance of Corinth, from the Memphis and Charleston 
Railroad, on the right, to the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, on the 
left, and were situated on rather high grounds immediately in rear 
of a small creek, forming the head-waters of Bridge Creek, with 
somewhat swampy sides. They had been located by General 
Bragg and his engineers, before General Beauregard reached Cor 
inth, and were defective on the left, near the Mobile and Ohio 
Railroad ; thereby giving decided advantage to the enemy at that 
point. They were subsequently corrected by General Beauregard, 
but, in view of the time and labor already bestowed on them, 
were not sufficiently altered entirely to remedy their original de 

General Hardce s corps extended along and from the Memphis 
and Charleston Railroad, in front of General Yan Dorn s position, 
to the left, where it rested on the right of General Bragg, whose 
left in turn rested on the right of General Folk s corps, stretching 
across the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. The left of this command 
occupied some woods protected by abatis and rifle-pits : each corps 
holding a few brigades in reserve. 

General Breckinridge s division formed a general reserve, and 
was posted at first on or near the seminary hill (if we may so call 
it) immediately in rear of Corinth, which is situated at the inter 
section of the two railroads already mentioned. 

Our small force of cavalry was stationed on the flanks of the 
lines, with part of it in front, to guard the approaches to Corinth. 

General Ilalleck, notwithstanding his large superiority in num 
bers, was too cautious to bring about an immediate conflict be 
tween the two opposing forces. lie preferred advancing slowly 

* The lines referred to were mostly armed with 42-, 32-, and 24-pounders, 
brought from Pensacola and Mobile. 


and gradually ; a method which might have answered against a 
well-fortified position, held by a correspondingly strong garrison, 
but which, under the circumstances, exhibited, on his part, most 
extraordinary prudence, and even timidity. 

Meanwhile, the deficiency in good water, and the natural un- 
healthfulness of the place, began to tell sadly on the Confederate 
officers and men. They were, moreover, but scantily supplied 
with food, and that of an inferior quality. This was owing to the 
chronic mismanagement of the Chief Commissary at Richmond, 
a fact which General Beauregard had more than once pointed out 
to the War Department, and which he again brought home to it 
by the following despatch :* 

CORINTH, Miss., April 24M, 18G2. 
" General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General, Richmond : 

" The false views of administration to say the least of Colonel Northrop 
will starve out this army unless I make other arrangements, which I have 
done. I trust it may not be altogether too late, and that the government will 
sustain me with means. 

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. Conulg." 

The truth is, it was almost impossible to have regular issues of 
fresh provisions made to the Confederate troops at that time, until 
General Beauregard took the matter into his own hands, and sent 
agents to northern Texas and Arkansas, where he bought large herds 
of cattle, which soon relieved the pressing necessities of his army. 
Part of these supplies, however, he was afterwards compelled to 
transfer to the General Subsistence Department, for other armies 
in the field. 

It soon became apparent to General Beauregard that the insa 
lubrity of Corinth would increase as the season advanced, and that, 
apart from the danger of being overwhelmed by a steadily grow 
ing army in his front, he would have to select another strategic 
position, by which he could hold the enemy in check and protect 
the country in his rear as well as Fort Pillow, which still closed 
the passage of the river. The idea of moving westward, to Grand 
Junction, f had at first been entertained; but the lack of good wa 
ter there, and the fear of losing Fort Pillow, fifty-nine miles above 

* See also, in Appendix, letter of General Beauregard to General Cooper, 
dated April IGth, 18G2. 

t At the intersection of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad with the Mis 
sissippi Central, fifty miles west of Corinth. 


Memphis, led to a change of plan. E"or must it be forgotten that 
the defences and river batteries at Vicksburg were then just be 
gun, as we have already shown, * and that, Fort Pillow falling, noth 
ing could prevent the enemy from enjoying the free use of the 
Mississippi as far down as New Orleans, where a base of abun 
dant supplies would, no doubt, soon be established. These consid 
erations impelled General Beauregard to hold on to his position at 
Corinth until forced from it by his adversary. 

Meanwhile, he caused thorough reconnoissances to be made 
along the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, for a good defensive position, 
well supplied with pure water, and occupying a healthy region of 
country. None could be found nearer than Tupelo, where begins 
the fertile and salubrious "black-land" region of Mississippi. 

There were not many running springs at Tupelo, but excellent 
water could be had by digging w T ells from ten to fifteen feet deep. 
He ordered them dug at once, where it was probable the troops 
would take up their positions, in rear of some low lands, easily 
defended and of difficult passage to an army on the offensive. 

It was during these reconnoissances and preparations that Gen 
eral Beauregard first turned his attention to the necessity of de 
fending Vicksburg, as has already been shown in the preceding 
chapter, by the telegrams and letters contained in it and its Ap 
pendix. That to him, and neither to General Lovell nor to Gov 
ernor Pettus, is due the credit of having originated the idea of 
this defence, is further proved by the following telegrams: 

1. " CORINTH, April 18th, 1862, 
" Major-General M. LOVELL, New Orleans, La. : 

" Have seen Lieutenant Brown. Have ordered a work at Vicksburg. Please 
hold ready to send there sand -bags, guns, carriages, platforms, etc., when 
called for by Chief-Engineer, Captain D. B. Harris. 

u Have you constructed traverses and blindages at your forts ? 


2. CORINTH, April 23t/, 1802. 
" General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General, Richmond, Va. : 

" Services of General Sam. Jones are absolutely required here as soon as 
practicable. Having obtained guns for Vicksburg, am going to fortify it. But 
require engineers. I recommend John M. Reid, Louisiana, as captain, and J. 
II. Reid, Louisiana, as lieutenant. Am well acquainted with them, they hav 
ing worked many years under my orders. 


! .Sce Chapter XXIII. 


3. " CORINTH, April 24^, 1862. 
" Major-General M. LOVELL, New Orleans, La. : 

" T\vo 10-inch and four rifled guns are under orders to you from Mobile. 
Do you want tlieui ? If not, say so to General S. Jones, and order them to 


4. " CORINTH, April 25f/<, 18G2. 
" Captain D. B. HARRIS : 

" In consequence of news from Louisiana, put works Jjelow Vicksburg, to 
prevent passage of river from New Orleans. Put guns in position first, then 
construct works. System preferred is one main work, and detached batteries, 
not too far from each other. Should you not have time, send guns to Jack 
son, Mississippi, and be ready to destroy railroad between two places, when 


5. " CORINTH, April 2CM, 18G2. 
" Governor J. J. PETTUS, Jackson, Miss. : 

"Please send immediately to Vicksburg, to report to commanding officer 
there, one regiment of unarmed or partially armed volunteers. Also, one to 
Columbus, Mississippi. They will be armed as soon as possible. 


It is needless to accumulate further evidence. Other telegrams 
and letters to the same effect will be found in the Appendix to 
this chapter. 

On his arrival near Pittsburg Landing, General Pope established 
himself behind Seven Miles Creek, a stream that lies seven miles 
from the Tennessee River. The Federal forces, as then reorgan 
ized, subdivided, and located, amounted, as we have already 
stated, to about one hundred and twenty-five thousand men, with 
General Ilalleck, as first, and General Grant, as second, in com 
mand.* The Confederate army, under General Beau regard, with 
the reinforcement of Van Dorn s seventeen thousand men, num 
bered about fifty thousand, but was daily decreasing on account 
of sickness. 

General Pope s recent successes on the Mississippi River had 
given him an overweening opinion of his capacities as a com 
mander, lie was an officer of intelligence and activity, but in 
clined to "undertake almost any movement without sufficiently 
considering the consequences that might follow. The expression 

* Sec " History of the Army of the Cumberland," by Van Home, vol. i. pp. 
I. 25 


used by him in his first order, upon taking command in Virginia 
"Headquarters in the Saddle" which is even more than a 
boastful cavalry officer might venture to announce, is indicative 
of the undue self-esteem characterizing the man. 


Hardly had he taken up his new position in front of Hamburg, 
when, in order, no doubt, to hurry on and anticipate General 
Ilalleck s advance against our forces, he determined to make an 
offensive movement towards Corinth. Four miles from the latter 
place was an elevated position, where stood the small village of 
Farmington, then occupied by an insignificant force of Confeder 
ate infantry and cavalry, with one battery of artillery. That force 
was suddenly attacked on the 3d of May, by one or two Federal 
divisions, and driven back across a narrow creek, west, and in the 
near vicinity, of Farmington. 

General Pope, ambitious now to accomplish something worthy 
of the reputation he had acquired at New Madrid and Madrid 
Bend, moved on the 8th, with his whole force, on the above-men 
tioned village. As he was entirely separated from General Buell, 
on his right, by the head of Seven Miles Creek, which was lined 
with low, swampy grounds, rendered difficult to cross by recent 
rains, General Beauregard determined, by a sudden and rapid at 
tack in heavy force, to cut him off from his base, before he could 
fortify his position at Farmington. 

The Confederate corps and reserve commanders were, accord 
ingly, called together at army headquarters, w T here special and 
specific instructions were given them by General Beauregard, rel 
ative to the movement about to be executed. 

All our troops were to be held ready for battle. General Van 
Dorn, on the right, was to move before daylight, by his right 
flank, until his centre should be opposite General Pope s left 
flank, at Farmington, where he was facing in the direction of Cor 
inth. At dawn of day General Van Dorn, with his left and cen 
tre, w r as to attack vigorously whatever force might be in his front, 
and, with his right overlapping General Pope s left, take it in 
rear and cut off the Federal line of retreat to Farmington. 

At the same hour, General Bragg, with two divisions, was to ad 
vance on the Farmington road, which crossed his line of defences, 
and, by a front attack, co-operate with General Van Dorn, but 
only after the latter should have taken up his position and should 
be prepared to execute the movement intrusted to him. 


General Ilardee was to guard the partly vacated lines of Gen 
erals Van Dorn and Bragg, by extending his command to the 
right and left, and be ready to support the attack if necessary. 

General Polk was to take a position in advance of his lines, and 
attack any Federal troops attempting to pass in his front. And 
General Breckinridge s reserve was to occupy, temporarily, a cen 
tral position within the Confederate lines, and support any part of 
the Held of battle which might require his assistance. 

Through the inefficiency of his leading guide, and the slowness 
of one of his major-generals, General Van Dorn did not get his 
troops in position at the time prescribed. The result was that 
when the Federals discovered the flanking movement threatening 

O ? 

them, they began retiring hastily to their position behind Seven 
Miles Creek. General Van Dorn threw what forces he had in hand 
against the enemy in his front, and, aided by the simultaneous at 
tack of General Ruggles (Bragg s corps), very nearly captured two 
brigades forming the rear of General Pope s command. The en 
emy lost quite a number in killed and wounded, and a consider 
able amount of camp equipage, arms, and equipments. Our loss 
was insignificant, and consisted of some two hundred killed and 
wounded, in both commands. The Confederate troops behaved 
with great spirit, and appeared anxious to punish the enemy for 
compelling them to prolong their sojourn at Corinth, which all 
were eager to leave.* 

General Beauregard was disappointed in the result of the expedi 
tion, and thought the enemy would soon attempt to reoecupv the 
prominent position from which we had driven him ; that a large 
Confederate force would then be necessary to hold it ; and that, 
strong as such a force might be, it could be cut off by superior 
numbers before assistance could be brought up from other points 
of our weak and extended lines, lie therefore instructed his sub 
ordinate commanders to be prepared to renew the attack at any 
moment ; for he was anxious to strike another blow on the enemy, 
if only to blind him as to the future movements he now had in 

None more than he appreciated the strategic value of Corinth. 
Its local features for defence and the fact of its being at the inter- 

* For further particulars of the Farmington affair, sec Report of General 
I). Kuggles, u Southern Historical Society Papers/ vol. vii. pp. 330-33. 


section of two important railroads made it a very desirable point 
to hold, as long as it was safe to do so. But the great odds in his 
front and the persistent though over-cautious advance of General 
Halleck, convinced General Beauregard that his withdrawal from 
Corinth would, ere long, become a necessity. 

General Pope having again, on the 18th, advanced towards 
Farmington, and our scouts reporting all the creeks and their 
swampy sides overflowed from late heavy rains, another concerted 
movement was prepared by General Beauregard, wherein the 
corps and reserve commanders were all, more or less, to partici 
pate. The object was, as previously, to attack General Pope s 
forces and cut off their line of retreat upon the main body of the 
Federal army. Steady and continuous bad weather, however, de 
layed the execution of the plan from day to day, and, on the 22d 
of May, finding that General Van Dorn could not accomplish his 
part of the proposed plan, General Beauregard, after a conference 
with him, ordered the troops back to their former positions. 

From General Van Dorn s statement to him after the failure of 
this movement, General Beauregard concluded that any further 
idea of the offensive must be abandoned, and that he must now 
rest content with holding our lines, while he made arrangements 

O J O 

for an orderly retreat. 

Meantime, General Halleck had not ceased advancing his suc 
cessive lines, from his left to his right, notwithstanding the oppo 
sition we offered him. 

On the 25th, General Beauregard called his subordinate com 
manders together namely, Generals Bragg, Van Dorn, Polk, liar- 
dee, Breckinridge, and, by request, Major-General Price to dis 
cuss the necessity of evacuating Corinth, and determine the time 
and method of so doing. He gave an elaborate exposition of his 
views, and said that, situated as he was at Corinth, with the advan 
tages it afforded for defence, and the communication it kept open 
to us, he had considered it a duty to hold his position as long as 
possible, without clanger of being overwhelmed ; but that, besides 
the rapid decrease of our forces from sickness, the increase of the 
enemy s strength in our front not to speak of General Halleck s 
persistent advance upo.n i>s had led him to the conclusion that it 
would be unwise to endeavor further to maintain our ground, with 
such manifest odds against us. The result of a battle, at this 
juncture, and even of a siege, would, he feared, amount to more 


than defeat on our part, and might bring about the annihilation of 
our forces. By a retreat we would, no doubt, lose a strategic po 
sition of uncommon value, but by persisting in holding it we 
might suffer a still greater loss. 

The important question submitted at this council of war, if we 
may so consider it, was freely and exhaustively examined by the 
different generals present. But one opinion prevailed among 
them : the evacuation of Corinth had now become imperative.* 

After carefully listening to the views expressed by his subordi 
nate commanders, General Beauregard requested them to get 
ready for the movement as if it were already ordered, but to avoid 
all mention of it except to their respective Chiefs of Staff. lie 
told them to state publicly that we were about to take the offen 
sive against the enemy and bring on a general engagement with 
him, and to begin at once sending off, to different points in our 
rear, such as Baldwin, Tupelo, and others, their sick, their heavy 
baggage, and such additional camp equipage as might encumber 
the projected retreat. Immediate orders were issued to that effect 
from army headquarters, and all things were prepared for remov 
ing the heavy guns and ammunition to those places, and even 
farther, at a moment s notice. 

When General Beauregard s orders and instructions were com 
pleted, he once more summoned his corps commanders to army 
headquarters, and there carefully explained to each one individual 
ly the part he would be called upon to perform in the designed 
movement, which was to commence with General Van Dorn, on 
the right, and end with General Polk, on the left General Brcck- 
inridge being in reserve, and occupying a more or less central po 
sition, in rear of the other commands. Each sub-commander was 
made, by General Beauregard, to go over and repeat what he and 
the others were expected to do, until they became perfectly famil 
iar with every detail of the plan adopted. They were thus thor 
oughly drilled, as it were, and prepared for anv emergency. The 
result showed that General Beauregard had not taken this trouble 
in vain. Ko other retreat during the war was conducted in so 
systematic and masterly a manner, especially when we consider the 

* Sec, in Appendix, General Hardec s views of the situation, as given in 
a letter to General Beauregard (May 23th), and the lattcr s endorsement 


comparative rawness of some of our troops, and the disparity of 
numbers and resources between the two confronting armies. 

The time fixed for the evacuation was 3 o clock A. M. on the 
29th. Delays occurred, however, which caused it to be postponed 
until 1 o clock A. M. on the 30th. The wagon -trains and rear 
most troops had been started about 11 p. M. on the 29th, so as to 
clear the w r ay. 

To deceive the enemy as to our intentions, General Beauregard 
ordered that an empty train should be run occasionally during the 
night, towards the right, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, 
and another, towards the left, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, 
as far as they could safely go ; and that whenever they reached 
that point, the troops stationed there should cheer loudly and vig 
orously, as though to welcome reinforcements. This stratagem 
was carried out to the letter, and proved very successful ; for Gen 
eral Pope, notwithstanding his false despatches forwarded after 
the event, telegraphed General Halleck on the 30th of May, at 
1 o clock A. M., as follows : 

"The enemy are reinforcing heavily in my front and left. The cars arc 
running constantly, and the cheering is immense every time they unload in 
front of me. I have no doubt, from all appearances, that I shall be attacked 
in heavy force at daylight." * 

At the very moment when the foregoing despatch was penned 
by General Pope the Confederate forces were actively evacuating 
their lines, leaving skirmishers only in them, and some cavalry in 
front, to hold the enemy at bay until the entire movement should 
be completed. 

The retreat was effected with great order and precision, the 
enemy remaining in utter ignorance of it. The troops were halted 
temporarily behind the Tuscumbia River, some six miles from 
Corinth, to concentrate and give battle if pursued ; but no pursuit 
being attempted, the movement was quietly continued to Rienzi 
and Booneville, where another halt was made for the same pur 
pose, and with a like result. The march was then resumed and 
the army soon reached Baldwin, thirty miles from Corinth, where 
another position was taken, and held until the 7th of June, to 
await an advance of the enemy. It being apparent that no attack 
would be made, General Beauregard again put his army in motion, 

* Report of the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War. 


the main portion of it arriving at Tupelo, fifty-two miles from 
Corinth, on the 9th of June. There was found, as expected, a 
salubrious region, pure water, and all the requirements of a good 
defensive position. 

The following extracts are from General Beauregard s official 
report* of the evacuation of Corinth. After giving his reasons 
for withdrawing his army, and explaining his various orders to 
that effect, he says : 

"... At the tune finally prescribed the movement commenced, and was ac 
complished -without the knowledge of the enemy, who only began to suspect 
the evacuation after broad daylight on the morning of May 30th, when, having 
opened on our lines from his formidable batteries of heavy and long-range 
guns, erected the night previous, he received no answer from any direction ; 
but, as our cavalry pickets still maintained their positions of the preceding 
day, he was not apparently fully satisfied of our movements, until some 
stores, of little value, in the town, were burned, which could not be moved. 
It was then, to his surprise, the enemy became satisfied that a large army, 
approached and invested with such extraordinary preparations, expense, 
labor, and timidity, had disappeared from his front with all its munitions 
and heavy guns, leaving him without knowledge, as I am assured, whither 
it had gone, for his scouts were scattered everywhere, as I have since as 
certained, to inquire what directions our forces had taken. . . . The troops 
moved off in good spirits and order, prepared to give battle if pursued, but 
no serious pursuit was attempted. . . . While at Rienzi, half-way to Bald 
win, I was informed that on the morning of the 30th ultimo a detachment of 
the enemy s cavalry had penetrated to Booneville, eight miles south of Rienzi, 
and had captured and burned a railroad train of ammunition, baggage, and 
subsistence, delayed there some forty-eight hours by mismanagement. I re 
gret to add that the enemy also burned the railroad depot, in which were at 
the moment a number of dead bodies and at least four sick soldiers of this 
army, who were consumed an act of barbarism scarcely credible, and