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Jackson, who was in command at the Ferry until the 24th May, as to Gen. Johnston, who commanded afterwards until the 15th June. Gen. Johnston has answered for both himself and his predecessor, by saying:
“Col. Jackson's course was probably prompted by the consideration that directed mine, and gives the authority of his great character to my course. It would not have been right on our part to seize the property of that road before the evacuation of Harper's Ferry, nor politic to commit such an act of war against citizens of Maryland, when we were receiving so much aid from that State, and hoping for much more. The seizure or destruction of that property by us could have been justified only by the probability of its military use by the enemy. That probability did not appear until about the time when Col. Jackson received the order in question; then, being unable to remove, we were compelled to destroy it.
“But the most valuable part of this property, the engines, could not have been removed in the manner pointed out. Up to the time of evacuating Harper's Ferry, we were removing the machinery for manufacturing small-arms, as fast as it could be transported on the railroad, to Winchester. To expedite this work, I proposed to borrow engines from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, but was assured by the engineers of both roads that that to Winchester, especially near Harper's Ferry, where it was supported on trestles, was not strong enough to bear those engines, which were much heavier than those for which it was constructed, and that if brought upon that road they would inevitably crush it. This would have stopped the removal of the machinery from Harper's Ferry, which was far more valuable to the Confederacy than all the rolling-stock of the Baltimore and Ohio Road.”
Remaining north of Martinsburg, with Col. J. E. B. Stuart's cavalry in his front, until the 22d July, Col. Jackson that day had an engagement with Patterson, who had again returned to the southern bank of the Potomac, and who hoped to crush the small force that had now ventured within his reach. He was met by Jackson near Falling Water Church, at Haine's farm, and was repulsed. Receiving reinforcements, Patterson made a second advance, and suffered a second repulse. By this time, discovering the exceedingly disproportionate force of Jackson, Patterson
extended his infantry with design to envelope Jackson by throwing both wings around him. After a spirited resistance of three hours' duration, Jackson withdrew, skirmishing sharply as he retreated, until he met Johnston's army, four miles south of Mar. tinsburg, advancing to his support, in full hope of a general engagement with the enemy. The hope was disappointed; Patterson falling back towards the Potomac, with a loss of forty-five prisoners, captured by Stuart, and a large number of killed and wounded. Johnston, thereupon, again massed his forces near Winchester.
He was now more satisfied than ever that Gen. Scott's design, in placing Patterson in the Valley, was to distract attention from the grand movement which he was preparing for the principal advance to Richmond. Accordingly, he renewed the request which he had hitherto made, for orders to join Beauregard when the proper emergency should arise, and busied himself in preparing Winchester for defence by a small force. On the evening of the 17th July, Major Whiting (afterwards Maj.-Gen. Whiting, killed in command of Fort Fisher) brought him intelligence from Stuart that Patterson was again advancing in force. Johnston at once remarked that they would immediately bear that McDowell was also advancing in force on Beauregard, from Alexandria. For some time previous to this date he had established a system of regular couriers for communicating, at intervals of a few hours, with Beauregard, whose opinions of the strategy of Gen. Scott coincided with his own. The two Generals had already concerted the purpose of combining their forces whenever the critical moment should arrive, and had both solicited authority from Richmond for executing their foregone determination.
About half-past one o'clock at night the courier from Beauregard brought a dispatch giving intelligence that McDowell was in motion from Alexandria. Johnston had already directed Stuart to ascertain, as soon as practicable, whether Patterson's movement was a feint or for the purpose of a serious engagement. In the latter event he determined first to fight and beat Patterson, and then proceed to Manassas. He directed Stuart, if he should become satisfied that Patterson was making a feint, to stretch out his cavalry in that General's front, and screen as long as possible his own intended retirement towards Manassas.
During the night of the 17th he received a communication from the government, giving the long-sought permission to make the junction with Beauregard; but it was coupled with a condition that he should first move his sick from Winchester, where he had established them in comfortable hospitals, to the rear of Manassas, at Culpeper Court-House. His army being composed of fresh troops, and his raw soldiers afflicted with the diseases incident to an unusual mode of life, his sick numbered about twenty-five hundred. It was impossible, therefore, to execute the order from Richmond. But Winchester having been tolerably well covered by defensive works, Gen. Johnston placed the militia of the Valley, about twenty-five hundred strong, under the command of Gens. Carson and Meem, in front of the place, and left his sick in the hospitals.
By ten o'clock in the morning of the 18th, he learned from Stuart that Patterson's movement was a mere demonstration, and that he had posted his own cavalry as desired. Johnston, therefore, at once gave orders for putting his army in motion. The effective force which set out in this movement was 11,000 men. The plan was, to march to Piedmont, a railroad station, twentythree miles from Winchester, and there take trains for Manassas, thirty-four miles further. The despondency of the troops was excessive during the first day's march; they thought they were running away from Patterson. After crossing the Shenandoah, however, the General caused them to be relieved from this depression by the enlivening assurance that they were marching to engage in a great battle. His order making the announcement was in nervous words that thrilled the troops. “Our gallant army under Gen. Beauregard,” he said, “is now attacked by overwhelming numbers; the Commanding General hopes that his troops will step out like men, and make a forced march to save the country.”
The army reached Piedmont, by detachments, during Friday, the 19th, and then, as fast as transportation was afforded, took trains for Manassas. Col. Jackson's brigade embarked early on Friday. But great embarrassment was experienced in procuring trains in time for the prompt transportation of the whole command. Some of the force did arrive in time for the ensuing battle; others did not arrive until the middle of the day of the battle. It resulted that of the whole force of 11,000, 8,300 took part in the engagement, and 2,700 arrived too late.
Gen. Johnston's survey of the field of Manassas.---He indicates the enemy's design
to flank the Confederate left.--His anxiety about Patterson's movements.-Plan of attack upon Centreville. Why it failed.—Non-arrival of part of the Army of the Shenandoah.--Popular misrepresentations of the battle of Manassas.--The real plans of action on each side.-How Gen. Johnston overlapped the flanking movement of the enemy.-His orders to Gen. Bonham to attack on Centreville. The most brilliant opportunity of the day lost.-Gen. Johnston's published reasons for not attacking Washington.-This explanation criticised.--Evidence of McClellan. — The Confederate Army demoralized by their victory.-Sequel of Manassas.
GEN. JOHNSTON did not reach Manassas in person until the afternoon of Saturday, the 20th July. Unable from the lateness of the hour to examine the field, he spent several anxious hours with Gen. Beauregard, whom he ranked, in studying the maps of the ground. For reasons about to be given, he declined to change in any respect the dispositions of that officer. The principal point for decision was, where to place his own army, just arrived and still arriving. Gen. Beauregard was in possession of what he deemed authentic intelligence, that McDowell's purpose was to turn the right of the Confederate army; and there can be no impropriety in stating, what was well known to those who had opportunity of receiving the information, that Gen. Beauregard firmly believed that the enemy's intention was to turn his right. Gen. Johnston dissented from this opinion. He thought a feint would be made on the right; but was well persuaded that if a
would be directed around their left. He gave cogent reasons for this belief. The country on the right was very hilly and broken, and the stream of Bull Run in that quarter deeper and more difficult of passage than it was several miles above on the left. The march in that direction would be at once arduous and hazardous. Moreover, to flank on that side would require a longer détour,
would throw McDowell further from Washington, and place him in greater danger of being cut off. An attack in front was equally improbable. That of the 18th had been either a serious engagement or a feint. If serious, its failure had taught that Beauregard's lines were too strong for direct assault. If a feint, its object must have been to withdraw the attention of the Confederates from the real purpose. Besides, Johnston had served much with Gen. Scott, and knew his partiality for flanking movements. Therefore it seemed conclusive to him that the left was in most danger. Accordingly, Gen. Johnston disposed all the force that had arrived from the Valley in positions to be available on the left, if the enemy should take the offensive; leaving Gen. Beauregard's previous dispositions of his own troops for the present unchanged.
But here another and a more potential consideration must not be overlooked, as has uniformly been done by those who have described this battle of Manassas. Gen. Johnston had suddenly disappeared from before Patterson's front in the valley, where the enemy then had an army of 25,000 men. If the public have since dropped Patterson from all consideration in connection with Manassas, Gen. Johnston could not afford at that time to presume upon the inactivity of so large an army well provided and equipped. He naturally expected-he was bound to expect that Patterson would follow him by forced marches immediately on discovering his disappearance. It was practicable for Patterson to reach Manassas by the night of the 21st; it was possible for some of his brigades to appear on the field during the advanced hours of that day. It was, therefore, of vital necessity to beat McDowell on the 21st, before Patterson could come up with his heavy reinforcements.
Gen. Johnston had taken measures to insure the arrival of his own army from the Valley by the night of the 20th; and up to his separation from Beauregard had not received intelligence of the collision of trains which had detained two of his brigades, and was still ignorant of the cause of detention.
Confidently calculating upon the presence, and readiness to move, by an early hour the next morning, of the whole army of the Shenandoah, and determined to bring on a decisive battle before Patterson could arrive, he had readily acceded to Beauregard's bold and able suggestion, that they themselves should assume the offen