paired immediately to your apartment, where I learned you were ill in bed; but upon notified of my presence you at once cased me to be invited into your chamber, where I was kindly and cordially received. I informed you of the object of my visit, at which you expressed your self pleased, and messages to Generals Cooper and Lee to meet us that evening at 7 o'clock, with maps, in your parlor. I requested you to allow Colonel John S. Preston, who was then in Richmond, to be present at the interview, to which you consented.
At the time and place appointed yourself and Generals Cooper and Lee and Colonel Preston and myself assembled. You stated to the gentlemen present that I had come with come a message from General Beauregard, which you then requested me to explain, whereupon I submitted on the part of General Beauregard the following propositions:
That the were standing in front of the enemy with inferior forces at all positions, that it was desirable, by uniting a portion of our forces, to outnumber the enemy at some important point; that the most important point was the one at Manassas, and that the indication them was that the enemy would soon advance upon us by the Alexandria and by the London and Hampshire Railroad, having then this his advance force, 8,000 or 10,000, at or near Falls Church; that it was probable he would continue the movement towards Vienna, Frying Pan, and Pleasant Valley to Hay Market, on the Massas Gap Railroad, with a view to cut off General Johnston from us by sending a few thousand men to take possession of the passes in the Blue Ridge, namely, Manassas Gap, Ashby's Gap, and Turkersville [Snicker's] Gap, and then prob ably attempt to cut off our communication with Richmond by the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and force us to fight him with great odds in an open country, or to retire towards Fredericksburg by way of Brentsville, to join our forces with those of General Holmes, or to withdraw from our entrenched camp at Manassas by the Orange [and Alexandria] Railroad before the enemy could reach it; that the enemy was also advancing part of his force on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad on our front, with a view probably of covering his movements on our left by threatening our center and right with a force of about 10,000 men.
In view of this condition of things General Beauregard, through me, at that time proposed that General Johnston should at once join him with the larger portion of his force, bay 20,000, leaving from 3,000 to 5,000 to occupy and guard the gaps already mentioned and to hold General Patterson and guard the gaps already mentioned and to hold General Patterson in check; then, with the combined forces of Generals Johnston and Beauregard, make a rapid march forward on Fairfax; establish themselves between the two lines of the enemy; attack them sparely and successfully, and thus exterminate them. This being dine, General Johnston return and attack Patterson with a force of about 35,000 men, made up of about 10,000 of General Beauregard's and 20,000 of his own, and gathering up on his return the 5,000 which were left to guard the passes. All this it was thought could be done in one week from the time that General Johnston should leave Winchester. In the mean time General Beauregard, with the 10,000, or about that, left with him, either hold his position, or occupy the works of the enemy in front of Washington, if abandoned, according to circumstances. After General Johnston should take or defeat Patterson it was proposed that he should send from his command a force sufficient to General Garnett to outnumber and destroy General McClellan, Garnett in the mean time having received orders to full back in the direction of Johnston's column. McClellan being disposed of, General Garnett would unite his force with General Johnston's, and