442 Southern Historical Society Papers.
tility of that brain which to the very last was teeming with strategic conceptions of striking boldness. In the days of ancient Rome such a man would have been thanked by the Senate for his resolution still to continue the defence of what looked as a "lost cause." But al- though he had not, like Varro, lost by his fault the battle of Cannae and left dead on the battle field near seventy thousand of his coun- trymen, yet not only was he not thanked for not having despaired of the Republic, but even very little attention was paid to his sugges- tions. Was it because, unlike Varro, he was not liable to reproach ?
At last the cataclism arrived. Charleston was evacuated, Columbia burned, and nothing had been done by those who had rejected, one after another, all of General Beauregard's plans and suggestions. " The wisdom of the policy advocated by General Beauregard, weeks be- fore," says Colonel Roman, " was clearly demonstrated. Had our untenable seaports and harbor defences and even the Confederate capital been abandoned in time, and the troops occupying them with- drawn and concentrated at or about Branchville, South Carolina, rein- forced by two or more corps from the army of Northern Virginia, a stand could have been made by which Sherman's invading army, then so far from its base — the sea coast — would have been effectually checked and the course of events materially changed. As it was, place after place fell before overpowering numbers and the junction of General Bragg's forces with those of General J. E. Johnston was only partially effected after Schofield had united his forces with those of Sherman."
It may be said truly that the last effort, a spasmodic one, made by the Southern Confederacy in its agonies of death, was at Bentonville, when General Joseph E. Johnston, with about 14,000 men, struck, on the 20ih of March, 1865, a vigorous blow on the flank of Sherman's army, composed of at least 60,000 men. It was the last leaf of laurel gained and much stained with bloodshed, with no result worthy of the sacrifice. We now hasten to avert our eyes from the painful and humiliating scenes which attended the end of our civil war. But be- fore dismissing the subject, it gratifies us to say that Colonel Roman shows General Beauregard to have remained equal to himself to the last ; and this is saying much ; for very few historical characters have remained consistent and compact from the begining to the termina- tion of their career.
Colonel Roman does not leave us unacquainted with the feelings of his hero when retiring into the shades of private life after his final struggle in favor of the "Lost Cause."