James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
said they were the advance-guard of an army commanded by Beauregard that was marching to attack the Union camp; one, who was mortally wounded, told the colonel of an Ohio regiment that the army was 50,000 strong and would certainly attack within twelve hours; of this Sherman was promptly informed. Pickets of this Ohio regiment called the attention of their Captain to the rabbits and squirrels that were running into the lines; they saw a body of cavalry and a large infantry force in line: these and other facts were reported to Sherman who, clinging stubbornly to his own conception of the situation, refused to regard them as indicating anything more formidable than a reconnaissance in force. Beauregard will not attack, he said. I know him and his habit of mind well. He will never leave his own base of supplies to attack the Union army at its base.1 On Saturday, April 5, he sent this word to Grant: The enemy has cavalry in our front and I think there are two regiments of infantry and one battery of artillery about two miles out. The enemy is saucy but got the worst of it yesterday and will not press our pickets far. I do not apprehend anything like an attack on our position.2 At this moment one corps of the Confederate Army was deployed in line of battle, not two miles from his camp, and the other three corps were in supporting distance.3
If Beauregard had been in command,4 Shermans conjecture would not have been far wrong. He had agreed to the attack on the Union force but, when it proved impossible to make it on the Saturday, he feared that the skirmish of the day before, the drum-beat and bugle calls had given them