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While reviewing the performance of General Beauregard at Shiloh, one cannot help thinking they are witnessing a "what if" situation, in reverse. This requires explaining: there is no doubt that PGT Beauregard was the most successful Confederate General of 1861 (3-for-3 in the Eastern Theatre.) But, from his arrival at Bowling Green, the highly competent, impressively capable Beauregard was suffering poor health: so debilitated that he should have been declared "unfit for duty." But, the timing of the required Surgeon's Certificate would be important, because no one possessed the required
General Beauregard arrived at Jackson, Tennessee on February 17th and established his Headquarters there for Army of the Mississippi. Why Jackson? In 1862 it was a sizable town with workshops for the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. That rail line -- on mostly new track -- extended north all the way through Humboldt to Fort Columbus in Kentucky, allowing rapid movement of troops by rail; and the adjoining telegraph line permitted instantaneous electronic communications from Fort Columbus to Mobile... and beyond. And the Central of Mississippi Railroad terminated at Jackson: that line connected to t