Today in History:

96 Series I Volume LIII- Serial 111 - Supplements

Page 96 S. C., S. GA., MID. & E. FLA., & WEST. N. C. Chapter LXV.

divides the Confederacy again, and in such a manner that it places us upon interior lines, upon the communications of both Lee and Johnston, and where we can be more easily and safely supplied than under any other circumstances. We can win no decisive battles unless, strategically as well as tactically, we hazard the enemy's lines of communications, and this is the fundamental principle of successful war as enunciated by the grandest of all warriors-Napoleon. This principle we too often have forgotten in this war, and the sooner we recur to it the more surely we shall win decided success. Now, I can scarcely hope that this project can be seen precisely as I, who have studied it for months past, clearly see it; but it can be submitted to any competent critic, and it has already been so submitted, and has met approval. It is of sufficient consequence to be placed before those in authority, the President or the Secretary of War, should have it brought to his consideration. These views might, if you please, be expressed as your own, but the facts and principles are changeless and belong to the art of war. I am sure that General Gillmore aproves them. Among many who are wondering why this winter cannot effect some progress toward ending this war these views will be instantly received. Nowhere else can such work be done, and it is not myself if these views are correct that you are doing a service, but the cause for which we are equally working. I shall consequently be very grateful if you can take some fitting occasion to advance these opinions. And although they might be very properly brought forward through the usual military channels, you are aware that other and more influential modes of accomplishing a desirable end or object has often resulted in the public gain.

And I beg you to believe that I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,




The Southern Confederacy is a line from Richmond to Montgomery or Mobile. Lee's army holds one extremity, Johnston's the other. Suppose that we are as successful in pushing back from their position as we desire those armies. The result will inevitably be that, at the end, a large central mass of resistance will be left that will possess constantly the advantage of operating upon interior while the surrounding forces are operating upon exterior lines, and constantly will be in the most disadvatageous position possible. By placing an army on the lines of railroad between Lee's and Johnston's armies we assume ourselves a central and interior position, with all its advantages, and if such force be sufficiently strong it can operate successfully against either of the existing rebel armies, or, at least, can effect the most powerful diversion in favor of either Meade or Grant. There is every reason why such a movement should be made. The Southern Confederacy by it would be again divided as effectually as by the opening of the Mississippi; Johnston and Lee would be separated forever, and the Confederacy paralyzed. Grant can only advance to Atlanta (120 miles) in face of a powerful foe, holding every strong position, which he is doubtless strongly fortifying this winter, and by roads that are poor and a country filled with defiles; and then move eighty miles farther (in all 200) in order to reach Macon. At least this will be the work of a year,

Page 96 S. C., S. GA., MID. & E. FLA., & WEST. N. C. Chapter LXV.