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[331] suggestions made to Secretary Seddon, in regard to the means that should be adopted for the relief of Vicksburg. I thought that honor, interest, duty, and humanity called us to that service, and asked the aid of his counsels with the War Department, and reinforcements from his army for the West, to that end. I suggested that General Johnston, instead of trying to collect an army against General Grant, should be sent to reinforce General Bragg, then standing against the Union forces under General Rosecrans in Middle Tennessee; that at the same time he should send my divisions, just up from Suffolk, to join Johnston's reinforcements to Bragg's army; that the combination once made should strike immediately in overwhelming force upon Rosecrans, and march for the Ohio River and Cincinnati.

He recognized the suggestion as of good combination, and giving strong assurance of success, but he was averse to having a part of his army so far beyond his reach. He reflected over the matter one or two days, and then fell upon the plan of invading the Northern soil, and so threatening Washington as to bring about the same hoped — for result. To that end he bent his energies.

His plan or wishes announced, it became useless and improper to offer suggestions leading to a different course. All that I could ask was that the policy of the campaign should be one of defensive tactics; that we should work so as to force the enemy to attack us, in such good position as we might find in his own country, so well adapted to that purpose,--which might assure us of a grand triumph. To this he readily assented as an important and material adjunct to his general plan. His confidence in making moves threatening Washington and the invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania grew out of the known anxiety of the Washington authorities as to the safety of their capital and of quiet within the Union lines.

In the midst of his work of preparation came the

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Rosecrans (2)
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