of the rebels; Norfolk would fall, all the waters of the Chesapeake would be ours, all Virginia would be in our power, and the enemy forced to abandon Tennessee and North Carolina. The alternative presented to the enemy would be to beat us in a position selected by ourselves, disperse, or pass beneath the Caudine forks. Should we be beaten in a battle, we have a perfectly secure retreat down the Peninsula upon Fort Monroe, with our flanks perfectly covered by the fleet. During the whole movement our left flank is covered by the water. Our right is secure, for the reason that the enemy is too distant to reach us in time: he can only oppose us in front; we bring our fleet into full play. After a successful battle, our position would be — Burnside forming our left, Norfolk held securely, our centre connecting Burnside with Buell both by Raleigh and Lynchburg, Buell in Eastern Tennessee and North Alabama, Halleck at Nashville and Memphis. The next movement would be to connect with Sherman on the left, by reducing Wilmington and Charleston; to advance our centre into South Carolina and Georgia; to push Buell either towards Montgomery or to unite with the main army in Georgia; to throw Halleck southward to meet the naval expedition from New Orleans. We should then be in a condition to reduce at our leisure all the Southern sea-ports, to occupy all the avenues of communication, to use the great outlet of the Mississippi, to re-establish our Government and arms in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, to force the slaves to labor for our subsistence instead of that of the rebels, to bid defiance to all foreign interference. Such is the object I have ever had in view; this is the general plan which I hope to accomplish. For many long months I have labored to prepare the Army of the Potomac to play its part in the programme. From the day when I was placed in command of all our
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