armies, I have exerted myself to place all the other armies in such a condition that they too could perform their allotted duties.
He then tells his correspondent that, if it should be determined to operate from the Lower Chesapeake
, the best point of landing would be Urbana
, on the Lower Rappahannock
, and states his reasons for the opinion; but, if circumstances should render it advisable not to land there, either Mobjack Bay
or Fort Monroe
might be resorted to. A large amount of cheap water transportation would be requisite to move the army to whatever point might be selected as a base of operations; and he gives some details in relation to this important point.
The letter thus concludes:--
The total force to be thrown upon the new line would be, according to circumstances, from one hundred and ten thousand to one hundred and forty thousand.
I hope to use the latter number by bringing fresh troops into Washington and still leaving it quite safe.
I fully realize that, in all projects offered, time will probably be the most valuable consideration.
It is my decided opinion that, in that point of view, the second plan should be adopted.
It is possible — nay, highly probable — that the weather and state of the roads may be such as to delay the direct movement from Washington, with its unsatisfactory results and great risks, far beyond the time required to complete the second plan.
In the first case, we can fix no definite time for an advance.
The roads have gone from bad to worse.
Nothing like their present condition was ever known here before: they are impassable at present.
We are entirely at the mercy of the weather.
It is by no means certain that we can beat them at Manassas.
On the other line I regard success as certain by all the chances of war. We