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[537] occupy, say, Dalton, Atlanta, Union Point, Augusta, Branchville, and, possibly, Columbia, S. C.

Between Chattanooga and Richmond 1 would occupy, say, Knoxville, Abington, Wytheville, Lynchburgh, Charlottesville, Burksville; and Richmond and Fredericksburgh should also be occupied.

Just as soon as the points indicated are recovered from the enemy they should permanently be occupied by a military force. The important strategic points, such as Chattanooga, Memphis, and Richmond, should be strongly fortified without delay.

I have thus, in a brief manner, stated what I consider the best disposition to be made in a military point of view. Considered politically, I am convinced that the lines are not without their advantages. They pass for a considerable distance through a mountainous region. By the introduction of the superior knowledge and civilization which a disciplined and well-appointed army would carry with it, the inhabitants of that region would become as much attached to the Union, without condition, as any of the Northern States, thus placing an insurmountable barrier to the success of that portion of the Union which would be most likely to rebel against the constituted authorities.

It is very certain that no argument is worth a straw with the Southern rebels but that of the bayonet, and we would be recreant to the cause of liberty on this earth if we did not use it effectually.

The President, besides the war power so to do, is clothed with the legal power to take military possession of all the railroads in the United States. The fact that military provisional governments will have to be first instituted in the States containing the lines, will render the possession and control of them easy.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Silas Casey, Brigadier-General Commanding Division.

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