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[634] determined by the nature of the enemy's operations at the time.

I must finally remark that, were it possible to concentrate, with sufficient expedition, at or about Knoxville, such an army as I have indicated, that would be the better point whence to take the offensive into Middle Tennessee than Dalton — that is, according the principles of the art, would promise more decisive results; for it is evident we should thus threaten the enemy's communications without exposing our own. (Principle II., Art of War), “Le secret de la guerre est dans le secret dess communications.” --Napoleon. By a movement from Knoxville, we should be doing what is taught in connection with the Third Maxim (Art of War), to wit: “That part of the base of operations is the most advantageous to break out from into the theatre of war which conducts the most directly on the enemy's flank or rear.” There may be, how ever, such practical difficulties in the way of the execution of such a movement on that line as may not make it advisable to adopt it. “The whole science of war,” it has been well said, “may be briefly defined as the art of placing, in the right position, at the right time, a mass of troops greater than your enemy can there oppose to you.” These conditions, I sincerely believe, may be filled by very much such a plan as the one which I have hurriedly placed before you. Of course my views must be subject to such modification as my want of precise information relative to the number and location of our troops may render necessary.

The hour is critical and grave--

The enemy increaseth every day,
We, at the height, are ready to decline.

I am filled with intense anxiety lest golden opportunities shall be lost — lost forever. In no theatre of human actions is it so true as in war--

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
* * * * * *
And we must take the current where it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

It is concentration and immediate mobility that are indispensable to save us.

Yours, sincerely,

G. T. Beauregaud.
Official: A. Terry, A. A. General.

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