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[365] Longstreet's veteran divisions, about 13,000 strong, could have been placed on the cars at Petersburg and hurried out to Bragg, via Lynchburg and Knoxville. Johnston's 25,000 from Jackson, and Buckner's 5000 from Knoxville, could have met them. With these accessions, and with Lee in command, Rosecrans might have been defeated, and an advance made into Ky., threatening Louisville and Cincinnati. If anything could have caused Grant's recall from Vicksburg, it would have been this. Surely the chances of success were greater, and of disaster less, than those involved in our crossing the bridgeless Potomac, into the heart of the enemy's country, where ammunition and supplies must come by wagons from Staunton, nearly 200 miles, over roads exposed to raids of the enemy from either the east or the west. In this position, a drawn battle, or even a victory, would still leave us compelled soon to find our way back across the Potomac.

Longstreet1 tells of his having suggested to Secretary Seddon such a campaign against Rosecrans, and he also suggested it to Lee on his arrival at Fredericksburg. Mr. Seddon thought Grant could not be drawn from Vicksburg even by a Confederate advance upon the Ohio River. To this Longstreet answered that Grant was a soldier and must obey orders if popular alarm forced the government to recall him. At that time Davis was sanguine of foreign intervention, and the Emperor Napoleon was permitting a French firm to build some formidable ironclads for the Confederate navy. These might have accomplished some results, had not the issue of the Gettysburg campaign induced the Emperor to withdraw his consent to their delivery.

Lee recognized the strong features of the proposed strategy, and took a day or two to consider it. But he finally decided upon an invasion of Pa. He was averse to leaving Va. himself, and also to any division of his army. Both he and Jackson, ever since the failure of the Md. campaign, had longed to try it once more, and Jackson had had prepared during the winter and spring the remarkable map, already mentioned (p. 322), covering the whole scene of the coming campaign. In the discussion with Longstreet, it was assumed that the strategy of the

1 Manassas to Appomattox, p. 327.

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