If the plan of campaign mentioned in the report had been presented in a written communication, and in sufficient detail to permit proper investigation, it must have been pronounced to be impossible at that time, and its proposal could only have been accounted for by the want of information of the forces and positions of the armies in the field. The facts that rendered it impossible are the following: 1. It was based, as related from memory by Colonel Chestnut, on the supposition of drawing a force of about twenty-five thousand men from the command of General Johnston. The letters of General Johnston show his effective force to have been only eleven thousand, with an enemy thirty thousand strong in his front, ready to take possession of the valley of Virginia on his withdrawal.Mr. Davis's statement as to insufficiency of detail in the plan submitted to him forces upon him one of the following alternatives: He was either thoroughly informed of General Beauregard's proposal to him, and he, therefore, more than errs in alleging want of adequate knowledge of the question at issue; or he was without the necessary data to guide him; and, in that case, his rejection of a proposition which he had not comprehended was certainly unwise, if not unpardonable.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.