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That plan was extremely brilliant—almost dazzling. It consisted, as recommended on previous occasions, in the concentration of all our available forces on the defensive, and next, in the execution of rapid and offensive movements. It would at least have relieved, if it had accomplished nothing more, the State and Valley of Missisippi, by marching a large Confederate army into Tennessee and Kentucky. Rosecrans's corps could have been suddenly attacked and crushed; Grant's corps might have had his communications cut off and would have had to surrender, or cut his way through the victorious and enthusiastic hosts that encompassed him. Then sufficient forces could have been spared to send to the assistance of Kirby Smith in Louisiana, of Price in Missouri, and back to Virginia, to reinforce the troops left there, should they have been pressed by the enemy—a contingency hardly to be supposed, considering the condition of our foes in that State after their terrible defeat at Chancellorsville. Finally the navigation of the Mississippi could have been resumed, New Orleans retaken and Banks's army captured. These possibilities presented by General Beauregard in a plan which must be admitted to have been graphically drawn, and in support of which plausible reasons were alleged, produced, we confess, a sort of vertiginous effect upon our mind. We could not prevent the results, announced with such faith, from rising before us like a glorious mirage. But General Lee, instead of being sent to Kentucky, as he should have been, to co-operate with our other forces, was ordered into Pennsylvania, and the disaster of Gettysburg was the awful consequence of what is considered by many as an egregious mistake.

General Beauregard, in his anxiety for the fate of the Confederacy, did not confine his attention to the defence of Charleston; his mind glanced over a much broader surface. He never, as much as possible, lost sight of our military movements, wherever they were expected to be of any importance. Thus, on the 7th of October, 1863, he wrote to General Bragg, commanding the army at Chattanooga, Tennessee. With much lucidity he laid before him the plan of a campaign, and predicted what would follow should some such plan be not adopted. With remarkable modesty and with patriotic disinterestedness he said to his successor and friend:

‘Should you approve of this plan, can you not address it as your own to the War Department in the hope of its being adopted? What I desire is our success. I care not who gets the credit for it. Our resources are fast getting exhausted; our people, I fear, are getting disheartened, for they can see no bright spot on the horizon to revive ’

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