The Capital in danger.
Project of the Rebels
for Capturing Washington
to around Baltimore
to engage McClellan
and Henaisgaem to dislodge Rosecrans
— cry for peace.
[special to the New York Times]
In these exciting times, when so many rumors, having only an imaginary foundation, are gaining currency, it is bad policy to add to their number, but I will be pardoned for communicating a project which a military officer of high rank has just assured me in now entertained by the Rebels
for gaining possession of the Capital
The recent success of the Confederate forces at Manassas
has determined their leaders to adopt another plan of campaign,
They think it useless now to defend Richmond
, but they deem it necessary to occupy this city and Baltimore
, and to accomplish that end they have not only agreed upon the following plan of operations, but they have begun to put it into practice.
According to my authority, Gen. Lee
, who has now, as you know, set his corps d'armee
in motion, under the pretext of attacking our army in Western Virginia
, really intends to direct his force upon the upper Potomac, which he will cross at a distance of about forty miles from Washington
Once there, he will be joined by the Secessionists, who are secretly organizing all over Maryland
, and will then attack Washington
on its unfortified and defenceless side.
At the same time, Beauregard
will make a movement against McClellan
, whom he will keep busy within his own lips, thus preventing his taking part in the defences of the city.
will be left to watch and counteract Patterson
's movements; a strong column will be sent against Butler
; and Pryor
, the chevalier of the bowie-knife, and Henningsen
, the companion of Walker
, the filibuster, will dislodge Rosecrans
from the position he occupies in Western Virginia
Such, according to the information I have received, is the plan the Rebels
I know the Administration expressed the opinion, the other day, that Washington
cannot be taken.
I know such is not their opinion to-day, and that they are momentarily expecting the approach of General Lee
I know also that a great many persons, mainly the politicians, will full the people into mistaken confidence.
What will be the consequence?
The nation, suddenly aroused by the affair at Bull's Run
, will, under these soothing assertions, go to sleep again, until awakened by a new disaster.
Shall we suffer this to take place, or shall we prepare ourselves against all contingencies of the kind?
Shall we maintain our army on the same footing, allowing lack of discipline to rule supreme, soldiers to leave their camps for the indulgences of cities, regiments to remain disorganized, the city unfortified, soldiers commanded by lawyers and merchants — officers in peace, civilians in war?
Shall we continue to have no camps in which our soldiers may be inured to the fatigue of a long march, no schools to instruct them in the tactics of war and in the evolutions indispensable to the success of a campaign?
to evolutions by battalions, regiments and divisions?
It the state of things in which we have lived hither to is going to last, permit a man who knows what armies are, and what they must be, what the defences of a country must consist of, what are the requirements and eventualities of war, to tell you that there is no use for you to send any more men to Washington
The best thing we can do is to make peace with the South
, and as honorable a peace as we can.