He believed that by moving the whole line at the same time the greatest number of troops practicable would be brought against the armed forces of his enemy, and would prevent them from using the same force to resist the efforts of the Union army, first at one point and then at another, and that, by continuously hammering against their armies, he would destroy both them and their sources of supply.
To carry out this idea, orders were given to the various commanders — on the 2d of April to Butler; on the 4th, to Sherman, and on the 9th, to Meade.
In all these orders the same general ideas were expressed.
To Butler he wrote:
You will collect all the forces from your command that can be spared from garrison duty . . . to operate on the south side of James River, Richmond being your objective point.
To Sherman he wrote:
It is my design, if the enemy keep quiet and allow me to take the initiative in the spring campaign, to work all the parts of the army tog