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carry the war into their country.
I answered, Fifty thousand effective seasoned soldiers; explaining that by seasoned soldiers I meant such men as we had here present for duty; and added that they would have to be drawn from the peninsula about Yorktown, Norfolk, from Western Virginia, Pensacola, or wherever might be most expedient.
General Johnston and General Beauregard both said that a force of sixty thousand such men would be necessary; and that this force would require large additional less than three weeks time, have transported to the borders of Virginia, to reinforce the army said, by those who knew it best, to be in the finest fighting condition.
He was asked for such troops as could then be found in the peninsula around Yorktown, in Western Virginia, at Pensacola, at Mobile, at Charleston, at New Orleans; points from which about twenty-five thousand men—five thousand more than were needed —could have been withdrawn without unnecessarily exposing the positions they occup
ur part in Kentucky, the Federal forces should take military possession of that whole State, and even enter and occupy a portion of Tennessee, that a victory gained by this army beyond the Potomac would, by threatening the heart of the Northern States, compel their armies to fall back, free Kentucky, and give us the line of the Ohio within ten days thereafter.
On the other hand, should our forces in Tennessee and Southern Kentucky be strengthened so as to enable us to take and to hold the Ohio River as a boundary, a disastrous defeat of this army would at once be followed by an overwhelming wave of Northern invaders, that would sweep over Kentucky and Tennessee, extending to the northern part of the Cotton States, if not to New Orleans.
Similar views were expressed in regard to ultimate results, in Northwestern Virginia, being dependent upon the success or failure of this army; and various other special illustrations were offered—showing, in short, that success here was success every