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The great plan of this campaign.

--The St Louis Republican, at the opening of this campaign, published the following:

‘ This theory which limits Gen Grant's plan of campaign to the capture of Richmond, does but half justice. He may capture the rebel capital without capturing the rebel Government machinery, and without overthrowing Lee's army. In that event, further active and prompt operations will be necessary. Gen Grant foresees this, and has provided for it. He has not only formed a plan for the capture of Richmond, but has arranged a perfect scheme for the prosecution of the comprehend afterward, as a little attention to the comprehensive movements now going on in Virginia will reveal.

’ The first and most important of these movements is that of the Army of the Potomac against Lee. The second is that of Sigel and Stahl up the Shenandoah Valley towards Staunton, with the view first of procuring possession of the Virginia Central Railroad, running from Richmond through Gordonsville, Charlottesville, and Staunton to the west, and ultimately of effecting a lodgment upon the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad at Lynchburg. The third is that of Averill, who is moving towards the same great railroad, with the design of striking it at or near Salem. The fourth is that of Gen Crook, in West Virginia, who is moving with a strong force and large supplies from Charleston towards Newbern, on the same railroad. The fifth is that of Major Gallup, who is moving up the Virginia side of the Big Sandy river, towards Abingdon, on the same road.

All these movements have one object — to secure possession of different points on the same road, and the whole plan is to move our base line of operations (hitherto along the Baltimore and Ohio railroad) one hundred and fifty miles southward, and establish it on the great Virginia and Tennessee railroad, leading from Richmond to Knoxville, and prolonged thence to Chattanooga. Once securely lodged on this road, we will be able to repair, and use it for the transportation of men and supplies from Washington and Richmond through Virginia to Chattanooga and Nashville. It is the most important road in the whole South. The loss of it to the rebels would be irreparable, and its advantage to us would be incalculable.

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R. E. Lee (2)
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