The Yankee incursion and its Objects.
The object of the Yankee
incursion has now fully developed itself.
It is two-fold — to plunder and devastate, and to interrupt the communications of Gen. Lee
with this city.
They hope that by destroying the railroad bridges and tearing up the track they may effect a formidable diversion in his rear, which may induce him to weaken his army by detaching troops to restore them.
If Gen. Lee
be the General
that his deeds seem to proclaim him, he will not be diverted from his purpose by any such device.
He must have foreseen, before he undertook the enterprise in which he is now engaged, all that has since happened, and, doubtless, he has made his calculations accordingly.
It is a profound remark of Col. Napier
, that all great Generals
make war alike Let us see, therefore, what the Emperor Napoleon said with regard to situations identical with that of General Lee
at this moment.
The Baron Jamini
, in his work upon the art of war, had censured the distant expeditions in which Napoleon
was so often engaged, because they took him too far from his base, and exposed his communications to interruption in proportion as the line extended.
The book fell into the bands of the fallen Emperor
at St. Helena, and in the memoire dictated to Gourgand and Montholore he triumphantly vindicated his operations.
He referred to the career of many great Generals
, both of ancient and modern times, to show that in their most famous and most successful campaigns they had proceeded exactly as he had proceeded on the occasions called in question by Jomini
set out from Sardis
and marched beyond the gates of Asia
, leaving behind him 1,500 miles of country — Hannibal
marched from Cadiz
through the South
, over the Alps
, and through the entire length of Italy
.-- Cæsar made many marches in Gaul
which placed a vast extent of country between him and his base.
A great General, he said, changed his base as he advanced, so as to have his magazine and resources a short distance in his rear.
If his communications beyond the immediate base were interrupted, he first disposed of the enemy in his front and then cleared the line.
is a great General, and according to the axiom of Colonel Napier
, he will do as Napoleon
did, for, says the Colonel
, as we have just remarked, all great Generals
make war alike.
He is also a profound student of military writings in general, and of course is well acquainted with the military views of the greatest of them all. He has already changed his base, which is no longer Richmond
, but some point in Maryland
Any interruption on this part of the line, therefore, cannot affect his operations, because it is entirely external.
When he shall have disposed of Hooker
, and otherwise completed the enterprise immediately in view, he will then clear his communications.
He could not expect that they would be left secure, upon so long a line.
further remarks that the communications beyond the immediate base cannot be protected by the army operating against the enemy, because it would require detachments so numerous and so strong as to render that army powerless.
In general, he thought it best to leave them to the care of the inhabitants.
That is what Gen. Lee
has done, and we should take care that they be protected as far as possible, until he shall have disposed of the enemy in his front.