of all our arms within the immediate vicinity of Washington in nearly 85,000 men. The effective portion of this force is more than sufficient to resist with certain success any attack on our works upon the other side of the river. By calling in the commands of Generals Banks and Stone it will probably be sufficient to defend the city of Washington from whatever direction it may be assailed.
It is well understood that, although the ultimate design of the enemy is to possess himself of the city of Washington, his first efforts will probably be directed towards Baltimore, with the intention of cutting our lines of communication and supplies, as well as to arouse an insurrection in Maryland. To accomplish this he will no doubt show a certain portion of his force in front of our positions on the other side of the Potomac, in order to engage our attention there and induce us to leave a large portion of our force for the defense of those positions. He will probably also make demonstrations in the vicinity of Aquia Creek, Mathias Point, and Occoquan, in order still further to induce us still further to disseminate our forces. His main and real movement will doubtless be to cross the Potomac between Washington and Point of Rocks, probably not far from Seneca Falls and most likely at more points than one. His hope will be so to engage our attention by the diversions already named as to enable him to move with a large force direct and unopposed on Baltimore. I see no reason to doubt the possibility of his attempting this with a column of at least 100,000 effective troops. If he has only 130,000 under arms, he can make all the diversions I have mentioned with his raw and badly-armed troops, leaving 100,000 effective men for his real movement. As I am now situated, I can by no possibility bring to bear against this column more than 70,000, and probably not over 60,000, effective troops.
In regard to the composition of our active army, it must be borne in mind that the very important arms of cavalry and artillery had been almost entirely neglected till I assumed command of this army, and that consequently the troops of those arms, although greatly increased in numbers, are comparatively raw and inexperienced, most of the cavalry not being yet armed and equipped.
In making the foregoing estimate of numbers I have reduced the enemy's force below what is regarded by the War Department and other to our own. Our situation, then, is simply this: If the commander in-chief of the enemy follows the simplest dictates of the military art we must meet him with greatly inferior forces. To render success possible, the divisions of our army must be more ably led and commanded than those of the enemy. The fate of the nation and the success of the cause in which we are engaged must be mainly decided by the issue of the next battle to be fought by the army now under my command. I therefore feel that the interests of the nation demand that the ablest soldiers in the service should be on duty with the Army of the Potomac, and that, contenting ourselves with remaining on the defensive for the present at all other points, this army should be re-enforced at once by all the disposable troops that the East and West and North can furnish.
To insure present success the portion of this army available for active operations should be at least equal to any force which it may be called to encounter. To accomplish this, it is necessary that it should be at once and very largely re-enforced. For ulterior results and to bring this war to a speedy close, it will be necessary that our active army shall be much superior to the enemy in numbers, so as to make