War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0700 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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weakness, and, rumor says, are concentrating a large force at Monterey to retaliate the Huttonsville blow. I desire force enough to give me some chance. Can I have them? Plenty of provisions here..



General, I wait instructions thereon..




Washington, January 14, 1862.


SIR: I inclose and invite your attention to the accompanying communication from Brigadier-General Shields to Major-General McClellan, offering suggestions upon the conduct of the war..

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,.



WASHINGTON, January 10, 1862.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,.

Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Army:

GENERAL: Profiting by your kind and instructive suggestions the other day, I have taken the liberty of throwing out a few hints in relation to the general mode of prosecuting this war, and respectfully present them for your consideration..

Richmond in the East and Memphis at the West are the two dominating objective points of the Southern Confederacy in this war. The possession of these points will break the power of that Confederacy. Every military effort should be directed to the a- ttainment of this object. Every employment of force in Missouri, Western Virginia, or around the coast (except in support of the lockade), which does not directly or indirectly bear upon the capture of these points, is a waste of force. The movement against Richmond is the principal one, and the other must be subordinate to it. Richmond can be reached by some one of the following routes, without encountering very serious military obstacles: James River, York River, or the Rappahannock. There is doubtless abundant information in the possession of the Department to determine this point with certainty. In the absence of this information I will assume that the route by Yorktown is the most eligible..

The capture of Yorktown would be the first important operation of the campaign. With such assistance as the Navy may be able to lend, an army of 20,000 men of all arms, embracing as many regulars as possible, in addition to the force already at Fort Monroe, would make the result certain..

In the operations against Yorktown nothing should be left to accident. Nothing in the nature of an assault upon their works ought to be attempted in the first stages of the campaign. The place should be carried by regular and systematic approaches, if only to instruct the men and accustom them to work under five and work and move and operate together. Six weeks will suffice for the reduction of Yorktown, and six weeks before that place will give the men an amount of steadiness and practical discipline which they cannot get in six months around Washington. The better to insure the success of this movement, the army may be assembled outside of Fort Monroe, and strong