2. It is the power of the enemy at many points on this route to post himself strongly and defy us. The whole strength of our army may not be sufficient to drive him away, and even were he driven away, at great sacrifice of blood on our part, the result would not be decisive. The losses to him in his strong positions would be comparatively slight, while ours would be enormous.
3. In our opinion, any plan of campaign, to be successful, should possess the following requisites, viz: First. All of the troops available in the East should be massed. Second. They should approach as near to Richmond as possible without an engagement. Third. The line of communication should be absolutely free from danger of interruption.
A campaign on the James River enables us to fulfill all these conditions more absolutely than any other, for-
1. On the James River our troops from both north and south can be concentrated more rapidly than they can be at any other point.
2. They can be brought to points within 20 miles of Richmond without the risk of an engagement.
3. The communication by the James River can be kept up by the assistance of the Navy without the slightest danger of interruption.
Some of the details of this plan are the following:
We premise that by concentrating our troops in the East we will be able to raise 250,000 men. Let them be landed on both sides of the river, as near Richmond as possible, 150,000 on the north bank, and 100,000 or more on the south bank, all of them to carry three days' provisions on their persons, and 100 rounds of ammunition, without any other baggage than blankets and shelter tents and a pair of socks and a pair of drawers. Let it be understood that every third day a corps or grand division is provisioned from the river. If this arrangement be practicable (and we think it is), we get rid of all baggage, provisions, and infantry ammunition wagons, and the only vehicles will be the artillery and its ammunition wagons and the ambulances. The mobility of the army, caused by carrying out these, views, will be more like an immense partisan corps than a modern army. The two armies marching up the banks may meet the enemy on or near the river. By means of pontoons, kept afloat, and towed so as to be reached at any point, one army can in a few hours cross to assist the other. It is hardly supposable that the enemy can have force enough to withstand the shock of two such bodies. If the enemy decline to fight on the river, the army on the south bank, or a portion of it, will take possession of the railroads running south from Richmond, while the remainder will proceed to the investment or attack upon Richmond, according to circumstances. Whether the investment of Richmond leads to the destruction or capture of the enemy's army or not, it certainly will lead to the capture of the rebel capital, and the war will be on a better footing than it is now or has any present prospect of being. The troops available for the movement are the Army of the Potomac, the troops in Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina, with the exception of those necessary to hold the places occupied, the regiments now in process of organization, and those who are on extra duty and furlough, deserters and stragglers. The number of these last is enormous, and the most stringent measures must be taken to collect them. No excuse should be received for absence. Some of the troops in Western Virginia might also be detached. The transports should consist of ordinary steamers and large ferry-boats and barges. The ferry-boats may become of the greatest use in transporting troops across James River. With the details of the movement we do not trouble you.