War of the Rebellion: Serial 035 Page 0837 Chapter XXXV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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denly and boldly to take the offensive in Tennessee and Kentucky, for which purpose all available forces from other commands, held strictly on the defensive, should be concentrated under you. The forces now in Tennessee being thus re-enforced by 25,000 or 30,000 men at the most favorable strategic point for the offensive, Rosecrans could be suddenly attacked, and would be either totally destroyed or the remnant of his forces would be speedily driven beyond the Ohio.

A force of at least 10,000 men in Tennessee and 20,000 in Kentucky would doubtless be then raised, and, with about 20,000 of the re-enforcements received from Virginia and elsewhere, could be left to hold those two States. The rest of the army, say about 60,000 or 70,000 men, should cross the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers to Columbus of Fort Pillow, so as to command the Mississippi River, and thus cut off Grant's communications with the north. The latter, should he have delayed thus long his retreat north of those two points, would then find himself in a very critical condition, that is, compelled to fight his way through a victorious army, equal to his own in strength, on its own selected battle-field, in position to be re-enforced for the occasion from the forces left in Kentucky, and the result could not be doubtful for an instant.

As a matter of course, advantage would be taken of the low stage of water in the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers to obstruct thoroughly their navigation and fortify their banks strongly at the point where they come close together, known as the "Neck." Immediately after the destruction of Grant's army, sufficient forces could be thrown from the army in Mississippi into Louisiana in aid of Kirby Smith, and into Missouri to the assistance of Price, or from Kentucky into Virginia to re-enforce the troops left there, should they be hard pressed; but that is not to be dreaded, considering the terrible lesson the enemy has just had at Chancellorsville, and that a large part of his army is to be disbanded during the present month, to be replaced, if at all, by raw Yankee recruits.

Meanwhile a sufficient number of Captain F. D. Lee's torpedo rams* could be constructed in England, and the navigation of the Mississippi River resecured, thereby enabling us to retake New Orleans and capture Banks' army.

Wishing you success in your department, I remain yours, very truly,



JUNE 21, 1863.

N. B.-It is evident also that the quickest way of relieving Vicksburg would be, after defeating Rosecrans at Murfreesborough, to march at once on Memphis and Fort Pillow, and establish our lines of communication with Tennessee by the Memphis Railroad, with Alabama by the Mobile Railroad, and with Mississippi by the Jackson Railroad All the principles and maxims of war would then be observed.

It may be that Lee could not have spared 30,000 men from Virginia, for the purpose of re-enforcing Bragg; he certainly could have sent him Longstreet's 20,000 men from North Carolina and elsewhere, who took no part in the battle of Chancellorsville. With these and the 10,000 men and seven light batteries I sent to General Johnston, at Jackson, Miss., about the beginning of May, Bragg would have had about 95,000 men with whom to attack suddenly and boldly Rosecrans' 65,000. Hav-


*This is a sea-going vessel of great speed, shot-proof, and carrying a torpedo in its bow, 7 feet below water mark, which explodes on striking; another one can then be put in position in a few minutes-G. T. B.