I am informed that you have a large amount of transportation. I am now largely reducing the allowance. We must be burdened with little. I propose to require even the infantry to bivouac. Situated as you are, you should have no needless wagons.
You write for an ammunition train, without specifying what ammunition is required. As soon as the courier leaves, I will endeavor to find out your necessities and supply them; but I must urge you to call for nothing that is not absolutely requisite.
Respectfully and truly,
S. B. BUCKNER,
CHARLESTON, S. C., May 16, 1863.
Honorable LOUIS T. WIGFALL, C. S. Senator,
MY DEAR GENERAL: Knowing your zeal, energy, and enlarged views on all military matters, I send you herewith the copy of a hastily written letter to my friend, General J. E. Johnston, proposing to him the plan of a campaign in his department which I feel confident, if it met with the cordial support of the War Department, would soon give us back Tennessee, Kentucky, and Louisiana, relieve the States of Mississippi and Arkansas of the presence of every Yankee in them, and probably give us Missouri also.*
I do not think, for several reasons, that the offensive ought to be taken in Virginia at this moment. Amongst those reasons are the difficulties of operating offensively with a large army in an exhausted country like Northern Virginia, and the probability that the threatened danger to Washington would arouse again the whole Yankee nation to renewed efforts for the protection of their capital. The troops about to be disbanded would be compelled to remain in the service until their places could be filled from the new levies, who would then come forward with alacrity; whereas the plan of operations I propose would leave the Northeastern States in their present condition of enervation. Should you agree with me in my views, can you not make a desperate effort to have them adopted at once by the War Department, without saying that they came from me, for I fear that information would consign them to the tomb of the Capulets.
Allow me here to thank you for the defense I am told you made for me lately in the Senate. I always knew that power and patronage could never have any evil influence on the bold and gallant Wigfall.
Truly, your friend,
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., May 17, 1863.
There is pressing need of cavalry in Mississippi. Can you not spare Forrest's or some other cavalry force for immediate movement there? If so, order at once.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
*See Beauregard to Johnston, May 15, p. 836.