War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0586 Chapter XLIII. KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA.

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LEXINGTON, October 24, 1863.

Honorable J. A. SEDDON:

Let me give you my plan for winding up this campaign gloriously for our army.

General Lee will probably not engage in any further active operations this fall. Send Ewell to Bristol by rail, thence to Knoxville, by land march where he will encounter the enemy and he will easily defeat him. Then let him march down the Tennessee River on the other side and form a junction with Joseph E. Johnston in Rosecrans' rear, cutting off his supplies of provisions and re-enforcement of men.

Johnston should be ordered to Middle Tennessee, crossing the Tennessee River at Savannah, then march via Columbia to Shelbyville or Murfreesborough, thus effectually flanking Rosecrans, relieve the whole of Tennessee from invasion, and enable us to winter our army near the Kentucky line, where we can command at moderate rates unlimited supplies. In addition to this, if we re-occupy Tennessee, we can from that State alone increase our army 50,000 soldiers, and from Kentucky as many more. The southern part of that State would rise to our support if they had an army to flock to. The enemy cannot make any effectual advance on Richmond, and the real defense of Virginia is to be made in Tennessee. Drive the enemy out of East Tennessee, and defeat or capture Rosecrans, and the war will be at an end,, as I verily believe General Lee, with the troops left under his command here and around Richmond, can defend the city for six months, even if the enemy should have the temerity to invest it. Before that time we could concentrate our army again in Virginia and relieve it from invasion. The enemy will not attempt to overrun Mississippi in General Johnston's absence, and what if they do, if in the mean time we annihilate their great Army of the Cumberland!

You may rely on it this plan followed out will do all I here predict and close the war in a "blaze of glory."

Do think seriously of this plan, and if General Lee can be spared so as to go out west and assume the chief command, it will be all the better. It is the turning point of the war, and I think the road to independence lies incitingly before us.

Ever your friend,


General Bragg, it seems, is on very bad terms with his officers. No matter whose fault it is, such a total want of harmony between a commander and his officers must lead to disaster. I wish to God Lee could be put in command of that army. It would produce a thrill through every department of it that would insure its triumph.


Missionary Ridge, October 24, 1863.

Major-General WHEELER,

Commanding Cavalry, Guntersville:

GENERAL: The general commanding desires that you will leave the command of Brigadier-General Roddey in the vicinity of Gun-