War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0813 Chapter XLIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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to the President in June and July, 1861, one from Bladon to General Bragg in July, 1862, one from Charleston to General Johnston, in May, 1863,one from Charleston to General Bragg, in October, 1863, and the one accompanying this letter to yourself. Of all these plans only the second one from Manassas was partially adopted, and after its success, strange as it may appear, its paternity was disputed! Indeed, at the time I attached but little importance to it, my sole object being to defeat the enemy and insure the success of our cause. I looked in pity on those who could not understand such motives of action, and left sick at heart at their egotism and blindness. God grant that they may open their eyes before we are all engulfed in the same abyss!

You are at liberty to show the accompanying plan of campaign to whomever you think may aid you in having it adopted.

I fear that the friends of the administration may not be pleased with certain passages in it, but I endeavored to make it as "gentle" as I could. It was impossible to do justice to the subject and say less. I think it can safely be shown to Messrs. Orr, Wigfall, Miles, Conrad, and Villere.

With many kind regards to all inquiring friends, I remain, yours sincerely,



HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF S. C., GA., AND FLA., Charleston, S. C., December 8, 1863.


Richmond, Va.:

MY DEAR SIR: In compliance with your request made on the eve of your departure for Richmond, I have prepared for you a sketch of certain operations by which we may yet retrieve our late losses and possibly baffle the immense resources of men and available material of our enemy.

First. The system hitherto followed of keeping in the field separate armies acting without concert on distant and divergent lines of operation, and thus enabling our adversary to concentrate at convenience his masses against our fractions, must be discontinued, as radically contrary to the principles of the art of war, and attended with inevitable results as our disasters in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Northern Georgia.

Second. We must arrange for a sudden and rapid concentration upon some selected, decisive, strategic point of the theater of war of enough troops to crush the forces of the enemy embodied in that quarter. This must necessarily be done at the expense or hazard, for the time, of other points less important or offering less advantages for striking the enemy. A blow thus struck will necessarily disorganize his combinations and give us the choice of the field of operations.

I am sensibly aware of our limited means, our want of men, the material and appliances of war, and of transportation, and hence the difficulties which will embarrass us in the execution of this plan of concentration, but I see no way to success except through and by it. A different course may, indeed, protract the contest, which will become day by day more unequal. We may fight-stoutly, as hitherto-many more bloody and indecisive battles, but will never win a