cause they are indispensable to the safety of the river. I am willing to use them as far as possible, but object to fighting with "paper" men. Occasionally an exception occurs, which simply deceives. We want the best young white men o the land, and they should be inspired with the pride of freemen to fight for their country. If Mr. Lincoln or Stanton could walk through the camps of this army and hear the soldiers talk they would hear new ideas. I have had the question put to me often; "Is not a negro as good as a white man to stop a bullet?" Yes, and a san-bag is better; but can a negro do our skirmishing and picket duty? Can they improvise roads, bridges, sorties, flank movements, &c., like the white man? I say Numbers Soldiers must and do many things without orders from their own sense, as in sentinels. Negroes are not equal to this. I have gone steadily, firmly and confidently along, and I could not have done it with black troops, but with my old troops I have never felt a waver of doubt, and that very confidence begets success. I hope to God the draft will be made to-morrow; that you will keep up my army to its standard, 100,000 men; that you will give Canby an equal number; give Grant 200,000 and the balance keep on our communications, and I pledge you to take Macon and Savannah before spring, or leave my bones. My army is now in the very condition to be supplied with recruits. We have good corporals and sergeants and some good lieutenants and captains and those are far more important than good generals. They all seem to have implicit confidence in me. They observe success at points remote, as in this case of Atlanta and they naturally say that the old man knows what he is about. They think I know where every road and by-path is in Georgia, and one soldier swore that I was born on Kenesaw Mountain. George Thomas, you know, is slow, but as true as steel;Schofield is also slow and leaves too much to others; Howard is a Christian elegant gentleman, and conscientious soldier. In him I made no mistake. Hooker was a fool. Had he staid a couple of weeks he could have marched into Atlanta and claimed all the honors. I therefore think I have the army on which you may safely build. Grant has the perseverance of a Scotch terrier. Let him alone, and he will overcome Lee by untiring and unceasing efforts. The Mobile column is the one that needs a head, and no time should be wasted on the city. The river Montgomery and Columbus, Ga., are the strategic points. The latter has a double line by Montgomery and the Appalachicola River. It will not be safe to push this line farther until that is done, but stores and supplies may be accumulated here, and the country behind Chattahoochee purged a little more.
To-morrow is the day for the draft, and I feel far more interested in it than any event that ever transpired. I do think it has been wrong to keep our old troops so constantly under fire. Some of those old regiments that we had at Shiloh and Corinth have been with me ever since, and some of them have lost 70 per cent. in battle. It looks hard to put those brigades, now numbering less than 800 men, into battle. They feel discouraged, whereas if we could have a steady influx of recruits the living would soon forget the dead. The wounded and sick are lost to us, for once at a hospital they become worthless. It has been very bad economy to kill off our best men and pay full wages and bounties to the drift and substitutes. While all at the rear are paid regularly, I have here regimens that have not been paid for eight months, because the paymaster could not come to them. The draft judiciously used will be popular, and will take as many opponents of the war as advocates, whereas now our political equilibrium at the North seems