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soloswolf
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Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:28 am

[font="Courier New"]General Lee,

I would like to extend my deepets gratitude to you and your office for assisting in the operations of my command. Surely, your influence staved off chaos and doubt amongst my subordinates.

In reference to your options in VA and abroad:

I believe that Ft. Monroe would keep the men needed for the operation too far from any other effctive action. I trust you to know the enemy in front of you, but retreating beyond Manassas is a very big step. If it is needed, I would certainly torch all that you leave behind. Do your dispositions allow you to collapse back onto Manassas and Petersburg and simultaneously remove the enemy and gain effective winter quarters for your men?

Whatever decisions you make, I will support. My strongest cautions involve both of our fronts:
We must not give more ground to the enemy than he deserves. And we must maintain the option to send men to one another. I will be establishing a force to maintain the rails and passes that link VA and TN. If given the opportunity, we must surprise the enemy with more men than he thought either of us could muster.

Let us keep chanels open between our commands. We will need to work in close concert to defeat the Federals.

Regards,
A.S. Johnston[/font]
My name is Aaron.

Knight of New Hampshire

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Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:12 pm

[font="Courier New"]General Johnston,

No need to thank me sir. Your return is a most celebrated occasion and I'm quite sure the men in your department would agree they would rather you manage our western campaign than I.

As far as our troops in Virginia. I've had a chance to review all dispatches in detail. I agree that keeping communication between our fronts is of the utmost importance. I also agree that keeping a presence at Mannassas will be important during the winter months. It is also obvious to me that our enemy here will outnumber my forces significantly by the end of winter and keeping a foothold on the defensable terrain in Northern Virginia will be beneficial to Richmond's defense.

Several factors concern me however. The army's thin supply line back to Richmond. Should it remain severed long enough, I fear the army will not last the winter. Butler has placed himself in a solid position to keep the rails between Richmond and The Main Army out of commission. It would not be a problem were there a Depot in Charlottesville to divert supplies to along the Virginia Central Railroad...but as it is...it will be a chore to keep the lines open between Richmond and Mannassas. One which could take significant time to prosecute if the enemy is cunning with his cavalry, which he has been so far. I also worry about defending Richmond with only a division when an entire enemy Corps sits in Fredricksburg. Maintaining the threat to the enemy capital is useful, and could hold some troops in Alexandria for the time being, but in time....I fear the enemy will have enough troops to deploy both in front and behind Beauregard.

I am considering a withdrawal to Charlottesville.

Petersburg is of utmost concern as well. General E.K. Smith is regretably making slow progress to the area. I would have liked for his command to be in Peterburg by now.

Is there a manner in which we could coordinate to take some pressure off of Virginia? I received your dispatch about an advance on Cairo. I am in favor of this. I feel an agressive move of some kind in your department could stay the enemy's hand in the east and force him to pull troops away from Richmond.

Yours with Compliments,
General Robert E. Lee
Eastern Department of the Confederacy[/font]

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Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:30 am

Greetings Generals

Some clarifications I need to explain

About Reinforcements:
I believe its important remembering you we expect in a couple months being ready to start a yearly draft for some extra troops.

As we are having some problems recruiting our troops in the main front lines, it should be useful to prepare some planing here.

We have now deployed some well trained troops in the rear areas. We could easily raise our next troops in back areas, while sending to the front some of our best units to Virginia. The same goes for troops in the Mississippi, they could be sent to the main army in Tennessee.

Again, this week, the weapons for new troops have been assembled, so around 18.000 troops are going to be raised. These are mostly going to be deployed in back areas, so I need to consider you to send most of the existing well trained rear troops to the main front. While using the new troops, as the core of a couple division sized reaction commands.

I see concentrating at least part of our dispersed garrison troops into strong commands could help us add the punch we need in our corps, still undersized.

About Enemy Naval Operations:

I believe the enemy is going to think twice on sending raids in our rear areas, after Braggs success in capturing the fort in the Gulf. They have also lost a resupply area for his navy, for a while.

Unfortunately, The enemy did sent long ago a strong brigade to the Gulf... perhaps it is now stationed in one of the two forts in Florida. I can not see if a more strong force has been sent there.

By the moment, war supplies have not been totally exhausted thanks to building low cost troops, so our small fllet is trying to bring back the extra money instead we need by selling goods to aid in our scarce economic situation. I expect in a few months these ships are going to help us a lot in our war effort.

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soloswolf
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Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:55 pm

[font="Courier New"]Sir,

I am in agreement on all points. I will see to the dispositions of all rear area troops and ensure all new regiments are deployed to meet any incursions along the Gulf.

To note: A brigade of Regulars in Texas could tilt the scales there. If I could strike by Winter's end with a respectable division, I may be able to seal off the far West for the forseeable future. The mixed force of Rangers, militia and cavalry are good at keeping the Federal progress checked, but can do little to push back. Do we have the resources for this brigade?

Regards,
A.S. Johnston[/font]
My name is Aaron.



Knight of New Hampshire

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Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:23 pm

General Johnston

Regarding the brigade you are asking, I see as you point the small 3000 force under General Sibley is not enough to go for Tucson of course.

Some of the 10.000 men in Fayette, 10.000 in Arkansas or 3000 in Panther could help. However, carrying them back so far is hard, and perhaps It should be better to be used in other areas.

In conclusion, by now, I believe there are too much troops in the West side of the mississippi, I can count only 40.000 troops in your army, including the main garrisons there. Some of there just battled in the Hickman area, so partly exhausted.

What do you think about sending the excellent European brigade, 4000 size in all, there? It could be sent up the river via Sheverport or Nachitoches and be replaced by the new troops raised this month.

Also, some of the current troops in Berwick, Springfiled and both Baton Rouge garrisons (5000 men in all) could be regrouped in the city meanwhile. As now, having no artillery enough, these units are not really useful in defending the river. Also, in a few months, some of the troops under Bragg could also help there.

On next week we could consider raising a new brigade, if you feel this really a critical point.

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soloswolf
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Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:34 am

[font="Courier New"]Mr. President,

I hope that this reaches you in good health, and seated.

I am moving the bulk of my personal command to Bowling Green, and have ordered General Johnston to bring his Corps from Clarksville as well. There are a number of knives we are walking the edge of here, but if successful, I will be able to strike the blow that we must.

In brief, I should arrive in time to greet the Federals traveling by river with my artillery, and if all goes well, General Johnston will arrive to pincer the remainder of the approaching forces. If we are successful in the field, they will have to march home through the dead of winter and will be severely hampered in their operations in KY/TN for the extended future.

I realize that I put my forces at great risk in this plan, but I see it as no greater risk than waiting for the enemy to join his commands and take the initiative himself.

Respectfully and Confidently,
A.S. Johnston[/font]
My name is Aaron.



Knight of New Hampshire

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Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:55 am

General Lee

Our staff and myself in the Headquarters have had a hard work trying to figure real chances to proceed in the Virginia theatre, as we are severely threatened there. We have considered all of your proposals, including the earlier ones than were denied.

Before concluding, the main point to say is that we have tried to force your command into splitting too much. This is due to several questions and misunderstandings, mainly on the use of reinforcements and the areas to defend… but these doesn’t matter now as the capitol is severely under threat.

I myself believed we should concentrate our forces into our four main corps and Richmond. We felt like most of dispersed units, the militia battalions, lone artillery brigades, cavalry brigades and regiments and so on, would be a lot more useful if were used in the main corps, perhaps just with an small cavalry screening, and a couple of fast reaction undersized division commands in the Carolinas – Georgia areas. Our reports tell we have over 100.000 troops in all.

And I fear now taking a too much aggressive approach, as winter arises and our forces are still not concentrated. I should opt for some kind of cautious and small delayed retreat, holding Manassas for a while, and moving Bonham troops to a nearby area, while concentrating troops towards these areas, Richmond and the small Smiths Division.

BUT as a final Conclusion… Just ignore all previous orders. Ignore the splitting we have ordered until you had the troops you feel to need. Consider even liberating the troops in the Covington area or the Smith orders, if needed.
Reorganize and concentrate the army as you feel best, to be able to strike if needed once concentrated.

Some questions the staff needs to be taken into account:
- Manassas has supply enough for several weeks, so that shouldn’t not be a problem, at least for a while.
- Bonham corps and the lone division in the Depot are some days far from Manassas and nearby areas. Feel free to send them as you need. Just beware, destroying the depot could delay a week the move of all the division, and all the corps if it is ordered to wait for them. If you need speed, perhaps a lone small unit could be left there with orders to destroy the depot and flight on an enemy approximation.
- Once one could be available, your own command in Richmond would be greatly enhanced if one of the corps HQs could join you. Unfortunately General Jackson could not arrive this week, but perhaps in a month you could send one.
- And finally … Holmes dispersed command should be forced to hurry away and avoid the enemy at all costs… perhaps towards Richmond or any other position.

Hope these considerations can lead our new nation into the victory.

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Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:00 am

General Johnston

If we are lucky enough yes we could severely hamper the enemy operations in the area. All we can do is to pray for god to help us in the weeks,

I read this as I march for a week on a travel in order to get extra foundations for the cause.

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soloswolf
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Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:06 am

[font="Courier New"]Sir,

I hope your trip is fruitful and I am sure it will be a welcome break from the affairs in Richmond. I will report as soon as I reach the city.

Regards,
A.S. Johnston[/font]
My name is Aaron.



Knight of New Hampshire

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Banks6060
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Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:16 pm

[font="Courier New"]Mr. President,

I am in agreement on all points. I will effect the concentration of the main army along a Manassas-to-Richmond line to include all loose militia and artillery elements left in the Carolinas and Virginia. We will withdrawal from Northern Virginia, but slowly in order to concentrate around Richmond.

For now, some troops in richmond will be placed under mine and General Magruder's direct command until a proper Corps HQ can be established. Some units will be sent to defend Petersburg.

Cavalry will be used to intercept enemy raiders and screen for the main formations.

Harper's Ferry Depot will be destroyed and Bee and Bohnam moved to Mannassas to concentrate with Jackson and Beauregard. I feel I must keep General B. Johnston in Covington for at least a little while longer to guard against an attack....once harsh weather comes....Covington should be safe to leave to the hands of a small garrison.

Regards,
General Robert E. Lee
Eastern Department of the Confederacy[/font]

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soloswolf
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Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:10 pm

[font="Palatino Linotype"]General Lee,

I send this letter to lend my support for your current movements. I know it is difficult to give ground, but it is the men of both of our armies who will decide the fate of our young country, and we must not put deploy them where they cannot win. The loss of the armories at H.F. and the junction at Manassas are regretable, but must be for the time being.

We will soon see the banks of the Potomac again. Give heart to your men and victory will follow them.

A.S. Johnston[/font]
My name is Aaron.



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Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:55 pm

[font="Courier New"]General Johnston,

As always, your council is much appreciated. After much thought. I cannot risk the army in Northern Virginia. I did not wish to yield the highly defensable terrain there, but alas it appears there is little choice now. I imagine General's Beauregard and Jackson will be able to reach the Wilderness by foot within a week or slightly longer, although weather could present difficulties...Generals Bee and Bohnam should be able to reach Culpepper within 10 days. I believe this will put the army in a favorable position to defend Richmond, at least for the time being. Beauregard, Jackson and Bohnam will then, in the weeks to follow, fall back on Richmond, set-up winter quarters and reorganize their commands there with newly arrived troops and artillery from throughout Virginia and the Southeast.

General Holmes and his small entourage are making for Richmond as quickly as their horses can carry them.

These are my final orders for the department. They will be reported as soon as your orders reach Richmond sir.

Regards,
General Robert E. Lee
Eastern Department of the Confederacy[/font]

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Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:01 am

Greetings Generals

We´ve been lucky the federals have stopped their operations around Richmond for a while, seems Winter has been our best allied here.

No money expenditures are going to be allowed for a while (as forming new divisions, combat formations and so on), we need to prepare the resources for the next volunteering and drafts. Monetary constrains and some important political affairs perhaps are going to delay us a bit into raising those troops, so expect a somewhat slow approach recruiting pattern for the next months. As a related question, the flow of men coming into our recruiting offices all around the nation has somewhat diminishing …

Our main fleet is still centered into bringing resource to the nation. Our single ironclad is doing operations to delay a brigade disembark into the North Carolina area.

I fear transport and supply assets will not be enhanced for a while, until the spring arises at least.

Our main objective now is turning our two main armies into effective combat formations. This is to be done having into account our scarce resources, both of men and material.

All generals capable of leading a Corps Headquarters are to be assigned one before the next spring arises. This should include generals Polk and Bragg. As now they are leading a couple divisions, this is to be delayed a bit, but they are to be sent to the army areas. Yourself general Lee should get Holmes Corps HQ, now he has achieved a safe location, so a full corps could defend Richmond immediately. After this, Holmes could reorganize another corps and be sent elsewhere.

All corps should be assigned a minimum division, once one could be available. Artillery is to be splitted as evenly as possible between divisions. A sharpshooter company is to be assigned to every division. If some material is needed, make us know so we can raise it in the next months.

Preparing some reaction forces and consolidating our garrison artillery positions is also to be discussed.
I´d propose the following pattern for coastal garrisons. Every fixed artillery battery should be assigned a small militia brigade, while trying to trench to the maximum.

Also, our back reserve commands should be organized. Those should defined as division under-powered commands, just with a few militia brigades each, and a few support units to add some extra punch. Once those militia brigades get fully trained, they should be sent to the main armies and replaced by new untrained formations. I believe no more than 3 of those formations should be needed, one in the Carolinas, and the other two in the Mississippi area.

As a final question to be discussed ... I feel as a strong reaction force in the Richmond area is to be created. This is to be a corps with at least a couple division sized formations and our best and more prestigious generals, such as General Smith. Once organized, if weather allows for it, this corps could try a counterattack to release the Norfolk area (or other operations) before Spring arises.

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Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:14 pm

Mr. President,

A quick note before I address more detailed affairs. To your point about a counter-attack by General Smith. On the contrary, I believe he could make a swift counterattack and retake Suffolk now. He appears to be of the same mind.

Please consider this a chance to give Richmond's supply route to the Carolinas more security. And perhaps a chance for General Smith to further prove himself on the field of battle. Our western and coastal theatre's are in dire need of skilled Full Generals.

If taken by train, Smith could arrive with a division in a very short time. Perhaps you could make an exception for this single operation. There is still some time to capitalize on the enemy's relatively weak position there I think.

By the by, the citizens of Richmond rejoice at the exit of Federal forces from the tidewater region north of town. Their exit is unexplained, certainly, but welcome.

Respectfully,
General Robert E. Lee
Eastern Department of the Confederacy

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Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:43 am

General Lee

I believe the enemy expected a full counterattack into the Fredericksburg area, so they fled to avoid a disaster. Now, surely they expect another counterattack, but they dont know where.

That Suffolk operation can be succesful. Beware on the enemy reinforcing with the nearby division in Norfolk.

Perhaps sending a corps HQ with another full division to aid Smith in the following weeks can be useful to force the enemy out of Norfolk before the spring thaws.

About the Norfolk garrison, I fear these can be assaulted or surrendered this week. Consider the option to abandon the city and fly from combat if the reaction force is not going to be be fully operational quickly.

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soloswolf
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Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:34 pm

[font="Palatino Linotype"]Mr. President,

I am pleased to report that we have pulled off a great achievement with the consolidation of our forces, in the face of the enemy to boot! I think there will be a fight here in the next two weeks. My men are well dug in and ready for whatever the federals have for us.

My sole concern is the lack of divisional organizations in my commands. I have many brigade commanders reporting directly to their parent corps, and needless to say, our headquarters staff are swamped.

At present it would seem the enemy has to fight us, and given that we have the advantage of our works, I think we can take the day. I will continue to tighten my lines, as well as turn the loose commands in western TN into an effective force.

With compliments,
A.S. Johnston[/font]
My name is Aaron.



Knight of New Hampshire

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Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:42 am

Greetings General Johnston

Yes... seem the enemy advance on Bowling Green has been blocked by your move. Fortunately, as some units kept the breastworks done there for months, your army could use them easily on its return.

Perhaps some move towards Nashville or our nearby river Fortifications could be attempted by the enemy, but, without Kentucky secured it should be probably solved by our couple main commands in the area.

About the divisional command, I feel like several of the brigadier generals in the Texas area should be sent to the main army, along with Bragg command. There are still in the Western side of the Mississippii around 5 Brigadiers, with 3 division Headquarters organized.

However, it is clear once we could organize some extra divisional staff, several ones should be sent to you.


I´m even more concerned on the lack of generals in the West. General Lee is really lacking on all kind of resources, as the main effort of the enemy has been clearly going on the Virginia area.

My believe is than both artillery and organizational assets is our main problem by now in both commands.

We are doing efforts in these directions, I hope in the next months we could solve both limitations.

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Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:17 am

Greetings General Lee

General Bee division Headquarters have been abandoned somewhere in the road to Culpeper. Losing those important assets is something we cannot allow. You know we are having too much problems assembling resources for the cause. In case we need to disband a division, it should be reported before to the central Headquarters, we need to see clearly its purpose.

In a recent visit around Richmond we´ve seen our fortifications in the region seems dismantled. Work must be done to enhance them again.

Let´s pray General Smith could be successful. Some reports have informed us he is passing some kind of illness while moving to the battle.

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Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:50 pm

[font="Courier New"]Mr President,

I have received news of General Smith's condition. It is certainly cause for concern, but he is a fine soldier and I believe he will perform his duty just as he did at Grafton. Reports indicate that the enemy appears to be unaware of Smith's presence in the area and may not be planning to support the small force in Suffolk at all.

I feel that despite the General's condition we must press forward his campaign otherwise the window could quickly close on this opportunity to secure Richmond's supply line to the southeastern states.

General Bee will be joining General Bohnam in Mannassas. I believe the Union exit from Fredricksburg has allowed us the chance to maintain our hold on Mannassas. I do believe a force will be needed to garrison Fredricksburg however.

Your Humble Servant,
General Robert E. Lee
Eastern Department of the Confederacy.[/font]

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Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:26 am

Greetings Generals

Just Reviewed the situation.

The enemy is hitting hard on our troops. Who´s that Grant leading enemy troops? Sure He has had a lucky day... And very bad news Norfolk has fallen in enemy hands, all the garrison did surrender.

Fortunately, although with heavy losses... we are holding most of the positions in Kentucky.

Are our armies still not fully organized into proper combat forces? We must hurry to do it before the winter ends.

Not having divisional commands in Bowling Green, has perhaps added too losses. And the troops in the Headquarters has not been able to help the main corps there...

As a final comment, our men reserves are just enough for raising a few replacements.

I need your proposals for operations on next weeks.

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