- 01 Oct 2019 13:13
October 1, Tuesday
President Davis, Generals Joseph E. Johnston, Beauregard, and G.W. Smith hold a conference on grand strategy at Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia, within twenty miles of Washington, D.C. The main topic is the future of the army in Virginia and what it should or should not do. Recognizing the cry of the populace for an offensive, General Beauregard lays out his plan, with Johnston’s approval, to resume offensive operations with a sudden thrust across the Potomac to divide the Union by seizing the strip of territory lying between Pittsburgh and Lake Erie. When the Federal army comes out from behind its Washington entrenchments, he would administer the rap that would accomplish its disintegration, then go about his business of division and conquest. Beauregard admits that the odds are long, but argues that they are shorter than they are likely to be at any time thereafter. Davis can see the advantages of the plan, but has an issue with the manpower the generals are asking for—with 40,000 troops, Beauregard states that he will need an additional 10,000 while Johnston holds out for 20,000. The Federal navy has carried out its first two amphibious operations, is preparing its third, and every governor whose state borders on salt water (all but two) is certain the blow will be aimed at him and loudly calling for help. The two Federal invasions that have taken place have already threatened to cut Richmond off from the South Atlantic states, and the situation along the Gulf is almost as In the end Davis says that no reinforcements can be sent without “a total disregard for the safety of other threatened positions.” That ends all talk of a fall offensive, the Confederate Army will have to wait for a Union attack and the distant spring.
The transport and supply steamer Fanny is captured in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, by three Confederate vessels. A considerable quantity of stores and thirty-one Federals are taken.
The Federal War Department creates the Department of New England under command of Major General Benjamin F. Butler, which is mainly a mechanism for recruiting troops to be used in future expeditions; in this case it turns out to be the New Orleans campaign force.
President Lincoln writes a memo, probably on this day, calling for a movement into east Tennessee and toward Cumberland Gap, with particular attention to the railroad connecting Virginia and Tennessee. He also asks for an expedition on the east coast which will become the Port Royal operation of November.
Meanwhile, the Federal Cabinet meets with Generals Scott and McClellan.
Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don’t allow our enemies to have guns, why should we allow them to have ideas?
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.