[font="Courier New"]To: President Lincoln, Sec. of War Stanton
From: HQ - Army of the Potomac, Alexandria, VA, March 27th, 1862
Gen. Sphar, Cmdr. US forces - Eastern Theater
Mr. President and Secretary,
To remedy the command problems that have suffused this department since the beginning of the war, I now submit, for your approval, my plan of action for the Eastern theater of operations in the coming year. In addition, I am submitting my proposals for additional forces to be raised in my area of operations.
A) To begin, I will run down the currently forces available to bring to bear against the rebellious areas. Starting with the westernmost areas, my forces are arrayed thusly:
Located at Grafton in Western Virginia, General Fremont has one division, plus various supply units.
Defending the Baltimore & Ohio rail line is one division of troops under Gen. Shenk.
In Harpers Ferry is Gen Banks and the Army of Virginia, consisting of two divisions of troops along with supporting units.
Gen McClellan remains in command of the Army of the Potomac in Alexandria with six corps under Gens. McDowell, Sumner, Heintzleman, Keyes, Porter, and Franklin, plus various supporting elements.
In addition to these forces, there are some independent forces in Annapolis, and two brigades of troops in Harrisburg PA.
My command also includes three sizable forces in southern territory. One consists of independent brigades currently occupying Ft. Monroe and James City, Virginia. At some point, I plan to pull these forces back into Fort Monroe. The second is The Army of Florida under Brig Gen. Parke. These forces are currently unfit for offensive action and will remain in place until reinforced. The third is Burnside's Force currently occupying Beaufort, SC. This is a relatively strong force, and should be put to some good use.
This completes my summary of the forces available to me in my sphere of operations.
B) Due to the difficulties inherent in a winter campaign, my initial task will be the reorganization of the aforementioned forces in my district. While McClellan has done an admirable job in his reorganization, I feel that certain changes need to be made to ensure that maximum pressure can be brought to bear when the campaigning season opens.
The first order of business will be to move Gen. Shenk's force west to join with Gen Fremont's in Grafton. I know you value the political value of Gen Butler, who currently commands in Annapolis, therefore, I will be placing him in command of a newly created Army of West Virginia. He will command the army in Grafton, with Gen Fremont as his corps commander.
Gen. Bank's force will remain in place for now with no more than a minor reorganization of his divisions.
General McClellan's force will be reorganized. Six corps is far too unwieldy a force to ensure proper control. Therefore, I plan to consolidate the current six corps formation into four corps in addition to the reinforced HQ unit directly under Gen. McClellan's command.
By performing this reorganization, I can free up forces for one of two purposes. They can be sent to the Western theater in the event that the reinforcements I list could be useful, or, alternatively, I can combine them with the forces currently located in Annapolis to begin preparing a strong force to use against the enemy along his southern coastline.
Please communicate this information to the Western Command that the gunboat squadron in Pittsburgh has been released for use along the western rivers, as I am without doubt that they can be better utilized by our forces in that area than is ever possible in the Eastern area.
Gen. Heintzelman will move to Annapolis and take command of the forces there.
This completes my summary of my proposed force reorganization.
C) Once my force reorganization is complete, and the weather turns sufficiently to allow easy movement, my offensive plans will be as follows:
1. Gens. Butler and Fremont will take a portion of their forces south through the western areas of Virginia to attempt to at least cut the rail links between Richmond and Knoxville at Christianburg, VA. If possible, they will also capture and occupy the town. If this move can be combined with an attempt to capture rebel occupied Lexington, the entirety of Western Kentucky can be cut off and may fall into our hands. In addition, the destruction of the rail link between Knoxville and Virginia will ensure that the rebels have to make much more use of their already stretched rail capacity.
2. Gen. Banks, despite his many failures, will remain in charge of the forces in the Valley until a suitable replacement is found to replace him. I shall endeavor to have him move up the valley, taking at least Winchester. If he can push further up the valley, I will try, but his main objective is to take and hold Winchester and to occupy the rebel forces facing him there.
3. The Army of the Potomac will make a wide sweep into Falmouth and Manassas, VA. If faced with stiff opposition, this will be the extent of the advance until reinforced. If the rebels fall back, and play for time, then an advance on Fredricksburg will be contemplated, with the wings attempting to threaten Charlottesville and the fords around Tappahannock.
4. Once Gen Heintzleman arrives in Annapolis, I wish to ship his division south to reinforce Gen. Burnside.
5. Gen Burnside will advance on Hardeeville, SC. Once reinforced, I will attempt to invest Savannah if practicable. If not, I am prepared to send further reinforcements from the Army of the Potomac to him in order to strengthen the attempt to capture this important city.
This completes my basic outline for operations this spring and summer.
D) I will require further reinforcements for a successful campaign this year. I am in desperate need of cavalry and horse artillery for the Army of the Potomac. Currently, the army has very little way to combat enemy cavalry raids. If the supply lines are cut behind the army, no offense will be sustainable. I would also like to send a trained army staff to Burnside to assist him in his efforts in South Carolina and Georgia, if practicable. Further infantry and mixed brigades are always needed.
Also, militia or sharpshooter units should be raised in Western Virginia to ensure that control of this area remains in our hands.
I will continue to keep you updated as events unfold.
I am most respectfully your obedient servant,
L.H.Sphar, Gen. [/font]