Startling Disclosures of the Proposed Campaign.
From the Shelbyville (Ky.) News, 21st.
We do not desire to circulate rumors or fears that will cause excitement, or increase the feeling of unrest which has taken possession of so many of our best citizens. But facts are developing, which show that the traitors are determined to carry out as far as possible, their deliberately concocted plans to keep the seat of war from their own peculiar soil – The Cotton States. That has been from the first leading object of the Southern traitors who lead the van in the traitorous attempt to overturn the government and break up the union. Foiled in their earlier attempts to carry out this daring object, new plans were recently formed, and all the energies of the traitors are expected to carry these plans into operations – partially, if not thoroughly – the measures recently adopted by the traitors, and which they are endeavoring to carry out, may be stated thus:
1. Withdraw all forces from the Virginia and North Carolina coasts, and concentrate them at some central point in Virginia. These forces to form one wing of the rebel army to be placed under the command of Joseph E. Johnston, and to move in the direction of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the purpose of invading that State.
2. Withdraw the forces from the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia, and concentrate them at Chattanooga, or some adjacent point. This division to form another wing of the rebel army, under command of Rob. E. Lee, and to move in the direction of Louisville, for the purpose of invading Kentucky and Ohio.
3. Withdraw the forces from the coast of Florida and Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas, and concentrate them at Corinth. This wing to be commanded by G. T. Beauregard, and to move in the direction of Paducah, with the intent of invading Illinois and Indiana.
This plan was formed by a full council of leading traitors. It is unnecessary for us to give the source of our information. Suffic[iently] that our informant obtained it from the native of this State, now a resident of another State, and whose name has often been given in the news papers in the Southern States as a trusted and confided agent of the traitors against the Union, socially and politically he stood among the most prominent before the rebellion.
The objects to be gained in carrying out the plan, was first, to secure subsistence, of which there is none, or at least but very little, in the South – not enough to supply a tithe of the ordinary demand, and secondly, to force into their armies all the fighting men. The several commanders were to push forward their forces with all possible dispatch and possess themselves of all the important military posts on the rivers and in the loyal States, before theses posts could be occupied and the posts of importance in the States in rebellion, the forces of the traitors advance into the very heart of the country.
We think the reader will agree with us, that the recent movements of the forces of the traitors show that this development of their plan is correct. It is true that their attempt in forming the middle wing under Lee, at Chattanooga, has been at least for the present foiled, by the movements of McClellan. But news from Western Virginia shows that Jo. E. Johnston is concentrating all the forces he can bring against Fremont’s command in that direction – leading directly toward Pittsburgh. And the evidence is overwhelming that all the forces from these states to constitute Beauregard’s army at Corinth, are concentrating there rapidly, with the design and hope of overpowering Gen. Halleck’s army, and if successful in the object then moving according to their plan. They will, by this means, cause the Federal authorities to move an army in that direction to meet them during which time the traitors will rally, by persuasion, impressments, and under their conscription law, to their army every traitor and rebel in Tennessee and Kentucky.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, May 31, 1862, p. 1