To William B. Franklin and William F. Smith

Major General Franklin &                    Executive Mansion,
Major General Smith                             Washington, Dec. 22. 1862.

Yours of the 20th. suggesting a plan of operations for the Army of the Potomac, is received. I have hastily read the plan, and shall yet try to give it more deliberate consideration, with the aid of military men. Meanwhile let me say it seems to me to present the old questions of preference between the line of the Peninsula, and the line you are now upon. The difficulties you point out as pertaining to the Fredericksburg line are obvious and palpable. But now, as heretofore, if you go to James River, a large part of the army must remain on or near the Fredericksburg line, to protect Washington. It is the old difficulty.

When I saw Gen. Franklin at Harrison’s Landing on James River last July, I can not be mistaken in saying that he distinctly advised the bringing of the Army away from there.

Yours very truly A. LINCOLN


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