To Henry W. Halleck

                                                             Executive Mansion
Major General Halleck                  Washington, D.C. Sep. 21. 1863

I think it very important for Gen. Rosecrans to hold his position, at or about Chattanooga, because, if held from that place to Cleveland, both inclusive, it keeps all Tennessee clear of the enemy, and also breaks one of his most important Railroad lines. To prevent these consequences, is so vital to his cause, that he can not give up the effort to dislodge us from the position, thus bringing him to us, and saving us the labor, expence, and hazard of going further to find him; and also giving us the advantage of choosing our own ground, and preparing it, to fight him upon. The details must of course be left to Gen. Rosecrans, while we must furnish him the means to the utmost of our ability. If you concur, I think he would better be informed, that we are not pushing him beyond this position; and that, in fact, our judgment is rather against his going beyond it. If he can only maintain this position, without more, the rebellion can only eke out a short and feeble existence, as an animal sometimes may with a thorn in its vitals. Yours truly

A. LINCOLN

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