Page:Napoleon's Addresses.djvu/38

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34
NAPOLEON'S ADDRESSES.

Letter to "The Directory."

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"May 14, 1796.


"Citizen Directors:—I think it most impolitic to divide the Italian army into two sections; it is equally contrary to the interests of the Republic to put two generals in command.

"The expedition against Livourne, Rome, and Naples is a small affair; it can be accomplished by arranging the divisions in echelon in such a manner as to enable them, by a retrograde march, to appear in force against the Austrians, and threaten to hem them in at the slightest movement on their part.

"For this it is not only necessary to have one general, but he should have nothing to hinder him in his march or in his operations. I have conducted the campaign without consulting any one. I should have accomplished nothing worth the trouble had I been obliged to reconcile my ideas with those of another. I have gained some advantages over very superior forces while in an almost destitute condition; because I was persuaded of your entire confidence in me, my moves were as prompt as my thoughts.

"If you fetter me on all sides; if it is nec-