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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 7, Ch. XVII-Appendix.

THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS
OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.

CHAPTER XVII.
OPERATIONS IN KENTUCKY, TENNESSEE, NORTH ALABAMA, AND SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA.
November 19, 1861-March 4, 1862.
(Mill Springs, Fort Henry, Fort Donelson)
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APPENDIX
Embracing communications received too late for insertion in proper sequence.

{p.925}

WASHINGTON, December 5, 1861.

Brig. Gen. D. C. BUELL:

I have again telegraphed Major-General Halleck for information as to his gunboats and disposable troops. As soon as I receive reply will arrange details with you. Send me draught of water in Cumberland River to Nashville and in Tennessee River. Your letter of 30th received.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, U. S. Army.

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, Lebanon, Ky., December 16, 1861.

Brigadier-General BUELL: Commanding Department of the Ohio, Louisville, Ky.:

GENERAL: Lieutenant-Colonel Letcher, First Kentucky Cavalry, reached this place to-day, with five companies of his regiment, on his way to Piketon. The additional company ordered by you yesterday will probably reach here to-morrow. I have directed Colonel Letcher to take 80 rounds per man, which will be enough until his supplies reach him from your headquarters. I find it a difficult matter to keep the troops at Somerset and Columbia supplied from this department with the limited means of transportation at my command. Neither Colonel Dudley’s nor Colonel Hobson’s regiments have wagons, and the Eighteenth Infantry and Colonel Barnes’ regiment are also without wagons. We have very few wagons for the brigade and division trains, and although requisitions have been made frequently none have been received. It is absolutely necessary that we should have them as soon as possible.

I have 4 prisoners in camp: 3 of them are Confederate soldiers; the other is a Dr. Jackson, who shot the soldier of the Minnesota regiment on last Friday night. From the report made by the men I am inclined to think the shooting was entirely unprovoked, and the prisoner, from his avowed secession sentiments, should be kept in confinement in some one of the military prisons.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. H. THOMAS, Brigadier-General U. S. Volunteers.

{p.926}

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, Lebanon, Ky., December 17, 1861.

Brigadier-General BUELL, Commanding Department of the Ohio, Louisville, Ky.:

GENERAL: Lieutenant-Colonel Henderson, Thirty-third Indiana, reports to me that it will be impossible for him to send the sick of his regiment to Camp Dick Robinson without taking the well men also to take care of them. He thinks by encamping the regiment in the neighborhood of Crab Orchard that the sick will be much better cared for there than if removed to Camp Robinson. He reports the arrival of three surgeons from Indiana to assist in the hospitals, and that the condition of the sick is much improved. He also reports that Colonel Coburn is at Lexington, very dangerously ill with typhoid fever.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. H. THOMAS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.

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HEADQUARTERS, Washington, D. C., December 29, 1861.

Brig. Gen. D. C. BUELL, Louisville:

Johnson, Maynard, &c., are again becoming frantic, and have President Lincoln’s sympathy excited. Political considerations would make it advisable to get the arms and troops into Eastern Tennessee at a very early day; you are, however, the best judge. Can you tell me about when and in what force you will be in Eastern Tennessee? Is Schoepf competent? Do you wish any promotions made from your colonels? Better get the Eastern Tennessee arms and clothing into position for distribution as soon as possible. I will write you fully as soon as I am well enough. Please answer by telegraph.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, U. S. Army.

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EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, January 1, 1862.

MY DEAR GENERAL HALLECK: General McClellan is not dangerously ill, as I hope, but would better not to be disturbed with business. I am very anxious that, in case of General Buell’s moving toward Nashville, the enemy shall not be greatly re-enforced, and I think there is danger he will be from Columbus. It seems to me that a real or feigned attack upon Columbus from up-river at the same time would either prevent this or compensate for it by throwing Columbus into our hands. I wrote General Buell a letter similar to this, meaning that he and you shall communicate and act in concert, unless it be your judgment and his that there is no necessity for it. You and he will understand much better than I how to do it. Please do not los& time in this matter.

Yours, very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

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HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, Camp near Campbellsville, Ky., January 1, 1862.

Brig. Gen. D. C. BUELL, Commanding Department of the Ohio, Louisville, Ky.:

GENERAL: When I wrote you that I should start on Tuesday (yesterday) {p.927} with my command I was under the impression that sufficient teams could be procured in the neighborhood of Lebanon to place 100,000 rations in Columbia at once. I find, however, that it cannot be done since leaving Lebanon, and have therefore halted at this place, and will send back to-morrow all the regimental teams (except four to each regiment) for a load of subsistence, which will enable me to place in Columbia over 100,000 rations by Sunday. To effect this will only delay me two days at most, for were I to go direct to Columbia I should be compelled to halt there for rations to arrive before I could advance, as it is extremely difficult to procure supplies on the road between Columbia and Somerset. Moreover, as there is considerable excitement here about a threatened advance of the enemy on Greensburg, my halt here will have the effect of misleading the people as to the prime object of the move. After getting the supplies into Columbia I shall be ready to move without delay.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. H. THOMAS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.

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HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH BRIGADE, Columbia, Ky., January 3, 1862.

General BUELL, Commanding Department of the Ohio, Louisville, Ky.:

SIR: General Zollicoffer has received re-enforcements to amount of six regiments-about 4,000 men. I learn this reliably. Zollicoffer has sent a force down on this side the Cumberland as far as Wolf Creek, with teams, to forage the country. A considerable cavalry force has been in Jamestown.

I am informed to-day that a part of Zollicoffer’s force is at the mouth of Greasy Creek, 6 miles beyond Jamestown, in Russell County. They are preparing to fortify themselves at month of Greasy Creek, on the Cumberland. If time is given them they will soon be fortified so as not to be dislodged without great loss. If prompt action was taken they could be prevented taking and holding the position. As soon as they secure the point they will take Burkesville. They will now have possession of the Cumberland River. They have six or seven little steamboats at Celina ready to come up with clothing, commissary stores, &c. They will ravage and devastate the whole country along the river, feeding their people and leaving ours to starve.

I will be obliged to you to send Captain Gilbert here, and that you immediately telegraph the President to appoint Captain Gilbert brigadier-general in my place.

I will write you fully on this subject on to-morrow. If it be the purpose of the President to appoint me, of which I am not advised, I think I ought to decline the appointment in favor of Captain Gilbert or any really qualified man.

My letter will explain itself.

Respectfully, &c.,

J. T. BOYLE, Acting Brigadier-General.

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EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, January 6, 1862.

Brigadier-General BUELL:

MY DEAR SIR: Your dispatch of yesterday has been received, and it {p.928} disappoints and distresses me. I have shown it to General McClellan who says he will write you to-day. I am not competent to criticise your views, and therefore what I offer is merely in justification of myself. Of the two, I would rather have a point on the railroad south of Cumberland Gap than Nashville-first, because it cuts a great artery of the enemy’s communication, which Nashville does not; and, secondly, because it is in the midst of loyal people, who would rally around it, while Nashville is not. Again, I cannot see why the movement on East Tennessee would not be a diversion in your favor rather than a disadvantage, assuming that a movement toward Nashville is the main object.

But my distress is that our friends in East Tennessee are being hanged and driven to despair, and even now I fear are thinking of taking rebel arms for the sake of personal protection. In this we lose the most valuable stake we have in the South. My dispatch, to which yours is an answer, was sent with the knowledge of Senator Johnson and Representative Maynard, of East Tennessee, and they will be upon me to know the answer, which I cannot safely show them. They would despair, possibly resign, to go and save their families somehow or die with them.

I do not intend this to be an order in any sense, but merely, as intimated before, to show you the grounds of my anxiety.

Yours, very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

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EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, January 13, 1862.

Brigadier-General BUELL:

MY DEAR SIR: Your dispatch of yesterday is received, in which you say, “I have received your letter and General McClellan’s, and will at once devote all my efforts to your views and his.” In the midst of my many cares I have not seen nor asked to see General McClellan’s letter to you. For my own views, I have not offered, and do not now offer them, as orders; and while I am glad to have them respectfully considered, I would blame you to follow them contrary to your own clear judgment, unless I should put them in the form of orders. As to General McClellan’s views, you understand your duty in regard to them better than I do.

With this preliminary I state my general idea of this war to be that we have the greater numbers and the enemy has the greater facility of concentrating forces upon points of collision; that we must fail unless we can find some way of making our advantage an overmatch for his; and that this can only be done by menacing him with superior forces at different points at the same time, so that we can safely attack one or both if he makes no change; and if he weakens one to strengthen the other, forbear to attack the strengthened one, but seize and hold the weakened one, gaining so much.

To illustrate: Suppose last summer, when Winchester ran away to re-enforce Manassas, we had foreborne to attack Manassas, but had seized and held Winchester. I mention this to illustrate and not to criticise. I did not lose confidence in McDowell, and I think less harshly of Patterson than some others seem to. In application of the general rule I am suggesting every particular case will have its modifying circumstances, among which the most constantly present and most difficult to meet will be the want of perfect knowledge of the enemy’s movements.

{p.929}

This had its part in the Bull Run case; but worse in that case was the expiration of the terms of the three-months’ men.

Applying the principle to your case, my idea is that Halleck shall menace Columbus and “down-river” generally, while you menace Bowling Green and East Tennessee. If the enemy shall concentrate at Bowling Green do not retire from his front, yet do not fight him there either, but seize Columbus and East Tennessee, one or both, left exposed by the concentration at Bowling Green. It is a matter of no small anxiety to me, and one which I am sure you will not overlook, that the East Tennessee line is so long and over so bad a road.

Yours, very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

[Indorsement.]

JANUARY 13, 1862.

Having to-day written General Buell a letter, it occurs to me to send General Halleck a copy of it.

A. LINCOLN.

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SAINT LOUIS, January 15, 1862.

Brig. Gen. LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General of the Army, Washington:

GENERAL: I am fully satisfied, from the inquiries made of officers of confidence who visited Paducah, that there are no real grounds of complaint against General Smith; certainly not sufficient to justify his withdrawal. His command is reported in the best discipline and order of any one in the department.

An attempt has been made for several months to injure General Smith by newspaper attacks. This was done for the purpose of having him removed to give place for another aspirant, who, by all accounts, is totally unfit for any command. General Smith applied some weeks ago for a court of inquiry to examine into the conduct of certain officers of his command, which application was forwarded to your office for the action of the President, but received no reply.

Under these circumstances I sent General Cullum, General Sturgis, Colonel Totten, and others to Paducah on inspecting duty, to report on the condition of the command. In order to leave these officers free from all prejudice in the matter, I did not inform them of any particular subject of examination till they returned. I then asked them directly as to the difficulty between General Smith and some of the officers of his command, and each one has answered that In his opinion the blame should rest, not on General Smith, but on others. Such, I am informed, is also the opinion of General Grant, who now commands the district.

I was not aware that any formal report on this matter was expected of me or I should have reported some time ago. That part of General McClellan’s orders to place General Grant in command of the district was executed, but the part relating to the withdrawal of General Smith was suspended.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General. {p.930}

SAINT LOUIS, January 24, 1862.

Brig. Gen. C. F. SMITH, Commanding, &c., Paducah:

GENERAL: Please send me at your earliest convenience a full description of the road and country from Smithland to Dover and Fort Henry; also of the road south of the Tennessee to Fort Henry, and the means of crossing the river at different points above Paducah. This report should be as much in detail as your means of information will allow. I particularly wish to know the character of the country between these roads and the rivers, and whether it is such that troops can sustain or be sustained by the gunboats; also a description of the roads and country east of the Cumberland, and its character with regard to military movements of an enemy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General

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JANUARY 27, 1862.

Lieutenant-Colonel COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:

General Thomas had orders to pursue the enemy with all possible vigor, but the difficulty of crossing the river delayed the pursuit, which now would perhaps be fruitless, as all information goes to show that they are entirely dispersed. General Schoepf, however, is, I suppose, in Monticello to-day, where, there being no enemy to pursue, he will remain until further orders. The rest of the division is at Mill Springs and Somerset, collecting captured property and repairing the road, which is nearly impassable. I have four regiments at work corduroying it entirely for a distance of about 40 miles. It will not otherwise be possible to carry trains over it. Even now it is with the greatest difficulty that the troops there are imperfectly supplied with provisions.

The principal part of General Carter’s brigade has been at Somerset. I have ordered it back to the Cumberland Gap route to advance on the Gap. When I ordered Thomas forward to attack Zollicoffer I expected by the time that was accomplished to be able to advance him at once into East Tennessee; but want of transportation and the condition of the roads have thus far rendered it impossible.

D. C. BUELL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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WASHINGTON, January 29, 1862.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Saint Louis:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have recommended A. J. Smith for brigadier-general, as you requested, and when his name is acted upon will assign him to duty with you. I have also recommended General Hitchcock, as you desire. Your welcome letter in regard to future operations is received, I will reply in full in a day or two. In the mean time get your force in hand and study the ground. I will try to-day to send you some more infantry arms. Cavalry arms are terribly scarce. I have had to take to lances here to supply deficiencies. I like your views as to the {p.931} future. They fully agree with my own ideas from the beginning, which has ever been against a movement in force down the Mississippi itself, The news from the Burnside expedition is by no means so unfavorable as the telegram reports. He had terrible gales while crowded in a small harbor. The only real evil of consequence is the delay.

I will try to devote this afternoon to you and Buell, to give you my views and intentions in full.

Can you spare Stanley to Buell as chief of cavalry, or shall I look elsewhere to get him one? He (Buell) has not asked for him, but I know him to be a first-rate officer.

I am very sorry that you have been so ill, but sincerely hope that you are now quite well again.

While I think of it, do you not think that it would be well to try one of those mortar floats thoroughly with 50 or 100 discharges before arming them all I Je m’en doute un peu. It is very desirable to move all along the line by the 22d February, if possible.

In haste, sincerely, your friend,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN.

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LOUISVILLE, KY., February 1, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding U. S. Army:

MY DEAR GENERAL: Since my reply to your last letter I have directed my efforts to the object you had in view. The obstacles I have had to fight against are the want of transportation and the condition of the roads. The former alone has been an insuperable obstacle to an advance into East Tennessee, and when that is overcome I feel it my duty to tell you, with the light of the experience we are now having, that the latter will effectually bar our progress in that direction on a footing which will promise anything but failure. I will give you my reasons; you can judge what they are worth:

It is 200 miles or thereabouts from our’ depots (at the terminus of the railroad) to Knoxville or the nearest point on the Tennessee Railroad. At the best supplies are meager along the whole route, and if they suffice for a trip or two must by that time be entirely exhausted for any distance that we can reach along both sides of the road.

From Somerset to Jacksborough we will scarcely find any at all. East Tennessee is almost entirely stripped of wheat by the enemy. In the productive region there is still a small surplus of corn and wheat. We must supply two-thirds of the ration from our depots here, and we must of course depend on them also for our ordnance and other stores. It will take 1,000 wagons constantly going to supply 10,000 men. We can judge of the effect of that amount of hauling on the dirt roads of this country by the experience we have already had. Forty of the 80 miles from Lebanon to Somerset are of that sort of road, and it is evident that it would soon become impassable, to obviate which I have five regiments now engaged in corduroying it throughout; but it is a tedious work, too much so to be undertaken on the whole route to East Tennessee. If the number of troops and consequently the amount of hauling is increased the difficulty is increased in a greater proportion. The limited amount of forage on the route will be speedily exhausted, as besides provisions for our men we must have forage for our animals; a thing that is not to be thought of.

{p.932}

In my previous letter I set down three divisions (say 30,000 effective men) as the force that would be required for East Tennessee, two to penetrate the country and one to keep open communications. I believe that is the least force that will suffice, and it ought to be able to establish itself promptly before it can be anticipated by a force of the enemy sufficient to make the result doubtful. With railroads converging from the east, west, and south, it ought not to be difficult for them to get a pretty formidable force in that country in ten days. The people of East Tennessee are loyal, and will remain so, though submitting to the power that has subjugated them. They will rise whenever they can see themselves properly supported and we can put arms in their hands, but not before in any efficient manner. It would be cruel to induce them to do so on any other conditions.

For the reasons I have stated I have been forced reluctantly to the conviction that an advance into East Tennessee is impracticable at this time on any scale which will be sufficient. I have ordered General Carter’s brigade to move on the Gap, but I fear very much that even that will be compelled to fall back for supplies, such is the condition of the roads over which they have to be hauled.

Having stated to you candidly the difficulties in the way of the object you have so much at heart, you will naturally expect to know what I propose to do in the mean time. It is to move at once against Bowling Green, in combination with an attack up the Tennessee and Cumberland and an effective demonstration against Columbus, each in sufficient force to do its work with the enemy’s force divided. Any operations which depend on celerity with the roads in their present condition are out of the question. The object must be accomplished by hard knocks. The enemy is strongly fortified at Bowling Green and is daily increasing his strength along the whole front, of which that place and Columbus are the flanks. It is dangerous to allow him to continue the work of preparation. I believe he will rate the importance of his positions along his front in this order: First, the rivers, including Nashville; second, Bowling Green; third, Columbus. His center is now the most vulnerable point, as it is also the most decisive. The attack on it should be made by an adequate force, and should be determined and persistent. Twenty thousand men might commence it, and these should probably be increased very soon to 30,000. The first object should be to carry Fort Henry, Dover, and Clarksville, destroying the bridges; in fact the latter ought to be effected by the gunboats by surprise while the rivers are swollen, as suggested in my letter yesterday. These objects accomplished and Nashville in danger, the resistance at Bowling Green will give way; otherwise the struggle at that point will be protracted and difficult. An examination of the accompanying map, made up from the best information we can obtain, will satisfy you of this.* Besides being strongly fortified, the river in front is a formidable barrier. You are aware that by means of locks it is navigable for steamers to the city; above that it is fordable in low water, but not now. You will see from this that the attack must commence and be carried on to a considerable extent with heavy artillery. As far as that goes, inequality of numbers will not matter much; but after a while the river must be crossed, and then if they are allowed to swell their force, as they can do if not occupied at other points, we might have more than we could attend to. It is possible also that we may have to fight before we get possession of the heights that will enable us to use heavy artillery. I have certain notions as to the plan of attack, but so much depends on {p.933} the ground that it would be useless to state them in detail; besides, the circumstances may change in the mean time. We shall be dependent on the railroad, which must be repaired as we advance. It will take ten days or more to reach their position from Green River.

I am not unconscious of the magnitude of the work I propose, but it has to be done, and the sooner we can do it the better.

While you were sick, by direction of the President I proposed to Halleck some concert of action between us. He answered, “I can do nothing; name a day for a demonstration.” Night before last I received a dispatch from him, saying, “I have ordered an advance on Fort Henry and Dover. It will be made immediately.” I protest against such prompt proceedings, as though I had nothing to do but command “Commence firing” when he starts off. However he telegraphs me tonight that co-operation is not essential now.

Truly, yours,

D. C. BUELL.

*  Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, February 1, 1862.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Commanding Department of the Missouri:

GENERAL: General McClellan directs me to inclose you an extract from the report of a man sent South by him. The man has been in the general’s employ for the past six or seven months, and he thinks the statement perfectly reliable as far as it goes.

The general has ordered the Chief of Ordnance to send the following arms to you immediately. He hopes to be able to send you at least 10,000 more very soon: One thousand and thirty-six Vincennes rifles, 750 short Enfield rifles with sword bayonets (without the bayonets these will answer for cavalry until other arms can be supplied), 1,500 revolvers, and 5,000 sabers. These are all the arms at present on hand which can be supplied. He will be glad to have you make a statement of what arms you require.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. V. COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, D. C., January 31, 1862.

At Lynchburg, on the 9th January, six crowded cars, loaded with soldiers, were taken into the train, bound for Bowling Green. These were a part of Floyd’s and Wise’s commands from Western Virginia, under orders for Richmond, but order countermanded at Lynchburg.

During the day of the 10th, operative, being at Abingdon, Va., saw a part of Floyd’s and Wise’s commands (a cavalry regiment-about 700, including two pieces of artillery manned). These, too, were en route for Richmond from Western Virginia, but were ordered back to Western Virginia from Abingdon. The cavalry was armed principally with breech-loading rifles, made in Baltimore; also each with Colt’s revolvers, navy size, and several with heavy, large shot-guns for buck-shot, each having saber; artillery, two 6-pounders, iron, one smooth, one rifled.

Question asked, “Why going back?” Answer. “To hold the Yankees in check in Western Virginia, as they were coming and destroying {p.934} everything.” Soldiers said, “Forage in Western Virginia nearly all consumed, and what to do on returning they did not see” Soldiers further said the roads in Western Virginia were horrible; the men were mostly farmers and looked hearty; horses nearly worn-out.

Morning of 17th January operative left Abingdon, Va., en route for Nashville; reached Knoxville same evening; laid over during night, as trains do not run nights for fear of Union men throwing off trains, &c.; on the way-at Uniontown-bridge across the river at that place entirely destroyed some weeks before, when “bridge-burning” was general. Passengers at Union Station have to leave cars and walk around about 1 1/2 miles, over wagon-road bridge, which latter was sought to be destroyed, but not accomplished.

At Union Station was one company of infantry, stationed to guard materials, on which 30 men were employed building the bridge anew. At Jonesborough, Tenn., was stationed a company of infantry, to guard railroad and check uprising of Union men; at Greenville, two companies of infantry and two pieces of light artillery, for the same purpose; at Russellville, Tenn., one company of infantry, same purpose; another at Mossy Creek; at all railroad bridges, large and small, guards stationed.

At Knoxville, stationed one regiment of infantry and four pieces of artillery. A lieutenant at Knoxville stated that they were not half armed, but well dressed; stated further that if the soldiers were removed the Union men would be as bad as ever in twenty-four hours, and that he did not believe there were ten good Southern men in Knoxville, and he thought best to hang them all, as it cost more to keep them down than all East Tennessee was worth; had he his way he would “hang old Brownlow that night.” Brownlow had been in prison, but was allowed home on account of his being very sick, and was then expected to die every day. Provisions at Knoxville plenty; business nothing, except tanneries.

Left Knoxville, Tenn., 12th January; 150 soldiers left on train for Bowling Green, composed of infantry, not of those stationed at Knoxville; at London, Tenn., stationed one company of infantry to guard railroad; at Mouse Creek another, same purpose; at Cleveland, Tenn., another, same purpose.

Arrived at Chattanooga the 12th, at night, going immediately on toward Nashville, reaching that place the next morning.

January 13th, the cars run at night west of Chattanooga; all bridges between Chattanooga and Knoxville guarded the same as east of Knoxville, the small as well as the large ones.

At Nashville are two regiments of infantry; one stationed on Fair Grounds, about 1 mile southeast of Nashville; the other stationed across Cumberland River, over from Nashville, at a short distance from the river; all comfortably but coarsely dressed; all armed with percussion muskets.

About 1 mile below Nashville, on Cumberland River, as told by the landlord of the City Hotel, the rebels were building two fortifications, earthworks, one on each side of the river, to keep any boats from coming up; the work was performed entirely by slaves.

Railroad bridge at Nashville, over the Cumberland, as well as a suspension bridge, guarded by soldiers.

Near the Bowling Green and Nashville Railroad depot are three very large buildings, now used as hospitals and full of sick; seemed well cared for, but so crowded that the stench coming from the outside doors was almost unbearable.

{p.935}

Percussion caps are made at Nashville; employ about 11 hands.

Sunday, the 14th January, operative left for Bowling Green from Nashville; about 18 miles from Nashville switch turned, supposed purposely; seven passenger cars, 300 soldiers; engine ran off at the beginning of a “fill,” turning clean over, smashing the baggage car and partly one passenger car. Only one or two hurt. The conductor spoke of three engines thus entirely lost or ruined, and said they would at that rate be out of engines.

No bridges guarded between Bowling Green and Nashville; streams all small; all rivers high on all the routes from heavy and long-continued rains.

Monday, January 15, operative, with horse and buggy (having a pass from the provost-marshal), visited the First Arkansas Regiment, Colonel Cleburne, stationed about 3 miles northwest from Bowling Green. On the way out he counted thirty-eight regiments of infantry, including those at Bowling Green; saw seven field batteries; some of four some of six, guns; range 6 to 12 pounders; part smooth, part rifled; part brass and part iron; one battery, all brass, supposed the same as had Major Bragg in Mexico.

About northwest by north one about a mile, another 1 1/2 miles from Bowling Green, were being built one eight gun battery and one of four guns; the largest nearest to the town and nearly completed; two guns already mounted.

One regiment of cavalry was stationed near the largest battery, and another at the edge of a timber, about 4 miles from Bowling Green and just north of the First Arkansas Regiment. There are two which claim to be the First Arkansas Regiment, the one near Bowling Green and another at Dumfries, Va.

The number of regiments stationed at and around Bowling Green and between that place and Cave City, as stated by Major Harris of the First Arkansas, to my operative, while dining in his tent, was eighty, all told.

Major Harris, who is a brother of the Governor of Tennessee, further stated to my operative that of these eighty regiments six or seven were cavalry regiments; that one of these was known as one of Ben. McCulloch’s Texan Rangers; Major Harris did not know how many field batteries were with these eighty regiments, but upon counting over between himself and Colonel Claiborne they concluded that there were between 80 and 90 guns in field batteries.

Major Harris and others in the First Arkansas, speaking of the time of their enlistment being up in May, said that they were going home anyhow when their time had expired, and would make those who had not yet enlisted fill the ranks; but that if Virginia passed the proposed law now before her legislature, compelling the regiments which had been made up from one year’s enlistments to continue service during the war, the whole force of one year’s enlistment would refuse to serve beyond the termination of their enlistment.

Major Harris also stated that Colonel Hindman had been made brigadier-general, and was then engaged in destroying the tunnel north of Cave City, on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, having already also burned every building in Cave City.

The clothing of the troops at and about Bowling Green is poor and wearing out, and so far as talked with Major Harris said they were getting tired of the war, especially of its inactivity.

The First Arkansas Regiment was in log tents, but very many of the regiments were comfortless in canvas tents.

{p.936}

The roads were very bad, so bad that in returning from the First Arkansas Regiment to Bowling Green my operative was compelled several times to lift his buggy wheels to enable the horse to draw it out of deep mud.

A very large mountain or hill, one-half mile high, rises, with its base on the east side of the town of Bowling Green. Half a mile from base to summit; nearly as steep as the roof of a house, or quarter pitch, on the top of which, at or near the very summit, is a heavy earthwork, mounted with very heavy guns, said to be the largest in that region. Operative met guard half way up the mountain, who stopped him from going up to examine the fort.

Forage was getting very scarce at Bowling Green, and was then brought from 10 to 12 miles. Eight Texan Rangers rode into Bowling Green. The arms used by that force were large buck-shot double-barreled guns and Colt’s navy revolvers.

Not over sixty regiments at Bowling Green in the opinion of my operative, who thinks the statement of Major Harris exaggerated. A. Sidney Johnston is in command of that division, and is at Bowling Green in person. General Hardee, of Hardee’s Tactics, was also there.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, Louisville, Ky., February 5, 1862.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Commanding Department of Missouri:

GENERAL: My plan of operations was sketched in the letter which I wrote you on the - ultimo. You have, I learn from your letter and dispatches, entered upon what would have concerned it on your side, and that is a very important part of it. I regret that we could not have consulted upon it earlier, because my work must at first be slow. Besides, since I wrote you those plans have been changed, or at least suspended, in consequence of the diversion of a large part of my efficient force for other objects, which the General-in-Chief urged as of primary importance, namely, our advance into East Tennessee. I have, however, in consequence of the want of transportation, and, more than all, the impassable condition of the roads, urged him to allow me to resume my original plan and, if I am not restricted, shall enter upon its execution at once. My troops have, however, been thrown somewhat out of position, and it will take some days to get them into place. My progress, too, must be slow, for we are dependent upon the railroad for supplies, and that we must repair as we go, the enemy having very much damaged it between Green River and Bowling Green, 40 miles. That will take ten or twelve days. I must go provided with a siege train, because the enemy is strongly intrenched with heavy artillery behind a river, and the condition of the roads will, I fear effectually bar any plan of attack which will depend on celerity of movement.

I think it is quite plain that the center of the enemy’s line-that part which you are now moving against-is the decisive point of his whole front, as it is also the most vulnerable. If it is held, or even the bridges on the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers destroyed and your force maintains itself near those points, Bowling Green will speedily fall and Columbus will soon follow. The work which you have undertaken is therefore of the very highest importance, without reference to the injurious effects of a failure. There is not in the whole field of operations {p.937} a point at which every man you can raise can be employed with more effect or with the prospect of as important results.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. C. BUELL, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, February 6, 1862.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I received your letters in regard to Sigel and at once showed them to Secretary Stanton, who requests me to say to you from him that you can rely upon his full and cordial support. He thinks that the power of the Germans by no means equals their wishes, and that you will find means to keep order. You may rely upon it that you have the confidence of all here; I need not repeat to you that you have mine.

The roads being impassable between Buell and his opponents, it now becomes a question whether we cannot throw all our available force by the two rivers upon Nashville. Can we move them now in that manner?

I will try to-night to write you my views more fully.

In great haste, truly, yours,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN.

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SAINT LOUIS, February 6, 1862.

Brig. Gen. G. W. CULLUM, Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: On your arrival at Cairo you will proceed to carry out the verbal instructions which I have given to you, issuing in my name such orders as may be necessary for that purpose.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

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LOUISVILLE, February 8, 1862-10 p.m. (Received February 9, 1862, 9 p.m.)

Major-General HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.:

Your position on the Tennessee involves two questions in which I am concerned: First, a new plan of campaign; second, the rescue of your column, if it should come to that. The first I have had in my mind, and may depend very much on your further success. The second will leave me no option but to use every man not necessary for defense here to effect the object, if possible. If General Grant should be beleaguered so as to be in danger, you will of course inform me of it.

D. C. BUELL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

(Copy to McClellan February 9, 1862, 9 a.m.)

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WASHINGTON, February 9, 1862.

Maj. Gen. D. C. BUELL, Louisville:

The President directs me to say that he has read your communication to Maj. Gen. G. B. McClellan, dated the 1st and mailed the 6th of {p.938} this month, and that he approves the operations you propose therein, and believes, if vigorously prosecuted, they cannot fail. He desires you and Major-General Halleck to co-operate as far as possible, and says that your two heads together will succeed.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

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FEBRUARY 12, 1862-7.30 p.m.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

I will advance up the Tennessee or Cumberland with a portion of my force, leaving the rest to operate against Bowling Green. They are closing on that point now, but, as I wrote you, an attack on it of itself must be tedious. The movement to the Tennessee is difficult, but promises great results. It should be thoroughly supported. It will probably require transports fitted up with some view to defense against sudden attack, and the rivers must be made absolutely secure by gunboats against any attempt to occupy them in force. There ought to be five gunboats to each river. The present gunboats cannot run in low water either there or in the Ohio. Broader ones, drawing not more than 3 feet, ought to be got up at once. Paducah should be held by not less than 10 000 men as long as the enemy occupies Columbus in force. Let me suggest to you to be prepared any day to throw strong re-enforcements into these movements. The enemy will do it, and it will probably be necessary for us at any rate, as we must be divided and he is fortified at so many points.

D. C. BUELL, Brigadier-General.

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FEBRUARY 13, 1862.

General MCCOOK, Munfordville:

We will have to give up the plan of moving you by railroad.

March to the mouth of Salt River and get there Sunday. Take your supply of ammunition with you in an ammunition train, independent of the one hundred wagons for supply train. Start with five days’ rations. Has Negley’s brigade moved?

The three batteries other than yours that have been with you are all Nelson’s.

D. C. BUELL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Saint Louis, February 14, 1862.

Brig. Gen. D. C. BUELL, Louisville, Ky.:

GENERAL: I inclose herewith a sketch of a portion of the Cumberland River and the position of the enemy’s batteries. The number of guns marked is merely fancy, as we have no positive information of their present strength. It has been much increased since our spies were there. You will see the positions indicated for the mortar boats to shell them out. The armored gunboats will probably be able to approach {p.939} much nearer. Can you send me by mail a good map of Tennessee. I can get none here.

Yours, truly,

H. W. HALLECK.

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FEBRUARY 15, 1862.

General MCCLELLAN:

I fear the accumulation of rolling stock by the way of Green River would be slow, but may be important and worth the effort. I will look into it.

The gauge of this road is different from that of most of the roads in the West. I know the importance of time, and shall try not to waste any. We are certainly busy now. I am moving nearly my whole force on Bowling Green, because that is a point from which we can move to any position of the enemy in advance, and because it possesses more facilities for the formation of a depot than any other inland. My troops are disposed as follows: Mitchel’s division at Bowling Green; McCook’s division will be there Wednesday, unless it shall be found necessary to stop him this side for supplies; Wood’s division at Munfordville, just having concentrated there from the Somerset line; Thomas’ division is now passing through Lebanon from Somerset toward Bowling Green via Bardstown and New Haven; Boyle’s brigade, moving from Columbia, will be at Edmonton to-night on the way to Glasgow. My cavalry is mostly on Green River. It cannot at present go beyond reach of the railroad. The whole country in advance is a waste.

Carter’s column, consisting of six regiments of infantry, one battery (six pieces), and five companies of cavalry at London, should in a few days be advancing on Cumberland Gap. Garfield’s brigade, consisting of five regiments of infantry and eight companies of cavalry, is on the Sandy at Piketon, and moving to drive Marshall’s thinned ranks away from the headwaters of Kentucky River at Whitesburg. He reports the most favorable change in the disposition of the people in the region where he is. The people give evidence of loyalty. Large parties of deserters from Marshall’s ranks are returning in penitence and destitution to their homes.

The above shows the disposition of the main or available force. The rest, in small commands, occupies various points on routes, thus: One regiment at Somerset; one regiment and two sections of artillery at Jamestown, on the Cumberland; one at Columbia, and others distributed to guard bridges, &c. I shall very soon concentrate these somewhat as we move forward and take new positions. I have not included the re-enforcements I have sent to Halleck, that is, in all, twenty-four regiments and three batteries, including Nelson’s division just going off and eight regiments from Ohio and Indiana. You know, though the people do not seem to, that armies with the appliances which are necessary to make them successful cannot move over dirt roads in the winter with quite as much facility as a man takes the cars at Washington and goes to Baltimore. We hope, and I may even say expect, to get to Nashville, and the more speedily we can do it the better.

You may, and I think will, have to send more troops, in assuming, what is probable, that the enemy will do so; but that does not apply to my present plans. I will write you soon more definitely about that. I look now, as I have said, to Nashville as the first point to be aimed for, but while we are preparing circumstances in Grant’s position may make it necessary to move upon Clarksville. Of that it is not possible to {p.940} decide at this moment. The same great result would be expected to follow, though perhaps in a less direct way. I suspect you would like to be released, and that I am inflicting more upon you than you bargained for.

D. C. BUELL.

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CAIRO, ILL., February 17, 1862.

MY DEAR HALLECK: I have telegraphed to-day pretty much all the glorious news of the surrender of Fort Donelson.

I presume your telegram to “Stop all forces required to resist Beauregard” has reference to a possible movement from Columbus on this point which he might make, thinking us stripped of the troops for the Cumberland. I have anticipated it, but was willing to trust to luck a little to strengthen Grant. Now that Fort Donelson has fallen I won’t be so generous till all danger has passed. I have had cavalry scouts constantly out on both sides of the Mississippi, and to-day have sent a gunboat and steamer armed with infantry to look along the river, but not to fight.

For our defense I think we have a force that will give the little Frenchman a warm reception.

At this point (Cairo) we have nearly three regiments and a company of artillery to serve the guns in the fort. At Bird’s Point we have four small regiments and some cavalry, and at and above Fort Holt say 250 artillery, with sixteen field guns, and 150 cavalry.

Besides the land forces we have two of the disabled gunboats from Fort Donelson-more than capable to encounter any of the rebel gunboats, and two others out of order and with no power of locomotion, but can use their batteries, for which I will supply infantry details.

In consequence of their sending up a rebel steamer this morning to reconnoiter I have this afternoon returned the compliment. I have given special instructions to Colonel Buford and Captain Phelps, who go on the expedition, to carefully observe whether Beauregard or Polk has an accumulation of transportation, or whether, as is possible, they are about to evacuate the place.

I thought it important to push gunboats and the mortar flats to Clarksville, which bars our way to Nashville.

Though suppose I am no longer necessary here for the present, other generals ranking me in the district, yet I will not return till you think I can be spared. As I made provision but for a short stay, if of no special necessity here I would like to return to Saint Louis to bring up arrears and prepare for any forward move you propose. I think I have made ample provision for the wounded at Paducah and Mound City.

Yours, truly,

G. W. CULLUM.

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LOUISVILLE, February 18 [17], 1362.

Major-General HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.:

As the object of the re-enforcements I have been sending you was to assist at Fort Donelson and succor the force there if necessary, and as they are no longer required for that object, we had best consult about further operations, as well for the great object as to determine the disposition {p.941} to be made of the re-enforcements, which, if they have not gone beyond reach, I have thought it advisable to stop until we understand each other. The object of both of our forces is directly or indirectly to strike at the power of the rebellion in its most vital point within our field. Nashville appears clearly, I think, to be that point now. On your side Clarksville intervenes. It will probably be pretty strongly fortified toward you, but mainly on this side of the river. It has not heretofore had any defenses on the south side, but it may be expected that at least a strong bridge-head will be thrown up on that side, and perhaps even somewhat extensive works, as the railroad bridge affords them the means of communication, though not a very secure one. My impression is that the place could be easily invested on that side so as to cut off their river communications, and without risk to the investing force of being disturbed in rear, the country in that direction being broken and the roads bad. They would still, however, have the railroad via Hadensville and Springfield on the north side. That route is exposed to my attack, and whenever I advance against it, either at Clarksville or any other point, they must fall back, unless succored by a force through Nashville that I cannot beat. It is to be observed, also, that I should be exposed to a continued resistance both from such a force and most of the Clarksville force, which would not be in great danger from your side of the river. There can be no doubt that heavy re-enforcements will be thrown into Nashville from all quarters east and south.

These considerations seem to require a large force on my line, which, in fact, is one on which a large force can be employed; the reverse of the case on your side. The difficulty on this side is one of transportation, and it is a very serious one. To depend on wagons at this season for a large force seems out of the question, and I fear it may be two weeks before I can get a bridge over the Barren River, so as to use time railroad beyond. I shall endeavor however to make an advance in munch less force before that time. According to this view of the position, I have thought it would be best for my troops to return. Let me hear your views

D. C. BUELL, Brigadier-General.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky., February 19, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK, Commanding Department of the West, Saint Louis, Mo.:

DEAR SIR: I arrived here this morning at 8 o’clock, and have had several interviews with General Buell. He is concentrating forces at Bowling Green with a view of forward movement upon Nashville. It is not possible for him as yet to decide what point on the Cumberland he can move his army to; he may be able to move a large portion of it to Clarksville or to a point about midway between Clarksville and Nashville-possibly to Nashville direct. The country is being examined now with a view to determine the routes upon which his army can move. He is desirous of having your co-operation in the movement upon Nashville, with a portion of your forces and four good gunboats and about six mortars. His own force available for absolute movement upon the city will be about 40,000, which includes Nelson’s division, sent to Smithland; this, being a good army in itself, may not require a very large column of your forces.

{p.942}

It is now believed that the railroad will be completed to near Bowling Green by Saturday night or Sunday at the furthest, unless the weather should hold very bad. The bridge at Bowling Green across the Barren River may require two weeks’ time; hence the desire of the general for high water in the Green River to get steam transports over the dam at the damaged lock to enable him to get full supplies for his army by water at Bowling Green, He will make a simple transfer at the damaged lock in case the water gets low, keeping boats on each side of the lock.

I shall go with the general to-night at Bowling Green, and there he will determine, from the information received, as to the condition of roads, what he will do in the way of movement upon Nashville, and about the time at which he expects to make the blow.* The general has information which he believes reliable to the effect that a large part of their forces have been moved from Clarksville to Nashville, and that the defense made at Clarksville will be comparatively light, and will be for purposes of causing delay in movements up the river. A number of small fortifications are erected on the river between Clarksville and Nashville. By Saturday or Sunday you may receive definite information as to the plans for movement.

I have explained very fully to General Buell your ideas of a movement up the Tennessee and south thereof, all of which are deemed good, if proper re-enforcements are had from the East.

I find here an intensely bitter feeling against Buckner, and do not think it safe to send him to this point. Many threats are made of lynching him if he is brought into Kentucky. It appears that he was indicted for treason some time since at Louisville, and after his capture at Donelson a writ was issued by the superior court and an officer dispatched for Cairo to bring him here for trial. Fearing trouble, by the advice of some of our Union friends I telegraphed you this morning to hold him in military custody and send him to Ohio or any point you might select until the Secretary of War could be advised. I telegraphed him the purport of my telegraph to you.

Savannah is ours; Norfolk will be in a few days. We then hope for Nashville, Columbus, Memphis, and the cities farther South.

Very truly, yours,

THOMAS A. SCOTT, Assistant Secretary of War.

P. S.-General Buell showed me your message to him of yesterday’s date, which I did not clearly comprehend, and therefore telegraphed you in regard to two points. We leave in a few hours for Bowling Green.

THOMAS A. SCOTT.

* Of these points General Grant must satisfy himself by proper examination before acting.-T. A. S.

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CAIRO, ILL., February 19, 1862.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK:

MY DEAR GENERAL: It is mighty hard to play everything from corporal to general and to perform the functions of several staff departments almost unaided, as I have done the past two weeks. I hardly get time to eat very much or to sleep. However, I am ready for every and any amount of duty I can stagger under if it will crown {p.943} the great and masterly work you have so propitiously initiated. I take responsibilities to any extent, and have assumed here command of Army and Navy.

Flag-Officer Foote ordered two more gunboats to the Cumberland, which I have countermanded. I have made the best possible arrangements for defense. I have to-night three serviceable gunboats below Fort Holt, and a fourth without power of locomotion, but serving as a battery.

I have given detailed verbal orders to General Steele to have everything ready to repulse the enemy at Bird’s Point and to be on the alert. He has five regiments of infantry, one and a half of cavalry, two field batteries, and his heavy guns. At Cairo we have four regiments of infantry, two batteries of field artillery, and the fort well armed. On the Kentucky shore we have but sixteen field pieces, with 200 artillerists, 150 cavalry, and two heavy guns in Fort Holt. With these preparations I think we will give the little Frenchman a warm reception. Last night my spy, who goes to report to you at Saint Louis, was in Columbus. He says they have 30,000 men, but dejected by the loss of Fort Donelson; that there are nineteen steamers and gunboats in the river; that Jeff. Thompson is there, with all the garrison of New Madrid (probably not all); that they talk of receiving re-enforcements from Bowling Green, and that on the arrival of a train in the night there was much cheering. His opinion is, though not entitled to much credit, that the boats are there to evacuate the place, and that Polk has no thought of attacking this place. I have not been able to communicate with Sherman to-day, who has had no accession of force since I last wrote. A scout went to Blandville and Lovelaceville; reports all quiet and nothing to be seen of an enemy. I ordered General Hamilton to go to-day to Commerce with a steamer having a squadron of cavalry and, I think, three companies of infantry, but on receiving your telegrams countermanded the order. I have not seen him since; so that possibly he may have got off before receiving my note.

My spy came in this afternoon from Commerce. He reports camping ground dry and sandy; wood near; plenty of water; vacant houses for two regiments; stables and cooper-shop for 75 horses; road good to Benton for the season; rebel cavalry, 40 men; scouts about, having arrested last Sunday Mr. Brown about 6 miles from there, and Mr. Lemly two days ago within 1 1/2 miles of the place, and that 20 horses have been stolen in the last ten days. Little hay about; but 10,000 bushels of corn 3 to 8 miles below town, along the river bottom, and few horses or cattle, nearly all having been stolen. Has not been to New Madrid for some time, but says the road from Benton to New Madrid, through sandy woods and Sikeston, is good, except possibly 2 miles of embankment over swamps near New Madrid. A better road leads from a point 6 miles from New Madrid to Hatcher’s house, about 1 1/2 miles from the town.

Fort Thompson, he says, is now garrisoned with two small Arkansas infantry regiments, in all about 1,000 men, and 400 cavalry, commanded by Major Saul Kitchen, and that the armament is five columbiads, commanding the approach by the river from above, and a battery of six field pieces, sweeping the roads leading from the northwest. We have provided for all the sick and wounded thus far without sending any to Cincinnati, for which we have no steamer to spare. There are 1,400 at Paducah and 1,200 at Mound City, and but few here. Volunteer surgeons and nurses have supplied all my wants, and many more are constantly offering. Hordes of brothers, fathers, mothers, sisters, cousins, {p.944} &c., have reached here to find the dead and see the wounded, but I have had to refuse passes to all, as they would fill all our steamers, eat our rations, and be of no service to the wounded. By some strange accident several of your telegrams did not come into my hands till after I had telegraphed urgently to you to-day to know the disposition of the prisoners. All but 1,500 had then gone up the Mississippi, being nearly 10,000. Of the remaining, 1,000 went well guarded to-night and 500 will follow in the morning to Camp Douglas.

For want of steamer and guards I was compelled to send officers as well as men, but had them separated, and have instructed the commanding officer at Camp Douglas to continue to keep them apart. The officers came down with pistols and side-arms, saying it was so agreed by General Grant. I have disarmed them, sending their swords and pistols to the commanding officer at Camp Douglas, to be governed by your instructions in the matter. I have telegraphed to Smithland if any more came down the Cumberland to send them up the Ohio to Jeffersonville, Ind., to go thence by railroad to Indianapolis. I have stopped all forces here, but the telegraph wire broke before my order went to Smithland to send the troops from up the Ohio to Cairo. If the line is not repaired to-morrow I will send by steamer the order by authority of the Secretary of War. Buell telegraphed from Louisville yesterday to Smithland to General Nelson-

Stop your whole command at Smithland, and remain on your transports until further orders are received.

D. C. BUELL, Brigadier-General.

I do not think it wise to supersede Paine in command; though he is somewhat of a politician, and not always discreet, he is energetic, full of zeal, has pluck, and knows localities. If Pope is put in command it will deeply mortify and exasperate Paine, who is burning for a brigade in the field. Six mortar boats are in the Cumberland, the others, as got ready, being retained here. The Navy has not yet received a man, and call upon us for everything. I want an engineer, as I have no time myself to give attention to details. If Colonel McPherson is sick, perhaps it will be best to send Thom, if you can spare him.

General Grant took everybody and thing with him, not leaving even a file of your orders, which I daily want for reference. Send one to me by Carpenter or any one coming down. There is some captured property floating about in steamers and I believe considerable tobacco. It could not be sold here; had I not therefore better send it to Saint Louis? I am completely fagged out, and being among the little hours of the morning, I must say good-night.

Yours, very truly,

G. W. CULLUM.

Cumberland Rolling Mills and Iron Foundery, which supplied all the plates for their gunboats and some of their shot and shells, was burned by the Saint Louis, and the proprietor is our prisoner. The foundery was 6 miles above Fort Donelson.

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NASHVILLE, February 25, 1862.

General C. F. SMITH, Commanding U. S. Forces, Clarksville:

GENERAL: The landing of a portion of our troops, contrary to my intention, {p.945} on the south side of the river has compelled me to hold this side at every hazard. If the enemy should assume the offensive, and I am assured by reliable persons that in view of my position such is his intention, my force present is altogether inadequate, consisting of only 15,000 men. I have to request you, therefore, to come forward with all the available force under your command, So important do I consider the occasion that I think it necessary to give this communication all the force of orders, and I send four boats, the Diana, Woodford, John Rain, and Autocrat, to bring you up. In five or six days my force will probably be sufficient to relieve you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. C. BUELL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

The steamers will leave here at 12 o’clock to-night.

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MARCH 1, 1862.

General MCCLELLAN, Commanding, &c., Washington:

Yours of yesterday and to-day received. I have two divisions, say 18,000 men, with thirty-six pieces of artillery. McCook’s division will cross to-morrow. Wood will close upon him I think by the day after. I have sent the troops back to Clarksville. Johnston will not stand at Murfreesborough; in fact is preparing to get out of the way. I hope to be able to crowd him a little. Their plan seems to be to get the rear of the Tennessee, and in positions to concentrate either on Halleck or me. I will say more about this when my information is clearer, and until then I cannot well determine my movements. You are aware that, for reasons given some time ago, Carter’s is the only column moving toward East Tennessee. I have not heard of his being beyond Cumberland Ford.

D. C. BUELL, Brigadier-General.

{p.946}

Library Reference Information

Type of Material: Book (Book, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Corporate Name: United States. War Dept.
Main Title: The War of the Rebellion:
a compilation of the official records of the
Union and Confederate armies.
Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of War
by Robert N. Scott.
Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1880-1900.
Published/Created: Washington : Government Pub. Off., 1880-1901 (70 v. in 128).
Description: 70 v. in 128. 24 cm.
Subjects: United States. Army--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources.
Confederate States of America. Army--History--Sources.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories.
LC Classification: E464 .U6