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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 3, Part 1 (Wilson's Creek Campaign)
Page 548 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

that the Government pay for what had been furnished to the troops in the field. It is suggested that an officer of ordnance be sent to Indianapolis to inspect the arsenal and ascertain the amount expended in the manufacture of ammunition, with a view to reimbursing the State.

Left Indianapolis October 16 for Louisville, Ky., where we arrived at 12.30 o'clock p. m., and had an interview with General Sherman, commanding the Department of the Cumberland. He gave a gloomy picture of affairs in Kentucky, stating that the young men were generally secessionists and had joined the Confederates, while the Union men, the aged and conservatives, would not enroll themselves to engage in conflict with their relations on the other side. But few regiments could be raised. He said that Buckner was in advance of Green River, with a heavy force, on the road to Louisville, and an attack might be daily expected, which, with his then force, he would not be able to resist, but that he would fight them. He was well as citizens of the State said that the border States of Kentucky must furnish the troops to drive the rebels from the State. His force then consisted of 10,000 troops, in advance of Louisville, in camp at Nolin River, and on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad at various points; at Camp Dick Robinson, or acting in conjunction with General Thomas, 9,000; and two regiments at Henderson, on the Ohio, at the mouth of Green River. (See paper Numbers 14) D. On being asked the question what force he deemed necessary, be promptly replied 200,000 men. This conversation occurred in the presence of Mr. Guthrie and General Wood. The Secretary replied that he supposed that the Kentuckians would not in any number take up arms to operate against the rebels, but he thought General Sherman overestimated the number and power of the rebel forces; that the Government would furnish troops to Kentucky to accomplish the work; that he (the Secretary) was tired of this defensive war, and that the troops must assume the offensive and carry the war to the fire-sides of the enemy; that the season for operations in Western Virginia was about over, and that he would take the troops from there and send them to Kentucky; but he begged of General Sherman to assume the offensive and to keep the rebels hereafter on the defensive. The Secretary desired that the Cumberland Ford and Gap should be seized, and the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad taken possession of, and the artery that supplied the rebellion cut.

Complaint was made of the want of arms, and on the question being asked, "What became of the arms we sent to Kentucky?" we were informed by General Sherman that they had passed into the hands of the Home Guards, and could not be recovered; that many were already in the hands of the rebels, and others refused to surrender those in their possession, allerging the desire to use them in defense of their individual homes if invaded. In the hands of individuals and scattered over the State these arms are lost to the army in Kentucky. Having ascertained that 6,200 arms had arrived from Europe at Philadelphia, 3,000 were ordered to Governor Morton, who promised to place them immediately in the hands of troops for Kentucky; the remaining 3,200 were sent to General Sherman at Louisville. Negley's brigade, at Pittsburgh, 2,800 strong, two companies of the Nineteenth Infantry from Indianapolis, the Eighth Wisconsin, at Saint Louis, the Second Regiment of Minnesota Volunteers, at Pittsburgh, and two regiments from Wisconsin were then ordered to Kentucky, making in all a re-enforcement of about 10,000 men.

We left Louisville at 3 o'clock p. m. for Lexington, accompanied by General Sherman and Mr. Guthrie, remained there a few hours, and


Page 548 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 3, Part 1 (Wilson's Creek Campaign)
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