Were I sure of your being still at Crab Orchard I should of course fall back on Rock Castle, notwithstanding the almost impassable state of the roads; but as I have been told you had left the Crab Orchard, I must take your advice and retire to Somerset.
I need not say, general, how much I regret the necessity of this move, but i can see no help for it, as this place, without artillery and with so small a force, is altogether indefensible. I have sent out to press all the wagons that can be obtained; but as most of them, were taken by General Schoepf's troops, I fear I can obtain but few, if any.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. P. CARTER,
Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding.
CINCINNATI, OHIO, November 20, 1861.
Major-General HALLECK, Saint Louis:
SIR: Will you allow me to suggest the consideration of a great movement by land and water up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers?
1st. Would it not allow of water transportation half way to Nashville?
2nd. Would it not necessitate the evacuation of Columbus by threatening their railway communication?
3rd. Would it not necessitate the retreat of General Buckner by threatening his railway lines?
4th. Is it not the most passable route into Tennessee?
Yours, respectfully, &c.,
Colonel, and Chief of Engineer Department.
Crab Orchard, November 20, 1861.
Brigadier General S. P. CARTER,
Commanding Camp Calvert:
GENERAL: Your dispatch [of 19th instant] has just received, My orders are to move towards Columbia, and therefore am unable to render you any assistance. You must exercise your best judgment as to the best route to retreat, should your information prove correct concerning the approach of the enemy; but from all the information I have I should think the road to Richmond the best and easiest to defend. I will immediately dispatch to General Buell.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Vols., Commanding.
CAMP CALVERT, EAST TENNESSEE,
November 20, 1861.
General GEORGE H. THOMAS,
Commanding, &c., Crab Orchard:
GENERAL: The news I received and forwarded you last evening seemed to be reliable, and I accordingly forwarded it to you; but from intelligence received to-day through scouts sent to Barboursville I learn