disturbed by unreasonable newspaper clamor, and I expect that your confidence in me will be shaken by that abuse either. I have by no means abandoned the idea which you put forward prominently; on the contrary, I am studying it carefully and preparing for it, for I find some attraction in it; but neither have I determined on it absolutely, unless I am to understand that the Adjutant-General's letter absolutely requires it. If it does, I shall execute it carefully and with al my might. Governor Johnson is here. I have talked freely with him, and I think thus far satisfied him. I believe I shall do so entirely as far as purposes are concerned; but whether the execution will realize all our hopes in a matter for the future to dispose of. For my own part I do not fear to try; neither do I wish to appear overconfident.
The route we had in our eye wins upon me the more I investigate it. I am pretty nearly assured that it has decided advantages over the old open. I do not mention names, for I have an enormous respect for secrecy in military operations, and therefore it is, and also because I want to speak to you freely, that I like that you should allow me to write informally, rather than through official channels, for there is no secret in the Adjutant-General's Office.
Sherman still insists that I require 200,000 men. I am quite content to try with a good many less; but I do not want to abate in the end what you yourself through desirable, if not necessary. It will be important that Halleck shall strike at the same time that I do, and I think you will agree that his blow should await my preparation.
As for our enemy, I do not find it difficulty to ascertain pretty nearly what he is and what he is doing - at least within a certain limit. First, he is fortifying pretty strongly at Bowling Green, and he has some weak matteries on the Cumberland and Tennessee. Second, he can concentrate at Bowling Green in three or four hours some 20,000 or 25,000 men. As for his attacking, though I do not intend to be unprepared for him, yet I should almost as soon expect to see the Army of the Potomac marching up the road.
This is rather a prolix letter for a man who has not much time for light reading, but it has the same advantage - you can put it aside without much loss of your hearing of it.
Cannot you get me on the track of the Fort Randall companies? Please do not let the Departments put off my calls.
If you have any unoccupied brigadiers - not my seniors (?) - send six or eight, even though they should be no better than marked poles.
D. C. BUELL.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, November 22, 161.
Brigadier General C. F. Smith,
Commanding, &c., at Paducah, Ky.:
It is reported that General Hardee, with 8,000 men, is about to cross the Ohio between the Wabash and Cumberland, to destroy the Ohio and Mississippi and the Illinois Central Railroad. Others say that he is to be re-enforced by General Polk and attack Paducah. Keep me advised of the enemy's movements.
H. W. HALLECK,