We have arrivals every day from East Tennessee. The condition of affairs there is sad beyond description, and if the loyal people who love and cling to the Government are not soon relieved they will be lost.
I have sent forward nearly all the sick and the part of the commissary stores to Crab Orchard, and will leave with the rest of the command as I can obtain means of transportation for our stores. I have had the whole country scoured for wagons, but have not yet been able to obtain a sufficient number.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. P. CARTER,
Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding.
HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJT. GEN'S OFFICE,
Washington, D. C., November 25, 1861.
Brigadier General D. C. BUELL,
Commanding Department of the Ohio:
GENERAL: Your telegram received.* I have not seem the letter you allude to from the Adjutant-General.+ I instructed him to write to you that I was still firmly impressed with the great necessity of making the movement on Eastern Tennessee with the least possible delay. Eight regiments have been ordered to report to you from Western Virginia, three from Ohio, and whatever was available from Indiana. I hope to place at your disposal early next week two from Missouri, as well as other troops from illinois. I do not credit the statement that Buckner is in very large force, and I am still convinced that political and strategical considerations render a prompt movements in force on Eastern Tennessee imperative.the object to be gained is to cut the communication between the Mississippi Valley and Eastern Virginia; to protect our Union friends in Tennessee, and re-established the Government of the Union in the eastern portion of that State. Of course Louisville must be defended, but I think you will be able to do that while you move into Eastern Tennessee. If there are causes which render this course impossible, we must submit to the necessity; but I still feel sure that a movement on Knoxville is absolutely necessary, if it is possible to effect it. Please write to me very fully.
Very truly, yours,
GEO. B. MCCLELLAN,
CALHOUN, November 25, 1861.
I wrote you this morning ++ that a rebel force, said to be commanded by Breckinridge, estimated from 4,000 to 6,000, reached Rochester yesterday morning. Since writing, an agent, reliable, is in from Hopkinsville, says all are talking there of a concerted move on Lock Numbers 1, on Green River. I have ordered Jones' regiment here. Can't you have Steele's, now at Evansville, ordered to Lock Numbers 1? I have written to Colonel Steele, suggesting the propriety of the movement. The forces at Hopkinsville are estimated at 8,000.
T. L. CRITTENDEN.
* November 23.
+ Probably that of November 16. See Series I, Vol. IV, p. 358.
++ Letter not found.