War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0458 Chapter XVII. OPERATIONS IN KY., TENN., N. ALA., AND S. W. VA.

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If I can ever get the account of the small-arms in our possession I can tell you what you may expect, but with the present Chief of Ordnance I scarcely hope for so simple a result. You can count on one thing, viz, that shall have all I can give you. You have already been informed that twelve regiments have been ordered to you from West Virginia. I have also ordered thence to you one regular and one excellent volunteer battery; these, with the Randell companies, will give you five batteries equivalent to regulars. Give each of these captains three other batteries, and you will some have your light artillery on good order. I am informed that large supplies of cavalry arms will arrive this week. Telegraph me what you need and I will try to supply you. Give me by telegraph and letter the statement of your command by regiments and batteries as soon as possible. I have telegraphed to-day to Halleck for information as to his boats. You shall have a sufficient number of them to perform the operations you suggest. I will place C. F. Smith under your orders and replace his command by other troops.

Informed me some little time before you are ready to move, so that we may move simultaneously., I have also other heavy blows to strike at the same time. I doubt whether all the movements can be arranged so that the grand blows shall be struck in less than a month or six weeks from the present time.

Make the best use of your time in organizing and drilling your command. Unless circumstances render it necessary, do not strike until I too am ready. Should I be delayed, I will not ask you to wait for me.

I will at once take the necessary steps to carry out views as to the rivers.

In haste, truly, yours,

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

LOUISVILLE, November 29, 1861.

General THOMAS:

I have a communication from General Boyle; he will speak to you on the subject.

I don't except Zollicoffer to cross the Cumberland in force, but he will try by demonstrations to drive us from Somerset, or even attack there if we are not watchful, and he will prepare the means of crossing, so as to threaten our flank if we advance. We will be organized to-day; in the mean time consider yourself in command of everything east of New Haven, but make no important move without referring to me, except to avert immediate danger.

Send entrenching tools rapidly to Somerset. Direct General Schoepf to thrown up as rapidly as possible a small closed work for four and six guns which will command the river up and down and the crossing. Captain Prime will go down in the morning to direct it; at the same time Schoepf must want Zollicoffer, and not guard against his crossing, but, if possible, prevent him from collecting the means of doing so.

Send five companies of cavalry to Schoepf scouts, if you think proper. Get your regiments in order as rapidly as possible and be always ready to move. I wish to avoid for the present anything like threatening demonstrations,a nd only be prepared for emergencies until we are ready to act.

D. C. BUELL,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.