and hopefulness,a nd perhaps more energy, than if I entirely concurred in them. You do not know me well yet if think I cannot od this.
And now for the other side of the field: I feel more anxiety about it than any other, because I have less control over means that ought to bear on it, and have less knowledge of their details if I had the control. I do not know well-scarcely at all-the description and capacity of the gunboats and transports that are to be used, and I do not know anything about the quality of the troops and officers. I have not seen Smith for seven years, and am afraid to judge him. I have never rater him as highly as some men. The expedition requires nothing more, as matters now stand, than ordinary nerve and good judgment and ability to command, men. The troops ought of course to be the best we can command. The object is not to fight great battles and storm impregnable fortifications, but by demonstrations and maneuvering to prevent the enemy from concentrating his scattered forces. In doing this it must be expected there will be some great; it may be pretty good fighting. I suppose that 10,000 men, with two batteries, would not be too great an estimate for each of the rivers, if the enemy should do all that he probably can do. The precise manner of great the expeditions depends so much on local knowledge that I can hardly venture on its details; but at least the expeditions should go as rapidly as possible to the nearest point to where the road crosses the peninsula; that is, ot Dover and Fort Henry. And the first thing there to be done is to destroy the bridges and ferries; then act momentarily on the defensive, unless the weakness of the enemy or a trepidation in his force should give a good opportunity to attack. I think the first serious opposition will be found at Fort Henry and at an island battery 4 or 5 miles Dover, but my information is not very complete as to the strength of these works. It would probably be necessary to stop there. Fort Henry is said by civilians to be strong. I cannot learn yet the number of guns.
There have been some 7,000 troops there. We will probably find that number there. It is about 6 miles below the railroad bridge. I should not expect to meet any considerable force at Dover, but perhaps 7,000 or 8,000 at Clarksville, where they are fortifying. If they succeed in getting out of Bowling Green, which I believe they will try to do as soon as they see us advancing unless their force and armament are increased, of course the number at Clarksville may be expected to be greater.
The demonstration on Columbus and the Mississippi should at least be on such a scale that it can be concerted into a real attack if they destroy anything; better still if it can attack in any event.
You must be patient if you find my letter vague and unsatisfactory.
I have had to satisfy a deputation, acting under a joint resolution of the Legislature, that if was hardly necessary or expedition at this time to appoint a certain person:"provost-marshal, with all proper power, and giving to him such military force as he may deem essential for a prompt and proper enforcement and execution of the laws na da suppression of all lawless and marauding excursion into Northeastern Kentucky." I believe I succeeded pretty well, and perhaps after I ought no to have attempt a coherent letter. Your own judgment will satisfy its deficiencies. Please have Rosecrans take care of his revolted subjects along the Big Sandy. We are established at Munfordville.
D. C. BUELL.
P. S.-It will seem rather wordy for me to say that early action is of the grates importance when I am myself unable to appoint a day;
but no a day should be lost.