a map of the enemy's works, which I have every reason to believe is as accurate as it is possible to get before Columbus falls into our possession. The floating battery has been removed to New Madrid. Many of the best-disciplined troops have been removed, and their places supplied by militia. This informant says that he hears a planter remark that many of the troops were now distributed in squads of 20 and over upon the plantations in the South to repress insurrection. Being able to speak the German language, he learned that there are about 1,200 of that nationality who, with some 600 Irish, intend to turn upon the garrison as soon as they feel terre is any security in doing so when an attack is made. I am well aware, however, that it will not do to rely upon this sort of support.
U. S. GRANT,
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Lebanon, Ky., December 30, 1861.
Commanding Department of the Ohio, Louisville, Ky.:
GENERAL: I received your letter of the 29th with the map. Have made arrangements to move as light as possible, and hope to get started to-morrow, although with raw troops and raw mules I fear there will be some difficulty. I have but few wagons over and above the regimental wagons. The provisions will have to be hauled with hired teams until will delay us much longer than we should be delayed. I have been told that the country we are going to is very poor, and it will be necessary to pass through speedily should we attempt to penetrate to Knoxville. I will therefore submit for your consideration if it would not be a better move for my main force to do down the river(should we succeed with Zollicoffer) as far as Burkesville, take to that place subsistence enough to last us to Nashville, place the subsistence on flat-boats, and march with a light train in two columns, one on each side of the river; the provisions and extra forage being floated down the river in boats under a strong guard.
The enemy being thus threatened on their rear and right, would greatly aid your advance in their front, and should they make a determined stand at Bowling Green, I might my column cut off their retreat at Gallatin.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.
WASHINGTON, D. C., December 31, 1861.
General HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.:
General McClellan is sick. Are General Buell and yourself in concert? When he moves on Bowling Green, what hinders it being re-enforced from Columbus? A simultaneous movement by you on Columbus might prevent it.
(Similar dispatch to Buell same date.)