ing at Mill Springs. Once the fire was opened upon them at Mill Springs, should they attempt to recross, the forces from the north side the Cumberland having only three small flats of capacity insufficient to cross, 50 men each and requiring fully one-half hour to cross and recross, the whole force would fall an easy prey to us. They have also a large quantity of army stores collected at Captain West's, consisting of bacon, wheat, corn, &c., which their main transportation train at Mill Springs, consisting of 1,000 wagons, horses, mules, and cattle, is certainly an object of acquisition. Should Zollicoffer not attempt to recross the Cumberland upon our opening fire upon Mill Springs, but remain an idle spectator until that place was reduced, our guns could then be turned upon him, and the distance across to his encampment from point A not exceeding 1 1/4 miles, it would be within range of our guns. The movement above indicated is preferred from the fact that it will in the first place secure a position which will command both encampments, and at the same time cuts off the retreat of the forces at Mill Springs, while, should Zollicoffer attempt to escape by abandoning his entrenchments and a move north, he would either fall upon our strong position at Fishing Creed or else move in the direction of Jamestown, either of which would prove alike disastrous to him.
I would suggest that the movement should be made without baggage train, and, as position A is distant from Somerset only 18 miles, we might move down to the Cumberland at Waitsborough and make a feint by throwing up fortifications until nigh-fall, when our boats should descend to that point, the bridge be constructed, and the crossing effected in about four hours.
In them mean time a reliable force, consisting of one or two companies, should be crossed at the north of the South Fork of the Cumberland, and fall into the main road at Weaver's, 7 miles from Waitsborough, returning in the direction of Waitsborough, taking in rebel pickets as they return, which if accomplished, the position. A could be secured by a march of three hours from Waitsborough. I inclose you the sketch refereed to in my letter.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Cairo, January 8, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.:
Your instructions of the 6th were received this morning and immediate preparations made for carrying them out. Commodore Foote will be able to co-operate here with three gunboats. Two others will go up the Tennessee, with a transport accompanying having on board a battalion of infantry and one section of artillery. General C. F. Smith will move upon Mayfield, and the cavalry from here and probably two regiments of infantry will effect a junction him there. From this point I have instructed General Smith to threaten Camp Beauregard and Murray, but in such a way as to make it appear that the latter and probably Dover [Fort Donelson] are the points in the greatest danger. General Smith is informed that re-enforcements are to arrive from Saint Louis, and that I will occupy the ground from Fort Jefferson to Blandville, and cut off all probability of an attempt to get on his flank or in his rear from
* See p. 946.