War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0571 Chapter XVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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CLERK'S OFFICE OF THE COURT OF APPEALS,

Frankfort, Ky., January 28, 1862.

General THOMAS:

DEAR SIR: I have been waiting for some days to read your official report of the great victory obtained over the rebels by the troops under your command on the 19th instant, but I can no longer delay to present you my hearty congratulations on the glorious event, so crushing and complete.

Four States are entitled to the special credit-Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky-but your whole army has covered itself with glory.

Very truly, your most obedient servant,

LESLIE COOMBS.

WASHINGTON, January 29, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK and Brigadier-General BUELL:

A deserter just in from the rebels says that Beauregard had not left Centreville four days ago, but that as he was going on picket he heard officers say that Beauregard was under order to go to Kentucky with fifteen regiments from the Army of the Potomac.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,

Saint Louis, January 30, 1862.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,

General-in-Chief of the Army, Washington:

GENERAL: I inclose herewith a copy of instructions sent this day to General Grant in relation to the expedition up the Tennessee River against Fort Henry. As Fort Henry, Dover [Fort Donelson], &c., are in Tennessee, I respectfully suggest that that State be added to this department.

General Grant has already been re-enforced with eight regiments of infantry, and several others, with three batteries of artillery, are under orders to join him. I will send down every man I can spare. Information is received to-day that Brigadier-General Price, son of the major-general, is again organizing insurgents in Howard and Chariton Counties, and that the rebels are becoming more hold since our troops have been sent south. I therefore think it unsafe to withdraw many more until the State militia can take their place. The militia dare not or will not organize in counties not occupied by our troops. To facilitate this organization it becomes necessary to scatter the volunteers over a very large tract of country. This is unfortunate, but unavoidable.

Fort Henry has a garrison of about 6,000, and is pretty strongly fortified. Possibly re-enforcements may be sent from Columbus as soon as we move. If we can reach the railroad this may be prevented, as the country roads are almost impassable.

The troops from Rolla are advancing in the direction of Springfield, but necessarily move very slowly. Greenville, south of Ironton, is occupied by our cavalry, and an infantry regiment is ordered to re-enforce them. This movement is necessary to break up the rebel organizations in the counties of Wayne and Butler.

The roads south of the Tennessee River are almost impassable. General Smith reported on his recent reconnaissance up that river