War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0593 Chapter XVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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SAINT LOUIS, February 7, 1862.

Brigadier General D. C. BUELL, Louisville, Ky.:

GENERAL: My telegram of to-day are so full that I have very little to add in answer to your letter of the 5th. You say you regret that we could not have consulted on this move earlier. So do I, most sincerely. I had no idea of commencing the movement before the 15th or the 20th instant till I received General McClellan's telegram about the re-enforcement sent to Tennessee or Kentucky with Beauregard. Although not ready, I deemed it important to move instantly, I believe I was right. We must hold. Fort Henry must be held at all hazards. I am sending there every man I can get hold of, without regard to the consequence of abandoning posts in this State. If the rebels rise, I will put, them down afterwards. Grant's force is small-only 15,000. Eight thousand more are on the way to re-enforce him. If we can sustain ourselves and advance up the Cumberland or Tennessee, Bowling Green must be abandoned. I suppose the mud there, as it is here, is too deep for movements outside of railroads and rivers.

The enemy has the railroads, and we must use the rivers-at least for the present. Unfortunately our gunboats are badly disabled. They will be repaired as soon as possible. In the mean time we must push on with infantry and artillery on transports. I have no train, and almost of the regiments are without means of transportation on land. I hope you will help us all you can. I deem the holding of Fort Henry of vital importance to both of us.

I write in great haste, but you will understand the support of what I wish to express.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,



HEADQUARTERS ARMY, February 7, 1862-7.15 p.m.

Brigadier General D. C. BUELL, Louisville, Ky.:

Why not take the line of the Tennessee with your command and operate on Nashville, while Halleck turns Union City and Columbus?

I have directed him to destroy bridge at Decatur if possible to reach it. After carrying Nashville and Columbus a combined attack on Memphis could be made; it would easily fall if bridge at Decatur destroyed. Call for all available troops in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.

Please number and give hour of transmittal of telegraphic dispatches.



LOUISVILLE, February 7, 1862-9 p.m.

Major-General McCLELLAN:

I cannot, on reflection, think a change of my line would be advisable. I shall want eighteen rifled siege guns and four companies of experienced gunners to man them. I hope General Grant will not require further re-enforcements. I will go, if necessary.