War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0595 Chapter XVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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Saint Louis, February 8, 1862.

Major-General McCLELLAN, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have considered with the deliberation that part of your telegram of yesterday in relation to General Buell's coming to the Cumberland River and taking command of the expedition against Nashville. General Sherman ranks General Buell, and he is entitled to a command in that direction. I propose, with the deference to your better judgment, the following plan, as calculated to produce unity of action and to avoid any difficulties about rank and command: Create a geographical division, to be called Western Division, or any other suitable name, and to be composed of three departments, viz: Department of the Missouri, including the present Department of Kansas and the States of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas; Department of the Mississippi, including the remainder of the present Department of the Missouri and West Tennessee; Department of the Ohio, to be the same as at present, with the addition of East Tennessee. If we penetrate into Alabama or Mississippi, they can be assigned according to circumstances. General Buell would then retain his present command, with a small addition; General Hunter could take the new Department of the Missouri, which, I have no doubt, would be more agreeable to him than his present position; and General Hitchcock, if you can get him appointed, could take the new Department of the Mississippi. I have no desire for any larger command than I have now, but it seems to me that this would produce greater concert of action, give more satisfaction to General Hunter, and economize your labor, as all your orders for the West would then go through a single channel. Moreover, where troops of different departments act together, as they must on the Cumberland and Tennessee and on the frontiers of Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas, they would be under one general head. This would avoid any clashing of interests or difference of plans and policy.

I make these suggestions for you consideration.

If General Hitchcock cannot be appointed, General Sherman could take the Department of the Mississippi. His health is greatly improved.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Saint Louis, February 8, 1862.

Brigadier General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Fort Henry:

If possible, destroy the bridge at Clarksville. It is of vital importance, and should be attempted at all hazards. Shovels and picks will be sent you to strengthen Fort Henry. The guns should be transferred and arranged so as to resist an attack by land. The redan on south bank should be arranged for same object. Some of the guns from Fort Holt will be sent up. Re-enforcements will reach you daily. Hold on to Fort Henry at all hazards. Impress slaves of secessionists in vicinity to work on fortifications. It is vital importance to strengthen your position as rapidly as possible. When slaves are so impressed, they should be kept under guard and not allowed to communicate with the enemy, nor must they be allowed to escape. Where