FEBRUARY 16, 1862.
My dispatch of yesterday gives in detail the position of my troops.* You will observe that they are converging on Bowling Green, preparatory to an advance on Nashville. I hope to facilitate our progress materially by throwing boats above the broken lock while the river is up, which by transshipment will enable us to get many of our supplies that way, and give us that as well as the railroad.
Boats will start up to-day. The last of the enemy's forces are supposed to have gone to Nashville from Bowling Green. I had no report from Mitchel last night. Will soon have the wires up to him.
D. C. BUELL,
FEBRUARY 16, 1862
I have no definite information in regard to Grant's position-Halleck only states that he has completely invested the fort-nor do I know his force. My estimate is that he has at least 30,000. The division I am starting to-day and to-morrow will add 10,000 and three field batteries. I have repeatedly inquired of Halleck for the very information you ask for, but with little or no success.
D. C. BUELL.
CAMP WOOD, Munfordville, February 16, 1862
General D. C. BUELL:
A dispatch just in from General Mitchel, dated Bowling Green, February 16, 4.30 a.m. He has now five infantry and one cavalry regiments in Bowling Green. He asks me to forward forage and subsistence. He also recommends a strong and immediate demonstration upon Nashville. I send this at Mitchel's request. Can you not have one of the passenger trains taken off the railroad and send the locomotive here to work. We cannot get any of the engineers of the road to do anything here, and have great reason to doubt the loyalty of some. I will work a regiment per day on the railroad and push matters with all possible haste. The railroad is all right below Bell's.
SAINT LOUIS, February 17, 1862-10 a.m.
Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN:
It is said that Beauregard is preparing to move from Columbus either on Paducah or Fort Henry. Do send me more troops. It is the crisis of the war in the West. Have you fully considered the advantage which the Cumberland River affords to the enemy at Nashville? An immense number of boats have been collected, and the whole Bowling Green force can come down in a day, attack Grant in the rear, and
*See p. 619.