I have directed the 5,000 blankets and 1,000 overcoats to be sent to you. Very few blankets are in this office, General McClernand having taken them all. If none are to be found to supply your wants here I will order them sent from headquarters.
Supplies of nearly all kinds have been forwarded to you. The teams you wish have been sent. The sick and wounded are well provided for at Paducah, Mound City, and here. If we have too many to look after we will send them to Cincinnati and Saint Louis. Doctors, nurses, and all kinds of assistance and sympathy have been freely and generously offered.
Your letter of the 19th gives glorious news and an earnest of continued success.
We have newspaper reports which state 2,000 Tennesseeans have come in to you and laid down their arms.
Again congratulating you and assuring you of my continued esteem, I am, &c.,
G. W. CULLUM,
CAIRO, February 20, 1862
Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN:
Navy officers report it impossible to get gun and mortar boats ready for ten days. Six mortar boats up Cumberland, and of the only four ready here three are aground, and possibly cannot be got off. The river falling fast. Gunboats much damaged in battle. Four up Cumberland, and must have four to watch movements from Columbus. Had spy there Tuesday night, and have scouts near to-night.
G. W. CULLUM,.
UNITED STATES FLAG STEAMER CONESTOGA,
February 20, 1862 (via Cairo, February 21).
SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:
We have possession of Clarksville. The citizens being alarmed two-thirds of them have fled; and having expressed my views and intentions to the mayor and Honorable Cave Johnson, at their request I have issued a proclamation,* assuring all peaceably disposed persons that they may with safety resume their business vocations, requiring only the military stores and equipage to be given up, and holding the authorities responsible that this shall be done without reservation.
I left Fort Donelson yesterday with the Conestoga, Lieutenant-Commander Phelps and Cairo, Lieutenant-Commander Bryant, on an armed reconnaissance, bringing with me Colonel Webster, of the Engineer Corps, and chief of General Grant's staff, who, with Lieutenant-Commander Phelps took possession of the principal fort and hoisted the Union flag. A Union sentiment manifested itself as we came up the river.
The rebels have retreated to Nashville, having set fire, against the remonstrance of the citizens, to the splendid railroad bridge across the Cumberland River.
*See p. 423.