War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0645 Chapter XVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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I return to Fort Donelson to-day for another gunboat and six or eight mortar boats, with which I propose to proceed up the Cumberland.

The rebels all have a terror of the gunboats. One of them, a short distance above Fort Donelson, had previously fired an iron-rolling mill belonging to Honorable John Bell, which had been used by the rebels.

A. H. FOOTE,

Flag-Officer Naval Forces.

(Copy to General Halleck)

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 21, 1862-12.30 a.m.

General G. W. CULLUM, Cairo:

Gun and mortar boats must be ready in much less than ten days. Call on Chicago for assistance; we cannot now stand on forms. From two to four gunboats and a few mortar boats would secure evacuation of Columbus. You need have no fear for Cairo if you have a respectable garrison there. The enemy will not attack you.

Ten days to prepare boats is inadmissible; they must be ready by Monday, if you have to take the affair in charge yourself.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding U. S. Army.

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 21, 1862-12.30 a.m.

Major-General HALLECK, Saint Louis:

Buell at Bowling Green knows more of the state of affairs than you at Saint Louis. Until I hear from him I cannot see necessity of giving you entire command.

I expect to hear from Buell in a few minutes. I do not yet see that Buell cannot control his own line. I shall not lay your request before the Secretary until I hear definitely from Buell.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 21, 1862-1 a.m.

General BUELL:

Telegraph me at least once every day the position of your own troops, that of the rebels, and the state of affairs. Unless I have this detailed information I cannot tell whether it is necessary or not to suspend or abandon my own plans here. Neither Halleck nor yourself give me as much detailed information as is necessary for me. This is the critical period, and I must be constantly informed of the condition of your affairs.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN.

(Similar dispatch, same date, to Halleck.)

SAINT LOUIS, MO., February 21, 1862

General McCLELLAN:

Curtis has taken Bentonville, with wagons and baggage and a large flag which was floating on the court-house.