HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, DEPT. OF THE OHIO,
Camp near Bardstown, Ky., February 23, 1862-12 m.
Captain J. B. FRY,
I have just received your telegram. I will send orders to the First Ohio Cavalry immediately. I will move to-morrow morning, and if the roads are in good order hope to be in Louisville Tuesday by noon, with the whole of my division except Colonel Fry's regiment, which remained at Somerset as a guard, and has not yet got up. He will probably arrive on Wednesday.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Brigadier-General, Commanding U. S. Volunteers.
Colonel J. Ammen's diary of movement from Paducah, Ky., to Nashville,
February 23.-Our fleet [at Paducah] has orders to raise steam to follow the Diana, the flag-boat and headquarters of General Nelson; destination not named. Eight a. m. the Diana starts up the Ohio; the other boats follow at intervals. Diana steams up he Cumberland; other boats follow; and now we conclude that this division is bound for Tennessee-Nashville, &c. Pass Fort Donelson in the night; do not stop.
Land at Clarksville, Tenn., about 8 a. m., 24th. Call on my old friend and brave soldier General C. F. Smith, who is in command at Clarksville. In 1837 we were stationed at the same post, lieutenants U. S. Artillery, and have not met since that time until this morning. We both forgot that we are gorging old, and met as young lieutenants of the Regular Army.
February 24.-About noon the Diana steamed up the Cumberland, and the woodward followed near; the other boats started in turn. The river is high, the night dark, and the rebels may have batteries on the banks as they had below. We proceed slowly and with caution; one gunboat in advance, just before the Diana. The boats run against the trees in the dark; no serious injury. On we go, and would not be surprised the receive a shot from shore.
February 25.-Dawn; something like a battery on the bank a mile or more up the river is observed. The Woodward is signaled to come up to the Diana. General Nelson orders me to land with some companies and make a reconnaissance. When we reached the battery (Fort Zollicoffer, 5 miles below Nashville) the rebels had deserted the place. The fires had not yet completed their work of burning gun-carriages, &c. Twelve large cannon dismounted; four 6-pounders, all spiked; cannon-balls and shells in large quantities and railroad iron; fort leveled. After this examination we proceeded to the city and the Tenth Brigade took position on the public square. General Nelson crossed the river to meet General Buell, Mithcel, &c., and remained absent until towards evening. I was the senior officer in Nashville.
About noon the mayor, &c., called on me to furnish them a pass to General Buell, to enable them to ask for terms of surrender. The rebels forces retired as we entered Nashville. Some of our troops occupied