HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, February 24, 1862-9.30 a. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General Cullum's telegram in regard to reconnaissance of Columbus received. Buell will be in front of Nashville to-morrow evening. Best co-operate with him to the full extent of your power, to secure Nashville beyond a doubt; then by a combined movement of troops and gunboats seize Decatur. Buell will be directed to occupy and hold in force the railroad junctions in vicinity of Chattanooga and to re-establish the railroads from Nashville to Decatur and Stevenson. This will very nearly isolate A. S. Johnston from Richmond.
The next move should be either a direct march in force upon the rear of Memphis or else first upon the communications and rear of Columbus, depending entirely on the strength and movements of the rebels. In the mean time it would be well to amuse the garrison of Columbus with our mortar boats as soon as a sufficient number of them can be spared, with gunboats, from the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers.
The early possession of Humboldt in force is of importance, but should not be undertaken until Nashville is securely ours.
The possession of Grand Junction will complete the isolation of the rebels. It may be better to occupy Corinth instead of Decatur after Chattanooga is firmly in our possession. Please communicate fully and frequently.
GEO. B. MCCLELLAN,
Major-General, Commanding U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, February 24, 1862.
The reason that Cairo has no blanks is that no requisition have been made. There is a screw loose in that command. It had better be fixed pretty soon, or the command will hear from me. Nashville has been abandoned. General Buell marches in this afternoon without opposition. This enables me to withdraw my column from the Cumberland. I was holding the Cumberland forces to await Buell's movements. All O. K.; and now for decisive movement. Tell Flag-Officer Foote not to move till I give him further orders. The sending of steamers to General Buell was all wrong. It disconcerted my plans. You should not have done it without my orders. If you can stop them by telegraph, do so, and order them to rendezvous at Paducah. You are too fast at Cairo. Consult me before your order any other movement. I have hold everything in check till I could have positive information about the abandonment of Nashville. It is now certain.
H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH DIVISION,
Steamer Diana, February 24, 1862.
Major General U. S. GRANT,
U. S. Volunteers:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose the consolidated morning report of Fourth Division, Army of the Department of the Ohio, for February 2, 1862.