War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0682 OPERATIONS IN KY.,TENN.,N. ALA.,AND S. W. VA. Chapter XVII.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,

Saint Louis, March 4, 1862.

General BUELL,

Nashville, Tenn.:

If Johnston has destroyed the railroad and bridge sin his rear he cannot return to attack you. Why no come to the Tennessee and operate with me to cut Johnston's line with Memphis, Randolph, and New Madrid? Columbus has been evacuated and destroyed. Enemy is concentrating at New Madrid and Island Numbers 10. I am concentrating a force of 20,000 against him. Grant, with all available force, has gone up the Tennessee to destroy connections at Corinth, Jackson, and Humboldt. Estimate strength of enemy at New Madrid, Randolph, and Memphis is 50,000. It is of vital importance to separate them from Johnston's army. Come over to Savannah or Florence and we can do it. We then can operate either on Decature or Memphis or on both, as may appear best.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,

Saint Louis, March 4, 1862.

Major-General MCCLELLAN,

Washington:

A rumor has just reached me that since the taking of Fort Donelson General Grant has resumed his former bad habits.* If so, it will account for his neglect of my often-repeated orders. I do not deem it advisable to arrest him at present, but have placed General Smith in command of the expedition up the Tennessee. It think smith will restore order and discipline.

I hear unofficially, but from a reliable source, that our forces took possession of Columbus this morning, the enemy falling back to Island Numbers 10 and New Madrid. I am expecting official telegram hourly.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General.

COLUMBUS, KY., March 4, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK:

The battalion of Second Illinois Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hogg, sent from paducah day before yesterday, reached Columbus yesterday at 6 p. m., the enemy's cavalry having just evacuated. Five gunboats, under Commodore Foote; General Cullum, on board the tugboat; and the Twenty-seventh Illinois, Colonel Buford; Forty-second Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Northrop; and two battalions, composed of the Fifty-fifth Illinois, Major Sanger, Fifty-fourth and Seventy-first Ohio, under Major Andrews, dropped down this morning,a nd after some reconnoitering they discovered our flag and came ashore, finding Lieutenant-Colonel Hogg in possession. Have occupied the fort with the infantry. Fort very extensive, and large amount of guns, shot, shell, and stores abandoned by the enemy. Will dispatch for the Tennessee River instantly the Aleck Scott and T. L. McGill.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Brigadier-Genera.

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*See Thomas to Halleck, March 10, and Halleck's reply, March 15, p. 683.

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