different permanent posts of the operating army. In doing this the service need not, in all cases, be put up to its former frequency and expense until it shall be considered necessary by the Department to return to the old schedules. On railroads it may be made daily when daily trains are run. On other principal routes weekly, or twice or three times a week, according to their importance. Where old contractors are loyal they may resume at rates not exceeding the pro rata of their former contracts, often perhaps less.
In the discretion given you to re-establish post-offices and appoint postmasters due care should be taken to reopen the service on routes and offices only so far as our occupation will be permanent and the mails permanently secure, and to appoint only such persons as are known to be unconditional Union men, and who are willing to take the necessary oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States, and, to save delay, a package of blank letters of appointments, bonds, and affidavits, will accompany this letter, in order that the persons appointed may execute the same with good and sufficient security, and enter at once upon the duties of the office.
These letters must be countersigned by you before delivery. In all cases in which you may act you will report immediately to the Department for its ratification and approval.
Your former instructions will guide you except so far as limited by this letter.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. KASSON,
First Assistant Postmaster-General.
Contract officer approves.
GEO. W. McLELLAN,
Second Assistant Postmaster-General.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Fort Donelson, March 5, 1862. (Received March 9.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.:
Your dispatch of yesterday is just received. Troops will be sent, under command of Major-General Smith, as directed. I had prepared a different plan, intending General Smith to command the forces which would go to Paris and Humboldt, while I would command the expedition upon Eastport, Corinth, and Jackson in person. Information received this morning, however, would have changed my plan, even if your orders had not done it. Forces going to Eastport must go prepared to meet a force of 20,000 men. This will take all my available troops after garrisoning Clarksville, Forts Donelson and Henry.
By your instructions I do not know whether I am to abandon Clarksville entirely or not. There are some stores there and heavy ordnance that must be disposed of before the place can be abandoned.
I am not aware of ever having disobeyed any order from headquarters-certainly never intended such a thing. I have reported almost daily the condition of my command and reported every position occupied. I have not, however, been able to get returns from all the troops, from which to consolidate a return for department headquarters. All have come in except from General Smith's command at Clarksville-five small regiments of infantry and two companies of artillery. The general has probably been unable to get his in consequence of being ordered to Nashville by General Buell. General Smith has been relieved