arrive to convoy them. One gunboat has gone to Savannah. The transports here will not take all the troops now in readiness to move. Your instructions contemplated my commanding expedition in person. Dispatch yesterday changed it.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, March 6, 1862.
THOMAS A. SCOTT,
Assistant Secretary of War, Cairo:
Your letters were sent to Nashville several days ago. It is reported that Beauregard has 20,000 men at Corinth, and is fortifying. If so, he will make a Manassas of it. It is his best point to cover Memphis and Chattanooga. What a mistake that Buell did not send forces to move with us up the Tennessee, so as to seize that point. Smith has gone to do it, but I fear it is too late and that he is too weak. I cannot make Buell understand the importance of strategic points till it is too late.
H. W. HALLECK,
CAIRO, ILL., March 6, 1862.
If you telegraph Buell that you want a column of 10,000 or 20,000 men by river or land to co-operate, he will undoubtedly send them. I know he wishes to aid any important movement. Lieutenant Gwin, returned from Tennessee River, says they have 15,000 to 20,000 men at Corinth, 10,000 more at Henderson, 25 miles distant, and receiving re-enforcements constantly from Columbus and Louisiana. At Bear Creek Bridge, near Eastport, a force of 8,000 men are reported. Great care must be exercised in approaching their present position, as facilities for re-enforcing the enemy's column are very great. Can I do anything to aide you? If so, command me.
THOMAS A. SCOTT,
Assistant Secretary of War.
NASHVILLE, TENN., March 6, 1862.
Your views accord with my own generally, but some slight modifications seem to me necessary; at least there are details about which we ought to be able to consult freely. Can we not meet at Louisville in a day or so? I think it very important. The concentration of my troops and transportation cannot be complete for some days. We have had two formidable rivers to cross, and have forced ourselves here without transportation or baggage. The thing which I think of vital importance is that you seize and hold the bridge at Florence in force. Johnston is now at Shelbyville, some 50 miles south of this. I hope you will arrange for our meeting at Louisville.
D. C. BUELL,