NASHVILLE, TENN., March 15, 1862.
Your dispatch of yesterday received this morning. Undoubtedly we should use the river to get supplies, but I am decidedly of opinion that my force should strike it by marching. It can move in less time, in better condition, and with more security to our operations than by the river. It will have also the advantage of driving out the scattered force of the enemy this side of the river, and operate powerfully on the minds of the people. I had designed to commence moving to-morrow. We will have to repair our road somewhat as we go. It is important to choose the point of crossing so that it shall be safe, and yet not too far from the enemy; if, then, we could by a possibility effect it by surprise or at all at Florence, getting in between Decatur and Corinth, it would leave the enemy advantages for the point of attack, and whenever that may be we will be fully sure to meet the principal force of the enemy, and if we threaten him I am confident the island and New Madrid will be abandoned. I hope I can certainly see you in regard to those to those points.
Parson Brownlow has just arrived from Knoxville. Kirby Smith is there, with eighteen regiments from Manassas, and has seven more at Cumberland Gap.
D. C. BUELL.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Fort Henry, March 15, 1862.
Captain N. H. McLEAN,
Saint Louis, Mo.:
A steamer has just returned from above, but I have nothing official, but learn from Major McDowell that General Sherman, with his division, has left Savannah for some point higher up the river. The Union sentiment seems to be strong in the southern part of the State. Already 60 men had organized themselves into a company to serve the United States and a number had enlisted in the ranks of our reduced regiments. I will have consolidated returns ready to mail to-morrow morning, and will then leave for the scene of action, or where the troops are. Our supply of rations and ammunition is good. The amount of coal and forage consumed is so great, that these articles should be sent in great quantities. The unusual stage of water for the last few weeks has washed away all the wood for steamboat purposes, so that coal must be relied on entirely.
U. S. GRANT,
FORT HENRY, March 15, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Saint Louis, Mo.:
Before leaving Donelson I directed all artillery except heavy guns shipped to Saint Louis. I understand, however, it was stopped at Paducah. Here there is but one howitzer. It was spiked before the fort fell. At Clarksville there were two 24-pounder guns and found of heavy caliber. I ordered the garrison from there to ship everything and come up the Tennessee themselves. Three times I have communi-