War of the Rebellion: Serial 011 Page 0051 Chapter XXII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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with General Buell, who is now at Columbia, and will move on Waynesborough with three divisions. Don't let the enemy draw you into an engagement now. Wait till you are properly fortified and receive orders.




Savannah, March 20, 1862.

Captain N. H. McLEAN,

Saint Louis, Mo.:

Last night at 11 o'clock dispatch of Major-General Halleck, stating that the enemy would probably attempt to cut off the river navigation was received and immediately replied to, to go from Fort Henry by telegraph.

Some time ago I directed General Smith to let one of the gunboats ply between Fort Henry and this place to keep the river open, but the general did not think it prudent to spare one at that time. One boat went down yesterday and returned to-day, and will go back again this evening.

Owing to the high stage of water, there are but few points on the river where light artillery could be taken to annoy our transports.

I will go with the expedition to Corinth in person should no orders received hereafter prevent it. Owing to the limited space where a landing can be effected, it will take some days yet to debark the troops now there. I was in hopes of starting out the 22d, but now think the 23rd or 24th will be as early as I can get off. There is no enemy on this side of the river much before reaching Florence. I sent yesterday two scouts to find General Buell. They will probably be back to-morrow.

A deserter from the rebel army just in says that Bethel is deserted, and the troops from there gone to Corinth; some troops at Jackson and Humboldt, and, in fact, small parties all along the railroad. He represents the panic as very great among the troops, but few of them wanting to fight. I will take no risk at Corinth under the instructions I now have. If a battle on anything like equal terms seems to be inevitable, I shall find it out in time to make a movement upon some other point of the railroad, or at least seem to fill the object of the expedition without a battle, and thus save the demoralizing effect of a retreat upon the troops.

I am very much in hopes of receiving further instructions by mail.




Saint Louis, March 20, 1862.

General D. C. BUELL,

Nashville, Tenn.:

Your telegrams of the 18th and 19th just received. Telegraph party sent to Savannah to work to Waynesborough. Heavy draft on me for troops for New Mexico will divert some intended for Tennessee. This renders it more important that you communicate with General Smith as soon as possible. Commissary stores and forage will meet you at