HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,
Field of Shiloh, April 19, 1862.
Brigadier General O. M. MITCHEL,
Commanding Third Division:
GENERAL: A steamer starts for Tuscumbia this morning with provisions for Colonel Turchin's brigade, a communication having come from him last night asking for them. I did not expect that you would attempt to occupy Tuscumbia in force. The destruction of the Florence bridge deprives that position of its main advantage and of its security also, leaving you only the railroad to fall back upon. The principal effect of occupying it now is perhaps to give the enemy some uneasiness; but then he will soon learn whether you are dangerous to him, and may be able to concert measures to counteract you.
if you feel assured that your forces are not jeopardized by their present position, it is desirable now to hold the position as an outpost.
I telegraphed to you several days ago in regard to the importance of destroying the bridge over the Tennessee River beyond Stevenson and also the Decatur bridge as soon as you should leave it. By that means you could be withdrawn almost entirely from that line. I hope you will be able to accomplish the former without great difficulty or delay.
What are your difficulties in the way of your communication with Nashville by the Chattanooga road?
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. C. BUELL,
SEVENTH DIVISION, Cumberland Ford, April 199, 1862.
(Received Nashville, April 22, 1862.)
Captain OLIVER D. GREENE,
There are 3,600 effective troops at the Gap. Deserters from Morgan's regiments come in constantly. The Gap is defended by seventeen guns, varying from 64 to 6 pounders. I was close enough to count their guns, tents, and huts on this face of the mountain. Their position is strong, but can be taken. I need large cannon; I will take the Gap if you will give them to me. I wish to dismount their 64-pounder. It occupies the key-point to the entire position, and once in my possession, the Gap is ours. The enemy depends with too much confidence upon his guns. Kirby Smith is now at Knoxville, with 4,000 men. He went toward Chattanooga, but has returned.
East Tennessee is in an uproar. Yesterday 1,000 fugitives tried to come over, but were attacked and 100 taken prisoners. They will be impressed. Yesterday Stevenson sent from Cumberland Gap two cannons and a small force of infantry to prevent their coming over.
Our scouts are in the neighborhood of Woodson's and Big Creek Gaps, and I have ordered Colonels Cooper and Shelley to Powell's Valley, with orders to try and bring over the refugees. I trust that you will give me the 20-pounders. You cannot understand the enemy's position without having seen it. I have two regiments at Boston. Five prisoners captured near Clinton were brought in yesterday.
GEORGE W. MORGAN,
Brigadier-General Volunteers, Commanding.