May 11, 1862.
Brigadier General GEORGE W. MORGAN,
Cumberland Ford, Ky.:
Secretary of War absent. If Kentucky is as strongly secession as you represent, the calling out of a regiment or two of Home Guards is too weak a measure to meet the case. It would at best be but a palliative, and would be more likely to increase than lessen your difficulties. If guerrillas were shot without challenge as enemies of mankind their bands would soon disperse, and the assassination of sentinels and temasters and other barbarities practiced in irregular warfare would soon cease.
P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.
Cumberland Ford, May 11, 1862.
Honorable P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War:
I did not say that Kentucky was strongtly secession, but that the rebels were more bitter than ever. In a few days Morgan will have cut off my supplies from Lexington. My force is of infantry and artillery, entirely powerless against the rapid movements of partisan cavalry. Two regiments of cavalry would give security to trains, and that is all I desire. Two days ago I gave directions along the line to shoot any man found tampering with the wires, but Morgan's guerrillas must be caught before they can be shot.
GEORGE W. MORGAN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Monterey, May 12, 1862.
GENERAL: Your position, as second in command of the entire forces here in the field, rendered it proper that you should be relieved from the direct charge of either the right wing or the reserve, both of which are mainly composed of your forces. Orders for movements in the field will be sent direct from these headquarters to commanders of army corps, divisions, brigades, or even regiments, if deemed necessary, and you will have no more cause of complaint on that score than others have.
I am very much surprised, general, that you should find any cause of complaint in the recent assignment of commands. You have precisely the position to which your rank entitles you. Had I given you the right wing or reserve only it would have been a reduction rather than increase of command, and I could not give you both without placing you in the position you now occupy.
You certainly will not suspect me of any intention to injure your feelings or reputation or to do you any injustice; if so, you will event-