narrow and in many places bad, and the ground is densely wooded and difficult, so that, although the roads by which we are to advance are not very distant, yet any communication between them for the purpose of supporting each other will be slow and difficult.
There must be danger too of strengthening at the wrong point, from the advantage the enemy has in having his dispositions perfectly screened by the nature of the ground between us and his better knowledge of it. These considerations will strike you at once when you see the ground, if they have not already, but I have thought it not improper to mention the facts to you.
I am making a reconnaissance to-day on the Corinth road and also on a road which strikes off to Farmington. The enemy's pickets were about 4 miles ahead of us on the Corinth road yesterday, and we have repaired the road that far.
D. C. BUELL.
HEADQUARTERS, May 7, 1862.
General MITCHEL, Huntsville:
All the troops on the Nashville and Decatur and the Nashville and Chattanooga lines are placed under your orders. As matters now stand you can do nothing more than render secure Nashville and Middle Tennessee. In doing this it will be probably best to keep a considerable force at Columbia and Murfreesborough.
Our lines from Columbia to Savannah must be kept open. The provost guard at Nashville should not be removed and a force should be kept near that city. It will be better for you to move strong convoys with your trains than to establish small intermediate stations along your lines. Shelbyville should be occupied. Call upon Generals Dumont and Negley for information as to troops thus put under your command.
JAMES B. FRY,
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS, May 7, 1862.
Col. W. W. DUFFIELD, Nashville:
Proceed instantly to Louisville and assume command of all troops in Kentucky, except the Seventh Division, under General Morgan, at Cumberland Gap.
You are authorized to appoint provost-marshals and organize provost guards for Lexington and such other places as may be necessary.
You will confer with the Military Board of Kentucky in reference to the condition of affairs and will take promptly and decidedly, though judiciously, such steps as the Government interests and the welfare of the Union seem to demand. Major Bracht, Eighteenth Kentucky Volunteers, now at Lexington.
Mr. Temple, president of Military Board, is at Frankfort. Your duties will relate mainly to preserving good order in Kentucky, and the general desires you to act firmly, but discreetly and dispassionately. The troops along the road have been posed to secure these lines, and in using them for your purpose, you must bear this fact in mind, and remove them only temporarily or to make other suitable disposition to secure the routes. All men who are found to be operating against the