War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0051 Chapter XXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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movement. If we are driven from Stevenson, or even from the region we now hold, which closes the entrance to our lines from Stevenson to Nashville, I should esteem it a great misfortune. To add to my perplexity dispatches written to General Negley last night are at this hour unsent, the wire being down. Of course nothing has gone to General Dumont or Colonel Lester. Colonel Stanley, Eighteenth Ohio, I was ordered forward from Fayetteville. Colonel Turchin, with part of his brigade at Winchester, is also ordered forward to Stevenson. I intend to have brought forward Colonel Mundy's regiment from Decatur and Colonel Sirwell's regiment from Reynolds' Station and to have their places [filled] by other regiments between Reynolds' Station and Nashville, but just at the critical moment communication by telegraph is interrupted. I have now here the Seventeenth Brigade, with the duty of guarding bridges and depot, machine-shop, and the river for 30 or 40 miles up and down, as well as the heavy stores we are accumulating. You see how my force is cut up and scattered. I will do my utmost to hold our position, but if the enemy has crossed the river in large force-and to cross with a small one looks incredible-he will soon occupy a position in the mountains that will give us great trouble.

O. M. MITCHEL,

Major-General.

D. C. BUELL,

Major-General.

HUNTSVILLE, June 22, 1862.

General BUELL:

Your dispatch of June 20 is just received. The only point requiring an answer seems to be the question about lumber. There is a good saw-mill near Stevenson, and timber can be had in my opinion for almost any purpose. I am moving troops toward Stevenson, amounting in all to about a brigade. The Eighteenth Ohio, Nineteenth Illinois, and two regiments under Colonel Starkweather are under marching orders. A train was fired into to-day and the wires cut half way to Stevenson. I am just sending an armed train to protect the line.

O. M. MITCHEL,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS, June 22, 1862.

General MITCHEL,

Huntsville:

Reported movements of the enemy in this quarter make it doubtful whether you can be re-enforced as soon as I intended in my dispatch last night. You must make your dispositions with that view. Collect your detachments from every point where you can spare them. It seems to me far more probable that the enemy had crossed with a small than with a large force. The latter could retreat less easily before the superior force he must soon expect to meet. His object is, I think, to destroy your works.

D. C. BUELL.

HEADQUARTERS, June 22, 1862.

General MITCHEL,

Hunstville:

Not at Decatur, but I can probably have a force at Athens Wednesday. I hope you will be able to hold your position without it. The enemy cannot have ventured to cross in any considerable force unless supported by a large force coming from East Tennessee. Let me hear frequently in regard to it. Morgan is in possession of Cumberland Gap, the enemy having evacuated it.

D. C. BUELL.