War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0418 KY., M. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

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[CHAP. XXVIII.

into North Alabama? I attach so much importance to keeping up the occupancy there that I have left small force at, I confess, great risk to it, notwithstanding the urgent necessity for concentrating every man. I have to beg also that our communications with each other are kept up; otherwise they cannot be. I have given up girl from Nashville to Decatur; in fact, as my main force is getting farther to the east, it is not necessary for us. I am lying as I sly* to and hold the line from Decatur to Stevenson and thence to Nashville.

BUELL,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Decherd, August 25, 1862.

Colonel HARRIS, Battle Creek:

Employ every means in your power to get reliable information of the enemy's movements. Use money freely if it will accomplish the purpose. Our quartermaster here will furnish it.

JAMES B. FRY.

HEADQUARTERS,

Decherd, August 25, 1862.

Colonel HARRIS, Battle Creek:

All our public stores are to leave Bridgeport probably to-morrow. As soon as they are all shipped call into Battle Creek the infantry now at Bridgeport and send the section of artillery to Stevenson.

It is desired to hold Battle Creek as long as possible and to gain from it all the information we can of the movements of the enemy. If you lose the telegraph line you must communicate by couriers through Stevenson. If plainly threatened by an overwhelming force you are not expected to sacrifice your command. If the force is in your front you will retire to Stevenson; if it should be in your rear, and the road to Winchester open, you would take that. Reliance is placed on your courage and judgment in holding your post as long as your force is capable of doing it and then in making good your retreat. You must keep in communication with Stevenson and, as I told you to-day, gain and forward here all the information possible. If you retreat in both directions should by any chance be cut off make your way with your men alone by the mountain paths.

JAMES B. FRY,

Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS,

Decherd, August 25, 1862.

Captain MACFEELY, Nashville:

Have you ascertained how many rations can be procured from private parties in Nashville? There must be a pretty large supply there. Find

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*Could not be deciphered. Buell's telegram sent was: "I am trying as I sayJanuary

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