terday, and both reports are confirmed by Captain Wickliffe, Third Kentucky Cavalry, who made a reconnaissance on the Chattanooga road as far as Beersheba Springs and returned to McMinnville last night.
Water is very scarce here, only one spring; not forage enough in the neighborhood to last for one day. The road up the mountain is almost impassable. General Wood has been from 6 o'clock till now and he has not succeeded in getting his artillery up the road. I deem it next to impossible to march a large army across the mountains by Altamont on account of scarcity of water and forage and the extreme difficulty of passing over the road. I will therefore return to McMinnville and await further orders.
As I mentioned in one of my dispatches, I regard McMinnville as the most important point for occupation of any. The occupation of McMinville, Sparta, and Murfreesborough will, in my opinion, secure the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. I have sent out Smith to put in operation a system of spies, by which I believe we can get reliable information.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, August 25, 1862.
Major General HORATIO G. WRIGHT, Louisville:
MY DEAR GENERAL: The Government, or rather I should say the President and Secretary of War, is greatly displeased with the slow movements of General Buell. Unless he does something very soon I think he will be removed. Indeed it would have been done before now if I had not begged to give him a little more time. There must be more energy and activity in Kentucky and Tennessee, and the one who first does something brilliant will get the entire command. I therefore hope to hear very soon of some success in your department. I can hardly describe to you the feeling of disappointment here in the want of activity in General Buell's large army.
The Government seems determined to apply the guillotine to all unsuccessful generals. It seems rather hard to do this where the general is not in fault, but perhaps with us now, as in the French Revolution, some harsh measures are required.
Keep me informed by telegraph of what you are doing, and I will help you all I can.
H. W. HALLECK.
LOUISVILLE, KY., August 25, 1862-11 a.m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
Our troops are being assembled at Lexington and Lebanon. Other bodies are stationed at points to protect important communications. General Nelson is in command, with his advance at Richmond. He estimates enemy's force in Knox County (in his front) at fifteen regiments of infantry and 500 cavalry. General Morgan estimates the force in his front on the 20th at 20,000 and in his rear at 6,000. On the 21st