CINCINNATI, OHIO, August 29, 1862-5.25 p.m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
General Nelson, at Lexington, asserts that Kirby Smith will assail General Buell in left and rear; that the condition of the latter is critical and he is clamorous to be permitted to move at once upon Nashville to his relief. His opinion in regard to General Buell's condition is entitled to much weight, as he is recently from Tennessee. Kirby Smith's movements and strength are uncertain, none of the reports and rumors being reliable. The troops we have at Lebanon and Louisville which might be available for this are entirely raw, and I am unwilling to make any forward movement as yet unless it is vitally necessary. Have you any information upon this subject? Colonel Garrard, just in from Cumberland Gap, reports Morgan's supplies sufficient for fifty days, so that opening communication with General Buell is the most important. The largest part of our force so far assembled is at Lexington and in advance. The rest mainly at Lebanon, Louisville, and on the line of and guarding Louisville and Nashville Railroad at Munfordville and Bowling Green. Let me hear from you as to the movement referred to.
H. G. WRIGHT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Cincinnati, Ohio, August 29, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:
MY DEAR GENERAL: Yours of the 25th reached me to-day via Louisville, and I hasten to reply.
It will be one week to-night since I struck the boundaries of the department on the Ohio River, and since then I have accomplished a large amount of business, if not satisfactorily, the best I knew how or was able. Everything was disjointed and consequently working badly, and it don't go on quite smoothly yet. I have had to contend with my own utter ignorance of affairs here, of quite as much ignorance on the part of others, joined with a listless indifference, and with false information from the designing and frightened, which it was sometimes impossible to detect before acting.
Kentucky is in a much worse condition than I had been led to believe. Guerrilla bands and recruiting parties parade the State under the very noses of the civil and military authorities, and thus far it has been next to impossible to put them down for want of a mounted force. The Governor and his officers I found cordially disposed, but they can do little. The full exercise of power has passed out of their hands in many parts of the State, and the civil authority is too slow in its operations for the present crisis.
Troops come in slowly or I am impatient. I have used the telegraph freely in urging the Governors to hurry up their quotas, but they lack arms, equipments, clothing, and in some cases ammunition. They are doing the best they can, according to their own accounts. Tents we are absolutely devoid of, and we can't expect any for ten days at least. Troops are going forward without them, but reluctantly.
I have put the troops so far at Lexington and in advance at Lebanon. Shall send Illinois and Indiana troops coming to Louisville hereafter to points on the Louisville and Nashville road. Besides this, troops to the extent of two regiments at each place are at Munfordville and Bowling