War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0534 KY., M. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXVIII

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town. He may go rapidly through to attack Louisville, or, if he thinks you too strong to be easily beaten, he may go to Bardstown to effect a junction with Smith, or he may halt at Elizabethtown to complete the junction and fight me there. The latter I think the most probable, considering that I think the most probable, considering that I am so close on him. If he marches on Louisville he will probably go by Shepherdsville, and it might be possible for him to reach there Thursday. In any event you should be re-enforced to the last man without a moment's delay. My own movements depend so much on those of the enemy that I hardly tell you what to do. If you have only the force you speak of it would not, I should say, be advisable for you to attempt a defense of Louisville unless you are strongly intrenched; under no circumstances you make a fight with his whole or main force. The alternative would be to cross the river or march on this side to the mouth of Salt River and brigade it, so as to form a junction with me. But, as I tell you, so much depends on circumstances that I must leave this question to your discretion. I only offer you my suggestion in regard to it. This much do at any rate: Send a million of rations down the river, say, opposite to Brandenburg, to make the safe, to be subject to my orders, and have a boat bridge made, to be thrown rapidly across the mouth of Salt River for my use if I require it. Lose no time. Steamers should be opposite Salt River subject to my orders. Bear in mind in these arrangements that the enemy will probably a small cavalry force at the mouth of Salt River. All steamers used for the service referred to should be kept constantly under steam and ready to escape if threatened. Communicate with me daily. I shall probably continue on the Louisville pike at least as far as Elizabethtown. I shall be at Bacon Creek to-night or beyond there. If the enemy should determine to stand at Elizabethtown your advance on the Louisville pike, with the means of crossing Salt River, would undoubtedly have an important effect and perhaps give you the opportunity of acting an important part.

I received your dispatch in answer to mine from Dripping Springs.

D. C. BUELL,

Major-General, Commanding.

LOUISVILLE, KY., September 22, 1862.

Major-General WRIGHT, Cincinnati:

Previously to the surrender at Munfordville certain officers demanded to see whether the enemy really encompassed the works with the force they pretended to have. Granted; and 3 officers went through their lines and report as follows:

Total strength, 45,000 men; eight batteries of artillery on the south side; on the north side they professed to have thirteen regiments and three batteries-about 10,000 men. The batteries are good. Know nothing of Kirby Smith. Saw Buckner, but not Bragg. While there Buell's advance molested pickets; made great excitement. The infantry miserable looking objects. Artillery good. Saw no cavalry.

W. NELSON,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,

Cincinnati, Ohio, September 22, 1862.

Brigadier General A. J. SMITH,

Commanding Military Forces, Covington, Ky.:

GENERAL: Please send me by bearer the best returns you can of the